Home > Dystopia, Secular Religions > The New Priests- II

The New Priests- II

Secular religions share many basic attributes with traditional religions, such as:

1. An official list of ‘true’ books and media (the wealth of nations, das capital, atlas shrugged, the bell curve, an inconvenient truth etc).

2. They promise an eventual utopia for true believers (the invisible hand, dictatorship of the proletariat, objectivist paradise, harmony with nature etc.

3. They all preach against unbelievers and deniers but still try to convert them.

4. They have deities (money, gold, mother earth), prophets (adam smith, karl marx, ayn rand, paul ehrlich, al gore) and priests (too many to name).

5. They are locked in perpetual struggle against a set of malevolent entities (mercantile thinking, bourgeoisie, criminals, other people, oil companies, industries etc).

6. They detest lapsed believers, often treating them with more disdain than unbelievers.

7. When forced to confront the limited nature of their models, they try to deny the obvious, use sophistry, outright fraud, threats of boycotts. Once again lapsed believers receive the most ‘righteous’ anger.

For a long time, science was able to avoid the worst aspects of becoming a semi-religious movement. Inspite of the efforts of many ‘famous’ scientists, it was able to correct itself enough to be seen as better than religion. Belief in eugenics in the first half of the 20th century, is the closest that science came to becoming a secular religion. The changing nature of funding for science (especially after ww2) has however slowly upset the ability of science to correct itself. The very nature of significant public funding for science, controlled by politicians and administrators, makes biased, convenient and fraudulent science far easier to perpetuate than in a previous era. It is unfortunate that politically motivated people exploit public trust in science, as it will backfire in very unpleasant ways.

I will address the extent and effects of such corruption in my next few posts.

  1. December 12, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    You should have an introductory post or an updated about page telling us the main topic of this blog.

  2. Alkibiades
    December 14, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Come on OneSTDV, at the very least it’s a skeptics blog. I’m curious to see how it develops.

  3. Wocka
    December 16, 2009 at 3:42 am

    Great post!, I’m really liking this blog.

  1. December 19, 2009 at 9:53 pm

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