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Is Secular Leftism A Religion?

Burning Paradigm

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Nice post!

I mostly made this thread for fun before the George Floyd thing got other people talking about it seriously, because as a Ti dom I'm an isomorphic thinker that has dealt with a lot of Christian types and really-into-politics types and noticed a metaphorical overlap in a lot of their language.


To graduate from ideology to religion there's a few benchmarks that need to be met I think. It has to be about unanswerable elements of the human condition. It needs an obsession with a contested history that someone wrote in a book. It needs leaps of faith to bridge data points. It needs a signature set of moral principals. It needs to constantly rehash and analyze its own perceived history. And it needs subjugation to some kind of higher power or cause.

Yeah, I probably should've checked the beginning of the thread before I jumped right into it lol. I figured not many people believe this unironically, but it's an assertion I've seen more from certain right-wing types; largely as a deflection from the fact much of modern conservatism (particularly in the United States) aligns itself with religion.

For me, the last part is the most critical in distinguishing between something being a religion (as it is for most people). I might collect some of my thoughts on this a bit later.
 

anticlimatic

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Yeah, I probably should've checked the beginning of the thread before I jumped right into it lol. I figured not many people believe this unironically, but it's an assertion I've seen more from certain right-wing types; largely as a deflection from the fact much of modern conservatism (particularly in the United States) aligns itself with religion. For me, the last part is the most critical in distinguishing between something being a religion (as it is for most people). I might collect some of my thoughts on this a bit later.
Right wing conservatives were the religious nutters for a good long while. It's funny to me to watch popular old movies from the 90s and even early 00s with all the Christian asides subtext and nods you wouldn't see nowadays. Instead we get powerful independent women to a very forced and fake degree, and I wonder if it will look similarly silly in the future.


But as a right winger myself who never much cared for religious authoritarianism, I'm certain there's a bevy of left wingers out there who don't care for it at all either- so ultimately I don't think wokesters are really a big deal destined to last- but who knows, humans are very flawed- you me everyone- so there's no telling what we are capable of.

Whats interests me about the concept is on a sort of personal...spiritual/philosophical level. Having grown up when I did and participated in dialogue with the zeitgeist throughout, witnessing the transformation of liberal, enlightened, reason-based, genuinely progressive attitudes and arguments, into the very opposite of that- was unexpected. Bill Maher has taken notice of the very same phenomenon, and it's one of the reasons that despite disagreeing with many of his cynical arguments I still like him very much as an individual.

Its worthy of note not because it paints the left in a bad light (though it does), but ultimately because it paints all of us- me you everyone- in a bad light. With all the advantages and resources of a prosperous and educated western society, and all the attention paid to the pitfalls dangers and tragedies of conservative religion, we as a species couldn't get rid of it. The second we were able to push it out of the culture, another one flowed right into its place like water- not a reaction to our best and brightest, but a product.

Its existentially troubling.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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Right wing conservatives were the religious nutters for a good long while. It's funny to me to watch popular old movies from the 90s and even early 00s with all the Christian asides subtext and nods you wouldn't see nowadays. Instead we get powerful independent women to a very forced and fake degree, and I wonder if it will look similarly silly in the future.


But as a right winger myself who never much cared for religious authoritarianism, I'm certain there's a bevy of left wingers out there who don't care for it at all either- so ultimately I don't think wokesters are really a big deal destined to last- but who knows, humans are very flawed- you me everyone- so there's no telling what we are capable of.

Whats interests me about the concept is on a sort of personal...spiritual/philosophical level. Having grown up when I did and participated in dialogue with the zeitgeist throughout, witnessing the transformation of liberal, enlightened, reason-based, genuinely progressive attitudes and arguments, into the very opposite of that- was unexpected. Bill Maher has taken notice of the very same phenomenon, and it's one of the reasons that despite disagreeing with many of his cynical arguments I still like him very much as an individual.

Its worthy of note not because it paints the left in a bad light (though it does), but ultimately because it paints all of us- me you everyone- in a bad light. With all the advantages and resources of a prosperous and educated western society, and all the attention paid to the pitfalls dangers and tragedies of conservative religion, we as a species couldn't get rid of it. The second we were able to push it out of the culture, another one flowed right into its place like water- not a reaction to our best and brightest, but a product.

Its existentially troubling.

Well, that should tell you something about why an "atheist movement" was destined to fail. Put all your chips on "hope and change" and then when that's not enough and you have nothing else to offer, the result is unsurprising. You either get a Trump cult or a woke cult in its place. It may surprise you to learn that I don't particularly care for wokeism, but people have to fail at it before they can move on to something better. I'm willing to work on the same side as them for the moment just like you're willing to work on the same side as Christian evangelists. Ultimately, I believe their ideas, however flawed they might be, are better for society than what evangelicals want... when I see them trying to "pray the virus away" that's indisputable. A lot of evangelicals are obsessed with the Book of Revelation and trying to fit everything into their prophecies so that they, as the holy ones, can receive their long-deserved crown. It's the phoniest form of righteousness I've ever seen.

I also see a difference between wokeism and trying to understand other perspectives besides your own. What I would call "wokeism" has an unhealthy obsession with a rarefied, unattainable purity; I'm concerned with results and tangible improvements, not purity testing where everything is "problematic."
 

anticlimatic

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Well, that should tell you something about why an "atheist movement" was destined to fail. Put all your chips on "hope and change" and then when that's not enough and you have nothing else to offer, the result is unsurprising. You either get a Trump cult or a woke cult in its place. It may surprise you to learn that I don't particularly care for wokeism, but people have to fail at it before they can move on to something better. I'm willing to work on the same side as them for the moment just like you're willing to work on the same side as Christian evangelists. Ultimately, I believe their ideas, however flawed they might be, are better for society than what evangelicals want... when I see them trying to "pray the virus away" that's indisputable. A lot of evangelicals are obsessed with the Book of Revelation and trying to fit everything into their prophecies so that they, as the holy ones, can receive their long-deserved crown. It's the phoniest form of righteousness I've ever seen. I also see a difference between wokeism and trying to understand other perspectives besides your own. What I would call "wokeism" has an unhealthy obsession with a rarefied, unattainable purity; I'm concerned with results and tangible improvements, not purity testing where everything is "problematic."

I don't think you get what I mean when I say atheist. I simply lack faith that God exists, because I'm an empiricist, and that's the natural outcome. I envy people that can do it, but I just can't myself. Im not one of those people that spends any of my time critiquing every aspect of religion- just the toxic ones, from time to time, and I certainly don't "work" on the side of Christians. I work on the side of myself and my people. The end.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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I don't think you get what I mean when I say atheist. I simply lack faith that God exists, because I'm an empiricist, and that's the natural outcome. I envy people that can do it, but I just can't myself. Im not one of those people that spends any of my time critiquing every aspect of religion- just the toxic ones, from time to time, and I certainly don't "work" on the side of Christians. I work on the side of myself and my people. The end.

Well, you vote the same way they do and defend the same positions they do.
 

anticlimatic

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Well, you vote the same way they do and defend the same positions they do.
You don't know the first thing about how I vote. I defend whatever positions make sense to me. Any shared opinions I have on life with religious folks is incidental, as they say.

Either way, who cares? Why am I so fascinating as to constantly be the subject of discussion? I'd rather discuss the topic.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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You don't know the first thing about how I vote. I defend whatever positions make sense to me. Any shared opinions I have on life with religious folks is incidental, as they say.

Either way, who cares? Why am I so fascinating as to constantly be the subject of discussion? I'd rather discuss the topic.

Woah... I'm just pointing out the facts. Am I wrong and you voted for Hillary and are planning on voting for Biden? All I'm saying is that you've thrown your lot in with a different team than me.
 

J. Starke

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It could be. I've noticed even among atheists there is a group mentality and they will attack you if you express opinions contrary to those popular in the specific group. There aren't many thinkers in this world. I think like 5% of people actually think and the others are just copying opinions that get them accepted and appreciate in their peer group. People wanna belong and be loved, more than they want the truth.
 

anticlimatic

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Excellent conversation on the topic.

"Just because a religion doesn't have a monotheist centralized figure, doesn't make it any less of a Faith. Look at Buddhism."
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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My big problem with this thread, and most of the threads in this subforum, is that the OP is more interested in being a pundit than a philosopher. It's not the central premise itself (I've actually been down this rabbit hole myself, not the OP would know) but the way that premise is dealt with. This topic could be used to say something interesting about political ideology, but since the goal of the OP is not intellectual inquiry, but rather one-upping the other side (which isn't against the rules), it will never go there or anywhere else interesting. It can't because, in order to one-up the other side, it necessitates that the same logic isn't applied to their own side ("my side is different because it's based on facts, facts which conveniently I can't actually prove) Hence, drawing conclusions about political ideology and dealing with the abstract generalities cannot occur. Ironically, it thus ends up resembling apologetics more than anything else.

Similar issues exist with most of the threads here, which might as well just exist in the politics subforum since most of the positions being put forth are being put forth in a political context against a background of things like abortion and creationism, etc, etc.
 

anticlimatic

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Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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This is more about preserving the separation of church and state than preventing indoctrination in my opinion- since critical theory is the "doctrine" that the new leftist religion originates from. Pretending your religion isn't a religion is a great way to establish a theocracy in a secular nation, so it's very important to call it out.

Should we ban the pledge of allegiance in schools too? Why not? Curious to know the feelings of a libertarian on including the state as an object of worship.
 

Lex Sporis

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Should we ban the pledge of allegiance in schools too? Why not? Curious to know the feelings of a libertarian on including the state as an object of worship.

This immediately came to mind:



I wouldn't call political leanings a religion, necessarily, but ultimately they're different names for the same thing. People can become indoctrinated to the point of extreme fanatacism about any set of values or ideology based on said values. Left, right, sideways- you could say any belief system is a religion of sorts. So what then? Splitting semantic hairs really improves nothing. It merely shuts down discussion.
 

Tellenbach

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Julius_Van_Der_Beak said:
Should we ban the pledge of allegiance in schools too? Why not? Curious to know the feelings of a libertarian on including the state as an object of worship.

It should be decided at the local level by the school board. I would be fine if the commies in San Francisco banned the Pledge but I don't think extremist elements in one community should dictate the educational/moral standards of another community. The same goes for gay marriage, legalizing marijuana, prostitution, etc.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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This immediately came to mind:


That's a good video. As an adult, the pledge strikes me as a very weird, borderline spooky thing.

I wouldn't call political leanings a religion, necessarily, but ultimately they're different names for the same thing. People can become indoctrinated to the point of extreme fanatacism about any set of values or ideology based on said values. Left, right, sideways- you could say any belief system is a religion of sorts. So what then? Splitting semantic hairs really improves nothing. It merely shuts down discussion.

People can become fanatical about pretty much anything, leftism included. And fanatics always assume that the thing they are fanatic about is the unquestioned truth, even though they can't produce indisputable evidence for it. It's the truth because they know it is, and that's enough. It's the other people who are fanatical about the things that obviously aren't true who are the deluded fools.
 
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