Are Westerners misanthropists? A few, perhaps. But, the dramatic contrast in the way we respond to human fetal suffering versus animal suffering unveils a striking dilemma that most secularists, the vast majority of whom are materialists of some kind (whether naturalists, existentialists, nihilists, or postmodernists), would rather not think about.
What always made me uneasy with this neat, clean distinction between the intolerance of the religious and the cheerful tolerance of secular Enlightenment thinkers was this question: From whence did Enlightenment philosophers derive their concepts of tolerance? Joseph Loconte is the latest scholar to offer a clear answer to that question in God, Locke, and Liberty: The Struggle for Religious Freedom in the West (2014).
The power imbalance is obvious. The truth issue is clear. We should see an end to abortions in America, just like Wilberforce and his cohort brought an end to the slave trade, right? I hate to rain on our parade, but in this case I get to play our Eeyore.
The Academy's executive director, Dr. Robert Osburn, recently reviewed, for First Things (widely considered America's most important journal on religion and public life), Professor Tim Clydesdale's new book The Purposeful Graduate (2015).
© 2014 Bob Osburn
A friend in Indonesia reported that, morally and spiritually, the nation is rotting. I responded by saying that Western modernization/globalization, which is really a material bastardization of Christianity, has spread like gangrene into much of the world including Indonesia. It offers economic development, which is surely worth celebrating, but cannot offer meaning. The result, which is all too prevalent in the West, is nihilism, for which the only true answer is Christ, but for which the deceptive alternative is radical Islam. The latter appeals to nihilists who expect meaning in the final, bloody exit of terror.
As you can see, I believe that modernization/globalization is, one way or the other, a significant breeding ground for both nihilism and jihadism. We have to work on the main institution that serves the breeding ground---the modern university. Thus, I advocate a strong and consistent effort to see that people like you successfully get PhDs and return to the institution as professors who dare to advocate an alternative worldview and are willing to engage other worldviews in the pluralistic university (which, in turn, must replace what we have now, the secular university). Christian academics must know their job is to advocate the humanization of an institution which has lost its humanity because it has become naturalistic and thus secular.