Humanism (as I define it) is the radical notion that human beings have value and that said value however small is nonetheless a positive one. This is (as far as I can tell) a Christian value and is central to the faith. There may be other instances of humanist thought throughout history but I haven’t found any that didn’t start from Christian teaching.
So what happens when we take the idea of humanism and cross examine it against various political ideologies?
It’s an interesting if somewhat frightening chain of thought.
Communist: Value is a evil capitalist concept. To the Gulag to anyone who says otherwise. Humans have no value. Only the New Socialist Man has true value and as many valueless humans as necessary must be sacrificed in order to pave the way for the New Socialist Man.
Progressive: All humans have a negative value but some humans are less negative than others. We should strive to reform society until all humans have a value of zero. That is the way to make everyone ‘equal‘. Anyone who disagrees that all humans should have zero value is a sexist, racist, fascist, homophobic monster.
Liberal: Humans have value but since we can’t measure that value we’re just going to treat every one as completely equal. We don’t have to do math this way.
Conservative: Humans have value but different humans have a different value. Still we don’t want to do any math or heavy thinking so let’s just round things off and treat everyone more or less equally.
Libertarian: Humans have value and we know that value is subjective. Also we recognize that different societies value various types of humans differently. Therefore in global free market people will logically move to the society where they have the highest relative value and thus maximize the total worldwide value of humanity.
Alternate-Right: If humans have value and each society has different values shouldn’t we discuss what makes a human valuable to our society or how a person can make themselves more valuable to that society?
Militant Right: If humans have a value and each human has a different value and different societies value different humans differently. Then is it not possible for some people have a negative value in our society and that we should remove them into order to raise the total value of that society?