Humanist Manifesto Expose by Merwin

No Problem With The Manifestos?

I have encountered flack because of my beef with the Humanist Manifestos I & II, and those that refer to them as anything beneficial. And in response to the rebukes, I would like to confess that I could be wrong... I don't know where... but I could be.

I have maintained that the Manifestos along with many other works are harbingers of the coming holocaust against us unwanted religious types and that they are foundational to the quickly advancing one world religion that will facilitate the carnage.

I further suggest that if one cannot recognize in the Manifesto language, the threat to other faiths that are not staunchly Humanistic, then that person is either grossly naive, zealously Humanistic, or both.

I propose in this essay to take the entire Humanist Manifesto I, Italicize certain enumerated paragraphs (key words and phrases emboldened) and then parenthetically, after each paragraph, describe the problem. And finally the un-italicized, un-emboldened, un-touched version.

Humanist Manifesto I

The Manifesto is a product of many minds. It was designed to represent a developing point of view, not a new creed. The individuals whose signatures appear would, had they been writing individual statements, have stated the propositions in differing terms. The importance of the document is that more than thirty men have come to general agreement on matters of final concern and that these men are undoubtedly representative of a large number who are forging a new philosophy out of the materials of the modern world.

- Raymond B. Bragg (1933)


The time has come for widespread recognition of the radical changes in religious beliefs throughout the modern world. The time is past for mere revision of traditional attitudes. Science and economic change have disrupted the old beliefs. Religions the world over are under the necessity of coming to terms with new conditions created by a vastly increased knowledge and experience. In every field of human activity, the vital movement is now in the direction of a candid and explicit humanism. In order that religious humanism may be better understood we, the undersigned, desire to make certain affirmations which we believe the facts of our contemporary life demonstrate.

(Language suggests new philosophy may be imposed upon existing beliefs)

There is great danger of a final, and we believe fatal, identification of the word religion with doctrines and methods which have lost their significance and which are powerless to solve the problem of human living in the Twentieth Century. Religions have always been means for realizing the highest values of life. Their end has been accomplished through the interpretation of the total environing situation (theology or world view), the sense of values resulting therefrom (goal or ideal), and the technique (cult), established for realizing the satisfactory life. A change in any of these factors results in alteration of the outward forms of religion. This fact explains the changefulness of religions through the centuries. But through all changes religion itself remains constant in its quest for abiding values, an inseparable feature of human life.

(There is a danger in this language of it being recognized as a threat, it probably isn't a threat but... 1) It could be perceived that way... and 2) These people are smart enough to word this differently.)

Today man's larger understanding of the universe, his scientific achievements, and deeper appreciation of brotherhood, have created a situation which requires a new statement of the means and purposes of religion. Such a vital, fearless, and frank religion capable of furnishing adequate social goals and personal satisfactions may appear to many people as a complete break with the past. While this age does owe a vast debt to the traditional religions, it is none the less obvious that any religion that can hope to be a synthesizing and dynamic force for today must be shaped for the needs of this age. To establish such a religion is a major necessity of the present. It is a responsibility which rests upon this generation. We therefore affirm the following:

(This language suggests that unless these affirmations are met, any faith that does not meet the criteria is deemed unacceptable.)

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 a result of a continuous process.

THIRD: Holding an organic view of life, humanists find that the traditional dualism of mind and body must be rejected.

(Strong language, I believe intentionally selected)

FOURTH: Humanism recognizes that man's religious culture and civilization, as clearly depicted by anthropology and history, are the product of a gradual development due to his interaction with his natural environment and with his social heritage. The individual born into a particular culture is largely molded by that culture.

FIFTH: Humanism asserts that the nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values. Obviously humanism does not deny the possibility of realities as yet undiscovered, but it does insist that the way to determine the existence and value of any and all realities is by means of intelligent inquiry and by the assessment of their relations to human needs. Religion must formulate its hopes and plans in the light of the scientific spirit and method.

(The preponderance of evidence is snowballing that there are certain benchmarks for what is acceptable and consequences for what is considered unacceptable.)

SIXTH: We are convinced that the time has passed for theism, deism, modernism, and the several varieties of "new thought".

SEVENTH: Religion consists of those actions, purposes, and experiences which are humanly significant. Nothing human is alien to the religious. It includes labor, art, science, philosophy, love, friendship, recreation--all that is in its degree expressive of intelligently satisfying human living. The distinction between the sacred and the secular can no longer be maintained.

EIGHTH: Religious Humanism considers the complete realization of human personality to be the end of man's life and seeks its development and fulfillment in the here and now. This is the explanation of the humanist's social passion.

NINTH: In the place of the old attitudes involved in worship and prayer the humanist finds his religious emotions expressed in a heightened sense of personal life and in a cooperative effort to promote social well-being.

TENTH: It follows that there will be no uniquely religious emotions and attitudes of the kind hitherto associated with belief in the supernatural.

(Or what? More absolute language.)

ELEVENTH: Man will learn to face the crises of life in terms of his knowledge of their naturalness and probability. Reasonable and manly attitudes will be fostered by education and supported by custom. We assume that humanism will take the path of social and mental hygiene and discourage sentimental and unreal hopes and wishful thinking.

("...and discourage?" Oh does this mean like, black balling or heavily censoring creationists? And only allowing the "Faith" of evolution... the Humanist Religion to have its say? You know that, that is exactly what it means.)

TWELFTH: Believing that religion must work increasingly for joy in living, religious humanists aim to foster the creative in man and to encourage achievements that add to the satisfactions of life.

(A sanitized definition of hedonism.)

THIRTEENTH: Religious humanism maintains that all associations and institutions exist for the fulfillment of human life. The intelligent evaluation, transformation, control, and direction of such associations and institutions with a view to the enhancement of human life is the purpose and program of humanism. Certainly religious institutions, their ritualistic forms, ecclesiastical methods, and communal activities must be reconstituted as rapidly as experience allows, in order to function effectively in the modern world.

(The severity of their intentions increase dramatically with the THIRTEENTH)

FOURTEENTH: The humanists are firmly convinced that existing acquisitive and profit-motivated society has shown itself to be inadequate and that a radical change in methods, controls, and motives must be instituted. A socialized and cooperative economic order must be established to the end that the equitable distribution of the means of life be possible. The goal of humanism is a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently cooperate for the common good. Humanists demand a shared life in a shared world.

(Absolute power corrupts absolutely... the language has intensified. Oh... and "equitable distribution" as always, means that the ones in power, are "more equal" than those that are not.)

FIFTEENTH AND LAST: We assert that humanism will: (a) affirm life rather than deny it; (b) seek to elicit the possibilities of life, not flee from them; and (c) endeavor to establish the conditions of a satisfactory life for all, not merely for the few. By this positive morale and intention humanism will be guided, and from this perspective and alignment the techniques and efforts of humanism will flow.

So stand the theses of religious humanism. Though we consider the religious forms and ideas of our fathers no longer adequate, the quest for the good life is still the central task for mankind. Man is at last becoming aware that he alone is responsible for the realization of the world of his dreams, that he has within himself the power for its achievement. He must set intelligence and will to the task.

(Signed)

J.A.C. Fagginger Auer—Parkman Professor of Church History and Theology, Harvard University; Professor of Church History, Tufts College.
E. Burdette Backus—Unitarian Minister.
Harry Elmer Barnes—General Editorial Department, ScrippsHoward Newspapers.
L.M. Birkhead—The Liberal Center, Kansas City, Missouri.
Raymond B. Bragg—Secretary, Western Unitarian Conference.
Edwin Arthur Burtt—Professor of Philosophy, Sage School of Philosophy, Cornell University.
Ernest Caldecott—Minister, First Unitarian Church, Los Angeles, California.
A.J. Carlson—Professor of Physiology, University of Chicago.
John Dewey—Columbia University.
Albert C. Dieffenbach—Formerly Editor of The Christian Register.
John H. Dietrich—Minister, First Unitarian Society, Minneapolis.
Bernard Fantus—Professor of Therapeutics, College of Medicine, University of Illinois.
William Floyd—Editor of The Arbitrator, New York City.
F.H. Hankins—Professor of Economics and Sociology, Smith College.
A. Eustace Haydon—Professor of History of Religions, University of Chicago.
Llewellyn Jones—Literary critic and author.
Robert Morss Lovett—Editor, The New Republic; Professor of English, University of Chicago.
Harold P Marley—Minister, The Fellowship of Liberal Religion, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
R. Lester Mondale—Minister, Unitarian Church, Evanston, Illinois.
Charles Francis Potter—Leader and Founder, the First Humanist Society of New York, Inc.
John Herman Randall, Jr.—Department of Philosophy, Columbia University.
Curtis W. Reese—Dean, Abraham Lincoln Center, Chicago.
Oliver L. Reiser—Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh.
Roy Wood Sellars—Professor of Philosophy, University of Michigan.
Clinton Lee Scott—Minister, Universalist Church, Peoria, Illinois.
Maynard Shipley—President, The Science League of America.
W. Frank Swift—Director, Boston Ethical Society.
V.T. Thayer—Educational Director, Ethical Culture Schools.
Eldred C. Vanderlaan—Leader of the Free Fellowship, Berkeley, California.
Joseph Walker—Attorney, Boston, Massachusetts.
Jacob J. Weinstein—Rabbi; Advisor to Jewish Students, Columbia University.
Frank S.C. Wicks—All Souls Unitarian Church, Indianapolis.
David Rhys Williams—Minister, Unitarian Church, Rochester, New York.
Edwin H. Wilson—Managing Editor, The New Humanist, Chicago, Illinois; Minister, Third Unitarian Church, Chicago, Illinois.

Copyright © 1933 by The New Humanist and 1973 by the American Humanist Association


Permission to reproduce this material, complete and unmodified, in electronic or printout form is hereby granted free of charge by the copyright holder to nonprofit humanist and freethought publications. All other uses, and uses by all others, requires that requests for permission be made through the American Humanist Association, at www.americanhumanist.org.


Well now... I think it is worth dwelling on the thirteenth affirmation for a moment...

THIRTEENTH: Religious humanism maintains that all associations and institutions exist for the fulfillment of human life. The intelligent evaluation, transformation, control, and direction of such associations and institutions with a view to the enhancement of human life is the purpose and program of humanism. Certainly religious institutions, their ritualistic forms, ecclesiastical methods, and communal activities must be reconstituted as rapidly as experience allows, in order to function effectively in the modern world.

I am not making this up... this happened back in '33 and we can all see the evidence of their successes and attempts to eradicate, demean and devalue, traditional faith throughout society but especially in the public schools, and they have even enjoyed major successes in Religious Higher education.

This has obviously been an effort in concert with many sectors of society, look at the signers.

This is enough for this Hub, more to come in "Manifesto Too" as well as more of thier sources that support my conclusions.

Untouched version...

Humanist Manifesto I

The Manifesto is a product of many minds. It was designed to represent a developing point of view, not a new creed. The individuals whose signatures appear would, had they been writing individual statements, have stated the propositions in differing terms. The importance of the document is that more than thirty men have come to general agreement on matters of final concern and that these men are undoubtedly representative of a large number who are forging a new philosophy out of the materials of the modern world.

- Raymond B. Bragg (1933)


The time has come for widespread recognition of the radical changes in religious beliefs throughout the modern world. The time is past for mere revision of traditional attitudes. Science and economic change have disrupted the old beliefs. Religions the world over are under the necessity of coming to terms with new conditions created by a vastly increased knowledge and experience. In every field of human activity, the vital movement is now in the direction of a candid and explicit humanism. In order that religious humanism may be better understood we, the undersigned, desire to make certain affirmations which we believe the facts of our contemporary life demonstrate.

There is great danger of a final, and we believe fatal, identification of the word religion with doctrines and methods which have lost their significance and which are powerless to solve the problem of human living in the Twentieth Century. Religions have always been means for realizing the highest values of life. Their end has been accomplished through the interpretation of the total environing situation (theology or world view), the sense of values resulting therefrom (goal or ideal), and the technique (cult), established for realizing the satisfactory life. A change in any of these factors results in alteration of the outward forms of religion. This fact explains the changefulness of religions through the centuries. But through all changes religion itself remains constant in its quest for abiding values, an inseparable feature of human life.

Today man's larger understanding of the universe, his scientific achievements, and deeper appreciation of brotherhood, have created a situation which requires a new statement of the means and purposes of religion. Such a vital, fearless, and frank religion capable of furnishing adequate social goals and personal satisfactions may appear to many people as a complete break with the past. While this age does owe a vast debt to the traditional religions, it is none the less obvious that any religion that can hope to be a synthesizing and dynamic force for today must be shaped for the needs of this age. To establish such a religion is a major necessity of the present. It is a responsibility which rests upon this generation. We therefore affirm the following:

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 a result of a continuous process.

THIRD: Holding an organic view of life, humanists find that the traditional dualism of mind and body must be rejected.

FOURTH: Humanism recognizes that man's religious culture and civilization, as clearly depicted by anthropology and history, are the product of a gradual development due to his interaction with his natural environment and with his social heritage. The individual born into a particular culture is largely molded by that culture.

FIFTH: Humanism asserts that the nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values. Obviously humanism does not deny the possibility of realities as yet undiscovered, but it does insist that the way to determine the existence and value of any and all realities is by means of intelligent inquiry and by the assessment of their relations to human needs. Religion must formulate its hopes and plans in the light of the scientific spirit and method.

SIXTH: We are convinced that the time has passed for theism, deism, modernism, and the several varieties of "new thought".

SEVENTH: Religion consists of those actions, purposes, and experiences which are humanly significant. Nothing human is alien to the religious. It includes labor, art, science, philosophy, love, friendship, recreation--all that is in its degree expressive of intelligently satisfying human living. The distinction between the sacred and the secular can no longer be maintained.

EIGHTH: Religious Humanism considers the complete realization of human personality to be the end of man's life and seeks its development and fulfillment in the here and now. This is the explanation of the humanist's social passion.

NINTH: In the place of the old attitudes involved in worship and prayer the humanist finds his religious emotions expressed in a heightened sense of personal life and in a cooperative effort to promote social well-being.

TENTH: It follows that there will be no uniquely religious emotions and attitudes of the kind hitherto associated with belief in the supernatural.

ELEVENTH: Man will learn to face the crises of life in terms of his knowledge of their naturalness and probability. Reasonable and manly attitudes will be fostered by education and supported by custom. We assume that humanism will take the path of social and mental hygiene and discourage sentimental and unreal hopes and wishful thinking.

TWELFTH: Believing that religion must work increasingly for joy in living, religious humanists aim to foster the creative in man and to encourage achievements that add to the satisfactions of life.

THIRTEENTH: Religious humanism maintains that all associations and institutions exist for the fulfillment of human life. The intelligent evaluation, transformation, control, and direction of such associations and institutions with a view to the enhancement of human life is the purpose and program of humanism. Certainly religious institutions, their ritualistic forms, ecclesiastical methods, and communal activities must be reconstituted as rapidly as experience allows, in order to function effectively in the modern world.

FOURTEENTH: The humanists are firmly convinced that existing acquisitive and profit-motivated society has shown itself to be inadequate and that a radical change in methods, controls, and motives must be instituted. A socialized and cooperative economic order must be established to the end that the equitable distribution of the means of life be possible. The goal of humanism is a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently cooperate for the common good. Humanists demand a shared life in a shared world.

FIFTEENTH AND LAST: We assert that humanism will: (a) affirm life rather than deny it; (b) seek to elicit the possibilities of life, not flee from them; and (c) endeavor to establish the conditions of a satisfactory life for all, not merely for the few. By this positive morale and intention humanism will be guided, and from this perspective and alignment the techniques and efforts of humanism will flow.

So stand the theses of religious humanism. Though we consider the religious forms and ideas of our fathers no longer adequate, the quest for the good life is still the central task for mankind. Man is at last becoming aware that he alone is responsible for the realization of the world of his dreams, that he has within himself the power for its achievement. He must set intelligence and will to the task.

(Signed)

J.A.C. Fagginger Auer—Parkman Professor of Church History and Theology, Harvard University; Professor of Church History, Tufts College.
E. Burdette Backus—Unitarian Minister.
Harry Elmer Barnes—General Editorial Department, ScrippsHoward Newspapers.
L.M. Birkhead—The Liberal Center, Kansas City, Missouri.
Raymond B. Bragg—Secretary, Western Unitarian Conference.
Edwin Arthur Burtt—Professor of Philosophy, Sage School of Philosophy, Cornell University.
Ernest Caldecott—Minister, First Unitarian Church, Los Angeles, California.
A.J. Carlson—Professor of Physiology, University of Chicago.
John Dewey—Columbia University.
Albert C. Dieffenbach—Formerly Editor of The Christian Register.
John H. Dietrich—Minister, First Unitarian Society, Minneapolis.
Bernard Fantus—Professor of Therapeutics, College of Medicine, University of Illinois.
William Floyd—Editor of The Arbitrator, New York City.
F.H. Hankins—Professor of Economics and Sociology, Smith College.
A. Eustace Haydon—Professor of History of Religions, University of Chicago.
Llewellyn Jones—Literary critic and author.
Robert Morss Lovett—Editor, The New Republic; Professor of English, University of Chicago.
Harold P Marley—Minister, The Fellowship of Liberal Religion, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
R. Lester Mondale—Minister, Unitarian Church, Evanston, Illinois.
Charles Francis Potter—Leader and Founder, the First Humanist Society of New York, Inc.
John Herman Randall, Jr.—Department of Philosophy, Columbia University.
Curtis W. Reese—Dean, Abraham Lincoln Center, Chicago.
Oliver L. Reiser—Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh.
Roy Wood Sellars—Professor of Philosophy, University of Michigan.
Clinton Lee Scott—Minister, Universalist Church, Peoria, Illinois.
Maynard Shipley—President, The Science League of America.
W. Frank Swift—Director, Boston Ethical Society.
V.T. Thayer—Educational Director, Ethical Culture Schools.
Eldred C. Vanderlaan—Leader of the Free Fellowship, Berkeley, California.
Joseph Walker—Attorney, Boston, Massachusetts.
Jacob J. Weinstein—Rabbi; Advisor to Jewish Students, Columbia University.
Frank S.C. Wicks—All Souls Unitarian Church, Indianapolis.
David Rhys Williams—Minister, Unitarian Church, Rochester, New York.
Edwin H. Wilson—Managing Editor, The New Humanist, Chicago, Illinois; Minister, Third Unitarian Church, Chicago, Illinois.

Copyright © 1933 by The New Humanist and 1973 by the American Humanist Association


Permission to reproduce this material, complete and unmodified, in electronic or printout form is hereby granted free of charge by the copyright holder to nonprofit humanist and freethought publications. All other uses, and uses by all others, requires that requests for permission be made through the American Humanist Association, at www.americanhumanist.org.



Comments 9 comments

Chasuk 6 years ago

I will respond to this article in detail after I have had an opportunity to digest it thoroughly, but for now I will make several observations, then ask a single question.

You write of the manifestos as "harbingers of the coming holocaust against us unwanted religious types" and "foundational to the quickly advancing one world religion that will facilitate the carnage."

True or false, I don't know, but consider this:

1. Muslims and Hindus have killed each other for roughly 1200 years.

2. Muslims and Jews have killed each other for roughly 1200 years.

3. Christians and Muslims have killed each other for roughly 1200 years.

4. Christians have killed Jews for roughly 2000 years.

5. There is no sign of this bloodshed abating.

6. A one world religion requires peaceful cooperation.

Now I ask you:

If our secularists could negotiate peaceful cooperation between these combative religions, wouldn't there be less carnage, i.e., wouldn't it be a good thing?


CoauthorU profile image

CoauthorU 6 years ago from Inland Northwest, USA Author

My friend, what is wrong with this picture...

"5. There is no sign of this bloodshed abating.

6. A one world religion requires peaceful cooperation.

Now I ask you:

If our secularists could negotiate peaceful cooperation between these combative religions, wouldn't there be less carnage, i.e., wouldn't it be a good thing?"

Answer: There has been more mass murders under atheistic totalitarian regimes (Marxist Utopian Idealists) in the last hundred years than in the previous 2 thousand. Faith or non-faith man's wicked murderous heart is the problem.

And with many excuses he will enter into these last days carrying on the carnage.

Not the easiest thing for a former preterist to absorb.


Chasuk 6 years ago

You predicted an impending holocaust facilitated by an advancing world religion. Obviously, then, my question pertained to future carnage, not to carnage of the past.

In other words, you sidestepped the question rather than answered it.

Do you care to try again?


CoauthorU profile image

CoauthorU 6 years ago from Inland Northwest, USA Author

Sorry, I did not mean to "sidestep" your two stage (and therein qualified) question, my intended and presented response was meant to be self evident.

Q.

If our secularists could negotiate peaceful cooperation between these combative religions, wouldn't there be less carnage, i.e., wouldn't it be a good thing?"

A.

Your #5 listed above suggested how extremely unlikely and on the very verge of impossible that solution is.

However for the sake of humor allow me to say this "Yes Virginia there is a Santa Clause."

And for the sake of specifically answering your Q. "peaceful cooperation" and "less carnage" and "good thing"..? yes.

And... I will address this great improbability and why there will be a faux "peaceful cooperation" in more detail in the last of this series of Hubs, Manifesto Wrap.


Chasuk 6 years ago

Supergroup A -- comprised of faith groups -- has slaughtered in the past, and will slaughter in the future.

Supergroup B -- comprised of secular groups -- has slaughtered in the past, and will slaughter in the future.

If Supergroup A stops slaughtering, then the sum of of subsequent slaughtering is reduced by the addend of Supergroup A.

We both agree that this would be a good thing.

I believe in the possibility of eventual peaceful cooperation between the groups of Supergroup A, though not necessarily in the probability. You apparently believe in the certainty of this peaceful cooperation, though you also believe that it will be fake.

I think you have implied that this faked peace is the inevitable prelude to the inescapable carnage.

This seems cynical to me, but I'll suspend judgement until your concluding hub.


Roger Crigger profile image

Roger Crigger 6 years ago from Northern Idaho

Let me at this point comment on just one portion of the manifesto, The sentence I'll be addressing reads: "Humanism recognizes that man's religious culture and civilization, as clearly depicted by anthropology and history, are the product of a gradual development due to his interaction with his natural environment and with his social heritage. The individual born into a particular culture is largely molded by that culture." While I can totally agree with this observation I see it as the problem rather than part of the new enlightenment that is supposedly on the horizon. The point being that as people, in general, travel farther and farther away from the "Faith" of our fathers, or faith in ANY Spiritual or supernatural realm, the spirit within us literally starves and the flesh, including and especially the vanity and facade of our own "advanced wisdom and knowledge" takes center stage and leads us to the only other reality that there could be... "There is no God! There is no higher power, there is no creator", further justifying our enlightened recognition that up until recent times, we've believed a fairy tail and it's time to put the barbaric past behind us! Vanity! But more directly and to the point, this line of reasoning and belief has become and/or is becoming the culture into which we are being molded! Amazing to me that according to the humanist line of reasoning we have been 'evolving' for countless thousands of years, and yet, just in the last few centuries we have taken, by comparison, quantum leaps into what is now, "The truth". I would have to continue on this line of discourse for hours to adequately, (much less compellingly), bring, what is more than obvious to me, this faulty deduction fully to light. Time will tell. I will state, as I have countless times before that it is a shame that, because the spirit of man cannot be scientifically proven to exist, it cannot be brought into the mix. Though the absence of individual spirits also cannot be proved, somehow, "you can't prove a negative" has become a show stopper in any such debate.


Roger Crigger profile image

Roger Crigger 6 years ago from Northern Idaho

........ Thank you Merwin for the articles and observations, I'll more than likely be throwing my two cents worth in on the next two, when I have the time to devote my whole attention to them, (It may be a couple of days), This one wore me out!)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

Thank you for this brilliant expose. I agree with your analysis. The Humanist Manifesto is nothing more than Cultural Marxism with the intent to deconstruct faith in God. It is a rebellion that is doomed to fail.


CoauthorU profile image

CoauthorU 6 years ago from Inland Northwest, USA Author

Thank you...

I am sure that it find its failure at at Armageddon.

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