Random Rants, Raves and Ramblings

How Great Would This Be?


I discovered that the text below sometimes got misinterpreted as meaning I'm anti-immigration. Nothing could be further from the truth. If anything I'm pro immigration. The fact that one's chances in life are limited by where you're born, horrifies me. I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to move elsewhere for any reason, be it humanitarian or economical. I don't buy the idea that immigrants come here to take our jobs. Anyone who's against immigration on those grounds should also be against babies. One immigrant adds one worker but also one consumer. It evens out.

Much less am I claiming membership of that odious clique of right-wing "thinkers" who feel Europe has to protect its "Judaeo-Christian heritage". What makes Western Europe unique is Secularism: the idea that a personal freedom
of religion requires that the public sphere be free from religion. Secularism needs protecting from all religion: as much from American evangelical pastors as from Iranian mullahs. That Secularism was invented here is merely because during Enlightenment, Christian theologians were convinced that God would ultimately be proven by science and reason, thus leaving the path to real enlightenment wide open. Elevating Judaeo-Christianity to a special status on those grounds is merely praising them for digging their own grave.

All I was hoping to argue was that there is a difference between being settled in a country and moving there. People who come to these shores do not just choose to leave where they came from, but also make a positive choice where precisely they want to go. And at that point you can just as well say: welcome to the club, but we expect you not to try changing how it works. It's your choice to join. That's not something you can do with people who are already here. The moment you let someone in is the least morally problematic moment to take that step.

Declaration of Understanding

I hereby declare that…

…I understand and accept that <insert country here> is a pluralist secular state in which people of all creeds and none live peacefully together and in which the Constitution and the laws are made equally to benefit all citizens of <insert country here> and its allies, regardless of gender identity, ethnicity, creed, age or ability.

…by taking up residence in <insert country here> or remaining there, I understand and embrace the fact that the Constitution and Laws, in their entirety, take absolute primacy over any religion or personal world-view I may hold, as only this protects me equally from having to live under the rules of another religion.

…I understand that this country has a democratic process by which I can question or propose laws by convincing my fellow citizens and their representatives through polite discourse and debate.

…I understand and accept that the pluralist secular nature of <insert country here> means that supernatural or religious beliefs are not acceptable support for questioning or proposing laws and that acceptable arguments are to be rooted in reality, morality, logic and the ultimate benefit of all citizens of <insert country here> and its allies.

…I accept that living in a pluralist secular state entails mixing with people who behave in a manner that I never would, and I accept that I shall not take offence at this when none is intended, as I will not seek intentionally to offend those whose world-view differs from mine. I understand and accept that taking offence where none is intended is a form of aggression equivalent to intentionally seeking to offend.

…(check one)
[] I preferred specifically to take up residency here even though I could have stayed where I was or gone elsewhere. By moving here as a new citizen I furthermore understand and accept that sensibilities different from mine may prevail and that I might need to get used to things that would not have occurred in the country I came from.
[] I prefer to remain here even though I am entirely free to go elsewhere.


Wednesday 13 January 2016