Four Christian Answers to Humanism
Let me start by saying please do not confuse humanism with humanitarianism. Humanitarianism means caring for people, and as Christians, we are fans of that.
Humanism is something different. It is, ultimately, a worldview painfully out of sync with reality.
What is Humanism?
Humanism is a philosophy of life that puts humans at the pinnacle of existence.
There is an organization called the American Humanist Association. Their motto is “Good without a god.” Humanists say that Reason and Science are all we need to create a just and good society. In fact, they say, it is religion that gets in the way. This is because religion always leads to superstition, and superstition always brings us backwards. Humanism almost always goes hand in hand with atheism.
If humans are at the top of existence, they are either higher than God, or there is no God. We humans—with our philosophies and values—occupy the top rung of the existential ladder. You might hear the term, secular humanism, because secular means the opposite of sacred. It means a world without reference to God, or faith, or the supernatural. Secular humanism stands against anything that rises above matter and energy and science and reason and the space-time continuum. Secular humanism is atheism organizing itself into an “unreligion” and working to evangelize the world.
Since 1933 there has been a humanist “manifesto.” You can find it online. It’s now in its third edition. Here is what humanists say about themselves:
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
Don’t miss the operative words: “without supernaturalism.”
Here are some famous humanists. If you enjoy science fiction, you’ll know the names Isaac Asimov, Kurt Vonnegut, and Gene Roddenberry (created Star Trek). For astronomy, there’s Carl Sagan, author of The Cosmos. For political activists, there is Jack Kevorkian (aka Dr. Death), Gloria Steinem, Karl Marx, and Barney Frank. In the media, Oliver Stone… it’s a long list of accomplished people.
Let’s break down humanism’s essence point by point.
Some Features of Humanism
EVOLUTION. Humans are the products of evolution.
Humanists don’t just apply the theory of evolution to our biology, they also apply it to our sociology and psychology. Perhaps this is because they see a material (i.e., made of matter) cause for basically everything — even our passions and loves.
As we continue to evolve, the world and society will keep getting better and better, or so the humanist idea goes.
One huge sticking point is that it simply isn’t happening. Violence isn’t going away. Corruption isn’t going away. Man’s inhumanity to man isn’t going away. Humanism’s core proposition is manifestly unreal.
Furthermore, think of humanism this way: to make evolution the driving principle of your cultural system is to create a whole society based on survival of the fittest.
How is survival of the fittest as a core philosophy going to make the world a more compassionate place? Isn’t compassion for the vulnerable and weak the opposite of survival of the fittest? Shouldn’t we just take out the weak, and help evolution along?
That is exactly where dedicated humanists go in their thinking. The elderly. The infirm. Those with certain handicaps. Infants. The unborn. They are pulling down the species so they just have to go.
In Iceland recently there has been a movement to abort all Down Syndrome babies. What is this, but humans making the world a colder, crueler place in the name of improving the gene pool.
It isn’t humanism; it’s in-humanism.