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Christian Sorensen on Critical Humanism

2023-01-04

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2020/06/24

Christian is a Philosopher that comes from Belgium. What identifies him the most and above all is simplicity, for everything is better with “vanilla flavour.” Perhaps, for this reason, his intellectual passion is criticism and irony, in the sense of trying to reveal what “hides behind the mask,” and give birth to the true. For him, ignorance and knowledge never “cross paths.” What he likes the most in his leisure time, is to go for a walk with his wife.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: With a Critical Humanism, is this building off any prior philosophical leanings?

Christian Sorensen: Along with “Critical Humanism,” I would develop a “phenomenological existentialist philosophy,” which in synthesis will pretend to “overcome existentialism,” by “integrating” in its way of approaching to men, criteria regarding “empiricism and objectivity” as such.

Jacobsen: In practical, or more concrete terms, i.e., useable by ordinary citizens, what would Critical Humanism look like? As we both know, philosophy can get stuck in the philosophy classroom at times.

Sorensen: The “core” of “Critical Humanism,” has to do with the fact that “human nature” is conceived as “essentially neutral,” which means in itself that is “neither good nor bad,” nevertheless it’s always naturally “inclined” towards “goodness.” In practical terms, this implies that it is “not enough” for human beings to make an “excursion within themselves” in order to find “truth” and in consequence to “answer” at everything, as well as if he had an “internal and innate wisdom” source brought since birth. Quite the contrary, the former constitutes its “life mission,” and therefore for reaching there, not only has “to search” something, but besides needs “to strive” with “resistances,” although at the same time it can be affirmed, that “freely and spontaneously” will “always tend” to follow “truth and goodness,” because its soul carries a “small inextinguishable flame,” which despite it doesn’t represent as such “no inspirational source” for neither of them, they are however “drives” that pushes tirelessly in their direction, and “illuminate” in turn the path “of search,” as “the lamp” does with “the hermit.”

Jacobsen: Most of the big activisms’ voices are older, but most of the activists for human rights and various forms of justice, whether right or wrong, are young people. In short, the engines of societal change are younger people (outside of the voting booth, if the country has a voting booth). What should older voices keep in mind when giving advice to the younger generations?

Sorensen: That nobody is “indispensable.”

Jacobsen: What should the younger generations keep in mind while listening to this advice?

Sorensen: The fact that when they “blend idealism with saving feelings,” they must not forget that sometimes “memory is fragile,” and that many times the “world works backwards.”

Jacobsen: All societies that last bring young and old together. Societies that do not bring together the bonds between the generations, naturally, will shrivel and wither because of the lack of transmission of values, of knowledge, of sentiments, of discipline, of skills, and a sense of a common purpose and identity through time. How can older and younger generations build closer ties in what seems like a fraying of social and familial bonds around the world?

Sorensen: Through a sort of “commercial transactional agreement,” where both at the same time recognize through “this pact,” their own “needs and differences,” they exercise an “active listening” by which each “renounces its symbolic benefits” in favour of the other, basing in turn that motion on what the other party actually considers “to be objectively good for itself,” and finally reaching in that way an “agreement” on what “separates them” but from which they “are aware,” since if not, “inter-generational continuity” won’t succeed nor “societies” as such will last.

Jacobsen: Who do you consider the wisest man or woman in history?

Sorensen: My wife.

Jacobsen: What are the most important things for young people to develop earlier in life while they are young?

Sorensen: The development of “tolerance to frustration,” in order to postpone “need’s immediacy,” being able to relate with the world “dispensing” of an “image mediation,” and learning “to discriminate,” since not everything is disposable in life.

Jacobsen: What if a youth is like most young people, ordinary? What should they work towards in life to maximize potential while being realistic in a number of ways?

Sorensen: In my opinion “young people” should develop a “critical capacity,” since through this link, “realism sense” and “originality fact” remain connected to each other, in order to don’t let themselves to “be dragged” by “the system.” Therefore somehow, they must have their “heads in the sky,” with their feet firmly “on the ground,” and with the accusing index finger “pointing out” in direction “towards something,” but at the same time, without forgetting that besides there are “three fingers pointing” to them.

Jacobsen: Thanks, Christian!

Sorensen: You are welcome!

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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