Friday, August 10, 2018

"Humanism and Its Aspirations" just another hijack

It came to my attention recently that there is a third "Humanist Manifesto" under the title "Humanism and Its Aspirations." I found it published here:

https://americanhumanist.org/what-is-humanism/manifesto3/

It was created by the American Humanist Association, an organization with the subtext "GOOD WITHOUT A GOD" displayed below its name, and it was drafted in 2003. The reproduction of its text in this essay is for critical debate only, and I make no claims whatsoever to its original composition.

I read the document, and it occurred to me that just as specific words in our lexicon have been re-purposed to champion particular political agendas, the Humanist Manifesto of 2003 demonstrates how the standard humanist values have been hijacked from Christian tenets.

To better demonstrate this observation, the following is a sentence-by-sentence comparison of Humanism to Christianity. The goal here is to make it evident that the American Humanist Association has indeed 'borrowed' concepts and values from holy documents whose origin are in direct conflict with their core belief.

An additional purpose in this comparison format is to demonstrate that many of the concepts being presented as particular to humanism are in fact merely intrinsic to any human being who wishes to contribute to the good of the world, regardless of belief system or lack of it.

What makes the presentation of a document of this nature insidious, is that it implies by its existence that it is in direct opposition to the aspirations of those who believe in God. Ironically, when it speaks of humane concepts as though they are exclusive to Humanists, it is actually referencing Christian principles as set forth two thousand years ago in documents gathered which eventually formed the New Testament.

Humanist Manifesto text is in script, Christian comparison in regular text. Any bold text was my alteration for the purpose of pointing out key disparities.


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Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Christianity is a philosophy of life that affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.


The lifestance of Humanism—guided by reason, inspired by compassion, and informed by experience—encourages us to live life well and fully.

The lifestance of Christianity—guided by reason, inspired by compassion, and informed by experience—encourages us to live life well and fully.


[Humanism] evolved through the ages and continues to develop through the efforts of thoughtful people who recognize that values and ideals, however carefully wrought, are subject to change as our knowledge and understandings advance.

[Christianity] was given to us by God and continues to develop through the efforts of thoughtful people who recognize that values and ideals, however carefully wrought, are subject to change as our knowledge and understandings advance.


This document is part of an ongoing effort to manifest in clear and positive terms the conceptual boundaries of Humanism, not what we must believe but a consensus of what we do believe.

The sentence is a statement of intent exclusive to Humanism, therefore no comparison will be made.


It is in this sense that [Humanists] affirm the following:

[Christians] affirm the following:


Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis.

Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis.


Humanists find that science is the best method for determining this knowledge as well as for solving problems and developing beneficial technologies.

Christians find that science is the best method for determining scientific knowledge as well as for solving science-related problems and developing beneficial technologies.


[Humanists] also recognize the value of new departures in thought, the arts, and inner experience—each subject to analysis by critical intelligence.

[Christians] also recognize the value of new departures in thought, the arts, and inner experience—each subject to analysis by critical intelligence.


Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change.

Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of Intelligent Design.


Humanists recognize nature as self-existing.

Christians recognize nature as self-existing.


[Humanists] accept our life as all and enough, distinguishing things as they are from things as we might wish or imagine them to be.

[Christians] accept our life as all and enough, while recognizing that there is more to the universe we experience than we perceive with the five senses, distinguishing things as they are from things as we might wish or imagine them to be.


[Humanists] welcome the challenges of the future, and are drawn to and undaunted by the yet to be known.

[Christians] welcome the challenges of the future, and are drawn to and undaunted by the yet to be known.


Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience.

Ethical values are derived from God and are tested by experience.


Humanists ground values in human welfare shaped by human circumstances, interests, and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem and beyond.

Christians ground values in human welfare shaped by human circumstances, interests, and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem and beyond.


[Humanists] are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity, and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility.

[Christians] are committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity, and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility.


Life’s fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals.

Life’s fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals.


[Humanists] aim for our fullest possible development and animate our lives with a deep sense of purpose, finding wonder and awe in the joys and beauties of human existence, its challenges and tragedies, and even in the inevitability and finality of death.

[Christians] aim for our fullest possible development and animate our lives with a deep sense of purpose, finding wonder and awe in the joys and beauties of human existence, its challenges and tragedies, and even in the inevitability and transformation of death.


Humanists rely on the rich heritage of human culture and the lifestance of Humanism to provide comfort in times of want and encouragement in times of plenty.

Christians rely on the rich heritage of human culture and the existence of God to provide comfort in times of want and encouragement in times of plenty.


Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships.

Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships.


Humanists long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively without resorting to violence.

Christians long for and strive toward a world of mutual care and concern, free of cruelty and its consequences, where differences are resolved cooperatively without resorting to violence.


The joining of individuality with interdependence enriches our lives, encourages [Humanists] to enrich the lives of others, and inspires hope of attaining peace, justice, and opportunity for all.

The joining of individuality with interdependence enriches our lives, encourages [Christians] to enrich the lives of others, and inspires hope of attaining peace, justice, and opportunity for all.


Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness.

Working to benefit society maximizes individual happiness.


Progressive cultures have worked to free humanity from the brutalities of mere survival and to reduce suffering, improve society, and develop global community.

God-inspired individuals have worked to free humanity from the brutalities of mere survival and to reduce suffering, improve society, and develop global community.


[Humanists] seek to minimize the inequities of circumstance and ability, and we support a just distribution of nature’s resources and the fruits of human effort so that as many as possible can enjoy a good life.

[Christians] seek to minimize the inequities of circumstance and ability, and we support a just distribution of nature’s resources and the fruits of human effort so that as many as possible can enjoy a good life.


Humanists are concerned for the well being of all, are committed to diversity, and respect those of differing yet humane views.

Christians are concerned for the well being of all, are committed to diversity, and respect those of differing yet humane views.


[Humanists] work to uphold the equal enjoyment of human rights and civil liberties in an open, secular society and maintain it is a civic duty to participate in the democratic process and a planetary duty to protect nature’s integrity, diversity, and beauty in a secure, sustainable manner.

[Christians] work to uphold the equal enjoyment of human rights and civil liberties in an open-minded society and maintain it is a civic duty to participate in the democratic process and a planetary duty to protect nature’s integrity, diversity, and beauty in a secure, sustainable manner.


Thus engaged in the flow of life, [Humanists] aspire to this vision with the informed conviction that humanity has the ability to progress toward its highest ideals.

Thus engaged in the flow of life, [Christians] aspire to this vision with the informed conviction that humanity has the ability to progress toward its highest ideals.


The responsibility for our lives and the kind of world in which we live is ours and ours alone.

The responsibility for our lives and the kind of world in which we live is ours and ours alone.

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CONCLUSION:

As you may plainly see, attempting to make either world view appear morally superior is merely unsubstantiated propaganda.