Thursday, March 21, 2013

Marxist-Leninism, Cosmic Humanism, and Postmodernism - Worldviews Part 3

      Marxist-Leninism, Cosmic Humanism, and Postmodernism. Do those names sound as intimidating to you as they did to me? The fact that “Marxist-Leninism” is just a fancy way of saying “Communism” didn’t even help. These are the final three worldviews that I studied in my worldview class. (If you missed the one about worldviews, click here. If you missed the one outlining Christianity, Islam, and Secular Humanism, click here.)

Marxist-Leninism (Communism)

      At first, Marxist-Leninism seemed almost exactly the same as Secular Humanism, but after studying it further, I was able to see the differences. Their views on theology are pretty similar to that of the Secular Humanists – they believe that there is no God or other higher being unless you count humans. According to Karl Marx, “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, as it is the spirit of spiritless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” We are actually God, but because we just couldn't fathom this, we created God to explain everything. 
      Marxist-Leninist philosophers agree with Secular Humanists that the universe was created by random chance and is constantly changing; however, Marxist-Leninists disagree on the application–they say that instead of only applying to life forms, this evolution applies to everything. This idea is called Dialectical Materialism which is the belief that in every situation, there is a conflict between two ideas (the thesis and antithesis), and that conflict produces a new idea (the synthesis) which eventually comes in conflict with another opposing idea, and the process continues. They agree that matter is all that exists; this includes our minds, thoughts, etc. 
      Truth is determined through science and ultimately through the Dialectic process. The Marxist-Leninist ethical code is based on something called Proletariat Morality and is the idea that “right” is anything that helps the poor or hinders the wealthy, and “wrong” is anything the wealthy do that oppresses the poor. Biological and social evolution ultimately determines morality. 
      The Marxist-Leninist idea of how life began (called Punctuated Equilibrium) is very similar to that of the Secular Humanist (relies on spontaneous generation, natural selection, and the fossil record), but differs in saying that evolution moved very slowly to start with–almost invisibly–and then, out of the blue, an evolutionary explosion happened, causing things to evolve so quickly that it’s undocumented. 

Cosmic Humanism

      While most of the other worldviews I studied in the worldview class have similarities with at least one other worldview also covered, Cosmic Humanism is different than all the others. The Cosmic Humanist view of God is something called Pantheism–the belief that everything is God. Instead of one God over everything or even no God at all, they believe that everything is God of itself. 
     They believe that the only reality is the supernatural–the things we can touch, see, hear, and smell are just illusions created by our minds. Since we are each our own God, truth is whatever you feel, or whatever your emotions are telling you at the time. Also, because of that, we each determine our own set of ethics–right and wrong are whatever we make them. This means that everyone is right and no one is wrong, even if people’s ideas or views differ. 
     The one similarity I found in Cosmic Humanism with another worldview is its view on how life came about, which is very similar to the Marxist-Leninist’s Punctuated Equilibrium. The only difference is what they believe to have been evolving. While the Marxist-Leninist’s believe that matter is evolving, Cosmic Humanists believe that it is actually our minds evolving for the purpose of discovering our God-self; a search for higher consciousness instead of a higher form of life.


     The Postmodernist worldview is probably the one I knew the least about before taking this course, even though it is probably the most quickly growing “religion” right now other than Islam. They believe that God doesn't exist, but try to avoid flat-out stating that because they also believe that there are no absolute truths. 
     Their views on reality differ from all the other worldviews I learned about, in that they believe there is no reality, only what we've come up with in our own minds. Truth doesn't correspond with reality; instead, it’s a set of opinions that applies to each person individually. What one person believes might be different than someone else, but both are truth. They also believe that you should be tolerant of everyone’s beliefs, since they’re all true. 
     Their view on morality is called Cultural Relativism, the belief that truth and morals are relative to one’s culture. In other words, right and wrong are determined by your culture and the society you live in. Since each culture is different, none can claim their view of morality to be the ultimate standard. 
     The Postmodernist view of how life began is very different than any other worldview I’ve studied. They believe in the theory of evolution but most won’t endorse any one theory (i.e. Classical Darwinism, Neo-Darwinism, or Punctuated Equilibrium) because of their views on reality. They also don’t have the same views on evolution as most other worldviews–they believe that instead of man being the most advanced or important species, it is actually bacteria and they are the dominant form of life on Earth.

     Check back for the last installment in this series, looking at the similarities and differences in these worldviews and then looking at their flaws from a Biblical perspective!

Comma Queen

“Understanding the Times: A Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Revised 2nd Edition)” by David A. Noebel
Marxist Theology (
“Understanding Postmodernism” with John Stonestreet
“Responding to Relativism” with Frank Beckwith and Greg Koukl


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