Here’s the thing. HARDLY ANYBODY appreciates or sympathizes with Westboro Baptist Church’s ideology or methods. The fact that they are even called a “Church” or “Baptist” is very sad and not even accurate. But, unfortunately, this handful of people is there grabbing the headlines. The trouble is that it’s so easy for the less thoughtful or discerning (or intellectually honest) people to lump all religious types in with Westboro. It reminds me of David Klinghoffer’s blog post titled Why Richard Dawkins is Angry where he tweaks the old saying: If the members of Westboro Baptist Church didn’t exist, Richard Dawkins would have to invent them.
Yes, the entire case against the contemporary Christian religion, a faith of 2 billion self-described believers worldwide, is allowed to rest on the actions of a single tiny group of nuts, reviled by everyone else in their faith if they are known at all and comprising just 40 members in total. This is the kind of evidence that Dawkins thinks we should find compelling.
John Hemming, MP, is attempting to add a clause to the Succession to the Crown Bill that would mean Princess Kate would be called “Princess consort” rather than Queen when Prince William ascends to the throne.
The proposed amendment is based on allegations that the current system is ‘sexist’ since it allows the wife of a King to be called Queen but it does not allow the husband of a queen to be called King. Mr Hemming said: “It’s not right that a Queen Regnant is treated as less important than a King Regnant.”
If the House of Commons agrees to add Mr Hemming’s amendment it to the Succession Bill, then the royal family could become the first victims of the British government’s attempt to ‘modernize’ the monarchy.
“The increasingly pervasive stereotype of gender neutrality often relies on bogus science combined with fanciful anthropology, both of which assert that there is no necessary connection between our gender identity (i.e., being feminine or masculine, together with many of the things this can entail within a given cultural context) and the fixities of our biological sex. This idea is enshrined in countless sociology, anthropology, and women’s studies courses at colleges and universities, where students are regularly taught that there is no necessary relation between one’s biological sex and one’s gender.”
To a large extent unintentionally, but surely and dramatically, the three great philosophical movements of the nineteenth century—individualism, statism, and evolutionary progressivism—drove familism to the farthest extreme of atomism. In most states, the industrial revolution loosened the family from parental control. Its first result was a rapid increase in the birthrate of these industrial countries, followed by a rapid decline. By 1870–80, the birth rates had begun to decline in almost all European countries. Except in the peasant-agrarian countries of Eastern Europe and Southern Italy, they were below reproductive levels by 1930.
Legal backstays of the family—some degree of manus, potestas, coverture, and mutuality—were destroyed on a large scale, more so in some countries and periods than in others. The individual arose and became the subject and the dependent of the state. Theories of the family as but a nominal group, a private contract to be broken at will, gained ascendancy. The minds of the people were being filled constantly with the idea that “happiness,” as defined by individual egotism, was the goal of life. Marriage and family must justify themselves according to this concept of “happiness” or be abandoned. Happiness is a very subjective term, being defined each moment, each day, and in each age by different psychological considerations. Consequently, the family had no understandable objective for its guidance.
When experimental science is confused with the study of origins, or with the study of consciousness, then subjective beliefs can be smuggled in where experimental observation necessarily ends and conjecture must necessarily begin. Conjecture must take over at a certain point because the study of origins deals with one-time, unrepeatable events from a deep past, and the study of human consciousness depends on the subjective responses of those whose minds are being studied.
And amid this confusion a philosophic preference like theological naturalism can be smuggled in. This occurs, for example, when scientists argue that life could not have developed in the relatively short time available for its development and therefore it must have come from space. Or when, as some cosmologists argue , a la Carl Sagan, that “billions and billions” of universes, called multiverses, must have existed in order for natural processes to have created life in one of them.
This is from a review of the book Science’s Blind Spot: The Unseen Religion of Scientific Naturalism by Cornelius G. Hunter. I felt it was worth sharing. It especially relates to an article in the new issue of Salvo where Regis Nicoll states what is certainly true for everybody:
The sum-total of our knowledge is infinitesimal compared to our ignorance, making some kind of faith an indispensable part of human existence. So the question is not whether we base our convictions and actions on faith, but what faith we base them on.