A (slightly) new ‘modern synthesis’ and ‘sensible outlook’ or ‘world view’, may be; being born?
I very much doubt that the ‘religionists’ can cope, en mass, with ‘respect’. As it is: respect for atheists, in 2008, is just being brought into ‘headline news’ by the BBC and C of E. Atheists have had ‘respect’ for the hierarchical and un-elected privilege of the religionists constantly rammed down their throats and in everywhere they go; be it in schools or in public organisations – UK. For anyone other than they themselves, as it is (mostly) a very self-centred pastime for all the comfort, charity, and good works. The Scientists (mostly) would find a ‘little give way’ easy to handle for the sake of humanity to make some small social progress that is comparative to the scientific and technological achievements of humankind – to date.
Referring to God as an "imaginary friend", (Mr) Richard Dawkins said: "When talking to a politician you would demand proof for what they say, but suddenly when talking to a clergyman you don’t have to provide evidence.
"There’s absolutely no reason to take seriously someone who says, ‘I believe it because I believe it.’
"God either exists or he doesn’t. It’s a matter of the truth." Professor Richard Dawkins.
"Yet what is more awesome: to believe that God created everything in six days, or to believe that the biosphere came into being on its own, with no creator, and partially lawlessly?
I find the latter proposition so stunning, so worthy of awe and respect, that I am happy to accept this natural creativity in the Universe as a reinvention of "God".
From it, we can build a sense of the the sacred that encompasses all life and the planet itself.
From it, we can change our value system across the globe and try together, to ease the fears of religious fundamentalists with a safe, sacred space we can share.
And from it we can, if we are wise, find the means to avert wars of civilisations, the ravages of global warming, and the potential disaster of peak oil." Professor Stuart Kauffmann – University of Calgary – Institute for Biochemistry and Informatics. NewScientist Magazine, May 2008.
"Social and political propaganda, as I have said, is effective as a rule, only upon those whom circumstances have partly or completely convinced of its truth. In other words, it is influential only when it is a rationalization of the desires, sentiments, prejudices or interests of those to whom it is addressed.
A theology or a political theory may be defined as an intellectual device for enabling people to do in cold blood things, which, without the theology or the theory, they could only do in the heat of passion. Circumstances, whether external or internal and purely psychological, produce in certain persons a state of discontent, for example, a desire for change, a passionate aspiration for something new. These emotional states may find occasional outlet in violent but undirected activity.
But now comes the writer with a theology or a political theory, in terms of which these vague feelings can be rationalized. The energy developed by the prevailing passions of the masses is given a direction and at the same time strengthened and made continuous. Sporadic outbursts are converted by the rationalization into purposive and unremitting activity.
The mechanism of successful propaganda may be roughly summed up as follows. Men accept the propagandist’s theology or political theory, because it apparently justifies and explains the sentiments, and desires, evoked in them by the circumstances. The theory may, of course, be completely absurd from a scientific point of view, but this is of no importance so long as men believe it to be true. Having accepted the theory, men will work in obedience to its precepts even in times of emotional tranquillity. Moreover, the theory will often cause them to perform in cold blood acts, which they would hardly have performed even in a state of emotional excitement." Huxley.
You may ask where (in Hell) does the answer lie?
In the ‘oscillations in society’ – liberalism (not the UK’s ‘Liberal Democratic Party’) ‘The History of Western Philosophy’ Bertrand Russell.
"Whatever my native modesty may be it will never condescend to seek help for my imagination within those vain imaginings common to all ages and that in themselves are enough to fill all lovers of mankind with unutterable sadness". Joseph Conrad