It is not uncommon that secular humanists want to affirm two items. First, that humans are inherently good in moral terms. Second, humans’ cultural and social institutions are evil and pollute the inherent moral goodness of humans.
The reality is that these two items just summarized simply don’t, and won’t, work. If humans are inherently good, how do we explain the existence of the badness of collective humans? Inherent goodness, as normally understood, allows no entry point for badness to come into humanity.
Furthermore, if human cultural and social institutions are morally bad to the point of degrading humans on the individual level, how can such institutions reverse themselves and return humans to their original goodness? The position allows for no change agent unless . . . . a change agent that is not “merely” human is introduced.
As it stands, secular humanists have painted themselves into a corner, but refuse to acknowledge it. I assume they realize that the only way out of the corner is to admit the existence of something beyond the box containing the corner. Such admission destroys their scheme.
But, the issue goes even further. Secular humanists not uncommonly affirm that atheism leads to a world collective government. This government will provide unity to humanity as well as establish the “game rules” necessary for humanity to not self destruct. These game rules were once considered the domain of religions and belief in a deity. But, with the demise of religions that proclaimed the existence of a God both beyond humanity, but involved with humanity, religion needs a functional replacement.
Interestingly, however, Ayn Rand, one of their own atheists, rejects this world government as having a role in establishing what is morally normative. Rand affirms that the rightness of all things is what is derived from selfish decision making. The individual is supreme, says Rand.
If atheism is true, says Rand, there is no need for religion to have a functional substitute in the form of a world government.
So, the corner gets even smaller, and the paint doesn’t dry!!!
To change the image, inherent human goodness and damaging/evil cultural and social institutions make very strange bed fellows.