A Philosophy of Man
What is Humanism
• Humanism is another type of philosophy
that effects our culture.
• It is difficult to define, but its impact is far
• Humanism has popped up throughout
history wherever men believe that there is
either no God, or that his action in the
universe is limited to creation.
• Humanism is a very misunderstood word.
– First, we must be clear to understand that
Humanism is not the same thing as
humanitarianism. Humanitarianism is a
concern with the welfare of other human
– Humanism has meant different things
• Humanism is a system of philosophy that is
concerned solely with human interests.
• Humanism has its roots in the ancient Greek
philosophers, mainly the Sophists of the 4th
and 5th century B.C.
– The leading philosopher of this group is named
– He phrased the central teaching of all forms of
• Man, the measure!
– Man is the sole criteria for verifying
– All aspects of life have nothing to do with God
or the eternal, but they have to do only with
• Modern Humanism has roots in the
– Christianity in the Middle Ages was concerned
mainly with the afterlife. The Renaissance was
a movement towards concern for this life.
– The goal of the people in the Renaissance was
to achieve the best possible life in this world.
– People believed that this could be done through
their own efforts.
• This idea seemed to have been confirmed in
the Enlightenment Age of the 17th and 18th
– Human reason seemed to be perfect.
– Idea of natural Law (The universe is governed
by a set up universal unchanging Laws).
– Belief that Humanity was moving towards
perfection (scientific advances, world
exploration, wealth, etc.)
• The result of Enlightenment thinking was
that human history is moving irreversibly
upward towards Enlightenment. The basic
teaching was that God had set the world in
motion, under rules by which it is governed
and that it is moving towards perfection.
– Our central task is to use the Scientific Method
to discover the basic laws that govern the
• In the 19th century, it seemed that Darwin’s
theories offered definitive proof in these
– Darwin’s theory teaches that all species are
moving towards perfection through natural
– Social Darwinism applied these theories to
• Modern Humanism is the end result of this
– Central to the humanist tradition is a belief in
man’s innate goodness, rationality, and self-
perfectibility, and in the empirical (scientific)
method as the principle means of obtaining
What does Modern Humanism
• Modern Humanism is a distinct movement
found largely among the intellectual elite.
– The American Humanist Association was
founded in 1941.
– They publish two periodicals, The Humanist
and Free Inquiry.
– Members promote humanism through other
various media (Radio,TV, Discussion Groups)
• Humanist Ideas are set forth in two
– The Humanist Manifesto (1933)
– The Humanist Manifesto II (1973)
What does Modern Humanism
• “Modern Humanism involves a
conscientious alternative to supernatural
– This means that those that openly embrace
humanism do so knowing that they stand in
opposition to the Christian faith.
• As such, the U.S. Supreme Court declared
humanism to be a separate religion in 1961
(Torcaso vs. Watkins).
• Humanism is a philosophy, a general
attitude, and an organized movement.
The Impact of Humanism
• The impact of humanism on the culture is
hard to gauge.
– On one hand, there are relatively few people
that openly subscribe to the whole system of
– On the other, many of these people hold “high
profile” positions in society.
• The general effect of the attitude of
humanism has however had a far reaching
impact on our society. Because of its
stronghold among the “intellectual elite” of
our culture, humanism has greatly effected
the policymakers of our culture. It is
pervasive in our government institutions.
Humanism in The Schools
• Part of the Humanist Agenda is to take
control of our cultures means of education.
– “Religious humanism maintains that all
associations and institutions exist for the
fulfillment of human life.” H.M. 1:13.
• Humanism is the dominant philosophy in
the public school system, especially in the
colleges and universities.
• This is not to say that there are no
Christians that work in the school systems.
There are certainly countless faithful
Christians that work in public schools.
• The problem is that the ability for local
decision making has been largely taken
away from these people.
• Also, the Christian community has been
slow to realize how far reaching humanism
• We have assumed that the schools have a
much more Biblical assumption than they
What Should our Reaction Be?
• We have several choices
– We can pull out. This has been the method of
the Roman Catholic Church for years.
– We can be influence our culture by becoming
involved, thus influencing the policy-making
– It is my personal belief that this is the more
• It is of vital importance that as the
covenantal community of God, that we
know what our children are taught in
school, and that we be able to offer them an
educated evaluation of what they are taught.
• First Humanism flatly ignores the
overwhelming evidence for the existence of
– God Reveals himself to us through creation.
– God Reveals himself through his word. (2 Peter
– Humanism ignores the more likely view of
intelligent design in favor of a cold process that
is the result of chance.
– Humanism rejects the observable change that
has taken place in the lives of millions of
people due to their relationship with God.
• Humanism fails to take into account the
contributions of the Christian tradition.
– Humanists accuse Christianity as “inhibiting
humans from helping themselves and
experiencing their full potentials… Traditional
religions are surely not the only obstacles to
– Christians have consistently supported the
freedom, dignity, and individuality of persons,
as well as democracy, social justice, and
modern education. They have brought
medicine, literacy, and material improvements
to the ends of the earth, and have taught people
to value human life and to love others.
• Humanism is defective
– If we are the product of chance, why should we
have any special concern for others, isn’t it
about survival of the fittest?
– If there is nothing eternal, then why worry
about anything other than ourselves.
– Our motivation to to seek after good must be
the result of our understanding that we are
created in the image of God.
• Humanism’s logical outcome is moral
– If there is no God, then there are no absolute
values. Right or wrong is determined by the
individual. Because of sinfulness, this spells
the end of moral decency.