~ By Nominis Expers

      Secularism is not a complete distinct system unto itself, but rather a broad, generic perspective, an over-arching principle under which heading falls a variety of systems which are its constituent elements: Positivism, Hedonism, Pragmatism, Pluralism (and its corollary, Relativism), Existentialism and Humanism.

      These various systems of thought are the dominant systems in our society, competing for acceptance within our culture. They do not necessarily agree on a point-by-point basis, but they all fall under the unifying philosophical perspective characteristic of Secularism: denial of the eternal and the transcendent. In examining this particular "ism", perhaps it would be enlightening to do a little etymylogical analysis. The root word here is secular, coming to us from the Latin: saeculum, which means "world". Another Latin term for "world" is the word mundus. The distinction is that mundus carries with it the idea of space, of this world here, while saeculum has the connotation of time, of this world now.

      The fundamental conviction of secularism is that this time and this place are all there is. There is no eternal dimension - no supernatural realm. There is no eternity, no eternal perspective. There are no absolutes, or abiding principles by which to evaluate human actions and values.

      When this ontological position is taken to its logical conclusion, we come to the remainder of secularism's cardinal points: There is no ultimate significance to human life, there are no ultimate consequences and there are no ultimate answers to the human predicament. Mankind lives out its existence in a sphere that is bound inexorably by this space and time.

      Any thinking person who adopts a worldview dependent upon secularism must ultimately embrace a philosophy of despair, for according to such a belief system there is no tomorrow - ultimately.

      What would be some of the practical results of such a worldview? Look at some statistics: More than 531,000 Americans attempt suicide each year. Suicide accounts for more deaths than homicide, and is the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S. Doctors say depression is as disabling as end stage heart disease, that older people are more likely to take their own lives, but the suicide rate in the 15-24 age group has been rising dramatically. They believe it is particularly important to treat children and adolescents for depression - because their brains "learn to be depressed like they learn to ride a bicycle." Once that happens, it can lead to a lifetime of depression, and often leads to substance abuse. By all means, treat a physiological problem appropriately, but let's not ignore a philosphical disease, either.




WHERE ARE WE GOING AND
WHY ARE WE IN THIS HANDBASKET?

~ THE FOLLOWING APPEARED IN THE NEWS ~ NOVEMBER 1999 ~

"Two youngsters face possible weapons-related charges. A five-year-old Painsville, Ohio, boy brought a loaded gun to his preschool Monday. The weapon was confiscated after a teacher overheard the child bragging about the loaded gun in his book bag.

Police in the Cleveland suburb say the gun - which contained six bullets - didn't belong to the boy's parent...but might've belonged to someone who was staying at their home.

In Chicago, a seven-year-old boy allegedly threatened to kill his teacher, classmates and himself after his teacher ordered him to sit down. The boy was released into his grandmother's custody...pending an appearance in juvenile court next month.

No one was injured in either incident."

      The behavior of the "innocents", the youngest children in a society is one mirror reflecting the implementation of the values of the culture. Are we willing to face the consequences of a worldview that says that ultimately there are no abiding principles by which to evaluate human actions and values, that says there is no ultimate significance to human life?

      In the next few articles we will be looking at some specific worldviews that each labor under the concept of secularism; worldviews that are being trumpeted at us every day. These will include Positivism, Hedonism, Pragmatism, Pluralism, Relativism, Existentialism and Humanism. We'll discover what they are, where they came from and what they're teaching you and your children.

      Through the skills you are learning from some of the other pages on this site, you will be able to logically evaluate these systems and decide if you are going to operate by their principles and "reap the rewards"...or should I say, "suffer the consequences"?


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