"The challenge is threefold. First in line is the secularisation thesis, the argument that religion simply fades away as a natural consequence of modernisation. Not true, argue Micklethwait and Wooldridge. Modernity doesn't usher in secularisation, it actively promotes religious pluralism. They then train their sights on the equally popular notion that religion contaminates all those who subscribe to its bogus myths and stories. Not true, argue Micklethwait and Wooldridge. Religion brings out both the best and worst in man, and secularists need to come to terms with the positive role religions have played in providing meaningful care and support for the oppressed as well as in the nurturing of aspirations for political freedom from Poland to Burma to El Salvador. Secularists should therefore recognise the corollary of these two facts. While it is perfectly appropriate to demand that religionists should accept the separation of church and mosque from state as a guarantee of freedom of conscience for all, secularists should play their part by accepting that religion is here to stay."What do you think? Is God back (or did he never go away), and is he here to stay? Read Caspar's interview and share your views by commenting on this post.
Friday, 29 May 2009
Dear reader, our blog has moved to a new address.
Do come on over (and change your bookmarks accordingly): rationalist.org.uk
In our latest issue, Caspar Melville talks to Economist editor John Micklethwait and Economist Washington Bureau Chief Adrian Wooldridge about their new book God is Back: How the Global Rise of Faith is Changing the World (published by Allen Lane). As Caspar writes, it's a book that secularists and humanists, many of whom hold firm to the idea that the onset of modernity tends to herald the decline of religion, need to sit up and take notice of: