To know what we do

These are the days for wondering about religion, politics and war.

“The rise of the West had much less to do with democracy than with the rise of secularism. The West’s advance was chiefly related to the decline in the influence of religion that sought the truth by “looking in” to see what God had to say, and its replacement by looking out, deriving authority from observation, experimentation and exploration.

“The inconvenient truth is that the West should be exporting secularism around the world before it exports democracy.

“Prosperity comes from secularism, and where you have prosperity you have political and social stability.”

Peter Watson, author of A Terrible Beauty: The People and Ideas that Shaped the Modern Mind