The Declaration, Constitution and the Humanist Manifestos
The Declaration of
Independence of the Thirteen Colonies in Congress, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of
Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [and women]
are created equal, that
they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life,
Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature,
a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice,
by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone,
for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws;
giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government,
and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us,
and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant,
is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to
the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of
Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
(I submit to you that this document was written by men who clearly thought and reasoned from a Christian Biblical Worldview.
Five times they invoked, or appealed to, the Name of the Christian God within the text of the Declaration of Independence.)
Constitution of the
Adopted by convention of States, September 17, 1787; Ratification completed, June 21, 1788
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The Bill of Rights
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;
or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,
and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation,
and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The powers not delegated to the
United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
The great Christian man, Founding Father, and secular prophet, John Adams said on July 3, 1776, about his vision of how our Independence Day would be celebrated:
I am apt to believe it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as
the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illumination [fireworks], from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward for evermore.
John Adams was off by two days.
He was referring to July 2, the actual day of the acceptance of the Declaration of Independence by those representatives assembled, but his words would live on to truly describe what we should now celebrate each year on July 4.
The thoughts and words
of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the
United States were great and inspiring because the men who wrote them reasoned from a Biblical foundation, a foundation based upon the unchanging thoughts of One Mind. They acknowledged their Creator God, their dependence upon Him and their reliance upon His divine providence. They were bound by the acceptance of the Bible as the Word of God and that He had revealed Himself to all people through its pages.
They summed this concept up when they ended the Constitution with this statement:
Done in Convention by the
Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in
the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the
Independence of the
United States of America the Twelfth ...
These grand thoughts and words stand in stark contrast to the literature of the great opposers of God; the thoughts and words of people whose reasoning is based solely upon the thoughts of fallen sinful minds. Consider what the founding literature of the atheists, the religious secular humanists, reveals to us.
The Manifesto is a product of many minds.
It was designed to represent a developing point of view
... The importance of the document is that more than thirty men have come to general agreement on matters of final concern and that these men are undoubtedly representative of a large number who are forging a new philosophy out of the materials of the modern world. Raymond B. Bragg (1933)
The time has come for widespread recognition of the radical changes in religious beliefs throughout the modern world. ... Science and economic change have disrupted the old beliefs. Religions the world over are under the necessity of coming to terms with new conditions created by a vastly increased knowledge and experience. ... the vital movement is now in the direction of a candid and explicit humanism. In order that
religious humanism may be better understood we ... desire to make certain affirmations which we believe the facts of our contemporary life demonstrate.
There is great danger of a final, and we believe fatal, identification of
the word religion with doctrines and methods which have lost their significance and which are powerless to solve the problem of human living in the Twentieth Century. ... Their end has been accomplished through the interpretation of the total environing situation (theology or world view), the sense of values resulting therefrom (goal or ideal), and the technique (cult), established for realizing the satisfactory life. ... But through all changes religion itself remains constant in its quest for abiding values, an inseparable feature of human life.
Today man's larger understanding of the universe, his scientific achievements, and deeper appreciation of brotherhood, have created a situation which requires a new statement of the means and purposes of religion. Such a vital, fearless, and frank religion capable of furnishing adequate social goals and personal satisfactions may appear ... as a complete break with the past. While this age does owe a vast debt to the traditional religions, it is none the less obvious that any religion that can hope to be a synthesizing and dynamic force for today must be shaped for the needs of this age. ...
It is a responsibility which rests upon this generation. We therefore affirm the following:
FIRST: Religious humanists
regard the universe as self-existing and not created.
Humanism believes that man is a part of nature and that he has emerged as a result of a continuous process.
Holding an organic view of life, humanists find that the traditional dualism of mind and body must be rejected.
Humanism recognizes that man's religious culture and civilization ... are the product of a gradual development due to his interaction with his natural environment and with his social heritage. ...
Humanism asserts that the nature of the universe depicted by modern science
makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values. Obviously humanism does not deny the possibility of realities as yet undiscovered, but it does insist that the way to determine the existence and value of any and all realities is by means of intelligent inquiry and by the assessment of their relations
to human needs.
Religion must formulate its hopes and plans in the light of the scientific spirit and method.
We are convinced that the time has passed for theism, deism, modernism, and the several varieties of new thought.
Religion consists of those actions, purposes, and experiences which are
Nothing human is alien to the religious. It includes labor, art, science, philosophy ...
intelligently satisfying human living. The distinction between the sacred and the secular can no longer be maintained.
Religious Humanism considers
the complete realization of human personality to be the end of man's life and seeks its development and fulfillment in the here and now. ...
In the place of the old attitudes involved in worship and prayer the humanist finds his religious emotions expressed in a heightened sense of personal life and in a cooperative effort to promote social well-being.
... there will be no uniquely religious emotions and attitudes of the kind ... associated with belief in the supernatural.
Man will learn to face the crises of life in terms of his knowledge of their naturalness and probability. ...
We assume that humanism will take the path of social and mental hygiene ...
... religious humanists aim to foster the creative in man and to encourage achievements that add
to the satisfactions of life.
Religious humanism maintains that all associations and institutions exist
for the fulfillment of human life. ... Certainly religious institutions, their ritualistic forms, ecclesiastical methods and communal activities
must be reconstituted ... in order to function effectively in the modern world.
... A 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 ... cooperate for the common good.
Humanists demand a shared life in a shared world.
FIFTEENTH AND LAST:
... humanism will: (a) affirm life rather than deny it; (b) seek to elicit the possibilities of life ...
endeavor to establish the conditions of a satisfactory life for all, not merely for the few. ...
So stand the theses of religious humanism. ... we consider the religious forms and ideas of our fathers no longer adequate ... Man is ... becoming aware that he alone is responsible ... that he has within himself the power for its achievement. ...
There were 34 signers of the Humanist Manifesto 1, including John Dewey (who promoted the idea that truth evolves) and R. Lester Mondale (Unitarian minister, the only signer of all three Humanist Manifestos and half brother of Senator Walter Mondale).
The Humanist Manifesto 1 was first published in the May/June 1933 issue of
The New Humanist
(VI:3). In the same issue, Roy Wood Sellars (author and professor of philosophy at the
Ann Arbor) wrote an article entitled "Religious Humanism" in which he announced the following:
In the Humanist Manifesto  it will be seen that many of us have reached a common body of beliefs and attitudes, beliefs about man, his place in the universe, the general nature of that universe, and attitudes toward the great questions of life. . . .
Edwin H. Wilson [Unitarian minister], wrote the book The Genesis of a Humanist Manifesto (Humanist Press, 1995). In the opening paragraphs of Chapter One he wrote:
"A Humanist Manifesto brought to public attention for the first time a movement deeply rooted in the cultural life of the United States of America. This movement has been variously called religious humanism, naturalistic humanism, scientific humanism, and ethical humanism according to the varying backgrounds and emphases of its proponents. In this book, I use the term religious humanism, as did the signers of A Humanist Manifesto. In addition to the varieties of humanism current at that time, historically there have been many humanisms as well. But the humanism announced in the manifesto had new horizons; it lookedperhaps too trustinglyto science as the putative savior of humanity. Therefore, A Humanist Manifesto should be regarded as but one outcropping of a cultural trend that existed at that time in many places and which since has surfaced in many traditions and nations beyond sectarian barriers.
The 1933 manifesto issued a challenge in the name of naturalism to the supernaturalists whose beliefs were based upon revelation rather than reason and science. It was a bold move to them publicly that their religious views were out of date and that the time had come for a new faith and a new religion. Such a challenge is just as appropriate today in view of the influence of the radical religious right.
The making of this historic document reflected the hope and directions of an era. A Humanist Manifesto represented a tide which the fundamentalist Christian revival set out to stem.
It may be that Christian fundamentalism will become as obsolete as the particular expressions of the Social Gospel in Protestantism which it engulfed, and that the Christian right will one day discover that time, science, and modern values are not on their side. I believe their own numbers and importance have been inflated by skillful use of the media and by abundant conservative financing. Moreover, the claim that humanism is dead (or that God is dead, for that matter) is a little like the shout: The king is dead! Long live the king!"
While I disagree with
Wilsons conclusion, his statement should be a wake up call to Christians that secular humanism is alive, well and trying to become the dominant philosophy of our American culture. The Humanist Manifesto 1 was followed by a Second and a Third.
In 1973, Paul Kurtz and Edwin H. Wilson wrote the Preamble to the Humanist Manifesto II. Within its four paragraphs they wrote:
It is forty years since Humanist Manifesto I (1933) appeared. Events since then make that earlier statement seem far too optimistic. Nazism has shown the depths of brutality of which humanity is capable. Other totalitarian regimes have suppressed human rights without ending poverty. Science has sometimes brought evil as well as good. Recent decades have shown that inhuman wars can be made in the name of peace. The beginnings of police states, even in democratic societies, widespread government espionage, and other abuses of power by military, political, and industrial elites, and the continuance of unyielding racism, all present a different and difficult social outlook. In various societies, the demands of women and minority groups for equal rights effectively challenge our generation.
As in 1933, humanists still believe that traditional theism, especially faith in the prayer-hearing God, assumed to live 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.
Those who sign Humanist Manifesto II disclaim that they are setting forth a binding credo ... but for today it is our conviction that humanism offers an alternative that can serve present-day needs and guide humankind toward the future.
Of course, Science is neutral, Science does not say anything, rather Science is good or evil depending upon what humans do with it. The Secular Humanist is a person filled with the dark and unfounded optimism that Man can pull himself up by his own bootstraps. The Humanist Manifesto II (1973) starts off:
The next century can be and should be the humanistic century.
... We have virtually conquered the planet, explored the moon, overcome the natural limits of travel and communication; we stand at the dawn of a new age, ... we can control our environment, conquer poverty, markedly reduce disease, extend our life-span, significantly modify our [own] behavior, alter the course of human [our] evolution and cultural development, unlock vast new powers, and provide humankind with unparalleled opportunity for achieving an abundant and meaningful life.
... In learning to apply the scientific method to nature and human life, we have opened the door to ecological damage, overpopulation, dehumanizing institutions, totalitarian repression, and nuclear and biochemical disaster. Faced with apocalyptic prophesies and doomsday scenarios, many flee in despair from reason and embrace irrational cults and theologies of withdrawal and retreat [a veiled reference to Christianity].
... The varieties and emphases of naturalistic humanism include "scientific," "ethical," "democratic," "religious," and "Marxist" humanism.
Free thought, atheism, agnosticism, skepticism, deism, rationalism, ethical culture, and liberal religion all claim to be heir to the humanist tradition. Humanism traces its roots from ancient
Rome, through the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, to the scientific revolution of the modern world. But views that merely reject theism are not equivalent to humanism. ... Humanism is an ethical process through which we all can move, above and beyond the ... ritual customs of past religions or their mere negation.
The Secular Humanist has no hope except in the shifting and uncertain thoughts of men. Contained within the 17 sections of this document we find the following:
... We believe ... that
traditional dogmatic or authoritarian religions that place revelation, God, ritual, or creed above human needs and experience do a disservice to the human species. Any account of nature should pass the tests of scientific evidence ... We find insufficient evidence for belief in the existence of a supernatural; it is either meaningless or irrelevant to the question of survival and fulfillment of the human race. As nontheists,
we begin with humans not God, nature not deity.
SECOND: Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful. They distract humans from ... from self-actualization ...
science affirms that the human species is an emergence from natural evolutionary forces. ... There is no credible evidence that life survives the death of the body.
Traditional religions are surely not the only obstacles to human progress. ... Purely economic and political viewpoints, whether capitalist or communist, often function as religious and ideological dogma.
We affirm that moral values derive their source from human experience.
Ethics is autonomous and situational needing no theological or ideological sanction. ...
Human life has meaning because we create and develop our futures. ... We strive for the good life, here and now.
FOURTH: Reason and intelligence
are the most effective instruments that humankind possesses. ... The controlled use of scientific methods, which have transformed the natural and social sciences since the Renaissance, must be extended further in the solution of human problems. ... Yet critical intelligence ... is the best method that humanity has for resolving problems. Reason should be balanced ... and the whole person fulfilled. Thus, we are not advocating the use of scientific intelligence independent of or in opposition to emotion ... As science pushes back the boundary of the known ... art, poetry, and music find their places, along with religion and ethics.
For the religious secular humanist, man is the measure of himself. For them, ethics are situational and derived solely as humans will them to be. The philosophy of the religious secular humanist may be described as: Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may become none existent.
As an example of this philosophy, the great atheist, secular humanist, scientist and author Isaac Asimov died April 6, 1992. He wrote the following lines concerning his thoughts about his own death:
There is nothing frightening about an eternal dreamless sleep. Surely it is better than eternal torment in Hell and eternal boredom in Heaven.
Although the time of death is approaching me, I am not afraid of dying and going to Hell or (what would be considerably worse) going to the popularized version of Heaven. I expect death to be nothingness and, for removing me from all possible fears of death, I am thankful to atheism.
I wonder what he would say now?
The secular humanist believes that science and mans ability to reason (a trait supposedly evolved by random chance) will save him. How foolish, when we know that no one may create anything greater than themselves. How may a human make themselves better than they are, when they would not know how to do it?
Charles Darwin understood the problem of trying to rely on a mind that supposedly came about by random chance. He wrote letters in which he said:
When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist. This conclusion was strong in my mind about the time ... when I wrote the 'Origin of Species;' and it is since that time that it has very gradually, with many fluctuations, become weaker. But then arises the doubt, can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animals, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?
F. Darwin, ed., The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin. New York, D. Appleton & Co., 1905, p. 282.
And, in a letter to W. Graham on July 3, 1881, Charles Darwin wrote:
"But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has always been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?"
The Humanist Manifesto II continues:
... We believe in maximum individual autonomy consonant with social responsibility. Although science can account for the causes of behavior, the possibilities of individual freedom of choice exist in human life and should be increased.
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. While we do not approve of exploitive, denigrating forms of sexual expression, 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." Without countenancing mindless permissiveness or unbridled promiscuity, 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 life-styles as they desire. We wish to cultivate the development of a responsible attitude toward sexuality, in which humans are not exploited as sexual objects, and in which intimacy, sensitivity, respect, and honesty in interpersonal relations are encouraged. Moral education for children and adults is an important way of developing awareness and sexual maturity.
As you may see, to a secular humanist, if man is just a thinking animal, why not act like one? To have autonomy means that a person has the right to be self-determined. The word autonomy basically means law unto self or self government. The secular humanist has no moral compass, no absolutes, no laws, no rules, no roles, few standards of conduct, and their only purpose is to please themselves.
To enhance freedom and dignity the individual must experience a full range of civil liberties ... 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. ... an individual's right to die with dignity, euthanasia, and the right to suicide. ...
We are committed to an open and democratic society. ... The conditions of work, education, devotion, and play should be humanized.
NINTH: The separation of church and state
and the separation of ideology and state are imperatives.
The state should encourage maximum freedom for different moral, political, religious, and social values in society.
TENTH: Humane societies
should evaluate economic systems not by rhetoric or ideology, but by whether or not they increase ... the sum of human satisfaction ...
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 ...
a minimum guaranteed annual income. ... Practicing humanists should make it their vocation to humanize personal relations.
We deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where
the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community in which all sectors of the human family can participate.
Thus we look to the development of a system of world law and a world order based upon transnational federal government.
... War is obsolete. So is the use of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. It is a planetary imperative to reduce the level of military expenditures and turn these savings to peaceful and people-oriented uses.
... Ecological damage, resource depletion, and excessive population growth must be checked ...
... It is the moral obligation of the developed nations to provide ... massive technical, agricultural, medical, and economic assistance, including birth control techniques, to the developing portions of the globe. ...
extreme disproportions in wealth, income, and economic growth
should be reduced on a worldwide basis.
... Technological feasibility does not imply social or cultural desirability.
... Travel restrictions must cease. The world must be open to diverse political, ideological, and moral viewpoints ...
To be fair, point 17 was written prior to the bombings of the US Embassy in Beirut in 1983, of the World Trade Center in 1993, of the Khobar Towers in 1996, of the USS Cole in 2000, and of the destruction of the World Trade Towers on September 11, 2001.
The Humanist Manifesto II ends with the following closing statement entitled Humanity As a Whole:
The world cannot wait for a reconciliation of competing political or economic systems to solve its problems. These are the times for men and women of goodwill to further the building of a peaceful and prosperous world. We urge that parochial loyalties and inflexible moral and religious ideologies be transcended. We urge recognition of the common humanity of all people. We further urge the use of reason and compassion to produce the kind of world we want a world in which peace, prosperity, freedom, and happiness are widely shared. ... We are responsible for what we are or will be. Let us work together for a humane world by means commensurate with humane ends. Destructive ideological differences among communism, capitalism, socialism, conservatism, liberalism, and radicalism should be overcome.
Let us call for an end to terror and hatred. We will survive and prosper only in a world of shared humane values. ... The commitment to tolerance, understanding, and peaceful negotiation does not necessitate acquiescence to the status quo nor the damming up of dynamic and revolutionary forces. The true revolution is occurring and can continue in countless nonviolent adjustments. ... At the present juncture of history, commitment to all humankind is the highest commitment of which we are capable; it transcends the narrow allegiances of church, state, party, class, or race in moving toward a wider vision of human potentiality. What more daring a goal for humankind than for each person to become, in ideal as well as practice, a citizen of a world community. ... Humanism thus interpreted is a moral force that has time on its side. We believe that humankind has the potential, intelligence, goodwill, and cooperative skill to implement this commitment in the decades ahead.
... These affirmations are not a final credo or dogma but an expression of a living and growing faith. We invite others in all lands to join us in further developing and working for these goals.
In summary, the Humanist Manifesto II took a decidedly post World War II approach to promoting a utopian society. This Manifesto envisioned that technological advancements and human reason would wash away the barriers between people of all ideologies and faiths and allow man to become superman. One may envision how Ayn Rand, Aldous Huxley, Julian Huxley, Rachel Carson and Carl Sagan would all be standing on the sideline and applauding as this parade went by.
One major problem
for people who try to understand the difference between the faulty reasoning of the humanist versus the rational Christian Biblical Worldview is the confusion over word meanings. Many people incorrectly assume that the words human, humane, humanist and humanism are relatively equal words and generally harmless. Again, nothing could be further from the truth.
As an adjective, the word human means: 1. of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or having the nature of people; 2. consisting of people; 3. of or pertaining to the social aspect of people: human affairs. 4. sympathetic; a warmly human understanding. As a noun, the word refers to a human being.
The word humane
is an adjective that generally means: 1.
characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for people and animals, especially for the suffering or distressed; 2. of or pertaining to humanistic studies.
The word humanist
in the context in which we are using it in this article was defined by Wendell Thomas as: of or pertaining to a philosophy asserting human dignity and man's capacity for fulfillment through reason and scientific method and often rejecting religion; "the humanist belief in continuous emergent evolution."
The American Humanist Association has defined the word humanism in many ways. Here are a few of the more telling definitions which they use:
a progressive lifestance that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead meaningful, ethical lives capable of adding to the greater good of humanity.
a rational philosophy informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by compassion. ... it supports the maximization of individual liberty and opportunity consonant with social and planetary responsibility. ... Free of supernaturalism, it recognizes human beings as a part of nature and holds that valuesbe they religious, ethical, social, or politicalhave their source in human experience and culture. Humanism thus derives the goals of life from human need and interest rather than from theological or ideological abstractions, and asserts that humanity must take responsibility for its own destiny.
Humanism ... It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.
Humanism is: A joyous alternative to religions that believe in a supernatural god and life in a hereafter.
Humanists believe that this is the only life of which we have certain knowledge and that we owe it to ourselves and others to make it the best life possible for ourselves and all with whom we share this fragile planet. A belief that when people are free to think for themselves ...
a philosophy, world view, or lifestance
based on naturalismthe conviction that the universe or nature is all that exists or is real. Humanism serves, for many humanists, some of the psychological and social functions of a religion, but without belief in deities, transcendental entities, miracles, life after death, and the supernatural. ...
a philosophy of life that considers the welfare of humankind - rather than the welfare of a supposed God or gods - to be of paramount importance. Humanism maintains there is no evidence a supernatural power ever needed or wanted anything from people, ever communicated to them, or ever interfered with the laws of nature to assist or harm anyone.
As you may see from their own words, humanism is actually a naturalistic, man-centered, evolutionary worldview that has no absolutes, no laws, no rules and no standards of conduct. It is a religion, an -ism or faith system that relies solely on the thoughts of fallen men and women to derive a moral and ethical system that is doomed to failure.
The humanist philosophy closely parallels the philosophy of Rodney King: Can we all get along?
The answer, Rodney, is no. God calls us to live lives of absolutes, laws, rules, roles, standards of conduct and purpose. Our worldview is supposed to line up with His, not the other way around. The Christian is a revelationist who knows that God exists and that He does reveal Himself to us in clear and understandable language. While Christians exercise tolerance towards other human beings, God is intolerant of the supposed wisdom of this world (John 14:6).
The Humanist Manifesto III, of 2003, is a shortened replacement for the Humanist Manifesto I, of 1933. It reaffirms the totally evolutionary worldview of the secular humanist. If anything, it is more dogmatic about their evolutionary worldview than the first document.
HUMANISM AND ITS ASPIRATIONS
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.
The lifestance of Humanismguided by reason, inspired by compassion, and informed by experienceencourages us to live life well and fully. It evolved through the ages and continues to develop through the efforts of thoughtful people who recognize that values and ideals, however carefully wrought, are subject to change as our knowledge and understandings advance.
This document is part of an ongoing effort to manifest in clear and positive terms the conceptual boundaries of Humanism, not what we must believe
but a consensus of what we do believe.
It is in this sense that we affirm the following:
Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis. Humanists find that science is the best method for determining this knowledge as well as for solving problems and developing beneficial technologies. We also recognize the value of new departures in thought, the arts, and inner experience - each subject to analysis by critical intelligence.
Humans are an integral part of nature,
the result of unguided evolutionary change. Humanists recognize nature as self-existing.
We accept our life as all and enough, distinguishing things as they are from things as we might wish or imagine them to be. We welcome the challenges of the future, and are drawn to and undaunted by the yet to be known.
Ethical values are derived from human need
and interest as tested by experience. Humanists ground values in human welfare shaped by human circumstances, interests, and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem and beyond. We are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity, and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility.
The Humanist Manifesto III is a self-contradictory document. In the fourth paragraph it is stipulated that humanists find that science is the best method for determining ... knowledge while in the fifth paragraph they declare that their inner experience is what they use to analyze each subject with their own critical intelligence.
To analyze a subject with their "inner experience" and their own "critical intelligence" is saying nothing more than that reality is what they decide it is. They continue by admitting that ethical values are subjective and may change as humans decide that they should change. For the Secular Humanist morals and ethics are situational. This is in total contradiction to the historical norm in which ethics remain constant over time and only moral judgments may vary from generation to generation. Murder has always been considered wrong in every world culture, but abortion is regarded as acceptable or unacceptable on a generational basis.
In addition, those individuals who accept the Humanist Manifesto III as their guide for life declare themselves to be extreme environmental terrorists. They are driven not only to earthly environmental terrorism, but they are convinced that there is extra-terrestrial life and that they must protect it, as well. What they have declared in clear and positive terms as the conceptual boundaries of Humanism is clearly a non-Christian, non-Biblical evolutionary worldview.
The three major points of the Humanist Manifesto III are:
Lifes fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals.
We aim for our fullest possible development and animate our lives with a deep sense of purpose, finding wonder and awe in the joys and beauties of human existence, its challenges and tragedies, and even in the inevitability and finality of death. Humanists rely on the rich heritage of human culture and the lifestance of Humanism to provide comfort in times of want and encouragement in times of plenty.
Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships.
Humanists long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively without resorting to violence. The joining of individuality with interdependence enriches our lives, encourages us to enrich the lives of others, and inspires hope of attaining peace, justice, and opportunity for all.
Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness.
Progressive cultures have worked to free humanity from the brutalities of mere survival and to reduce suffering, improve society, and develop global community. We seek to minimize the inequities of circumstance and ability, and we support a just distribution of natures resources and the fruits of human effort so that as many as possible can enjoy a good life.
[Emphasis in the original]
Again, clearly stated, the Secular Humanist wants a cradle to grave experience with limited or no pain; they would rather capitulate than confront; and, they want a world of happiness without consequences.
The great Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky had his character Ivan Karamazov encapsulate in the early chapters of The Brothers Karamazov, "If God does not exist, everything is permitted." Dostoyevsky later has Ivan say "If there is no immortality, there is no virtue."
Dostyevsky also wrote in The Brothers Karamazov, Part II, Book VI: "By interpreting freedom as the propagation and immediate gratification of needs, people distort their own nature, for they engender in themselves a multitude of pointless and foolish desires, habits, and incongruous stratagems. Their lives are motivated only by mutual envy, sensuality, and ostentation."
The Humanist Manifesto III ends with these two paragraphs:
Humanists are concerned for the well being of all, are committed to diversity, and respect those of differing yet humane views. We work to uphold the equal enjoyment of human rights and civil liberties in an open, secular society and maintain it is a civic duty to participate in the democratic process and a planetary duty to protect natures integrity, diversity, and beauty in a secure, sustainable manner.
Thus engaged in the flow of life, we aspire to this vision with the informed conviction that humanity has the ability to progress toward its highest ideals. The responsibility for our lives and the kind of world in which we live is ours and ours alone.
Truly, the Secular Atheistic Humanist believes that there is no God and that Man knows how to make himself better. All three Humanist Manifestos directly state that the acceptance of evolutionary theory is the basis for their belief and behavior system.
The opposite belief and behavior system is Christianity whose foundation is creationism starting with the acceptance of
Genesis 1-11. Upon these eleven chapters rest the structure of the Bible and a Christian Biblical Worldview.
The acceptance of either Secular Humanism or Christianity is religious by nature. Recently, the philosopher of science, Dr. Michael Ruse, stated:
Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion
a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that ... the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.
Evolution therefore came into being as a kind of secular ideology,
an explicit substitute for Christianity.
Both belief systems have their accepted statements of origins, but only one of them can be and is correct.
Secular Humanism is a belief system based upon the thoughts of imperfect men and women who consider themselves smarter than any god, capable of making themselves better, able to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. But how can a perfect system be invented by imperfect minds?
Christianity is a belief system that is based upon the eyewitness account of the perfect God Who was there at the beginning and spoke all things into existence!