The Corner

Whatever Happened To Christianism Cont’d

I liked this response to this email:

Dear Jonah:

Your correspondent, referenced in your 12:27 p.m. Corner post, was a classic example of how John Rawls’ idea of “public reason,” as popularly applied, tends to make secular thinkers more unable to recognize their unexamined assumptions than people of faith.  If anything, thoughtful believers have an advantage:  We know when we are basing our First Principles upon acts of faith.  We can think more clearly, for recognizing the borders between faith and knowledge. 

Ironically, that makes us less likely than secularists to be Puritans, imposing our beliefs on others, because we recognize that faith is subjective and personal.  Secular Puritans, on the other hand, have no problem imposing their beliefs on everyone, because they’re self-evidently true by the light of cold clear logic; how could any decent person possibly disagree?

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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