Saturday, 5 July 2014

The False Tolerance of Humanism and Its Postmodernist Tyranny

The foundation of 21st century Western culture is that of humanism, the doctrine that each individual is the agent who determines right and wrong, and what is good or evil because humans are capable of doing so for the social good. However, the question that arises is whether morality can stand as truth where it is defined by each individual. While it may seem to promise more freedom, it provides no coherent framework as to how people should behave to advance a civilisation owing to the individualisation of the concepts of love, tolerance and civility. Rather than fostering respect for others and taking responsibility for one’s actions, it encourages self-entitlement and individualism that is justified on the grounds that society must accommodate for the personal interests of the individual.

Humanism is only limited to a moral framework based on what is right or wrong according to society. Thus, humanistic morality expressed in the form of political correctness, which purports that anything is right as long as it does not ‘hurt’ or ‘offend’ anyone. Political correctness is deemed to be a moral good within the humanistic world view, since it accepts the individual beliefs of people as the individual right of the person per se.  That one should not ‘hurt’ or ‘offend’ anyone raises the issue as to whether one should refrain from doing something that is warranted by intuition to protect or advert another from danger, but because that may ‘hurt’ or ‘offend’ the person, one would not only be inconsiderate, but morally wrong to do so. Therefore, the threat to one being hurt or offended is deserving of greater moral weighing than actually seeking to protect another from danger. Such is the case where a person warns another person about a religious cult that practices child sacrifice or where a person warns vulnerable mind against what he believes to be dangerous doctrines taught at university.

Those who hold views that oppose political correctness for its moral basis are excluded from the respect of political correctness. They are seen as inconsiderate, backwards or even immoral in the eyes of those who support political correctness because political correctness is only restricted to protecting morality where an individual thinks it is right, and has no regard for  whether one cares for the wellbeing of person where the individual being cared for thinks otherwise.

Humanism makes the assumption that human beings are inherently good, and elevates humans to be the highest moral agent of all. It purports that evil does not come from within the human heart since there is no evil or good per se. Since basis for morality is tolerance, it attributes social problems, chaos and suffering to conflict between people of different ideologies, culture, political and religious beliefs. Accordingly, this lack of tolerance is leads to hatred, and thus, all religions (of which humanism purports to be neutral towards) are the seen to be the cause of conflict per se. Since the ultimate good in the humanistic framework is to not to interfere with the beliefs of others, any criticism of the personal beliefs of others is deemed to be offensive and unloving. Ironically, humanists often criticise beliefs of non-Western cultures and theistic religions, especially Judaism and Christianity, all while preaching tolerance.

That which is universally ‘believed’ to be immoral in and of itself, such as murder and rape is merely deemed to be wrong, not because of absolute objective moral basis, but because humans being are moral enough to hate such evil. However, humanism, because it rejects any absolute objective moral basis is unable to justify why such acts are immoral or ‘unethical’. Those who adhere to political correctness as the highest and almost gospel-like moral standard usually hate the e term ‘morality’ and are quick to insist that the term ‘ethics’  should be used instead. That such people claim to be so tolerant of the beliefs of others, their preaching against support of ‘ethics’ instead of ‘morality’ is extremely hypocritical.
Since the highest good is tolerance, love is defined as respecting the individual beliefs of people on the grounds that all people have their own right to have their own beliefs, irrespective of how abhorrent they may be to others. Although many humanists may deny this, and only few are honest enough to admit this, they uphold the right of the individual to believe anything as one chooses, and are indifferent towards the evil which they claim to be so concerned about. It is not so much about what people believe in that matters to the humanist, as much as how one acts on one’s beliefs against others. Therefore, to the humanist, one has the absolute right to believe as one chooses irrespective of its evil. After all, the humanist has no moral basis upon to justify one’s moral beliefs.  This explains why humanists become very sceptical of those who analyse the doctrines of the beliefs of others, whether political, cultural, social or religious, and rebuke the doctrines of others. In particular, they tend to see religion as that which is intolerant and unable to accept the good values of other religions.   

Humanism attempts to set up a morally neutral framework, but fails to do so in its staunch rejection of any morality that has positive commandments to act morally, as opposed to negative obligations to not act immorally, such as to not kill. A framework that only supports negative obligations is not neutral at all.
Civility that arises from tolerance, is concerned with what is worthy of interest to the majority rather than that which is only of concern to a ‘minority’ group. This seeks to maximise overall pleasure, happiness or expedience, and minimise pain, hardship or obstacles. The intention of civility within the humanistic worldview is to respect all views and is based on the idea that all people have a right to have their own views, no matter how repulsive, immoral or even abhorrent their views may be. Since individual rights arise from social values, civility is determined not by how one is able to justify one’s worldview, but by the ability of one to gain social support for one’s worldview.

Since no moral absolute exist, or at least are deemed irrelevant, what is right or wrong is determined by what is popular as there is no concrete basis to determine right or wrong. Therefore, that which is open to the view of the majority, and is tolerant of others is that which is civil. However, the question that arises is what being ‘open’ to the view of the majority means.

In the humanist worldview, openness is to accept that what others say to be true for the individual, to respect it as ‘personal truth’. To merely accept that other ultimately believe what they believe, while staying firm to one’s beliefs is not openness, but dismissive, intolerant, and even bigoted.  This stance, according to the humanistic worldview, warrants scepticism or even seen as an oxymoron. Such is postmodernist tyranny.

Postmodernist tyranny uses the criticism of the alleged victim groups to reverse and shift the blame for their personal offence on that of others. It thrives on the criticism against those of certain protected groups as a ground of alleged inequality. To the humanist, equality is only realised in the material realm. Equality can only be gained by ‘equal opportunity’ to fulfil the same goals as others, especially people of other groups from oneself, whether it is people of a different culture, race, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic or disability status. Equality is not inherent in the person by virtue of a person for being a person. Rather, equality in the material sense is that which matters above all else.  Thus, the concept of ‘equal opportunity’ fails to acknowledge cases where it would be inappropriate for a person to be owed the same obligation to receive an opportunity because it would unreasonable to do so. This leads to tyranny against those with marginalised beliefs.

It is the false assumption of humanism that individuals are capable of deciding a moral framework for society to suit each individual that leads to conflict and hatred. The sympathy of humanism towards those who are merely ‘hurt’ or ‘offended’ by those who do not support their beliefs fosters the false notion that tolerance is love. Welcome to a world where love is hate and hate is love; tolerance is intolerance, tolerance is intolerance; respect is hate and hate is respect.