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Mystical Humanists on the Rampage

Humanists are short these days on cogent argumentation, so they have to increase the decibel level of their rhetoric. In the October issue of The Humanist, Mieczyslaw Maneli calls for a "New Humanist Militancy." He claims that Humanists are in a defensive stance against a growing religious barbarism.

He calls on Humanists everywhere to unite against this barbarism, identify the barbarians, and proclaim the truth "so that it will become ingrained in the minds of all."

What makes this call to militancy so laughable is that Maneli must invoke some mystical and spooky entities to make his point. Isn't this sort of mysticism supposed to be left to the barbarians?

Maneli repeatedly appeals to notions which are ultimately nonsensical in a humanistic framework. For example, he bemoans the attack on "Human progress [what standard?]...the traditions of democracy and decency [like the Reformation?] and of the perversion of the moral distinction between good and evil" [universal standard for a humanist?]. He opposes every adversary of "our American heritage of freedom of justice" [the heritage of the Puritans? John Witherspoon?]

He calls us back to the humanist ideals of "peace, order, justice, and the observation of the rules of friendship and fraternity." He also shows us some of the depth of humanistic thinking, "Racism in any form, under any guise, is racism." Shivers travel down my spine when I hear such profundity.

Maneli even cites Christ and Solzhenitsysn to buttress "humanist and humanitarian traditions."

The truth is that such humanism does not have the courage of its convictions. Humanists can provide no legitimate justification for appealing to Truth, Justice, and Peace. They appeal to the mystical absolutes of Plato but reject his world. They appeal to logic, but the humanist worldview has no place for such transcendent norms. Reason requires living up to the consequences of one's views. Humanists like Pol Pot and Stalin did.

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