Here’s a provocative statement on human liberty and dignity from a book I just got in the mail--Chantal del Sol, THE UNLEARNED LESSONS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY: AN ESSAY ON LATE MODERNITY (ISI Books, 2006):
I would not hesitate to describe the climate that gives rise to pantheism as a wrong turn in the Enlightenment. "Wrong" as understood with respect to the points of reference we so want to preserve: the value of each human being’s dignity, an idea that in our societies is now hanging by a thread. Human rights will not guarantee the dignity of each human being unless they are grounded in an understanding of man that ensures his uniqueness....If one believes that democracy logically legitimizes an egalitarian individualism governed by common opinion, then pantheism supports and maintains this belief by expressing an egalitarian spirit in immortality--by crowning in death an individual both similar to and undifferentiated from all the others. If, on the other hand, one wants and hopes for democracy to be a society of unique persons endowed with free wills and minds, then the more appropriate religious partner would be a monotheism that preaches personal eternity, one in which each irreducible being survives in his irreducibility.