Christianity and Secular Humanism BY kick’s In this report will be comparing and contrasting the similarities and differences between the religious tradition Christianity, with the world view of Secular Humanism. Religious view: Christianity “a monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied In the New Testament and emphasizing the role of Jesus as savior -Webster Dictionary A religion Is a belief In the supernatural that defines how one lives. Christianity revolves around a God, as the creator of the universe, and who gives purpose in all vying things.
Christian God puts a price on sin (evil, wrongdoings which are stated in the Christians sacred text – the Bible. Because of the sin in the world God sent his son, Jesus Christ to earth to die for the salvation of mankind. This salvation comes in the form of afterlife – salvation, going to heaven and being with God, the opposite being hell, for the punishment of sin. Along with God the Father and the son, there Is a third figure In the Holy trinity which Is the Holy Split that came after Jesus resurrection to live within believers.
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Christian’s acknowledge God as their creator and IM to live their lives in worship of him and according to Jesus teachings. There are many different branches in Christianity such as Catholicism. Baptist, Pentecostal etc. “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. ” – Romans 11:36 “Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. ‘ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.
For he makes his sun sis on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the Just and on the unjust. ” Matthew 5:42-45 Secular world view: Secular Humanism “The doctrine emphasizing a person’s capacity for self-realization through reason; rejects religion and the supernatural. ” -?? Webster Dictionary A world view is set of ideas and beliefs through which an individual interpret and interacts with the world. Secular means Secular humanists “wish to encourage wherever possible the growth of moral awareness. ” (Paul Kurt – A Secular Humanist Declaration).
They believe in human values without religion or a God, and that human values should be committed o the well being of humans and should be based on ethical reasoning rather than supernatural sources. They believe supernatural beings and realms were made up by humans. It is atheism (or agnosticism) that goes further by challenging people to develop their own values that should be evaluated by their immediate/world consequences, and not Just conforming to existing ideas of right and wrong and a cosmic outlook rooted in science.
This means they believe human beings are part of nature, subjects of evolution and are capable of living a fulfilling and meaningful life without a God, but with self and moral awareness. It is a body of principles as secularism’s. Org describes it – “suitable for orienting a complete human life. ” Is there a higher being? A Christian’s View: Christians believe in a higher being in the form of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God. They firmly believe that God exists. To Christians; God is the creator of the world, universe, and everything and everyone inside it.
He is the source of all purpose in life, and is in control of people’s destinies (a. K. A God’s will) whether they are a believer or not. He is the reason for rainbows to natural disasters and whether people get a raise or they get sick. God is personally involved with people lives and can give them faith/strength/blessings to do things. God can try and communicate with people through signs and wonders, and He gives believers power to do miracles in His name. At the same time God punishes wrong doings, and evil. The punishment for sin, and not repenting is an eternal death in Hell. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, We are his offspring. ‘ Acts 17:24-28 As previously mentioned, Christians believe there are three figures in “God the Higher Being”. There is God, the Father, then there’s Jesus, His son – The Messiah. He came to save mankind from sin. As before Jesus, sin separated mankind from God because God is so pure. Jesus, by dying, made it possible for man to be with God by paying the price for all sin. The third figure being the Holy Spirit; came after Jesus to live within believers.
The Holy Spirit is meant to be a personal councilor/helper in faith for believers. “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. ” John 20. 30-31 Jesus said… ) “And I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper that He may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. John 14. 16-17 Christians submit to the will of God with obedience as worship to Him, and in the hope to be with Him in the afterlife (in heaven). Christians also believe in the fight between God and Satan, the fight between good and evil which exists in the world. Evidence of God is recorded in he Holy Bible, which is made of up of 66 books and letters that testify to Him, over history. Because God is the source of all purpose and meaning; the whole point of the Christian faith is to have a relationship with God.
Christians affirm their faith in Him by praying to Him, reading the Bible (His Word), going to church to worship Him, living according to His commandments and spreading the gospel. God is the source of morality for Christians and is at the centre of their lives and decisions. “It is about the greatness of God, not the significance of man. God made man small and the universe big to say something about himself. “-?? John Piper This will come to contradict the secular humanist belief that man is the measure of all, as this quote depicts how Christians believe that God created the universe, and He is too big for man to fully understand.
A Secular Humanist’s View: No, secular humanists are atheist and deny or are skeptical on a higher beings existence. Or that a human soul can exist after death. They have a naturalistic philosophy with cosmic outlook rooted in science which means they believe nothing, no supernatural powers exist outside the natural world. All that exists, exists, and can be explained by science; if it can’t then it doesn’t exist until proven so. Thus, Secular Humanists reject God and believe supernatural beings are purely human creations, and that believing in something that isn’t proven to exist is unreliable.
Meaning doesn’t come from higher beings. Secular Humanists consider themselves as “undersigned, unintended beings who arose through evolution, possessing unique attributes of self awareness and moral agency’ (secularism’s. Org). Humans are responsible for themselves but can live a moral and fulfilling life without a God. “As secular humanists, we are generally skeptical about supernatural claims. We recognize the importance of religious experience: that experience that redirects and gives meaning to the lives of human beings.
We deny, however, that such experiences have anything to do with the supernatural. We are doubtful of traditional views of God and divinity… We consider the universe to be a dynamic scene of natural forces that are most effectively understood by scientific inquiry. We are always open to the discovery of new possibilities and phenomena in nature. However. We find that traditional views of the existence of God either are meaningless, have not yet been demonstrated to be true, or are tyrannically exploitative.
Secular humanists may be agnostics, atheists, rationalists, or skeptics, but they find insufficient evidence for the claim that some divine purpose exists for the universe. They reject the idea that God has intervened miraculously in history or revealed himself to a chosen few or that he can save or redeem sinners. They believe that men and women are free and are responsible for their own destinies and that they cannot look toward some transcendent Being for salvation. ” – A Secular Humanist Declaration by Paul Kurt Propagators from the Fifth century B.
C is sometimes considered the first Humanist. A famous phrase of his is “homo measure” – “Man is the measure of all things, of things that are that they are, and of things that are not that they are not. “. This coincides with the secular humanist belief that there is no other supernatural realm that exists outside the world. A Unitarian minister was once asked why he did not believe in a Supreme Being. He replied that he did, and this supreme being was man. “there is no ultimate distinction between a supreme being and a human being because the for Humanists.
They believe an ethical life can be lived without submitting to a higher power. God is not real, nor necessary. This is why secular humanist advocate for the separation of Church and State – to separate themselves from laws deduced from a God. What is the purpose of my life? Christians are called to love. In the sense they were called to know the love of God, and also they called to love people as God loves them. God has a predetermined plan for each and every person born. But everyone has the free will to commit their lives to God and his plan for them.
The purpose of life on earth for Christians is to have heir soul saved, and save other people’s souls. Each person is called to ministry, and it’s a different ministry for everyone. E. G to be a teacher, or pastor or a prophet. God puts different gifts inside each individual that will aide them serve their purpose in life. Generally as Christians; they are meant to help the poor, defend the needy (be good-doers), not be too attached to worldly/material things as they for their life in heaven and God, rather than this “temporary’ life and themselves.
Christians are meant to make the most out of this life, in the hopes to be with God in the afterlife. Christians find purpose in worshiping and living life for God. Their lives are not their own, but God’s bought by Jesus death on the cross. So they will follow how God says to live their life. Mimi are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. Muff are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.
Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. ” Matthew 5:13-16 This bible verse shows how Christians should not lose their faith, but use their faith to bring something to the world, and they should live life glorifying God by the things that they do, so others may see and believe too. “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?
You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body’ – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 A Secular Humanist’s View: Firstly, the purpose of a secular humanists life is to detach themselves from preconceived ideas about God or ethics and morals from God, then apply reasoning and logical thinking (test truth) to ground their own set of values which should be committed to the improvement of human condition. This improvement should be social and economic, committed to building a more humane and democratic world, and promote equality and freedom.
A secular humanist seeks fulfillment and development in this life and world, as opposed to any other. Human beings are responsible for their own destinies. A secular Humanist recognizes the purpose in a religious belief, Just in place of a God and religion – a secular humanist devotes themselves to the enhancement of and personal satisfaction in human life. As the 9th affirmation in the 1933 Humanist humanist finds his religious emotions expressed in a heightened sense of personal life and in a co-operative effort to promote social well-being. The 14th affirmation states “The goal of humanism is a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently co-operate for the common good. Humanists demand a shared life, in a shared world. The purpose in a secular humanists life is to aspire and promote working in union for the common good of humanity. Secular Humanism also defends that human significance is not necessarily related to religion or supernatural sources. Love, science, art, philosophy and friendship is necessary for the expression of being alive and is not limited to being inspired by a supernatural source.
This includes morality, ethical Judgments can be made independent of religion and that humans can cultivate reason and wisdom to achieve virtuous lives. One person from my world view interviews, when asked What is the purpose in life answered (paraphrased); to create meaning or no meaning, we might be purely animals but because of our intelligence and self awareness; that alone can leave us feeling empty. And that people create purpose of life for themselves. This coincides with the Secular Humanist belief that people create god, thus are creating purpose for themselves.
And that man is intelligent enough to create their own personal purpose in what they find happiness in. “Happiness is the only good… The time to be happy is now, and the way to be happy is to make others so. ” Robert Engineers, 19th entry American humanist How should I treat people? A Christian’s view A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. – Jesus Noon 13:34) The previous bible verse is key to Christian values on how they should treat others.
God commands it of Christians to treat each other with the outmost love, as He has shown them through Jesus, who by dying symbolisms God’s love for humans – that he sent his son to die a death that mankind deserved so man could be with God. Christians should be compassionate to those who do and don’t believe. It is embedded in God’s 10 commandments – do not steal, cheat, lie to people. In the love of God, Christians should treat people as they would treat themselves and not inflict pain or suffering on to anyone, but show love and mercy.
Give to the poor, love your enemies, forgive the unpardonable are all examples of how Christians should treat others. These are evident in the teachings of Jesus, and His parables – how Jesus treated others, especially the outcasts of society, is how Christians aspire to treat others – without Judgment. The church can also guide and example how believers would treat others; many churches demonstrate acting out of love to people in ministry and missionary work e. G helping out in the community, donating to charities, being accepting of everyone. Above all Christians are called to act selflessly in treating other people.
There is a strong focus in the Christian religion to focus on the needs of others rather themselves. The below are all Christian examples that depict others back to God. “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? ” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with el your mind. ‘ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ‘ Matthew 22:36-40 “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. ‘ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed o, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?.
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. ‘ – Matthew 5:34-40 “Do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you “People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be Jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway. ” -?? Mother Teresa A Secular Humanist’s View ‘The Golden Rule”: “Treat other people in a way you would like to be treated yourself” is also applied in secular Humanism. This rule is carried over amongst many different religions and world views for the kindness and care it requires for the less fortunate, t discourages actions like lying and is simple and clear, and works well in practice. These reasons make this rule a benefit to human civilization, which Secular Humanism endorses.
They find this way of treating others common in humanity, and use our need to be treated well by others and our aspiration to live harmoniously with others as its foundation – it does not need to be given applied by sacred texts or a god. Without the influence of God, secular humanist believe that everyone should be treated fairly and deserves the same shot at a happy life. They advocate equality and redeem for all. A Secular Humanist will doubtlessly favor birth control, easier diverse laws, abortion and marriage equality.
They find religion at best, contributed some good things to human civilization such as schools and hospitals; have also had a negative impact in being intolerant to those who did not agree with their set of beliefs. In contrast, the ‘Free Inquiry ideal stated in A Secular Humanist Declaration “requires that we (secular humanists) tolerate diversity of opinion and that we respect the right of individuals to express their beliefs”. Because Secular Humanists alerting diverse lifestyles and social manners” (1933 Humanist Manifesto).
Christianity teaches treating and accepting people out of love, where secular humanism believes in treating people with tolerance. This belief is formed in the hopes for an open democratic society, where beliefs aren’t imposed on others. Humanists are sometimes associated to communists for their denial of God, concentration on this present life, reliance on science and for promoting an equal society. A Secular Humanist Declaration disregards the connection as communism is the result of one doctrine being imposed on society without tolerating any other view.
Vital to the progression of human kind, Secular Humanism is centered on treating others as they would want to be treated, with tolerance, and respect for individuals beliefs.