Humanist Sociology and Economics

QUESTION: Humanist Sociology – Economics and the New Society

ANSWER:

Secular Humanist sociologists favor socialism as the economic system that best suits a self-actualized society. Many indorse a Marxist approach to economics. Secular Humanists hold society (rather than the individual) responsible for evil in the world. Since our culture was formed largely by Western and Christian influences, including capitalism, it needs to be transformed in order to allow individuals to realize their full potential. Fromm describes how capitalism alienates us from each other: “What is modern man’s relationship to his fellow man? It is one between two abstractions, two living machines, who use each other.”1

Humanist Sociology – Socialism is More Humane than Capitalism
In the Secular Humanist worldview, socialism is more humane that capitalism. Fromm explains, “The only constructive solution is that of Socialism, which aims at a fundamental reorganization of our economic and social system in the direction of freeing man from being used as a means for purposes outside of himself, of creating a social order in which human solidarity, reason and productiveness are furthered rather than hobbled.”2 Secular Humanists not only espouse the ideas of socialism, but also encourage activism to bring about this change in social structure.

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 Erich Fromm, Beyond the Chains of Illusion (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1962), quoted in Ross Ellenhorn, “Toward a Humanistic Social Work: Social Work for Conviviality,” Humanity and Society (May 1988): 166.

2 Erich Fromm, The Sane Society (New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1955), 277.

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