THE PRINCIPLES OF SECULARISM

THE PRINCIPLES OF SECULARISM

by George Jacob Holyoake
     
 
CHAPTER II. THE TERM SECULARISM.

"The adoption of the term Secularism is justified by its
including a large number of persons who are not Atheists,
and uniting them for action which has Secularism for its
object, and not Atheism. On this ground, and because, by the
adoption of a new term, a vast amount of impediment

Overview

CHAPTER II. THE TERM SECULARISM.

"The adoption of the term Secularism is justified by its
including a large number of persons who are not Atheists,
and uniting them for action which has Secularism for its
object, and not Atheism. On this ground, and because, by the
adoption of a new term, a vast amount of impediment from
prejudice is got rid of, the use of the name Secularism is
found advantageous."--Harriet Martineau. _Boston
Liberator_.--Letter to Lloyd Garrison, November, 1853.

EVERY one observant of public controversy in England, is aware of its
improved tone of late years. This improved tone is part of a wider
progress, 'Increase of wealth has led to improvement of taste, and the
diffusion of knowledge to refinement of sentiment. The mass are better
dressed, better mannered, better spoken than formerly. A coffee-room
discussion, conducted by mechanics, is now a more decorous exhibition
than a debate in Parliament was in the days of Canning.* Boisterousness
at the tables of the rich, and insolence in the language of the poor,
are fast disappearing. "Good society" is now that society in which
people practise the art of being genial, without being familiar, and in
which an evincible courtesey of speech is no longer regarded as timidity
or effeminacy, but rather as proof of a disciplined spirit, which
chooses to avoid all offence, the better to maintain the right
peremptorily punishing wanton insult. Theologians, more inveterate
in speech than politicians, now observe a respectfulness to opponents
before unknown. That diversity of opinion once ascribed to "badness of
heart" is now, with more discrimination, referred to defect or diversity
of understanding--a change which, discarding invective, recognizes
instruction as the agent of uniformity.

* From whose lips the House of Commons cheered a reference
to a political adversary as "the revered and ruptured
Ogden."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013168626
Publisher:
SAP
Publication date:
08/06/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
46 KB

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