Pope Benedict XVI is right about the dangers of moral relativism

As one of the characters in The Brothers Karamazov puts it, if there is no God, everything is permitted….The problem for atheists that has never been satisfactorily addressed is that it’s very, very hard to find a solid foundation for any moral values in the absence of a belief in God. Reason and science alone simply won’t cut it.

 

So what should a secular society base its morals on? Read more on: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tobyyoung/100202482/pope-benedict-xvi-is-right-about-the-dangers-of-moral-relativism/

Shared by Jonathan Tan

How To Defend Society Against Science

I want to defend society and its inhabitants from all ideologies, science included. All ideologies must be seen in perspective. One must not take them too seriously. One must read them like fairy-tales which have lots of interesting things to say but which also contain wicked lies, or like ethical prescriptions which may be useful rules of thumb but which are deadly when followed to the letter.
Now, is this not a strange and ridiculous attitude? Science, surely, was always in the forefront of the fight against authoritarianism and superstition. It is to science that we owe our increased intellectual freedom vis-a-vis religious beliefs; it is to science that we owe the liberation of mankind from ancient and rigid forms of thought. Today these forms of thought are nothing but bad dreams – and this we learned from science. Science and enlightenment are one and the same thing – even the most radical critics of society believe this. Kropotkin wants to overthrow all traditional institutions and forms of belief, with the exception of science. Ibsen criticises the most intimate ramifications of nineteenth-century bourgeois ideology, but he leaves science untouched. Levi-Strauss has made us realise that Western Thought is not the lonely peak of human achievement it was once believed to be, but he excludes science from his relativization of ideologies. Marx and Engels were convinced that science would aid the workers in their quest for mental and social liberation. Are all these people deceived? Are they all mistaken about the role of science? Are they all the victims of a chimaera?

 

Read more: http://www.galilean-library.org/manuscript.php?postid=43842

Shared by Herng Yi Cheng

The headscarf dilemma in France

Should Muslim girls be allowed to wear headscarves in state schools in France? Would that contradict the principles of secularism (laïcité) and respect for freedom of religion? Does this freedom require public spaces to be kept free of religious influence? Or would that constitute discrimination against the Muslim immigrant community? Or does the headscarf reflect subjugation of women by men? Few controversies have aroused as much passion—on both sides—and raised more penetrating challenges to accommodating cultural diversity in recent years.
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Solidarity in a Pluralist Age by Charles Taylor – Project Syndicate

From our archive: How can we preserve solidarity in a multicultural world?
“It is no accident, for example, that Europe’s most successful welfare states were created in ethnically homogeneous Scandinavia. People in those countries had the sense that they could understand their neighbors and fellow citizens, and that they shared a close link with them. The challenge nowadays is to maintain that sense of intense solidarity amid diversifying populations”.

 

Read more: http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/solidarity-in-a-pluralist-age