Some Philosophical Faces Of Humanism

Definitions & Descriptions

Secularism

The belief that all things are earthly, physical and temporal, that is, that nothing is heavenly, spiritual, or eternal.

Rationalism

The belief that human reason is the only foundation for knowledge, that is, that Divine revelation must be excluded.

Scientism

The belief that the scientific methodology is the best means for determining truth. As an extension of rationalism, scientism rejects Divine revelation.

Relativism

The belief that there are no absolutes, that is, that all things are relative.

Naturalism

The belief that nature is all there is, that is, that there is no supernatural.

Materialism

The belief that matter is all there is - that the mind is but a part of matter. Since all matter is natural, then materialism is but an extension of naturalism.

Hedonism

The belief that whatever gives the greatest pleasure is the greatest good to be sought.

Statism

The belief that civil government is the highest and final authority governing all human conduct. It contends that man is a product of the state, that there are no ethical standards beyond those established by the state, and that man is accountable only to the state. Its form may appear as monarchy, democracy, fascism, socialism, etc.

Egalitarianism

The belief that everyone should have equal political and social rights and opportunities. Politically, this leads to socialism. Socially, it leads to feminism.

Socialism

The belief that society (not individuals) should own, produce and distribute material goods for all individuals to share as socially regulated.

Feminism

The belief that men and women should have equal authority, roles and responsibilities in all things, that is, that there should be no sexual distinctions.

Multi-culturalism

The belief that all cultures are of equal value, that is, that there is no single culture of greater or lesser value than any other culture.

Globalism

The belief that all nations should be subservient to a one world international federal government.

Many people who profess not to accept one or more of these various philosophical faces of humanism may nonetheless act (however unknowingly) as though they accept such beliefs.

( Copyright by Robert L. Waggoner, 6/28/1994)