Thursday, March 2, 2017

Man is Man only in Christ

"The mystery of human nature is unknown to humanism and therefore humanistic anthropology is false from its roots up. Humanism knows man only as a natural object, and does not know man as a supernatural subject. Humanistic consciousness is oppressed by Copernicus's discovery. And it transfers anthropocentrism. Man is of a low origin and has no calling whatever, but by his own powers he rises through various degrees of the natural world and makes himself the end and object, the final goal. Fatefully and inevitably, humanism in the nineteenth century leads to positivism, to the forced installation of man in the limited territory of the given, natural world. Humanistic positivism would like to put an end to man's consciousness of belonging to two worlds. There is no other world; man belongs wholly to this one and in it he must seek happiness. But in this world man is a slave of necessity, an infinitely tiny part of the gigantic mechanism of nature. Naturalism and positivism definitely degrade man. They even deny man, for man is more than a bunch of impressions, changing sensations, a fractional part of the circular eddy of nature. In positivism that truth of the humanism of the Renaissance disappears, which was connected with the revival of antiquity as human value. And humanism is reborn as anti-humanism; it denies man. Without God and the God-man, the real man, man the microcosm, the king of nature, cannot exist. Either man is the image and likeness of Absolute Divine Being, and then he is a free spirit, the king and the centre of nature, or else he is the image and likeness of our given natural world, and in this case man does not exist--he is only one of the passing expressions of nature. We must choose; either man's freedom in God, or the necessity of a passing phenomenon in the natural world. In its positivistic limitation, humanism chose the latter and thus committed murder in thought; it refused man's higher consciousness of himself, transcending the given natural world, and thus denied man's primogeniture, betrayed man for the sake of adjustment to the given world of nature and for happiness within it. The fate of humanism is a great tragedy of man who seeks an anthropological revelation. The lack of anthropological revelation moves into the way of humanism..."

The Meaning of the Creative Act, Nicolas Berdyaev, New York: Collier, 1962, 83-84.
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