Tuesday, August 16, 2005

'Laique' fallibilism v. Vatican dogmatism

Papa Ratzi has few fixed ideas. One of those is that Europe is losing its identity as it is not recogniszing the foundational role of christian roots. In particular, he is very eager to claim that a widespread relativism is swiping away all points of reference and guidance for individual behaviour. He would be happy to restore a form of dogmatism that is partly, if not entirely, based on catholic dogmas.

I think it is time to fight back this dogmatic non sense as it is very dangerous. More importantly, any committed liberal should now raise his voice and stand for his position firmly. It is true, liberals enjoy exchange of ideas, and Papa Ratzi contributes to the discussion of certain arguments.

However, what is not true, is that liberalism does not provide proper standards of behaviour and guidance for individuals. This is a plain lie, which has a demagogic undertone. The vatican, and many other religiuos institutions, are trying to exploit that lie in their favour. The reason is that liberals cherish disagreement in the moral/political realm and fallibility in the scientific realm. Yes, liberals believe that everything is up for grab, even very strong convictions. Yet, in order to shake strong convictions, one has to offer remarkably good arguments. This way, our knowledge proceeds. And false convictions are dismantled.

As a liberal, I am deeply committed to the ideas of disagreement and fallibility. They constitute all I believe in, if there is something worth believing. I do not offer strong dogmas, which cloud reason. I am strongly committed to a method of enquiry, that is so far the best method available. Ratzinger be aware: you'd better believe in it too!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just do not see why do you depict secularism as open to disagreement, secularism can be as dogmatic and mentally opressive as religious dogma. Here you have Christ and Crucifix, there you have Nation and the pictures of the president is schools. Which one is more representative of the people leaving on the EU soil s questionable and also which one is more useful. When you declare yourself as liberal you have to be more clear about the very definition of the term, there are thousands and thousands of liberalisms, all with strikingly different implications...you should also not disregard the positive efect of the theology of salvation that preaches peace and tranquility...it is extreme liberalism that leads the war of terrorism and builds the wall between civilizations not Catholic religion.