Liberty Just in Case

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Archive for March 10th, 2005

A Clash of Orthodoxies: Christian Thought and Secularism

Posted by Mark on March 10, 2005

A deep and well-written look at Secular Orthodoxy contrasted with Christian Orthodoxy:

At the end of the day, whatever is to be said for and against secularism, there can be no legitimate claim for secularism to be a “neutral” doctrine that deserves privileged status as the national public philosophy. As MacIntyre has argued, secularism (which he calls liberalism) is far from being a “tradition´┐Żindependent” view that merely represents a neutral playing field on which Judaism, Christianity, Marxism, and other traditions can wage a fair fight for the allegiance of the people. Instead, it is itself a tradition of thought about personal and political morality that competes with others.

Secularism rests upon and represents a distinct and controversial set of metaphysical and moral propositions having to do with the relationship of consciousness to bodiliness and of reason to desire, the possibility of free choice, and the source and nature of human dignity and human rights. Secularist doctrine contains very controversial views about what constitutes a person´┐Żviews every bit as controversial as the Jewish and Christian views. Secularism is a philosophical doctrine that stands or falls depending on whether its propositions can withstand arguments advanced against them by representatives of other traditions. I have tried to show that secularist orthodoxy cannot withstand the critique to be advanced against it by the tradition of Christian philosophy.

This is hard to plough through, but well worth the effort.

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