LIBERTY: A Humanist Quarterly
Liberty is a humanistic
journal, but with a difference: it treats man not only as the measure of
all things but also the development of human potential as the ultimate
goal of existence itself.
Humanism is usually ascribed to the 14th Century
Italian humanist, Petrarch, whose writings provided a considerable impetus
to the spread of Renaissance. However, in our times, though it is still
opposed to the religious dogma, fundamentalism and sectarian hatred, its
criterion of free-thinking has lost its lustre because atheism has become
its integral part. It cannot be the proper development of free will, which
may lead to both atheism and theism. Liberty of thinking demands that a
person has the right to come to his or her own conclusions without losing
human dignity and the values associated with it. Humanism is not just a
process of abstract reasoning but a system of moral value, which seek to
raise man's conduct to match his rational greatness because, in the long
run, it is not a person's intellectual magnitude but his character that
counts. Love of mankind and belief in human dignity, coupled with respect
for reason, is the only faith that a humanitarian needs.
Man has a goal but it is not imposed from without.
It is self-directed and forms an integral part of human nature.
What is man's goal? It becomes evident when we
realise that the universe operates on the principle of uncertainty, which
is a form of mystery. Even greater mystery is associated with free will
than anything else; change of dust into atoms, atoms into cells and cells
into humans, clearly indicates that the universe is involved in a struggle
for self-improvement. Man seems to be its peak, and is denoted by his free
will. Is man really the apex of the universal improvement? It cannot be;
man is still imperfect. Therefore, the process of universal self-improvement
must continue until it reaches the stage of perfection which the writer
calls "Godhead." Man, that is, both male and female members of the human
species, if tries seriously through a proper conduct, is destined to be
a part of Godhead. Thus,
Liberty is dedicated to a new philosophy,
which simply stated means: God is man and man is God. It is because the
status of Godhead is accessible through being man only.
Liberty explains this philosophy through
the medium of Mysticism with special reference to religion and metaphysics.
An essential part of this philosophy is the development
of self or personal potential which requires a fairly happy life based
on the exercise of free will. Since sexual relationships and cultural traditions
have a profound effect on human sense of pain and pleasures, these two
subjects wiil also form a part of Liberty. Humanity means liberty
which is not possible without liberal-mindedness.
- Anwar Shaikh