Numbers and Terms 20% of the World’s Population are considered to be “non-religious,” or “atheist.” Atheists and nonreligious individuals make up 10% of the population in: Albania, Australia, China, Cuba, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, North Korea, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Sweden, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Vietnam. Atheist= is one who says there is sufficient evidence to show that God does not exist. Agnostic= is one who says there is insufficient evidence to know whether or not God exists. “Functional atheist”= is one who is apathetic concerning God’s existence. “Secularist” includes all 3!
Secular Humanism Secular Humanism was formally organized as a movement in the first half of the 20 th century, but its roots go back to the explosion of classical learning that occurred during the Renaissance (14 th -16 th centuries) and Great Enlightenment. The base view of Secular Humanism is that God does not exist and is unnecessary. The term “Secular Humanism” became widely accepted in the 20 th century when the American Humanist Association published the Humanist Manifesto in With the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg, writings became much more accessible to the public. Such awareness sparked 2 responses: 1. Great awareness and obedience to God’s Word leading to the Reformation. 2. Pursuit of humanistic themes, which drew from Greek and Roman thinkers and served as the foundation for the Renaissance. The word “renaissance” means “rebirth,” and that which was reborn was humanity’s sense of independence and individualism.
Secular Humanism 5 Key Movements led to the erosion of belief in God as creator: 1.Higher German Criticism of the Bible – overruled any supernatural aspect of the Bible at the outset and reduced it to just another ancient mythological book. 2.The Modern method of empirical science: Key players were Copernicus ( ), Kepler ( ), Galileo ( ). – Ironically, some of these men believed in the Christian God. They viewed science as the means by which to study the handiwork of the Creator to discern His natural laws. University professors rejected Galileo’s views saying they were unbiblical and made the controversy a religious one rather than an academic one creating two apparently irreconcilable sources of truth: the church and science. 1.Marxism – system of belief developed by Karl Marx that became atheistic Communism. 2.Evolutionism – created by those who were enamored with Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution. 3.Followers of Sigmund Freud ( ) and his writings on atheistic psychology.
Secular Humanism Quotes from Freud, Darwin, & Marx: "Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires." --Sigmund Freud, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis,1933. "A religion, even if it calls itself a religion of love, must be hard and unloving to those who do not belong to it.” - Freud "The whole thing is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life.” - Freud “A scientific man ought to have no wishes, no affections, - a mere heart of stone.” – Darwin Animals, whom we have made our slaves, we do not like to consider our equal.” - Darwin “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” - Marx
Secular Humanism Main Beliefs 1.The universe has always existed – it was never created by a God. Matter is all that exists. God did not make man in his image, man made God in his image. No miracles. 2.There is no real proof of God. We must all live as if he doesn’t exist. We “save” ourselves. 3.There is no objective way to determine morality or what is valuable and useful. The only morality is that which comes out of human experience and experiment. There are no moral absolutes. 4.Belief in basic goodness of humanity. Evil comes from without and not within. We can eliminate evil eventually if we all work together to do so. 5.Only effective way to realize each individual’s goodness is through education, not religious transformation. 6.Ethics are “autonomous and situational.” 7.Death is final, nothing after. 8.Truth comes from within and not without. It is a matter of opinion.
Quote: “Our consciences and feelings of guilt give evidence to our moral nature. Such moral feelings are like currency – they are worthless unless backed up by something of value outside themselves. They also indicate that the best explanation for why we have moral sensibilities is that our Source must be both moral and personal, for impersonal natural forces do not have moral sensibilities. In other words, since there is a moral law binding on all of us, there must be a Moral Lawgiver.” -Geisler and Brooks chp. 13). -“It is odd, isn’t it? I care passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet… what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is.” -Atheist Philosopher Bertrand Russell
SecularismChristianity GodMatter, in one form or another is all that has existed from eternity and all that will ever exist. God alone is infinite and eternal. The material universe is finite and has not always existed. God created it out of nothing. HumanityHumanity by nature is monistic (a oneness) in that the person consists of only one substance: matter. Humanity is by nature dualistic in that the person consists of two substances: body and Spirit. Humanity’s ProblemDepends on the escapist promises of religion, rather than facing problems squarely and believing that humankind has the potential to create a utopian world. Humanity has rebelled against a personal and holy God. As a result, we live for ourselves and place our hope in false gods. The SolutionExtending the scientific method of rational inquiry into all aspects of life, while at the same time maintaining a sense of compassion for the individual. Being restored to a right relationship with a holy God through faith in Jesus. Jesus ChristAt most, Jesus was a good moral teacher. Have no certainty concerning the historical details of his life. Jesus was the very embodiment of God on earth. The Bible meets the qualifications for being authentic history. It records Jesus lived, died for our sins, and rose form the dead.
Secular AssertionContradiction/Prob. There is no absolute truth.Such a statement itself claims to be an absolute truth. Life is meaningless.This is contradictory because it is claiming to make a meaningful statement. Why bother making a statement that has meaning if life is meaningless? Science is the only avenue to truth.Such a statement cannot itself be proven to be true by its own avenue to truth – the scientific method. All morality is relative.How can we tell if a person who makes such a statement is telling the truth, since he or she might consider it convenient to lie? People with this opinion usually do not hesitate to make moral judgments concerning social issues and views about God and others. Each individual determines his or her own purpose in life. There is no ultimate purpose. If there is no ultimacy to any purpose, then even the individual purposes are meaningless. To say there is no ultimate meaning is an ultimate statement. The theory of evolution contends that complexity arises out of simplicity without the aid of intelligence. But the law of entropy, which is an indisputable law of nature, says that complex things disintegrate to a state of simplicity. Humanity is, by nature, good.Such a statement lacks meaning since there is no moral reference point in secularism by which to gauge goodness. IF we are good then why does goodness not come more naturally than evil? What is needed today is rational and logical thinking.How can our thoughts be trusted to reflect reality if they are nothing more than the product of chemical and biological elements?
Evolution Evolutionism (also known as Darwinism & Scientism) is a “religion” Based on Charles Darwin’s theory that all life forms evolved from a common ancestor. The idea has been around since the ancient Greek philosophers. Darwin was the first to popularize the concept in his book The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection in Book left room for belief in the creator but not as a relevant part of the process. Idea behind the book was to use science to “prove” the worldview of naturalism (nature is all there is). In this sense, evolutionism or Darwinism can be seen as a “religion,” particularly among those in the scientific community who refuse to allow the possibility that God – a supernatural cause – created life.
Evolution Theory of Natural Selection = plants and animals prey on each other to survive; as they cope with their environment, some, through mutation, develop new characteristics, capacities or features that give them a better chance at survival. These characteristics and capacities allow only the species most well adapted to their environments to survive. As these capacities become permanent, a new species evolves. Darwin believed that from one or a few simple original forms natural selection (survival of the fittest) had produced every species of animal that ever existed. There was no objective truth to this (amoeba to man). It was embraced as “scientific reason” to dismiss God and the “creation myth” of the Bible in favor of evolution. Even some Christians have embraced evolution and have become “theistic evolutionists.” This is popular today.
Evolution Academic circles have become increasingly intolerant of anything that teaches Creationism. Naturalistic evolutionism is the reigning scientific “orthodoxy” in American education. Disbelief in evolution is considered academic “heresy.” It is taught as fact when it is actually just a theory. The origins of evolution stem from naturalism that says that nature is all there is and God is out of the picture. Darwin was not sure how life first began and left room for the blanks to be filled in with or without God. Most evolutionists hold to the “Big Bang” theory – Earth formed with conditions “just right” for life. Order came through disorder and chaos. Another popular theory is that life came from the oceans and a “pre-biotic soup.” One cell evolved into man.
Evolution The First living cell, then, reproduced and evolved through the eons by natural process alone (natural selection, mutation, etc.), and eventually developed into simple plants and animals, then fish, then amphibians, then reptiles, then mammals. From among the mammals came primates – monkeys, apes and, finally, man. This all happened, according to Darwin, very, very, slowly. Christians contest Darwin’s theories because there is no evidence for it. It is not a fact because macroevolution never happened. Small changes in species is recognized by everyone, but change from species to species is not supported by the complexity of the cell or by the fossil record.
Evolution Fruitful Lines of Argumentation The fossil record: the sudden appearance of complex life forms and the lack of transitional forms. The problem of life coming from nonlife. The problem of complexity arising out of simplicity without the aid of intelligent intervention. The immense amount of information encoded into the DNA, which would indicate an intelligent source rather than that of random chance. The lack of mutations that are beneficial to an organism’s survival. The limit to the amount of change possible within a species.
Post-Modernism Post-modernism did not originate with the thinking of any one person or group. Rather, the term emerged during the 20 th century as it began to be used by philosophers, theologians, literary critics, historians, and even architects to refer in general to backlash against the failures of modernism (secular humanism). Basic Principles: None of us thinks independently, without bias, we have all been molded by our culture to think in certain ways. You cannot judge the thoughts, ideas or actions of another culture or another person because his or her idea of reality is different from yours. Each person’s reality is in his or her own mind. You construct your own reality. Whatever is real to you is your reality. None of us can “prove” anything, whether we use science, history or any other set of facts.
Post-Modernism It goes beyond Modernism, which claims that all moral or ethical truth is relative. Postmodernism says there is no absolute truth anywhere. Postmodernists teach that truth is always changing, whether it is spiritual, moral, political – even scientific truth is suspect. All truth is manufactured and is a product of the culture in which we live and the language we use. Teaches we are all just “products of our culture, cogs in a social machine.” Postmodernism is everywhere and is difficult to understand. One of the most dangerous aspects of postmodernism is its absolute insistence on tolerance. To be tolerant in the traditional sense is to see a difference between what a person thinks or does and the person himself. You treat people with respect but are also free to say how he thinks, talks, or acts is wrong and, in your opinion, should change.
Post-Modernism The postmodern idea of tolerance is that all values and beliefs should be given equal respect and there is no such thing as a “hierarchy of truth.” Postmodernism teaches that what every individual believes or says is equally right and equally valid. All values, lifestyles, and truth claims are equal. Teaches that the only “sin” is intolerance to others views and beliefs and lifestyles.