The theological perspective of participation actually saves the appearances by exceeding them. It recognizes that materialism and spiritualism are false alternatives, since if there is only finite matter there is not even that, and that for phenomena really to be there they must be more than there. Hence, by appealing to an eternal source for bodies, their art, language, sexual and political union, one is not ethereally taking leave of their density. On the contrary, one is insisting that behind this density resides an even greater density – beyond all contrasts of density and lightness (as beyond all contrasts of definition and limitlessness). This is to say that all there is only is because it is more than it is. (...)This perspective should in many ways be seen as undercutting some of the contrasts between theological liberals and conservatives. The former tend to validate what they see as the modern embrace of our finitude – as language, and as erotic and aesthetically delighting bodies, and so forth. Conservatives, however, seem still to embrace a sort of nominal ethereal distancing from these realities and a disdain for them. Radical orthodoxy, by contrast, sees the historic root of the celebration of these things in participatory philosophy and incarnational theology, even if it can acknowledge that premodern tradition never took this celebration far enough. The modern apparent embrace of the finite it regards as, on inspection, illusory, since in order to stop the finite vanishing modernity must construe it as a spatial edifice bound by clear laws, rules and lattices. If, on the other hand, following the postmodern options, it embraces the flux of things, this is an empty flux both concealing and revealing an ultimate void. Hence, modernity has oscillated between puritanism (sexual or otherwise) and an entirely perverse eroticism, which is in love with death and therefore wills the death also of the erotic, and does not preserve the erotic as far as an eternal consummation. In a bizarre way, it seems that modernity does not really want what it thinks it wants; but on the other hand, in order to have what it thinks it wants, it would have to recover the theological. Thereby, of course, it would discover also that that which it desires is quite other than it has supposed
A smart person speaks out the truth. A wise person doesn't care about speaking it out, as much as he or she cares about utilizing that truth in the society, in a way that brings most progress, in a way that brings most human development. And that's the purpose atheism should have.
The process of secularisation arises not from the loss of faith but from the loss of social interest in the world of faith. It begins the moment men feel that religion is irrelevant to the common way of life and that society as such has nothing to do with the truths of faith.
My people are going to learn the principles of democracy the dictates of truth and the teachings of science. Superstition must go. Let them worship as they will, every man can follow his own conscience provided it does not interfere with sane reason or bid him act against the liberty of his fellow men.
How dismal it is to see present day Americans yearning for the very orthodoxy that their country was founded to escape.
Those who would renegotiate the boundaries between church and state must therefore answer a difficult question: why would we trade a system that has served us so well for one that has served others so poorly?
Misstraue jedem Politiker, jedem Regierungs- oder Staatschef, der seine Religion zum Instrument macht. Halte Abstand von solchen Politikern, die ihre auf das Jenseits orientierte Religion und ihre diesseitige Politik miteinander vermischen.
If I were a dictator, religion and state would be separate. I swear by my religion. I will die for it. But it is my personal affair. The state has nothing to do with it. The state would look after your secular welfare, health, communications, foreign relations, currency and so on, but not your or my religion. That is everybody's personal concern!
Some people believe the alternative to bad religion is secularism, but that's wrong . . . . The answer to bad religion is better religion--prophetic rather than partisan, broad and deep instead of narrow, and based on values as opposed to ideology.
Religions and states and classes and tribes and nations do not have to work or argue for their adherents and subjects. They more or less inherit them. Against this unearned patrimony there have always been speakers and writers who embody Einstein's injunction to 'remember your humanity and forget the rest.' It would be immodest to claim membership in this fraternity/sorority, but I hope not to have done anything to outrage it. Despite the idiotic sneer that such principles are 'fashionable,' it is always the ideas of secularism, libertarianism, internationalism, and solidarity that stand in need of reaffirmation.
I believe that secularism is not the enemy of spirituality. Our spirits are in fact secular and free. But the enemy of your spirit is materialism which produces legalism. People scramble for the perfect law in order fix everything, while failing to see that law only points towards what is material. And so, people find themselves going around in a circle that will never end. The key is to break away from that circle. You have to begin focusing your attention onto what is inside you and what is inside everybody else. This will in turn produce common sense, intuition, and understanding. Then comes strength.
Whether we spiritualize our life or secularize our religion, whether we invite men to a spiritual banquet or simply join them at the secular one, the real life of the world, for which we are told God gave his only begotten Son, remains hopelessly beyond our religious grasp.
Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place where—as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteen—even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their mee
Nothing—not even the US Army—more threatens the future of a democratic, pluralistic and (dare we wish, secular) Iraq than the political ascendancy of Islamic fascists like Al Sadr.
So here we have found a means of a) alienating even the most flexible and patient Palestinians; while b) frustrating the efforts of the more principled and compromising Israelis; while c) empowering and financing some of the creepiest forces in American and Israeli society; and d) heaping ordure on our own secular founding documents. When will the Justice Department and the Congress and the Supreme Court become aware of this huge and rank offense, which is designed to bring us ever nearer to holy war?
I would take my beloved Najma to my country so that she would taste secularism and true freedom. How wrong I was! How wrong we all were! Unfortunately, you truly miss what you have had all along and taken for granted (in this case the spirit of secularism and true freedom) only once you actually lose it.
The real question is how much suffering we've caused our womenfolk by turning headscarves into symbols - and using women as pawns in a political game.
Without a Uniform Civil Code, labelling India be Secular nation is just a illusion.Uniform Civil Code is necessary for India so that t same laws r valid for every citizen without taking religion into consideration.
I'd be willing to bet that the notion of the end of time is more common today in the secular world than in the Christian. The Christian world makes it the object of meditation, but acts as if it may be projected into a dimension not measured by calendars. The secular world pretends to ignore the end of time, but is fundamentally obsessed by it. This is not a paradox, but a repetition of what transpired in the first thousand years of history.... I will remind readers that the idea of the end of time comes out of one of the most ambiguous passages of John's text, chapter 20...This approach, which isn't only Augustine's but also the Church Fathers' as a whole, casts History as a journey forward—a notion alien to the pagan world. Even Hegel and Marx are indebted to this fundamental idea, which Pierre Teilhard de Chardin pursued.Christianity invented History, and it is in fact a modern incarnation of the Antichrist that denounces History as a disease. It's possible that secular historicism has understood history as infinitely perfectible—so that tomorrow we improve upon today, always and without reservation... But the entire secular world is not of the ideological view that through history we understand how to look at the regression and folly of history itself. There is, nonetheless, an originally Christian view of history whenever the signpost of Hope on this road is followed. The simple knowledge of how to judge history and its horrors is fundamentally Christian, whether the speaker is Emmanuel Mounier on tragic optimism or Gramsci on pessimism of reason and optimism of will.
The undermining of Christian faith, systematically pursued by Western cultural and political elites, does not lead to some sort of secular Utopia with its own “neutral” morality, but to the rise of religious beliefs other than Christianity, which will bring their own – often opposite - moral values. On the clean slate of atheism anything can be written, even sharia law.
The supposed “secular” values atheists hold dear are in fact borrowed Christian values. Our society is respectful of any creed, or lack thereof, not because it embraces an illusory, non-existent secular morality, but because it is rooted in Christian faith. Christopher Dawson noted that “we cannot understand the inner form of a society unless we understand its religion.” Because moral values are always a religious product, and Western moral values are a product of Christianity. Our values, what we believe has a value beyond and above our self-interest, are grounded in religious faith or are not grounded at all.
The person with a secular mentality feels himself to be the center of the universe. Yet he is likely to suffer from a sense of meaninglessness and insignificance because he knows he’s but one human among five billion others - all feeling themselves to be the center of things - scratching out an existence on the surface of a medium-sized planet circling a small star among countless stars in a galaxy lost among countless galaxies. The person with the sacred mentality, on the other hand, does not feel herself to be the center of the universe. She considers the Center to be elsewhere and other. Yet she is unlikely to feel lost or insignificant precisely because she draws her significance and meaning from her relationship, her connection, with that center, that Other.
Shrouded as he was for a decade in an apparent cloak of anonymity and obscurity, Osama bin Laden was by no means an invisible man. He was ubiquitous and palpable, both in a physical and a cyber-spectral form, to the extent that his death took on something of the feel of an exorcism. It is satisfying to know that, before the end came, he had begun at least to guess at the magnitude of his 9/11 mistake. It is essential to remember that his most fanatical and militant deputy, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, did not just leave his corpse in Iraq but was isolated and repudiated even by the minority Sunnis on whose presumed behalf he spilled so much blood and wrought such hectic destruction. It is even more gratifying that bin Laden himself was exposed as an excrescence on the putrid body of a bankrupt and brutish state machine, and that he found himself quite unable to make any coherent comment on the tide—one hopes that it is a tide, rather than a mere wave—of demand for an accountable and secular form of civil society. There could not have been a finer affirmation of the force of life, so warmly and authentically counterposed to the hysterical celebration of death, and of that death-in-life that is experienced in the stultifications of theocracy, where womanhood and music and literature are stifled and young men mutated into robotic slaughterers.
The evangelist is the world's hopeless romantic, and just like a hopeless romantic, he must hope for the miracle of God more than the romance itself.
New Atheism simplicity is the byproduct of collective groupthink, and the internalization of self-congratulatory jingoistic clichés and generalizations. They know because they know, and there's no reasoning with someone who knows.- The New Atheist Threat: The Dangerous Rise of Secular Extremists
If that made him heavy company sometimes, so be it. Who decreed that life was to be one long rowdy masquerade (punctuated with those little pets of melancholy indulged by a crowd who made a religion of their feelings)?
But she wouldn't pray, she took what comfort and credit she could for not praying; it wasn't that one disbelieved in prayer; one never lost all one's belief in magic. It was that she preferred to plan, it was fairer, it wasn't loading the dice.
It will be found that every attack upon religion, or upon characteristic ideas inherited from religion, when its assumptions are laid bare, turns out to be an attack upon mind.
At some level, it is even tempting to think that since strict materialism is among the most incoherent of superstitions - one that has never really asked the question of the being of things in any depth or with any persistence, or one that has at best attempted to conjure that question away as a fallacy of grammar - it is incapable of imagining any conception of God more sophisticated than its own. The materialist encounters an instance of unjust suffering and, by a sort of magical thinking, concludes from the absence of any immediately visible moral order that there must be nothing transcendent of material causality, in much the same way that certain of our more remote, primitive ancestors might have seen a flash of lightning in the sky and concluded that some god must have flung it from on high. In neither case does the conclusion follow from the evidence (though in the latter case the reasoning is somewhat more rigorous); and in neither case is the god at issue much more than an affective myth.
The bigger the government, the more the corruption. It's almost never mentioned, and it might be the biggest of the ten principles that I am speaking of…Do you know who has created the greatest evils of history? Big governments. Big SECULAR governments. Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, all big States. Why would anybody trust the big state? It's amazing how many callers have imbued the college message that more people have been killed by religion than anything else in history. NO. More people have been killed by governments than anything else in history…….and just in the 20th century alone, and none of them were religious. You don't learn THAT in college.
Better for them to deny the mind--and with it rationality, truth, and science itself--than to admit the soul. Once again, the secularist manifests the very dogmatism of which he accuses the religious believer, and in rationalizing it is willing to contemplate absurdities of which no religious believer has ever dreamed.
The world is getting too small for both an Us and a Them. Us and Them have become codependent, intertwined, fixed to one another. We have no separate fates, but are bound together in one. And our fear of one another is the only thing capable of our undoing.
I appreciate life so much after I see people die. It is always just such a reminder that every moment -- this is all we have. This is it. I don't know if there is anything before or after, but this is what we do know. This is it. There are no guarantees for anything else. So we have to always, always appreciate.