COMMENT: The first thing to do to improve race relations is to improve the larger notion of the human race.
Until the dawn of modern science in the 17th century, it was the consensus among earthlings that their planet was located at the center of the universe. It seemed appropriate for man, given his God-given dignity, to be inducted into this honored position.
The scientific contributions of Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and others, however, made it clear that the earth, on which man spends his days, is just another planet revolving around the sun and, in fact, not the center of the universe. The spot of man in the solar system was no more worthy than that of Mars, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter. His pride was burnt. It was a brutal shock to those who interpreted this decrease as incompatible with the greatness of the human being. But the real decrease in man was yet to come.
Consider the following trio of well-known thinkers:
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) removed a providential God from the image of creation and replaced him with chance. Human beings, along with all other animals in the animal kingdom, have developed as a result of many fortuitous events in their environment. Evolution, according to Darwin, explains the appearance of man on the scene of nature. Man was not so much a spiritual being, but a mass of protoplasm, albeit highly evolved, which was historically related to the protoplasm of the unicellular amoeba.
Karl Marx (1818-1883) also rejected God. In its place, it installed a historical dialectic which, by its natural impulse, gave birth to all things. This “dialectic” is the clash between two categories which leads to a third. Thus, the confrontation between a thesis and an antithesis produces a synthesis. On the human level, the confrontation between the proletariat (the poor) and the capitalists (the rich) produces communism. The dialectic of history is therefore an unstoppable natural force which leads to a communist state in which the individual has no particular importance in himself.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) is the founder of psychoanalysis. His scientific interest is human behavior, which he viewed in a purely materialistic way. Therefore, man is not a spiritual being and religion is nothing more than a neurosis. Human beings are not free. They are the by-product of unconscious feelings and societal pressures. Freud had his own dialectic in which he saw a clash between the pretensions of instinct and the pressures of society. The “Id” was its term to designate the basic instinct of man whose antithesis was the “superego” or the moral sense. This clash resulted in a compromised “ego”, but not a free human being.
In summary, the notion of human being has gone through four stages of decline in the modern world. The first at a cosmic level in which he could no longer see himself as occupying a privileged position in the universe. Second, Darwin, whose field of investigation is all of nature, reduced man to being the product of chance. Marx, whose field of study was society, reduced man to a being whose only importance was his participation in a communist social system. Finally, Freud, who studied the mind of the individual, saw it as a mindless entity that acted in accordance with a clash of opposing forces.
In the modern world, as we move into smaller and smaller fields of study i.e. the universe as a whole, nature, human society, and the mind of man, the decrease of man becomes more pronounced. As George Will put it, “the creators of the modern mind – Darwin, Marx, Freud – have either taught or have been interpreted as having taught that man is, in various ways, passive and plastic in the face of the pressures of its environment … history, physics, biology, psychology and sociology have all been made to seem to teach that man is not free ”(Statecraft like Soulcraft, 58).
One of the great challenges of the modern world is how to resolve an excessive admiration for science with the decrease in man that has been caused by scientists. Sociologist George Simmel spoke wisely about the problem when he advised that science stay within its own natural limits. As a result, he declared that “whenever a particular branch of science attempts to give answers of universal validity, answers to ultimate questions concerning Man and the Universe, it goes beyond its borders and turns wrong “.
Science can neither refute the existence of God, nor solve the mystery of creation, the nature of freedom, nor the paradoxes of the human psyche. On the contrary, science treats the physical world as a physical world and, for this reason, cannot deduce anything with certainty beyond the physical – that is, it cannot make any final assertions of truth. or falsehood on anything that is properly the object of physical meta-studies – such as theology. On the contrary, science is at its best when it is science.
The decrease in man has never been a problem for the Catholic Church since, while affirming the value of science, it also understands the scope of philosophy, the relevance of theology, the wisdom of the Bible and the coherence of its tradition – all of which speak more properly of this same metaphysical reality to which science has no direct access.
The gradual decline of man can be seen as a gradual attack on the human race. While much attention is paid to the injustices expressed between different races, and rightly so, the issue of injustice against the notion of “human race” itself has been largely ignored. Paying attention to particular races while neglecting the all-encompassing human race must hinder efforts to improve relations between particular races. It would be like refurbishing apartments in a condemned building. If the building collapses, the apartments collapse with it. The first thing to do to improve relations between races is to improve the larger notion of the human race. Accepting the idea that the human race is made up of beings who are no more worthy than monkeys in pants, soulless citizens, or sophisticated robots is the worst form of racism. It is racism against the human race.