Dealing with Humanism – II

The mariner knows in his heart that every reader read the full length of the last post, Secular Humanism – I. If, unbelievably, one did not, one missed a fine response to secular humanists using Christian arguments. The mariner, himself a free thinker of sorts, has issues with secularism. What is noticed immediately is their intense desire to disown God. Methinks they shout too loudly. The mariner understands this position; He also read other sources that spoke to the deficiency of secularism. The secularists desire to live in a natural state as an inseparable part of a finite reality that requires no mysticism and, it may be added, no ownership.

A second observation is that secularists believe in being nice to others, nature, and the cosmos. Being nice is the end of it. There is no challenge to be more devout than one may be or to enlist spiritual power by leading a cause. Spiritual, in this case, means human behavior, not God’s influence. True, there are some who take responsibility to counter abusive behavior to nature by the industrialists and entrepreneurs. However, each secularist is left to their own perceptions about responsibility or even the definition of abuse. The short of it is there is no central mandate for secularists. The Bible is a good example of a mandate; the US Constitution is a good example of a mandate. One special mandate is practiced among secular humanists who mandate that all creation is at the service of the human being; humans have the highest value. To the mariner, that position sounds vaguely similar to the position of the Holy Roman Catholic Church at the time of Galileo. That seems to lead to absolute abuse if the humanist is so inclined.

The struggle had when dealing with secularists is their right to individual freedom, which means there is no desire to surrender to a superior authority that can unify thought, mores and objectives. Where would charitable organizations be, or even governments beyond the most minimal interpretations? One of the responses to the last post was to invoke the United Nations. Already the UN has documented fairness and equality for all humans. The UN has hundreds of projects in critical spots of the world. What it doesn’t have is the authority to invoke its policies. The top twenty nations have seen to that. If a nation were one person, it would be a secularist. The holistic approach to reality is a good feature of secularists.

Their awareness of the grand scheme of things provides an understanding about the planet and an awareness of the orderliness of nature. The secularist’s preference for scientific reality is a sound approach. What is missing, to paraphrase an old friend, is a demand for love. In Christianity, it’s the first Great Commandment; in Buddhism, it’s matrī, a Sanskrit word meaning loving kindness; love in Sikhism is the premier quality among five commandments in the Gurbani (Bible). Other qualities include Truth, Contentment, Compassion, and Humility. Even in ancient Persian mythology, Mihr was the spirit of love. The point is that the belief that there is no god, and therefore there is no accountability to spirituality, is the point of failure in secularism.

The lack of an accountability to love beyond one’s self leads to a self-centered life and the vague path of situational ethics, where no rule but pragmatism prevails. Is there a God? It can’t be proven. What can be proven is that if one believes in the presence of spirituality and a feeling of responding to that spirituality, wherever it comes from, one has a fuller and more rewarding life.

One thought on “Dealing with Humanism – II

  1. I agree with your comments on secular humanism. I have always felt that, while these people can be decent, good people, their belief system is awfully sterile. Do they have hymns? How bereft of beauty our Episcopal or Methodist services would be without the wonderful hymns we sing. My wife and I attended the first Sunday in Advent service at the Episcopal Cathedral in Washington, and it was a wonderful experience. I got goosebumps as we joined our voices to sing “Lo, He comes in Clouds Descending.” To me the beauty and majesty of such a service means a great deal. I believe that secular humanists miss out on something powerful and uplifting, and I’m sorry for them.

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