- Concern for suffering
- Desire for justice
- Loyalty to the group
- Deference to authority
- Recognition of the Sacred
David Goodhart (Prospect, April 2012) asks whether the WEIRDs are now floundering in the face of their failure to recognise loyalty to one’s in-group, the need for authority in maintaining order and the reality of the Divine. He argues that the secular left will disappear unless it rectifies this situation and he puts his hope in a new book by Jonathan Haidt: The Righteous Mind.
This book, it appears, uses evolutionary concepts, the only ones understood and accepted by most WEIRDs, to justify the reality of the dimensions 3,4 and 5.
A brave try. But it is flawed if recognition of the sacred is attempted by humanists, since by its very definition humanism denies the sacred. All values originate from man, not from our Creator, and so are entirely without authority, as one might expect from a worldview in which all meaning and purpose is purely an accidental by-product of biological evolution in a universe stripped of purpose and meaning. You can’t have ‘sacredness’ without God. You can only have a self-appointed demagogue propagating the values of a human being appointed as a surrogate god, as in Hitler’s Germany or Maoist China or Stalin’s Russia. Not a welcome development for any society. In my own country Richard Dawkins has already written a new set of the Ten Commandments and hopefully that is as far as it will go judging from the backlash against aggressive atheism in the UK.
I am not saying that all political correctness is misguided. Some offensive expressions should indeed be removed from our vocabulary to encourage positive, kinder thinking but terms have been introduced rapidly without public consultation or consent as a result of the failure to believe in God as the source of moral righteousness.
See also Distorting reality
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