In this final post of the series, I want to address the topic of humanity. In thinking about this topic, I am reminded of the great poem, “No Man Is An Island.”
No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as a manor of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
– John Donne
This poem is written from a distinctly Christian worldview that sees how all men and women are connected through their Creator. Not all worldviews see life through this lens. Following table provides a summary of how each of the main worldviews under scrutiny perceive humanity.
Anything and everything can be justified by reason that is rooted in an a “personal” reality and which ascribes no transcendent value to humanity. Anything and everything is reasonable to the person who lives outside the bounds established in God’s self-revelation. There is no contradiction in killing a life to save a life, polluting the world to clean it, discriminating to promote anti-discrimination, or acting out with intolerance in the name of tolerance. In a “self-made” world, reasonable people can commit a host of atrocities because there is no transcendent moral truth outside to constrain their action.