Tag Archives: Religion

Modernity and Religion

by The Rhetor

I thought I would start off the new year with a quote from Mortimer J. Adler, an American philosopher and author of “how to read a book” (which I will be reviewing in the coming week). This passage bears a resemblance to David Hume’s Natural History of Religion, though Hume saw the transition of superstition to pure religion as a cycle where as pure forms of religion became popular the mass of people attached their superstitions to it. In a time when religious fundamentalism seems to be on the rise this is food for thought.

“I suggest that the men and women who have given up religion because of the impact on their minds of modern science and philosophy were never truly religious in the first place, but only superstitious. The prevalence and predominance of science in our culture has cured a great many of the superstitious beliefs that constituted their false religiosity. The increase of secularism and irreligion in our society does not reflect a decrease in the number of persons who are truly religious, but a decrease in the number of those who are falsely religious; that is, merely superstitious. There is no question but that science is the cure for superstition, and, if given half the chance with education, it will reduce the amount that exists. The truths of religion must be compatible with the truths of science and the truths of philosophy. As scientific knowledge advances, and as philosophical analysis improves, religion is progressively purified of the superstitions that accidentally attach themselves to it as parasites. That being so, it is easier in fact to be more truly religious today than ever before, precisely because of the advances that have been made in science and philosophy. That is to say, it is easier for those who will make the effort to think clearly in and about religion, not for those whose addiction to religion is nothing more than a slavish adherence to inherited superstition. Throughout the whole of the past, only a small number of men were ever truly religious. The vast majority who gave their epochs and their societies the appearance of being religious were primarily and essentially superstitious.”

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P.A. says no to hater imams

by The Rhetor

The Washington Post reports on the Palestinian Authority’s clamp down on sermons in West Bank mosques. The Authority’s Minister for Religious Affairs Mahmoud Habbash closely monitors and provides guidance on the content of the sermons given by the imams under the Authority’s jurisdiction. The Fattah regime can only be seen by those under its control as a Vichy government and the West must be cautious in its dealings with this group of strong-men.

In order to secure peace in the Levant  Western  governments must avoid politically convenient solutions involving armed political factions and seek to establish functioning democracies that maintain a separation of church and state, promote individual freedoms and political pluralism.