AAI Copenhagen 2010: Roy W. Brown - Religious Influence in Europe [1/5]





The interactive transcript could not be loaded.



Rating is available when the video has been rented.
This feature is not available right now. Please try again later.
Published on Aug 9, 2010

Religious Influence in Europe

The history of Europe is the history of a long struggle by ordinary people to free themselves from oppression -- oppression by their rulers and by religion. The Church fought the ideas of the Enlightenment -- the ideas of equality, democracy and human rights -- every step of the way. Yet despite this baleful history of religious influence, and despite great leaps in our scientific knowledge, the power and influence of religion seem to be increasing.

Part of the reason is money, and money equals influence; part lies in our history, in our belief that religion is, on the whole, a force for good; and part lies in the privileges that have been historically accorded to religion. Brown examines the anomalous position of the Holy See in international affairs, and the role of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in promoting Islamism, and its zero tolerance approach to any perceived insult to Islam.

Europe is facing immense demographic changes brought about by increasing population pressure in the developing world and differential birth rates in Europe, and many people are worried about what this will mean for European culture and values. Brown argues for a number of steps aimed at reducing the potential for conflict: to stop making special concessions to religions, and to promote state neutrality towards religion and belief as a step towards the complete separation of religion and state.

Finally, Brown examines the need for improved policies in education, with greater emphasis on the teaching of critical thinking; the history of our struggles against tyranny; science for the non-scientist; and an ethics based on our shared humanity.

About Roy W. Brown:

Roy W. Brown is is a British-born Humanist and human rights activist. He was president of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) from 2003 to 2006 and he is the Main Representative for the IHEU at the United Nations, Geneva.


to add this to Watch Later

Add to

Loading playlists...