By Alan Caruba
I receive Free Inquiry magazine monthly even though I never subscribed to it. The magazine is read by atheists who prefer to be called “humanists.” The Council for Secular Humanism that publishes the magazine has “Affirmations of Humanism” that begin with the assertion that they are “committed to the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems.”
I try to apply reason to everything I write and the best science available if the topic involves science. The problem is that most problems arise out of a lack of reason. Almost always, emotion is the factor most in evidence.
Given the horrors of war, all well documented, one might think that nations would do everything possible to avoid it. Instead, war remains a top priority in a world where conflict exists everywhere. Nations must arm themselves against their neighbors. Appeasement never works. Denying the evil intentions of a nation doesn’t work. Relying on an “international” organization, the United Nations, doesn’t work.
I don’t think I have spent a day of my life when war or terrorism was not active somewhere in the world. Read world history. It is one long record of wars. The only thing “reason” can tell you is that some nations and people are just downright evil.
Atheism or humanism attracts people who take pride in their intellect, their knowledge, and their rejection of religions, all of which they deem to be advocating the “supernatural” because they depend on the faithful’s belief in an omnipotent God.
Humans have done this, as best as one can determine, since their earliest beginnings, though they tended initially to deify mountains and other natural phenomenon. Add in a belief in unseen demons that afflict one with disease and you have a humanity that, in many parts of the world, exists today.
The Christian holy day of Christmas, the birthday of Jesus, has taken on worldwide dimensions, celebrated in some fashion by Christian and non-Christian alike.
Though not generally known, December 25 is the birthday of a former pagan god called Mithras
. He was the son of the virgin Anahita. He is described as wrapped in swaddling clothes, placed in a manger, and attended by shepherds. Mithras was considered a great traveling teacher and he had twelve companions or “disciples.” He performed miracles. And, if you’re thinking that the early Christian leaders adapted these elements to attract believers in Mithras to believe in Jesus, you’re right.
All religions except Judaism adapted in the interest of acquiring more adherents. Judaism resisted this and remains small in numbers even if it remains large in the minds of non-Jews who regard it with a combination of awe and indignation.
Neither Jews, nor other non-Christians, are about to give up an element of Christmas loved by all, Santa Claus.
Well, not all. Ryan T.