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President Of British Science Association Casually Strolls Towards Fascism

I am pretty sure Lord May has absolutely no idea of the most obvious consequence of his religion-without-faith approach towards solving the “climate change” issue. And that consequence is…fascism.

In fact, in the past, over and over again, well-meaning atheists have proposed to use religion for social engineering purposes. Invariably, all those doctrines have converged towards authoritarian nightmares. Worse: the whole catalogue of XX century horrors can be traced back to idealists-atheists thinking hard on how to improve societies by using religion.

For a reference, see Mark Lilla’s review of Michael Burleigh’s “Earthly Powers”, published in the New York Times on April 2, 2006:

[…] the Jacobins (in revolutionary France) […] were convinced that a strong republic would need some sort of civil religion to establish a spirit of self-sacrifice and belonging, and so they tried to create one, organizing public festivals modeled on pagan cults and remaking the calendar. Burleigh, like so many historians today, sees in these Promethean efforts a premonition of the theatrical mass meetings of the 20th-century Bolsheviks, Fascists and Nazis.

[…] liberal Protestant theologian […] Friedrich Schleiermacher [had the dream of a ] rationally purified biblical faith [that] would jettison old beliefs in miracles and the Bible’s literal truth, allowing it to become the civil faith of the bourgeois German state. This proved to be a powerful myth that turned many a Protestant minister into a blinkered German nationalist, contributing in no small measure to the catastrophe of World War I.

[Joseph de Maistre’s] fundamental insights — that political life rests on a religious foundation, that human relations are shaped by ritual, that individualism is a disease — first found their echo among leftist French utopians like Saint-Simon, Charles Fourier and then Auguste Comte. The utopians did not believe in God but they very much believed in religion […] or a surrogate one, a system of symbols and ceremonies bringing individuals together without reference to a revealing, transcendent God

[…] their daydreams about using religion instrumentally to foster social identification took a nightmarish turn at the end of the century when they fell into the hands of rabid nationalists like the French writer Charles Maurras and the German scholar Paul de Lagarde […]

Now let’s see what happened to them.

All of that, because otherwise intelligent thinkers had the stupid idea of using religion without taking care of its Faith component.

Please Lord May would you stop inviting us to repeat that mistake.

0 replies on “President Of British Science Association Casually Strolls Towards Fascism”

I take your point. It’s worth mentioning that you are quoting an agency handout from Asian News International, citing an article in the Telegraph, and I’m quoting an article (more of a fan letter, actually) in the Guardian. Climate Resistance quotes a BBC interview where the good lord (or should that be “Good Lord” ?) seems to be not completely in control of his intellectual faculties. So none of us are taking our information at source.
It’s important to point out that Lord May, as ex-chief scientific advisor to HM Government, belongs to possibly the last caste of human beings in the UK (apart from contributors to Radio 4’s Thought for the Day – hence the scientific / religious rapprochement?) who are considered above criticism (a bit like Party cadres in China, or Mollahs in Iran).
When Climate Resistance suggested I should cease bothering them and set up my own blog, I toyed with the idea of a blog entitled Ad-Hominem Climate Science. Glad to see you and C-R have taken on the task.

Excellent point. It’s usually bad tactics (and bad manners) to link environmentalism with fascism, but your quote from the NYT makes the point well.
The Guardian on-line climate change page has so far devoted three articles and a poll to promoting May’s ideas, starting with also has an interesting article ridiculing May.

Just to clarify…it’s not environmentalism I am linking to fascism…it’s the abuse of religion by people that are not religious…

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