We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
From an essay by Richard Wolin in Chronicle of Higher Ed, titled Jurgen Habermas and Post Secular Societies. It begins:
Among 19th-century thinkers it was an uncontestable commonplace that religion's cultural centrality was a thing of the past. For Georg Hegel, following in the footsteps of the Enlightenment, religion had been surpassed by reason's superior conceptual precision. In The Essence of Christianity (1841), Ludwig Feuerbach depicted the relationship between man and divinity as a zero-sum game. In his view, the stress on godliness merely detracted from the sublimity of human ends. In one of his youthful writings, Karl Marx, Feuerbach's most influential disciple, famously dismissed religion as "the opium of the people." Its abolition, Marx believed, was a sine qua non for human betterment. Friedrich Nietzsche got to the heart of the matter by having his literary alter ego, the brooding prophet Zarathustra, brusquely declaim, "God is dead," thereby pithily summarizing what many educated Europeans were thinking but few had the courage actually to say. And who can forget Nietzsche's searing characterization of Christianity as a "slave morality," a plebeian belief system appropriate for timorous conformists but unsuited to the creation of a future race of domineering Übermenschen? True to character, the only representatives of Christianity Nietzsche saw fit to praise were those who could revel in a good auto-da-fé -- Inquisition stalwarts like Ignatius Loyola.
Twentieth-century characterizations of belief were hardly more generous. Here, one need look no further than the title of Freud's 1927 treatise on religion: The Future of an Illusion.
Today, however, there are omnipresent signs of a radical change in mentality.
Post Post Secular - Alas ours is an age that looks for easy and sentimental answers - angels and "new agey" comforters like crystals and herbal teas. Thought, discipline and real committment are relegated to that area of thought dismissed as uptight and "anal-retentive" those who question the orthodoxies of feel good Jesus/ Buddha/ g-d loves me and "spirituality" - which often simply means being vegan or forswearing veal or tieing a red string around your finger rather than a real quest for soul and meaning -are dismissed as "not getting it" What IT is would be very interesting to hear.
The cold discipline of rationality and its lack of comforting - cacooning- "natural" pap is beyon these types - is it any surprise that the retreat is into "faith" ( credulity framed as a virtue) and comforting mythologies of barely understood rebirth and karma and the assurance of an afterlife - presumably vegan and veal free.
None of this would matter but these people vote - teach and are allowed to handle guns - they are angry and committed to their insanity - they are born again christian, ultra- orthodox Jews , Islamists and "fundamentalist Hindus"
As committed as they are fuzzy minded the great danger is that they will take the rest of humanity down with them.