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A Fatal Flaw of Humanism

Romans 1:25 ominously warns that those who worshiped idols had “exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”

In Christian contexts, the word “idols”is probably overused. In linguistics, they call it “semantic satiation,” a phenomenon that occurs when a term is used so often it loses its meaning. [1] To avoid this problem, a more accurate way to think about idol worship is to think of it as offering religious, or quasi-religious, praise and veneration for anything that is not the Creator God who has revealed himself in creation and His written Word.

In this sense, our secular society has decided to praise and venerate the human being, making humanism the false religion of the modern age.

The insidious danger of this practice is the fact that human beings were corrupted by the fall in the Garden of Eden and incapable of true holiness. This was reinforced when, in Jeremiah 17:9, even God’s chosen people of Judah are warned that “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

This assertion is not merely religious philosophizing, it is reinforced by the evidence of day-to-day life. Human beings make mistakes, they are hypocritical, deceive themselves, lack self-discipline, and repeatedly fall back into old and evil habits like lying, abusing substances, and mistreating their loved ones.

It is therefore not surprising that literature often comments on the confusion and hypocrisy that often defines the human experience. One such example is George Orwell’s often-cited book, 1984, in which the inhabitants of the dystopian country go through their lives attempting to engage in “Doublethink”which is defined in the text as “the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct.”[2]

In the world of 1984, there is no objective truth. Even the existence of individual human beings is a questionable truth since everyone in this dystopia is at risk of being “Unpersoned.”

Although such a reality seems extreme, the fictional phenomenon of Doublethink is based on events that happen in the real world. For example, both AP News and The Huffington Post, two publications that are moderately and extremely leftist, recently ran contradictory pieces covering President Biden’s student-debt forgiveness announcement.

The AP News article said “President Joe Biden says he hopes his proposal to forgive federal student loans will narrow the nation’s racial wealth gap. But a generation of Black and Hispanic Americans was disproportionately shut out of one of the keys to Biden’s plan [emphasis added]: the Pell Grant program.” [3]

In contrast, the Huffington Post article said, “We mustn’t underestimate that a good portion of the white tears shed after Biden’s historic [student debt relief] announcement also came from the jealousy of not being given another tax break…[they] actually love welfare ― as long as it favors them.”[4]

How can the same political faction describe the student debt relief plan as simultaneously advantaging and disadvantaging nonwhites?

Of course, that is not to say that there cannot be disagreements on the same side of a political spectrum, but this very disagreement illustrates just how incoherent the “religion”of humanism can be: if humans cannot agree on something as simple as Biden’s student-debt plan, how much less capable are they of agreeing on what constitutes good and evil?

Christians ought to avoid being seduced by the prevailing sentiment of humanism and remember the teachings of Galatians 6:3 “If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.”We are not and have never been worthy of being our own gods.

Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.


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