Unification News for January 2002
Hello Humanists - Part Two
This is the second half of a two part article about Humanism. With the discrediting of Marxism, it is now the most aggressive form of atheism. I see this as a major challenge, and this article is addressed to humanists and the believers who encounter them.
The ranks of Humanism include many brilliant, even groundbreaking, scholars and scientists. Even so, they sometimes come across as modern-day Luddites. In their eagerness to debunk America’s (all too numerous) quacks, frauds, and harebrained notions, they also stomp on a number of genuine, cutting-edge theories.
For example, they do not posit that the mind is seated in the brain, but claim there is no ‘mind’ at all! Just a cascade of physical impulses racing around those soggy neurons. Therefore the ‘sense of self,’ morality, personal goals, etc., are all illusions, little fancier than the inchoate yearnings of animals.
This idea is controversial, and is not accepted by most mind/brain researchers. Philosophers can blow it out of the water, because no scholar can even propose that theory without somehow stating, "I think it is true."
The ideas of quantum physics and superstring theory are discomfiting to humanists, because they depict all existence as energy. As intricate, multidimensional ‘fields’ poised in swift harmonic vibration. New Agers love to parrot such terminology, but the reality is even more amazing -- and quite similar to the Principle of Creation.
Why do humanists claim we’ve reached the boundaries of the known? Science made that mistake a hundred years ago, and may again. I know it’s risky to name names, but why not take Rupert Sheldrake’s theory of ‘morphic fields’ seriously? Tens of millions of educated, perceptive animal lovers will tell you that, without a doubt, their pets have some type of ESP.
But you may have a hard time getting them to say so! Why? Skeptics have so browbeaten the public that most people know very well when to shut up. Who wants to get called a nut case, or an ignorant fool? Folks will even argue themselves into disbelief, whenever they have a paranormal experience.
Ever witnessed a really strange, truly inexplicable occurrence? Between the humanist skeptics and the airheaded New Age types, tough luck getting a fair hearing these days!
I just read an account by a respected magazine editor. He lives alone, and on the morning of Sept. 11th he slept in. And had a very disturbing dream, about a tall skyscraper in flames after a terrorist explosion. Humanists won’t call him a liar, at least not to his face. Instead they’ll say that he always has strange dreams; that this vision of terror was a mere coincidence. Or maybe the neighbor had the news playing really loud, just before he woke up. All I can say to that is: "Yeah, right."
Similarly, ‘psychic’ frauds are a dime a dozen. No one has earned the skeptic’s million dollar prize. But a genuine psychic would be nuts to trade that money for the deluge of meddling, if not the dire peril, that would arise from claiming it. (Seriously, could this prize be claimed with some guarantee of anonymity?)
Humanists now claim they’ve relegated every human experience to the test tube. Our noblest impulses, they say, are mere chemistry. For example, the hormone oxytocin can stimulate motherly love and, in animals, erase it when blocked.
The chemical MDMH ("ecstasy") can make anyone feel loving. It will give people a ‘high,’ but then it wears off, leading to a miserable ‘crash.’ If it’s imposed by a pill, then it isn’t really you. If it really worked, you’d only have to take it once.
Humanists tell how an ‘experience of oneness’ and the ‘presence holiness’ can be generated by applying electric fields directly to the brain. They also discount the fascinating idea that God has ‘hard wired’ us to experience His presence. But, as with the pills described above, if you switch off the device, the experience goes away.
Religion and family are the genuine article.
Note that the experience of satiety (of having just eaten), and of sexual excitement, can be mimicked in similar ways. But if you relied on that, you’d starve! And in the long run, cease reproducing. Humanists would probably retort that anorexics and narcissists have similar problems. And I, in turn, would call them spiritual anorexics, and worse.
Professional skeptics demand hard proofs for everything. I would ask them, "Do you love your spouse? Is that person very special to you, even exclusively so?" Could they prove that objectively, or demonstrate it for me in a lab? I’d like to see them try. Or would they tell their spouse that their love is only an illusion; an effect of oxytocin and social conditioning?
Humanists are human, too. No matter their stated convictions, they’re people with undescribed beliefs, higher passions, and profound desires. They too have priests and prophets, they just call them something else.
After Darwin, humanists assumed that God had been banished; that the Bible was only a fairy tale. But now, geneticists has discovered that all humans are descended from a single Mitochondrial Eve, who lived in Africa tens of thousands of years ago. Archaeologists continue to verify the Scriptures.
When Copernicus discovered that the Earth is not the center of the universe, humanists rejoiced. But then Hubble found out that the entire universe flashed into existence in one instant, which his rival Hoyle soon dubbed the Big Bang. Not only that, but its underlying physical laws were so precisely ‘tuned’ that stars, chemistry, and intelligent life would later emerge.
Humanists claim that nothing could be as powerful as God. Yet physics is now positing the existence of quantum singularities, Higgs fields, and Hilbert space. (Look it up, if you dare.)
Anything that moves at an infinite speed is effectively omnipresent. Since that something also ‘underlies’ the entire cosmos, it would by definition be omnipotent. Having ‘made the rules’ in the first place, its only limits would be the ones it placed upon itself!
But how could God comprehend everything, all at once? Without a speed-of-light limit, computability is also unrestricted. You’ve heard of the Pentium 4, so how about a Pentium ∞?
Here’s a challenge to humanists. One of their greatest bugbears is the idea of Life After Death, and especially communication those who have passed on. Most people think it happens, even while doubting séances held for thrills, or for money. The real point is, do humans have a component beyond the physical, or not?
What if that component is separated from observation by a fourth spatial dimension? What if it’s something like the exotic ‘dark matter’ that now confounds astronomers? What if tachyons turn out to be real? (That could explain things like precognition.) Or, as Roger Penrose says, our neurons have a direct quantum component?
It might even be possible to discover and study the immortal human soul -- and remain an atheist! But that’s not likely. Whatever our spirits are made of has a source, and that Source will be as obvious as the Sun is to its companions here on this Earth.
Genuine wisdom includes knowing the limits of reason and belief. When desire is informed by belief and reason, with sincere humility, then success and happiness can follow. One popular, real-life example is depicted in Homer Hickam’s book The Rocket Boys, and its movie version October Sky. The hagiographies of the saints offer countless other examples.
I’ll meet you back here in ten thousand years, and we’ll talk.
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