What is secularism, this is a very important question for political science students.Secularism is the one of the topmost ideology which states that country must stand apart from religion. So it is the thought which separates religion from life. Religion is only a matter of worship not to intervene in human affairs.
A few points must be elucidated before we proceed to analyze the structure of this civilization. In the first place, correct analysis of a system can only be made with an unbiased mind. If we examine a system with pre-conceived notions, we cannot arrive at right conclusions. It is necessary, therefore, that we should not be dazzled by the glamour of modern culture but should dig into its roots and expose the viciousness of human nature and the dark forces of greed and exploitation which are operating under the glazed surface of this civilization.
Secondly, existence is the ultimate object of all human action. All human ideas and actions are directed towards one end to gain happiness, influence and profit in life. The standard of success for a civilization is not that it should evolve a system of lofty ideas. The true standard of its success is that it should endow mankind with the wealth of peace and contentment, salvage the entire human race from ignorance and barbarity and put humanity on the path of a harmonious life. A civilization which generates maximum human contentment is successful ; otherwise it is a shame.
History of Secular Civilization
Twentieth century western civilization is not a new phenomenon born during the past few hundred years. Its history dates back to thousands of years.It is descended from the Greek and Roman Civilization it has inherited the political system, social philosophy and intellectual and material culture from both these civilizations. All the tendencies and characteristics of the modern civilization have been handed down from generation to generation since Greek and Roman times. The Greek civilization was the first and the most conspicuous product of western mind. It was the first cultural system which was founded on a purely sensuous philosophy of life.
The Greeks dominated the world as champions of a peculiar philosophy of culture and civilization. The Greek culture waned with the rise of Islam, but did not become extinct. In the twentieth century, it has revived in a new garb. The external glaze and flashy appearance of modern civilization convey the false impression that it is new. As a matter of fact, its whole structure is the artifice of the Greeks and the Romans.
The centre of modern Western Civilization lay in Greece. The aim here was to develop man harmoniously in all his faculties. The supreme measure was the beautiful body. It clearly emphasized the seen. Much emphasis was laid on physical education—games and dancing and the mental education—poetry and music, drama, philosophy, even the Sciences, were kept in proportion so as not to develop the mind at the expense of the body. Its religion had no spirituality, no theology, no priestly caste, no mysticism.
The Greeks were succeeded by the Romans who excelled the former in power, state-craft, vastness of empire and military skill. But m Arts and Literature, Culture and Social finesse they did not come up to the high standard achieved by the Greeks.That is why they were intellectual slaves of Greeks. Greek culture swayed Roman life. We know that ancient Roman Historians produced their works in the Greek language and this tradition lasted for a long time. Literature apart, in manners and character, in the general style of life, in emotions and feelings, in short in every sphere of life, Greek culture predominated the Roman Society. The Romans openly imitated the Greeks and took pride in doing so. In this way through Arts and Literature, manners and morals, the Greek culture was transmitted to the Romans.
The epoch-making event of that period is the ascension of Christianity as the ruling power in pagan Rome. The Historians regard the conversion of Constantine as a great victory of the Christian faith. In fact, it was an event only in the history of Christianity. Realizing that Christianity had now become the State Religion the worldly-minded became Christians, without changing their nature or convictions but only to gain worldly profit and pleasure.
Consequently two classes of people arose in Rome ; one who abandoned themselves to ease and voluptuousness ; the other, a religious group who fell victim to an inhuman, misanthropic and unnatural form of monasticism, whose extremity cannot be imagined today. The demands of this monasticism were beyond the endurance of man. Even though a class of people did adopt this cult as a reaction against the materialistic life of Rome, they soon grew weary of its rigors and began to seek means of relief from their hardships.
Despite clear evidence provided by the universe, the protagonists of this movement built their entire social system on the basis of the philosophy that the whole world is nothing but matter. Growth, voluntary movement, perception, consciousness, thought—all are mere attributes of the developed form of this matter. Animals and humans are machines operating under physical laws. The action of these machines is determined by the system in which their components are assembled. They have no voluntary power, no independent will.
The architects of modern civilization fashioned their individual and social life on the pattern of this philosophy and every movement which started with the assumption that there is neither God, nor revealed religion, nor there is an obligatory moral system, nor Final Day, nor accountability in the Hereafter, was labeled as a Progressive Movement. In this way, the direction of Europe turned towards complete and wide-ranging materialism. Secularism dominated the thought, outlook, psychology and behaviour, morals and social philosophy, arts and literature, politics and Government, in short every facet of European life. The process of change was gradual, even slow in its initial stages, but at last it enveloped the whole of Divine mandate.
Animals and humans are machines operating under physical laws. The action of these machines is determined by the system in which their components are assembled. They have no voluntary power, no independent will. The architects of modern civilization fashioned their individual and social life on the pattern of this philosophy and every movement which started with the assumption that there is neither God, nor revealed religion, nor there is an obligatory moral system, nor Final Day, nor accountability in the Hereafter, was labelled as a Progressive Movement.
In this way, the direction of Europe turned towards complete and wide-ranging materialism. Secularism dominated the thought, outlook, psychology and behaviour, morals and social philosophy, arts and literature, politics and Government, in short every facet of European life. The process of change was gradual, even slow in its initial stages, but at last it enveloped the whole of Europe.
In Order To Understand What Is Secularism You Must Understand Its Five Principles.
Liberalism has been the principal cause of the stunning progress of secularism in the world. The secular movement rose with the object of liberating the mind of the people from the oppressive yoke of dogma and the church.In this respect, the movement was a laudable one. It created an awareness and enlightenment among the people. It taught them to think over and weigh the circumstances.
It identified the cruelties to which the people were being subjected. But as turn;; wore on this liberal outlook assumed the form of mental anarchy and enlightenment now came to be defined as “total freedom of man from all restraints, whether imposed by religion or society.” Liberalism, in its ultimate practical form meant that tradition, however, valid or useful, should be discarded at any rate and that the best proof of enlightenment is to replace tradition with brand new ideas. This theory had such an all-pervasive effect that hardly a branch of life escaped its influence.
The second component of the secular culture is materialism. Briefly it postulates that there is nothing else in this world but matter, Even man is composed of Neutron and Proton. The only demand of human beings in this world is the satisfaction of their material needs. It took a long time to arrive at this stage of philosophy. For some time after the renaissance in Europe, an attempt was made to forge a combination of material life with Christian deeds and ritual.
The people did not want to dissociate themselves entirely from religious observances and desired that they should at least adhere to ritual in their private lives. They thought that this would preserve national integrity and the country would be saving from social and moral chaos.
Moral values …today are analogous to the mercury in barometer. They alter instantly with changed circumstances. They do not represent a final, perfect, and absolute standard according to which the worth of a man’s thought or deed may be judged. Today their only function is to provide justification for every statement or action, however, for immoral object it may be. A man may perpetrate the vilest deed.
This maniac love for wealth has, above all, subverted the moral values. Since wealth is the chief aim of life today, its achievement has, therefore, become the greatest virtue. Good, in the modern Code of Ethics, is that which yields profit and pleasure and the means which tend to undercut profit or pleasure are evil. Inevitably then those objective moral values which maintained some balance among different groups and classes of humanity have been obliterated. Expediency has taken their place and this expediency (pragmatism) is the most dangerous mischief of the modern age.This then is one of the fruits of Western Civilization, whose bitter taste is now being deeply felt by the Westerners themselves.
Democracy or the Majority Rule
The third element of secular culture is democracy or rule of the majority. Its basic assumption is that the people are absolutely free in their desires and opinions. By a majority of votes, they can declare almost anything lawful or unlawful for themselves. No code, religious or moral, can curtail their choice in this matter. Since the real power in a State vests with the people, it is, therefore, concluded that sovereignty must also rest with them.
This philosophy has worked one great marvel : it has obliterated the difference between the Ruler and the ruled. The Government is now run by the people for the people. Prior to the French Revolution, sovereignty lay in the hands of the Monarchs or the Clergy. Though they enjoyed great freedom of action, yet they were bound by a few limitations. A few constitutional conventions in England imposed some restraints 011 the King’s freedom of action. Similarly, in other countries public opinion exercised considerable check on the free-will of the Monarchs, and curbed the unfettered fulfillment of their desires.
The new doctrine that sovereignty rests with the people has written of all such restraints upon the governing class. The people have a freedom of choice now; nothing bars their way. It would not be unfair to state that the greatest miracle wrought by the Western Civilization is that it has relieved the Rulers from all sorts of checks.
Apparently, this ideology seems reasonable enough. It has liberated the people from the tyranny of the Kings. It has restored to the people the right to use every possible means for their own betterment. But the transfer of Ruling Power into the hands of the people has not put an end to the real hardships of humanity.
The basic assumption of this philosophy is that the People’s Will is sovereign. The question is how to ascertain the People’s Will. Individual opinions vary. To discover from so many conflicting opinions just one view1 which is agreeable to all is an uphill task. It can, therefore, be asserted that the term “public opinion” does not mean the opinion of all the people, but refers to the viewpoint of the majority of population in a country. The problem, then, is how to gauge the majority opinion. It is absolutely impossible for a citizen living among other citizens to express his real opinion untrammeled by pressure.
It may not necessarily be a one-man dictatorship; a party or a clique may also assume dictatorial powers. There is, however, one common denominator among all forms of dictatorship: the individuals or clique wielding dictatorial authority consider themselves unaccountable (i.e., above the law). They live as if they were the sole rulers and masters of the universe. They believe that everything in the universe has been created to serve their interest. Hence they are free to exploit the resources of the universe in the manner they like and no one should have the temerity to criticize them or call them to account.
It has been rightly observed by Alfred Cobban that the handing over of sovereignty to the people gives them the same rights as were exercised by the Medieval Kings under the doctrine of Divine Right of Kings. Thus all the excesses of which the old Kings were guilty are being perpetrated today under the guise of democracy by the astute ruling cliques of the world.
Another dangerous ingredient of this secular culture is the philosophy of free mating like animals. This philosophy has erased all vestiges of moral values. After the Industrial Revolution the laboring classes being helpless and completely at the mercy of the capitalists, realized that no single wage-earner could provide subsistence for the whole family.The laborer was, therefore, forced to drag his wife and children to the factory also, so that the entire family could earn to keep body and soul together. This social change had the most upsetting effect on women.
In spite of their modernist outlook, women were reluctant to lay aside their natural feelings of shyness and modesty. At this critical juncture the philosophers came to the rescue and resolved the dilemma. They breathed the following words into female ears :
The feelings- of shyness and modesty and the quality of chastity and purity which you prize so much are all supplementary values which alter from age to age. They are worth no more than old worn-out tales. In fact, these golden chains were invented by your forebears to keep you under slavery. But you should wake up now. It is your duty to break these old chains and wriggle out of them. In every respect, you stand equal to the male. Hence you should compete with him in the struggle for existence.”
The first effect of this false doctrine was to loosen the bond of marriage and then a general antipathy towards marriage developed. Malthus’ Theory of Population added fuel to the fire, and the stable edifice of the family system was razed to the ground. The effects on human society of the disintegration of family system may be divided into two sections:
- General indifference towards the training and upbringing of children.
- Sexual anarchy.
Whereas, on the one hand, this philosophy of free mating like animals has wrecked the institution of the family, on the other, it has under the colorful mantle of the doctrine of Back to Nature, sow n the seeds of sexual anarchy throughout the world. It has delivered a very enticing message to the world that free love is the demand of Nature and the bond of marriage is both artificial and archaic, in fact a relic of the dark ages of history. In consequence of this philosophy of life, every hotel, park and quarter in Europe has become a market place of sex. This is an open fact and needs no proof. Apart from other, the protagonists of this civilization themselves have started raising voices of protest against this situation. There is no need for me to dwell any more on this subject.
This resulted in a complete change in the economic setup of the oldest profession. Since houses are not needed, neither are large investments. Without houses immovably located, pay-offs to bluecoats on the beat have become almost extinct, and so, for the matter, have raids. Only the lowest streetwalkers are collared.
The Secret of What Is Secularism
The best prostitutes, and by that we mean not only those who look best, but who work best, are Company girls, phoned for appointments like your doctor and often paid off that way, by monthly charge account and cheque. Some people call them call girls and others refer to them as party girls ; because you call them when you want a party. Party girls are not “sent” or transported to other states. They cross the lines on their own, to follow the seasons, conventions, etc., in search of job.
Communism has further lowered the moral standards. The Communist leaders have mainly focussed their attention on removing all obstacles to Socialism. In sexual conduct, man has been left free to follow his whims and desires. The citizens have been conceded full rights to indulge in a sexual contact free-for-all.In consequence of this sexual freedom, moral values in major cities which were directly affecte by the Communist ethics of free love without marriage were completely undermined.
Another deadly element in the secular culture is Nationalism. In the Middle Ages, Christianity had spent its force as a live and dynamic creed, but its sepulcher was yet the keystone of the social life of the whole of Europe. Even in its dead form, Christianity held so much attraction for the people that they looked to its tenets for peace and well-being. A variety of nations and races were bound together by the lofty and pure creed and the most excellent social ideal of Christianity. Later, Martin Luther launched his famous ‘Movement of Reformation’ and incited the German people to oppose the church.
Church ultimately lost the battle and with it the bond that held together various nations snapped. Each nation raised the banner of Independence. Europe at this stage was confronted with the question as to which other ideal could awaken the spirit of action and achievement among the people after the demise of the Christian collective order. To supply this need the secular culture advanced the ideology of Nationalism. In spite of their atheism, the people of Europe were consequently in a frenzy of nationalism, the European countries fell upon each other in a bitter war.
Everything that was not indigenous became false in their eyes. Chauvinism and prejudice against anything foreign intensified to such an extent that Nations repudiated even those sublime values coming from abroad which the righteous men of God had enunciated from time to time and which purported not to protect the interest of just one nation or country, but to promote the wellbeing of the entire human race.