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← The enigma of America's secular roots

dilated_in_disbelief's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by dilated_in_disbelief

Comment 12 Jos Gibbons

No it isn’t. All this article goes on to tell us about Barlow’s comments regarding religion is he disapproved of organised religion and approved of secularism. This doesn’t mean he didn’t have religious beliefs or practices.

I take it you looked over the part where the article mentions Barlow joining the ministry and becoming the official translator of the Book of Pslams? Sure, the writer is making a speculation, but there is ample information that is suggestive of the idea that Barlow was religious.

Who says ignorance & feeble individual minds lead to religion? If only “militant secularists” really existed, this straw man might be slander. Fortunately, another straw man protects it from prosecution.

There is no straw-man argument. You're simply unfamiliar with a lot of modern day literature the scrutinizes religion. While I have never heard of the phrase "militant secularism," you can find a video on YouTube of Richard Dawkins giving a speech about "militant atheism." He is clearly in support of it. Look it up.

What on Earth do either of these mean? Making claims unsupported by evidence is bad, end of.

I thought the words were pretty self-explanatory, but perhaps you're not well informed. It turns out that a lot of people who take a moderate stance on religion, whether they actually be religious and "tolerant" of it, happen to find some significance in it. That can include theories about theology and scripture, as well as any sense of "beauty" felt when reading religious literature or when viewing religious art, like architecture or paintings. You don't need to fall back on the default response "what's the evidence" simply when you don't understand something.

Why is “let’s treat people fairly” radical, either in the sense of extremism or novelty? Why is it only those who don’t say what organised religion wants to here who are called outspoken? The things said by American Christians against non–Christians, gays, abortionists etc. while in or running for office are routinely horrendous.

A view can be radical in relation to other views. The same goes with controversy. His view wasn't as simple as you state it. Barlow was clearly attacking religion, and considering that a significant amount of the American population was and still is religious, in the eyes of the public his views would be radical. To dudes like you or me, it won't be.

Tue, 04 Jan 2011 11:36:53 UTC | #573116