The Prospects of Intercultural Humanism in the 21st Century

TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 15 Oct 2012

Klaudius Cansczyk, et al. – TRANSCEND Media Service

The seven social sins of humanity:

1. wealth without work
2. pleasure without conscience
3. knowledge without character
4. commerce without morality
5. science without humanity
6. worship without sacrifice
7. politics without principles
Mahatma Gandhi1

Dear Mr. Gandhi, 

Whilst your friend is residing in our house, I should like to take this  opportunity to send you these lines. You have shown the world that it is  possible to solve seemingly insurmountable problems without the use of violence  even between those who renounce violence themselves. We hope that  your example will have an effect far beyond the borders of your country and  contribute to decisions being made at an international level, the implementation  of which must be guaranteed by all concerned.  With my utmost admiration,
yours  Albert Einstein2     

 I have an idea, a dream, that in a thousand years, there will be a human race  which can even recognize something of its own history. Of all the people in  our century, who will be most positively remembered? One would have to say  that it was Mahatma Gandhi who showed how to achieve political targets  without violence.
Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker3       

The values that the Jewish physicist Albert Einstein and the  Christian physicist, philosopher, and peace researcher Carl Friedrich  von Weizsäcker attribute to the Hindu politician Mahatma Gandhi,  point towards an intercultural humanism which we regard as part of  a worldwide array of religions and perspectives of the world which  could and should survive as an orientation for the 21st century.  Humanism is the striving for genuine humanity, for pure human thought, feeling, and deeds, for humanitarianism, not solely as a call  for rationalism but for empathy and that not embedded in the restrictions  of anthropological ideology but as an integral part of  nature. ‘Intercultural’ humanism refers to the mentality that humanity can be found in all cultures. One can discern a minimal consensus of a worldview emanating from the various cultures,  which can serve as a binding basis for life on our planet and which  can be accepted as such.4 Gandhi is seen by many as one of the symbolic  figures of an intercultural humanism. His philosophy on life5  stems from a variety of sources. In addition to Indian traditions including Buddhism and Jainism, a life perspective based on a complete renunciation of violence towards man and beast, the ideas of  the Parsis, Christians and Muslims also influenced his way of  thinking. Gandhi admitted that he had learned much from the West, from Jesus in the Bible, whom he wanted to follow without accepting the ecclesiastical claim of his being the sole son of God.

He had learned much from Leo Tolstoy, whom he revered, from the Greek philosophers Socrates and Plato, by whom he was impressed, and from many others. His religious and political genius became apparent through his ability to combine Western ideas with  Indian tradition. Gandhi entered politics with a background of strong religious conviction based on ethnic and moral foundations.  He became famous for his policy of non-violence, ahimsa, which  eased his way to political power.The principle of ”violence” which  had dominated for centuries had many different facets for Gandhi,  the worst of which was poverty. His views of the primacy of ethic, moral, humanist and political institutionalism and the showing of solidarity can help us deal with the demands of the present-day form  of globalization without necessarily having to share his religious  convictions.

His warning of the seven social sins of humanity could show a  way for religion, science, politics, business and culture of minimizing  the dangers and disadvantages of globalization which make the poor  poorer and the rich richer. His often quoted thought ”Earth provides  enough for everyone’s needs, but not for everyone’s greed” is  frequently mentioned as a small moral tool in an effort to counteract  the increasingly gaping discrepancies between the greed of the wealthy  and the struggle for life as experienced by the poor. Gandhi  insisted upon the idea that everyone should respect the tradition and  culture into which he or she is born whilst at the same time  recognizing other traditions. He portrays the principle of inter-cultural  life in a very succinct way: ”I do not want my house to be  walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the  cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible.  But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.”6

Intercultural humanism is also advocated by Intercultural Philosophy  which has gained importance since the end of the Cold War  and in which philosophers from Europe, the United States, Latin  America, India, China, and Africa, as well as many Arabic countries  are now actively involved.7 From an ideological point of view,  Intercultural Philosophy regards the relationship of man to nature or  the cosmos in various cultures such as Greek, Chinese, Indian or  American Indian, as a way of enabling humanity to learn collectively  in the 21st century. The scientific and technical command over  nature, which leads to a delusional anthropocentric conflict of  interest, pays scant regard to the interests of the diversity of living  things and has lead modern man to forget that the world of omnipotent  nature can survive without mankind but that mankind  cannot survive without nature.

Humanity is being repaid for this anthropocentric carelessness with world climate changes, the disappearance of species, and other  threats to the complex biological balance. With the greatest respect  for the successes of science and technology, but with just as much  respect for the wisdom of various cultures, Intercultural Philosophy  rejects as an anthropocentric aberration to the command over  nature, in the form of the exploitation and plundering at the  expense of future generations, as well as at the expense of our nonhuman  contemporaries. The wisdom of the philosophies of the  world’s various cultures could, if viewed ”holistically,” lead to a  solution for many problems in that they urge us to overcome the  prevalent egocentricity, ethnocentricity as well as anthropocentricity  and remind us of our position in the natural order of the world.  Intercultural Philosophy proposes neither an awkward ”Back to  Nature,” nor a single-handed ”Back to Culture,” but rather a ”Back  to Nature via Culture” approach, combined with the recognition of  the irrevocable fate of the world community of living things.

This could lead to the future cohabitation of an enormous  household of cosmic nature upon our common planet earth.8 In  Albert Einstein’s ”Cosmic Religion,” in which the genius physicist  talks about nature, full of humility and unpretentiousness, full of wonder and awe, even full of love, one can see that Intercultural  Philosophy addresses many worldly parallels.9 It has in Carl  Friedrich von Weizsäcker, an ally who greatly values the vast array  of cultures and religions analogous to the variety of living organisms  whilst, at the same time, rejecting a syncretism which dilutes the  strength of the individual cultures, as well as a monocultural  dictatorship.10

From the ethical and moral facets of Intercultural Philosophy  comes the understanding of the imperative for the primacy of  ethics, morality, humanism, and solidarity above politics. Part of the  responsibility of a ”philosophy of cultural comparison” is to analyze  the ethics of the various cultures, including their patterns of reasoning,  the forms of ethos, and the moral beliefs practiced in cultural  dialogue regarding similarities and differences.The common cultural  aspects should be heightened in our consciousness with the ultimate  aim of strengthening the moral claims for a successful coexistence of  different cultures. Hans Küng’s idea of a global ethic11 aims to tease  out the common values of different cultures.Those who fear for the  future of our world welcome his ideas,12 which offer an ”overlapping  ethos” based on the expression of the multicultural minimal  consensus.This ethos runs parallel to Intercultural Philosophy from  the outset, offering constructive criticism without neglecting the  enlightening differences apparent between the various ethics.

The ”Earth Charter”13 views Intercultural Philosophy as a fertile  addition to a global ethic which stresses the element of  sustainability. Intercultural Philosophy supports the idea that many  of the world’s problems can only be solved at an international and  intercultural level, by a ”Global Governance System” under the auspices  of the United Nations, provided that an intercultural and international  consensus is reached regarding human rights and human  responsibilities, in which not only the rights of freedom but specifically  the right to exist and social rights of the earth’s inhabitants play  a major role. As for the global economic aspect, Intercultural Philosophy  calls for a Global Governance System, based on global ethics,  which has the power to attempt solutions to those problems present  in the world, the actions of which, as Einstein had hoped in his open  letter to Gandhi, would be supported by the whole world. According  to the civil and sociological aspects, and in particular according  to pedagogical aspects, Intercultural Philosophy demands the  teaching of a planetary consciousness which leads to the  development of moral power, thus urging world politics and the  world economy to solve our world’s problems in the spirit of  Intercultural Humanism.

What role could Europe play in a future brought about by  intercultural humanism, in which the moral strength of non-violence  triumphs over the web of power and contra-power so efficient  in the past, characterized by direct, structural and cultural violence.  The Norwegian peace researcher Johan Galtung has traced these  forms of violence by researching various cultures.14 What role could  Europe play in assuring that global cultural violence is no longer  justified or legitimized, no longer supported by philosophies of life,  ideologies, religions, and other spiritual systems which see violence  either as being demanded by a god, historically justifiable, politically  unavoidable or economically necessary. To what extent could  Europe contribute to the peoples of this world by establishing a new,  previously unknown level of human existence, at peace with nature,  whereby, through an increased level of global fairness, the structural  violence of global apartheid15 can be overcome, leading to a peace  with peaceful means, and peace between those adhering to the  multitude of religions and other beliefs.

The hope on which the Intercultural Philosophy in Europe is  pinned is based upon the fact that the extensive ”Euro-Centrism,”  with its global policies, political economic and cultural aspects by  which the world has been influenced, often with non-peaceful  means, will, in the 21st century, belong to the past. In his much  discussed book ”The Clash of Civilizations,” the American political  scientist Samuel Phillips Huntington offers a historical look at the  imperialism which is rooted in geographical Europe, at one time had  a hold over America, and which culminated in the Western dominance  of Asia, India, Latin America and vast areas of Africa. Huntington arrived at the conclusion that: ”for 400 years intercultural  relations consisted of other societies conforming to Western  culture.”16 He sees the key to the successful rise of the West as  follows: ”The West did not conquer the world by the superiority of  its ideas, values or religions (to which only very few converted from  other cultures) but much more through its superiority in the area of  organized violence.” Regarding the common universal memory,  Huntington warns: ”Westerners often forget these facts; non-  Westerners never forget them.”

The two World Wars of the 20th century demonstrated the cruel  extent of the dominance of organized violence.At the end of World  War II, the development of the atomic bomb became a historical  marker, designated by the philosopher Arthur Koestler as the most  important date in the history of humanity, as from this point on,  humanity had to live with the prospect of its own destruction as a  species.17 What at first was merely the theoretical and symbolic  possibility of the self-destruction of humanity signified by the  atomic bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, developed into a real  possibility through the accumulation of weapons of mass destruction  during the arms race of 1945 to 1989 and remains today even after  the end of the Cold War.

In Huntington’s view, this arms race can be seen as nothing more  than a desire for supremacy in the possible use of organized violence.  The West, with the super power United States of America at  the center, has been the clear military and economic victor. One  should keep Gandhi’s and Galtung’s ideas in mind that not only  military power but also economic power are often dependent upon  structural violence, which is legitimized through cultural violence  and supported by fundamental economic theories.The relationship  between economic and military structural violence is highlighted by  American globalization expert Thomas L. Friedman, leading columnist  of the New York Times, in his formulation: ”The invisible hand  of the market cannot operate without the invisible fist.” He  continues most lucidly: ”McDonald’s cannot survive without  McDonnell Douglas, who build the F-15 for the United States Air Force. The invisible fist, which ensures that the technology from  Silicon Valley flourishes, consists of the Army, the Air Force, the  Navy and the Marines of the United States.And these armed forces  are paid by the dollars of United States tax payers.”18

”The invisible hand of the market” has, up to now, been unable  to help raise a large proportion of the world’s population out of  inhuman suffering, and the ”invisible fist” has opened many deep  wounds. In the period after World War II, the States behaved as if  Europe were acting according to the ideas of the great philosopher  Immanuel Kant, who wrote in his historical-philosophical observations  in 1784: ”One can regard the history of the human race as  a whole as the execution of a hidden plan of nature to create an  internal and, to this purpose, also an external, perfect state as the  only condition in which all citizens can fully realize their  potential.”19 Europe is on course to put into practice Kant’s theoretical  demands for a fusion between successful interstate relations  and intra-state improvements for the benefit of the inhabitants of  those states. One can only hope that this course will be adhered to  and that the violent times of the past remain where they belong.

If one looks at the earth as a whole, a number of conflicts have  developed since World War II which were carried out with the help  of weapons of war, so that the language of war continues to  dominate the face of the earth.The pressure upon the environment,  regarding sustainability or rather the ability to self-regenerate, has  built up so much that the point of no return has already been  reached.20 Further dangers, in the form of violence against nature,  jeopardize a long-term survival, not to mention the quality of life,  of the human race as well as of the ecological environment.

The 20th century left as a legacy for the new century a complex  mesh of problems, primarily man-made, including climate change,  ozone hole, environmental poisoning, dying trees, expansion of  desert regions, extinction of species, disregard for human dignity,  over-population, world famine, drought, migration of the poor,  ethnic cleansing, mass-unemployment, wars, state terror, violent  fundamentalism, weapons of mass destruction, unconventional weapons, and arms trade, to mention just a few. Therefore, the  question as to whether this array of problems of Gordian complexity  can be solved is certainly justified.21 From the point of view of  Intercultural Philosophy, life and death in the 21st century will very  much depend upon the type of interaction between the various  peoples, nations, states, and cultures. In particular, it will depend  upon whether or not the global community will succeed in solving  the inevitable conflicts which arise from the distribution of the  world’s resources, by means of the historically new method of ”nonviolence”  or whether it will revert to the historically trusted  methods of ”organized violence.” In light of the available potential  violence, this latter alternative could lead to the self-destruction of  the global community.

In an attempt to find solutions to the threats upon our planet,  the United States presidential candidate of 2000, Al Gore, in his  book Earth in the Balance – Ecology and Human Spirit,22 demands of  politics after the Cold War: ”It is essential to save our environment  using the common organizational principles of our civilization.”He  illustrates the magnitude of the task by comparing it with two other  central organizational principles, namely the fight against fascism,  which only ended with World War II and the fight against communism,  whose fate was sealed with the fall of the Berlin Wall. The  whole of society’s energy, science and technology, finances and economy,  politics and ideology, were aimed at these two targets. After  the Cold War, all efforts should be mustered to achieve global  equality. Just as the United States of America’s Marshall Plan of 1947  to 1948 strengthened the rebuilding of Europe, a ”Marshall Plan for  the earth” must be successful against the environmental threats.

In contrast to Al Gore’s demands, the terrorist attacks of  September 11th 2001 have led United States President George W.  Bush to raise the war against terrorism to a ”central organizational  principle.” Bush predicted to the United Nations that they would  fall into insignificance if they did not support the United States of  America in war against the ”villainous state” of Iraq. In his speech  of January 29th, 2002 in front of the United States Congress, he formulated the foremost aims of his policy: the safety of the United  States of America by means of a war against terrorism and the revival  of the economy.23 In the fight against evil he sees the United States  of America fulfilling a new historical role: ”In a single instant, we  realized that this will be a decisive decade in the history of liberty,  that we’ve been called to a unique role in human events.”24 In the  summer of 2002, the United States government developed a  doctrine in which it reserved the right of first attack – in the form  of pre-emptive military strikes – against ”rogue states” and with  which it disregarded the applicable law of nations25 and demonstrated  in full view of the whole world that power is more important  than the law of nations. Shortly before the beginning of the war  against Iraq,Kofi Annan made a statement on March 10th, 2003 proclaiming  that the military action was not in keeping with the United  Nations Charter.26

After the Iraq War, in the autumn of 2003, Kofi Annan spoke  retrospectively of ”a unilateral and illegal use of force” and  condemned the pre-emptive action of the United States of America  by describing the foundations of the United Nations being shaken  to the core: ”This logic provides a fundamental challenge to the  principles, however imperfect they may be, upon which world peace  has been founded for the last 58 years.”27 According to Kofi Annan,  the Kosovo War of 1999 demonstrated a tendency not to involve the  United Nations Security Council in attempts to uphold world peace  and international security.The inadequacies of the global institutions  to uphold world peace thus demonstrated, the United Nations  Secretary General even warned of a ”dangerous path towards  anarchy.”28

If the president of the biggest superpower in the history of the  world legitimizes the ”struggle for freedom” as a historical mission,  alarm bells will be ringing particularly for non-Westerners in  reference to the world collective memory. Is this reference to the  historical mission in the fight for freedom a further example of cultural  violence being employed to legitimize structural and direct  violence, in the same way that it has been used in past centuries? The Iraq War leaves scarce room for doubt. Of considerable significance  in the 21st century is whether the super power of the global  community will be represented by the United Nations in a subordinate  role, or will the globalization expert Thomas L. Friedman  be correct in his assessment: ”The most important reason the United  States needs the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund,  the World Bank, and the various world development banks, is that  the United States of America can promote its own interests without  having to risk American lives and capital.”29

With this in mind, it is understandable that Kofi Annan warned  the United Nations General Assembly on the occasion of the 60th  anniversary of the United Nations in his report In Larger Freedom:  ”These are not theoretical issues, but issues of deadly urgency. If we  do not reach a consensus on them this year and start to act on it,we  may not have another chance. This year, if ever, we must transform  the United Nations into the effective instrument for preventing  conflict that it always meant to be by acting on several key policy  and institutional priorities.”30 However, the Anniversary Summit  between September 14th to 16th, 2005, achieved only minimal  consensus and fell far below the expectations of the Secretary  General. The crucial question remained unanswered as to whether  the states will succeed in the future in reforming the United  Nations, at present kept weak and ill-equipped, into an ”effective  instrument for avoiding conflicts,” to which belong, according to  Kofi Annan, economic development, social justice, protection of the  global environment, reduction of the worldwide weapons trade,  democracy, diversity und dignity, the recognition of human rights,  the idea of the state founded on the rule of law and much more.31  In order to realize such ”real peace” the Secretary General of the  United Nations explicitly demands the inclusion and support of  society’s civil forces, which could promote the urgently required  change of behavior through public pressure and a change in the way  of thinking.

Part of the civil forces include the Global Marshall Plan &  Planetary Contract Initiative which sees a model of success for a post-war world-wide socio-ecological market. The Initiative sees  itself as bound to Kofi Annan’s manifesto Crossing the Divide. Dialogue  among Civilizations32 and is thus based upon intercultural humanism.  Franz Josef Radermacher, one of the foremost thinkers involved in  the Global Marshall Plan Initiative, points in his book Balance or  Destruction33 to the necessity of a ”domestic world policy,” which in  this time of globalization would be required to regulate the world  economy.34

The phrase ”world domestic policy,” coined by Carl Friedrich  von Weizsäcker, bridges the classical gap between the foreign and  domestic policy of sovereign states and compounds their relationships  into a permanent web at a new integral level. According to  Kant’s paper Zum Ewigen Frieden,35 progressive regulation in the  form of political agreements or contracts could lead humanity to a  condition of ”world citizenship” in which the states would adhere  to a primarily absolute global constitution which would, in turn,  have such a positive effect upon the constitutions of the individual  states that the citizens in the single states would only then be able to  fully develop. From the point of view of Intercultural Philosophy,we  are pleading that the mighty, who rule over the present form of  globalization with their ”economic regulation,” should not function  as a body with the role of an economic, fundamentalist final arbiter  but rather that it should act according to and be restrained by the  intercultural humanist guidelines.

In keeping with Kofi Annan’s manifesto for dialogue among  civilizations, the idea of global ethics and the Earth Charter, the  Global Marshall Plan & Planetary Contract Initiative supports the  United Nations in its attempt to persuade the powerful global  players – in politics, economy and finance, to participate in a globally  recognized, system of regulation and a workable cohabitation of the  earth’s citizens in the future, orientated towards global justice,  sustainability and peace with peaceful means. The orientation  towards global justice could see an end to famine, poverty, and  disease, and form the basis for a meaningful life amidst cultural  diversity. The orientation towards sustainability raises a sense of responsibility for future generations and strives for a life of harmony,  at one with nature. The realization of justice and sustainability could  increase the probability of peace with peaceful means in and with  nature, post 20th century, a century ”perhaps the most deadly in the  history of the human race, shattered by innumerable conflicts untold  misery and unimaginable crimes,”36 which too often emanated from  violent supremacy over man, woman, and nature. This change is  possible, if not probable. The improbable deserves a chance. The  Global Marshall Plan & Planetary Contract Initiative is thus supported  by the Society for Intercultural Philosophy.

References

  1. We dedicate our essay in grateful thanks to the memory of the pleasant, humorous and zestful conversations with Karl Konrad Graf von der Groeben-Ponarien, the founder of the Global Ethic Foundation. As a successful
    entrepreneur, he continually lived the values of Mahatma Gandhi’s as a form of guidance and a reminder.
  2. Albert Einstein’s letter to Mahatma Gandhi, privately-owned and quoted with the friendly permission of Saraswati Albano-Müller (maiden namenée Sundaram), the daughter of the friend mentioned in the letter.
  3. compare: Bartosch U (1995).Weltinnenpolitik. Berlin, p. 476.
  4. compare: Geerk F (1995). Kongress der Weltweisen – Ein Lesebuch des Humanismus. Düsseldorf, p. 21-25.
  5. compare: Mall R A (2005). Mahatma Gandhi interkulturell gelesen. Nordhausen.
  6. compare: Mall R A (2005). Mahatma Gandhi interkulturell gelesen. Nordhausen, p.45.
  7. compare: www.int-gip.de
  8. compare: Mall R A (2000). Mensch und Geschichte – Wider die Anthropozentrik. Darmstadt, p. 184-190.
  9. compare: Einstein A in: Seelig C (ed.) (1991). Albert Einstein, Mein Weltbild. Frankfurt on the Main, p. 21-29.
  10. compare: von Weizsäcker C F (1992). Zeit und Wissen. Munich, p. 520.
  11. compare: Küng H, Kuschel K-J (ed.) (1993). Erklärung zum Weltethos. Die Deklaration des Parlamentes der Weltreligionen. Munich.
  12. compare: Küng H (ed.) (1996).Yes to a Global Ethic. London.
  13. compare: www.earthcharter.org
  14. compare: Galtung J (1998). Frieden mit friedlichen Mitteln. Opladen.
  15. compare: Radermacher F J (2004). Balance or Destruction – Eco-Social Market Economy as the Key to Global Sustainable Development.Vienna, p. 123.
  16. compare: Huntington S P (1997).The Clash of Civilizations. Munich / Vienna, p. 67f.
  17. compare: Koestler A (1978). Der Mensch – Irrläufer der Evolution. Bern / Munich, p. 1.
  18. compare: Friedman T L (2000). Globalisierung verstehen. Munich, p. 571.
  19. compare: Kant I (1964). Idee zu einer allgemeinen Geschichte in weltbürgerlicher Absicht, in: Immanuel Kant.Werke. Sechster Band. Frankfurt on the Main, p. 45 (A 404).
  20. compare: Dürr H P: http://www.gcn.de/download/D15KW.pdf
  21. compare: Lutz D (1998). Weltinnenpolitik – Zurückgeworfen auf das Jahr 1982 – Kriegsverhütung und / oder Konfliktverhütung? In: Bartosch / Wagner.Weltinnenpolitik. Münster, p. 134 u. 136.
  22. Gore A (1992). Earth in the Balance – Ecology and Human Spirit. Boston / London / New York, Houghton Mifflin Company.
  23. compare: George W. Bush’s speech: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/01/20020129-11.html
  24. compare: George W. Bush’s speech: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/01/20020129-11.html
  25. compare: Bauer F (2005). Kofi Annan – Ein Leben, Frankfurt on the Main, p. 253.
  26. compare: Bauer F (2005). Kofi Annan – Ein Leben, Frankfurt on the Main, p. 262.
  27. compare: Bauer F (2005). Kofi Annan – Ein Leben, Frankfurt on the Main, p. 275.
  28. compare Annan K (2003). UNvollendeter Weg – Die UNO im 21. Jahrhundert.
    Hamburg / Ravensburg, p. 74 u. 76.
  29. compare: Friedman T L (2000). Globalisierung verstehen, Munich, p. 572.
  30. compare:Annan K: http://www.un.org/largerfreedom/
  31. compare: Annan K (2003). UNvollendeter Weg – Die UNO im 21. Jahrhundert, Hamburg / Ravensburg, p. 61.

_____________________

Autoren: Prof. Dr. Ram Adhar Mall + Klaudius Cansczyk 2007
publiced in: “EUROPEAN HOPE – Towards a World in Balance”
Strategy of Partnership + A Virtual Congress for a Better Balanced World
Global Marshall Plan Initiative

Go to Original – sonnenseite.com

 

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2 Responses to “The Prospects of Intercultural Humanism in the 21st Century”

  1. David Doerr says:

    The U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals, according to the research conducted by the British Parliament, will not be achieved unless control is exerted – using civil means – over the run-away world birth rate. (A 40% increase over the last twenty-five years.) This increase of two billion more people has generated endless cheap labor, and has pressed sustainable resources to the limit in many nations. The West continues to dwell in its “cloud of unknowing” regarding the effect of its oil consumption on its availability for future generations. What is the solution? I notice that the news media consistently fails to discuss the existence of God in relation to solving our planet’s problems. The first question that we should hear from them is, “Where is God?” If you strive to educate people regarding the urgent need to exert control over the world’s birth rate – if that is indeed the most pressing social problem on the planet, and is, therefore in line with God’s will for humanity (in order to minimize human suffering and exploitation) – then you will experience the more perfect timing of events, and more positive numerical phenomena (“signs”) that intellectuals were concerned with in the times of Einstein.

  2. David Doerr says:

    The view of humanists tends to be that our meteorological phenomena are directly related to human activity, and I don’t doubt the truth of that. However, this represents a tendency towards reductionism, and is an attempt to avoid giving serious thought to the Scriptural claim that our meteorological phenomena are directly the result of our covenantal relationship with God. If we seek to serve the will of God, and strive to bring under control – using civil means – the run-away birth rate of the planet, then we will experience the blessing of milder, more clement weather. The lack of stewardship in this regard is the direct cause of our unruly weather phenomena.