The Secular Conscience
by Austin Dacey
Point of Inquiry
Austin Dacey serves as a respresentative to the United Nations for CFI, and is also on the editorial staff of Skeptical Inquirer and Free Inquiry magazines. His writings have appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times. His new book is The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life.
In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Austin Dacey argues that secularism has lost its sense of moral direction, ceding ground to religious positions it never should have. He explores the impact this has on the secular left's criticism of the New Atheists, and its approach to radical Islam. He discusses the reasons secular liberalism doesn't ally itself with the secularizing elements in the Islamic world, and why he thinks it should, also addressing "Islamophobia" and the "American Taliban." He explains why questions of conscience and morality, whether religious or secular in origin, should not be excluded from public discourse -- contrary to prevailing secular liberal opinion -- and also in what sense they should (and should not) merely be matters of private belief and freedom of conscience.
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