Archive for the ‘faith of Humanism’ Category

A man can do all things if he but wills them

October 7, 2009

A man can do all things if he but wills them.

Leon Battista Albert, early Renaissance thinker, quoted in Kenneth Clark, Civilization, 1971, p.104

the salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and in human responsibility

October 4, 2009

…the salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and in human responsibility.  Without a global revolution in…human consciousness, nothing will change for the better, and the catastrophe toward which this world is headed…will be unavoidable.

Vaclav Havel

But God says:

The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17.9

Humanism is the belief that man shapes his own destiny. It is a nontheistic religion, a way of life

September 28, 2009

Humanism is the belief that man shapes his own destiny. It is a constructive philosophy, a nontheistic religion, a way of life.

American Humanist Association, promotional brochure.

NB It is a faith (note the word ‘belief’) and the faith that claims man ‘determines his own destiny’ is no more evident to the five senses that the immutability of the Triune God.

It is impossible to prove by reason alone that reason has the validity accorded it by humanism

September 24, 2009

It is impossible to prove by reason alone that reason has the validity accorded it by humanism, and the twentieth century has strongly undermined this confidence in two places. Modern psychology has shown that, far from being utterly rational, man has motivations at a deeper level than his reasoning powers, and he is only partially aware of these forces. Much of what was called reasoning is now more properly called rationalizing.

Os Guinness, Dust of Death, 1973, p.14

Glory to Man in the highest!

August 28, 2009

Glory to Man in the highest! For Man is the master of things.

Algernon Charles Swinburne, Hymn Of Man

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?

Why people don’t act like the theory says they should

August 28, 2009

It is because we rejected the doctrine of original sin that we on the Left were always being disappointed. Disappointed by the refusal of people to be reasonable, by the subservience of intellect to emotion, by the failure of true socialism to arrive, by the behaviour of nations and politicians, by the masses’ preference of Holly-wood to Shakespeare, of Sinatra to Beethoven. Above all, we are disappointed by the re-current fact of the war. The reason for our disappointment is that we have rejected the doctrine of original sin.

C.E.M.Joad, Recovery of Belief, in Roy Clements, Masterplan: How God Makes Sense of Our World (Leicester: IVP, 1994), 43–44.

As a result of the war he said:

For years my name regularly appeared with H. G. Wells, Bertrand Russell, and Aldous Huxley as a derider of religion…. Then came the war, and the existence of evil made its impact upon me as a positive and obtrusive fact. The war opened my eyes to the impossibility of writing off what I had better call man’s ‘sinfulness’ as a mere by-product of circumstance. The evil in man was due, I was taught, either to economic circumstance (because people were poor, their habits were squalid, their tastes undeveloped, their passions untamed) or to psychological circumstances. For were not psycho-analysts telling me that all the regressive, aggressive, or inhibited tendencies of human nature were due to the unfortunate psychological environment of one’s early childhood?

The implications are obvious; remove the circumstances, entrust children to psycho? analyzed nurses and teachers, and virtue would reign.

I see now that evil is endemic in man, and that the Christian doctrine of original sin expresses a deep and essential insight into human nature.