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Sunday, 28 February 2016

Is it Possible to be Non-Religious and be a Conservative?

Author:Robert Finn @Robertfinn12

Somewhere, either on a YouTube video or in an article of his, the great Peter Hitchens states that, for him, it is impossible to be a non-religious conservative. Is it possible for someone as intelligent and wise as Peter Hitchens to be wrong on this point? Sadly yes- I say sadly, for I do respect the man.

Historically speaking, some of the greatest conservatives were nonreligious or atheists: the former includes Sir Winston Churchill, William Pitt the Younger, and Alexis de Tocqueville, the latter Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Edward Gibbon, Lord Macaulay, and Thomas Hobbes. Therefore, I believe it is historically ignorant to state that all conservatives are religious.

Likewise, ever since the Age of Enlightenment, and especially since Immanuel Kant’s damning destruction of any proofs for the existence of God in his 1781 Critique of Pure Reason, I think it foolish to defend one's political convictions on religious precepts.

The only reasonable way in which one can prove his or her political convictions is either in pure, objective facts or by the past. History has shown time and time again the anarchy, the tyranny, and the superfluous loss of life if a nation’s polity does not follow the norms and traditions which the centuries have passed down onto it. Essentially, take Burke, strip him of Christianity, and one finds arguments which have stood the test of time which do not need to rely on religion.