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Modern Secular State and Religious Congregations Research Paper

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At present, the challenge of building community is viewed as a task to be performed by dividing different spheres of human life. This position evokes the tension between church and politics, whereas the former provides better cooperation opportunities (Macintyre 2007, 29). Therefore, the modern secular state seems incapable of fully replacing religious congregations’ initiatives due to their significance for enhancing moral values, dealing with discrimination, and protecting essential human freedoms.

The first aspect attributed to the Christian perspectives and contrasted by secularity is virtuousness, which is addressed more efficiently by faith-based organizations. The current progress of humanity in understanding the notions of right and wrong and their impact on people’s conduct is a shortened version of initial regulations instilled by religious figures. It resembles fragments of knowledge gained over the centuries-long history, which cannot be restored without solid grounds (Macintyre 2007, 2). This situation can be explained by the lack of agreement of population groups on moral values in a secular context (Macintyre 2007, 6-7). Meanwhile, sufficient guidance in this area is offered by Christianity, which solves the debate through proposing the adoption of millenniums of experience with explicit norms (Macintyre 2007, 39). Hence, its achievements cannot be substituted by the present-day world’s short-term orientation when establishing morality.

The second factor allowing to justify the secular state’s ineffectiveness for creating a healthy society compared to religion is the outcomes of the two opposing attitudes in eliminating discrimination. Thus, the first system promotes law-like generalizations based on their alleged suitability to predicting societal issues related to citizens’ equality and their timely resolution (Macintyre 2007, 88). Nevertheless, this view is flawed since the scientific explanation of these phenomena by their logical examination developed by conventional scholars presents the results, which have no connection with reality (Macintyre 2007, 89). In turn, the second way implies the absence of plurality in considering this matter because it is built upon such elements as honor and worth emphasized by Aristotle (Macintyre 2007, 116). From this point of view, their possession by community members defines their relationships with others, which are managed by proper actions stemming from recognizing all people’s similarity in this respect. In this way, the failure of secularity to tackle the described problem should be compensated by effective religious practices.

The third idea contributing to the invalidity of division for society’s organization compared to the Christian stance is its adverse effects on basic freedoms’ perceptions. This issue is associated with specific restrictions of the two viewpoints as well as human morality. On the one hand, the modern state’s secularity is intended to ensure the lack of attempts to impose any beliefs on citizens and plays the role of a mechanism defining their behavior (Macintyre 2007, 122). However, it does not incorporate any values allowing individuals to regulate their conduct when exploring the world’s opportunities. On the other hand, religious beliefs are useful for emphasizing people’s actions, which contribute to their freedom, not the other way around (Macintyre 2007, 121). Therefore, as it follows from Galatians 5:13, “do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Bible Study Tools, n.d.). These points prove that secularity does not address the need to exercise rights with regard to responsibility before the public.

To summarize, society in its current form cannot replace religious congregations’ capacity in creating a prosperous community. Its ineffectiveness in this area is conditional upon the dubious morality, failed attempts to eliminate discrimination, and the incapability to ensure the proper attitude towards freedoms. Thus, it can be concluded that the modern secular state cannot offer any substitutes for the essential Christian provisions for solving the existing problems.

References

Bible Study Tools. n.d. Web.

Macintyre, Alasdair. 2007. After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.

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