Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Secularism - Thinking Allowed (BBC)

In conjunction with the last Philosophy Bites issue I wrote about (on Morality) I think it is a good idea to listen to a rather recent issue of BBC's Thinking Allowed. Laurie Taylor had a fascinating and spirited discussion with Rebecca Goldstein, Eric Kaufmann and Tariq Ramadan under the title Secularism under Threat?

Part of the problem is a confusion in terminology, which Tariq Ramadan takes on, by separating Secularism, from the modern ideological atheism that is heard from so often. Secularism, is a way of organizing society and political authority independent from organized religion and leaving place for all sorts of religious streams. And here it serves to keep Susan Neiman in mind as she spoke on Philosophy Bites and reformulated with the Enlightenment was all about secular society.

Once this is settled, it is relevant to view the non-fundamentalist religious, who are secularists in the political sense. And so, secularism under threat is an issue of secularism being challenged by the religious literalists. However, somehow, related but also different is the question of the rise of Islam in Europe. Both these are discussed. What is left out, is a rise of spiritualism, which, probably opposes the atheist kind of secularists.

More Thinking Allowed:
History and sociology,
Boffins and WW I,
Richard Hoggart,
Secular vs. Religious,
Renoir and Slumming.