Thursday, February 07, 2008

religion links

It's Lunar New Year's Day and I'm-- you guessed it-- at the office. No, it's not because I'm a workaholic; I am doing some work (specifically, designing the midterm for my CNN English class), but I'm also re-watching Season One of "Battlestar Galactica."*

Because today is something of a slacker's day for me, I guess I'm more link-happy than usual. In that vein, and for your edification, I have two links from the blog Nunc Fluens about topics that are often covered on this blog: religion and science, and religion and politics. Both essays are thoughtfully written and worth your time.

I do have one question regarding the essay on politics. The essay begins with two important questions: (1) Can we separate religion and politics? (2) Should we? While the essay gives a clear "no" to the first question, I'm not sure I caught the answer to the second.** My own answer to the second question is a qualified "yes," as discussed here.

Knock yourselves out.

(By which I don't mean, "Fall asleep while reading.")

*In one episode ("The Hand of God," I think), Commander Adama says of the Viper Mark II, "It got me out of a lot of scrapes." Based on what we now know from "Razor," Adama flew only one combat mission before the First Cylon War was over. What other missions might he have flown?

**I may be reading the essay incorrectly, but my impression is that Baekho is arguing that there is no reason to conclude that religion and politics are immiscible. They're already interpenetrating aspects of human existence, after all; in a real sense, they are not-two. But still, pointing out that politics and religion are miscible is not the same as a having a clear (or qualified) stance regarding whether they should be. I guess I was waiting for a move from "is" to "ought" in the essay, but I concede that Baekho may have deliberately left the question open.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the linkage, Kevin. You're right, I didn't really answer the second question, i.e. should religion and politics be kept seperate? I think I basically agree with your qualified yes---I'll take a secular government over a theocracy any day of the week.

Of course, the paradox is that even somebody who adheres to purely secular values still has a "religion" in the broader sense of the word, but as you point out it's one that provides a kind of "neutral ground". Maybe secularism is the intersection of many different religious views, kind of like the overlapping section in a Venn diagram?