Throughout centuries, the subject of Christianity sustains the dialogue of demonstrating objective truth and the Christian worldview elucidates a divine foundation for biblical authenticity. However, over time other worldviews have begun to introduce their rendition of their objective truths as well. A familiar concept established in other worldviews consist of the disclaiming of Jesus Christ, a well-known spiritual figure in the Christianity faith. As many cynics continue to create an atmosphere or make a new attempt to display evidence that the existence of God is fallacious, the Christian worldview demonstrates a central argument based on valid evidence to dispute such dispositions. This concept is increasing in the American culture as it continues to separate from traditional religions, thus generating an emerging, escalating interest in secular humanism. Secular humanism, along with other worldviews, is a worldview that implies their perception is accurate while denying the absolute truth in the authority of Jesus Christ. This secular worldview arguably maintains many of the aspects of other worldviews in that the absolute truth of Christ is a fabrication and the world was created through the process of evolution. This paper will examine the unproven doctrine of secular humanism through the lens of an objective viewpoint and in an equivalent position, Christianity will be analyzed and affirmed to be the more concrete religion based on absolute truth through theological and scholarly research. The worldview of secular humanism will be explored and systematically evaluated by utilizing Douglas Groothuis’ main categories of belief and evaluation criteria. Additionally, an evaluation of Christianity also demonstrated by Groothuis’ criteria will be examined and compared to secular humanism to substantiate the existence of God as well as a defense of Christianity to support the objective claims. Finally, this paper will conclude with an overview of the central theme and an account of the defense used to establish Christianity as the more sustainable religion.
Summary of Secular Humanism
The religious worldview of secular humanism advances a strategic effort to create a non-theist organized and philosophical belief system for the many individuals who are searching for a systematic way of life and acknowledge their own reality in the process. This worldview emerged in the late nineteenth century and continues to develop and grow into modern day. Although these two worldviews acquire equivalent central topics of beliefs, secular humanisms’ religious insights are significantly diverse from the Christianity faith.
As the worldview of secular humanism upholds a naturalistic viewpoint, it is fervently atheistic, thus negating the presence of any supernatural forces or immaterial entities. Secular humanists believe in the process of evolution as a form of creation rather than a supernatural entity creating the world and forming mankind. Therefore, natural laws within a material universe systematically incorporate their belief system in reality. Through interpreting this logic, Lamont expounds on the fact that secular humanists believe in a naturalistic approach towards the universe, in which nature is known as the totality of being, a continuously changing system of matter and energy that exists independently of any mind or consciousness and all configurations of the supernatural is fictional. Their beliefs in the origin of the universe and life focus on utilizing the scientific method and it is the most valued means for disclosing the mysteries of the world.
Source of Ultimate Authority
With the elimination of a supernatural entity, mankind signifies themselves as the most advanced of all beings in existence, receiving praise and adoration to the highest authority. When an individual holds the self as the ultimate authority, everything in the world revolves around the human being’s ego, especially when integrating the sociological views and philosophical theory of knowledge together. This unequivocally forces men and women of science to focus on the perception of ultimate authority because undisputable knowledge is probable merely through scientific investigation. As secular humanists place ultimate authority in the knowledge of human beings, they also place ultimate authority in their performance as well.
According to secular humanisms’ beliefs, human beings are intricate genetic mechanisms that are the only highly respectable source and they are the result of evolutionary processes over billions of years. They are the center of life and reality, in which they are considered as God since there is no belief in a supernatural deity. Human beings are held in the highest of standards as the use of nature and experiences are their driving tools in forming decisions, in which they are an integral part of the natural world.
Source of Morality
Secular humanists embrace a practical, functional understanding of morality, maintaining a practice of progress through the implementation of ethical dogma. Secular humanism integrates a naturalistic philosophy in that morality and beliefs commence within the individual and are determined exclusively through experiences. Because there is no belief in a supreme deity, ethically, secular humanists weigh the negative against the positive and make decisions depending upon their own perception based on personal needs. Highlighting this principle, Faria denotes, “A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” In addition to the summary, the evaluation process will provide more acumen to the understanding of the secular humanism worldview.
Evaluation of Secular Humanism
Groothuis’ criteria for evaluation allows individuals to become knowledgeable of worldviews as well as utilizing logical reasoning constructed on a foundation of faith that is grounded on facts from experience and Scripture. According to Groothuis, “The best method of apologetic reasoning is hypothesis evaluation and verification.” Although Groothuis’ criteria of evaluation is used in Christian Apologetics, the philosophical testing of secular humanism is performed.
Explains What it Ought to Explain
As secular humanists believe that human life along with the universe are natural occurrences, their belief system fails the test of an accurate and proven explanation. Secular humanism depicts the universe was materialized over 4.5 billion years ago through self-formation, and any immaterial entity or supernatural forces as well as the reality of heaven, hell, and the afterlife are non-existent. This delineates secular humanists as atheists, and atheism became tied to Darwin’s theory of evolution as it moved from simple negation of religious beliefs to an affirmation of liberalism, scientific rationality, and the legitimacy of the institutions and methodology of modern science. The process of evolution exemplifies a naturalistic view, in which an animal will experience minor transformations to adapt to fluctuating conditions without creating a new life. This worldview’s belief system cannot accurately elucidate the creation of the world, so secular humanists’ accept as true that over billions of years ago the amalgamation of certain chemicals merged together to create a single-cell organism. However, scientific evidence has not been able to prove that one life form can transition into another form of life to develop into a formable species.
Internal Logical Consistency
Although secular humanisms’ worldview is distinctly diverse from scientific naturalisms’ worldview, secular humanisms’ worldview is immensely dependent on naturalistic philosophy and secular science as the fundamental source of knowledge. The Humanist Manifesto II, a document outlining the humanist worldview states, “Science affirms that the human species is an emergence from natural evolutionary forces.” As science fails to achieve its criteria for accurate knowledge, secular humanists’ views concerning rational thinking fundamentally contradicts itself. Acknowledging science compels humans to sustain a prior supposition regarding the acquisition of knowledge, instead of obtaining the conviction through the structural requirements of scientism. Not only is knowledge obtained from pure science self-contradicting, but it eliminates any foundations for scientific investigation, weakening the understanding of the coexistence between humans and nature.
The worldview of secular humanism has many inconsistencies that discharge it from being a comprehensible and logical system. Relativism focuses on the consequences of one’s behavior or actions and an action is deemed right only if it produces a greater balance of positive consequences than other accessible alternatives for all individuals. By understanding this practice, relativism refutes the reality of absolute claims, but concurrently offers an absolute claim relating to the absence of objective reality. Additionally, secular humanists’ beliefs of morality, objective reality, and societal justice allow their worldview to hold inconsistent and unreliable values that do not correlate with each other and deplores any form of ethical justice. Based on an idiosyncratic and ethical structure, these moral expressions do not have any objective meaning, therefore, secular humanists sacrifice the permission to articulate ethical judgments.
Secular humanists believe that improving the realms of society denotes a purpose for life; however, it lacks any foundation of any kind. An atheistic practice inexorably robs mankind of definitive importance, purpose, or value by acknowledging God does not exist. Although secular humanists acknowledge this belief system to be a part of the process of evolution, the groundwork for morals and ethics is nonexistent and there is no foundation for the meaning of life. Consequently, the meaning of life loses it importance and purpose, and individuals subjectively construct an explanation based on their psychological preference. Secular humanists’ distinctive understanding of the significance of life is demonstrated through their defense of justice, in which they are determined to enhance civilization; however, their objective ethical structure continues to be indefensible within an atheist belief system.
Evaluation of Christianity
Existing as a worldview that is based entirely on Biblical truths and faith, the Christian worldview holds a monotheistic belief system that places God at the core of its understanding. The Christian worldview asserts the existence of objective truth, proclaiming authentic and unpretentious information found in revelation, therefore, postulating an epistemological narrative that is strongly consistent with empirical data. As research continues to proliferate, an analysis of the Christian worldview will reveal the existence of objective truth through the results of Groothuis’ criteria of evaluation, contrasting to secular humanism.
Explains What it Ought to Explain
The divine affirmation of doctrine of the Christian worldview lies in the existence of a loving, righteous, powerful, and amazing God who is part of the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Christian worldview believes that God is a supernatural spirit who is both Heart and Mind and who created the world and everything that exist in it, as well as mankind. “In the beginning God….” (Genesis 1:1) is the basis for everything that has meaning and purpose. Groothuis denotes concerning truth as “God is a God of truth, whose word is truth (John 17:17). The Holy Spirit is ‘the Spirit of truth’ (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13) and so will teach us true things….” Groothuis also states, “Hence, all of Scripture puts God’s revealed objective truth at the solid center of spiritual and ethical life and faithfulness.” The lucidity of this worldview lies in its valid truth and explanation for the creation of the world and how human life originated. The belief in a heaven, hell, and afterlife allows mankind to obtain purpose and meaning to life and through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, man can receive salvation for their sins. Thus illustrating a logical consistency concerning how life began and how life will expire.
Internal Logical Consistency
The dogmas of Christianity obtain authenticity and validity in the foundation of who God is believed to be and humans have value and significance because they are created in His image. As contradictory as the Trinity is in Christianity, it still finds consistency in the fact that humans have a relationship and love through Christ and it is in line with reality. Christianity presents a more consistent belief system than secular humanism because Liddle conveys there are more inconsistencies in proving science and the process of evolution. Govender further extends, the topics of cosmology and evolutionary biology are problematic in science where philosophical and religious questions may not be easily separated from scientific questions, and may be difficult to answer with science. Reproduction has been proven even through science to occur from its own kind, not originate from a different source. Although secular humanists believe in the process of evolution, the foundation of life from non-life and the origin of information also suggest an intelligent Creator was involved, thus demonstrating that Christianity is validated by the truths of science. Christians believe in Jesus’ resurrection and based on extensively accepted facts, this points exclusively to Christianity even with the illustration of arguments for God’s existence shared by other monotheistic religions.
Because Christians believe to have been created in the image of God, it allows them to be moral beings who respect the value that God has allotted to His creation. According to the Christian worldview, the ethical nature of God is persistent and absolute, and obtaining a relationship with Him allows man to discover who they should be morally and also reveals more about the nature of reality. Christians’ purpose for life is through the Creator and to follow the Son to live out their destinies also gives meaning to life as well. Throughout Scripture, God is shown as a supernatural deity who loves all things good and hates evil. This demonstrates an unmistakable framework that ethics is founded upon. Ethical relativism can cause destruction (Mathew 7:13), therefore, Christian theology and Christian morals are undividable in that they are based on the nature of the Creator. Christianity has an unambiguous ethical and moral framework provided for mankind through the Son of God and revelation in Scripture.
Defense of Christianity
The Christian worldview is not just a traditional belief system, it is an integrated and comprehensive framework, in which the entire world can be viewed through. While secular humanism denies the existence of God, the Christian worldview affirms the very existence of the Creator of the universe who possess righteousness, power, holiness, benevolence, grace, incompatibility, and omniscience. Although secular humanism among other worldviews are becoming more accessible and extroverted, evidence affirms absolute truth against such arguments through the analysis of the Christianity faith. Groothuis among other philosophical and theological authors use empirical data to defend the truth of the Christian worldview through Christianity’s answer to the problem of evil and the resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
Christianity’s Answer to the Problem of Evil
Through ongoing research studies and documented material, scientists find countless ways to challenge the Christian worldview concerning their belief system, especially when there is an integral contradiction between the existence of a loving, omnipotent, and perfectly righteous God and the presence of continuous evil in the world. According to Murphy, two types of evil exists, moral evil, which consists of the intentional and malicious acts of human beings and natural evil, which refers to defectiveness and unintended circumstances (i.e. storms, disease, earthquakes). Many philosophers can agree, this is logically inconsistent with the character of a benevolent God. However, an important concept in historic Christian orthodoxy concerning an answer to the problem of evil rests in Plantinga’s free-will defense.
In the philosophy of religion, Wielenberg directly communicates that the free-will defense is when moral evil is not caused by God, but rather by the decisions of moral agents. He further contends that Plantinga believes a world containing free creatures who are sometimes significantly free and freely perform more good than evil actions is more valuable, all else being equal, than a world containing no free creatures at all. Murphy contends that, “The hiddenness of God’s activity in the world suggests that God has given creation its own functional integrity, so that God will not intervene miraculously to avert all danger from creatures.” God is an all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good supernatural Being who grants man the free will to make choices, good or bad, moral or immoral because He desires mankind to preserve freedom. Bestowing mankind with free will is a compassionate and benevolent deed; however, it produces the probability of the act of rebellion. Humans have rebelled against God since the beginning of time with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and have brought evil into God’s good world heeding the evil lies of Satan. God is not the author of evil because He is righteous and holy; however, man chooses his own actions.
Christianity’s answer to the problem of evil will continue to be a topic of discussion in many worldviews. As free-will and ethical principles hold true to moral and righteous standards, it is unsustainable to hypothesize the world when mankind causes no harm when they have the ability to obtain free-will. Refuting that evil exist with theists and as well as atheists seems logically inconsistent with knowledgeable perceptions and teachings. The Christian worldview postulates an accurate elucidation for the answer to the problem of evil and synchronously displays a devout framework for ethical principles.
Defense of the Resurrection of Jesus
The resurrection of Jesus, witnessed by thousands, demonstrates the immense power of God Himself. The Christian worldview believes in the resurrection of the Son of God because they believe in the all-powerful Godhead who speaks of this truth in His Word. Groothuis expresses, “The Bible affirms that God has revealed certain knowable truths about himself in creation.” Throughout the various books of the Bible, the truth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God died on the cross and rose from the dead. Only the Creator of life has the power and capability to resurrect the dead, and only an omnipresent supernatural being can remove the sting and gain the victory over the grave (1 Corinthians 15:54–55). Each credible author tells the same story of Jesus’ resurrection and through this infinite act, salvation is made possible for the believer who was born into sin because of the fall of mankind. Not only do Christians speak and believe these declarations, but also specialized scholars identify the historical significance of Biblical manuscripts, yielding unambiguous truths as essentially undeniable. These New Testament, specialized scholars acknowledge Jesus died on the cross; He was buried in an unknown tomb; the tomb was empty, and the twelve separate appearances of Jesus postmortem. Through these solid facts alone, the case of Jesus’ resurrection is concrete and many have developed documented evidence from it.
By specifying these elements in the resurrection of Jesus, other worldviews who do not believe in the existence of God utilize alternative scientific or naturalistic suppositions to defend their reasoning for these accounts. However, such truths are backed up by evidence and fail in many diverse capacities. Ellis holds value at the concept that there was no evidence after the beginning of the preaching of Christianity that individuals doubted the narratives concerning Jesus crucifixion because it was of pivotal nature to honor his name. Accordingly, the resurrection of Jesus demonstrates absolute truth and authenticity in its competency in proving these historical and Biblical facts are accurate, while also illustrating logical consistency and comprehensible intelligence without exhibiting false reality.
The secular humanism worldview is an atheistic worldview that denies the existence of any supernatural entity, while placing mankind as the most important being in the universe. Secular humanists view their religion in a naturalistic perspective, encompassing the laws of science as pure knowledge and the process of evolution as the means of creating the world. As the worldview of secular humanism was evaluated, the findings reiterated that their reality and belief system shows that natural laws are the foundation of a material universe and their moral values lacks any substance to life with a purpose. Consequently, through the evaluation of the Christian worldview, scholarly research revealed evidence pointing to the absolute truth of the existence of a benevolent God. The Christian worldview demonstrates internal consistency and logical unfailing facts presented throughout the Bible and other empirical documents from philosophers and theologians. The Christian worldview defends its beliefs through explaining Christianity’s problem with evil in the world and proclaiming and proving Jesus was crucified and resurrected from the dead. Although challenges will continue to emerge concerning the Christian worldview, information will always be available to corroborate the absolute truth.