Ever since I could remember, the concept of separation of church (religious affairs)) and state (secular affairs) , has always been the operative construct of the relationship of the two most powerful institutions that govern man. This has not been entirely so, because from the very beginning of their respective inception, man's secular participation have always been colored by his religious predisposition.
Are these two truly unmixable (like oil and water) given the current status of societal and cultural skepticism?
Separate at all times-
Religion and it's philosophy is mysticism gone awry.
Politics and it's philosophy was only created as a part of Altruism. It was brought on because of those who have free will which choose not to believe in a higher authority, must be forced to be accountable for their actions.
BOTH were brought on based on the pre-conceived notion that if humanity isn't made/forced to answer to a higher authority, then chaos would ensue.
Since our current governmental (secular) structures( most of which are firmly grounded in Judeo-Christian principles of governance) have passed and survived the test of time, your statement about the "mysticism gone awry" is pure nonsense.
Pre-conceived(?). In terms of governing man, there is no such thing as preconceived. Man has to be governed, one way or the other and it was their idea to begin with for such governance to apply to them ( be it material or spiritual) and the notion of man being "forced" to answer to a higher authority is again another nonsense.
Whether you consider them "mixable" depends on what society presides in what country. If you have a group of homogeneous people (people who are the same), then their views of religion can become an effective governing device. Japan, for instance, has a unitary political system which is effective because they are not as diverse as America.
In the US, religion and politics cannot match. This is because there is a wide variety of people who believe in different religions, and even people who don't believe in religion at all. If the system doesn't represent all of them, then the system doesn't work. But say in certain areas in the middle east, a theocratic system has helped them organize better than democracies.
@mortimer".......in certain areas in the middle east, a theocratic system has helped them organize better than democracies."
The statement is only true if the governing theocracies that you are referring to serves the general well being of the people. No matter how effectively organized a theocratic government is, if it only serves the purpose of those that are running that government , then it is no better than say a dictatorship, or a monarchy, or feudalism.
However flawed a democratic form of government is, it is still preferrable because it is based on the concept of "mutual/reciprocal consent".
Since religion and politics are both man made, they need to be seperate. We don't need politicians who stiffle progress because of their personal religious belief such as gay marrfiage, stem cell research, etc.
Would you list abortion under the heading of progress?
The meaning of marriage have been necessarily reset or revised because of current societal and cultural realities. So long as gay marriage does not lead to secular/spiritual devolution, then I suppose it will be in humanity's future.
Ethical/Moral considerations, should always guide our decissions to use research as a venue for the advancement of human dignity, be it in the field of medicine, arts, politics, entertainment, and business.
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