HUMANISM CANNOT DISPROVE SPIRITS EXIST
It should be kept in mind that the case for Humanism depends entirely on ability to prove beyond all doubt that God and the rest of the supernatural world do not exist. Uncertainty in this matter immediately undermines the foundation of all atheistic argument and invalidates Humanism's basic proposition that "man is the measure of all things," since uncertainty by its very nature declares, "But man may not be so, and if he is not, what then?" This Humanists cannot answer, for to maintain their position they must rule out all uncertainty.
For this cause Humanism cannot be presented as a reasoned and reasonable proposition to either of the two schools of agnosticism, the "cannot know because it is unknowable" school, or the "don't know enough to be sure either way" school, both of which properly reject Humanism's assumed positiveness.
Two short, logical steps will demonstrate the weakness of such a human-centered philosophy:
Firstly, no one can ever prove the negative postulate that God and the rest of the supernatural world do not exist, since to do so humans themselves would have to be spirit beings (since only spirits can see spirits; if humans could see unmateralized spirits, all doubt would be swept away), and they would have to be omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, which most assuredly and in every respect they are not.
Secondly, if the issue remains a matter of uncertainty, one should always act as though God does exist and should seek Him diligently (Acts 17:24-28; Heb. 11:6), since to do so is at least uplifting, helpful and soul-satisfying, whereas the alternative carries with it the gravest of potential consequences. Thus we recognize the faulty reasoning of all atheists, and the evil effects which follow reliance on an unaided, unsound, fallen fleshly mind (Psa. 14:1, compare Titus 2:8; 2 Tim. 1:7).
God sees mankind's perplexity in these matters and gives kind, sympathetic guidance in His inspired Word; He asks (Job 11:7), "Canst thou by searching find out God?" He gently chides, and indicates humans' littleness and need for a correct self-estimate (Psa. 138:6; Isa. 55:6-11; 57:15; Matt. 5:5; 11:29; Rom. 12:3), which will keep them from the evil effects of pride and a haughty spirit, and from the effrontery offered to God in vaunting themselves above their true station in life (Prov. 16:18).
CAN MANKIND SAVE THE WORLD?
The answer to this question is a resounding "No!" Many are the hopes, based on mankind's merits and capabilities, which have been raised in past Ages and at present. The vast increase of knowledge in our day, however, is revealing mankind's past attempts to regulate and control their affairs as a record of dismal and degenerative failures (1 Cor. 3:13; 4:5) since Abraham's day, lightened only where the influence of the Gospel of Truth has been felt (Gal. 3:8). In spite of the blessings pouring in upon mankind in this present Age of enlightenment, fear and trepidation attend their thoughts as they contemplate the future, dark as it is with perils previously unknown (Luke 21:25, 26; Joel 2:1, 2).
Because of the evils among mankind, exposures are a painful experience, but the time for them has come. Hard, distressing truths are beating down upon human society like great hailstones and sweeping away the walls (strong defensive arguments) behind which national and institutional leaders and their supporters have sheltered for so many generations (Isa. 28:15-18; Rev. 16:21). The earth in its commercial, financial, political, social, legal, racial, and religious elements is reeling from one crisis to another (Isa. 24:17-21) and the affairs of mankind are becoming uncontrollable. And yet, despite this abounding evidence, Humanism claims the ability of mankind to control their own affairs in the most absolute sense!
The healing, preserving effect of the "salt of the earth" (Matt. 5:13), which in a wide sense includes all of God's truly dedicated people, is decreasingly felt among mankind, and generations arise to a world with a vanishing hope (Prov. 11:7; 29:18) as trouble in this great Time of Trouble mounts on all sides.
Why do mankind in desperation still turn to mankind for help? Why do some in the world still incline their ears to the siren call of Humanism after so long an acquaintance with its failures? Surely it is because the element of faith in God and the Gospel of Salvation has largely vanished from the affairs of men and of nations (Luke 18:8; 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Pet. 3:3). We are living in a time of judgment (James 5:1-6; 1 Pet. 4:17; Jer. 16:9); and, one after another, the false principles and man-centered institutions supporting this present order of affairs are being brought to the light, weighed in the balances, found wanting and discarded or destroyed. Humanism is a kind of despairing cry heard on the angry seas of the revolutionistic and anarchistic masses, bidding them to be still. "Mankind can save you" is the call; "Have faith in man, and all will be well."
What has happened to mankind's faith, that they ignore God or turn their backs on Him, who has unlimited wisdom, power and love, and look to their own meager resources in this time of great distress? Who has "bewitched" the people into reliance upon the failing arm of flesh (Gal. 3:1-3)?
The hearts of God's people are moved with compassion as they hear on all sides the groans of mankind, heavily oppressed by sin (Rom. 8:19-23), whose ears are not attuned to the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd (John 10:2-5, 11), and who cannot hear (comprehend, believe in and hope in) Jesus, the only name given under heaven whereby mankind can be saved (Acts 4:10-12; 16:30-32). The preaching of the Gospel of peace to such as these is a privilege of all whom God has enlightened with a knowledge of His wonderful Plan of the Ages (Matt. 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15; John 12:38; Acts 20:27; 1 Cor. 9:16; 2 Tim. 4:2, 5). Yet in the main, people will not "hear," give heed to, this glorious message of Truth. Surely there must be some great reason why this is so! Again the answer comes from God's inspired Word, which has been with mankind now for centuries and is awaiting its due time to be understood by all (Isa. 55:11; 11:9; Dan. 12:8-10; John 8:31, 32, 36; Rom. 15:4; 1 Tim. 2:3-6).
"The secret of the LORD is with them that fear [reverence] him" (Psa. 25:14), and for them the whole matter has been explained simply, wholesomely, deeply, satisfyingly: "The whole world lies in the evil one" (1 John 5:19, Diaglott). In this brief summary from God's Word is the great truth which Humanism has omitted from its reasoning. Death reigns! Mankind are conceived in sin, shapen in iniquity, from the womb to the tomb. Not only so, but the fallen fleshly mind has become an easy prey to its own lusts and to the wiles and deceptions of Satan, the Evil One (Psa. 51:5; John 8:44; Rom. 1:28; 7:5; 2 Cor. 4:3, 4; Eph. 2:2).
How, then, can mankind save the world when they cannot save themselves? (Job 5:7; Psa. 14:2, 3; 49:1-20; 53:2, 3; Rom. 3:8-18, 23.) Realizing this, how careful God's people must be to guard against the works of the flesh and the working of the fleshly mind, for by man came—not life—but death (Gen. 3:17-19; Rom. 5:12). Surely Humanism, with all its confidence and hope vested in mankind, will by experience become ashes in the mouths of all who accept and advocate it (Isa. 44:20)!
Under the weight of such evidence and sound reasoning, drawing as it does on attested history, personal testimony, Scriptures and facts, the case for Humanism collapses. We realize that Humanists are seeking to further their secular philosophy especially among the young in the schools, colleges and universities. Accordingly, we should endeavor by all reasonable means to put all, especially the young, on their guard against this unsound, ungodly philosophy, and to open the eyes of those who have been ensnared by it, even though some may oppose us (2 Tim. 2:24-26).
What has already been given in the first part of this examination of Humanism should be enough to convince thinking people of Humanism's shallowness and erroneousness. We have already mentioned Corliss Lamont, leading active protagonist and writer for Humanism (who has served on the editorial board of The Humanist) and his well-known book The Philosophy of Humanism. In it he makes a list of propositions setting forth the beliefs and hopes of Humanists. We will examine some of these in the light of reason (2 Tim. 1:7) and Bible teachings (Acts 17:11).
Some may think, however, that Lamont in his statements and propositions is too liberal, too radical, and that he does not set forth what most Humanists really believe. We will therefore refer to and examine, along with some of Lamont's propositions, some pertinent statements of Humanist Manifesto II.
HUMANIST MANIFESTOS I AND II EXAMINED
Epitomizing the views of Humanists in the 1930s, Humanist Manifesto I appeared in 1933, signed by 34 Humanist leaders, among them John Dewey, prominent philosopher and educator (died 1952), who inculcated the "if it feels good, do it" idea as a guideline for human behavior for the young and old.
The great increase of worldwide, manmade evils of the post-1933 years showed the naive, foolish optimism of the 1933 views of the Humanists. Even they later recognized this to some extent, and so Humanist Manifesto II appeared in 1973, in which a revised statement of Humanist beliefs, propositions and principles is given. Another attempt has been made in it to show what mankind (alone!) must do to correct the appalling evils and degenerative trends in today's crumbling world society.
In a set of 17 "common principles" which they hope will form a basis for united action, a group of prominent Humanist thinkers (?) have presented their ideas for saving the world, as a consensus, following their isolation of the main issues arising from their social analysis. The over 250 who signed it include philosophers, medical and social scientists, authors and a poet (mostly from the U.S. and Britain). Among them are Isaac Asimov, Prof. H. J. Eysenck (London University), Sir Julian Huxley, Paul Kurtz (Editor of The Humanist), Corliss Lamont and Prof. B. F. Skinner (behavioral psychologist, Harvard University).
In the preface to these principles, the Humanists rehearse the dangers they see facing mankind. They denigrate belief in a loving, caring and prayer-answering God with its corollary of salvation, as being the unreasonable, harmful result of an unproved and outmoded faith and as being quite irrelevant to man's needs for survival. They list the various forms of "naturalistic" Humanism that they recognize in the world today, that is, the "scientific," "ethical," "democratic," "religious" and "Marxist" variations. Listed as involved in Humanism are such tenets as free thought, atheism, agnosticism, skepticism, deism, rationalism, ethical culture and religious liberalism, but these, they claim, are mere negations of theism and in consequence are not constructive of the Humanist principle. They say what is required is a "secular society on a planetary scale."
The Humanist Manifesto II, they claim, is "a vision of hope, a direction for satisfactory survival" for mankind. Assuredly, in the face of the "angry" warring nations in this great Time of Trouble (Rev. 11:18), together with the vast and humanly unsolvable social, economic and financial problems which threaten the established order with incipient revolution (James 5:1-6, compare Deut. 24:15) and the rising tide of violence, terrorism and anarchy, with fear mounting on all sides (Luke 21:25, 26), the Humanists' call for mere survival of mankind comes as a despairing cry almost lost in the turbulent winds of universal trouble. Who can hear? The harsh clamor of events and the noisy crumbling of that very society toward which Manifesto II is directed, make foolish its calls and claims for mankind's intelligence to bring universal peace and prosperity. Nevertheless, we will examine salient features of Manifesto II along with propositions of Lamont, etc.
HUMANISTS' GOD-LESS RELIGION
Even though the Humanists in Manifesto I (1933) stated, "We are convinced that the time has passed for theism [belief in God]," they nevertheless called the 15 affirmations of Manifesto I "the theses of religious [italics ours] humanism." Webster's Dictionary gives as the primary definition of religion, "The service or worship of God or the supernatural." But the Humanists abandoned this definition and claimed to have a religion even though convinced that the time for theism, belief in God, has passed! In other words, they have a God-less religion! They stated, "Religion consists of those actions, purposes, and experiences which are humanly [italics ours] significant."
Perhaps they thought then that God-less Humanism would be more palatable and more readily accepted and furthered if they called it "religious humanism." In Manifesto II the Humanists say, "Religion may inspire dedication to the highest ethical ideals," but the emphasis on Humanism as a religion in Manifesto I is lacking in Manifesto II. However, Humanism is still, in the wide sense, as much of a religion as it ever was. Could it be that now they desire to have Humanism not thought of as a religion so that it can more readily be taught and furthered in institutions of learning without any charge against it being made on the grounds of introducing religion into the public schools? It seems so.
OBJECTIONS TO "RITUAL, OR CREED"
In the first two "common principles" of Manifesto II, "traditional dogmatic or authoritarian religions" are condemned as doing a disservice to the human species. With this we agree in some ways. In the same sentence, however, "revelation, God, ritual, or creed" are lumped together as being all of the same order. This mistake exposes the great weakness in the Humanist position, for whereas "ritual" and "creed" are in the true province of the dogmatic and authoritarian religions, "revelation" and "God" are not, for these great religious organizations have all denied, suppressed or distorted to a greater or lesser degree the revelations of God and have misrepresented God Himself. They have covered their faults and hidden their errors in ritual and creed. Although this is true of pagan religions (Rom. 1:18-25), also Judaism (Luke 11:37-52; Rom. 2:29) and Islam (as we have elsewhere shown), our main concern is to point out that it is especially true of the sectarian churches of Christendom, which supposedly are faithfully representing God and Christ in the world. If, therefore, Humanists in their ignorance have assumed that nominal Christendom truly represents the Christian belief and way of life, it is inevitable that their judgment of the situation is faulty.
Nevertheless, not only are Humanists deluded by false religions, but they willingly delude themselves still further, in saying "We can discover no divine purpose or providence for the human species. While there is much that we do not know [italics ours], humans are responsible for what we are or will become. No deity will save us; we must save ourselves." In this statement, remarkable in that it introduces a dogmatic belief where it admits its own ignorance of wider issues, we see the creed of the Humanists emerging, cry as they may against the creeds of others.
It is clear that a major part of the objection of Humanists is to false, unscriptural religious teachings, such as eternal conscious suffering in fire as the final punishment of the wicked (instead of eternal annihilation, as taught in the Scriptures), which is a clear indication of the harm that Christendom has inflicted on the cause of true religion by teaching such erroneous, God-dishonoring doctrines. (See our Hell of the Bible booklet for a full explanation.) The bigoted Humanists, however, willing to be deceived and to deceive in order to further their own cause, do not distinguish between these, nor even examine the case.
HUMANISTS DENY EXISTENCE OF SPIRITS
Humanists prefer to "rule out all forms of the supernatural," as Lamont states, or to say, "We find insufficient evidence for belief in the existence of the supernatural," as the writers of Manifesto II do. We have already sufficiently proven the existence of a supernatural, or spirit world in the foregoing part of this treatise. But note also these additional comments:
The Bible tells us that even the mind used by the God-denier in drawing his (false) conclusions, the tongue employed in making his wild assertions, the body in which they are carried, and even the natural world in which these live, move and have their being, are creations of God. As such, they are beyond fallen human understanding, and man would be fulfilling the purposes for which he was made by praising God, not in denying His existence (Gen. 1:26-31; Psa. 8:3-8; 35:28; 37:30, 31; 63:5, 6; 139:14-18; Isa. 29:15, 16; 45:9-12)! It further declares that the supernatural world with spirit beings inhabiting that spirit realm is all around us at all times, unseen except by the eyes of faith and understanding (Psa. 34:7; 91:11; 104:1-4; Matt. 4:10, 11; 26:53; 1 Cor. 2:9-16; 15:39-50; Col. 1:12-17; Heb. 1:7; 1 Pet. 3:19-22).
Many have become aware of the supernatural world not so much by the exercise of faith as by using "common" (often uncommon!) sense, or by observing supernatural phenomena, or by learning from reliable sources of the supernatural phenomena which witness to its existence (2 Kings 5:1-27; 6:15-17; John 10:24-38; Acts 19:11-20; 28:3-10). Millions have been deceived and ensnared in error by the evidence of evil forces, evil angels, at work in that unseen world, not realizing that those forces are evil, working against God, the Truth and its servants (2 Kings 23:24; Isa. 8:19; 2 Cor. 11:14; Eph. 6:12; 1 Pet. 5:8, 9; 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6, 9).
Thus we see that the supernatural world which is disbelieved by Humanists because it is immaterial, unseen, is revealed by the Scriptures (which are able to bring us freedom from such ensnarement's and to make us wise unto salvation—2 Tim. 3:15-17), and is further attested by sound reason and observed facts (Acts 1:1-3; 3:15; Rom. 1:20; 1 Cor. 15:12-22).
HUMANISTS DENY CREATION
In Manifesto I we read, "Humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created." Manifesto II does not repeat this, probably because it is recognized as a very unwise and vulnerable statement. It is very clear to thinking people that an automobile or anything like it manifestly is not self-created, but must have an intelligent maker or creator. Likewise, it should be clear to all, including Humanists, that the stupendous machinery of the universe did not create itself, but must have an intelligent Creator.
It is evident that every effect must have a cause, and that therefore there must be a great First Cause. This is just one of the seven reasons proving God's existence given in our booklet "Why We Believe in God's Existence" (a copy free on request) and also our book God.
HUMANISTS BELIEVE IN HUMAN EVOLUTION BUT DENY ANY RESURRECTION
Manifesto II says, "Science affirms that the human species is an emergence from natural evolutionary forces." This is not true; science affirms nothing of the kind, although many so-called scientists do. The more "scientific" scientists, however, as well as many thinking laymen, observe that evolution of species is still, after 150 years of desperate searching and foolish, unsubstantiated claims, an unproven theory, "a windy hypothesis," as the eminent scientist Prof. Virchow summed it up in Darwin's day. If science affirms anything at all in that sphere, it affirms that the theory of the evolution of species is itself unscientific!
We pity poor humanity, both evolutionist and those who are misled alike in their Godless journey to seek a Humanist utopia across the wild seas of the "natural forces," evolutionary or otherwise, of this world. Shipwreck is inevitable—how glad they then will be to hear the voice which speaks of salvation (1 Kings 19:12; Psa. 118:15)! In due time (1 Tim. 2:4-6) they will hear, and if they are wise, they will obey God (Prov. 8:32-36), and thus choose life, for God in His goodness leaves the issue to the individual's free will (Deut. 30:19; Josh. 24:15).
Humanist Lamont says, "Humanism believes that man is an evolutionary product of nature, and that he has no survival beyond death." Thus in this respect Humanists are like the Sadducees of Jesus' day, of whom it is said, "The Sadducees say there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit" (Acts 23:6).
The Bible declares that man was created by God and that, as such, his original inheritance and destiny was everlasting life (if he remained obedient). This was forfeited by Adam's sin in Eden, however, and the right to life was there lost. From that time, death has reigned over the whole human race. Yet all is not lost, the Bible reassures us, since by the death of God's dear Son Jesus, the Righteous One, as a Ransom-sacrifice, man has been redeemed from everlasting destruction and will be awakened from the grave to the living condition here on this earth. All who have not had their full, free opportunity for getting a saving knowledge of Jesus and everlasting life will then be given their one opportunity to gain life everlasting, beginning with citizenship in the long-promised Kingdom under the rulership of Christ (Gen. 1:26, 27; 3:17-19; John 5:28, 29; Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 15:12; 1 Cor. 15:22, 25, 45; 1 Tim. 2:5, 6; 2 Pet. 1:11; Rev. 5:9, 10).
Thereafter, when all Christ's work in the Mediatorial Kingdom is finished, mankind will be placed on trial to test their worthiness to live forever as children of God. All who will then fall again under the influence of Satan and his evil angels, in spite of every help and blessing with forgiveness up to that time, will demonstrate incorrigibility and will die, never to see life again. "Their place will not be found" in either the natural or the supernatural world, for they will not "be" any more (Psa. 37:9, 10, 20, 34-36; Obad. 1:16; Heb. 10:26, 27; Rev. 20:7-9, 12-15, 21:8).
On the other hand, all who stand the trial and retain their righteousness will be given an abundant entry into God's Ages of Glory (Matt. 25:34; 2:7; 3:21). The Bible thus speaks in unequivocal terms in declaring that God, not Organic Evolution, is the origin of life, and that there is a resurrection from the dead, life beyond the tomb. (For proof that evolution clearly was not the creative method, see our Creation book and also our free Evolution booklet and leaflet.)
HUMANISM'S FAITH IN UNAIDED MANKIND
Humanist Lamont says, "Humanism, having its ultimate faith in man, believes that human beings can unaided solve their own problems, primarily through human reason and scientific methods applied with courage and vision." Manifesto II is more restrained in its expression, saying, "The controlled use of scientific methods … must be extended further in the solution of human problems. … Nor is there any guarantee that all problems can be solved or all questions answered. Yet critical intelligence, infused by a sense of human caring, is the best method that humanity has for resolving problems."
Our first reaction is that humans are more given to creating problems than to solving them. Human reason in this world arrives at as many (and often wrong) conclusions on any given issue as there are self-interested parties to consider it. Faith in such a source of help and universal guidance is clearly and vastly misplaced. Furthermore, the so-called scientific method has not brought agreement even among the scientists themselves. Additionally, it is as easily and as often used to support a wrong or evil project as a good one.
Almost all of the crises facing mankind today are due to human ineptitude. The social conflicts, the worldwide economic instability, the religious persecutions (e.g., of Bahais by Shiite Muslims, of Israel and the Jews generally by anti-Zionists, etc.), the political tyrannies and evil revolutionary upheavals, the atmospheric and biospheric pollutions, the wars, the manufacture and stockpiling of hideous and fantastic weapons of destruction, etc., are all manmade problems compounded with the aid of human reason (perverted by the fall) and the scientific method (falsely so-called; see 1 Tim. 6:20). In such human creatures Lamont says Humanists have their "ultimate faith" for the security and prosperity of the world (Prov. 25:19)! Glib flummery is much in evidence here as this Humanist seeks to offset the appalling circumstances into which humanity has foolishly and Godless-ly stumbled (Psa. 107:27) by a few empty and sanctimonious phrases, devoid of positive sense of purpose, direction or constructive recommendations for corrective action.
The basic trouble with this Humanist argument is that mankind are defective, and by nature (in spite of many good intentions and instincts) the human appetites are depraved. Until that situation has been corrected, there is no hope for mankind, and much less in mankind! Thus we come to realize our need of a Savior (from the penalty of Sin and its concomitants, i.e., sorrow, suffering, dying and death, as is manifested by all the graveyards in the world), and our need of a Deliverer (from death-producing hereditary defects and degenerative environmental conditions as experienced by all who have ever lived).
God is acutely and intimately aware of mankind's plight, and much more than a simple rescue is in His mind and purpose. "Deep in unfathomable mines of never-failing skill [i.e., in the Divine mind], He treasures up His bright designs, and works His sovereign will." The outworking of God's great Plan of Salvation has a time-scale measured in thousands of years (Psa. 90:4; 2 Pet. 3:8)! Its parts are interwoven in a degree of complexity even greater than that of every condition of mankind and of his home—the planet Earth—which it is designed to heal (Psa. 67:1-7; Isa. 57:15-19). Yet its principles and propositions as expressed in God's Word are simple, wholesome, practical and utterly believable to those who make them the object of a meek, humble, prayerful study (Matt. 11:25, 26; Rom. 15:4; 2 Tim. 2:15).
In the Bible we read of God, who in His great compassion, in the upholding of His love, gave His Son Jesus, whom He loved above all others, that all mankind would have an opportunity to be saved from sin and its malign effects and gain everlasting life. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16; compare Rom. 5:8). Thus man's true relationship to man when all are perfect, so difficult for fallen mankind to comprehend and define, is summed up simply and with convincing elegance of reason in 1 John 4:10, 11, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. "
HUMANISTS CLAIM HUMANS CREATE THEIR OWN ETHICS IN ALL SITUATIONS
Manifesto II claims that "Ethics [a system of moral principles] is autonomous and situational, needing no theological or ideological sanction. Ethics stems from human need and interest." Lamont says, "Humanism believes in ethics or morality based on human values which arise solely from 'this-earthly' experiences and relationships."
We ask, then, why in any stable society must laws be made and enforced by higher sanction (whatever that sanction may be)? The implication of this Humanist claim is flatly contradictory of all the evidence and experience which has ever emerged from human society. No nation of which history speaks ever existed without the strong influence of law to enforce a system of morality against the tide and tendency of natural selfishness in its subjects.
Moreover, the alternative to law is not freedom in the moral sense, but the freedom of anarchy, which is rightly feared and guarded against by all reasonable people and governments. Where law breaks down and the course of events is determined by the natural instincts of individuals, mob rule leads to the release of all the avaricious and lustful influences which are inherent in the nature of fallen man.
Humanists say mankind should strive to gain human goals in this life. Who, then, will hold back the power-grasper, the robber, the looter and burner, the rapist, the gang leader, the trickster and the natural bully, all of whom also seek what they see as their objectives? Assuredly laws must be imposed. And if they will look deeply enough into history, Humanists will find that the laws of all comparatively peaceful and progressive societies have been religious in origin. It must be so, for what one makes a rule, another can challenge, whereas if it can be shown that the law is handed down from a higher, superhuman authority, it has a stabilizing influence, in ensuring that legislation does not become the tool or the plaything of the selfish and powerful.
By general acknowledgment, the basis of legal and moral order in the civilized world is the Mosaic law. Jesus gave an epitome of the Mosaic Law, a summary of a complete and perfect ethical system, stated as a law of human existence: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself" (Luke 10:25-28; Matt. 22:36-40; compare Matt. 4:4; Psa. 119:72, 97, 105; Col. 3:14; 2 Tim. 3:15-17). Even Russia did not change the moral concept in its civil law following the 1917 revolution. Each Humanist who signed Manifesto II had the privilege of growing up under the shelter of an ethical system with a Divine origin!
"Reason and intelligence are the most effective instruments that humankind possesses," says Manifesto II. Surely a little more of these faculties exercised by Humanists themselves would lead them to see and acknowledge their debt to the society which gave them an education, a sufficiently good life in which to entertain such ideas as they have—and freedom to express them.
Without the strivings of our religiously motivated moral and intellectual forerunners to achieve religiously sanctioned objectives and ideals, and thereby to raise the world out of darkness, aboriginal tribalism or savagery would very likely still prevail in lands now blessed with civilization and prosperity. No degree of subsequent aberration by power-seekers and avaricious people who have evilly sought advantage from their favored situation in such lands should becloud the issue.
If, as Humanists advocate, "ethics is autonomous," this means self-governing, without any guidance from any higher power. And if ethics is to be "situational," then this is the "situation ethics" sought by freethinkers (?) and anarchists, in which people make up whatever ethics or pretense of ethics they think is suited to their needs (often lusts) in each situation as they go along (Jer. 17:9)! It is evident that "situation ethics" has been responsible for much of the crime, lawlessness and permissiveness of our day.
We regard with sadness at heart the growing tendency to legalize morally corrupt practices in so-called Christian countries, as men exercise their "freedom" from the evil-restraining influences of the Bible's precepts. Such is the effect of adopting "human values" and "this-earthly experiences and relationships" as ideals upon which to found society, that all forms of vice are thereby given increasingly free rein. For the sake of mankind's future happiness—and even for their very existence, God has declared that He will make an end to evil and corruption in the earth and that He will remove the curse of Adamic sin and death and all its effects from mankind and from his whole environment (Rev. 21:1-8).
Let Humanists beware. God is not mocked, and what they sow they shall reap (Gal. 6:7). To place the future into the hands of fallen mankind is to "sow to the wind"; and those who thus sow, together with those who sanction such a sowing, will surely "reap the whirlwind" (Hos. 8:7), the blustery winds of which are already rising. Wise individuals will sow in righteousness, and will reap in mercy as they break their hearts (fallow ground) for the Lord, and He will visit them with His Truth (rain; Hos. 10:12; Psa. 51:17; Mal. 3:10).
HUMANISTS CLAIM HUMANS HAVE FREEDOM AND ARE
MASTERS OF THEIR OWN DESTINY
Lamont adds, "Humanism believes, in opposition to all theories of universal predestination, determinism or fatalism, that human beings possess true freedom of creative action and are, within certain objective limits, the masters of their own destiny."
The alternative of Humanists to universal predestination, determinism and fatalism is to place all the affairs and interests of mankind into their own care, in a vague hope that somehow mankind will pull themselves up out of their dying and hopeless condition by their own efforts—by figuratively tugging at their own bootstraps (Matt. 6:27)! The Bible, however, in place of universal predestination, determinism, fatalism and humanism, points to salvation by Jesus Christ (John 3:16, 17). The Scriptures declare it to be God's will that the destiny of each individual descendant of father Adam shall be subject to a free moral agency granted by God and exercised in due time (Eph. 1:10; 1 Tim. 2:3-6) by all mankind (Deut. 30:19; Josh. 24:15; Rev. 21:6; 22:17).
In spite of the claim that "human beings possess true freedom," the Bible states and our daily lives witness to the fact that humans possess very little freedom. On the contrary, man is enslaved by sin, by various more or less bad habits (John 8:34; Rom. 6:16). And as to mankind being "masters of their own destiny," the observed destiny of humans is death (Eccles. 9:3-5; Rom. 5:12). Did mankind then mastermind this destiny? Surely, if mankind had any freedom in the matter at all, they would make their destiny far different from death! The thought that humans are masters of their own destiny is obviously a very foolish one.
"True freedom" in the Bible sense is far above and beyond the highest hopes of Humanists, since it is freedom from the death curse and its effects, that is, from sin, error, selfishness and "this evil world"-liness. It is freedom from the blinding influences of Satan and his servants (2 Cor. 4:3, 4), freedom from the destiny of death and freedom to accept God's gift of life everlasting (John 3:14-17, 36; Rom. 6:23), with all the rights that go with it. Such a freedom will not only allow exercise of the God-given instinct of creativity (even as God has it; Gen. 1:26, 27) but also will permit the satisfaction of every other human longing for fulfillment.
Thus will believing and obedient mankind be granted true freedom in eternal peace with joy in the company of all the blessed (Matt. 25:34) in the post-Millennial Ages of Glory (John 8:32, 36; Gal. 5:1). Can Humanists yet hold up their heads, with their reliance on the works of dying mankind, burdened by sin, deceived by error and plagued by universal selfishness? From such dying lips come no safe promises of life! All such claims, based on hope in fallen flesh, are foolish (Psa. 37:35, 36; 118:8, 9; 146:1-4; Isa. 40:6-8). We advise Humanists and those considering Humanism favorably to take this lesson to heart, and to "trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding" (Prov. 3:5).
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