We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Don't Have Enough Faith to be a Humanist

I read a book about 15 years ago, titled, “The Philosophy of Humanism,” by Corliss Lamont. It is considered “the standard text on the subject.” I got to thinking about this book recently and pulled it down to look over some things I had highlighted in it.

Let me share some things I came across, and you’ll notice these guys need a lot more faith in their religion than do Christians.

“There are, as I see it, ten central propositions in the Humanist philosophy: First, Humanism believes in a naturalistic metaphysics or attitude toward the universe that considers all forms of the supernatural as myth; and that regards Nature as the totality of being and as constantly changing system of matter and energy which exists independently of any mind or consciousness. Second, Humanism, drawing especially upon the laws and facts of science, believes man is an evolutionary product of the Nature of which he is part; that his mind is indivisibly conjoined with the functioning of his brain; and that as an inseparable unity of body and personality he can have no conscious survival after death.”

Notice “Nature” is capitalized! Nature is their god, and evolution is the power of their god. Sort of reminds me of Romans 1:25. Nevertheless, it never ceases to amaze me how these guys make assertions about the mind - something that is immaterial and spiritual - when no one has ever observed it!

Further in the book Lamont makes this bold assertion: “I believe that the facts of science offer overwhelming evidence in support of the Humanist thesis of the inseparable coexistence of body and personality. To begin with, biology has conclusively shown that man and all other forms of life were the result, not of a supernatural act of creation by God, but of an infinitely long process of evolution probably stretching over at least three billions years….” I would really like to see these scientific “facts” that Lamont speaks of!

Lamont makes a lot of these sorts of assertions throughout the book, never once providing evidence for his beliefs, rather it is just because he says so that you are supposed to accept his ideas. Especially in his chapter titled, “This Life is All and Enough.” Well, he also does a lot of that in chapter IV, “Humanism’s Theory of the Universe,” which you can well imagine is 100% evolutionist silliness. Here’s his first bold assertion in this chapter:

“Humanism believes that Nature itself constitutes the sum total of reality…and that supernatural entities simply do not exist. This nonreality of the supernatural means, on the human level, that men do not possess supernatural and immortal souls; and, on the level of the universe as a whole, that our cosmos does not possess a supernatural and eternal God.”

Later Lamont says, “the scientific concept of evolution…effectively negates the old religious idea of a divine creation of the whole universe.” The interesting thing about this is that all the atheistic evolutionists see the incompatibility of evolution with Christianity, but too many Christians think they can merge the two together.

“Matter is self-existent, self-active, self-developing, self-enduring. It is auto-dynamic.” Wow, this sounds like attributes of God, doesn‘t it? So where does matter get all this power and thought process?

Oh, and is there such thing as “Truth” to the humanist? “A careful analysis of both the natural and the social sciences shows, in the first place, that we do not attain something that is to be called ‘absolute’ truth, but rather what John Dewey cautiously describes as ‘warranted assertibility’” So, I wonder, is THAT absolutely true? Does that mean nothing Lamont wrote can be true?

Of course there is no good or bad either: “For Humanism no human acts are good or bad in or of themselves. Whether an act is good or bad is to be judged by the consequences for the individual and society.” So society determines what actions are good or bad? This lets the Nazis off the hook, since as a society they decided exterminating Jews was good.

Ah, but it gets better: “The Humanist refuses to accept any Ten Commandments or other ethical precepts as immutable and universal laws never to be challenged or questioned. He bows down to no alleged supreme moral authority either past or present. … But we can say…some ends justify some means. In getting at the ethical significance of a means-end situation, it is always necessary to be specific and inquire, ‘Does this particular end or set of ends justify this particular means or group of means?’”

Religious Humanism has Nature for a god and evolution for their god’s power. (Or is Matter their god since it already has the power in and of itself?) It has no truth, no innate good or evil, and no moral standard other than what the individual believes is right or wrong. Do your really want one of these guys as your next-door neighbor or the leader of your country?

I’d suggest a re-reading of Romans 1:18-32. And remember Psalm 14:1: “The fool says in his heart, ‘there is no God.’”

13 comments:

Jesse said...

Hi Glenn,

Examining a few quotes from the humanist author:

“the scientific concept of evolution…effectively negates the old religious idea of a divine creation of the whole universe.”

Okay, let's get scientific. So something can come from nothing? Design from chaos? Intelligence from non-intelligence? Rationality from non-rationality? Consciousness from non-consciousness?

"Matter is self-existent, self-active, self-developing, self-enduring. It is auto-dynamic."

Isn't that a circular argument?

“A careful analysis of both the natural and the social sciences shows, in the first place, that we do not attain something that is to be called ‘absolute’ truth, but rather what John Dewey cautiously describes as ‘warranted assertibility’”

If there are no absolute truths, then a.) scientific laws are subjective, b.) no point in education, c.) no such thing as certainty, d.) no such thing as crime, e.) no such thing as reality, and f.) no reason to be a humanist. There are so many things that the moral relativistic worldview would collapse, if taken to its logical end. So human reason cannot be used to disprove the existence of God.

"For Humanism no human acts are good or bad in or of themselves. Whether an act is good or bad is to be judged by the consequences for the individual and society."

So I take it that two sets of contradictory actions (stealing and not stealing) can be morally right at the same time? Who gets to define what constitutes selfishness? And who cares about good consequences, when we individually get to determine truth?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

They are never consistent. I also find that they can never live their professed ideology, always borrowing values from Christians.

Anonymous said...

Hie,

Thank you guys so much for beating the crap out these humanists who think that "reason helps us see clearly and religion is boring mysticism.Jesse is philosophical and you Glenn break stuff down to where we can understand and to the point thank you so much for your work guys.

Anonymous said...

I too believe that life did not come from nowhere, by accident. I agree that life is far too complex to have happened by chance, there is some element of pattern, a code, a key to life. However this does not make me believe in religion. Some people really need to get their heads out the bible and engage their intellect. God, Jesus and all this blah blah is mythology written when man new nothing and looked for some understanding. Wakey wakey folks its now 2018, don’t you think its time you put the kids books down!

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for demonstrating YOUR superstitious mythology that some mystical "something" created everything.

Your denial of God only demonstrates your brainwashed ignorance rather than objective research.

Gerry said...

i dont understand why we have to answer to god when we never asked to be born but have to pay for it and why would a person who did no wrong but good all their life go to hell. also why does god allow little children to be molested and ruin their whole life and we try say its ok god loves you. i find that hard to justify a loving all knowing god would allow this to happen when they are innocent,

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

You have to answer to God because he is the Creator. You didn’t ask to be born, but your parents asked you to be born. Regardless of whether you asked, you are now responsible for your life.

There has never been anyone who led a sinless life except Jesus Christ. You have done wrong in your life, i.e., you have sinned against God. Sinning against God has a penalty; you had the free will choice to sin or not to sin, and when you sin it is YOU who are choosing to do so. The penalty for sin is spiritual death as well as physical death. We will all die the physical death, but only those who haven’t paid the penalty for the crime of sin will pay the price of spiritual death in Hell. None of us can pay for that crime, which is why God in the flesh, as Jesus, paid for our sin through HIS death, and only by personally accepting that payment for yourself does his payment for sin apply to you.

God allows everyone in the world to make free will choices, and sin always affects someone else, whether it is child molestation or rape or murder or theft, etc. God allows it because he didn’t make puppets or robots. Only free will allows a person to love God. Yes God allows it and these things are horrible, but it isn’t God’s fault that mankind chooses to do such things.

Without an objective morality, which requires a God, you really have no right to make judgements as to what is evil or good.

Anonymous said...

"Why is it that we can call anything good? If God didn’t exist, there would be no objective basis for calling anything good or bad" If something is objectively good then by definition it's good whether a God exists or not. Otherwise you're putting a condition on its goodness.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Anonymous,

You obviously miss the point. How can you call something good without an objective standard to measure it against?

There is no definition of "good" outside an objective standard. You can have your OWN standard of what is good, but that doesn't mean anyone else will agree with YOUR standard. After all, huge numbers of people call abortion "good" when against any objective standard it is evil.

Anonymous said...

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then where does evil come from? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for cutting and pasting a quote from many places on the Internet -- just shows you are unable to do your own thinking.

God is willing to prevent evil, but God did not create evil, nor did he make pre-programmed robots or puppets. He gave man free will to choose how to think and behave. If God prevented all evil, then no one would have the ability to choose to think or do anything. God allows mankind to do as he wills and God will only intervene as He finds necessary to fulfill His purposes.

Try thinking for yourself.

Anonymous said...

Omniscience with omnipotence is incompatible with omni-benevolence. Unless you can can find a definition of love that involves the infliction of cancer. I don't want your love, nor that of your god.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Anonymous,

Typical rhetoric of an atheist who has no understanding of what the Bible teaches. Let me explain:

When sin entered the world through Adam's act of rebellion, it brought about death and corruption. Being Omni-benevolent does not mean God has to take away the consequences of sin, except that he does through Christ at the end: all death and corruption will be ended.

God doesn't inflict cancer or any other illness; these diseases and illnesses are a result of corruption in the creation. A huge percentage of cancers are self-inflicted by behaviors. Others are just due to corruption of creation.

I can be an all-benevolent father to my children, but if they commit wrongdoings, it would be wrong to NOT punish them or not allow them to suffer the consequences of their actions.

You want a god in your own image; you want a god who doesn't punish sin. You want a god who gives you a life of pleasure.