The Rev David Robertson’s argument against secularism defeats his own logic when he proposes that the absence of a previous or existing secular “utopia” is evidence for the impossibility of realising the social goals of a secular Scottish state, (Friends of The Scotsman, 6 September).
Unfortunately for his position, exactly the same argument can be made in respect of theocratic states – there is no instance of a country that imposes or espouses religious values in legislation, education or other parts of civil society which has demonstrated it is free from intolerance, oppression or unjust treatment of both secularists and non-conformist believers.
By suggesting that the goal of a society in which believers and non-believers are not only equal before the law but also treated no more or less favourably than each other is flawed because it has never been achieved is as specious an argument as suggesting that because poverty hasn’t and may never be completely eradicated, we shouldn’t try. I for one don’t want to live in a society that abandons a principled aim because it hasn’t been achieved elsewhere.
(PROF) ROBIN MACPHERSON FRSA
Craiglockhart Loan Edinburgh