Secularism and History

Human history has shown that secular thought—by which is meant the evolved life essence that seeks unity and mutual respect in human affairs—is not exactly a natural animal ambition. In this regard we might therefore conclude that secular dedication—or humanism—is spirit (if you will pardon the expression) that is evolved above the ego-gratification that activates religious posturing and which seems constantly seeking victims to put down.

For those of us who prefer to think for ourselves and subscribe to rational interactions with others, it must be admitted therefore that we are not exactly following animal inclinations. Secularism is something of a cultivated, cultured awareness of human inner potential that develops out of a calm intellect and wide-ranging compassion. This is a bit unlike religious practice that wears a benevolent mask to cover a face of emotional and spiritual insecurity. These are animal fears, which drive them to pretend exclusive access to, or favoritism from an alleged prejudiced “maker,” and from that sand fortress they seek to climb to heaven over the bodies of those not related to their pack.

The underlying drive in animal behavior is physical survival, whether loners or pack animals. Devotion, respect and love does not extend beyond their immediate needs or wants. Seen in this light, the practice of organized religions is anchored in and dedicated to the primal animal inclinations from which we should be striving to evolve above, for catering to such inclination cannot be said to be the means of approaching humankinds’ higher potential.

In a very real sense, secularism/humanism is an abiding understanding that higher human potential is not shackled to theistic pretentiousness. However, liberal humanism is a relatively recent development in human affairs—an unfolding–or the evolvement–of intellectual empathy that heralds humankinds’ ability to transform itself into a more noble status. The religionists’ idea of Heaven seems likely to be but a dim primitive perception of this process of evolution into higher potential. Unfortunately, they have yet to learn that ultimately the only means of approaching and receiving man’s higher potential is to meet the diverse faces of life with genuine respect, compassion and integrity.

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