Humanist Sociology and Alternative Lifestyles

QUESTION: Humanist Sociology – The Rise of Alternative Lifestyles

ANSWER:

Secular Humanist sociologists have suggested numerous alternative lifestyles to replace the traditional family. Robert N. Whitehurst, for example, puts forward open marriage (open to adultery), triads, cooperatives, collectives, urban communes, extended intimates, swinging and group marriage, and part-time marriage.1 In a “New Bill of Sexual Rights and Responsibilities,” Lester Kirkendall advocates similar alternative lifestyles such as homosexuality, bisexuality, pre- and extra-marital sexual relationships, and something called “genital associations.”2

Humanist Sociology – Replacing the Traditional Family
In addition to alternatives to traditional marriage, Secular Humanist sociologists propose alternatives to traditional child rearing. Casler suggest a society where “there would be no compulsory responsibility for child-rearing.”3 He explains how children raised in institutions could retain their inherent goodness: “It is supposed that the principles of ethical, productive, and happy living will be learned more readily when children are free of the insecurities, engendered chiefly by parents, that ordinarily obstruct the internalization of these modes of thought.”4

Notes:

Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

1 Robert N. Whitehurst, “Alternative Life-styles,” The Humanist, (May/June 1975): 24.

2 Lester Kirkendall, A New Bill of Sexual Rights and Responsibilities (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1976), 9.

3 Lawrence Casler, “Permissive Matrimony: Proposals for the Future,” The Humanist (March/April 1974): 6.

4 Ibid., 7.



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