When compared with Secular Humanism, Christianity is much more robust in its ability to show compassion and love, because its chief end is not human flourishing on a corporate level, but instead compassion on an individual basis. This compassion is seen as an expression of commitment to a creator. For the Christian, human progress is welcomed, but not the primary goal. In Christianity human flourishing comes as a byproduct of the individual’s compassion prescribed by Jesus.
If the entire globe were to follow Jesus’ instructions, human flourishing would ensue. The simple, but well-known statement of Jesus, which are also found in the Old Testament, illustrates this perfectly, “love your neighbor as yourself.”1 When human progress, instead of individual compassion is given priority, the result has been history’s unspeakable human horrors. The generational result of Christianity’s individualized compassion approach works as a powerful polemic against the inverted priorities of Secular Humanism.
Where Secular Humanism is only able to offer individuals an arbitrary value, The Christian worldview promotes An absolute value for all. An inalienable worth is ascribed to all people regardless of the particular situation. This value comes inexorably dictated by an external source. This external source, which is absent in atheism, plays a pivotal role in explaining the problem of absolute continuity value. With the external source of valuation, there is no longer a logical inconsistency. Since the worth is absolute, it cannot be mitigated by utilitarian arguments for the “common good” or reduced by justifying “human needs” or “interests.” In Christianity, each life has a unique value, as attributed by the creator. This stands above Secular Humanism chiefly because it is consistent with what is recognized experientially. In their deepest nature, all humans seem to understand that life is absolutely valuable, not arbitrarily valuable.
When a society or an individual holds to the absolute value, moral absolutes, theistic accountability, and Christian morality, the society where those things take place are markedly, and noticeably better regarding equality, individual worth, and corporate dignity. This is, by no means, to say that these values should ever be forced upon a people group. Attempting to enforce Christian morality has had terrible side effects as well. This is simply an evaluation that, where Christian morality is present, by what ever means that happens, it is a better place.
1 Mark 12:31 (ESV) and Leviticus 19:18 (ESV)