Archive for the ‘belief in progress’ Category

I do not know whether modern civilization may have a decline

September 20, 2009

I do not know whether modern civilization may or may not have a decline as well as a progress, a fall as well as an uprise: but if it be so, it will be because Christianity has been overpowered, and unbelief taken its place, and let loose the base herd of human passions from their foul den.

R.Payne Smith, Bampton Lecture, 1869

Not all Victorians believed in the inevitability of progress. A Christian such as Smith applied the gospel as a standard external to the assumptions of his time and place so as not to be held captive to their follies.

Robert Payne Smith, D.D., M.A. (1819-1895) was Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford and Canon of Christ Church from 1865 until 1870, when he was appointed Dean of Canterbury

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No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.

August 28, 2009

Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.

John F. Kennedy, speech at The American University, Washington, D.C., June 10, 1963

er, how’s about death and sin?

Optimistic Humanism

August 28, 2009
Move upward, working out the beast,
And let the ape and tiger die.

Tennyson, In Memorium, CXVII, 1850

Tennyson died in 1892 before the ape and tiger revived in WWI