Modern isms

1995 Autumn Lectures

1. Libertarianism

By Philip Vander Elst

The twentieth Century has highly prized human freedom. Totalitarian state control in the former Communist countries has been seen to collapse. Is there now a moral danger from the political right where some advocate freedom unfettered by morality?

2. Nihilism

By Bishop Lesslie Newbigin

If Enlightenment thinking (see Optimistic Humanism) leads to the death of God, Nihilism, according to Nietzsche saw ‘the death of his murderer’. Nihilism rejects absolutes and objective meaning.

3. Optimistic Humanism

By Revd David Holloway

The Human race is destined to progress. This idea has come to dominate modern thought. Man will be his own salvation through science and democracy. Belief in God is not only seen as irrelevant, it is positively harmful. Enlightenment thinking which began 300 years ago has come to dominate the Western World. Its ideas were formally codified in the 1933 Humanist Manifesto.