David Brooks has published an essay in the New York Times, entitledBuilding Better Secularists
One may not agree with Mr. Brooks' conclusions. But he does seem
to identify many areas where people feel vulnerable and tired.
And--a number of personality cults have developed from
These groups did offer commmunity and prefabricated belief systems
--and their own terminology, as well.
A few excerpts are quoted below. To read the full essay, go
Building Better Secularists
David Brooks, February 3rd, 2015
Over the past few years, there has been a sharp rise in the number of people who are atheist, agnostic or without religious affiliation. A fifth of all adults and a third of the youngest adults fit into this category.
As secularism becomes more prominent and self-confident, its spokesmen have more insistently argued that secularism should not be seen as an absence — as a lack of faith — but rather as a positive moral creed. Phil Zuckerman, a Pitzer College sociologist, makes this case as fluidly and pleasurably as anybody in his book, “Living the Secular Life.”
Zuckerman argues that secular morality is built around individual reason, individual choice and individual responsibility.....“Secular morality hinges upon little else than not harming others and helping those in need,” Zuckerman writes.
As he describes them, secularists seem like genial, low-key people who have discarded metaphysical prejudices and are now leading peaceful and rewarding lives. But I can’t avoid the conclusion that the secular writers are so eager to make the case for their creed, they are minimizing the struggle required to live by it.
Consider the tasks a person would have to perform to live secularism well:
? Secular individuals have to build their own moral philosophies. Religious people inherit creeds that have evolved over centuries. Autonomous secular people are called upon to settle on their own individual sacred convictions.
? Secular individuals have to build their own communities. Religions come equipped with covenantal rituals that bind people together, sacred practices that are beyond individual choice. Secular people have to choose their own communities and come up with their own practices to make them meaningful.
? Secular individuals have to build their own Sabbaths. Religious people are commanded to drop worldly concerns. Secular people have to create their own set times for when to pull back and reflect on spiritual matters.....
When we are tired, lonely and in crisis, how many of us have the
stamina and resources to do the tasks listed above?.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/2015 01:23AM by corboy.