Saturday, March 12, 2005

What are they talking about???


Vox Apologia IX

Will be hosted here - and, if all goes well…

It’ll have a surprise thrown in.

The subject is: “Glory to Man in the Highest: Humanism’s Dangerous Claim".

This is my “pet subject” - so gimme something good :D

I have no idea what "Humanism's Dangerous Claim" is.... so, I went to
  1. A system of thought that centers on humans and their values, capacities, and worth.

  2. Concern with the interests, needs, and welfare of humans: "the newest flower on the vine of corporate humanism" (Savvy).

  3. Medicine The concept that concern for human interests, values, and dignity is of the utmost importance to the care of the sick.

  4. The study of the humanities; learning in the liberal arts.

  5. Humanism A cultural and intellectual movement of the Renaissance that emphasized secular concerns as a result of the rediscovery and study of the literature, art, and civilization of ancient Greece and Rome.

None of this looks particularly dangerous to me; maybe, the Renaissance had something to do with it...

The Renaissance actually consists in Neo-Platonic pantheism, which was more or less consciously present during the entire period -- it was indeed the sole font of thought. It is in the spirit of Neo-Platonism that Humanism divinizes man as a free and independent entity, and seeks the explanation of all reality. It is in the Neo-Platonic spirit that the state was to be considered as above all morality, that cunning was to be called a virtue, and that the Protestant Reform was to seek justification for individual interpretation of Sacred Scripture. Neo-Platonism was the heritage which the Renaissance passed on to the following ages; these in turn developed the germs of immanentism contained in it.

How was it possible that the Renaissance philosophers, the majority of whom were Christians, could think and live like pagans? The answer is to be found in what has been said of the principle of the double truth; the falsity of the principle was not fully realized at the time of the Renaissance.

It would be a grave error to believe that the exaltation of man and of nature could be attained in no other way than through Neo-Platonism. For this exaltation can be achieved, and on a much higher level, through the doctrine of Christianity. The Christian concept of the exaltation of man and of nature is profoundly different from that of Neo-Platonism and the Renaissance, because of the radical antithesis which exists between transcendentalism and immanentism. For the Renaissance, man and nature are the Divine (God); for Christianity, they are the image of God and hence have divine value. In man this divine value consists in the supernatural (grace). It does not destroy nature but unites it to the Divinity. In this order of transcendence, man and nature find their real value; and the problem of evil, inexplicable in any Neo-Platonic system of thought, finds it justification. The humanists of the fifteenth century could have risen to the truly Christian motives for man's nobility. Instead, they bound themselves to paganism and Neo-Platonism, and plunged, unknowingly, into pantheism and immanentism.

Look, the fact that you can be declared an enemy combatant and stripped of your citizenship is dangerous. The fact that the government could pass a draft law and ship your butt to Iraq is dangerous. The fact that white supremacists are committing acts of terrorism on American soil this year seems dangerous. Heck, by comparison, Mossback's concern over child support issues highlights an issue more dangerous to Americans than "humanism."

But to claim that a 400+ year old philosophy has "dangerous" claims in the world of drive-by shootings, oil depletion, global warming, pestillence, starvation, religious strife, etc. is simply absurd.

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