How could scientism be religious, though, without some scripture recited in holy places, causing knees to bow in reverence for the revealed Word of the Almighty? Where is the so-called secularist’s holy book of divine wisdom, if so-called secularists really are closet religionists? My answer: the verses of scientism’s scripture are repeated hourly on the mountain tops of television and radio airtime; they're the politically correct slogans, the spin-doctored and market-tested rhetoric, and the instrumental talking points for the Pavlovian training of human cattle. Were that scripture confined to a single book, its title might be Political Correctness: Sacred Verses for Spellbinding Consumers; instead, scientism uses modern technology to piggyback its messages on those of popular entertainments so that you hear them even when you think you don’t. Remember that scientism is a paradoxical faith, a religion that pretends to be opposed to all religious follies. Just as an oligarchy can disguise itself as a democratic republic, pagan worship of nature can disguise itself as scientific rationalism and as postreligious humanism. To see the religious aspect of so-called secular society, you have to step back from it and ask yourself whether there’s any reason to believe that our innate tribalism and creative urge to speculate, which are primary causes of religion, were shut down by modern forces of progress. Sure, in the name of that progress, the old gods of supernatural monotheism were dethroned and the perennial religious philosophies of mystics were ignored or ridiculed, but since religions are found in all times and places occupied by human beings, due to innate causes within us, we should expect that modern naturalists deify whatever’s left to replace the outmoded objects of worship.
Taboo and the Sacred
What is political correctness? Officially, politically correct speech and attitudes are conventions that respect social discoveries, such as the existence of civil rights due to the equality of humans as free, rational persons. It’s merely good manners in the face of the facts to tell the truth, for example, about the dignity of the poor and the rich alike. The social discoveries are like mathematically necessary truths, and the student can just tick the appropriate boxes in the Quiz of Life, thanks to regular tutoring from the authorities, such as politicians, pundits, celebrities--indeed, virtually anyone performing her public function (her job) and certainly anyone on mainstream media. Your private thoughts are more or less your own, but there are rules for public behaviour, besides those recognized in courts of law, and the penalty for disobeying them is to be shunned or ostracized.