Hello and welcome back!

(I have posted this same post on zachmalott.com so that all of my readers will be on the same page.  If you read both blogs, I apologize for the redundancy).

It’s good to see you again, however, I would prefer better circumstances!

I am writing this post during my second day in ICU at Lincoln County Medical Center (LCMC) in Ruidoso, New Mexico.  I was stricken by what appeared to be a heart attack and later on found to be an Ileus (intestinal obstruction) and possible internal bleeding.

Heart attack or intestinal obstruction and internal bleeding?  Hmmm, let me think.

I think I will choose bowel obstruction and internal bleeding, thank you very much! :)

I apologize for being away from posting for so long, but daily duties of ministry have kept me inordinately busy. Now that I am resting comfortably (finally!) here in the hospital on my vacation, I am on my trusty iPad again! I must say, winding up in the hospital this past Sunday morning at 8:30 was unexpected to say the least!

What happened?

It started with a disoriented feeling, followed by an intense and increasing, dull pain behind my breast bone.  In a few seconds, the pain had moved a little lower and I began to sweat profusely (more like I had just climbed out of a swimming pool depressed in my suit!). Then, the nausea hit like a ton of bricks from a two story building! When I arrived at the hospital, the doctor took the proper precautions for a heart attack.

After many tests and xrays, it was discovered not the be heart involvement but, rather, an intestinal blockage.  Thankfully it wasn’t a heart attack but an intestinal obstruction – so they have been treating me for that.

Enter, the fever.

After all seemed to be going well, I was found to be experiencing a low grade fever that managed to become middle grade within a few hours.  This led to more blood test which turned up a problem with my blood.  I was losing it! My blood volume had dropped significantly in a short period of time.  Tests did not reveal any occult blood so the mystery continues this Tuesday, June 4th, 2013.

My third day in hospital continuing, I am asking for prayer from my readers that the doctors discover the cause and repair it unless God decides to handle it supernaturally, as we all know He can do! At this point, it would be foolish to presume and say that I will be posting on topic soon, so I will just say, “If it’s Almighty God’s will, I shall be posting on topic soon!”

I , God willing, aspire to sharing many posts and spiritual edifications for years to come. As I was lying here in bed last night and the nurse had just finished drawing another series of blood draws, I formulated the title for this post and prepared a brief outline.

Below, are three main things a Christian needs to do when the unexpected happens:

1.  TURN TO GOD IN PRAYER – Don’t forget to praise Him and worship Him.  It is so easy to slip into the me,me,me asking for things and forgetting that we were created for the express purpose of worshiping and praising our God.

2.  BE A POSITIVE WITNESS – Remember who you belong to and who you are representing.  Be the reflection of Jesus the Christ.  Regardless of your unexpected situation, you represent the King of Kings, The Lord of Lords!  He is in total control so reflect His image and show a lost world your complete faith and complete confidence in His work on the cross and His promises!

3.  BE CONCERNED FOR OTHERS OVER YOURSELF – remember to care about and pray unceasingly for others.  When we put others above ourselves, we are truly walking closer in our relationship to Jesus!

Here’s thanking you all in advance for your prayers!

God willing, until next time!

Zach

Question:  Are you putting the needs of others above yourself?

Hello and welcome back!

It’s Monday night and I have just returned from discipleship class at church.  I am teaching on the beatitudes and the parables of Jesus.  It is always a wonderful time and the community is so enjoyable!

Community is what Christianity is all about!  The closer the body (the local church) comes together and all of the parts (individuals) are in harmony, the closer is the church’s relationship with Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior!

I hope your week has been a fruitful one and you are ready to investigate another worldview that is prevalent in today’s world.  That worldview is atheism.  Let’s develop a working definition for atheism.

For the purpose of this post’s investigation into atheism, we will describe the term atheist to mean an absence of belief or empirical evidence in deity or the supernatural (God).

If atheists do not believe in God, just what do they believe in?

“Theists, on the other hand, believe that there is a difference between the creator and the created.”

A Pew Research Center report that was conducted in 2012 suggests that 2% of the entire population of the United States reports to be atheist.  Among all of the nonreligious (claiming no religious beliefs), 12% of these people claimed to be atheists.

We will take a generalist view of atheism in this article.  Atheism, like every worldview, is not cut and dried in its description because there are several schools of thought concerning the worldview.  In the book, 21st Century Confusion: Finding Your Path to Hope and Purpose, we will delve more deeply into these various specific forms of atheism as well as the other worldviews.

In the book, we will consider how the more specific forms are viewed by those who hold them.   For the purpose of this brief article, we will keep it to the general overview of this worldview.

Atheists claim that there are two worldview positions within the worldview of atheism and that atheists do not believe in anything:

  • Weak Atheism.
  • Strong Atheism.

Weak atheism is that of disbelief in deity or gods.  You could say that some weak atheists believe that there is no such thing as the Christian God.  What this stance boils down to is considered skepticism (not a belief system), rather than certain knowledge.

Strong atheism suggests that the atheist beliefs explicitly that there is no such thing as deity or a higher power.  They believe that the only things that exists is materialism — period.  If you still have difficulty discerning between these two sub-types, consider this.  The main difference between the strong and weak stand is skepticism vs. absolute belief.

Weak atheism then holds to the fact that the atheist disbelieves the reality of deity because there is not enough evidence for them to believe in it at this time.  They also may disbelieve in the reality of deity because they do not perceive any importance to look into it any further.

Strong atheism then holds the view that there is no possibility of the reality of a higher power or deity.  They consider such a belief to be a total fabrication.

Atheists claim that they do not hold beliefs for or against theism.  They claim that the lack of empirical evidence of deity and miracles deny the possibility of the supernatural.  They claim that belief has nothing to do with their stand.

On the other hand, atheists also claim that theists (believers in a higher power) believe in ignorance and not by experience of something or through experimentation.  Atheists claim that theists accept the belief of deity out of ignorance and that theists believe ignorance is superior to empirical knowledge.

They claim that atheist rely upon provable fact while theists see no need for facts, only belief.

Theists, on the other hand, believe that there is a difference between the creator and the created.  In other words, empirical evidence and discovery applies to material matter, the creation; whereas, the creator (being outside of time and space) created matter and matter constitutes the creation.  Empirical evidence does not apply to the non-material and supernatural being of the creator God.

Remember, these posted articles are only brief overviews of the detail on the worldviews that will be represented in the book.  If you desire, further reading on any of these worldviews before the book is published, feel free to ask me by mentioning it in the comments for this post and I will be glad to provide them.

That’s it for the worldview of atheism!  We will consider the worldview of agnosticism next post!

Until next time…

Zach

QUESTION:  Does atheism make sense to you?  If there is nothing but materialism, where did the first material come from?

Hello and welcome back!

I am just sitting here at my desk while reflecting on how beautiful God’s seasons are!  I love all seasons but like most of you I am ready to see the trees blossom out and the flowers to bloom.

 I’m sure that all of you who follow me on Facebook are aware that I have a new granddaughter who is turning 6 months old very soon!  How could you NOT know with all the photos and videos that I have been posting!

Belle and I are gonna have one fine time on our first excursion into nature together soon!

She is getting old enough now to really begin to enjoy new things and to commune with the creation in awe and excitement as the freshly created do!  I get to be a part of that wonderful mystery of life!

Can you sense my excitement?  I am practically grinning ear to ear as I write this!  I will give a special blog report along with photos when this wonderful event takes place!  I can’t wait to share it with you!

Ok, enough of my granddaddy excitement!  Let’s continue with our overview of the mainline worldviews in the world today.  Remember, these overviews are not meant to be comprehensive but to present the worldviews that will be presented in much more detail in the book, 21st Century Confusion: Finding Your Path to Hope and Purpose.  The purpose of this book will be to present a 21st century apologetic (defending the Christian faith) and to show the 21st century of their need for Jesus Christ in a dying world.

This post begins a new worldview exploration.  We will be considering the worldview of Cosmic Humanism.  What is cosmic humanism?  Another name that identifies cosmic humanism you may be more familiar with.  That name is the New Age movement.

Cosmic humanism or new age movement sees God and the universe as the same.  This concept of God is called pantheism.  Pantheists believe that the terms God and the world are interchangeable.

This New Age worldview believes that the world is God and God is the world.  Cosmic humanism sees the concept of God being everywhere at once to be impossible in the physical world unless he IS the physical world.

“Cosmic Humanism or New Age thinking appears to revolve around a Marxist platform.”

Cosmic humanism sees the world as heading towards a coming new age, an age of peace where all human beings come together in agreement or what they term the Age of Aquarius.  The song, Age of Aquarius was written for the musical Hair in 1967 and recorded in 1969 by the musical group, The 5th Dimension in 1969.  Cosmic humanism views everything that exists is God and the human being is a part of one whole which they state makes everything one.   Bottom line, cosmic humanists are saying: “Mankind is divine, mankind is God.”

Cosmic humanism does not believe in the Bible as being the word of God anymore than is the Qur’an or any other manuscript.  One outspoken cosmic humanist has been quoted as saying, “We can take all the scriptures, and all the teachings, and all the tablets, and all the laws, and all the marshmallows and have a jolly good bonfire and marshmallow roast, because that is all they are worth.”  This direct quote can be found in his book, Reflections on the Christ published by Findhorn Publications in 1982 on page 73.

Although cosmic humanists believe in the supernatural, unlike the other humanists that we have discussed, they do NOT believe in a personal God that created mankind and the universe.  Instead, they believe that THEY are God.  They believe that God IS the creation of which they are like a cup of God that is everything similar to a cup of sea water which makes the cup of sea water the same as the sea.

The cosmic humanist believes that there is no objective truth handed down by a personal, objective God but that all truth comes from the individual because the individual is God.

Jonathan Adolph has made the following statement and I quote: “In its broadest sense, New Age thinking can be characterized as a form of utopianism, the desire to create a better society, a ‘New Age’ in which humanity lives in harmony with itself, nature, and the cosmos.”

According to the description above, cosmic humanism or new age thinking appears to revolve around a Marxist platform.

Here is a quote from a widely viewed website that supports the New Age movement:

“New Age teachings became popular during the 1970’s as a reaction against what some perceived as the failure of Christianity and the failure of Secular Humanism to provide spiritual and ethical guidance for the future. Its roots are traceable to many sources: Astrology, Channeling, Hinduism, Gnostic traditions, Hermeticism, Spiritual Alchemy, Spiritualism, Taoism, Theosophy, Wicca and other Neo-pagan traditions, along with various aspects of Alternative Science and Healing, etc.”

  That wraps up our overview of cosmic humanism.  This will allow you to be able to recognize this worldview’s main concepts regardless of what form you may find it.

Next post, we will consider the worldview of Atheism.

Until next time!

Zach

QUESTION:  Can you see any connection between secular humanism and cosmic humanism in terms of the age old question, “What is truth?”

Hello and welcome back!

I’m excited to continue our journey of investigating the worldview of Christian humanism as we continue looking at the different worldviews that currently shape the thinking of our world today here in the 21st century!

Last post, we began an overview of Christian humanism.  If you have just joined us, I thank you for your interest.  We are all working together in looking at the different worldviews that shape the world of the 21st century.

You may wish to read the previous posts relating to this book blog of my book – 21st Century Confusion: Finding Your Path to Hope and Purpose. 

The purpose of this site is to blog the book before it is published by introducing the content from the book as blog posts.  To see what part you can play in the completion of this project, please click – Blog: Take a Look!

Of course, the description of Christian humanism has changed over time as humanist worldviews tend to do.

You can find all related posts in the sequence that has been written in the right-hand side bar.  I’m glad you have joined us and I look forward to your participation in this project.

Let’s move forward, and complete our overview on Christian humanism.

I am amazed at the confusion of the literature available concerning this worldview.  In the last post, a brief history was presented which gives the reader information of the historical beginnings of Christian humanism.

(Read Here)

Of course, the description of Christian humanism has changed over time as humanist worldviews tend to do.  Let’s wrap up this topic overview by discovering how it shapes Christian thinking today for those who subscribe to its tenets.

I’m glad that you are with me on this journey!

The following is an excerpt from The Christian Humanist website:

Once we get beyond the mythological language, it is clear that the disciples had a life-transforming experience that resulted in a re-ordering of their priorities toward a new way of thinking about what was seriously important in their lives and led to their commitment to carry on with Jesus’ teachings.

They interpreted this life-transforming experience to mean that the spirit of Jesus did not die with him but was alive in them, challenging them to continue what he had started.  For his early followers it was a life-transforming awareness that the spirit of Jesus was alive in them. They understood this to mean two things: they were to model their lives after his life and they were to carry on his teaching about the kingdom of god and what that implied for the people of the region.

Another excerpt from the above site provides their view of Christianity:

At its core, being a Christian today means exactly the same thing for us as it meant to his first disciples: consciously choosing to be an advocate of Jesus and his teachings. It involves what the medieval theologian Thomas A Kempis called Imitatio Christi, the imitation of Christ. It means to live as Jesus lived and to teach as he taught, to honor truth and show compassion, to stand with the victims of this world against their oppressors, to stand with the weak and the powerless against the abusers and the comfortably powerful, and to maintain one’s integrity no matter the cost. In short being a follower of Jesus meant then and now to be faithful to the spirit of Jesus and his teachings. That is both the meaning and the cost of Christian discipleship.

The bottom line, as will be seen in this last excerpt from The Christian Humanist will provide the reader an overview of the direction Christian humanism is taking since the 3rd century and throughout the centuries up to now:

It is a de-mythologized Christianity, a version without the necessity for god and freed from the theological and mystical baggage of the centuries preceding us, a Christianity that challenges us regardless of our view of god to model our lives after that of Jesus. Being a Christian is not any more complicated than that, but it is at least that.

If you desire to investigate the site above, here is the link: The Christian Humanist.

To be sure, there are other, modified premises of the above (considered unorthodox theology) in many, current Christian humanism versions; however, what they all have in common is this: A Christian does not need to have supernatural beliefs or events in order to be a follower of Jesus Christ of the Christian Bible.  Although some Christian humanists project a version of Orthodox Christianity, humanism eventually leads to secular humanistic beliefs and the true teachings of Christ lead to Deity.

The end result of Christian humanism in the church appears to lead into humanistic thinking and secular humanism over time as we see on The Christian Humanist site.

That wraps up our brief overview of Christian humanism.

Let me say it again.

REMINDER: This is a blog post and does not reflect the depth that will be considered on the mainstream 21st century worldviews that will be found in the published book.  The book will also offer excellent references at the end of each chapter for those interested in further information.

These blog posts are presented for you to reflect upon and to comment on as described in the blog post that describes this blog and your opportunity for involvement.  You can read about it how you can be involved in the Blog: Take a Look!

Thank you for joining me in this consideration of the worldview of Christian humanism in the 21st century!  That’s a wrap!

Next Post, we will consider the worldview of Cosmic Humanism (New Age Movement).

Until next time!

Zach

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Can Christianity be considered true Christianity without the deity of God and Jesus being the foundational reality?

Hello and welcome back!

Now that we’ve finished the secular humanism overview, let’s turn our attention towards another worldview that is prominent today.  This worldview is the 21st century version of Christian humanism.  As we discover the background of many of these different 21st century worldviews, I want to inform you that many of them will possibly unsettle you.

The concept of worldview — or how we view the world around us — allows us to have a window into the thinking and beliefs of others.  Without this basic understanding of what others are about is the basis of unfruitful argumentation and is the foundation of misunderstanding which is never fruitful.  Therefore, our investigation into the different mainline worldviews provides the opportunity to understand what others believe regardless of whether we see eye to eye with their beliefs or not.

History of Christian Humanism

The history of Christian humanism is almost as old as Christianity.  In fact, the second century church father, Justin Martyr, is credited by some to be the father of Christian humanism based on his use of classical (Greek secular knowledge) teachings into teaching non-Christians of the day about Christianity.

Christian humanism has continued from these beginnings throughout history.  In the 12th century, Peter Abelard, a French scholastic philosopher, brought logic to theology that was touted as correcting contradictions of the early church fathers.

This thinking was instrumental in bringing a new theological discipline of combining philosophy with Christianity which was heavily disputed by the 12th century church.

Thomas Aquinas was able to make a case for Aristotelian philosophy being utilized in forming Christian theology.  Throughout the renaissance, the reformation, and up to the Enlightenment—Christianity and classical philosophy influenced one another.

The United States Constitution is said to be an influence of Christian humanism brought about by John Locke, an English philosopher who expressed the idea of God-given rights above any government authority.

The above historical overview is a mere skimming of the complexity of the subject of Christian humanism but provides a snapshot of how classical Greek philosophy and Christian thought developed together from the 2nd century to the Enlightenment.

The Enlightenment was the beginning of the split between traditional Christianity and Christian humanism.  Christian humanism is credited with the Biblical criticisms and the liberalism that is now rampant in Christianity today.

Next post, we will complete our investigation into Christian humanism in the 21st century and move on to the next worldview.

My book, 21st Century Confusion: Finding Your Path to Hope and Purpose will expand on the history as well as provide excellent references for further study and investigation of the many worldviews presented within its pages.

If you are interested in further research into Christian humanism before the book is available, please make a request in the comments section below for this blog post.

Until next time!

Zach

QUESTION:  What are your thoughts about Christian humanism?

Hello and welcome back!

How are you doing?  I hope this finds you and your family well and productive!  As for me, my wife and I are doing well as are our children.  The weather is improving here by the day.  It’s nice and warm most days and I enjoy running around without wearing a jacket.  Have you ever given thought to what is your favorite time of the year?  I used to consider spring to be my favorite season.  As the years pass, I find that every season has its pros and cons and what one season lacks we receive in the next and so on.

“Do you consider it important to compare the worldview you hold to discover if it answers life’s important questions adequately?”

Life itself is like that, isn’t it?  What one season of life lacks we usually discover in another season of our life.  Some things that we take for granted in one season either takes on more or less importance in another.  The same goes for worldviews at times.  A worldview is the product of many factors.  We are influenced by our culture, our community, our family, and by our own, subjective thoughts revolving around these influences.  Notice that I said our subjective thinking revolving around these influences.  Do you consider it important to compare the worldview you hold to discover if it answers life’s important questions adequately?

There are many worldviews that we will be examining in this category and will now continue with our final examination of secular humanism.  We have taken a look at this worldview in terms of its outlook of human design.  We considered its tenants revolving around humanity’s origin, destiny, and what human life is all about.  In this last post on secular humanism, let’s continue where the last post left off.

In the last segment, we examined secular humanist considerations of important concepts revolving around the human condition.  Such topics are:

 

1)    Existence

2)    Self Responsibility

3)    Reality

4)    Concept of Self

5)    Societal Responsibility

 

This brings us to the wrap-up on secular humanism before we move on to another worldview overview.  We have examined several things in this overview:

 

  • A brief history of secular humanism.
  • The values, morals, and ethics of this worldview.
  • Secular humanism’s human existence theories.
  • Humanity’s purpose.
  • The value of human life.

 

If you wish to review all the posts on secular humanism, they are available in the categories list under secular humanism in the right-hand side bar.  If you wish excellent references for further study on secular humanism, please ask in the comments for this post.

Please comment on the question below to stimulate conversation.  See why this is important here.

Until next time!

Zach

QUESTION:  DOES YOUR WORLDVIEW ALIGN WITH SECULAR HUMANISM?  If NOT, WHAT DO YOU DISAGREE WITH IN TERMS OF SECULAR HUMANISM?

Hello and welcome back!

I’ve thought a lot about how I should present the next two segments in blog post format.  I decided to be as brief as possible without brushing over the proclaimed values of secular humanism.  It’s very important that I relate to you the lens of the worldview through which those who choose secularity over theism currently view the world.

Let’s both take another peek through this lens together, shall we?  That way, we will be ready to compare other worldviews that clash with secular humanism more accurately.

Ok, let’s get to it!

Our perusal of the world of the secular humanist is important.  Being a post-modern lens, from which to view mankind’s world, this secular philosophy has been around for centuries.  Having been entertained by philosophers who refused to believe in the supernatural, it has only become popular as a worldview paradigm since the mid-19th century.

The effect of this worldview expanded from Darwin’s evolution then rapidly into the dominant worldview in the West that we see today.  You might wish to review the historical information of secular humanism from the first post.  Hey, it can’t hurt, can it! :)

This final overview on secular humanism only reflects, in the most general manner, what will be detailed in the book, 21st Century Confusion: Finding Your Path to Hope and Purpose.  The following wrap-up will be in two parts to contain the length of this blog post.

This overview will summarize several values — categorically — through the lens of secular, humanist thinking.  The understanding of humanist values can be used by you to compare this philosophy against other the other worldviews that we will investigate next.

The following areas, that constitute a humanist worldview, are compact rather than comprehensive but they will provide all the information necessary for a clear understanding of secular humanism for our purposes in this blog post.  The book will delve deeper and provide more emphasis on each of the following secular, humanistic attitudes towards life (For further reading on this worldview, please ask for references in the comments section below).

“They believe that truth and morality change with the times rather than being established forever by God as an ultimate guide to understanding what is acceptable to Him and best for mankind.”

Mankind’s Existence

Humanists view the world as strictly material.  The denial of God and the supernatural is like a thread that weaves throughout their worldview about the world and the known universe.  Humanists declare that the evidence against the reality of Almighty God’s existence and His creating everything in existence is mostly conclusive.

Humanists non only declare that the evidence for evolution is greater than that for God but also that Darwinism explains truth of mankind’s existence and God is, at best, a myth. Their subjective worldview of truth is subject to change with each new discovery or their individual acceptance by their own admission.  In response to the argument that God is the creator of everything and the source of all existence, the humanist will argue, “If God is the creator of all that we can see, touch, hear, smell, and taste — then who created God?”

There is no room in their paradigm to believe that an eternal creator exists outside of time or that He created all and therefore is eternal — where the meaning of eternal is having no beginning and having no end.  They deny the existence of a totally self-sufficient, all-present, all-knowing, and all-powerful Creator.

Humanistic Responsibility

Again, there is no belief of anything beyond mankind to provide a pattern for responsibility vs. irresponsibility.  This can also be transcribed as order vs. chaos.  Looking at the world from this lens indicates a belief that, “I am responsible for my own life and to live as I see fit.”

In other words, there is no creator who set everything into motion and provided the guidelines that are outside of the secular humanist.  There are no objective laws given by a perfect Creator that should govern our thoughts and behaviors and that will provide the best possible life for those who follow them.

Humanists believe that they have a responsibility towards the rest of the world.  Since they believe that they are the height of evolution, it is they who must take the reins and control the order in the world because they are the highest order and all there is.  There is no God, no fate, and no divine providence.  All responsibility is in mankind’s hands.

Changing realities

The humanistic paradigm revolves around a certain belief that nothing is certain.  This means that all truth is relevant and changing with each new scientific and societal discovery.  This, in effect, is stating that there is no objective truth because what is subjectively believed now — will change at a later time.

Humanists consider science and the material universe all that there is and that they are open to the never-ending, changing truth of discovery — not relying on a fictional and stagnated, ancient book written by simple people trying to make sense of what they did not understand.  They believe that science and morality is in constant flux; therefore, they are always changing what is true and what is considered moral reality.

They believe that truth and morality change with the times rather than being established forever by God as an ultimate guide to understanding what is acceptable to Him and best for mankind.

Self-Centered vs. Others-Centered

The humanist declares that he alone is in control of his life and does not rely on God for anything nor expects any divine help or eternal life.  They rely upon themselves, other humans of authority, and science.  They, not God, decide on what is right and what is wrong for them.  In other words, by looking out for their own interests, they put self first.  Self-will rather than God’s will best describe the lens of the secular humanist.

Societal Responsibility

The secular humanist holds to the belief that they, not God, are to be sovereign over the world and in authority for the rules of morality that govern society.  They expand on their self-proclaimed sovereignty by stating that they will not hold with intolerant, prejudicial moral values of a non-existent God like the theists do.  They denounce God as non-existent but reserve the right to change their minds about that at a later date because truth changes with the whims of society.

That wraps up this first of two, final segments on secular humanism.  Did you enjoy it?  I have tried to present this segment without bias but openly admit that I hold the personal worldview of Christianity and my lens is from biblical conservatism.  A response, relating to the question asked in the title of this post, is left to you, the reader.

Please comment on the question below as this will greatly help me in the structure of the book! [See Why]

Until next time!

Zach

QUESTION: DOES SECULAR HUMANISM APPEAR TO ANSWER MANKIND’S QUESTIONS CONSISTENTLY FOR YOU?

Hello and welcome back!

I’ve thought a lot about how I should present this last segment in blog post format.  I decided to be as brief as possible without brushing over the proclaimed values of secular humanism.  It’s very important that I relate to you an accurate lens into the worldview that those who choose secularity over theism currently view the world through.

Let’s both take another peek through this lens together.  That way, we will be ready to compare other worldviews with secular humanism more accurately.

Our perusal of the world of the secular humanist is important.  Being a post-modern lens from which to view mankind’s world, this secular philosophy has been around for centuries.  Having been entertained by philosophers who refused to believe in the supernatural, it has only become popular as a worldview lens since the mid-19th century.

The effect of this worldview expanded rapidly from Darwin’s evolution into the dominant worldview in the West today.  See a more complete history of secular humanism here.

This final overview on secular humanism only reflects, in the most general manner, what will be detailed in the book, 21st Century Confusion: Finding Your Path to Hope and Purpose.  The following wrap-up will be in two parts to contain the length of the blog post.

This overview will summarize several values — categorically — through the lens of secular, humanist thinking.  This understanding of humanist values can be used by you to compare this philosophy against other worldviews that we will investigate next.

The following areas, that constitute a humanist worldview, are compact but provide all the information necessary for a clear understanding of secular humanism for our purposes in this blog post.  The book will delve deeper and provide more emphasis on each of the following secular, humanistic attitudes towards life (For further reading on this worldview, please ask in the comments section below).

Mankind’s Existence

Humanists view the world as strictly material.  The denial of God is like a thread that weaves throughout their worldview about the world and the known universe.  Humanists declare that the evidence against the reality of Almighty God’s existence and His creating everything in existence is most conclusive.

Humanists also declare that the evidence for evolution is greater than that for God and that Darwin explains truth of mankind’s existence and God is a myth. Their worldview of truth is subject to change with each new discovery by their own admission.  In response to the argument that God is the creator of everything and the source of all existence, the humanist will argue, “If God is the creator of all that we can see, touch, hear, smell, and taste — then who created God?”

There is no room in their paradigm to believe that a creator exists outside of time that He created and therefore is eternal, where the meaning of eternal is having no beginning and having no end, totally self-sufficient, all-present, all-knowing, and all-powerful.

 

“They expand on their self-proclaimed sovereignty by stating that they will not hold with intolerant, prejudicial moral values of a non-existent God like the theists do.”

 

Humanistic Responsibility

Again, there is no belief of anything beyond mankind to provide a pattern for responsibility vs. irresponsibility which can be transcribed as order vs. chaos.  Looking at the world from this lens indicates a belief that, “I am responsible for my own life and to live as I see fit.”  In other words, there is no creator who set everything into motion and provided the guidelines that are outside of the secular humanist.  There are no objective laws given by a perfect Creator that should govern our thoughts and behaviors and that will provide the best possible life for those who follow them.

Humanists believe that they have a responsibility towards the rest of the world.  Since they are the height of evolution, they must take the reins and control the order in the world because mankind is all there is.  There is no God, fate, or luck.  All responsibility is in mankind’s hands.

Changing realities

This humanistic paradigm revolves around a certain belief that nothing is certain.  This means that all truth is relevant and changing with each new scientific and societal discovery.  This, in effect, is stating that there is no objective truth because what is subjectively believed now — will change at a later time.

Humanists consider science and the material universe all that there is and that they are open to the never-ending, changing truth — not relying on a fictional and stagnated, ancient book written by simple people trying to make sense of what they did not understand.  They believe that science and morality is in constant flux; therefore, they are always changing what is true and what is considered moral reality.

Truth and morality change with the times rather than being established forever by God as an ultimate guide to understanding what is acceptable to Him and best for humankind.

Self-Centered vs. Others-Centered

The humanist declares that he alone is in control of his life and does not rely on God for anything nor expects any divine help or reward.  They rely upon themselves, other humans of authority, and science.  They, not God, decide on what is right and what is wrong for them.  In other words, by looking out for their own interests, they put self first.  Self-will rather than Gods will best describe the lens of the secular humanist.

Societal Responsibility
The secular humanist holds to the belief that they, not God, are to be sovereign over the world and in authority for the rules of morality that govern society.  They expand on their self-proclaimed sovereignty by stating that they will not hold with intolerant, prejudicial moral values of a non-existent God like the theists do.  Humanists denounce God as non-existent but reserve the right to change their minds about that at a later date because truth changes with the whims of society.

That wraps up this first of two, final segments on secular humanism.  I have tried to present this segment without bias but openly admit that I hold the personal worldview of Christianity and my lens is from biblical conservatism.  A response, relating to the question asked in the title of this post, is left to you, the reader.

Until next time!

Zach

PS: Please comment on the question below in the comments as this helps me to structure the finished book! :)

QUESTION: DOES SECULAR HUMANISM APPEAR TO ANSWER MANKIND’S QUESTIONS CONSISTENTLY FOR YOU?

Hello!

You know, I can remember as a child, that the term, values had a meaning that had form and substance about it.  In other words, most (the majority) of the people I ran across held the same, basic ideas in terms of right and wrong.  That basic idea is that truth is truth, regardless of how much a person likes to believe otherwise.

I realize that I come from a very politically incorrect time in history, as far as the definition has meaning today.  That’s the value system of the era in which I was born and raised.  Just a side note, it is the same, basic value system that has been in place throughout the majority of human history.

Today, not so much.

DISCLAIMER:  The author is not completely unbiased on the subject matter under discussion.

Values, Morals, and Ethics

My take on the secular humanist belief system boils down to this.  There are three very important attributes in any belief system that must be considered.  These attributes are values, morals, and ethics.  Let’s take a look at what the secular humanist worldview believes about these three, core attributes of humanity.

Values. 

To quote Paul Kurtz, a noted secular humanist, and I quote: “We believe in the ‘right to privacy.’ This includes freedom of conscience and belief; sexual preference and lifestyle, reproductive rights, contraception, and abortion; euthanasia and death with dignity.”

The way I interpret Mr. Kurtz here is that his description of values is that privacy grants human beings the supreme freedom to believe anything they wish without harboring any guilt of having broken some law or rule that exists outside of their own making.  Is this truth or is it wishful thinking on the part of the secular humanist?

“‘I just don’t like red-headed people so they need to be exterminated,’ someone might suggest.”

Mr. Kurtz also includes sexual preference and lifestyle to be a guilt-free, individualized, and socialized construct that does not revolve around external value rules.  Secular humanism subscribes that mankind is an animal, no better in value than that of the beast in the field.  That being so, this freedom to indulge in bestiality (also known as zoophilia) is approved as long as the humanist doesn’t infringe on the rights of others.  Does this appear to be short-sighted in terms of such behavior having a diverse affect on the psyche of others that is not seen at the time?  Do you agree with this end product of humanism’s guilt-free sexual expression?

Reproductive Rights, Contraception, and abortion.  The humanist worldview sees the world through a lens that values human life in many cases to the same standard of the beast.  If it is not productive to the standard of the current culture, it is expendable.   The term expendable, of course, would revolve around a subjective value that is subject to the whim of the individual.  This would appear to make human life as valuable as the subjective thoughts of those in power at the time.  Does this thinking resonate with your current worldview?

Euthanasia and Death.  Secular Humanism suggests a subjectivism in terms of killing the worthless in the population based on age, limitations, and attitudes.  These and most any other subjective reason that society as a whole or individual political or military regime declares unfit would also be possible from this worldview, could it not?  Does that appear to point to positive human value or just the opposite?  I suppose it all depends on your method of regarding such things, but does your own, particular worldview place mankind on the same level as the beast in the field or in the wild?

Morals

Friedrich Neitzsche once said, “You have your way, I have my way. As for the right way, it does not exist.”  That being said, (by Neitzsche, not me), there is no doubt that he means that the term morals is whatever a person deems it to mean — as long as the person believes in his own mind that he is hurting no one.  Since everything is subjective and self-centered within the worldview of secular humanism, little doubt is left regarding the belief of the humanist in terms of hurting others.   It could easily be argued by the one being hurt, however.

This being the case, the term morals is viewed as subjective rather than objective — which is the age old debate between secular and non-secular worldviews.  We could discuss many instances but I feel that you get the idea without my over analyzing things further.   Let it suffice to say that the moral relativist can become a moral absolutist the moment another person does or says something to which the relativist does not agree with.  It’s rather amazing how innate, absolute truth can come to the fore, isn’t it, when it doesn’t satisfy?

Ethics

Secularism, again, points to the subjective and personal belief of the person and societal belief of the culture surrounding that person.  This means that ethics is relative and subjective in the eyes of the secular humanist.  Is it possible that humanists are confusing tastes for truth?  By that I mean, sure — it’s possible for two people to disagree about their likes and dislikes of a color, a taste, a look, a book, etc.  But tastes are not the same as truth, are they?  Is killing a person because a person doesn’t like them justify it?  Would this not be an example of tastes rather than truth?

“I just don’t like red-headed people so they need to be exterminated,” someone might suggest.  That is how the person feels.  It’s what the person believes.  Belief is not always truth.  Does personal belief justify the murder?

Again, what is truth?  Is it how a person personally feels about something or how a society desires to behave?  Is it something beyond mankind that sets what is right or wrong?

Our time has, again, come to an end!  We shall continue our study of secular humanism and its particular worldview lens in our next post.

Won’t you lease answer the question below and help this blog to serve its intended purpose?

Until next time!

Zach

QUESTION:  WITHOUT EXPANDING ON YOUR ANSWER, DO YOU THINK IT’S POSSIBLE HUMANISTS CONFUSE TRUTH WITH PERSONAL TASTES?

Is Secular Humanism Truth?

Zach —  March 14, 2013 — Leave a comment

Hello!

I apologize to you — my reader — for being so late with a new post on secular humanism. The excuse would be that I have been quite busy this past two weeks finishing the first 8 week sub-semester in a graduate class for professional counseling, ministering with my congregation, and working on sermon materials. Of course, this would be a true and accurate explanation to the lack of posts, however, behind this very true and accurate explanation lies the sinister, hidden truth called, “Mr. Procrastination” who lurks within us all.

Mr. Procrastination appears when we fool ourselves about our time limits. I took an accurate snapshot of where I have spent my time for the past two weeks. The honest truth is that I procrastinated by not managing my time. It has no logical basis because I love writing and I love the reasons that I am writing this blog. Mr. Procrastination does not care one way or another about what I love or do not love. His only concern is procrastination and he can cause us to do it so well.

If this admission has served to motivate even one person to self-examine their reasons for putting off the important, I will be happy. Please accept my humble apology and I will strive not to let Mr. Procrastination to catch up with me again and I will attempt to follow Mr. Responsibility’s example in future!

In case you have not read the first article revolving around secular humanism, please click here if you are interested in reading it NOW to understand the background for this new post. Please understand that these blog posts only represent an overview of the subject matter and each blog post must have a beginning, middle, and an end. This breaks the subject matter up over many weeks, unlike a book that is very linear and broken up into headings, subheadings, and chapters. Being who I am, I will also present blog posts that are not related to the content for the book from time to time. I promise not to veer away from the subject matter for very long, however!

This will be our second blog post on secular humanism. The book, 21st Century Confusion: Finding Your Path to Hope and Purpose, will provide a linear focus about the subject matter while also providing excellent references for further study and research at the end of each chapter for those interested in delving deeper. Let’s continue where the first article, How Secular Humanism Was Born left off.

“The point I am making here is that there is a never ending parade of theories cascading throughout modern history with no end in sight.”

In the first article mentioned above, I provided a link to, The Humanist Manifesto of 1933, which is the belief system that is prevalent on the majority of college and university campuses today. It is making inroads into many Christian colleges and universities as I write this. You can read the last humanist manifesto of 2000 here. Under the banner of liberalism, secular humanism is the underlying worldview being taught in the public school system in Western countries today.

Secular humanism was spawned in the pool of evolutional theory. I would like to introduce a quote from the journal, Scientific American:

“George Wald, another prominent Evolutionist (a Harvard University biochemist and Nobel Laureate), wrote, ‘When it comes to the Origin of Life there are only two possibilities: creation or spontaneous generation. There is no third way. Spontaneous generation was disproved one hundred years ago, but that leads us to only one other conclusion, that of supernatural creation. We cannot accept that on philosophical grounds; therefore, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance!’” (“The Origin of Life,” Scientific American, 191:48, May 1954).

There is a new theory being introduced called, The Black Queen Hypothesis that suggests evolution pushes microorganisms to lose essential functions. This occurs when another species begins to perform these functions. This is counter to popular scientific thinking that living organisms evolve by adding genes instead of discarding them. If interested, here is an article explaining this theory.

The point I am making here is that there is a never ending parade of theories cascading throughout modern history with no end in sight. One theory is popularly accepted only to be replaced by another popularly accepted humanist theory that revolves around humanistic evolution: nothing proven — just speculation until the next theory comes along. A theory is just that, speculation. Is a worldview that is constantly changing its core belief one that provides security for its proponents? Faith can only come from the belief that something is true. If it ever changes, what you believed in is not true.

This is neither proof for or against evolution. This is just being provided here as a heads up to consider the options. All that glitters is not gold. Paul Kurtz wrote in the Council for Secular Humanism on March 14, 2013, and I quote:

“The evolution of the human species by means of natural selection has been an especially tortuous process; for other Homo species have become extinct—Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalis. Only Homo sapiens has endured in spite of hazardous adversities. That our species has managed to survive thus far is due to luck and human pluck.”

He goes on to say:

“The meaning of life is intimately tied up with our plans and projects, the goals we set for ourselves, our dreams, and the successful achievement of them. We create our own conscious meanings; we invest the cultural and natural worlds with our own interpretations. We discover, impose upon, and add to nature.”

If this hypothesis is correct, it is a selfish one and appears void of any hope and purpose for what is the purpose of striving forward into oblivion in a world void of all hope.

In the next post on secular humanism, we will examine what this worldview provides for those who subscribe to it.

Until next time!

Zach

QUESTION: DOES SECULAR HUMANISM PROVIDE A SATISFACTORY ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT LIFE?