Francis Schaeffer’s term the “Mannishness of Man” and how it relates to Woody Allen and Charles Darwin!!!

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Naturalistic, Materialistic, World View

Francis Schaeffer and  Gospel of Christ in the pages of the Bible

Francis Schaeffer’s term the “Mannishness of Man” and how it relates to Woody Allen and Charles Darwin!!! Schaeffer noted that everyone has these two things constantly pulling at them. First, it is the universe and its form and second, it is the mannishness of man. If one does not realize that God created them in the image of God where they can know right and wrong and worship their Creator then they will be longing throughout their life and even though they may say that we are a product of chance, like Allen did in his recent film MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT, he still is left with an empty feeling. Furthermore, Paul in  Romans 1 brings out these same two factors. In this post I am not going to spend much time on the demonstration that Woody Allen has dealt with the issues for the simple reason that I have done that over and over again in my previous posts. However, I will look at what Schaeffer says about Allen but mostly what he says about Charles Darwin and I will be providing extensive quotes from Darwin’s own autobiography Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray.

The Search for an Adequate World-View: A Question of Method
Before we consider various possibilities, we must settle the question of method. What is it we are expecting our “answer” to answer?
There are a number of things we could consider, but at this point we want to concentrate on just two. The first is what we will call “the universe and its form,” and the second is “the mannishness of man.” The first draws attention to the fact that the universe around us is like an amazing jigsaw puzzle. We see many details, and we want to know how they fit together. That is what science is all about. Scientists look at the details and try to find out how they all cohere. So the first question that has to be answered is: how did the universe get this way? How did it get this form, this pattern, this jigsawlike quality it now has?
Second, “the mannishness of man” draws attention to the fact that human beings are different from all other things in the world. Think, for example, of creativity. People in all cultures of all ages have created many kinds of things, from “High Art” to flower arrangements, from silver ornaments to high-technology supersonic aircraft. This is in contrast to the animals about us. People also fear death, and they have the aspiration to truly choose. Incidentally, even those who in their writings say we only think we choose quickly fall into words and phrases that only make sense if they are wrong and we do truly choose. Human beings are also unique in that they verbalize. That is, people put concrete and abstract concepts into words which communicate these concepts to other people. People also have an inner life of the mind; they remember the past and make projections into the future. One could name other factors, but these are enough to differentiate people from other things in the world.
What world-view adequately explains the remarkable phenomenon of the distinctiveness of human beings? There is one world-view which can explain the explain the existence of the universe, its form, and the uniqueness of people – the world-view given to us in the Bible. There is a remarkable parallel between the way scientists go about checking to see if what they think about reality does in fact correspond to it and the way the biblical world-view can be checked to see if it is true.
Many people, however, react strongly against this sort of claim. They see the problem – Where has everything come from and why is it the way it is? – but they do not want to consider a solution which involves God. God, they say, belongs to “religion,” and religious answers, they say, do not deal with facts. Only science deals with facts. Thus, they say, Christian answers are not real answers; they are “faith answers.”
This is a strange reaction, because modern people pride themselves on being open to new ideas, on being willing to consider opinions which contradict what has been believed for a long time. They think this is what “being scientific” necessitates. Suddenly, however, when one crosses into the area of the “big” and most basic questions (like those we are considering now) with an answer involving God, the shutters are pulled down, the open mind closes and a very different attitude, a dogmatic rationalism, takes over.80
This is curious -first, because few seem to notice that the humanist explanations of the big and most basic questions is just as much a “faith answer” as any could be. With the humanist world-view everything begins with only matter; whatever has developed has developed only within matter, a reordering of matter by chance.
Even though materialistic scientists have no scientific understanding of why things exist, nor any certain scientific understanding of how life began, and even though this world-view leaves them with vast problems – the problems Woody Allen has described of “alienation, loneliness [and] emptiness verging on madness” – many modern people still reject at once any solution which uses the word God, in favor of the materialistic humanist “answer” which answers nothing. This is simply prejudice at work.
We need to understand, however, that this prejudice is both recent and arbitrary. Professor Ernest Becker, who taught at the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco State College, said that for the last half-million years people have always believed in two worlds – one that was visible and one that was invisible. The visible world was where they lived their everyday lives; the invisible world was more powerful, for the meaning and existence of the visible world was dependent on it. Suddenly in the last century and a half, as the ideas of the Enlightenment have spread to the whole of Western culture, we have been told quite arbitrarily that there is no invisible world. This has become dogma for many secular people today.
Christians try to answer prejudices like these by pointing out that the biblical system does not have to be accepted blindly, any more than the scientific hypotheses have to be accepted blindly. What a scientist does is to examine certain phenomena in the world. He then casts about for an explanation that will make sense of these phenomena. That is the hypothesis. But the hypothesis has to be checked. So a careful checking operation is set up, designed to see if there is, in fact, a correspondence between what has been observed and what has been hypothesized. If it does correspond, a scientist accepts the explanation as correct; if it does not, he rejects it as false and looks for an alternative explanation. Depending on how substantially the statement has been “verified,” it becomes accepted as a “law” within science, such as the law of gravity or the second law of thermodynamics.
What we should notice is the method. It is rather like trying to find the right key to fit a particular lock. We try the first key and then the next and the next until finally, if we are fortunate, one of them fits. The same principle applies, so Christians maintain, when we consider the big questions. Here are the phenomena. What key unlocks their meaning? What explanation is correct?
We may consider the materialistic humanist alternative, the Eastern religious alternative, and so on. But each of these leaves at least a part of these most basic questions unanswered. So we turn to examine the Christian alternative.
Obviously, Christians do not look on the Bible as simply an alternative. As Christians we consider it to be objectively true, because we have found that it does give the answers both in knowledge and in life. For the purposes of discussion, however, we invite non-Christians to consider it as an alternative – not to be accepted blindly, but for good and sufficient reasons.
But note this – the physical scientist does something very easy, compared to those who tackle the really important and central questions for mankind. He examines a tiny portion of the real world – a leaf, a cell, an atom, a particle – and, because these things are not personal and obey very precise laws, he is able to arrive at explanations with relative ease. C. F. A. Pantin, who was professor of zoology at Cambridge University, once said: “Very clever men are answering the relatively easy questions of the natural examination paper.” This is not to disparage physical science. It works consistently with its own principles of investigation, looking further and further into the material of the world around us. But it only looks at part of the world. As Professor W. H. Thorpe of Cambridge University says, it is “a deliberate restriction to certain areas of our total experience – a technique for understanding certain parts of that experience and achieving mastery over nature.”
We are not then moving from definite things to indefinite things, when we look at those aspects of our experience which are more central than the study of an individual physical thing such as a leaf, a cell, an atom, or a particle. Rather, we are turning from a small part of reality to a larger part of reality. Picture a scientist for a moment: he is looking at a particular detail and carrying out his scientific investigation according to the recognized procedures. We have already discussed the method he uses to find the answers. Now we need to draw back and consider the whole phenomenon we are looking at, that is, the scientist carrying out his experiment. When the scientist is seated at his desk, he is able to find answers to his questions only because he has made two colossal assumptions about his situation, in fact about the entire world. He is assuming first of all that the things he is looking at do fit together somehow, even if some areas – such as particle physics – cannot at this time be fitted into a simple explanation. If the scientist did not assume that the things he is studying somehow fit together, he would not be trying to find an answer. Second, he is assuming that he as a person is able to find answers.
In other words, the big questions constitute the very framework within which the scientist is operating. To quote Thorpe again, “I recently heard one of the most distinguished theoretical scientists state that his own scientific drive was based on two fundamental attitudes: a conviction of his own responsibility and an awe at the beauty and harmony of nature.” So we have to resist any suggestion that to be involved in answering the big questions is somehow to be getting further and further away from “the real world.”
The opposite is the case. It is as we come to these big questions that we approach the real world that every one of us is living in twenty-four hours a day – the world of real persons who can think and so work out problems such as how to get to the other side of town, persons who can love, persons who can make moral decisions. These are, in other words, the phenomena which cry out for an adequate explanation. These are the things we know best about ourselves and the world around us. What world-view can encompass them?
C. S. Lewis pointed out that there are only two alternatives to the Christian answer – the humanist philosophy of the West and the pantheist philosophy of the East. We would agree. We agree, too, with his observation that Eastern philosophy is an “opposite” to the Christian system, but we shall look at that later. For the present our attention is directed toward the materialistic world-view of the West.
From time to time we read in the press or hear on the radio that an oil tanker has run aground on rocks and that the crude oil is being driven by the wind and currents onto an otherwise beautiful coast. We can picture the problem of humanism in that way. There is a rock on which all humanist philosophy must run aground. It is the problem of relative knowledge and relative morality or, to put it another way, the problem of finiteness or limitation. Even if mankind now had perfect moral integrity regarding the world, people would still be finite. People are limited. This fact, coupled with the rejection of the possibility of having answers from God, leads humanists into the problem of relative knowledge. There has been no alternative to this relativity for the past 200 years, and there can be no alternative within the humanist world-view. That is what we want to show now.

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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A nice parallel can be made between Woody Allen’s struggle with the issue of the mannishness of man and that of Charles Darwin. Below is something that Charles Darwin wrote looking back on his life:

“It is impossible to answer your question briefly; and I am not sure that I could do so, even if I wrote at some length. But I may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide.

Francis Schaeffer observed:

So he sees here exactly the same that I would labor and what Paul gives in Romans chapter one, and that is first this tremendous universe [and it’s form] and the second thing, the mannishness of man and the concept of this arising from chance is very difficult for him to come to accept and he is forced to leap into this, his own kind of Kierkegaardian leap, but he is forced to leap into this because of his presuppositions but when in reality the real world troubles him. He sees there is no third alternative. If you do not have the existence of God then you only have chance. In my own lectures I am constantly pointing out there are only two possibilities, a personal God or this concept of the impersonal plus time plus chance.  You will notice that he divides it into the same two points that Paul does in Romans into and that Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) will in the problem of existence, the external universe, and man and his consciousness. Paul points out there are these two things that man is confronted with. Two things is the real world, the universe and its form and I usually quote Jean Paul Sartre here, and Sartre says the basic philosophic problem is that something is there rather than nothing is there and I then I add at the point the very thing that Darwin feels and that is it isn’t a bare universe that is out there, it is an universe in a specific form. I always bring in Einstein and the uniformity of the form of the universe and that it is constructed as a well formulated word puzzle or you have Carl Gustav Jung who says two things cut across a man’s will that he can not truly be automous, the external world and what Carl Gustav Jung would call his “collected unconsciousness.” It is the thing that curns up out of man, the mannishness of man. Darwin understood way back here this is a real problem. So he says “the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrouse universe,” part one, the real world, the external universe, and part two “with our conscious selves arose through chance” and then he goes on and says this is not “an argument of real value.” This only thing he has to put in its place is his faith in his own theory.

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Here below is the Romans passage that Schaeffer is referring to and verse 19 refers to what Schaeffer calls “the mannishness of man” and verse 20 refers to Schaeffer’s other point which is  “the universe and it’s form.”

Romans 1:18-22Amplified Bible (AMP)

18 For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative.

19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them.

20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification],

21 Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor andglorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile andgodless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.

22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].

Francis Schaeffer commented:

Now Darwin is going to set forth two arguments for God in this and again you will find when he comes to the end of this that he is in tremendous tension. Darwin wrote, 

“At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons. Formerly I was led by feelings such as those just referred to (although I do not think that the religious sentiment was ever strongly developed in me), to the firm conviction of the existence of God and of the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that whilst standing in the midst of the grandeur of a Brazilian forest, ‘it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, admiration, and devotion which fill and elevate the mind.’ I well remember my conviction that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body; but now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind,

 

Francis Schaeffer observed:

 

Now Darwin says when I look back and when I look at nature I came to the conclusion that man can not be just a fly! But now Darwin has moved from being a younger man to an older man and he has allowed his presuppositions to enter in to block his logic. These things at the end of his life he had no intellectual answer for. To block them out in favor of his theory. Remember the letter of his that said he had lost all aesthetic senses when he had got older and he had become a clod himself. Now interesting he says just the same thing, but not in relation to the arts, namely music, pictures, etc, but to nature itself. Darwin said, “But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions  and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind…” So now you see that his presuppositions have not only robbed him of the beauty of man’s creation in art, but now the universe. He can’t look at it now and see the beauty. The reason he can’t see the beauty is very simple: THE BEAUTY DRIVES HIM TO DISTRACTION. THIS IS WHERE MODERN MAN IS AND IT IS HELL. The art is hell because it reminds him of man and how great man is, and where does it fit in his system? It doesn’t. When he looks at nature and it’s beauty he is driven to the same distraction and so consequently you find what has built up inside him is a real death, not  only the beauty of the artistic but the beauty of nature. 

Darwin wrote:

…and the universal belief by men of the existence of redness makes my present loss of perception of not the least value as evidence. This argument would be a valid one if all men of all races had the same inward conviction of the existence of one God; but we know that this is very far from being the case. Therefore I cannot see that such inward convictions and feelings are of any weight as evidence of what really exists. The state of mind which grand scenes formerly excited in me, and which was intimately connected with a belief in God, did not essentially differ from that which is often called the sense of sublimity; and however difficult it may be to explain the genesis of this sense, it can hardly be advanced as an argument for the existence of God, any more than the powerful though vague and similar feelings excited by music.

Francis Schaeffer noted:

You notice that Darwin had already said he had lost his sense of music [appreciation]. However, he brings forth what I think is a false argument. I usually use it in the area of morality. I mention that anthropologists point out that different people have different moral [systems]  and this is perfectly true, but what the materialist anthropologist can never point out is why man has a sense of moral motion and that is the problem here. Therefore, it is perfectly true that men have different concepts of God and different concepts of moral motion, but Darwin himself is not satisfied in his own position and WHERE DO THEY [MORAL MOTIONS] COME FROM AT ALL? So you are wrestling with the same dilemma here in this reference as you do in the area of all things human. For these men it is not the distinction that raises the problem, but it is the overwhelming factor of the existence of the humanness of man, the mannishness of man. The simple fact is he saw that you are shut up to either God or chance, and he said basically “I don’t see how it could be chance” and at the same time he looks at a mountain or listens to a piece of music it is a testimony that really chance isn’t sufficient enough. So gradually with the sensitivity of his own inborn self conscience he kills it. He deliberately  kills the beauty so it doesn’t argue with his theory. Maybe I am being false to Darwin here. Who can say about Darwin’s subconscious thoughts? It seems to me though this is exactly the case. What you find is a man who can’t stand the argument of the external beauty and the mannishness of man so he just gives it up in this particular place.

The Best Art References in Woody Allen Films Image via Complex / APJAC Productions

Film: Play It Again, Sam (1972)

In 1972’s Play It Again, Sam, Allen plays a film critic trying to get over his wife’s leaving him by dating again. In one scene, Allen tries to pick up a depressive woman in front of the early Jackson Pollock work. This painting, because of its elusive title, has been the subject of much debate as to what it portrays. This makes for a nifty gag when Allen strolls up and asks the suicidal belle, “What does it say to you?”

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Woody Allen in Play It Again Sam

Uploaded on May 20, 2009

Scene from ‘Play it Again Sam’ (1972)

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Allan: That’s quite a lovely Jackson Pollock, isn’t it?

Museum Girl: Yes, it is.

Allan: What does it say to you?

Museum Girl: It restates the negativeness of the universe. The hideous lonely emptiness of existence. Nothingness. The predicament of Man forced to live in a barren, Godless eternity like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void with nothing but waste, horror and degradation, forming a useless bleak straitjacket in a black absurd cosmos.

Allan: What are you doing Saturday night?

Museum Girl: Committing suicide.

Allan: What about Friday night?

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Woody Allen Contemplates God in “Hannah & Her Sisters”

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Woody Allen on insanity and Cate Blanchett

 

12 Questions for Woody Allen

 

 

 

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