Notes From Babel

More Take-Down on So-Called Secular Conservativism

with 2 comments

A very good post on the “Secular Right” by Daniel Larison. It’s not that I have any aversion to big tents — I just don’t see how it makes sense to be a part of a movement that is, at the very least, deistic in its philosophy, while disavowing all religion as either unnecessary or outright evil. Any movement seeking to instill virtue in a society must take morality seriously. Whether a philosophically cogent moral code can be constructed in a wholly secular paradigm is arguable, but I have not seen such an attempt made by the so-called secular right. The best I have seen is something like a “respect for tradition,” which really boils down to nothing more than unqualified opinion. And there’s already a political movement that has the market cornered in that regard.

The test is not whether one comes to the same conclusions. Conclusions are intolerably boring. It is the means employed to arrive at a conclusion that defines an ideology. I just don’t see where secularists and religionists have a whole lot of meaningful ideological common ground, no matter how often they might find themselves saying “me too” on individual issues.


Written by Tim Kowal

December 4, 2008 at 8:02 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Objectivism?


    December 4, 2008 at 10:25 pm

  2. Objectivists tend to be libertarians, in my experience. That seems a more appropriate tent for secularists in general. On Objectivism as the ambitious philosophy of life that Ayn Rand et al. have tried to make it, I was very disappointed when I read Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. Instead of ever delving into real epistemology, Rand simply suggests that only bozos are concerned with that stuff.

    Tim Kowal

    December 4, 2008 at 11:23 pm

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