Out with the false idols and in with the true!

Saturday, December 15th, 2018

Secular humanism has been a disastrous failure, Camille Paglia argues:

As I repeatedly argue in Provocations, comparative religion is the true multiculturalism and should be installed as the core curriculum in every undergraduate program. From my perspective as an atheist as well as a career college teacher, secular humanism has been a disastrous failure. Too many young people raised in affluent liberal homes are arriving at elite colleges and universities with skittish, unformed personalities and shockingly narrow views of human existence, confined to inflammatory and divisive identity politics.

Interest in Hinduism and Buddhism was everywhere in the 1960s counterculture, but it gradually dissipated partly because those most drawn to ‘cosmic consciousness’ either disabled themselves by excess drug use or shunned the academic ladder of graduate school. I contend that every educated person should be conversant with the sacred texts, rituals, and symbol systems of the great world religions — Hinduism, Buddhism, Judeo-Christianity, and Islam — and that true global understanding is impossible without such knowledge.

Not least, the juxtaposition of historically evolving spiritual codes tutors the young in ethical reasoning and the creation of meaning. Right now, the campus religion remains nihilist, meaning-destroying post-structuralism, whose pilfering god, the one-note Foucault, had near-zero scholarly knowledge of anything before or beyond the European Enlightenment. (His sparse writing on classical antiquity is risible.) Out with the false idols and in with the true!


  1. Lu An Li says:

    Haven’t heard about the Hare Krishna in a long time. Used to pester you for hand-outs at the airports. Bad idea [?] to find enlightenment in a religion contrary to your culture when you have find the same within your own tradition.

  2. Wan Wei Lin says:

    You should listen to the world voices of reason and religion otherwise you will only hear the uninformed voices in your head.

  3. Harry Jones says:

    I’m interested in religions more for what they can tell me about man then what they can tell me about God.

    That’s the limit of my interest in the uninformed voices in someone else’s head.

    There’s a lot wrong with atheism, but that doesn’t make religion right.

  4. Kirk says:

    Frame it however you like, but our culture is built on a foundation rooted in the Judeo-Christian milieu. Everything flows from that, and to deny it is to deny much of what we value, both secular humanist and religious.

    You only have to go back and look at the attitudes pre-Christianity, where slavery and exposure of unwanted babies were the norms, and unremarked on by one and all. Today? Were you to suggest to even the most radical atheist that we should rid ourselves of unwanted children via the simple expedient of leaving them out on a hillside somewhere outside of town, the response you’d get would be illustrative of the effect that the Judeo-Christian moral world has had upon culture.

    Although, I’ll grant you that abortion really isn’t much different, except in terms of appearances. Still, the fact is that nearly all of us at least pay attention to the forms, lest we become outcasts in society, and that’s probably an overall good thing–I would not want to live in ancient times, with the casual approach they took towards the value of human life and the individual.

    Discard the Judeo-Christian bedrock cautiously, and remember what it supplanted, along with what you may be letting back in by abandoning it all.

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