The most patronising load of waffle I have ever read form this section of the Guardian. I had hoped for some positive discourse on a new subject. Instead I was presented with drivel.
“What’s needed are a set of social norms, simple prohibitions that everyone observes without stopping to calculate whether it would be better to cheat.”
We have this now. It’s called the law and most of us follow it without any need for the Orwellian Thought-Police hanging over our shoulders in case we happen to think for ourselves and a calculate the consequences of our actions before we make them. It is called taking responsibility. In this brief article, this woolly-headed buffoon attempts to portray modern society as devoid of either social conscience, spiritual authority or both, while at the same time placing himself arrogantly above us all in some holier-than-thou expression of disdain for modernity.
“So, if people nowadays believe in neither God or social democracy, where is social action going to come from? How can we have faith and hope without God or socialism? This is not a polemic question, but a practical one, which will become increasingly urgent in the next few years.”
For one thing, most people I know DO ‘believe’ in at least one of the above. If he thinks for one moment that reasoned adults are simply going to abandon any self-respect and adhere to the mental-slavery of religion to fit in with his backwards idea of conformity, he has another thing coming. Modernity is not an enemy to society unless you have held that romanticised and retrospective view of the 1950s as some fantasy of idealised paradise. Why for that matter must it be an either or situation? If people wish to believe in some higher being who is punishing us for the faults it built into us then that is up to them. They don’t have the right to expect others to follow them in their delusion and they are incorrect in their assumption that the only equivalent to religious adherence is socialism.
As and example only, in the US thanks to modern trash media (think Rupert Murdoch and is little empire) most reasoned conversation and debate goes unnoticed while Right-wing media whores (Glenn Beck, Christine O’Donnell and Sarah “Potty” Palin) do their best to promote the ‘me-first‘ and ‘everyone-out-for-themselves‘ attitudes. At the same time they are attempting to halt scientific and social progress, bring in laws that claim authority over the fertility of strangers, and force Christianity into schools. To this add calling for yet more tax breaks for big corporations in a vain hope that it will ‘trickle down‘ to the lowest paid workers. It will NEVER trickle down. These companies will just add it to their bottom lines. Tax breaks for the richest are not the solution and how will these be funded? By slashing income assistance for those in the most desperate situations.
Peter Thompson: Any movement that seeks social improvement is a faith-based one – but we must resist harking back to limiting certainties
If the fevered rantings of the far-right weren’t bad enough, the assumption that any positive change must come through religion is a fallacy of the first order. History has shown us the true malevolence of religion towards non-adherents and even to those within its own ranks. The Catholic church, for example is now reaping the result of its decades of hypocrisy and secrecy. I will not bring up their campaign of silence and secrecy in cases of pedophilia and genocide as that is enough for a post on its own. They have ever been public in their decrying the evils of contraception with lies and misinformation about disease in even the most poverty-stricken countries of the world, but investing in companies which produced the pill obviously seemed fair enough to them until they were caught out. I wonder how the stock was doing and much money they made before their ‘error’ was realised?