Irreligion as a religion of the modern classroom
In this article our Editor draws the attention of students to a religion that hides its identity in the modern classroom.
It is irritating to hear people claim with an air of superiority that they are not religious when they really mean to say that their religion is not one but another. This is a typical claim by people whose religion disregards theistic or supernatural elements. They define religion not by the core criterion of belief but instead a secondary character, namely type of belief. Their viewpoint implies that belief is associated with religion only when it involves a positive acceptance of the supernatural. Those who claim to be irreligious in this sense are smart enough to know the weakness of their position but are not worried as long as it is not seriously challenged.
The fact is that everybody has a religion. Sometimes we call it a philosophy, a worldview or other things. The defining element of religion in this sense is belief that constitutes the starting point for making sense of all reality. It does not help for an educated person to claim that he or she does not believe anything. We make fools of ourselves by that statement in a serious intellectual discussion. At best it only characterizes a person’s religion as ‘belief in nothing’ or ‘a claim to believe in nothing.” People who take this deceptive route know that at the level of primary beliefs or presuppositions they cannot lay charges against other religions that are not applicable to theirs.
This hypocrisy is unnecessary if we accept the simple truth that everybody has a religion that is defined by basic beliefs. Some religions are based on a belief in the God of nature and super nature—supernatural religions. Others are based on a belief in nature only—naturalistic religions; there are various adaptations of these and other religions.
Since everybody has a religion, it is irresponsible for a serious scholar to casually attack ‘religious’ beliefs, perspectives, explanations or attitudes as a way of impressing an audience or a class. It makes sense for professors to own their religion first and identify their primary beliefs before expressing opinions about the religion of other colleagues and students.
Most professors make intellectual attempts to remain true to Irreligion which happens to be a dominant religion of the classroom today. People who believe only in nature approach the challenges of learning and knowledge from standpoints that rule out God and the supernatural without evidence or proof. Professors with a naturalistic religion dismiss and are often hostile to events, accounts or types of evidence that involve God and the supernatural in different fields of study. Some of these secular scholars are bold enough to offer ‘science’ as a preferred alternative to religion.
Anti-biblical objections that fail to offer superior criteria for establishing truth are predictable. Christian scholars however object to the fact that these professors hide the religious foundations of their objections with an intent to manipulate and if possible deceive the personal convictions of inexperienced students in a classroom situation.
There is more discussion about how Christian students can manage conflicts of worldviews in the classroom in Chapter 6,”Encountering non-Christian worldviews,” of Facing Intellectual Giants by Dan Chimere-Dan.