Taking the Bible for their only lawbook

Suppose a nation in some distant Region, should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. Every member would be obliged in Conscience to temperance and frugality and industry, to justice and kindness and Charity towards his fellow men, and to Piety and Love, and reverence towards almighty God.

In this Commonwealth, no man would impair his health by gluttony, drunkenness, or lust—no man would sacrifice his most precious time to cards, or any other trifling and mean amusement—no man would steal or lie or any way defraud his neighbour, but would live in peace and good will with all men—no man would blaspheme his maker or profane his Worship, but a rational and manly, a sincere and unaffected Piety and devotion, would reign in all hearts.

What a Utopia, what a Paradise would this region be.

Quote source

Adams, J. (1756). From the Diary of John Adams (Sunday 22 February). Available https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/01-01-02-0002-0002-0022. Last accessed 15th Nov 2018.

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Pressuring companies that embrace evolution(ism)

There was a time when I drank Pepsi, but I haven’t drunk it for a fair while. I then came across this:

Pepsi aggravated [Haredi Jewish] sympathies for a different reason. The company aired a commercial tracing the ascent of man from chimpanzee through Neanderthal to a boy on a skateboard guzzling a Pepsi.

The implicit endorsement of the theory of evolution prompted a Haredi consumer group to threaten to boycott Pepsi and pull its kosher certification for all drinks produced by Tempo, its local distributor. This led to a climbdown by the company.

I only wish this could happen worldwide.

Quote source

Kaufmann, E. (2010). Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century. Profile Books, London, p. 233

Gatecrashing the party of American secularism

Today, Christian public policies are on the agenda in ways no one could have imagined before the late 1970s. Christian symbolism and ‘god talk’ pervades American politics. In short, religion has crashed the secular party that was the American public sphere. This wasn’t in the script of American modernisation.

Quote source

Kaufmann, E. (2010). Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century. Profile Books, London, p. 74

Religious happiness trumps irreligious scepticism

A growing body of research suggests that the religious live longer and are happier than sceptics. Noted British economist Richard Layard, a pioneer in the field, writes,

One of the most robust findings of happiness research [is that] people who believe in God are happier. At the individual level one cannot be sure whether belief causes happiness or happiness causes belief. But since the relation also exists at the national level, we can be sure that to some extent belief causes happiness.

Quote source

Kaufmann, E. (2010). Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century. Profile Books, London, p. 266

Right and wrong have nothing to do with surveys

According to NARAL Pro Choice America [a pro-abort lobby group]:

Seven in 10 Americans support the right to legal abortion.

But appeals to survey results are a shifty line of argument, even in a democracy:

[Victor] Reppert asks whether it is reasonable to pass laws against abortion in a society in which large segments of the population do not oppose abortion.

Well, was it reasonable to pass laws against slavery in a society in which large segments of the population did not oppose slavery?

Quote sources

  1. NARAL Pro-Choice America (n.d.) Abortion Access. Available https://www.prochoiceamerica.org/issue/abortion-access/. Last accessed 15th Oct 2018
  2. Vallicella, B. (2018) Can One Reasonably Hold that Abortion is Murder but Ought to be Legal? Maverick Philosopher. Available http://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/maverick_philosopher/2018/10/can-one-reasonably-hold-that-abortion-is-murder-but-ought-to-be-legal.html. Last accessed 15 Oct 2018.

Pushing secularism into a corner

Europeans also tend to hold a positive view of religion and are willing to fund it. The British, for example, are broadly willing to see their tax money go towards restoring churches and paying for faith schools. In Scandinavia and Germany, the overwhelming majority of Lutherans pay a tax to support the church despite never attending. They do so in the belief that religion is an important resource for morality, identity, birth, marriage and death. People do not participate in religious services but imbibe their religion ‘vicariously’ through the acts of committed believers and the pronouncements of religious public figures.

Quote source

Kaufmann, E. (2010). Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century. Profile Books, London, p. 8

Outnumbering the pro-aborts: nothing short of revolutionary

That’s worth a second look. In the period 1996–2006, the 46 percent of American women aged forty to sixty who endorsed abortion if a woman did not want a larger family averaged just 1.69 children.

Their traditionalist sisters who opposed granting abortion on these grounds bore 2.35 children during the same period.

It doesn’t sound like much, but if these distinctions are maintained over several generations, the impact will be nothing short of revolutionary.

Quote source

Kaufmann, E. (2010). Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century. Profile Books, London, p. 101