The Price of Historical Power
Impelled by originary love to proffer beauties of sensuous emergence of oneself and of one’s originary outreach to the world, an individual becomes a persona in a sustained action dedicated to sufficient ongoing (historical) ground.
A prospecting subject, hungry for treasure and stung by setbacks and obstacles recorded upon the scoreboard that socioeconomic history erects to delimit sufficiency, offers itself as the bedrock of human existence. Within the phenomenality of that offer, there strikes, from another bedrock, like the onset of food poisoning, a realization that something about the spectre posing as one’s real presence is drastically erroneous.
The genius of Christianity consists in its deployment of the phenomenon of love. The desperate premise of loving a supernatural humanoid translates in action as a cherishing of sensuous phenomena.
The most telling self-exposure submitting social experience to natural scientific method, and one that sets the tone (however unbeknown) for subsequent humanist politics, is the "Utilitarian" doctrine presented by Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). Bentham’s scientism takes the form of favouring actions on the basis of a "hedonic calculus," which presumes to know the standing of intentions in terms of "units" of pleasure or pain they cause. The overriding moral principle (the "greatest happiness principle") would be to aim for the greatest happiness (i.e., the greatest amount [units] of pleasure) for the greatest number.
It [science] rests its case for world-historical integrity upon a bedrock of conceptual and mathematical precision about which, it supposes, no sane individual could make trouble. Whereas the sufficiencies promoted by religion and humanitarianism are thunderously questionable and therefore have to be sustained by all manner of coercive partisanship, the laws of science exert their own quiet control.
However, exponents of the rational sufficiencies of science, fortified by centuries of progress in disclosing basic features of the universe and in producing enhancements for human experience, tend, in our time, to engage outstanding issues of explication not merely with zeal for knowing the hitherto unknown but with a patronizing contempt and muted impatience toward those not demonstrating what it takes to be one of the masters of world history.