The Secular Right (again)

By Razib Khan | August 29, 2006 11:59 am

Real Clear Politics has a column titled The Secular Right which reflects upon the Mac Donald vs. God affair. Interestingly, the author linked to my post where I followed the debate in The Corner. A few months ago my summary of John Derbyshire’s summary of Judith Rich Harris’ work was linked from her site. Ultimately, I think this should be a clue to NRO that they need to invest in a more robust and user friendly content management system: their archiving blows.

  • somnilista, FCD

    which reflects upon the Mac Donald vs. God affair.

    I put all my money on Mac Donald. That God fellow has a nasty habit of not showing up.

  • somnilista, FCD

    From the RCP article:

    The Secular Right

    Philosophically speaking, skepticism does not mean merely doubting the truth of one particular claim or idea. It means doubting all truths and all ideas, so that every fact or theory is just someone’s opinion. It means doubting the power of reason as such. Skepticism is the natural ally of subjectivism–and it is, in actual fact, the guiding philosophy of the left.

    That’s rather out of date. The definition of “skepticism” has shifted. What he describes would now be called “universal skepticism” or “Pyrrhonism”. In modern, or scientific, skepticism, doubt is not universal. Belief is apportioned according to the evidence.

    After that, he proceeds to some rather laughable strawmen. It’s interesting to see him attack PoMo and Relativism as Leftist values, considering these have in recent years been embraced by some members of the Right ( Astroturf campaigns, David Horowitz’s Academic Bill of Rights, the “Republican war on science”)

    The real alternative to secular subjectivism is not religious faith, but observation of the natural world–the world that can be seen and understood through reason. Despite a confused dismissal of “natural law,”…

    Except that Natural Law has never overcome the very simple criticism directed at it: Is vs. Ought? Mac Donald is correct, reason-based morality has no need to rely on Natural Law.

    Oh joy. I’ve reached the bottom of the column and discovered he’s a Rand-ian.

  • razib

    Oh joy. I’ve reached the bottom of the column and discovered he’s a Rand-ian.
    bingo :=)


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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