It has been argued that secular (non-religious) individuals and organizations display highly moral standards without belief in god or religion. Admittedly, this is true as far as organizations, such as Doctors Without Borders, but not necessarily true of the individuals who actually do the work, many of them are quiet or religious people operating with compassion under religious morality. These humanitarians keep their religion to themselves, although they might be working under the umbrella of a secular organization.
In the course and development of Western culture, the Judeo-Christian and the Graeco-Roman heritages became inextricably entwined becoming the twin pillars of Western civilization that have withstood the test of time. With the Hebrew experience, the Ten Commandments, the Old Testament, man was seen as having free will and having the capacity to do good or evil — i.e., develop moral conduct, for which he would be rewarded or punished in the afterlife.
The essence of all revolutionary systems and their eventual political manifestation depends on gaining, extending, and retaining power. Direct action, as we witnessed in the French Revolution and the revolutions that followed, such as National Socialism in Germany, fascism in Italy, and Soviet, Cuban, Southeast Asian and Chinese communism, brings centralized political power to the fore rapidly and necessitates equally rapid consolidation of power into the hands of the elite designers of the collectivist blueprint.
One of the great books of the 20th century was Richard Weaver’s Ideas Have Consequences. I once had a fellow medical student tell me as I was discussing the dangers of communism that it mattered little what a person believes—ideas, she informed me, were personal and benign. Weaver shatters this dangerous idea in his scholarly book. He demonstrates that it matters very much what people think because they behave and design their lives according to the ideas they hold dear.
Abstract — In discussing bioethics and the formulation of neuroethics, the question has arisen as to whether secular humanism should be the sole philosophical guiding light, to the exclusion of any discussion (or even mention) of religious morality, in professional medical ethics. In addition, the question has arisen as to whether freedom or censorship should be part of medical (and neuroscience) journalism.
If the errors committed in the building of the edifice of Western civilization are compared with Plato’s ideal Republic and the perfect State, protected by intelligent but disinterested Guardians and ruled by equally disinterested and totally just Philosopher-kings, then Western civilization loses hands down.(1) But as Aristotle pointed out in his Nicomachean Ethics and Politics, man is subject to errors and thus such ideal utopias created by real men are unworkable and nonexistent.(2) Despite over two millennia of history, no such state has ever been created, and the half-baked facsimiles
The liberal left has devoted a great deal of energy in its war on “racism,” a rather hazy concept in modern society. Most think of racism as disliking or even hating someone based only on their race. Almost, as a reflex, one, at least in this country, associates racism with the Southern states — particularly Mississippi. While the Deep South involved itself in the so-called Jim Crow laws and other expressions of segregation policies, it was not alone in racial exclusion policies and social behaviors.
A recent article appearing in the magazine Scientific American Mind caught my attention as a perfect example as to how science (scientism) is being used to demonize those who disagree with a particular issue. The article, “What a Hoax,” appeared in the September/October 2013 issue. In fact, the article goes far beyond just demonizing dissenters of the orthodox opinion; incredibly, it classifies them as mentally ill and a danger to society. This of course reminds one of a similar methodology used in communist countries, such as the Soviet Union, Maoist China and communist Cuba.
Since the heyday of Billy Graham in the 1950s to the 1980s, Protestantism has evolved mostly to become silent on secular issues or to speak only to promulgate politically correct (PC) proclamations depending on the trendy issues of the day.
The study of the nature of reality leads to the Medieval argument (conflict) between Realists and Nominalists. I will defer further discussion on that controversy for now, and instead, deal with more contemporary philosophies.
Pragmatism or Idealism
Is Insufficient Spending the Culprit?
All ye faithful out there --- jubilate, celebrate! For this year, after Halloween, we get to cast our ballots into the wind. This year, after All Hallows' eve, there will be more at stake than candy, children, and trick or treat.