Secular humanism comes up short as a religion because its beginning is unconvincing and its ending unappealing.
“In the beginning was the Big Bang, and for no reason at all everything just started up, and by pure chance, non-living dust and chemicals came alive and finally evolved into Hillary Clinton…” That’s somewhat less than inspiring, and falls far short of St. John’s “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God…”
But the end of humanist theology is worse than the beginning: you just die, fizzle out, kaput, that’s it. So if you had a hard life, too bad. There’s no God to give you justice, no God to show you mercy, no Heavenly Father to bind up your wounds and wipe away your tears.
In between the iffy beginning and the worms’-meat ending, humanists have worked hard to fill up their religion’s middle.
They have their holy scriptures, written by Marx and Darwin and Freud et al, which may not be disbelieved. They have several orders of priesthood—scientists, academics, public school teachers, feminists, homosexuals, and progressive politicians, whose word is law. They have an awesome idol—the ever-expanding, all-devouring, freedom-eating, wealth-consuming State, whose destiny it is to rule the world. And in Global Warming they have their own End Times scenario.
They have their own sacraments, including human sacrifice. Abortion: “I now consider abortion to be a major blessing, and to be a sacrament in the hands of women,” as one feminist put it. You can even have Native American flute music with your abortion—how cool is that?.
And now—voila! Humanism has come up with an afterlife. “Dead family members could be brought back to life using their history on social media to power virtual avatars.”
In fifty years or less, predicts a British computer scientist, we’ll have the technology to create “synthetic digital life.” So instead of being dead, you can stick around forever as a reasonable facsimile of yourself, mindlessly repeating a lifetime’s worth of tweets, Facebook comments, and text messages, over and over again. Please note that the key word here is “synthetic.”
There is no God, says the American Humanist Association, so obviously you can’t be endowed with real eternal life. As far as you’re concerned, you’ll still be dead, forever and ever. But as far as everyone else can see, hi-tech razzle-dazzle will have brought you back. Isn’t that the next best thing to true immortality? The only one who won’t experience your perpetual existence is, well, you—and to quibble over that is just plain selfish.
This also points to a solution to the thorny humanist problem of our beloved leaders eventually dying. Naturally, the avatars, those synthetic facsimiles of real people, will get better and more convincing as refinements are made. So why should we ever have to do without George Soros, if we’ve got his avatar? Why should death ever remove a beloved liberal justice from the Supreme Court, if he or she can be replaced by “synthetic digital life” that’s so thoroughly programmed, so amazingly life-like, that no one will be able to tell it from the real thing? Why not keep a progressive president or senator in office for the next 6,000 years?
Oh, boy! A ruling class that rules us for eternity!
The potential is unlimited. Presumably these avatars won’t have to eat, will never need medical care, and will be in many ways superior to the actual individuals that they’ve replaced. And who says they won’t be allowed to vote? Think of the boon it would be to the progressive movement if only progressive voters are replaced by avatars while others, who cling stubbornly to their guns and their religion, are simply permitted to die out.
With everybody—well, with all progressives, at least—living forever, for all practical purposes, it then becomes not only possible, but also a jolly good idea, to abort all babies conceived, until the old-fashioned human race goes extinct and there’s nothing left but avatars pretending to be alive.
If that isn’t the ultimate fulfillment of the secular humanist dream, I don’t know what is.
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