From the Meet the Author Forum
On September 16, 2022, the Fifth Principle Project sponsored a Meet the Author forum with David Cycleback author the of recently published book Against Illiberalism: A critique of illiberal trends in liberal institutions, with a focus on Unitarian Universalism. We have provided below David’s opening comments from that forum.
About Against Illiberalism
This book examines recent illiberal trends in traditionally liberal American institutions. It focuses on Unitarian Universalism, a historically liberal church whose national leadership has adopted an extreme authoritarian version of anti-racism as a “theological mandate,” causing strife and division.
Inequalities, unfairness, and prejudices are problems in all societies throughout human history. Stereotyping, unconscious bias, and tribalism are innate in human psychology and society. There is no single or objectively correct answer to addressing disparities. There is also no single or objectively correct way to organize societies, communities, and organizations.
While the various racial injustice models offer important insights into race and society, the author believes in classical liberalism, freedom of speech, and the free exchange of ideas, things that many extreme social justice movements and activists groups oppose. Freedom of speech and expression and the respectful exchange of ideas inherently support diversity and multiculturalism. Illiberalism, dogmatism, censorship, and authoritarianism are oppressive of all groups, minority and majority, and should be rejected wherever they appear.
As there are no simple or objective answers, this book encourages discussion. The most intolerable aspect of recent illiberal trends, and a key reason for the author writing this book, are the attempts to suppress the open exchange of ideas.
About the Author
David Cycleback, PH.D. is Director of the Center for Artifact Studies and a member of the British Royal Institute of Philosophy. He is the author of ten university textbooks in cognitive science and philosophy, including Cognitive Science of Religion and Belief Systems, Nature Limits of Human Knowledge, and Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence.
Two Important Things
Join the Fifth Principle Project. It’s free. The Fifth Principle Project is an organic grassroots initiative to gather into community Unitarian Universalists who want to reinvigorate the right of conscience and renew the democratic process in the governing of our denomination.
Subscribe to Comments
Subscribe to comments to follow the comments from other readers.