A few days before Christmas, Emmanuel Macron preaches his kind words. In a text published in ExpressEntitled “Re-Magic of the World”, the President of the Republic presented the details of his vision of linking science and religion. ” I firmly believe that there can be continuity between God, science, religion and reason Defends the president who rejects both” Relativity “Conversely,” frenzied situation ».
Kind of “at the same time” even with regard to the religious question? Trying to seduce believers? Philosopher Isabel de McNeim, Member of the Council of Secular Elders* for National Education, Deschvers L. Marian Chairman text.
Marian: What have you retained from the philosophy developed by Emmanuel Macron in this text on Science and Religion?
Isabelle Meckinem: As President of the Republic, he said what he believed in shocked me. It is as if he is expressing his faith. This also refers to the personality of a very contemporary individual who identifies with core beliefs. There is a process of self-presentation of an identity character, which you cannot fail to question.
that by saying?
Feeling obligated to publicly insist on “what he believes” made me think of Nicolas Sarkozy when he mentioned the need for human “hope”. Emmanuel Macron is more careful when talking about transcendence, but by sharing “what he believes in,” he seeks to appear authentic, equal to the value of truth and, above all, the supreme moral value of hypermodern individualism. He bets that this authenticity will generate adhesion by identification.
Emmanuel Macron begins his text by praising the flag. “ Humanity, undoubtedly, did not need to know much he is writing. What do you think of the vision of science the president is developing?
First, he evokes “science” but no one talks about “science” anymore. There is rationality, but “some” science, and completely different systems of proof. Evidence in medicine is different from evidence in physics. Condorcet spoke of “facts,” and he always put this word in the plural. In addition, Emmanuel Macron opposes frenzied positivism. But when he asserts that all innovations are based on science, that is precisely a very positive statement. It is also a very utilitarian conception of science to wonder to what extent scientific discoveries will turn into innovations, which are profitable in the economic sense of the term.
Then Emmanuel Macron confirms this « God and science do not contradict because belief in one was historically in line with the development of the other »…
For me, this is an example of a fallacy, and more precisely of a genealogical fallacy. Emmanuel Macron confuses the origin of science with the nature of science. Saying that modern science could have been born in contexts or civilizations in which religion was dominant brings us back to the origin of science.
Today the context is different. France is the most secular country in Europe in a group of countries that are themselves highly secular. Emmanuel Macron forgets to say that science has independent standards. If we don’t acknowledge it, there is a real risk of confusion. The head of state cultivates a kind of porosity. Standards of scientific truth are now completely independent, and even when a scientist has religious beliefs, it makes a difference. It would be welcome if politicians got a solid scientific training because political decisions involve more and more scientific concepts and capabilities.
Emmanuel Macron confuses the origin of science with the nature of science. ”
A nation can be « Rational without limits and firm spirituality » As Emmanuel Macron says?
The spiritual category is much broader than the religious category. From now on we sometimes speak of secular spirituality. I admit that this is not my cup of tea because I have a rational perception of secularism. However, Abd al-Nur Bidar, for example, presents himself as a philosopher and thus practices a rationalist approach, but also claims to be a believer and part of the occult.
This overlaps with one of the diagnoses behind Emmanuel Macron’s view. Like Nicolas Sarkozy, he suggests that there is a need for a spirituality that is almost rooted in human nature. Besides, the title of the text is “Re-Magic of the World”. Emmanuel Macron expresses himself here as a miraculous king with the miraculous power of healing. Like Marcel Jochet, he recognized that there was a “French misfortune”, and in times of epidemic, he wanted in this interview to use a healing word that heals the wounds of the French. But I don’t know if a politician’s job is to “re-enchant the world” and keep the word supernatural.
However, isn’t Emmanuel Macron right in suggesting that without a spiritual dimension, the nation can hardly find its balance? That is the whole question that revolves around Houellebecq’s work.
The need for collective transcendence on a political scale, yes, that is his job, to speak like Max Weber. Except that by relying on transcendence very close to religious rhetoric, Emmanuel Macron returns to porosity. It is a political transgression that must be mentioned. However, his speech does not offer anything. He does not dare to say that the nation is the figure of political transcendence. This is what writes us down in history, gives us a great political narrative. The nation and the republic are the greatest figures of political transcendence, the fruit of the will that directs us to the future with connection to the past.
Read also: Does Emmanuel Macron believe in secularism? Latest investigation by Salomon Malka
In 2018, Emmanuel Macron spoke to the bishops at the Collège des Bernardins, a few weeks earlier he was visiting the Pope. Here he assures us that “ There may be a connection between God, science, religion and reason. Do you have a feeling that the president is trying to seduce believers?
I give it a more general scope. It addresses the French people in all their diversity. He is well aware that a politician needs some kind of breath, almost prophetic. I would rather say, therefore, that he borrows something from believers and attributes it to political discourse. When Emmanuel Macron asserts that there is a breakdown of confidence in the scientific discourse and that he will refinance research and refocus the school, it is a very pragmatic discourse by a politician who offers solutions to address problems. But he knows very well that political discourse can only continue by standards of this kind, hence this call to transcendence.
The nation and the republic are the greatest figures of political elevation. ”
By praising science and tempting religions, doesn’t Emmanuel Macron practice the art of ‘at the same time’ » ?
It’s tempting to read it that way. The presidential office may not be divided. It is “at the same time” cohesion but we can find a community of citizens on bases other than that.
What do you think of his interpretation of the 1905 law and of Aristide Briand’s approach?
It is a liberal interpretation. However, there are readers of the law who say that it is not a liberal law. One might ask Catholic Church historians how ecclesiastical leaders at the time experienced the arrival of the law. Perhaps it was not the law of “reconciliation” from this point of view. It is a law that deprived the Catholic Church of its temporal authority. Putting the law in the light of reconciling religious freedoms with the impartiality of the public sphere means setting aside the sovereignty of freedom of conscience. Freedom of conscience is much more than freedom of religion.
Between his push, during the presidential campaign, against supporters of a « vengeful secularism »His speech on Moreau against separatism and this text is difficult to see clearly what Emmanuel Macron thinks of secularism.
In fact, I thought that with this text he would finally clarify his concept. But he remained a hint and was very cautious about it. He could at least remember that secularism is a constitutional norm. Here a point of union among citizens is to make clear that secularism is not a dogma, but a constitutional norm that changes the situation.
*Isabelle de Macinem speaks on her behalf.
Read also: Training government officials on secularism: ‘There is a shortage’
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