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Odds and Ends
Everything is possible when you don't believe
20 10, 1:39am
I think it absolutely applies. Secularism demands of the citizens to shift between different mind sets. So people can be perfectly fine both understanding concepts like evolution and believing in a monotheistic deity because one is meant for the biological environment, the other one is meant for their personal spiritial well-being. And this shifting between mindsets is something you aren't born with, it's a skill you develop - so you get better when you practice it; especially when you also practice accepting other people having different narratives and beliefs for their own spiritual well-being, and you still being able to interact and come to a consensus about daily life and values.
But it's easier not to do it, so there are many people who never would it if they were left to their own devices. Organized religion tends to have a history of having taken on responsibilites that should be taken on by civil society IMHO, like administration, political power, research, archiving, teaching, charity and caring for patients, the elderly and orphans. Most of them have been taken on by civil society in my country (though garegiving is still mainly in the hands of Christian organizations and their employment practices are ... not the best.)
In a context where you let this still happen - be it Mormons or sharia law being implemented - it means you leave the door wide open for those sects that offer their members an all-inclusive ideology which absolves them from having to make the effort necessary to employ other mindsets.
And I believe that is a major source of conflict, be it people here in Eastern Germany who grew up under a totalitarian ideology, be it people in Iran who live under a state religion (and some of which actually care less about its values than people whose adhesion to a religious group is mainly due to their personal feelings and their belonging to the group in which they worship), or be it in a country in which religious freedom means that people are allowed to form their own isolated communities that stronly regulate how its members are allowed to interact with everyone else. If people don't get the opportunity to practice switching between mindsets, of course they won't not get very good at it.
(And that includes scientific zealots who refer to 'science' for every bit of their personal views like an ersatz religion. Saying this as a rather non religious person myself.)