Here is the fifteenth show of Science and Non-Science: Relief from Belief in which I talk about secularism. I go into detail about the various theories of secularisation which are popular in the social sciences, in particular sociology, and discuss their flaws along with talking about what the truth of the matter actually is.
The song at the start of the show is The Quantum World by Symphony of Science.
Click on the player below to listen.
Modernity has seen both the rise of secularisation and also the rise of multiple forms of religion; of multiple forms of believing. These two issues have been seen as the norm in Europe, in the case of the former, and as the norm in the United States in the case of the latter. The likes of Peter Berger and Grace Davie have expanded upon this issue in great detail, arguing that what has happened in Europe over the previous century, and is continuing to happen today, i.e., secularisation, is not the norm when it comes to the world in general. Instead, they, and those with similar views, argue that Europe is the exception when it comes to the issue of secularisation and that the rest of the world, in particular the United States, is the norm when it comes to both religious belief and practice.
(Originally Published on Indymedia.ie in January 2011)
This time two years ago, Gaza was being bombarded ceaselessly, from land, sea and air, by the forces of an illegal occupying force. Civilians were deliberately targeted along with schools, power stations, and other non-military targets. Overall, the occupying forces managed to kill 1,416 Palestinians, of which 926 were civilians and 255 were police officers. The occupying force which I am speaking of is of course the Israeli Defence Forces. The supposed reasoning behind this illegal, three week long incursion into Gaza, was in order to stop rocket attacks when in matter of fact it was simply an exercise in military domination. As testimony from Israeli soldiers who took part in the offensive, dubbed Operation Cast Lead, shows, Israel “used insane amounts of firepower”; firepower used indiscriminately against a civilian population. This is the kind of existential but also very real threat that the Palestinian people have to live with on a day-to-day basis.