The conviction that tyranny and persecution are aberrations in human affairs is at the heart of the liberal philosophy that prevails today. But this conviction is supported by faith more than evidence.
Bollocks. The heart of the liberal philosophy that prevails today is that it is relatively easy to ignore persecution so long as you aren’t the one being persecuted, and tyranny is relatively easy for the one who holds the power to be the tyrant.
The liberal philosophy of today is that human affairs are fundamentally malleable, and can cover a wide range of possibilities – therefore we have to work hard to make sure that it is the possibilities that get realized are the ones that we most want to live with.
This is the central core to the concept of privilege and the main reason liberals tend to oppose too much power being concentrated in too few hands, whether that be via dictatorship or the economic hegemony of major corporations.
It is also the central core to the value of education and access to reasonably accurate information. From a liberal perspective the more people have power the harder it is for a tyranny to form, as more people have the ability to oppose it.
Knowledge is power, and it is religion that tends to consider ignorance to be the same as innocence. Adam and Eve were rendered sinful because they ate of the tree of knowledge.
Liberalism tends to associate ignorance more with racism, sexism, homophobia and various forms of xenophobia.
For religion ignorance is bliss, for liberals ignorance is fear.
From a “New Atheist” perspective, the core issue with religion is that it gives a small group of people in the form of clerics unearned authority, with which they can devolve towards tyranny and thus harming other people. Religion is not the root of all evil, but it is an enabling factor for much of it.
And one must further note it is not the nature of a tyrant to simply gain power, but also to deny it to others. Arguments which center around controlling the masses “to maintain order” or some sort of ill-defined “social good” are generally about depriving the masses of their power, and thus enabling the tyrant presenting the arguments.
We have to be exceptionally careful with the power we grant, because we know that it is within ourselves to misuse it.
Tyranny and persecution are not aberrations within the heart of human affairs, from the liberal perspective they’re the status quo – hence the need to be liberals.