Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation

Tony Blair just launched The Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Check out Blair’s speech for the launch.

"Let me describe the reason for this Foundation. The world is
undergoing tumultuous change. Globalization, underpinned by technology,
is driving much of it, breaking down boundaries, altering the
composition of whole communities, even countries and creating
circumstances in which new challenges arise that can only be met
effectively together. Interdependence is now the recognised human
condition.

"So, the characteristic of today’s world is change. The consequence
is a world opening up, and becoming interdependent. The conclusion is
that we make sense of this interdependence through peaceful
co-existence and working together to resolve common challenges.

"In turn, this requires an attitude, a state of mind, an emotional as
well as an intellectual response consistent with this conclusion. A
sentiment that we are members of a global community as well as
individual nations means we must be global citizens as well as citizens
of our own country.

"All this sounds impossibly idealistic. 

"But if the analysis of the nature of the world is as I set out, then
it is in fact the only practical way to organise our affairs. Idealism
becomes the new realism." [read more]

Yep. Sounds very idealistic indeed. But the overall intention sounds very worthwhile.

"…we will help organisations whose object is to counter extremism and
promote reconciliation in matters of religious faith. Though there is
much focus, understandably, on extremism associated with the perversion
of the proper faith of Islam, there are elements of extremism in every
major faith. It is important where people of good faith combat such
extremism, that they are supported."

Personally, I resonate more with Sam Harris’ (yet to launch) Reason Project and the Dalai Lamas notion of secularism.  But that’s just me, since I prefer scientific knowledge and secular morality and ethics over religious faith and beliefs.

However, from a global perspective, I think that the Blair approach at
uniting would be more effective in connecting with people across
faiths. I see this as similar to E.O. Wilson’s strategy of connecting with people of faith.

Then again, connecting with different faiths is one thing, getting them to act together in unison is another.

I wish The Tony Blair Foundation well. In the meantime, check out Blair’s lecture on faith and globalization.

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