Mijn 'viering' van Wereldhumanismedag

Ik breng vandaag in herinnering dat op 9 september 2008 de afgevaardigde David G. LITTMAN namens de ASSOCIATION FOR WORLD EDUCATION & INTERNATIONAL HUMANIST AND ETHICAL UNION tijdens de 9e bijeenkomst van de UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL die werd gehouden in Geneve van 8–26 september 2008 bij de behandeling van het “Annual Report of the UN Commissioner for Human Rights and Reports of the OHCHR” een gezamenlijke verklaring uitbracht waarin er bij de Raad op werd aangedrongen prioriteit te geven aan vrijheid van meningsuiting boven wettelijke eisen van staten om zich te houden aan de wetten van God. Het gedeelte waarin Spinoza nadrukkelijk werd aangehaald (ca 25% van de hele tekst) haal ik naar dit blog:

350 years ago, Spinoza attempted to substitute the concept of secular law for the 17th century European notions of the Deity as the source of law. On the triumph of the ‘sectarians’ – a term covering religious fundamentalists of all stripes – he was explicit. I quote:

inasmuch as concessions have been made to their animosity, […] they have gained state sanction for the doctrines of which they are the interpreters. Hence they arrogate to themselves state authority and rights, and do not scruple to assert that they have been directly chosen by God and that their laws are Divine, whereas the laws of the state are human and should therefore yield obedience to the laws of God — in other words, to their own laws.”

He concluded, and I quote “… in a free state every man may think what he likes and say what he thinks.”

And: “I have thus shown […] That it is impossible to deprive men of the liberty of saying what they think.” **

Mr President, we urge all participants at this Council to consider carefully the relevance of Spinoza’s words today.
Thank you, Sir.

** Conclusion of the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, 1670, by Baruch/Benedict de Spinoza, The Works of Spinoza, R.H.M. Elwes, I, chapter XX, pp. 257–66, New York: Dover, 1955]

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