This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

← My Spiritual Journey

brian thomson's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by brian thomson

He makes a strong argument for secularism near the end, though:

What our deliberative, pluralistic democracy demands is that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals must be subject to argument and amenable to reason. If I am opposed to abortion for religious reasons and seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or invoke God's will and expect that argument to carry the day. If I want others to listen to me, then I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.

I note also that he frames his involvement with religion as a choice, in terms of social issues, rather than any kind of religious epiphany or vision:

It was because of these newfound understandings — that religious commitment did not require me to suspend critical thinking, disengage from the battle for economic and social justice, or otherwise retreat from the world that I knew and loved — that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity United Church of Christ one day and be baptized. It came about as a choice and not an epiphany; the questions I had did not magically disappear. But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt God's spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth.

Some very diplomatic language there!

Wed, 27 Apr 2011 16:03:18 UTC | #619983