Good Lord!

Australia has a new Prime Minister. Her name is Julia Gillard, and in a gesture that would be utterly unthinkable here in America, she has announced that she doesn’t believe in God.

Being an atheist myself, it is difficult for me not to be delighted. But recently I’ve come to wonder, as a purely practical matter, whether secular societies are at a competitive disadvantage. In particular, I think they are in conspicuous peril from within when they admit large numbers of deeply religious immigrants from alien cultures.

I’m deeply conflicted about this, as you might imagine; it puts me in the difficult position of accepting that my culture as a whole may benefit from fostering beliefs that I personally believe to be nothing more than persistent, and often horribly destructive, delusions. I’m still brooding over it all, and may be for a long time to come.

But for now I must applaud Ms. Gillard for her brave forthrightness.

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2 Comments

  1. Re secular societies, take a look at this:

    http://charltonteaching.blogspot.com/2010/07/atheism-provides-zero-guidance-for-life.html

    Philosophically it’s quite wrong, but it’s hard to deny the spirit behind it.

    Posted July 1, 2010 at 7:50 am | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Hi Dennis,

    Yes, philosophically it doesn’t stand up; I’m glad you point that out.

    And I don’t share Dr. Charlton’s concerns on a personal level, for reasons I haven’t time today to go into here.

    My concern has strictly to do with the differential success of human groups.

    Posted July 1, 2010 at 10:05 am | Permalink