There are seventeen articles to the second edition of the Humanist manifesto published in 1973; and it embodies in a hard form; what is the default ‘religion’ of the western world; a more modern version published in 2003; which are the results (with the first) of international gatherings of Humanists from around the world. Christians have not as of yet – separated themselves – from this epicurean religion; nor developed a sustained critique of it. This article is an excursion in that direction. I will quote from aspects of the 17 articles – not all of them, before offering a criticism from a Christian perspective.
‘We believe, however, that traditional dogmatic or authoritarian religions that place revelation, God, ritual, or creed above human needs and experience do a disservice to the human species. Any account of nature should pass the tests of scientific evidence; in our judgment, the dogmas and myths of traditional religions do not do so.’
My criticism here is obviously the fallacy of stating that Christianity is simply and solely an account of nature; it is not! Christianity serves as the overarching narrative that allows the full variety and types of human experience, to cohere. The human experience is not reducible to merely physical properties or explanations. Science has no ability to describe ‘meaning’, ‘value’ or ‘ethical conduct’; these are simply discourses outside of the vocabulary of science; and yet are real things – to human experience. They are supernatural; in that they sit above the natural world; as mind, sits above brain. They may well be emergent properties of it, and science may describe the ‘how’ of their operation; but it can not explain why should aim our lives at x rather than y. It for instance can not explain, how much our mothers love means to us! Yet these are in nature human experiences. The humanists are thus abusing science, ascribing to it – powers of description that it does not actually posses.
I want to try and strong arm the Humanist manifesto here, as it is unclear; how it defines ‘human needs’ and ‘experiences’; by saying that it must be referring to religions that place the x (as listed in the manifesto) above the wellbeing of humans. I think it fair to say, that in some ways this is a valid criticism; when for instances, the Church obsesses over the sacraments, whilst not addressing the other real needs of Christians – it neglects a key part of its ‘life’ as the loci of organisation for the people of GOD. We see this in the Church of England, that at times cares more about its buildings than it does the people that go into them. We lose nothing by granting this concession; but ‘bad religion’. However, the critique belies a poor thinking about the needs of human beings – need for a greater cause; and how pressing towards that cause helps the human to grow in character, intelligence and physicality. We as Christians, reject the idea that human need; can not include man’s need for GOD – the source of His salvation. We council strongly against the idea of pursuing ‘experience’ for its own sake, as this creates a soul slavish to its passions and and inward looking; in which others, can become the means of our gratification. The Christian faith instead gives better council; one of ‘self denial’ for the benefit of the ‘neighbour’ those in need – as the pursuit of life – not our own experiences.
We assert GOD must be the centre of life both individually and communally; the manifesto assumes; that man is the centre of his own universe.
‘Even at this late date in human history, certain elementary facts based upon the critical use of scientific reason have to be restated. We find insufficient evidence for belief in the existence of a supernatural; it is either meaningless or irrelevant to the question of survival and fulfilment of the human race.’
What then of ‘humanity’ – and universal human rights, upon what is the claim ‘rights’ established; or any of the ‘value’ judgements implicit in the declaration of the humanists. We know that we can not get from a description of what ‘is’ to a moral ‘ought’; and so if the Humanists were to consistent to their proclaimed world view – they must conclude that these ‘values’ and implied ‘meaning’ are at base: ‘meaningless or irrelevant’. The very suggestion of ‘fulfilment’ would be reduced to a regular dopamine fix; which could be induced through drugs; they have reduced the purpose of life to mere survival; yet they feel the emptiness of such a meaningless and so speak of fulfilment.
There is also the awkward truth – that if religion – is merely the product of evolution; they it clearly did serve a purpose to human survival; by the fact that most humans accept a religion; the belief in a supernatural being the prevalent world; and the human mind evolving a ‘GOD spot’ for the purposes of religious experiences. Therefore, the ‘science’ would contradict strongly the assertion that religion is irrelevant to human survival, it would seem to have become a keen aspect of our survival by the fact of prevalence and the development of the human brain.
Once again – the manifesto abuses science here – in that it expects to find ‘natural reproducible and falsifiable evidence’ to that which is inherently above nature – and unfalsifiable; supernatural realities, can not be subject to scientific enquiry; they lay behind a veil. How does one reproduce a miracle of healing; to falsify it. Miracles can only be ‘witnessed” and ‘experienced’ and this is the evidence we should expect to see – and to wit we have countless examples. We find sufficient evidence that humans work in a plain that is not reducible to the mere materialistic; for instance, mathematics and the laws of logic; seem to be independent; of the chemical interactions and firing of synopsis that allow us to engage with them.
‘Some humanists believe we should reinterpret traditional religions and reinvest them with meanings appropriate to the current situation. Such redefinitions, however, often perpetuate old dependencies and escapisms; they easily become obscurantist, impeding the free use of the intellect.’
One feels the faint trait of the Marxist critique of religion in these words, ‘old dependencies and escapism’; and indeed extrinsic civil religion – is the worst kind of meaningless distraction; however, this is not real faith – for the Christian – such a thing is mere cultural Christianity. Christianity – for the Christian – is the energising principle of their entire being; the organising principle of all their activity; the metanarrative in which their whole life and its meaning sits. Thus such a description of Christianity is alien; and incongruent to an actual living Christian faith.
This is what both Marx, Nietzsche and the Humanists criticise – the fossilisation of the institutional church in other words. However, we have now seen; that without the ‘opium of the people’ the people have turned to real opium, the world view devoid of meaning purpose and belonging has lead to terrible toll in narcotic abuses; and frivolous distractions the realities of a meaningful life. Indeed, the west could be described a society of ‘bread and circuses’ in which humans fill their lives with experiences, simply to distract them from its meaningless futility.
‘As nontheists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity.’
We Christians retort; that you have made man a god; you have made a western philosophical construct your definition of man. You have turned nature into a deity; and you have no grounds for doing so. Why is the life of any man more valuable than the life of brown bear or a Blue Wale? Why should we not privilege other kinds of life over our own? How do we get from what man is to what man ought to do? When Christians begin to answer these questions – the answers are rooted in an authority that is ancient; tried and tested; reflected upon and absorbed over the millennia; guiding our interpretations of the question from one generation to the next; and building upon the previous generations answers; not plucked as it were from our minds; even it is illusory (which we do not believe it is) the illusion of authority of the myth; is what allows us to cohere as a collective. Nation states – like the USA (with its American Dream) or Russia (with its Orthodox Mother Russia) show the need for a narrative into which a society can have a sense of cohesion; when these ‘stilts’ are knocked out from underneath these narratives, society begins to break down; cohesion is replaced by friction; and when a narrative admits ‘well this is just our own fiction’ it opens up the possibility of others writing their own different fiction. Thus the humanist makes a veiled attempt to ground itself in nature – but whose interpretation of nature; the social Darwinist would give a very different understanding what nature points us towards. When a Christian starts with GOD; and an authority outside of man, the whole debate is lifted outside of ‘subjectivity’ and men have a common binding story; that must be unquestionable – for the function of coherence and solidarity to cohere. Voltaire is correct when he said: ‘if GOD did not exist – it would be necessary to invent him.’
‘But we reject those features of traditional religious morality that deny humans a full appreciation of their own potentialities and responsibilities. Traditional religions often offer solace to humans, but, as often, they inhibit humans from helping themselves or experiencing their full potentialities.’
This characterisation of religion – must not be referring to Christianity – as our Lord stated, ‘I have come that you might have life; and have it abundantly’. We Christians are encouraged to build up a ‘life affirming’ mindset; that is precisely empowered because the view of it, is from the perspective of the eternal. Our belief in the love of our creator, and the teachings of our Lord, encourage us to experience life as a gift; to cultivate love and joy in hope; three of the most life enriching attitudes to have. Christian love; and emphasis on the care of the other; embodied in teachings like the good Samaritan; direct us to help one another! Potentialities here one is being interpreted as ‘activities’ but doing things is not what enriches life, actually such a focus thins out the experiences; again the obsession with experiences, reduces life from one of meaningful purpose to a mere buffet of activities; a bucket list of things to do – before you die; which distracts the individual from contributing to the process of civilisation building. Though one must ask – from the point of view of the humanist, why build a civilisation at all?
‘No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.’
Save us from what? The assumption here is that something about us, or a particular expression of us (liberal secular humanistic)’us’ is worth saving – why this assumption at the dignity of man – apart from the fact that the Humanists; are the ones most profoundly affected by the word of Genesis ‘Male and female he created them; in the image of GOD did He make them’. Humanists are as Tom Holland suggests, goldfish, swimming in the bowl of Christianity. You have taken from Christianity, a doctrinal value, and asserted it as a universal truth; whilst cutting away at the very branch upon which you sit! Christians have no such problem, we accept the authority that tells us man has value; and man has value, because the Bible tells us so.
Also, what are we to be saved from; can you not see that our own nature is ridden with a destructive tendency; that we can some up in one word! Selfishness; we Christians ascribe to the behavioural trait, a moral measurement, we say it is ‘sin’ the ‘original sin’; to be very precise, from which all other sins emerge. This sin, is to fall short of an expected standard; a perfection; which if ever embodied would make us like gods on earth. Christians identify, that we have no way out of our own ‘selfish nature’ and are thus prisoners to it, trapped in it, and unable to save ourselves. We believe then, that GOD – in the person of the Christ Jesus, became a man, and through his act of incarnation, death and resurrection; not only saves us from supernatural consequences to our state, but transforms us in this real world, through the inspiration of the story; and our commitment to it; (a gift we believe of supernatural origin) from a selfish individual to a selfless body of believers; working to establish justice like a river and mercy like a well! To heal the sick, clothe the destitute, come to aid of widows and orphans, give food and drink to the starving; and countless other good works. This radical transformation is seen in countless examples – whilst you talk of ‘saving ourselves’ we bare the marks of a people who are being saved – and bare the fruits accordingly!
‘Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful.
These assertions made by Humanists – are just that – assertions. Where is the evidence that the belief in salvation and fear of hell are – ‘harmful’; on the contrary a number of studies show that on the contrary; belief in heaven particularly and hell; actually produces socially desirable results; in terms of academic achievement, substance use, suicide, dealing with loss and grief, cancer survival rates, crime reduction; and so on; a full list of citation will not be given in this article but here is a link to a video – that highlights the studies I am referring to and more besides.
They distract humans from present concerns, from self-actualization, and from rectifying social injustices.’
This is completely fallacious, Christians have been at the forefront of battling against poverty; lack of education, slavery; and curtailing the abuses of rulers for 2 millennia: from Nathan castigating king David, to Ambrose chastising Emperor Theodosius; to the Magna Carta; and the English civil war; the rights of Kings were seen to be curtailed. Christian charity through the ages needs know list of examples, if you dispute this idea – then you should stop reading this article; and immediately seek an education. Christians repeatedly brought slavery to end at multiple times in history;
Here is a list to that affect: Timeline of abolition of slavery and serfdom – Wikipedia which you can independently verify; if you are concerned its from Wikipedia. Please note the prominence of Christians and Christian states in the Kingdom and it became understood within the fathers; that slavery was the result of sin – which is why Christians had a propensity to fight against slavery.
We counter that – the pursuit of self actualisation is harmful and the absence of a belief in heaven and hell; has lead to incredible social injustice. Self actualisation is but the illusory focus of a human being driven by the lie that he/she is an individual; we are not – we are social animals; and our self actualisation; can not be pursued independently of the whole; nor achieved; without the acknowledgement of the existence of GOD. Indeed; the Christian story; being supernatural in focus; means it is independent – to the facts of the ground; which gives it durability to ride over the rough terrain of life’s circumstances and injustices; a durability that can not be done – with a story rooted in the self; or some temporal construct; like the nation state; as many English and British nationalists are now discovering.
Ethics is autonomous and situational needing no theological or ideological sanction. Ethics stems from human need and interest. To deny this distorts the whole basis of life.
Then please tell us first – what is a human – who qualifies to be in the club; and on what basis! Also, at what level do we define the normative needs and interests; at the individual level, the family level, or at a communal or societal level; because depending on where you draw the line; there will be winners and losers. It is not the Christian who distorts the ‘whole basis of life’ it is you – the humanist! You believe an enlightenment myth; of individual autonomy; when actually humans are social animals; and as such – their sense of ‘self’ is socially constructed; and their sense of autonomy; actually is limited to the story that they believe in; a realisation of these truths; would show the falsity of claims like ‘ethics is autonomous’ – we are constantly being manipulated by society around us; and influenced by the metanarrative that veils our perceptions of reality. These narratives often (and most certainly do contain in secular humanism) metaphysical claims akin to theological and ideological sanction. Such a conceited view of reality; draws into serious question the claim of secular humanists to ‘honest empirical enquiry into the world’. Furthermore, the statement favours, situational ethics (one imagines applied at a social level); however, we never posses all of the facts; and a course, situationally based; for a society; will give way to a utilitarian calculus; of a cost and benefit way of thinking.
I believe we Christians can offer you a better alternative. That the state; and society, should in fact see the family as the building block of society (see studies above) and that virtue, and virtue ethics, should be cultivated in the culture; as to equip each person; to act; in such a way that develops ‘character’; the focus should be on character development; not ‘social outcomes’ as the right character, will give rise to desirable social outcomes.
Human life has meaning because we create and develop our futures.
This is one of the metaphysical beliefs hinted at before; Humanists are borrowing from the scaffold of Christianity; and doing so; whilst sawing at the very scaffold upon which they sit. What ‘meaning’ does any of our lives have; in a purely materialistic universe; we do indeed go on; and we do indeed do what we must to survive; but how does this give us meaning? No you can not have it both ways (unless you admit that your position is logically incoherent) a universe of solely material reality; results in meaning – being nothing but illusory – a Faustian bargain; in which we trade ‘meaning as reality’; for the ‘power to create meaning.’ This builds on the Feuerbachian projection of humanity; in which humanity – is what the western European enlightenment projects onto him – a man like himself! This meliorism – is unwarranted; it is not a given; that man is ‘developing his future’ – when in fact; he may have walked himself over a cliff – with industrialisation! We Christians – reject the enchantment of technology – that seems so inherent in Liberal Humanisn; and say that we must not become slaves to technological advancement; simply allowing it because we can; but rather should adopt a more considered approach to scientific advancement; considering always its impacts on the family; religious belief, virtue; and nature; that we create our futures from our meaning; not derive our meaning – from the creation of our futures!
Reason should be balanced with compassion and empathy and the whole person fulfilled.
Why do you emphasise these values – over say competition and self preservation? You do so, because your souls are soaked in the heritage of the Christian faith you rage against so much. You are as the Historian Tom Holland put it – gold fish in a Christian bowl. We join with you – that compassion and empathy should be emphasised, and we should should avoid the ‘tyranny of reason’ – as Alexis de Toqueville; and Charles Taylor observed – that instrumental reason; leads to a soft despotism; as we have already seen emerge in Canada under Trudeau; and is emerging in a far harder form in China’s ‘social credit system’; an emerging technocratic dictatorship; made possible only through rationalisation. However, we go further, we agree with out Lord, whose socio-political-economic critique, of all humanly created problems; is the most devastating of all, and remains totally unanswered; that at base; all our socio-economic and political problems arise, due to a shortage of love!
Thus, we are not advocating the use of scientific intelligence independent of or in opposition to emotion, for we believe in the cultivation of feeling and love.
Again. apart from being soaked in the Christian world view – why do you emphasise love so much! Why not the ‘cultivation of power’ after all, that is by far more rational; love leads us to the sacrifice of the self for the benefit of the other, where as, power at least agrees with natures impulse to the survival of the fittest. You rage against Christianity; whilst maintaining so much of what you have borrowed from it; at this point is it not true as Reverend Glen Scrivener observed in his debate with renowned atheist Matt Dillahunty that; humanism is just Christianity light!
However, we must correct you again; because you miscategorise love; love is an action; a selfless action for the benefit of others; embodied in the lives of our saints; and exemplified by the great martyr himself our Lord Jesus Christ. Love is not an emotion; it is a habit of action; an enlivening principle; a way of being – whose opposite is fear (which is an outlook); what you think of as ‘love’; are we would call: are sentiments, attachments, familiarities; and comforts; when we use the word love here, let us be clear, we are not speaking of the same thing. Christians are thinking of something altogether more glorious; more animating and more powerful than emotions; but a divine principle; indeed the very being of GOD Himself – who is love.
The preciousness and dignity of the individual person is a central humanist value. Individuals should be encouraged to realize their own creative talents and desires. We reject all religious, ideological, or moral codes that denigrate the individual, suppress freedom, dull intellect, dehumanize personality.
The central value of the humanist cause does not exist. We contend that the ‘self’ is born of family, society, education; and other forms of influence; ideas that the human interacts with, such as their peers, and all other facets of society; form and mould the individual. Against such weight; and all encompassing influence; the individual self; is a construct of these influences. A navigation of these pressures.
The individual as if oft proven by countless examples; is not always the best judge of their own interest. Human beings are subject to powerful passions; hunger, sex, fear, love; the need to survive; and to oft weak in the face of addictions; such as alcohol; nicotine; prone to poor; and thus will make irrational and harmful decisions to both them and the world around them. Their natural selfishness; permeates and penetrates every part of their life; and as such; humans, need others, to help live life well. The point should not be to surrender to these passions; but to seek to master them; through virtue, strengthened by the resolve and pressure of family and community. Therefore individual autonomy; should concede some ground; to family; and in the best way; church elders. We contend that when the family is healthy – the individuals in the family are healthy. The faults found in families – are not a sufficient objection to the argument; that the family, when properly supported by the state; is the best environment in which a person can grow and form; to create well rounded citizens.
Individualism; is predicated; especially in the Lockian and Smithian view; with economic competition; whilst this economic system; has certainly lifted huge numbers out of poverty and starvation; and has combined perfectly with technological development; it is possible to imagine a world, in which technological development is decoupled from competition and is used to strengthen the family and local community; rather than continuing the feed back loop of individualism; in which the individual is increasingly isolated by the technology he surrounds himself with. The environmental cost is now patently too high; and one of the ways to reduce our impact; is to enjoy technology more communally; such as the family watching TV together, rather than having multiple TVs; a family sharing a car; rather, than each person having their own.
Their Individual choice; as you presuppose it does not exist; the conscious mind; does not make choices; but rather the deeper recesses of the mind; are our choice making faculty; that are imperceptibly pre-cognoscente. Experiments carried out by Dr Benjamin Libet; Dr Chong Siong Soon and Dr Ian McGilchrist – point to the fact; that our conscious ‘self’ do not make choices as we ‘think’ they do. The truth appears to be, that the more immediate the choice; and the more necessary a fast choice is needed; the more reactionary and instinctive it is. The further the choice is away; and the less pressing; the more we have control over it. The conscious mind; appears to work like the tentacles of a squid, an explorative projection; gathering in information; which; having formed a narrative of the world; then dictates the choices we make.
If your central value is a flawed phantom; an illusion of your own creation; perhaps you should consider the Christian family (which includes the extended family);
In the area of sexuality, we believe that intolerant attitudes, often cultivated by orthodox religions and puritanical cultures, unduly repress sexual conduct. The right to birth control, abortion, and divorce should be recognized. While we do not approve of exploitive, denigrating forms of sexual expression, neither do we wish to prohibit, by law or social sanction, sexual behaviour between consenting adults.
Where then do you draw the line? You have evaporated tried and tested boundaries, establishes by thousands of years; and countless human civilisations; on an ideological principle. Our sexual urges; are the most powerful of all our urges; and therefore, if left boundless; and uncontrolled; can lead some; due to some kind of weakness; into actions that are unsavoury and unhealthy. I charge you humanists; if you are true to this article; you can place no objection on two consenting adults; who are brother and sister, practicing safe sex! Are you really now in favour of incest; and if you are not – how do you curtail this.
What is a women – consents to allowing herself to mounted by a dog; since both parties are willing; are you now in favour of bestiality! Are you therefore in favour of the porn industry?
It would seem your ‘safe’ word is ‘denigrating’ – but who are you to decide what is ‘denigrating’ for another individual; if they freely consent. If you maintain – that yes – some acts are ‘denigrating’ and therefore – you are against consensual adult incest, bestiality and pornography; and let us assume you are: then you concede; that we can indeed limit the sexual urges; based on some objective standard. We therefore ask you – on what basis do you draw the line?
We Christians object to all forms of sexual activity outside of marriage – an incredibly high standard – we readily admit; and one which many fail to meet in our modern world; and in the Church of the modern world as well. (For honesty’s sake – this author included). However, the fact that a man may not be able to prevent himself, from doing something harmful; does not mean – he is wrong to recognise its harm. We believe; that his most passionate of energies; if left to run wild – will be destructive to the social fabric. The results are telling – since the sexual revolution of the 60s; the break up of the family, the numbers murdered in genocide of abortion (numbering 10s of millions); the increased sexualisation of children; and of women; are all fruits of not recognising – how a perfectly good passion; our sexual drive can distort us and the ends we aim for in the most pernicious way.
Human beings naturally balance out during our fertile years to a 50/50 ratio; (once anti women distortions of birth rates are accounted for); thus nature indicates, that we are a monogamous species. The Fact, that the healthy family, is demonstrably the best place to raise children; is substantiated in countless research articles. Sexual diseases spread more easily in societies in which sexual promiscuity is prevalent; that sexual activity; has the primary purpose of bringing life into this world (amongst other like strengthening the bond of the couple) is also beyond sensible dispute; only the interference of technology alters this fact. That all human civilisations until our own in recent times, have recognised, and curtailed sexual energy; for the good of its social order should not be ignored; and when considers the fraying of social order, due to the break down of the family; because of the sexual revolution; we begin to see with new eyes the lessons of old.
To enhance freedom and dignity the individual must experience a full range of civil liberties in all societies. This includes freedom of speech and the press, political democracy, the legal right of opposition to governmental policies, fair judicial process, religious liberty, freedom of association, and artistic, scientific, and cultural freedom. It also includes a recognition of an individual’s right to die with dignity, euthanasia, and the right to suicide.
Here you assert ‘freedom’ like a fact; and it is a highly dubious concept at best; a person is not free – because they have a series of choices dictated to them by a meta-narrative; we Christians in keeping with out Lord’s & His apostles teachings affirm that freedom comes from the knowledge of the truth; not from ‘choices’. How is an individual ‘free’ is there choices are predetermined; as the experiments aforementioned seem to indicate. If in indeed, we are subject to the pernicious influence of advertising; and its powers of suggestion – as shown by the likes of Derran Brown; a fact we acknowledge and accept without contest. Therefore to ‘enhance freedom’ when you do not connect it to truth; results in the ‘truth we live by’ being the prison we live in. You offer no solution to this problem; as Humanists, you believe in no objective truth; and so are actually committed to enhancing ‘more pathways’ in the maze; in the prison in which we live. The individual is bombarded with information; disorientated; and existing as a human being funnelled down the paths of consumerism for the sake of the economy. This is not freedom. The naivety with which you speak about freedom and your failure to understand the general weakness of this thing you describe as the ‘individual’ means that you would hand over countless sheep to rationalised social super structures. Your errors compound then; as your narrative is not based on the truth; but upon the distortions of it; resultant from a cataclysmic religious civil war fought amongst and by Christians.
You assert a ‘must’ – but where have you plucked this ‘ought’ from – as your worldview only allows you to describe the world as it ‘is’; and you can leap from an ‘is’ to an ‘ought’ without rational inconsistency. We Christians are not committed to any one form of government – of either Church or state – and so – we are not bound to support the project of democracy – on moral grounds. The Church was alive during the time of the Roman Empire, the Islamic Caliphates, The Barbarian Kingdoms; we have lived through the nationalistic states, and their empires, and seen all of these structures fall around us. The government of our Churches; have out lived all these secular forms of government; and I am sure we Christians and our Church governments; will out live this new Liberal Democracy. We do not however, look with hatred upon all the advancements of Liberalism with equal disdain; we are won the idea the allowing a robust and enquiring press; to hold to account those in power; we believe in and have practiced for millennia – the idea of free association; except to the excommunicate – we fashioned moulded and funded the sciences; and can rightly claim it as our contribution to humanity as much as anyone else. Therefore, you do not get to be its champions; more so, we want to free you from your enslavement to the novel; to the possibility, and the technological advancement; in which the horse has lead you to the edge of precipis because of your poor husbandry of its power; the ecological cataclysm has emerged because we barrelled after technological advancement because of its promise (partially delivered upon) that our lives would become easier, happier, and more comfortable, longer and healthier. We valued creation; not as a ‘good’ in itself; as Genesis describes it, but rather, as a means to service us; its value being relative. This way of thinking was impossible before the turn to empiricism; as man was dependent upon nature; he had to respect its cycles, and knew well its power, and his dependency upon it; he feared and respected it; he was closer to it!
You have claimed that it is the ‘right’ of ‘individuals’ to commit suicide! Why? Do they own themselves, on what grounds do you make this claim. Did not their families and societies, bring them into this world and raise them; support them and build them up; give them their every opportunity! Therefore, what ‘right’ does someone have to take their ‘own life’? We Christians go further, that not absolving you of your social debt; we go further in saying, that the life you have is a gift of the creator; and it is to Him ultimately – you must pay the debt – by returning to Him, the life He gave to you, beautified by righteousness. Individual autonomy does not exist in any sense; and there is no right to suicide. We are in debt for every part of our live to society and GOD; and it is not a ‘right’ we have to cancel that debt.
We laud much of what you appeal to; for we are not unfamiliar with the humanities; indeed; they were revived by Christians; but we believe truth not freedom should govern; for the reason stated above; how we relate to the humanities in art, science, and legal rights such as the right to opposition. We also note, the seeming hypocrisy of your claim to want religious freedom; but your avowed belief; that state craft should be free from priest craft. You wish to set the boundaries of the ocean of faith; and like king Cnut – say to the ocean of truth; this far and no further; and then condemn us, for seeking to limit, the swamp of disbelief; from infesting the political organism of the realms. We see through your double talk; and do not agree to your terms.
The conditions of work, education, devotion, and play should be humanized. Alienating forces should be modified or eradicated and bureaucratic structures should be held to a minimum. People are more important than decalogues, rules, proscriptions, or regulations.
We agree; and we have the solution for you. The Christians believe in a world in which people find their vocation in this life; and we would like to see a world – in which each part of the body of Christ, is able to live out their vocation for the benefit of the whole. The church is unifying focus; into which each person brings their talents and skills; to the benefit of the whole. To do this well, the Church should be an enabler of skills and talents, only directing them to the communal good; Christians believe; that where the ‘spirit of GOD is, there is freedom’; and our own values, point to the idea of having government as close to the governed as possible; indeed, we believe in ‘service lead’ government, in which the top seeks to serve the bottom. However, the minimum proscription & guidance necessary changes from community to community and time to time. The Churches proscriptions change over time due to two factors: 1) the needs of the time that are pressing 2) increases and developments in technology and knowledge of the issue. Christians use to permit, child marriages, and yet we have abandoned such practices, precisely because our knowledge of child hood development increased; to make it unthinkable. Yet the value to care for children has always been present in the principles and teachings of our faith. Therefore; we are more adaptive than your ‘dogmatic’ minimum. The decalogue, which you hint at in this article, are not strictly commandments – but words – like good council; and we uphold all 10 as being of benefit to society.
The separation of church and state and the separation of ideology and state are imperatives.
What faux gibberish, you here in seek, in these articles, precisely to offer a framework, by which you seek to have the state governed; and public policy formulated; surely you Humanists can not be so conceited. The apostles, who sought to convert Kings and Emperors, and who refused to abscond their religious duties at the command of the Sanhedrin, as well as Christ’s command to ‘give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar’; (the answer being nothing – Caesar himself belongs to GOD) means that we Christians can never agree to this assertion. Since the settlement of the enlightenment; generations of Christians, were brainwashed into thinking that religion was only one of private morality. However, this lie has largely been thrown off by the Holy Apostolic Church Catholic; and we are rousing ourselves the haze of modernist slumber. Once more Christians are understanding that our faith must be lived out politically; and therefore, we must also apply our selves to the task of Christianising the state; the pursuit of a new Christendom. This can not be stopped; the Church will outlive your philosophy, because your philosophy, is tied to Liberal Politics; which every where is withering on the vine.
The state should encourage maximum freedom for different moral, political, religious, and social values in society.
Secular Humanism is a totally untried and untested philosophy; and secular states, often give ground to Islamists. Consider the Christians of Nigeria; who when Nigeria gained its independence in 1960; used as their strategy; against Islamisation; the idea of a neutral secular state; a strategy, that has failed to hold back Islamisation or prevent the violent persecution of Christians. Consider Turkey, whose Secular constitution is being overturned by Islamists under Erdogan as we speak. Consider France, who is desperately seeking to find way to hold back the tide of Islamisation in France; with Parisian suburbs being cleared of women’s presence, churches being burned to the ground or vandalised; regular acts of Islamist violence, leading to a permanent presence of the military on the streets. Consider with care the examples of Tower Hamlets in London; Preston, Rochdale; Birmingham; and Michigan and Dearborn USA. The truth is, Secularism, clears the way for Islamisation; and the Secular Humanist; does not the necessary ideological framework with which to refuse and object to Islamisation. The Weimar Republic – which was taken over and destroyed democratically, by the Nazis, warns us that the State should not allow maximum freedoms to every moral, religious and political outlook; that actually; as Christian political thoughts underscores, some views should be resisted by the state; like communism; Nazism, Islamisation, Trans ideology; each threat to the social order should be tackled accordingly; some more aggressively that others; but a healthy society is a garden, and it must be maintained, not allowed to grow wildly; where the weeds will be destined to
Thus we look to the development of a system of world law and a world order based upon transnational federal government. This would appreciate cultural pluralism and diversity.
Do you not see – how pushing for a global government – you actually go against your principles of as little beuaocracy and proscription as possible. We Christians wish to point you in the other direction. That government should be local, not transnational; power should be spread out as close to the people it affects. We say this – because our Bishops and Priests, are supposed to be intertwined with out lives; living with us, not distant from us, accessible, having authority over us, but living lives to close to our own; familiar with our setting and challenges; they organise our community precisely because they live in it; and know us by name; when a problem is bigger than any one groups of us, or, affects us all, the Church gathers together in councils to respond; these are in matters of religious. The Christian secular state; can then decide on how to respond to these councils statements, often finding some means of enforcing them. I believe, given the structures of the new democracy, we can apply more realistically a modal of Church government over society in the secular world, by dispersing power to the local councils; who – when they feel the need, may pool, their collective power, to create more national or international laws, depending on the size of the problem. The super structures you envision
The modals of pluralism and diversity practiced by progressives are highly questionable in their claim to be affective; on the contrary; we charge that they are sowing the seeds of a civil war across the west. We have seen industrial levels of rape in the North of England, we have seen ghettoization in France, Islamisation in America; rivalry and resentment through identity politics. Consider every civil war of recent history: Rwanda; Lebanon, Sudan, Yugoslavia; what are the common factors: different ethnicities, cultures, values, religions in competition. We have reproduced all the same ingredients in the west – competing communities, it only needs the right set of economic circumstances; into this competitive environment and we could see a civil war in the west between such factions; rivalries have flared already between groups. fights between Kurds and Turks, fights between Hindus and Muslims; increased harassment of Jews and Christians. Increased acts of terrorism. Compare this to the absence of this in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The evidence – points to the fact the monocultural societies cohere better than multicultural societies. However, we Christians want to offer you a way for society to cohere – whilst being multi-ethnic; and that is by them sharing in a common story; a common set of values and beliefs; whilst expressing those facets within their own cultural paradigm. Christians have practiced multi-culturalism; for 2000 years; we know this modal works; as it is exactly how the Church functions. We have a better way; and we invite you to join with us in adding your distinctive culture to the Church Catholic.
We thus reaffirm a commitment to the building of world community, at the same time recognizing that this commits us to some hard choices.
On what basis do you propose to build this world community, if you allow them to be different in every imaginable way; and see them as nothing but atomised individuals. We Christians – have been building a global community for two millenia; when our great and holy synods are called; Bishops come from all over the world; a Christian, can move from one Church to another, across the globe and be welcomed as a brother; this sense of belonging is even stronger in the Roman Catholic Church; where everywhere; a catholic Christian immediately finds the familiar amidst the forieghn. We have achieved, what you only dream of; and we have achieved it, precisely because we reject your philosophy of individualism; and pluralism!
What are these hard choices you hint at; you must have some idea of them, to reference them, but you do not list them? Why? Do hold for yourselves an agenda you are not willing to publish? We Christians are bold to proclaim the gospel and the Kingdom of GOD. We are clear in our statements; and no one is any doubt as to where we stand; why then do you hide, these ‘hard choices’ from the public discourse, you believe will need to be taken; is it that you can not admit to yourselves, the very hypocracies; prejudices, bigatories, and desire for power of which you are here in accused?
We believe in the peaceful adjudication of differences by international courts and by the development of the arts of negotiation and compromise. War is obsolete.
Now we know well, that your philosophy is only good for the dustbin and scrapheap of history. War is not obsolete; it is merely undesireable and best used, as a recourse of last option. Christians believe in just war, because we do not niavily believe in the essential goodness of man or nature. We accept, the fallen world for what it is; and in such a fallen world we accept the reality – that sin – at times will excite men to unjust violence; which may well need to be countered with a just use of force. The Church accepts, that GOD has given as a vocation to men, the calling of arms; and the administration of justice and the peace. These should be organised into security personal operating both nationally and internationally. Please do not misunderstanding my scathing criticism of your idealistic statements; we Christians believe in ‘peace making’; we believe in ‘reconcialiation’; and so we do aspire to the a new pax christendom; we cherish peace, and pray for it daily. We desire peace; and have fought hard in the past for the ‘peace of GOD’; and the ‘truce of GOD’. Consider, that Christians split at the Reformation in the west, and fought a horrendous civil war amongst themselves; but this war did end; because of the Christian commitment and desire to peace; a permanent peace agreed at Westphalia. Consider and compare, that Islam also split; 1400 years ago, because Muhammad never made it clear how he was to be succeeded; and Shia and Sunni have warred with one another ever since; for 1400 years. Christians are at the forefront of reconciliations and peace building; they were amongst the architects of the integration between France and Germany after WW II; the League of Nations; and the United Nations; but despite all of this – we see the utility of war in establishing justice! You speak of courts; but who but the armed man; will enforce its judgments; and what is a court; without a policing enforcement!
True peace – can only be achieved by common values, and outlook; in which the dispute can be settled by an appeal to a common authority and world view shared by both parties; for instance, the number of times Catholic states, did not go to war because of the intervention of the papacy; such as the the treaty of Tordesillas; which averted a conflict between the two countries. The pope now works for peace between Ukraine and Russia.
The world community must engage in cooperative planning concerning the use of rapidly depleting resources. The planet earth must be considered a single ecosystem. Ecological damage, resource depletion, and excessive population growth must be checked by international concord.
You fail to address the key problem that underlies this – and seek to mitigate rather than change the narrative of materialistic consumer capatalism. Christians want to offer a different narrative; one in which man sees the world; as the temple of GOD; and in which he is here to serve as priest, tending to that garden as its overseer. We need to rethink our relationship to nature entirely; and recognise, that GOD created it – it is His – and only HIs to destroy. He called it ‘good’ and thus, all of it therefore has to be seen as intrinsically good and not merely serving a function to man.
Only when we reframe ourselve in this way, will see our role, to cultivate and prune nature, rather than advance the needs of technology and industry for its own sake. Such radical reframing of normative behaviour; can only come from conversion to an authority outside of ourselve; thus – conversion to the Patriarchate of Constantinople who said these words:
For humans to cause species to become extinct and to destroy the biological diversity of God’s creation… For humans to degrade the integrity of Earth by causing changes in its climate, by stripping the Earth of its natural forests, or destroying its wetlands… For humans to injure other humans with disease, for humans to contaminate the Earth’s waters, its land, its air, and its life, with poisonous substances… These are sins.(Address at the Environmental Symposium, Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church, Santa Barbara, California, November 8, 1997)
On a societal level, would result in far quicker movement; than the uncordinated interests of free individuals, or the competing governments watered down targets and international agreements; which can not be policed; and require the ratification of countless parliaments. No faster way is there to change the course of nation; than for that nation to feel the prick of religious conscience: take for example the most recent abolition of slavery by Christians; or the success of the prophibition movement in the USA. Consider how quicckly Iran moved to a fanatical Islamist state! The truth you underestimate; is the psycological potency of the ‘conversion’ experience; to seek and make change. This powerful ‘episode’ needs an authority to direct its revolutionary power; for without it; great harm can be done.
You talk of checking population growth; and a Christian I am not against the idea of natural ways of limiting child birth; but; you speak in favour of abortion and contraception. You are speaking in favour of the holocaust of children. This number may be as high as 73 million deaths a year! A YEAR! We can not take seriously claim to wishing to uphold human rights, when you are happy to deny the most fundamental human right. What right can you think of, that is not hung on the right to life? How do you justify, taring apart babies limb by limb; crushing their skulls; burning them with acidic solutions and blowing them up in vacuums; and then with a serious face expect us to believe – you are in favour of ‘human rights’. What about the unborn child excludes them from the club of being human?
The issue is not population growth; but the fair distribution of wealth and resources. The average American will use more than five times more – than the average african will use in terms of energy and natural resources. Therefore; it is this issue, that needs to be resolved; we do not need less humans as much as we need humans just to use less! This will result in a material impoverishment; which can only be sustained, in one did not frame their lives in terms of material possesions and wealth. A narrative perfectly at home in the Christian worldview, but totally foriegn to the Liberal humanist perspective.
Watch this video; and tell me – is this not a murder! The child’s excelerated heart rate, its pathetic attempts to avoid the grabbers of the abortionist doctor; its silent scream of distress – how is this not a human; and therefore, as its poor body was ripped limb from limb – how was this not a murder! We do not wish to hear any more of your lecturing – we simply can not take you seriously.
through an international authority that safeguards human rights – massive technical, agricultural, medical, and economic assistance, including birth control techniques, to the developing portions of the globe.
What qualifies someone to be worthy of human rights? How do you exclude the unborn child from this community? Also, as people who believe that ‘rights’ are just a construct; what moral force do they have upon anyone who simply does not agree with them; and upon what grounds therefore could you enforce them?
This pipe dreaming of yours – ignores the fact; that countless Christian charities have been doing what you propose to do – we ARE doing what you are calling for; consider my case; the Catholic Church is the world largest single instiution; and is therefore formally (and informally) the worlds largest provider of education; healthcare and other works of mercy in the world; on its own! Now add to this; the work and activity of every other Christian Church; and Christian charity operating in the world; and the countless good deeds of individuals motivated to help and send money because of their Christian faith. There is no doubt to the objective observer – we are doing what you call for; but without your genocidal fanatacism against the unborn. We are inspired by Christ’s words; to give to the poor; so as to store up for ourselves treasures in heaven. Studies have shown again and again that those who do not believe in GOD give less! The powerful paradigm of giving created by Christianity is underpinned even more – when one considers the Roman World in which it was practiced; in which the virtue of charity; of caring for your neighbour in need; was unheard of; and the secret to the success of Christianity! Atheists that give; do so not despite Christianity; but because they saturated in Christian expectations!
Surely it would be better for you to join in our efforts, or compete with us in good works; that simply day dream about a world government doing it for you!
We would resist any moves to censor basic scientific research on moral, political, or social grounds. Technology must, however, be carefully judged by the consequences of its use; harmful and destructive changes should be avoided. We are particularly disturbed when technology and bureaucracy control, manipulate, or modify human beings without their consent.
If you will not censor scientific research on moral grounds, what grounds would you censor it upon; surely you have moral boundaries science should not cross. This whole article lays open the charge we Christian place against you – that far from being self determining individual agents, you are slaves of the ‘progress’ worshipping at the alter of the machine! You have been possessed by the god of the machine; the spirit inside the shell; in which you do not direct scientific enquiry to an end you simply follow behind – as it explodes one boundary after another; so obsessed with whether you can – you do not ask whether we should! You have left us in a world now facing ecological collapse, nuclear war; and all before we know the full affects of the the genetic revolution which has only just begun.
Then without any sense of irony – you contradict yourselves – do you not think – before you write! You state technology should be judged by the consequences of its use; but to what standard; how will you judge it; you have already given a pass to the use of abortion techology; for murder – where can you go from this cesspit of moral self absorbtion; do babies choose to die! We agree with you technology should not change people without their consent; but that particular concern how now long since past you – our normal familial relations have been torn up; our connection with nature lost; you open up the world to ‘trans’ ideologies, not just of gender; but of species – why not ethnicity as well?
Christianity believes in natural ends; and a meaning and a purpose to life; that should guide, eschew and limit, technological advancement preventing it from going down some roads; whilst pushing it down others. We would have gladly explored the stars, pushed on the doors of medicine, plunged the mystery of the oceans; but we would not countanence, cloning animals, or genetically engineering humans, abortion. The nuclear bomb would not have been invented; though nuclear power stantions may have been. Disposable razors – would never have been invented; nor technology purposefully designed to fail. Christians believe that the world would have been a better place now, if for the last 200 years we would have more carefully curated the directon of technological advancement. The horrors of the modern world, plastic polution, nuclear weapons, abortion are only possible with the values you have expressed; and then contradicted. You can not have it both ways do you advance scientific research without being subject to morals or subject technological advances to moral equations of harm and destructon. You can not say and do both! We Christians are at least consistant in our belief that all is subject to moral reflection and should be.
We must expand communication and transportation across frontiers. Travel restrictions must cease. The world must be open to diverse political, ideological, and moral viewpoints and evolve a worldwide system of television and radio for information and education. We thus call for full international cooperation in culture, science, the arts, and technology across ideological borders. We must learn to live openly together or we shall perish together.
Christians do not believe that all cultures, are equal; and whislt we do believe in respect of the image of barer of GOD; we do not value cultures that marry children, uphold slavery, that believe in abortion, that uphold domestic abuse, or canabalism; these cultures have little to teach us; and thus whilst we should learn about them – we must not put them on an even plane with our own. This is your folly humanists, you think that all values are equally valid; clearly not. I will not point out again your political niavity again. We agree the benefits of science and technology should be shared.
In conclusion; the choice between Christianity and Liberal Secular Humanism is akin, to you being asked to wager a bet between two cross country raliegh cars. One called credo, backed by its team the Church; a pedigree racer – that has already accomplished itself over 2000 years of competition; against famed teams like the Roman Empire, the Islamic Caliphates, the Barbarian Kingdoms, the Dynasties of China & and Japan; the nationalistic empires; and has outperformed them all – not without its scratches, bruises and crashes granted; and some losses in the qualifying sections. It has raised over the plains of feudalism; gone into vallies of plague and disaster, pressed through the swamps of corruption; past over the mountains of achievement; endured the desserts of oppression; and rode through the forests of civilisation. Fueled by faith an reason; a fuel whose balance you need to get right; for the most effective pay off. Against this pedigree; is a new challenger, the car named cogito; backed by team humanist; who have largely stole and copied the design of credo; minus some elements, and fueled it on a new fuel called reason alone; untried and untested; against a champion of renoun – if you were a betting man where would you put your money!