In the past, heretics were people who openly contradicted the dogmas of religions. At best, they were exiled from society. And we know what the worst was. Today, we still have heretics. These are the people who openly contradict the dogmas of society in general. They challenge the conventional wisdom. They say, for example, that the human population is out of control, and that human behaviour is out of control. Specifically, the claim that the relentless push for “material progress” – in other words, economic growth – is totally incompatible with a finite planet. And they add that technology is not the solution. Indeed, in the wrong hands, technology is part of the problem. It clearly should not be in the hands
I have lost count at the number of times I have been stopped or overruled at meetings and conferences when I tried to start a discussion about the dangers of economic growth and overpopulation. The mood is changing, but it is very late in the day. People are very slow to wake up, and just as slow to change. Children in many countries are, at long last, demanding action, but we can reasonably sure that, as always, any action will be too little and too late. We are told, by just about every scientist alive today, that we have, at most, 5 years to fundamentally reverse the behaviours and policies that are causing global warming and destruction of the biosphere. So, what do policy-makers do? They set targets for 2030 and 2050!!
The more I think about heresy, the happier I am that I live in a remote part of the world. If I were to rejoin the big debates, it would be only a matter of minutes before I was discovered, and re-exiled! In any event, what are the heresies these days. Am I allowed, for example, to state my strong belief that Islam is a terrible religion? Can I say in public that the militant atheism of Dawkins and others is creating a huge spiritual vacuum, for which we will pay a high price? As for “equality” and “diversity”, I hardly know where to begin. We all know what happened when dictators tried to impose equality in China and the Soviet Union last century. I led to the death of millions and to the repression of basic human freedoms. As for “diversity”, I cringe each time I hear it, because the word has been twisted to mean just a few things connected to colour, race, gender, and belief. For me, the word still means what it originally meant – varied. I like a diversity of food, a diversity of places, a diversity of activities, a diversity of wines, a diversity of ideas and opinions, as well as diversity of people!
Can you think of any current heresies? The list is alarmingly long.