One of the most popular philosophies people use to boost their self-esteem is Humanism, a system of values and beliefs based on the idea people are basically good and that problems can be solved using reason instead of religion. Humanism also generally prefers individual thought and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over established doctrine or faith (fideism).
Humanism is based on the supposition people are basically good which suggests goodness is a state of being when it is not. Goodness is a state of doing. Reason may be able to get someone out of a pit but without instruction and sound doctrine what prevents a person from falling in the first place?
Evidence proves humans have more potential than any living creature, but to assume having great potential makes humans good is easily debatable. From ecology to human rights it is apparent humanism alone has done more harm than good for the simple truth it assumes responsibility is inherent when it is not.
The Humanist stands behind rational thought, but whatever good can come from rational thought is negated by an under abundance of rational thinkers on both sides of the equation.
The fundamental problem with any self-aggrandizing philosophy is it is comprised of fallible beings. The greatest stumbling block a person has to overcome is himself. If humanism consists of humans and humans are the problem, how can a disease be its own cure?
The only way to know whether a belief system or philosophy is sound is to look at which ones have endured the test of time. The Jews have been around from the beginning just as God’s word preordained. The Minoans are gone. Mayans – gone. The Babylonians – gone. Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans – all gone. Russia split up. The Europeans consolidated. America could not make it 100 years without a civil war. Today its debt is greater and influence weaker than ever before. So much for the attributes of reason and rational thought.
While Israel’s power and influence was increasing they were practicing and protecting God’s doctrine. Unfortunately, even they could not manage such wealth and power without falling prey to humanism – more specifically: the self-proclaimed right to glorify oneself without giving proper credit where credit is due.
Human beings do not just make mistakes – they compound them. Human beings left to their own devises are self-destructive. When people get hurt, instead of doing things to facilitate healing, they damage themselves further as well as those they love. The saying ‘You only hurt the ones you love’ is universally accepted thanks to humanism. Humanists have to accept such nonsense in order to maintain their rank of lord and master in spite of the truth being ‘You only hurt the ones you love – because you do not know any better.’
A corrupt knowledge of God has no blessing. True knowledge of God inspires the enlightened to take on jobs and responsibilities the average non-believer would consider inconvenient or demeaning. Non-believers resist and complain when burdened by the same experiences believers find joy and strength. Humble believers will always rise to the occasion while content egotists have nowhere to go but down.
Without Godly doctrine and instruction, man will cycle himself from having nothing and appreciating everything to becoming a culture which has everything and appreciates nothing and back again. Therefore one of the main symptoms associated to people who subscribe to humanism will be to rise and fall in and out of wealth, love, power and popularity.
In the Industrial age, man enhanced production which fed the notion he could manage himself apart from God. Rapid manufacturing and distribution created great wealth which opened the door to greed. Greed led to short-term thinking and mismanagement. It is inevitable in any industrialized nation with means, one day everyone will have everything they need and more. However, when demand dwindles, businesses no longer have a purpose and what is left is a whole lot of folks with everything but the means to support themselves. The one thing the Industrial age did was get us through the cycle of poverty to wealth to mismanagement to depression in record time.
The same humanist cycle of events occurs in the spiritual realm. Enlightenment leads to evangelism which leads to discipleship. Eventually, everyone will have a superficial knowledge of doctrine which will become a form of power. Power will be mismanaged, and, for our own good, God will cloud his own revelation in order to protect us from corrupting ourselves further.
Why do Humanists have an aversion to the Bible? – Aside from the poor examples set by many Christians, they do not want the responsibility which comes from a relationship with its author. It is convenient to dismiss the concept we should be beholden to something greater for our existence. It is more appealing to believe we are empowering ourselves through another evolutionary stage.
Humanists are anti-religion, but so was Jesus. The difference between Humanists and Christians is Christians humble themselves by glorifying God while Humanists raise themselves by lowering God, and, by association, the standard set in place to sustain them. Consequently, a belief in anything which gives its followers the right to “feel” good without the act and responsibility of doing good can have no sustaining power.
When someone attempts to feel good by pleasing themselves (often at someone or something else’s expense), the feeling they are sensing may be intoxicating but it is not goodness. Addictions also captivate the senses and emotions but no one would regard these behaviors as good no matter how much pleasure they bring.
If you want to feel good about yourself, you must first understand what entitles someone to have good feelings. People mistakenly feel good after a meal when they should instead show an act of gratitude. The only ones with the right to feel good are those who worked directly or indirectly to provide, prepare and serve the food.
If a person feels good after a meal and does not show gratitude, he steals what rightfully belongs to the host. It is not in the consumption of the gift which should trigger good feelings but understanding the proper place and duty of the recipient to give thanks and praise to the master of the feast.
If we choose to accept and follow Jesus Christ in order to make ourselves feel good we may never find the righteous path he provided. Good feelings have no power to change a person’s inherent nature. What is interesting is a true believer is not concerned with satisfying a desire to feel good. For someone who is good (not because of anything they have done, but because of what God has done for them), the temporary high of feeling good will pale in comparison to the permanent joy and peace available to them through a thankful heart.
Humanism offers a counterfeit version of pride which serves as a precarious foundation for joy. Humanism also short circuits God’s blessing by insisting there is little outside of ourselves for which to be thankful. It is true humanism can motivate people, but to what extent? – to live an enviable fast-paced life without a destination?
God’s word was not written to insist but to assist; not to force but to free; not to harm but to heal. God, through our thankfulness, provides an unshakable assurance of peace which no man can steal. It would be more than a shame to gloat over our meager humanity when God has called us to something so much greater. It would be a sin.