opposition

World View

      A world view embodies a complete philosophy or system of beliefs. A world view includes man's beginning, his purpose in life, his morals and values, his survival, his liberties (both civil and religious), a view of his neighbors, and his relations to God, to war, his earth, the nation and world community.

      Christianity is a world view. Man was created by God for the purpose of worshiping God, fellowshipping with God, and serving God. Morals and values are absolutes detailed in God's Word, the Bible. Man is to love the Lord God with all his heart, mind, and soul, and love his neighbor as himself. He is to put the will of God above all else, and the needs of others before his own. Man is steward over the rest of God's creation. While God gives every person freedom of choice to do as he chooses with what he is given, every person will be held accountable by God for the decisions he has made.

      Other world views remove God from the equation, making man man's own highest authority. This is true of humanism, the primary belief system being injected into government and education in America today. Its ideas are not new-they have been around for ages. There is nothing "new" about "New Age." It has been around since the garden, when mankind first conceived the idea that he could become like God.

      If the humanist world view is pervading our culture, then Christians need to fully comprehend that world view both in order to guard against it and better defend our own. The following pages outline the basic philosophy of humanism, as described and defined in their own words (found in Humanist Manifestos I and II).

The Rise of Modern Culture

      Changes in an entire culture's world view do not happen overnight. Western culture has been largely a Christian culture since shortly after the time of Christ. God's revelation has been considered Truth. Our own nation was founded on the principles and morals of the Bible. How did that change? What follows is a brief look at the cultural shift that began with the Renaissance and eventually led to today's humanistic influence.

Renaissance

"The Renaissance began in Italy in the 1300s and, over the next two centuries, spread throughout Europe. It was characterized by great strides in literature, learning, art, and architecture. Writers and artists such as Petrarch, Boccaccio, Giotto, and Michelangelo sparked an era of extraordinary human accomplishment. The Renaissance also marked a significant shift in human thought. In contrast to the middle ages (in which the major theme of art, literature, and philosophy was glorifying and serving God), Renaissance artists and thinkers exalted man and his abilities. This gave birth to a doctrine called humanism, which stressed human dignity and regarded man as the center of all things, the master of his fate, the captain of his soul-an emphasis that led eventually to an unbiblical view of man and his relationship to his Creator. As this way of thinking began to take hold, men and women's dependence upon God as the source of truth and morality began to wane."

Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler, Right from Wrong

Enlightenment

      The Renaissance was followed by the Enlightenment, or the Age of Reason, which began in the 1600s and lasted through the next century.

"While the Renaissance mind acknowledged God (but removed him from the throne, so to speak, replacing him with man), many leaders of the Enlightenment (such as Voltaire and Descartes) claimed that if there were a God who had created the world, he had no contact with it now-which meant that men and women were left to discover truth on their own; they could expect no help from God. ... Standards of right and wrong were not based on the nature and character of God; they were the products of human reasoning. In the Renaissance, man (not God) became central; in the Enlightenment, man's reason became transcendent. The error of the Enlightenment was not in recognizing human reason as a wonderful thing; it was the attempt to crown man's reason as king in God's place, refusing to acknowledge any standard or reality that reason could not fully comprehend or explain."

Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler, Right from Wrong

Industrial Revolution

      The Industrial Revolution overlapped and followed the Enlightenment, extending from the 1700s through the 1800s.

"It was an explosive period of human productivity and advancement. The inventions, innovations, and improvements of the Industrial Age fueled more than factory furnaces; it stoked the fires of human confidence. The progress that men and women saw all around them encouraged them to look to themselves for hope and guidance. Man no longer felt the need to look upward (to God); he need only look inward (to himself)."

Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler, Right from Wrong

Intellectual Revolution

      Then, in 1859, Charles Darwin published his Origin of the Species, ushering in a great intellectual revolution. Darwin's theories presented an alternative to a theistic understanding of origins. God was no longer necessary to explain or understand how the world and man came to be. These theories became known as Darwinism.

"This shift in thinking had succeeded in convincing men and women that they were the arbiters of truth and morality, not God. Human reason had replaced God as the object of modern man's worship. Human accomplishments had made man arrogant and confident in his own abilities to create good and judge evil. Finally, with the publication and increasing acceptance of Darwin's theories, God became unnecessary and unwelcome, leaving man free (in his mind, at least) to judge truth, to reach his own conclusions about right and wrong independent of God and his decrees."

"The shift brought about by these four historical influences-the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Age, and Darwinism-has resulted in two distinct models of truth. They reflect two opposite ways of looking at God and the world: Either truth is defined by God for everyone; it is objective and absolute; or truth is defined by the individual; it is subjective (particular to a specific person) and situational (particular to a given circumstance)."

Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler, Right from Wrong

      Though a new world view was developing through several hundred years, it took some time to trickle into everyday culture. Even early in the 1900s, the storm only loomed on the horizon, but had not yet broken. The rapid spread of humanism was largely aided in this past century by the advent of mass media. Francis Schaeffer explained the slow dissemination of these ideas in his book How Should We Then Live?

"[The loss of traditional values] spread in three different ways to people of our own culture and to people across the world. Geographically, it spread from the European mainland to England, after a time jumping the Atlantic to the United States. Culturally, it spread in the various disciplines from philosophy to art, to music, to general culture (the novel, poetry, drama, films), and to theology. Socially, it spread from the intellectuals to the educated and then through the mass media to everyone."

Francis Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live?

Humanist Manifesto I

      Humanist Manifestos I and II are the Humanist "Bible." These two Manifestos are endorsed by the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) and NEA (National Education Association).

      A summary of Humanist Manifesto I follows. Items in quote marks are directly taken from the Humanist Manifesto. Others are paraphrased for the sake of brevity and simplicity. Parenthetical notes after each entry demonstrate how that particular philosophy translates into the culture.

1) The universe is self-existing, and not created. (Everything happens by chance. Evolution is the explanation of the origins of life and the universe.)

2) Man is a part of nature and evolved as the result of a continuous process. (Evolution is man's foundation; Nature is man's revelation, not God.)

3) There is no dualism of mind and body. (Man does not have a spirit.)

4) Religious culture is the product of a gradual development due to interaction with the natural environment and social heritage. The individual born into a certain culture is largely molded to that culture. (Culture determines belief and destiny, not God.)

5) The nature of the universe and science rule out supernatural influence and values. Science is the only absolute. (The Bible is superfluous and its moral implications unnecessary, if not immoral themselves in suggesting an absolute morality.)

6) The complete realization of the human personality is the end goal of man's life, and personal development and fulfillment in the here and now is the humanist's social passion. (Man is good by nature, and equalizing all mankind is for everyone's good.)

7) "Reasonable attitudes will be fostered by education and supported by custom. We assume that humanism will take the path of social and mental hygiene and discourage sentimental and unreal hopes and wishful thinking." (Man is dependent only upon himself, and hope in God is "wishful thinking." Social and mental health are determined by a person's acceptance of these "reasonable attitudes.")

8) All associations and institutions exist for the fulfillment of human life. Evaluation, transformation, control, and direction of such associations and institutions with a view of enhancing human life is the purpose of humanism. (The Bible stunts human fulfillment. Humanism must control education, churches, government, and public media. All church and religions observations in state, government schools, courts, and all other institutions must be stopped as quickly and as subtly as possible. Society must be weaned from God and morality as a norm.)

9) "Profit-motivated society has shown itself to be inadequate. ...Socialized and cooperative economic order must be established to the end that the equitable distribution of the means of life be possible. The goal of humanism is a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently cooperate for the common good." (Capitalism must be overthrown. World-wide socialism is the goal. State control by a few intellectuals will distribute wealth equally to the masses. Those who do not cooperate would be eliminated for the good of society.)

10) "We assert that humanism will (a) affirm life rather than deny it; (b) seek to elicit the possibilities of life, not flee from it; and (c) endeavor to establish the conditions of a satisfactory life for all, not merely for the few. By this positive morale and intention, humanism will be guided, and from this perspective and alignment, the techniques and efforts of humanism will flow." (Despite the assertion that humanism will "affirm life," its teachings include abortion, euthanasia, and the right of an individual to choose suicide.)

Humanist Manifesto II

      Humanist Manifesto I (previous pages) was written in 1933 and signed by humanist Edwin Wilson. Wilson also signed Humanist Manifesto II (below), which was authored by Dr. Paul Kurtz in 1973. Again, the actual declaration will be listed (quote marks will be used when the wording is quoted exactly; other references are paraphrased for the sake of simplicity and brevity) and the parenthetical note that follows will explain how that declaration is taught.

Preface to Humanist Manifesto II:

       "As in 1933, humanists still believe that traditional theism, especially faith in the prayer-hearing God, assumed to love and care for persons, to hear and understand their prayers, and to be able to do something about them, is an unproved and outmoded faith. Salvationism, based on mere affirmation, still appears as harmful, diverting people with false hopes of heaven hereafter. Reasonable minds look to other means for survival.

      We affirm a set of common principles that can serve as a basis for united action - positive principles relevant to the present human condition. They are a design for a secular society on a planetary scale."

1) "We find insufficient evidence for belief in the existence of a supernatural; it is either meaningless or irrelevant to question of the survival and fulfillment of the human race. As non-theists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity ..." (God cannot be proved scientifically, so he must not be real. Even if he were real, he would be irrelevant to humans. Neither man nor his environment shows any divine purpose. The only design in all life is accidental evolution.)

2) "Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful. ... Science affirms that the human species is an emergence from natural evolutionary forces." (Man is good, the need for forgiveness is illusory. The idea of God is harmful to human development.)

3) "We affirm that moral values derive their source from human experience. Ethics is autonomous and situational, needing no theological or ideological sanction." (Moral values of a moral God must be rejected. Moral values are individual, based on your own experience. No standard is needed. Laws must be liberal and tolerate wide differences in moral values.)

4) Reason and intelligence are the most effective instruments that humankind possesses. There is no substitute: neither faith nor passion suffices itself." (Intelligence and reason are superior to God, Biblical revelation, morality, and emotion.)

5) "The preciousness and dignity of the individual person is a central humanist value." (Although all individuals must submit to the collective needs of society, the individual must be given high value. Socialism encourages individual development under controlled conditions, which are determined to be best for the equality of all.)

6) "In the area of sexuality, we believe that intolerant attitudes, often cultivated by orthodox religions and puritanical cultures, unduly repress sexual conduct. The right to birth control, abortion, and divorce should be recognized. ... Neither do we wish to prohibit, by law or social sanction, sexual behavior between consenting adults. The many varieties of sexual exploration should not in themselves be considered "evil." ... A civilized society should be a tolerant one. Short of harming others or compelling them to do likewise, individuals should be permitted to express their sexual proclivities and pursue their lifestyles as they desire. (All sexual activities, including homosexuality and all sex outside of marriage, should be permitted, accepted, and taught to children as "normal.")

7) "To enhance freedom and dignity the individual must experience a full range of civil liberties in all societies. This includes freedom of speech and the press, political democracy, the legal right of opposition to governmental policies, fair judicial process, religious liberty, freedom of association, and artistic, scientific, and cultural freedom. It also includes recognition of an individual's right to die with dignity, euthanasia, and the right to suicide." (Civil liberties are the key issues to popular support. Freedom of speech is lauded, but Christian clubs must not be able to meet on any public forum. They cannot be allowed in the free speech arena, because religious views would cause secular chaos.)

8) "The separation of church and state and the separation of ideology and state are imperative." (Everything religious removed from textbooks, teaching, prayer, government, etc.)

9) "Individuals should be encouraged to contribute to their own betterment. If unable, then society should provide means to satisfy their basic economic health and cultural needs, including, wherever resources make it possible, a minimum guaranteed annual income." (Implementation of a socialist economy.)

10) "We deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds. ... The best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community."

11) "This world must renounce the resort to violence and force as a method of solving international disputes. ... War is obsolete. ... It is a planetary imperative to reduce the level of military expenditures and turn these savings to peaceful and people-oriented uses." (Who could disagree with this? It is a rallying point, as most people agree that war is bad. Disarmament, however, presents a whole different set of problems ...)

12) "Technology is a vital key to human progress and development. ... We would resist any moves to censor basic scientific research on moral, political, or social grounds." (Genetic engineering and other questionable scientific and medical practices would be allowed and encouraged.)

13) "In closing, commitment to all humankind transcends the narrow allegiances of church, state, party, class, or race in moving toward a wider vision of human potentiality ... We urge that parochial loyalties and inflexible moral and religious ideologies be transcended. ... The true revolution is occurring and can continue in countless non-violent adjustments." (Concepts of humanism are held out as the world's only hope. All church loyalties must be transcended with the true revolution of non-violent socialism. Although violent means must be used to achieve these ends, it is not intended to be furthered when the socialist goals are established.)

"Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism."

Charles Francis Potter, humanist quoted in

Boston Herald Courier, Jan. 24, 1982

"Neutral education is therefore impossible. Teaching knowledge without God IS the religion of Humanism."

Bill Gothard, How to Understand the Purpose Behind Humanism

"Atheists who consistently try to live without God tend to commit suicide or go insane. Those who are inconsistent live on in the ethical or aesthetic shadow of Christian truth while they deny the reality that made the shadow."

Norman Geisler

 

 

 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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