Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Passionate About Secularism

Without secularism our modern society would be ripped apart at the seams. Yet those who portray themselves as society's true defenders seek to destroy secularism.

Religious fundamentalist around the world fear a level ideological playing field which only secularism allows to exist.
They fear the free market of ideas, and the power of the individual to make free choices in matters of conscience. Their fear is driven by a lack of surety in a modern world filled with continual changes - changes which challenge their sense of meaning.

Every human seeks answers to the fundamental questions we face. Is the pain I feel worth my continued survival? Is there life after death, or is this all there is? Is meaning to be found in the material world, myself, others, or some higher being? There are so many questions, and so many people with holy books telling us which way to turn.

If it were simply a matter of seeking, and finding fundamental truth and meaning we might all find a way to live with one another in peace, and harmony, but sadly it seems there's something else which people long for - sameness.

Fear not only drives people to seek fundamental answers to fundamental questions, it also drives people into the arms of despots. The more we hurt, and fear the more we seek to embrace offers of absolute answers, and solutions. We are but children seeking to be cradled to the bosom of a loving parent.

For the impoverished masses of Islam fundamentalism is a ready made solution to earthly pain, and anxiety. They may never achieve worldy wealth or success, but they can find peace, and meaning which only religion provides. All questions answered, and all anxiety sedated - religion is the perfect universal opiate.

Christian fundamentalist in the West know that they are saved, and that they are rightous. Others of different beliefs are simply walking corpses headed straight into eternal damnation. Through church attendance, and prayer group associations believers reach for deeper understanding of ancient wisdom found within the Bible. All doubts are pushed aside, the mind is calmed, confidence enabled. and lives are changed with a personal connection to the Alpha, and the Omega.

Whatever the religion fundamentalist fear tolerance of ideas which are different from those embraced by their denomination, sect, or cult. Fundamentalist seek to stamp out other ideas, for other ideas are evil.

Fundamentalist of all religions seek to destroy secularism in any state in which it exist. If fundamentalist had their way the United States, and in fact every nation on Earth, would be a theocracy.

Yet secularism is the very reason the West is technologically, and economically advanced. Secularism was fundamental to the West's defeat of Communism. Without secularism a functional democracy can not exist. Without democracy the modern capitalist state can not exist. And without the modern capitalist state scientific, economic, and social progress will not take place. I hold these truths to be self evident - I am a secularist. And I'm passionate about secularism.

1 comment:

Larry Stevens said...

From one Secularist to another, thank you for this post. It reminds me that I read another post about religion and society today.

Perhaps I've never felt enough pain in my life to make up an imaginary friend with all kinds of wierd rules and fantastic promises.

email jp






Wired News: Top Stories