I’m reading this book called “The God Argument” by A.C Grayling. Essentially, the book is split into two sections. The first half is title “Against Religion”, the second half is titled “For Humanism”. While reading this book, a few things stand out to me from time to time and I’m gonna write them down here… and perhaps in subsequent posts.
1 - An interesting theme that seems to pervade humanism is to let people get what they want (within a reasonable sense) - if someone wants euthanasia, give him or her it. If someone wants abortion, give him or her it. If someone wants to be relieved of suffering, give him or her the happiness that he or she deserves in whatever form they deserve because essentially - we’re only here for a little bit so lets be happy while we can be, and the most compassionate and sympathetic thing that we can do is to give them that happiness and spare them the suffering and the pain. If someone wants a better wife, let him divorce. And I think of the implications of my own life… If I want a better job, let me leave it. If I want a better church, let me find one. If I want a better this this and this and this - give it to me.
Quoted in his very own words, the quality of life is valued above the sanctity of life. In other words, happiness is pursued and suffering is to be avoided and skirted at all costs - even if that means ending your own life or ending the potential life of a fetus.
I keep reading this and honestly think, what the @#$! this is not it. This is not real love and real compassion - because it’s all supposed to be in the name of sympathy and compassion. I imagine some ghastly, bony ‘ol smart ass humanist doctor who looks over a suffering patient. His eyes drooping down, and some self-generated tears falling. Looking at the poor human being and thinking “good ol friend, you shall rest soon - I will help you because I’m so sympathetic and compassionate and I’ll help you on your way” as he pulls the plug or gives him some drug. Maybe I’m just making a straw hat caricature of a humanist - but wheres the suffering, wheres the glory, wheres the passion, wheres the angst, wheres the crying out, wheres the deeper sense of deepness? It’s so empty, its so sterile, it’s so easy, it’s so therapeutic.
Perhaps the corollary truth is this : true Love has to consist of suffering. If you’ve never suffered for someone you thought you loved, you’ve never truly loved. (I’m not telling girls to get into abusive or toxic relationships, or guys to get into stupid and harmful situations for the sake of suffering) - but I think you get what I mean. The doctor I caricatured above, perhaps had empathy - but he did not love. There was no suffering on his end. Not at all.
There’s something about chasing a life of non-suffering that really kills the spirit in a man, although this is something I do every single day honestly in my work and my relationships. It’s hard guys. Reading books like this really helps me understand what Christianity is and is not - and the closer my Christianity mirrors secular humanism, the more I know I’m compromising on Life.