The Dangers of Spiritualising Social Justice

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Social justice has become a new religion for many people. Its tenets are based on faith, not reason; on emotion, not evidence. Its followers believe in Original Sin (the belief that all humans are born evil and must be saved by the grace of their chosen saviour), and they view the world through the lens of Oppression and Privilege (which posits that all social ills can be traced back to an unjust power structure).

 

This new religion has its clerics (academics, writers, and activists), its scripture (books like bell hooks’ Feminism is for Everybody and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me), and its places of worship (like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter protests). It also has its heresy: any attempt to question the orthodoxy is immediately labelled “hate speech” or “ bigotry.”

 

According to the new religion, social justice is the only way to combat Original Sin. That is why its followers are so passionate about promoting “equality” and “inclusion.” They believe that if everyone just embraced these ideals, all of the world’s problems would be solved.

 

The problem with this new religion is that it is based on a false understanding of human nature. It assumes that people are born good and that society makes them bad. This is not true. Humans are flawed creatures, capable of great evil and great good. The only way to build a just and prosperous society is to recognise this fact and design institutions accordingly.

 

This new religion is dangerous because it relies on emotional appeals instead of reason. It demonises those who disagree with it and threatens to tear our society apart. We must be careful not to let social justice become a new religion.

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In UCL’s case, it would be more accurate to say that the students are protesting the decision of University College London to stop subsidising Stonewall, an LGBTQ charity, to audit the institution’s compliance with laws on diversity. The university decided it was no longer worth paying for the service since it felt it was already in compliance with the law.

 

The students’ reaction reveals much about how social justice has become a new religion. They don’t care about the situation’s facts; they see that UCL is no longer giving money to an organisation they believe in. To them, this proves the university’s lack of commitment to LGBTQ rights.

 

This new religion is dangerous because it relies on emotional appeals instead of reason. It demonises those who disagree with it and threatens to tear our society apart. We must be careful not to let social justice become a new religion.

 

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Why? Let us know in the comments.

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