Rémi Brague: The Impossibility of Secular Society

Jun 25, 2017
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Since the mid-nineteenth century, atheists have been trying to establish a morally animated society on a nonreligious basis.  But, as Rémi Brague argues, even the advocates of secularism can’t escape the biblical sources of so much of Western culture.

In this fascinating essay, Brague observes that a ‘secularist is a person the inner logic of whose position compels him to act as if mankind were not to last longer than one century. And even: A secularist is a person whose behavior, if universalized, would make it so that mankind would in fact not last more than one century. It is telling that Holyoake, the first to import the term into English, was notorious among his contemporaries for advocating contraception.’

To follow his logic, and to quote Hobbes, the culture of death we live in will be solitary, nasty, brutish, and short.

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