November 2

God, The Gods And Democracy

God, The Gods And Democracy

It is false to believe that religion is bad for democracy. The following dialogue on religion attempts to correct this misconception, providing reasons and examples. The conversation was conducted in Melbourne by Irfan Ahmad (a young Indian anthropologist). It covers many issues related to democracy and religion.

It is divided into three parts and sheds light on how democracy and deities have interacted since ancient Greek democracy. That democracies are rarely irreligious. Topics such as the inventions of religion, power, courage, and the ethics behind pluralism. Other topics include Christianity and representative democracy; the French Revolution; Indian secularism; the unfinished revolutions of the Arab world, and yes dogs and democracy.

The second part of the conversation focuses on the way democracy tempers and reshapes religious fervor and the origins and limits European doctrines of secularism. We will begin by looking at Jacques Maritain’s classic Christianity and Democracy (1943), to see past and current examples of how struggles for democracy equality have hampered religious arrogance.

Maritain’s Observation Democracy

Irfan Ahmad, Maritain’s observation about religion bridling authority is very important. What about the other side? The (re)shaping religion by democracy

John Keane. I am well aware of the fact that many people in the West believe that religion is a natural accomplice to anti-democratic violence power. Karen Armstrong and other scholars proved that the violence of the First Crusade was not a result of any innate or inexorable religious beliefs.

The same is true for the violent actions of fundamentalist Christians, ultra-Orthodox Jews, and jihadists of the twenty-first century. Similar to the way that rulers use religious narratives in order to maintain their power, it is a contingent process. As in Iran and Saudi Arabia, Jacob’s Ladder is a proven method to outflank opponents and legitimize rule over the people.

But divination can be a tricky business. In the history of democracy, there have been many times when religious arrogance was subject to democraticisation. These struggles in the name the people for the humbling and equalization of power have brought power-hungry religious leaders down to earth. Martin Luther and the printing presses are early examples of how the democratic spirit of challenging arbitrary power can bring down religious leaders and their religious will to be in power.

Century Democratic Revolutions

This same dynamic was evident in the late 18th century democratic revolutions. It made it easier for the poor to attribute their misery to greedy fellow men rather than to God. The egalitarian vision of humanity eliminating poverty on Earth and its invention as a political category during this time of poverty made poverty an earthly problem. The democratic understanding that power relations are contingent has made it less divine, and not a punishment for sin. This is a generalization: Democracy brings to religious experience a degree of worldliness.

Does that mean that democracy can be used to temper religious passion? Yes. And here, I am attracted to Gianni Vattimo, an Italian philosopher who argues that democracy has made the relationship between believer and God more gentle. Vattimo links Verwindung to Nietzsche as a term for the imaginary power relationship between God and believers. Vattimo hopes to show that democracy does not necessarily lead to or imply the destruction of religionosity (Uberwindung).

It transforms the relationship between God and believers. It is as if God gives power to people, who then build institutions that stop concentrated power and feverish belief. Democracy can help “soften” the relation between flesh and blood and the belief of a beyond. Vattimo is both a gay Catholic devout and frequent critic of Church. He believes that rejecting metaphysical truth doesn’t mean the end of religion. It opens up new ways to imagine what it means to be religious.

These include ways that emphasize charity and solidarity as well as democratic equality and irony. Vattimo demonstrates that hermeneutic interpretation is central in Christianity. This has had the long-term result of spreading the worldly principle or interiority which, in turn, dissolves the experience objective reality and makes it ‘listening, interpreting, messages’.

November 2

Science Undermines Religion Against Accommodationism

Science Undermines Religion Against Accommodationism

There’s a current trend for religion science accommodationsism. This is the belief that there’s still room for religious faith in a scientifically-informed worldview.

This kind of accommodationism is supported even by official science organizations like the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Sciences in the United States. How well does it stand up to scrutiny? According to Jerry A. Coyne, a distinguished biologist, not too well.

Gould’s Magisteria Science

Stephen Jay Gould, a celebrity paleontologist, provided the most well-known and famous reason for accommodationism in his 1999 book Rocks of Ages. Gould claims that science and religion have separate, non-overlapping magisteria or domains of teaching authority. Therefore, they cannot be in conflict unless one or both exceeds its boundaries.

Accepting the principle of Non-Overlapping Magisteria, the magisterium for science refers to the factual construction of nature. Religion, on the other hand, has authority to teach about ultimate meanings and moral values or moral questions about the value of life.

This means that science and religion do not overlap and that religion is immune to scientific criticism. This is important because Gould does not consider many religious claims to be legitimate from the beginning, even as religious doctrine. He does not criticize the fundamentalist Christian belief that there is a young earth, even though it is clearly correct in light of scientific evidence. Although he makes no argument to the contrary, he claims that religious beliefs regarding empirical facts concerning space-time are not legitimate in principle. These matters fall outside of the teaching authority for religion.

Manifesto Asserts A Strong Position

It is clear, I hope, that Gould’s manifesto asserts a strong position about religion’s limited role. Most actual religions implicitly disagree with this assertion.

Philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, and other academics have all defined and explained the category of “religion”. There is much disagreement and controversy. We can see that religions are often encyclopedic or comprehensive explanation systems.

While religions often include ritual observances or standards of conduct, they are much more than just a system of ritual and morality. They often interpret human experience in terms that refer to a transcendent dimension of human life and well-being. These are often attributed to supernatural forces and beings. Religions make claims about humanity’s position in the space-time universe, which is often a remarkable and significant one.

This would be foolish or even dishonest to think that it is outside the historical role of religion. Gould may want to avoid conflict but he creates an entirely new source of it. The NOMA principle is contrary to most of the teachings of the major historical religions. Regardless, the NOMA principle is not without criticism. There are many opportunities for religions to intersect with science and be in conflict with it.

Coyne Discusses Science And Religion

Jerry Coyne’s Faith versus Fact Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible (Viking 2015) explores the real conflict between science and religion. The publication of this book was long anticipated. It’s an event that encourages reflection.

Coyne, in his pushback against accommodationism, portrays religion as engaged in a kind of war. A war for understanding, A war about whether or not we should have good arguments for what we believe to be true. He is only concerned with theistic religions which include a personal God involved in history. He is not concerned with Confucianism or pantheism, nor with austere philosophical deisms that postulate a distant, un-interfering God.

Although accommodationism is popular, it has less to do intellectually than with widespread religious hostility. Scientists in the USA, especially, find it politically convenient to avoid supporting any conflict model of science and religion. Many scientists, even if they don’t believe in religion, accept the NOMA principle as an acceptable compromise.

November 2

Vaccinations Be Mandatory For Places Of Worship

Vaccinations Be Mandatory For Places Of Worship

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed restrictions on worship services in Australia. Limits on attendance, bans on singing, and even closure have all been part of the restrictions. This has impacted on people’s freedom to practice their religion. These restrictions are generally accept by religious people, just like other COVID restrictions.

There may be some light at the end for religious institutions. This includes allowing certain unvaccinated persons to visit places of worship. Religious leaders are still uncertain because the states and territories will decide their own rules for reopening public venues.

Religious leaders might have to refuse entry to unvaccinated people at certain places of worship, making it difficult for them to continue their faith. This raises an interesting legal issue about how to balance freedom religion with public health protections.

What Strategies Worship Of Victoria And NSW?

With 70% of adults having received full vaccination, NSW’s places of worship will be open to vaccinated persons, but there are some limitations on their capacity and no singing. The vaccination rate will reach 80% and the unvaccinated can attend public worship with the same limitations.

They won’t be allow to enter other public venues such as stores, restaurants, hairdressers, or gyms until December 1. Businesses may also continue to limit access to those who are not vaccinate, as the government warned.

Victoria is taking a different approach. Places of worship can hold outdoor services at a 70% full vaccination rate. This means that there will be 50 people vaccinate, and one person per 4m2. The attendance limit will be 20 if attendees not vaccinate. Indoor worship for fully vaccinated persons will be allow at 80% with a cap 150 and social distancing.

For up to 500 people who have been vaccinate, outdoor worship is allow. If the vaccination status of worshippers is unknown, the 20-person cap and one-person-per-four-square-metre rule will remain. It is still to seen how other states and territories will respond when they publish their reopening plans.

Why Unvaccinated Can Go To Church, But Not The Footy?

The NSW government has not provided an official reason for opening temples, mosques, and churches to unvaccinated people, but it has not offered entertainment or sports venues. Freedom of religion is the most likely explanation.

Many religions include elements of communal worship and public gathering. These practices have been severely restrict by COVID restrictions. Public gatherings are now strictly prohibit by strict stay-at home orders. Many religions have made the transition to streaming or online worship.

International law recognizes freedom of religion as a fundamental human rights. Article 18 of UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. To have or adopt a religion or belief that he chooses, and to be free to worship, observe, practice, teach, or share his belief with others.

However, there are limitations to this freedom. This covenant also allows freedom of religion You may only be subject to the restrictions that are required by law to protect public safety or order or health or fundamental rights and freedoms.

As state premiers begin to lift COVID restrictions, there is a big question: To what extent do religious restrictions need to be lifted to protect public health? We should expect diverse approaches to the reopening of public worship places, due to differences in opinion about COVID restrictions.