Humanism and progressiveness

I have been insulted twice by members of my family who have treated me of progressive. For me it is a compliment. But i have wondered some people think that to be a progressive is an insult.

I present my excuses if the following text is from a French point of view and is very long. I would like returns, if possible.

Progressivism: the classic definition:

Progressivism is a political philosophy favorable to social reform. It is based on the idea of progress that advances in science, technology, economic development and social organization are essential to improving the human condition. ".

[Progressivism - Wikipedia]

However, under the pen of some “progressive” becomes an insult, as if it were shameful to be favourable to scientific, technical, economic and social progress.

My first instinct was to think that people who use the term progressive as an insult are against scientific, technical, economic and social progress, which gives a sad image of them.

Then I remembered that President Macron had proclaimed himself a progressive! So I said to myself that in fact, these people could be opponents of Macron and that it was more complicated, especially since progressivism can take many forms. So I was in uncertainty.

Fortunately, one of them sent me an interesting reference from a person who seems to be on the side of these “some”, which allows me to better understand their thinking.


In the West, progressivism is the dominant ideology. It could be summed up in the defence and promotion of minorities, globalization, human rights, egalitarianism, multiculturalism and mass immigration. »

This definition is preceded by a manifestly erroneous assertion. The results of the elections in Spain, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Norway, etc., the MAGA movement in USA, belie it. Let’s move on.

Then the author denounces an alliance between progressives and capitalists who would be part of the same elite wanting to maintain its domination. This elite would call its opponents populists. In fact, it would be a conservative popular reaction, of common sense, to find traditional social conceptions, and to fight against the atomization of the world.

As a second preliminary remark, I would just say that in France, in fact, the current power, which is on the side of financial capitalism, qualifies all of its opponents as populists, whether they are “conservatives” or “progressives”. , the better to disqualify them intellectually and politically.

To come to the main topic, in my opinion, the whole forms a kind of rather indigestible mix of conflicting elements.

Indeed, putting progressives and capitalists in the same basket is like marrying the carp and the rabbit, Mélenchon and Macron, which are opposed about most topics.

Above all, the definition mixes 5 subjects:

  • The defence and promotion of minorities, human rights,

  • Egalitarianism,

  • Multiculturalism,

  • Globalization,

  • Immigration.

And secularism is an element.

If we do not go back to the definition of progressivism, the defence and promotion of minorities, as well as human rights, are essential elements.

I must conclude that those who use the term “progressive” as an insult are against these notions, and are therefore for the crushing of minorities and their discrimination, against the very idea of human rights expressed by the universal declaration of 1948: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and must act towards each other in a spirit of brotherhood. » .

This equality means, among other things, regardless of sex, religion, sexual orientation, so-called race, or geographical origin. To refuse the idea of equality in this sense is to promote discrimination and oppression, why not to accept slavery. Historically, the Nazis were totally against this idea.

In fact, progressive or not, everyone should accept this view.

Applying the word “progressive” as an insult to those who believe in the idea of human rights and in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration conflates liberal thinkers as well as philosophers and economists of the Enlightenment and the 19th and 20th centuries, as socialist thinkers. However, by simplifying, this agreement is about the only one between them.

It is true that the notion of egalitarianism can also take on a social meaning. Many “progressives”, as defined above, also believe that progress implies that society moves towards more equality.

Then comes multiculturalism. The concept is complex. At the first level, it starts from the observation that, in a given territory, populations of different cultures coexist.

Culture is a polysemous word. Taken in this context, culture can be defined as the worldview of a human group. One of the first states to recognize itself as multicultural was Canada, in 1971, with the aim of better recognizing and integrating the Quebecois, French-speaking and Catholic community, in an English-speaking and Protestant world.

Whether we like it or not, our societies are multicultural, regardless of any immigration. In France, Catholic, Protestant and Jewish cultures have coexisted for a long time.

Other cultural groups settled in France. Again this is a reality. Today, we celebrate the Italian and Polish immigration that took place in the 19th century, then in the interwar period. However, at the time, these populations experienced the same rejection as more recent immigrants, cf. For example,

Massacre des Italiens d'Aigues-Mortes — Wikipédia.

The Polish miners arriving in the mining area in France did not integrate, for multiple reasons and it was not until the post-war period and the 30 glorious years.

For me, the limit of multiculturalism lies in a few ideas, in particular those of human rights and secularism.

From this point of view, as a progressive, I feel closer to a secularist Muslim who believes in the idea of equality in the rights of men, than to a fundamentalist and racist Christian.

If we come to globalization, we see the high level of confusion among those who use the word progressive as an insult.

[Globalization - Wikipedia]

Indeed, globalization is defined as the “free exchange of goods, capital, services, people, technology and information. It designates the process of integrating markets and bringing people closer together which results in particular from the liberalization of trade, the development of means of transporting people and goods, and the spin-offs of information and communication technologies (ICT ) on a global scale. It manifests itself, in addition to the growing interdependence of economies (economic globalization) and the intensification of competition, by the expansion of exchanges and human interactions. »

Economic globalization is a fact, with its obvious limits. It is wanted by the capitalists. It is also cultural.

It is viewed positively by some proponents of capitalism who believe that globalization will bring peace. Recent history is a scathing denial.

Many “progressives” do not recognize themselves in it. Indeed, for them, globalization means the free field given to the most savage financial capitalism. This does not prevent them from seeking cultural exchanges and cooperation between peoples.

Still, putting together the proponents of the two conceptions is absurd.

Finally, progressives would be “immigrationists”, that is to say supporters of total freedom to immigrate for any individual who would have the right to settle anywhere he wishes, unconditionally. Proponents of this idea exist, an ultra-minority, for obvious reasons.

Between the impossible immigrationism and the impossible total closure of the borders, all nuances are possible. Bosses who cannot be regarded as “progressive” are in favour of significant labour immigration, if only because immigrants, preferably in an irregular situation, provide cheap and undemanding labour.

That said, the current migratory movements are only a prelude. With climate change, hundreds of millions of people will have to move, including Americans and Southern Europeans, in the worst case scenarios. We should prepare for this change, which will have migratory consequences other than those currently known.

Curiously, people who use the term “progressive” as an insult either deny this phenomenon or refuse to see its consequences.

I would add that secularism aims to guarantee respect for freedom of thought, conscience and religion as well as respect for the equal treatment of citizens. It presupposes the separation of Church and State as well as the neutrality (in the sense of impartiality) of the latter, of its institutions, officials and representatives.

It is therefore a condition of living together in a country whose inhabitants are of different faiths or non-believers. It is not an instrument of combat against one religion for the benefit of another.

In conclusion, I come back to my starting point, people who use the word “progressivism” as an insult, are in fact positioning themselves as against:

  • The very idea that all men are born free and equal in rights,

  • The idea that advances in the fields of science, technology, economic development and social organization are essential to improving the human condition.

They build a monster to fight what they say are his ideas, more or less concealing their objective.

In fact, either they don’t know what they’re saying or they show who they are.


I think I understand your train of thought, but I doubt that there are secular muslims.

If they repent, it will be best for them; but if they turn back [to their evil ways], God will punish them with a grievous penalty in this life and in the Hereafter. They shall have none on this earth to protect or help them." Muslims are not at liberty to change their religion or become atheists.

I agree.

[quote=“morgankane01, post:1, topic:10432”]
In conclusion, I come back to my starting point, people who use the word “progressivism” as an insult, are in fact positioning themselves as against:

  • The very idea that all men are born free and equal in rights,
  • The idea that advances in the fields of science, technology, economic development and social organization are essential to improving the human condition.

They build a monster to fight what they say are his ideas, more or less concealing their objective.

I agree.

In fact, either they don’t know what they’re saying or they show who they are.

Perhaps the ordinary person may not know what secular actually means, but leaders usually use these terms to “label” people they fear because secularism renders their own views moot.
Religion was invented to exert control via mysterious powers. Secular reality does not have such “beliefs”.

I don’t have time for whole post here, but there are Muslims all along a spectrum, just like any religion. Religions are designed to cherry picked. That way more people can go to service, say they know the same god, and work together.

No evidence for that, that I’m aware of. The world was mysterious and still is. We needed libraries, which needed settled populations, which needed some level of peace, before we could develop scientific methods. Religion was part of culture, part of daily life, part of your identity, until we grew enough to start questioning it.

I tested that equation and it does not work. I asked both Christians and Muslims if they thought that Allah and the Christian God are one and the same.
Both answered in the negative. That’s why there are 2 Books!
The concept of 2 divine religious scriptures is fundamentally exclusive.

I agree that religions have contributed to the spread of peaceful and benign communities. But as with most concepts that deal with exclusive “truths”, there is an inherent potential for abuse.
The greatest gift of “belief” and “mental powers”, brings with it an existential danger of practising sins.

Surplus killing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A stoat surplus killing chipmunks (Ernest Thompson Seton, 1909)

Multiple sheep killed by a cougar

Even insects practice genocide

Surplus killing, also known as excessive killing, henhouse syndrome,[1][2] or overkill,[3] is a common behavior exhibited by predators, in which they kill more prey than they can immediately eat and then they either cache or abandon the remainder. The term was invented by Dutch biologist Hans Kruuk after studying spotted hyenas in Africa[4] and red foxes in England.[5][6] Some of the other animals which have been observed engaging in surplus killing include orcas,[7] zooplankton,[8] humans,[9] damselfly naiads,[10] predaceous mites[citation needed], martens,[11] weasels,[12] honey badgers,[13] jaguar[citation needed], leopards,[13] lions,[14][13] wolves,[15] spiders,[13] brown bears,[16][17] American black bears,[18] polar bears,[14] coyotes,[14][19] lynxes,[20] minks,[21] raccoons[22] and dogs.[citation needed]
Surplus killing - Wikipedia

Human greed is like physical gravity. Everything within its sphere gets affected.

Anecdotal evidence. I can find many more who say there are many ways to one God

Yes, the house of God has many rooms.
But it is the average layperson who “believes”, and in this case it is anecdotal evidence that counts.

In Islam and Sharia Law , if my neighbor believes I pray to the wrong God he has the right to kill me.

Death penalty

Apostasy from Islam is not considered a hudud crime. Unlike in other schools, it is not obligatory to call on the apostate to repent. Apostate males are to be killed, while apostate females are to be held in solitary confinement and beaten every three days till they recant and return to Islam.
Apostasy in Islam - Wikipedia

Many religious groups and some states punish apostates; this may be the official policy of a particular religious group or it may simply be the voluntary action of its members. Such punishments may include shunning, excommunication, verbal abuse, physical violence, or even execution.[2]
Apostasy - Wikipedia

Belief in the wrong God may get you killed.

That makes no sense. 3 data points are never better than 1,000.

That’s my point. There are lots of things in scripture. Very few people follow them. We have corralled religion in most of the world. You are off topic from your original claim.

[quote=“lausten, post:8, topic:10432”]

That makes no sense. 3 data points are never better than 1,000.

But they are all anecdotal. Fact is that currently several people walk around with a religious fatwah on their head .
My anecdotal is merely an example. Test it for yourself.
It takes just one religious nut believing he has divine permission !!! And that will never be an Atheist.

Where did wiki get their data? I gained general knowledge for my reading wikipedia and getting a general “feeling” of these “allowed” remedies for such offenses as Apostasy in Islam (a legal opinion or ruling issued by an Islamic scholar) and Blasphemy in Christianity which “crimes” were addressed by the Inquisition.

Here is the Inquisition’s Creed as an example of human hubris and permission-taking.

The 1578 edition of the Directorium Inquisitorum (a standard Inquisitorial manual) spelled out the purpose of inquisitorial penalties: … quoniam punitio non refertur primo & per se in correctionem & bonum eius qui punitur, sed in bonum publicum ut alij terreantur, & a malis committendis avocentur (translation: “… for punishment does not take place primarily and per se for the correction and good of the person punished, but for the public good in order that others may become terrified and weaned away from the evils they would commit”).[15]

And that is really scary.

That’s my point. There are lots of things in scripture. Very few people follow them. We have corralled religion in most of the world. You are off topic from your original claim.

I don’t think it is a matter of numbers. It is a matter of perceived divine “permission” to make life-or-death decisions over otherwise innocent people.

Another source of information is

I don’t know what you mean by this, or that “it takes just one” thing. Obviously, there are fatwahs and blasphemy laws, that doesn’t change what I originally questioned,

“Religion was invented to exert control via mysterious powers”

Where is your wiki that demonstrates that?

I think this is definitely true of conservative leadership, although it can be hard to get them to clearly say it. As you say, they conceal. Many of the people who vote for them are fooled. I think regular people share common values and agree on things more than they realize. We need to talk to each other, instead of repeating political talking points and insulting each other.

I gave you the quote from the Inquisistion. If you read it closely you will see the evil contained in that little daclaration. This is also true today in Islam.
Since when is a religion entitled to make decisions over life and death and force you to believe and worship in a specific way or some cleric somewhere can sentence you to death.

This is not progressive thinking, nor is it humanistic.

I am disappointed that in a 4 pages long text, may be too long, the exchanges focus on 2 lines.


I know secularist Muslims who share the western values, there are many of them in France.

The right or duty to kill an apostate is not the right to kill any unbelievers but it is the right or duty to kill Muslims who have changed religion.

And same was practiced in Europe, up top the 18ème century.

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We are talking past each other and we derailed Morgan’s thread. When you said “invented” i was thinking of prehistoric times of shamans and animal spirits, not the later abuses of power.

Morgan, the article gives me a 404 error

My message or a link ?

The link. It says Oups.

And that is acceptable today as humane and progressive?

No it is not for sure.

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True. I see people that don’t like progressivism and they usually also think they are superior in intellect, or privileged due to ancestral claims, or they have guns, or something.


I have edited the first post. The link leads to a paper in French.