Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Euston Manifesto Part II

Further to my last posting on this, I finally set aside some time last night to read up on it.
I am very much in broad agreement and feel that, whilst some of it seems like stating the obvious it needs to be said. What's more if something decent comes out that seems to be okay and gets a barrage of criticism, it means that it is timely and necessary. Esp with the disturbing rise of the far-left and far-right.
I do have a minor problem though! Just one. And it's the last sentence on Item 15: "We stand against all claims to a total - unquestionable or unquestioning - truth"! Does this preclude belief in God? I am sure that is not what was meant, but taking the view that "God is truth" if one believes in God, as I do, it can be difficult. Unless of course what is meant by this is that "we are against the attitude of not questioning what is claimed to be absolute truth whether it is or not!" If the latter is meant, then I will happily sign the Euston Manifesto.
I did e-mail my concerns last night, but I have,as yet, to receive a reply. That said, I get the impression from what I have seen in the Blogosphere in the last few days that they may well be deluged! :)


Louisa Willoughby said...

Heh, I find myself incredulous about these people who write "we just don't agree with people who put across *the truth*", because all they are doing in essence is advocating another truth: democracy. They see democracy as unnegotiable, the best thing since sliced bread, and will do anything to get it moving across the planet. This may be godless, but to them it's the one and only truth anyway. In a recent interview in Third Way magazine, Nick Cohen said that "Socialism is my god". Absolutely - he may be an atheist, but when it comes to socialism, he will try and advance it just as much as you and I would Christ.

Anonymous said...

Democracy is the best system available, unless you believe the country was better off under a feudal system of kings, lords and bishops in positions of power. Is it the 'best thing since sliced bread' and 'unnnegotiable'? In a way yes, as there is no viable alternative to deliver a better result at this point in our history. Unless you know of one, in which case try it at the ballot box first before trying to seize power.

Oh, and democracy isn't a truth, any more than Marxism is a 'truth', it's a method, a way of looking at the world, and in democracy's case a way of dealing with the many different interest groups in a society with an aim of accomodating them all, including socialists, and even christians like yourselves. It's not a competing belief system to christianity, it's only a competing system with theocracy and feudality, and it's a million times better. Remember, Christians were the main victims of Christian murder and torture when it was practised in Britain. We haven't needed the priest holes for a little while now.

Surely what is meant by the phrase is a very simple idea - secularism. You don't try to make me believe in god, and I won't try to make you stop believing in it. So religion and politics are two *separate* entities, and no one is forced into accepting anyone's beliefs. Simple really, innit?


PooterGeek said...

Thanks for linking to us and for your thoughtful comments, Paul. Yes we have had a lot of email and yes, we did get yours, but I have to be honest I didn't know how to answer it and I'm not sure if any of the drafters is mandated to handle theological queries. So I put it in the "pending" pile.

All I can say is that (as lapsed Catholic) I consider faith in God to be worthless unless it has been questioned. Even if you do believe that "God is truth" then I am sure that you don't do so in an "unquestionable or unquestioning" way.

I hope that helps.

If you have any easier questions about the manifesto do please email them to us. (And donations are welcome too!)

Bloggers4Labour said...

We stand against all claims to a total - unquestionable or unquestioning - truth

It's not very clear, is it? I'd rephrase it as follows:

(i) "against all unquestioning claims to a truth"


(ii) "against all claims to an unquestionable truth - a truth that cannot/may not be questioned"

were meant, but not

(iii) "against all claims to a truth"

Is that a fair assessment? It would tie in with my own support for the EMG, given that I would support (i) and (ii) but, despite never having been of a religious persuasion, would have to be neutral on (iii).

BTW, I think anonymous/Chris' response to Louisa was right on the money. Democracy enshrines both freedom and respect for the individual - both as an individual, and as a member of any group they choose to join.

Or something. Either way, it's not to be pooh-poohed.

Paul Burgin said...

Fair enough! :)