A Democratic Religion?

Universism sets out to change the landscape of religion and to be the religion for freethought. However, it could also be considered the true religion of Democracy. Its foundations of personal reason, moral relativism, uncertainity, opposition of faith, the personal search for truth, and the lack of an absolute Truth help define the core of the religion. The Universism FAQ discusses absolute Truth as follows:

Rejecting platonic dichotomies such as good and evil does not equate with an endorsement of those concepts, and rejecting faith is not a manifestation of faith. In the Universist perspective, the individual determines for herself what is absolute, so for society as a whole, there are no collective absolutes. In society there are a variety of voices that we must individually judge with our imperfect reason, and acknowledge that we are doing just that. We must not be tempted by righteous absolutist thinking. Universism maintains that group consensus on absolute Truths adds nothing to their validity, and goes so far as to maintain that were something the religious realm determined absolutely true even by science, it would be too dangerous to our preeminent religious value of the ongoing search to endorse such a Truth as a group. The existence of cosmic Truths is an entirely personal matter, and this personalization destroys for all utility in moral pronouncement the validity of absolutes.

FAQ: Is the statement “There is no absolute Truth” itself an absolute Truth?

Even though the FAQ says that Universism makes no claim as to which governmental system is best, the viewpoint on absolute Truth points out a kinship with Democracy. We do have some shared main ideas of right/wrong and truth in the same way as the citizens of this country have them. We will argue and work to redefine the shades of right and wrong and they will definitely change based upon circumstances just like we do in this country. When it comes down to it, as a country, we can’t even say “killing is wrong” is an absolute truth. There are many circumstances where killing is justified, just ask a police officer.

If the American Democracy didn’t work without absolute Truths then we wouldn’t need the Legislative branch to continue to evolve the laws of the land; the Executive branch to try to keep a certain amount of guidance, focus, and leadership; and the Judicial branch to judge the imperfect reality against the “guidelines” of our laws. If law was absolute, we wouldn’t need trials by our peers to determine guilt and punishment and the laws wouldn’t be allowed to change as we hopefully grow wiser.

In comparison, all of this points out that traditional religions are typically totalitarian groups trying to control society. Faith-based religions decree absolute Truth with judgements and condemnation handed down from a select few. A totalitarian government can do some good for its people just as a religion can, but absolute powers corrupts absolutely. The natural tendency of faith-based religion then will be towards a totalitarian abuse of power. American history has decried and fought against totalitarian forms of government, yet ironically a majority of Americans embrace Christianity even though the core of its teachings matches more with the totalitarian definition.

Definition of totalitarian

Of, relating to, being, or imposing a form of government in which the political authority exercises absolute and centralized control over all aspects of life, the individual is subordinated to the state, and opposing political and cultural expression is suppressed: ?A totalitarian regime crushes all autonomous institutions in its drive to seize the human soul?

Definition of faith-based religion???

Of, relating to, being, or imposing a form of society in which the religious authority exercises absolute and centralized control over all aspects of life, the individual is subordinated to the religion, and opposing religious and cultural expression is suppressed: ?A faith-based religion crushes all autonomous institutions in its drive to seize the human soul?

Definition of democracy

Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
A political or social unit that has such a government.
The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
Majority rule.
The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

Democracy redefined in the religious context. Does a faith-based religion think this way? I think not! Only Universism is a close match.

Religious belief by the people, exercised directly.
A religious or social unit that has such a belief.
The common people, considered as the primary source of religious belief.
Majority rule.
The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

Conclusion: Universism and other freethought movements are truly American in concept and faith-based religions are really un-American at heart.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*


*