Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Lesson of The Enlightenment

The Big Pharaoh makes an impassioned plea for secular government [Warning: the accompanying pictures are gruesome]:
...we as a nation are returning back to superstitions and religiously inspired fantasies as a result of us allowing religion to invade every material aspect of our life. In the past, during the golden liberal age, the educated upper and middle class used to mock the superstitions that the poorer peasants engaged in. Now we’ve got educated middle class people using modern inventions such as e-mail or mobile multimedia messages to disseminate fantasies and other unrealities...we will only develop and move forward when we split the material and the spiritual world.

Careful. The American Revolution divided religion from government and succeeded. The French Revolution divided religion-based morality from government and the result was a bloodbath followed by nationalist/ideological fervors and finally today's decline and apathy.

What is the lesson? Secular government can improve things but ultimately fails without some sort of shared spiritual foundation. That foundation may need to change, but its ideals should only be advocated by society and political leadership, rather than individuals being compelled to follow them.

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