"I believe that secularism, as imagined above, arises more or less as follows:
• Participation of citizens with differing views in political debate is supposed to be part of the democratic process.
• However, a large fraction of citizens hold some views that are (in the judgment of more sober minds) straightforwardly insane, and would not hesitate to impose the policy implications of those views upon the rest of society if given the ability to do so.
• Religious moderates, religious minorities and non-believers, tacitly recognizing these two facts, promote secularism as a compromise, despite its philosophical bankruptcy and practical pathologies."
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Ian Pollock does a very good analysis of secularism here. He argues that secularism is, in fact, unprincipled, but at the same time, it is probably practically necessary.
I am of the same opinion. I agree that that there is no principled difference between religious beliefs and secular beliefs. However, I also do not see how a multicultural democratic society can exist and thrive without some version of the two main principles of secularism mentioned in the article, especially when there are religious fanatic elements within the society who have no respect for other religious points of view.
If there is to be tyranny, let it be against those who wish to tyrannize others.