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← Religious freedom and religious privilege

Steve Zara's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Steve Zara

comment 11 by Quine

I can't go that far, Steve. The reason NOMA is wrong is because, as you point out, religious belief is a behavior of neural systems and can be studied. Having something be "none of the state's business" is a decision we make to protect us from a long history of the state being wrong.

Yes, but that isn't what secularism is about. Secularism is about setting up rules for certain beliefs specifically because they are considered spiritual. The form of NOMA I am taking about is making this political provision specifically for spiritual beliefs.

Perhaps, someday, we will be so advanced in our societies that we can come up with a better way, but for now secularism is the best we can do.

We can come up with a better way right now, which is to insist that state policies are based on reason and evidence. That would not give protection to religious views, and it would allow the state to criticise and deal with all kinds of unreasonable beliefs, no matter how they are classified. We don't need to look to the future to see such states - just look at Sweden, for example. It's not officially secular, because it doesn't need to be. Religion is largely irrelevant. There is no more need for the state to consider it than to for it to consider astrology.

Sweden's type of approach is what I want to see for the future, NOT secularism. We should not need secularism any more than we should need astrologyism. What we certainly don't want long term is the idea that state schools and organisations should be prevented from saying that astrology is rubbish and from being biased against astrology believers.

Mon, 20 Feb 2012 05:39:54 UTC | #919889