Säkularismus bedeutet nicht Gegnerschaft zur Religion, sondern Neutralität und Gesprächsbereitschaft

Julian Baggini im Guardian über Säkularismus:

„It all goes back to how we understand the core secularist principle of neutrality in the public square. Neutrality means just that: neither standing for or against religion or any other comprehensive world-view. That is why in theory, if not in practice, the United States is both culturally the most religious country in the developed west and constitutionally the most secular. There, it is clearly understood that the value of secularism is that it allows all faiths to practise freely, without any enjoying a special place at the heart of power. That explains why when I once took part in a panel discussion with a Southern Baptist, one of the most conservative of denominations, he was as enthusiastic about secularism as I was. Why then in Britain has secularism become seen to be hostile to religion? Because neutrality is too often assumed to require the bleaching out of all traces of faith, excluding religious belief and discourse from public life. But it doesn’t, and we can see why by appeal to the notion of public reason, articulated most clearly by the late political philosopher John Rawls. Rawls was quite clear that the religious have no obligation at all to keep their faith entirely to themselves. „Reasonable comprehensive doctrines, religious or non-religious, may be introduced in public political discussion at any time,“ he wrote, „provided that in due course proper political reasons – and not reasons given solely by comprehensive doctrines – are presented that are sufficient to support whatever the comprehensive doctrines are said to support.“ The language has a certain jurisprudential aridity, but the message is clear enough. When we enter the public square, we are obliged to talk to each other in terms we can share and understand, not in ways that are tied to our specific „comprehensive doctrines“. If we’re debating the ethics of abortion, for example, we’d get nowhere if some insisted their views rested on their Catholic faith whereas others took theirs to flow inexorably from their atheism. What we all need to do is provide reasons that have some purchase for other people in their capacity as fellow citizens, whatever their world-views. That doesn’t mean denying or even covering up the fact that we have religious or other motivations for believing what we do. It is simply to acknowledge that we can’t expect these to carry any weight with others.“

Der vollständige, unbedingt lesenswerte Artikel findet sich hier: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/14/is-religion-really-under-threat

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