I used to identify myself as a secular Humanist. I even joined the BHA, and subscribed to their mailing list – something I still haven’t unsub’d from – so recently I received their latest bulletin entitled: “Population is a moral issue – but not like this.”
I‘m always amused by what mental contortions and subjective ideas Humanists can come out with, so I read the brief message.
Apparently, Francis Philips from the Catholic Herald has pointed out how demographics are changing, as a result of low birth rates in the 90s. She cites the then Russian President Medvedev and other experts who argued that families should be having three or more children to compensate for this disaster.
Philips goes onto ask: “’why doesn’t the Government offer incentives to married women to stay at home and have larger families?” Enter the Humanist with the chance to apply their rational atheistic worldview to this “moral” issue. I agree it’s a moral issue – but then what isn’t?
“The assumption appears to be that a significant spend on incentivising fertility – for couples who perhaps aren’t ready to have children – is preferable to simple immigration” says the BHA newsletter. The issue of parents being bribed by the state to make life-changing decisions that they wouldn’t normally make, is totally overlooked. But then, all governments consistently offer incentives to distort natural law – so we shouldn’t be surprised.
“Whatever your view, world population is certainly something that humanists should regard as a moral and social issue.” At first I was thinking ‘ok, that’s fair’, and then I thought – why? What exactly IS the issue? It’s like saying war is a moral/social concern. This is generally true, but it doesn’t mean that it’s YOUR concern. A war between two tribal religious gangs in Africa is a concern to them, but not to me. The “issue” is not actually elucidated thus far – save for the mention of changing demographics above. (Which is, of course, the issue.)
“But it’s far from clear, when there are very serious concerns about depleted resources and environmental catastrophe, that actively promoting childbirth is either necessary or wise” continues the BHA. Well, it wouldn’t be modern Leftie liberalism without including some overhyped environmentalism – a “science” that is riddled with corruption and attention-seeking celebrities and politicians.
Note how the Humanist questions whether actively promoting childbirth is necessary or wise. In other words: it would be ok, if it was necessary. Necessary…for whom? Is there any other person on the planet apart from mum and dad who can decide if having a child is necessary or not? For what other purpose, apart from for their own selfish joy and love – is there for two people to bring a child into this world? Note also how the alternatives are “necessary or wise”. What about right?
The BHA continues: “In the case of a boom like that suggested by Phillips the real intention, worse than self-interest, appears to be the interest of an in-group.” (Yes, the only thing worse than self-interest is favouring a particular group…hang on a second…) The BHA vilifies the Catholic Phillips (rightly so, because you can never vilify Christians enough) for wanting to select for a culture of “Christian Europe”. And, true to the spirit of true democracy, she wants to use government force to get her way for her gang. The BHA fairly denounces this: “rather than dialogue, education or tolerance, she sees engineering the ethnic ratio as the way to go about it.”
The BHA finishes with: “Surely we’re passed the point at which wouldbe parents can be treated solely as such, asked to breed in the name of shoring up nationally, religiously or ethnically defined in-groups.”
Well, no. We’re not past that point – because the justification for using people as cattle for some other, intrinsic, “greater” good is the root of the most prevalent political system in the world today (socialism, in all its forms). And the means of achieving this collectivist end, the same as attempted by the Third Reich and Soviet Russia, is to use government force to engineer changes in peoples’ lives and markets that have nothing to do with simply protecting their Rights – the only thing any government should be doing.
Humanists will slam the nonsense coming out of the Church, rightly so – but they don’t have a clue themselves why it’s wrong. And they disagree on this particular point, not on the far more foundational principle of individual rights, but because, on this occasion, the power of government would work against them. But show the government enough votes and it would happen.
Not once do Humanists even question the idea that government offering incentives for people to breed is a gross trespassing of its rightful powers. This issue is totally lost on Humanists, and that is the real problem. The tenets and subjective moral basis of Humanists is hardly different from religion – hence I see them as inherently no better or worse than Christians. Given enough power, I’m afraid both groups will violate my Rights, and for a long time it’s actually been the liberal lefties who are the greater sinners. One group wants me to sacrifice for God, the other wants me to sacrifice for society.
The sad thing is that Humanists and other Neo-Atheists say it all in the guise of rationality. But rationality is a virtue that has its place in a person’s philosophy. It is needed because of the nature of man and the nature of reality, i.e. his metaphysics. It has its applications in identifying the good and bad for man, i.e. his morality – and the application of that to how he should live with other men, i.e.: his politics. Humanists fail because their metaphysics, morality, and politics are an irrational jumble of conflicting ideas. So they can talk about rationality all they want; they are missing the cart and the house.