Secular humanism needs to be enriched by an emphasis on communitarianism

Amita EtzioniAmitai Etzioni writes that such secular teachings do not address profound issues that religions do speak to such as “What is a virtuous life? What are our obligations to our family members, friends and other community members?” suggesting that “the lack of responses to these transcendental questions is the main reason the West will continue to fall behind in the global clash of belief systems.” To his credit he does add that “the West can evolve a much richer set of values by drawing on secular humanism, as long as it accords much more weight to the affirmative moral categories of Immanuel Kant and John Rawls’ conception of social justice, rather than focusing on libertarian notions of free choice.” but then concludes that “the West may well have to draw on both enriched secular humanism and on moderate religious beliefs, if it is not to lose the struggle over the hearts and minds of the majority of the people of the world.” Read article

Etzioni is an sociologist, famous for his work on socioeconomics and communitarianism. He was a founder of the communitarian movement in the early 1990s and established the Communitarian Network to disseminate the movement’s ideas. His writings emphasize the importance for all societies of a carefully crafted balance between rights and responsibilities and autonomy and order. 

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