The purposes and arguments in support of secularism vary widely, ranging from assertions that it is a crucial element of modernization, or that religion and traditional values are backward and divisive, to the claim that it is the only guarantor of free religious exercise. == Overview == The first to use the already-extant word "secularism" in a modern sense, was the British agnostic writer George Holyoake, in 1851.


Munby, among others. Most societies become increasingly secular as the result of social, economic development and progress, rather than through the actions of a dedicated secular movement. == Secular ethics == George Holyoake's 1896 publication English Secularism describes secularism as follows: Secularism is a code of duty pertaining to this life, founded on considerations purely human, and intended mainly for those who find theology indefinite or inadequate, unreliable or unbelievable.


Jacques Berlinerblau wrote that "Secularism must be the most misunderstood and mangled ism in the American political lexicon", and that the religious right purposefully equated it to atheism, communism and other ideologies since the 1970s. The most significant forces of religious fundamentalism in the contemporary world are Christian fundamentalism and Islamic fundamentalism.


It seems that most political theorists in philosophy following the landmark work of John Rawl's Theory of Justice in 1971 and its following book, Political Liberalism (1993), would rather use the conjoined concept overlapping consensus rather than secularism.


The Hedgehog Review, Fall 2010. Iain Benson "Considering Secularism" Steven Kettell, Secularism and Religion, Oxford Research Encyclopedias. Political philosophy Religion and politics 1851 neologisms

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