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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15

Secular Humanism

C. I. M.

In the early 80's evangelical Christianity discovered secular humanism.

Many books were published exposing this anti-Christian worldview. Actually various forms of humanism have been around since Eden.

General Definition

The word "humanism" was coined during the Renaissance.

The Encyclopedia of Philosophy (vol. IV, p. 69ff.) defines humanism as "any philosophy which recognizes the value or dignity of man and makes him the measure of all things or somehow takes human nature, its limits, or its interests as its theme."

A humanist was originally one who focused his studies on man, his art and thought, and nature, as opposed to God, the spiritual and revelation. Today such study of culture is called the humanities.

It was originally an innocuous term. The humanists of the Renaissance were Christians. This type of humanism can be wedded to any religion or philosophy, for it only recognizes the value and dignity of man and his art. There are as many varieties of humanism as there are of Christianity. For example, one of the most visible forms of humanism today is a mystical variety known popularly as the New Age Movement.

Specific and Contemporary Meaning

One who makes man his ultimate concern, his ultimate point of reference.

Today's humanist is generally not theistic or at most deistic or agnostic.

It was declared a religion by the Supreme Court in 1961.

The best definitions of contemporary humanism can be found in the Humanist Manifesto I and II (p. 16.):

"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 non-theists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity."

What Humanism Is Not

Many confuse humanism with humanitarianism. The latter is simply one who shows philanthropic concern for his fellowman. Anyone can be humanitarian.

An Overview of the History of Modern Humanism


t is the second oldest religion in the world.

In Genesis 3:5, Satan told Eve, "...Your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

In Psalm 2, is the conflict between these two--God and His kingdom versus man and his schemes to replace God. Humanism denies the sovereignty of God.

Revelation 17 and 18 predicts the outcome of the struggle.

The Greeks: Protagoras (5th Century B.C.) coined the phrase "Man is the measure of all things." The Greeks became known for their emphasis on reason apart from superstition and religion. It brought about the Golden Age of Greece. They believed man could control his own fate.

The Romans: They borrowed from the Greeks. Caesar was worshipped as God.

The Renaissance (began about 1200 A.D.): It was a revival of classical learning. Greek thought and Christian doctrine were synthesized. Reason began to be separated from religion. St. Thomas Aquinas mistakenly believed man's reasoning ability was unaffected by the Fall.

The Enlightenment (1600-1800): Humanism became secularized. The enlightenment became the foundation of modern humanism. They proclaimed reason a goddess. Principle figures: Rousseau and Voltaire.

The 20th Century: After Darwin's theory of evolution, humanism had all it needed. Other notable events:

Founding of the Ethical Union in England in 1896. It later became the influential British Humanist Association.

In America in 1933, The Humanist Manifesto was published. Later in 1949 a humanist society was formed.

There is now an international network of humanist organizations.

In 1973 The Humanist Manifesto was updated.

The Major Tenets of Naturalistic Humanism.

1. Concerning the nature of things:

2. Concerning man and his nature:

3. Concerning Ethics:

4. Concerning the process of knowing:

5. Concerning Government:

6. Concerning Social Concern:

Four Common Illusions about Humanism

1. Humanism is humane.

2. Humanism is not a religion.

3. Humanism is unbiased.

4. Humanism is broadminded.

The Current Influence of Humanistic Philosophy

1. Education: It is the major unifying factor in public education today. Children are viewed as property of the state. Their primary aim is the social adjustment of children into group-oriented mentality. Education is social and not content oriented. Self-development is stressed rather than learning from the wisdom of the past. Secular does not equal neutral! The public education system from elementary to college is a monopoly of the religion of Humanism! They are parochial schools!!

2. Media

Newspapers - Most newspapers are compiled from two wire services.

TV - Most news is from 4 networks.

3. Active Humanist Organizations: The most active and visible are:

The Most Influential Humanist Books

What can Christians Do?