What is Humanism and why does it matter?
“Humanism” is a term widely used within the church to describe another prevailing worldview that aggressively repudiates Christianity. The clearest definition of humanism appears in the Humanist Manifesto II (Sept. 2, 1973), which contains the following basic tenets (articles of faith if you will):
· 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.
· Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful. They distract humans from present concerns, from self-actualization, and from rectifying social injustices.
· We affirm that moral values derive their source from human experience.
· Ethics is autonomous and situational, needing no theological or ideological sanction. Ethics stem from human need and interest. To deny this distorts the whole basis of life. Reason and intelligence are the most effective instruments that humankind possesses. There is no substitute; neither faith nor passion suffices in itself.
· No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.
From these tenets, you can see why humanism hates Christianity. It blames religion in general and Christianity in particular for all the ills of the world.
Humanism has been loosely applied to any system of thought or philosophy which centers on human achievement and potential. Whatever else is true of the universe, humans are at the center of it. God either does not exist or is unknowable. Humanists may exclude or embrace a supernatural reality, as long as it remains private and out of public debate. The term ‘secular humanism’ refers to humanists who reject the divine in any fashion.