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CONCEPT OF GOD

(Agnosticism and Humanism)

I. Agnosticism
A. Etymology Agnosticism came from the Ancient Greek words- agnostic (without) and gnosis (knowledge). Coined by Thomas Henry Huxley, an English Biologist in 1869 during a speech at a meeting of the Metaphysical Society to describe his philosophy which rejects all claims of spiritual or mystical knowledge. Earlier thinkers and written works have promoted agnostic points of view: - Protagoras, a 5th-century BCE Greek philosopher - The Nasadiya Sukta creation myth in the Rig Veda, an ancient Sanskrit text.

B. Defining Agnosticism Agnosticism is the view that the truth values of certain claimsespecially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claimsare unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable. According to Huxley, Agnosticism, in fact, is not a creed, but a method. Agnosticism is not a creed but a method, because the essence of which lies in the vigorous application of a single principle ...Positively the principle may be expressed as in matters of intellect, do not pretend conclusions are certain that are not demonstrated or demonstrable. -It is an evidence-based inquiry. An agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of a deity or deities, whereas a theist and an atheist believe and disbelieve, respectively. In the strict sense, however, agnosticism is the view that humanity does not currently possess the necessary knowledge and/or reason to provide sufficient rational grounds to justify the belief that deities either do or do not exist. C. Types of agnosticism Agnosticism can be subdivided into several categories, and variations include: 1. Agnostic atheism Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not have belief in the existence of any deity, and agnostic because they do not claim to know that a deity does not exist. Prepared by: Criscel Joy L. Sambrano BSE IV-A PHILOSOPHY 1

2. Agnostic theism It is the view of those who do not claim to know of the existence of any deity, but still believe in such an existence. 3. Apathetic or pragmatic agnosticism The view that there is no proof of either the existence or nonexistence of any deity, but since any deity that may exist appears unconcerned for the universe or the welfare of its inhabitants, the question is largely academic. 4. Ignosticism The view that a clear definition of a deity must be put forward before the question of the existence of a deity can be meaningfully discussed. If the chosen definition is not coherent, the ignostic holds the noncognitivist view that the existence of a deity is meaningless or empirically untestable. 5. Strong agnosticism (also called "hard," "closed," "strict or permanent agnosticism") The view that the question of the existence or nonexistence of a deity or deities, and the nature of ultimate reality is unknowable by reason of our natural inability to verify any experience with anything but another subjective experience. A strong agnostic would say, "I cannot know whether a deity exists or not, and neither can you." 6. Weak agnosticism (also called "soft," "open," "empirical or temporal agnosticism") It is the view that the existence or nonexistence of any deities is currently unknown but is not necessarily unknowable; therefore, one will deny judgment until/if any evidence is available. A weak agnostic would say, "I don't know whether any deities exist or not, but maybe one day, when there is evidence, we can find something out." 7. Spiritual agnosticism The view that universal ethics and love can guide actions more effectively than questioning the existence of deities. A spiritual agnostic would say "It doesn't matter which religion you might follow, nor does it matter whether or not you believe in God. What matters is what you do, not what you believe." D. Brief History Since Huxley first used the term, several writers have defended agnosticism as a philosophical viewpoint. A number of earlier thinkers and writings have also explored agnostic thought. Prepared by: Criscel Joy L. Sambrano BSE IV-A PHILOSOPHY 1

In Hindu philosophy The Rig Veda takes an agnostic view on the fundamental question of how the universe and the gods were created. Nasadiya Sukta (Creation Hymn) in the tenth chapter of the Rig Veda says: Who really knows? Who will here proclaim it? Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation? The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe. Who then knows whence it has arisen? Throughout the history of Hinduism there has been a strong tradition of philosophic speculation and scepticism. *SKEPTICISM- the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain. - doubt concerning basic religious principles such as immortality, providence and revelation. In Greek philosophy Agnostic thought, in the form of skepticism, emerged as a formal philosophical position in ancient Greece. Its proponents included Protagoras, Pyrrho, Carneades, Sextus Empiricus and, to some degree, Socrates, who was a strong advocate for a skeptical approach to epistemology. Such thinkers rejected the idea that certainty was possible. E. Famous Statements on Agnosticism 1. Thomas Henry Huxley I neither affirm nor deny the immortality of man. I see no reason for believing it, but, on the other hand, I have no means of disproving it. I have no a priori objections to the doctrine. No man who has to deal daily and hourly with nature can trouble himself about a priori difficulties. Give me such evidence as would justify me in believing in anything else, and I will believe that. Why should I not? It is not half so wonderful as the conservation of force or the indestructibility of matter... 2. Robert G. Ingersoll Robert G. Ingersoll, an Illinois lawyer and politician who evolved into a well-known and sought-after orator in 19th century America, has been referred to as the "Great Agnostic."

Prepared by: Criscel Joy L. Sambrano

BSE IV-A

PHILOSOPHY 1

In an 1896 lecture titled Why I Am an Agnostic, Ingersoll related why he was an agnostic: Is there a supernatural poweran arbitrary mindan enthroned Goda supreme will that sways the tides and currents of the worldto which all causes bow? I do not deny. I do not knowbut I do not believe. I believe that the natural is supremethat from the infinite chain no link can be lost or brokenthat there is no supernatural power that can answer prayerno power that worship can persuade or changeno power that cares for man. I believe that with infinite arms Nature embraces the allthat there is no interference no chancethat behind every event are the necessary and countless causes, and that beyond every event will be and must be the necessary and countless effects. 3. Bertrand Russell In his 1953 essay, What Is An Agnostic? Russell states: I think that if I heard a voice from the sky predicting all that was going to happen to me during the next twenty-four hours, including events that would have seemed highly unbelievable, and if all these events then produced to happen, I might perhaps be convinced at least of the existence of some superhuman intelligence.

Prepared by: Criscel Joy L. Sambrano

BSE IV-A

PHILOSOPHY 1

II. Humanism
A. HUMANISM The proponent was the late British biologist, Sir Julian Huxley, grandson of the famous Thomas Henry Huxley of Darwin's day and the proponent of agnosticism. He wrote: "This new ideas-system, whose birth we of the mid-twentieth century are witnessing, I shall simply call Humanism, because it can only be based on our understanding of man and his environment. It must be organized around the facts and ideas of evolution, taking account of the discovery that man is part of a comprehensive evolutionary process, and cannot avoid playing a significant role in it" . . . it will have nothing to do with absolutes, including absolute truth, absolute morality, absolute perfection and absolute authority. A doctrine, attitude or way of life centred on human interest or values. A philosophy that usually rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individuals dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason. From this single quote we learn, therefore, Humanism must embrace the so called "science" of evolution and that it refuses to have God or absolutes in its knowledge. This is entirely contradictory to the idea that the Bible is authoritative (II Tim 3:16, 17); that Christ's Word is Truth (John 14:6) and that "it is not in man that walketh to direct his own steps" (Jer. 14:23). The chief organ for the support of Humanism is The Humanist, published jointly by the American Journalist Association and the American Ethical Union. There is also a Fellowship of Religious Humanists, a quarterly Journal, whose president at one time was Lester Mondale, brother of the vice-president of the United States. The policy statement of these organizations was set forth in the first named magazine in the May/June, 1933 issue. It was called the Humanist Manifesto I which says: First: Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created. Second: Humanism believes that man is a part of nature and that he has emerged as the result of a continuous process. Third: "Humanism asserts that the nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values . . . religion must formulate its hopes and plans in the light of the scientific spirit and method".

The first humanist Manifesto, published in 1933, has had great status with educators because it was endorsed by the father of progressive education, John Dewey." (Phyllis Schlafly, in Woodbridge, N.J., New Tribune, 1977).

Prepared by: Criscel Joy L. Sambrano

BSE IV-A

PHILOSOPHY 1

"Dewey based his philosophy upon experience as the ultimate authority in knowledge and conduct. This leads logically to the belief that human intelligence and the use of the scientific method can create the better society. This in turn leads naturally to the rejection of the supernatural element in religion, or in other words, to the rejection of God. . ." (Bolton Davidheiser, Evolution and Christian Faith. Baker Book House, 1969, p.107). There is also a Humanist Manifesto II. It is divided into five sub-heads; Religion, Ethics, Individual, Democratic Society, and World Community.

B. Humanism: The Atheist's Religion a. The different way Christians and Humanists view mankind: GODS MAN Created By God Image Of God Has Immortal Soul Has Eternal Purpose Life After Death HUMANISTS MAN Product Of Evolutionary Process Image Of Nature And Social Heritage Has No Soul Has No Eternal Purpose No Life After Death

b. Humanism Is A Religion: 1. They have a bible: Humanist Manifesto I & II 2. They have an object of worship: Man himself 3. They have priesthood and missionaries: Public educators 4. They have seminaries: teachers colleges 5. They have temples: schools colleges and universities 6. They are intolerant of other religions: Humanists freely teach: Atheism Evolution Fact Situation Ethics Explicit Sex Education Perversions/Distortions As Acceptable No Life After Death These concepts can be taught freely during school hours to captive children Prepared by: Criscel Joy L. Sambrano BSE IV-A Humanists totally forbid teaching: God The Creator Creation as Scientific Moral Absolutes Biblical View Of Sexuality Homosexuality Wrong Heaven, Hell, Judgment These concepts cannot be taught on school premises- even after school hours end. PHILOSOPHY 1

C. Basic Tenets (beliefs) of Humanism 1. It affirms that the universe is self-existent and denies that it was created. Thus, it affirms the eternity of matter and denies the existence of God and His word of creation. 2. It affirms that man evolved by natural means. This means that they hold that God had nothing to do with bring man into being. 3. It affirms that man is totally physical, thus denying that man has a spirit or soul. 4. It affirms that all religion is the result of social evolution. Faith in God is outmoded (outof-date), Religion retards Human progress. 5. It denies that God is the ultimate good, thus denying that men do either that which is really objectively wrong or that which is really objectively right. 6. It affirms that the ultimate end of mans life is to be found in the here and now. Humanism rejects Heaven; it denies there is a Hell. 7. "Worship" of God and prayer to God is rejected. Man should rather use his time in seeking to promote social well-being. 8. It affirms that man must learn to depend upon science and must discourage hopes of heaven (which involves wishful thinking) 9. It holds that man alone is responsible for the realization of the world of his dreams, thus holding that God has nothing whatsoever to do with it. D. Effects of Humanism 1. Evolution is fact 2. There is no God 3. The Bible is a myth 4. Antagonistic towards all other religions 5. Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die 6. "If It Feels Good Do It" 7. Man answers only to himself 8. No Absolute truth or right and wrong 9. Man becomes self- righteous 10. General unwillingness to follow authority 11. Sexual freedom, homosexuality, easy divorce 12. Suicide, abortion and euthanasia encouraged 13. Situation ethics: "lying is Ok if you need to" 14. Children are rebellious (Spanking children is outlawed as a form of discipline) 15. Take the "lock" from wedlock-Increased Divorce rate (If marriage partners are unhappy, divorce) 16. Materialism and acquisition of wealth

Prepared by: Criscel Joy L. Sambrano

BSE IV-A

PHILOSOPHY 1

E. 4 Part Foundation of Humanism 1. Atheism 2. Evolution 3. Autonomous Man (Answers Only To Self) 4. Relative Truth F. Quotations from The Humanist Bible MANIFESTO I ARTICLE 2: "Humanism believes that man is part of nature and that he has developed as the result of a continuous process." ARTICLE 3: "Holding an organic view of life, humanists find that the traditional dualism of mind and body must be rejected." ARTICLE 8: "Religious Humanism considers the complete realization of human personality to be the end of mans life and seeks its development and fulfilment in the here and now."

MANIFESTO II ARTICLE 2: "Promises of immortal salvation or fear of damnation are both illusory and harmful...Modern science discredits such historic concepts as the ghost in the machine and separable soul. Rather, science affirms that the human species is an emergence from natural evolutionary forces...There is no credible evidence that life survives the death of the body." ARTICLE 5: "We believe in maximum individual autonomy consonant with social responsibility."

G. Gods Bible Against the Humanist Bible: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. There is a God: Ps 14:1; Ps 2:3-6; Heb 11:1,6 The earth had a beginning and will come to an end: Gen 1:1; 2 Pe 3:10 Things which are seen are temporary: 2 Cor 4:17-18 Man was made in Gods image: Gen 1:27 Man is a dual being: Eccl 12:7; Jas 2:26; Phil 1:21f Man cannot guide himself: Prov 3:5; 14:2 The Bible contains absolute truth for right & wrong: Jn 17:17; 2 Pe 1:3 Mans duty is to fear God: Eccl 12:13 Mans happiness and destiny are bound up in "love God with all heart mind and soul, and love man as self-Mt 22:34-40; Rom 13:8-10 (Christs example of dying on cross is highest value of unselfish love and service) 10. We should not serve the flesh: Tit 3:3 11. There is life after death and judgment: Heb 9:27; Mt 25:46; Eccl 3:11 12. In the last days... 2 Ti 3:1-7
http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Humanism/humanism_excludes_god.htm

Prepared by: Criscel Joy L. Sambrano

BSE IV-A

PHILOSOPHY 1