4. Humanitarianism and Secularism

Faith, in these modern times, has been challenged from two points of view: Humanitarianism and Secularism.

Are these challenges valid? If not, why not? They are not only not valid, they are woefully inadequate.

First of all, both of these value systems suffer from a case of dual absenteeism: that of a beginning and of an end to things earthly and cosmic. Consequently, God is not a player in the theater of all things living and having lived. Science will eventually explain the beginning. So, while we may one day find out how we came about, why we came about will be a meaningless query. So, our lives really have no purpose or value. This reduces quickly to existentialism – live for the moment while being aware of and mostly responsible for legal consequences. Moral and ethical consequences of choices made become transparent only through their material consequences. Now, while societal or governmental laws that bind us take into account second and third party material costs, they do not account for costs inflicted on the self. Secondly, the written laws can only go so far in covering and making us accountable for multitudes of inter-temporal and spatial causes and effects. What happens when centuries roll over or boundaries of a country change? Thirdly, the vision of right or wrong is relative. As is now clear, owing to this, rules and regulations become easy victims of wealth and technology. Thus, not only are the rules and regulations likely to vary between rich and poor countries, they will vary between the rich and the poorer segments of the same society and among different versions of the same society. So, instability is inherent to these two systems. Death of marriage, spiking of suicide rate, mental instability, fall in birth rate below a healthy level, etc. are the gifts of Humanitarianism and Secularism.

Further, Secularism has spawned subsystems such as, Nationalism and Communism. Hundreds of millions of lives have been snuffed out by the military-political vehicles of these sub-systems. So, while historically, religion mis-employed has been a cause of wanton death and destruction, so has been secularism. However, under secularism war is justified and sanctioned with unparalleled hubris. While promoting fairness and while challenging some established religions for their excessiveness and their pedantic approach to problem solving, Secularism has introduced solutions that have within decades proven to be false, unfair, inefficient and destructive.

Needless to say, Humanitarianism and Secularism lack inclusivity. Practical spiritualism inherent to major religions include and recognize Humanitarianism as a basic, starting-block component of their systems. Also, so long as Secularism does not mean anti-religion but equal space for all religions, the latter include that idea, too. So, unlike Humanitarianism and Secularism, practical spiritualism or religion, provides a larger solution set to problems than the former.

tptChoice Team

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