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← The spectre of militant secularism

jameshogg's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by jameshogg

Comment 19 by Red Dog :

Comment 17 by jameshogg :

Sorry, I really have to point this out.

There is no such thing as "militant secularism" or, in other words, the so-called secularism that Mao and Stalin imposed. And the best way to prove so is the following.

I mostly agree with that but I would like to point out that that argument is not different from what a Christian or Muslim would say when we talk about all the harm that religion has done. I've heard this argument from Christians many times in person and on blogs: "you can't blame Christianity for the Inquisition because the people that ran the Inquisition weren't really Christians. Christianity is about love." or from Muslims "You can't blame Islam for 9/11 because terrorists aren't really Muslims, they abuse Islam for their own selfish purpose but in reality Islam forbids killing innocents"

If we let Atheists/Secularists off the hook for the crimes of Mao and Stalin then if we are going to be consistent we would let Christians off for the crimes of the Inquisition.

But there is no No True Scotsman fallacy here. The principles of secularism are very much opposite to that of Mao and Stalin. Just because they, or anyone else, may say that they are secular does not make it so. To put it another way, science does not have to apologise for the absurd notions that Intelligent Design theorists propose.

That does not apply to religious behaviour, because when the likes of Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell cite the Bible, for example, as a reason for their ideologies, you can look them up yourself and find them very easily.

If totalitarian regimes suppress religious belief, that has nothing to do with secularism, let alone the non-belief in God or the non-belief in astrology, and that is precisely because it is the opposite of secularism.

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 17:12:28 UTC | #928670