People watch: Marxist philosopher starts to “get” religion
|September 30, 2011||Posted by News under Atheism, Culture, News|
Sociologist Peter Berger says, public intellectual Jurgen Habermas seems to have noticed, somehow, that Christianity (and, by definition, Judaism) spread the notion of equality in society:
Phase three is more interesting. As of the late 1990s Habermas’ view of religion is more benign. Religion is now seen as having a useful public function, quite apart from its private consolations. The “colonization” of society by “turbo-capitalism” (nice term—I don’t know if Habermas coined it) has created a cultural crisis and has undermined the solidarity without which democratic rationality cannot function. We are now moving into a “post-secular society”, which can make good use of the “moral intuition” that religion still supplies. Following in the footsteps of Ernst Bloch and other neo-Marxist philo-Godders, Habermas also credits Biblical religion, Judaism and Christianity, for having driven out magical thinking (here there is an echo of Max Weber’s idea of “ the disenchantment of the world”), and for having laid the foundations of individual autonomy and rights. – Peter Berger, “What Happens when a Leftist Philosopher Discovers God?” The American Interest , September 21, 2011
And, in epitaph mode:
Edward Gibbon, in chapter 2 of his famous history of the decline of the Roman Empire, has this to say: “The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful”. When you cross the philosopher with the magistrate, you get Habermas.
Which is why many well-governed nations do not allow philosophers to be magistrates. It’s easy to think of at least one nation where all such experiments have proven disastrous. Airheads in office = loss of civil liberties. They far too easily confuse the Life of Virtue with thought control by thugs.
And what woman ever needed anyone to tell her that Judaeo-Christian approaches to life lead to more equality? Consider the record.