Humanist beliefs (Part 1)

With a new year approaching comes new hope.  There is renewed optimism and resolutions to begin life anew.  To that end, various worldviews have solutions to make life better on planet Earth.  Over the next months, these worldviews will be explained so you can understand your world better.  Moreover, you will be able to explain the real solution to our problem: Jesus Christ, the Savior from the world’s sinfulness.  For more details, read my book, Starting at the End.  For now,  let’s begin with Secular Humanism.

Secular Humanists believe that certain people should map out our behavior and future according to their vision.  Since the notion of more than seven billion people on the planet all doing whatever they want doesn’t work in a practical sense, the world has to have rules. We all can’t simply behave however we want—that would make life unbearable. So the Secular Humanists have an idea: a global government to make life a heaven on earth (since there is no afterlife—just this physical reality).

The Humanist Manifesto II states that “we deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds…Thus we look to the development of a system of world law and a world order based upon transnational federal government.” In other words, having separate countries is bad, so a “transnational” or global government is needed to form a world community. This is not an isolated idea. Visions of world government can be traced back to the early 1910’s. For example, take the 1912 World Peace Foundation pamphlet, International Good-Will as a Substitute for Armies and Navies, by William C. Gannett. This document calls for international order based in five areas which are pursued today in the name of global government. These five areas are: 1) a world judicial system; 2) an international parliament or congress; 3) world laws; 4) a global military force; and 5) a unifying architecture to ensure global compliance and security under an international protectorate. This is why it’s no mere coincidence that today we actually have the International Criminal Court, the United Nations, United Nations treaties and resolutions, and the United Nations peacekeeping force.

In addition, through the past one hundred years, various people have weighed in with their thoughts on what this international authority should do. Recently, the World Federalist Movement, the largest global government lobbying group, advocated reform of the United Nations, development of a world tax, and the construction of a new global currency. As an example of this potential new global currency at the G8 Summit in 2009, Russian President Medvedev held up a coin that was stamped “United Future World Currency.” Even Pope Benedict XVI called for a “true world political authority” to manage the affairs of the world. So if we have a global government, what happens to the United States?

Richard Rorty, a Post-Modern philosopher, believes that “America will someday yield up sovereignty to what Tennyson called ‘the Parliament of Man, the Federation of the World’” Along that line, the Humanist Manifesto 2000 says: “The idea of a World Parliament is similar to the evolution of the European Parliament, still in its infancy. The current UN General Assembly is an assembly of nations. This new World Parliament would enact legislative policies in a democratic manner.” Elections to this global government would be based on population and represent people, not their governments.

That is different from what we experience today in America. Our U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations represents our country’s government, not our people. The ambassador must be nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. We don’t pick the ambassador—the President does, and we can tell our Senators what we think of the choice, but in the end, they confirm the candidate. The reason we don’t vote on the ambassador is due to the fact that the United States is a republic, not a direct democracy. In a direct democracy, all of the citizens debate and decide government questions, and decisions are reached by a majority vote. The people vote on every issue, so it is direct government ruled by the majority. A republic is different: it is a constitutionally limited government of the representative type, created by a written Constitution. In other words, a republic is representative government (the Congress) ruled by law (the Constitution). So we are a republic, and every four years we decide who decides which course our government should take, following the outline of the Constitution. So questions arise: Do we even choose our representative in this global government, or is s/he appointed for us as our present ambassador is? Do we still contact our representative to voice our opinion? Is this a republic or a direct democracy? Or is it something else? Who chooses the agenda of this global government?

Those questions and more will be addressed in the next blog.

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