Virtually all universities, media, and entertainment companies are flooded by Humanists. The Humanist – and his incestuous cousin, the Communist Marxist – murdered more than 100 million people in the 20th century. Everywhere it’s been tried, Humanism has decayed and eventually destroyed all freedom and standard of living.
The following is a final paper I turned in this week for the Major World Philosophies class at Tyndale Theological Seminary. Honestly? I short-cut it because of time constraints in my work life. The requirement was to compare and contrast two of the six major worldviews (Christianity, Secular Humanism, Islam, Communist Marxism, Cosmic Humanism (“New Age”), and Postmodernism (Leftism)). I chose to compare and contrast Christianity to Humanism. The paper was to run from 7 to 9 pages and I went ten and should have taken many of my thoughts further to about 20 pages. I generally write until I’m happy with the paper. More never seems to be a problem for Seminary papers at Tyndale, they seem to appreciate more depth. Still, I just had to write closer to the assignment this time.
In case you have some interest, here it is:
Comparing and Contrasting the Christian and Secular Humanist Worldviews in Areas of Teaching and Practice
In partial fulfillment of the course
PHIL1302 Major World Philosophies
February 12, 2015
Christianity in one form or another has the most followers of all the major worldviews. About 2.3 billion people today consider themselves Christian with about half of those being Roman Catholic. Historically, America has had the largest per capita number of evangelical Christians in the world. In 2009, 81 percent of Americans referred to themselves as Christian, although 68 percent thought religion is losing its influence in American life. Perhaps one reason the Christian religion is losing its influence is due to the growth of competing religions and worldviews.
One of the most outspoken opposing worldviews to Christianity is Secular Humanism. The religion of Secular Humanism is atheism. Secular Humanism shares this atheistic religious belief with the Marxists and between the two groups, about 2 billion atheists live on earth. Therefore, almost thirty percent of the world’s population is now atheist. Secular Humanists increasingly enjoy public positions at most universities as well as the influential media. The Secular Humanists have made large inroads into territory that Christians once held. This paper describes the similarities and the differences between the Christian and the Secular Humanist worldviews.
The Religion of Christianity and Secular Humanism
A religion is defined as “a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices.” Christianity is certainly considered a religion both by its proponents and its opponents. Surprisingly, even though Secular Humanists are atheists, Humanism shares many similarities with other religions. Even some of their own members who reject all formal religions refer to Humanism as “religious.” Archie J. Bahm, founder of the Southwestern Regional American Humanist Association wrote a book on world religions and opened the chapter on Humanism with, “Humanism is a religion.”
Christianity’s doctrines are found in the Bible. For the Christian, the Bible is the actual, inspired Word of God in its original autograph manuscripts. The Humanist has a set of writings that define his doctrines in the form of three Humanist Manifestos, the first of which was written in 1933. The Humanist Manifestos attempt to define the Humanist’s beliefs. Interestingly, all three manifestos spend considerable time emphasizing a strong unbelief in God or the supernatural in any form. In all its forms, the Humanist Manifesto is as much or more an attack on God as it is a definition of Humanism. The notion that the supernatural is non-existent is prevalent both in the Humanist’s teachings as well as their practice. The Humanist’s primary mission seems to be to promote, both in schools as well as in the media and entertainment industry, the idea that God does not exist.
Naturalism and the Christian Supernatural
Given his atheism, the Humanist adopts naturalism (also known as materialism) for his philosophy. This philosophy requires the Humanist to accept as real only matter and effects of natural causes such as magnetism and gravity. What is here is real and nothing exists outside the parameters of the physical universe. A man is nothing more than a set of chemicals and when the man dies, all traces of his existence die with him and no soul exists to live past the physical death. In 1995 on a national Christian television talk show, an atheist caller who obviously adopted Humanism’s naturalistic philosophy called and told the host, “You can only know what your five senses tell you.” The Christian host immediately responded with the question, “Which of your five senses told you that?” The Humanist caller had no answer.
The host showed an understanding of the Humanist’s dilemma: by limiting his belief system to five senses or even to the entire existing universe, the Humanist has no answer for the universe’s origin and cannot consistently put forth a reason that ethics or morals of any kind should exist. If people are mere chemicals then it does not matter if one person steals what he wants from another. If people have no moral foundation, then rape and murder are no more or less wrong than running a traffic light. The Humanist will say, “I need no morality because I know what to do to make society work,” and yet the results of the Humanist worldview sadly appears in decaying societies across the globe: a large percentage of Humanists are pro-abortion. It is most common for Humanists to promote the freedom to engage in sex between any and all consenting partners at any time. Humanists want the unrestricted production and distribution of any and all forms of pornography, and they refuse to accept that any form of sex is abnormal in any way.
The Christian’s philosophy differs greatly from the Humanist’s. The Christian shows no surprise at decaying societies seen everywhere Humanism has grown (including the close worldview to Humanism, Marxism). Christians see morality as absolute. The plumb line of the Christian’s worldview comes from the Bible, inspired by God, the Creator of all things and therefore, the One who rightfully can and should describe what is moral and what is not. To the Christian, a dying world is the result of Humanism while the direct opposite, a vibrant and life-filled world comes only from a Biblical worldview. Max Lucado wrote of one Christian man who promoted a strong, Biblical Christian worldview, Dwight L. Moody, as having, “…dedicated his life to presenting a resurrected King to a dying people. He embraced the Bible as the hope for humanity and the cross as the turning point of history… and changed lives.” To the Christian, God’s Word is hope. The absolute moral rules that God requires are to protect society and enable that society to grow richly in all ways without the psychological and physical rot that a “do-whatever-one-wants” philosophy of Humanism always produces.
The Result of Relativism Most Often Results in Death to the Majority
The Christian rejects the moral relativism and situational ethics of the Humanist. The Christian has a two-fold reason for wanting to adhere to God’s standard: first, the Christian wants to be in God’s favor so the Christian, in pleasing God, wants to follow God’s moral standards. Second, without a universal set of standards, the Christian understands that society cannot be peaceful. If the ethics of a Nazi soldier were no more or less important than the ethics of a Jewish child living in Nazi Germany in the 1940s, and if their ethics differed – and they did – only the most powerful one will have his ethics realized. The little Jewish girl living under the Nazi regime, therefore, is not allowed to live in a society of situational ethics. The Humanist either does not see or refuses to admit that his worldview of situational and “personal” morals and ethics always result in the physically strongest person’s ethics being realized at the cost of the most physically weak. A policy statement issued by the British Humanist Association stated, “Humanists believe that man’s conduct should be based on humanity, insight, and reason.” A person living under the Joseph Stalin regime could have considered Stalin wrong based on the Humanist’s desire for “humanity, insight, and reason.” Stalin, revered by many Humanists everywhere, if he found out about that dissenting voice in his country, would put such a person to death.
History is unkind to the Humanist worldview.
The Secular Humanist and the Christian worldviews are rarely more opposed than they are when it comes to how life began. The Secular Humanist believes that life today appeared by a series of random accidents and mutations over a period of millions of years. Humans evolved just as the animals and bacteria evolved, through mutation and survival of the fittest. The Christian believes that God created the universe and everything in the universe and that nothing was left to chance in the original creation.
The two opposing biological views tie in closely with other aspects of their differences. For example, the implications of such a random, evolved worldview cannot help but produce the moral and ethical relativism described previously. That relativism produces the death and decay described previously. Still, the Humanist clings to his nihilist position in hopes that somehow the worldview will begin to produce the opposite of what history has always shown it producing.
One of the Christian’s primary means of evangelizing to the unbeliever is to describe the problems of an unrestrained society brought about by a complete lack of absolute morality. For the Christian, the unbeliever must obey God’s Law so he needs salvation. To the Humanist, his biologically random origin gives him the license to define his own morals. This is due to the fact that the Humanist sees little moral difference between animals and humans. The Humanist’s biological, evolving origin of man is exactly why the Humanist refuses to adopt the absolute morality of a Creator’s society. B. F. Skinner, one of the signers of the second Humanist Manifesto, said that “…humanity is not fundamentally different from the lower animals and that on the contrary all human characteristics are simply variants of animal forms of life and modes of behavior.” The practical result of such teaching cannot help but result in this sad reality: if animals can rape and kill each other then it is not a stretch to agree that people can and should be able to do so as well. Stalin’s ordered slaughter of 20 million victims should therefore not be viewed as a sad or unfortunate event but only a survival of the fittest of that society – the fittest being the ones holding the guns.
The Bible explains to the Christian that God considers Himself profaned if the innocent is murdered and the guilty is allowed to go free (Ez. 13:19). The most powerful has no right to murder a weaker person, or any person for that matter (self-defense and just wars being specific exceptions). For the Christian, no moral can be relative to a situation. When the innocent are murdered, a sin and crime has been committed every time and should be dealt with swiftly (Ecc. 8:11).
Oddly, the Humanist views man’s laws as evolving just as man does. Eventually, the Humanist desires a world in which the United Nations governs the entire planet under global government. Weapons will be removed from the hands of the people under that global government and at such a time the Humanist has hope that his historical failure at a society will turn around and produce a blissful happiness in all people for the first time in history. Strangely, the Humanist still sees no hypocrisy or inherent danger in the brute power and weapons being in the hands of only a very few ruling the rest under that system.
In desiring that the government adopt God’s criminal justice-based laws from the Bible, the Christian also sees a single set of rules for all people. These rules are not evolving, however, and never have evolved from their inception. To the extent that societies have, at least for a time, attempted to mimic the governmental criminal laws found in Scripture – such as America during her earlier years – to that extent, those societies have flourished both economically and socially.
The Humanist wants no society or person to flourish in such a fashion. The Humanist’s utopia is achieved only when every person under the world government is equal. This equality extends to equal possessions and income. A problem occurs under Humanism’s economic goal for equality, however, in that nobody is physically or mentally equal. In the same environment, people will always perform differently. By requiring equal work and equal pay, risks will never be taken for advancement because no reward would come from that extra effort.
For the Christian, every person is equal only in the eyes of God. God shows no favoritism (Ro. 2:11) in that all have sinner and fallen short of His glory (Ro. 3:23). Economically, however, the Bible teaches that a man should work if he wants to eat (2 Thess. 3:10). So in one sense, the Humanist and the Christian want people to work for what they have. The difference is that the Humanist’s worker is not allowed to decide what job to do and he is not allowed to make more if his efforts are greater. The Christian believes that the laborer should be worthy of “his reward” based on his efforts (1 Tim. 5:18) and not on some high level decision maker’s thoughts of what the worker should make.
Each aspect of a worldview is connected to the next. The biological belief system of the Humanist affects his view of law, ethics, politics, and economics. The same can be said of the Christian’s worldview whose source is God’s inspired Word also known as The Bible. For the Christian, understanding the original meaning and intent of the Bible in its original form is critical. To the Humanist, his “bible” – the Humanist Manifesto – keeps changing, with three versions in less than a century and a fourth to appear soon. The Humanist must suspect that he must keep changing his manifesto because of the failures his previous beliefs keep handing him.
For the Christian, history is on his side. He desires an unchanging set of beliefs (the Holy Bible) because the Christian wants an unchanging worldview from that of his Creator. The Christian desires the hope that is in each believer, to be spread to the world through the freedom that Christ’s work did (John 8:36) and not through the demoralizing, destructive worldview of the atheist Secular Humanist.
Bahm, Archie J., The World’s Living Religions. Fremont, CA: Jain Publishing, 1992.
Klein, MD, Marty, “10 Things Humanists Need to Know About Sex,” The American Humanist Association 72nd Annual Conference, May 31, 2013.
Kurtz, Paul, Forbidden Fruit. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1988.
Lucado, Max, The Applause of Heaven. Dallas, TX: Word Publishing, 1996.
Mish, Frederick C., Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003.
Noebel, David, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews. Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Press, 2006), Kindle Edition, Location 291.
Packer, J. I. and Thomas Howard, Christianity: The True Humanism. Waco, TX: Word Books, 1985.
Pannenberg, Wolfhart, Anthropology in Theological Perspective. London; New York: T&T Clark, 1985.
 David Noebel, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Press, 2006), Kindle Edition, Location 291.
 Frederick C. Mish, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003), s.v. “religion.”
 Archie J. Bahm, The World’s Living Religions (Fremont, CA: Jain Publishing, 1992), 335.
 Bob Enyart Live, LeSea Broadcasting Network, June 23, 1995.
 J.I. Packer, and Thomas Howard, Christianity: The True Humanism (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1984), 62.
 Marty Klein, MD, “10 Things Humanists Need to Know About Sex,” The American Humanist Association 72nd Annual Conference, May 31, 2013.
 Max Lucado, The Applause of Heaven (Dallas, TX: Word Publishing, 1996), 177.
 Annual General Meeting of the British Humanist Association, July, 1967.
 Wolfhart Pannenberg, Anthropology in Theological Perspective (London; New York: T&T Clark, 1985), 29.
 Paul Kurtz, Forbidden Fruit (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1988), 145.