Friday, March 4, 2011

What is Humanism?

The "happy" human

The definition of "humanism" below comes straight from the website of the British Humanist Association (BHA). The flaw in their definition lies in the belief that one can separate morality from religion.

Without God, how does one define "good"? Is abortion "good"? Who is it good for? Certainly not the unborn child. "Good" becomes "whatever is good for me".

This egotistic and self-idolizing attitude is what drives our modern society. Life becomes an idle "pursuit of happiness". But this mundane "happiness" is a hollow reflection of the inner peace and joy which comes from a life dedicated to serving God.
What is Humanism? [from BHA website]

Humanism is the view that we can make sense of the world using reason, experience and shared human values and that we can live good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs.

Humanists seek to make the best of the one life we have by creating meaning and purpose for ourselves. We choose to take responsibility for our actions and work with others for the common good.

Humanists do not believe in a God or gods, or any other supernatural or divine entities. Humanists do not think that the universe needs a divine power outside of itself in order to have value. We, inside the universe, determine its value. We think that other people, for example, are moral concerns, not because they are made in the image of Something Else, but because of who they are in themselves.

What humanists believe

Humanism is an approach to life based on humanity and reason – humanists recognise that moral values are properly founded on human nature and experience alone and that the aims of morality should be human welfare, happiness and fulfillment. Our decisions are based on the available evidence and our assessment of the outcomes of our actions, not on any dogma or sacred text.
  • Humanism is a naturalistic view, encompassing atheism and agnosticism as responses to theistic claims, but is an active and ethical philosophy greater than these reactions to religion.
  • Humanists believe in individual rights and freedoms, but believe that individual responsibility, social cooperation and mutual respect are just as important.
  • Humanists believe that people can and will continue to find solutions to the world's problems, so that quality of life can be improved for everyone. 
  • Humanists are positive, gaining inspiration from our lives, art and culture, and a rich natural world.
Humanists believe that we have only one life, it is our responsibility to make it a good life, and to live it flourishingly.
The BHA is not content to simply hold views contrary to Christianity and to live peacefully side-by-side in a tolerant society. Instead they have adopted a very aggressive stance designed to force Christians into having to conform to their agenda. The BHA's agenda includes "gay marriage", abortion on demand, euthanasia, and fetal experimentation. Not surprisingly, during the recent visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain, the BHA took a leading role in organizing protests.

The BHA wants to know, "are you a humanist?" When people like the BHA ask this question they are not asking if you are "humane" or if you believe in the good of "humanity". They want to know if you believe in God. And that's a good question.

So do you believe in God? Do you love God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength and all your mind? If not, what makes you think you really believe in God?

It is those people who are lukewarm that BHA is targeting. They are easy prey for the facile "rational" arguments of the humanists. If you're looking to take the "easy road", then look no further than the humanists. The problem is that many people have defined themselves as Christians without understanding what that really means.

(There is another flaw in BHA's definition of a humanist, if we ignore their denial of God – it's a bit too idyllic. It seems to describe a Utopia where evil does not exist. The communists also promised a Utopia but delivered instead the bloody purges of Stalin and Mao. This suggest that this definition of humanism is designed for the masses, while there is another hidden definition that is for the humanist elite – the exoteric vs. the esoteric. In contrast, Jesus never promised heaven on earth.)

If there is a bright side to the "coming out of the closet" of the humanists, it is that it forces Christians to re-examine their beliefs. Are you a Christian? Are you against abortion? What about contraception? What about in vitro fertilization that routinely destroys unborn children at the earliest stages of development? If you are a Christian then the answer to these questions is very easy.

What is Christianity?

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  1. Archbishop Chaput gave a speech today which I think ties in well with the topic of humanism:
    Weak faith cannot compete with modern 'idolatry,' Denver archbishop warns

    The Denver archbishop [Chaput] described Cardinal Lustiger as “an unsentimental realist” who dared to speak about disturbing trends in the Church and society – including a lack of faith among professed Christians, leaving a vacuum that would be filled by other “gods” such as sex and money.

    “Lustiger named lukewarm Christians and superficial Christianity for what they are: a congenial form of paganism,” said Archbishop Chaput. “The Church needs a great deal more of his medicine.”

  2. More from Archbishop Chaput:

    “The main crisis of modern Christianity is not one of resources, or personnel, or marketing,” Archbishop Chaput asserted. “It is a crisis of faith. Millions of people claim to be Christian, but they don't really believe.”

    “They don't study Scripture. They don't love the Church as a mother and teacher. And they settle for an inoffensive, vanilla Christianity that amounts to a system of decent social ethics.”

    Archbishop Chaput said that these weakened forms of Christian faith would not be able to compete with the many modern cults of instant gratification and success.

    [NOTE: The " Christianity that amounts to a system of decent social ethics" that Chaput describes is nothing other than Christians adopting humanism – many times without even realizing it.]