OUR NATIONAL DIVIDE: SECULAR MORALITY VERSUS THE CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW — PART 4D

Organizations like the International Humanist and Ethical Union use the “Happy Human” symbol, based on a 1965 design by Denis Barrington (from here (en.wikipedia.org)). Christianity is usually symbolized by the Bible and/or a cross.

This is the fourth part of the following topic in bold below.

Are The Conflicts That Arise Because Of The Differences Between The Christian Worldview And Secular Morality The Cause Of Our National Divide?

What is the subtopic in this post?

Do Our Political Divisions Match Our Religious Divisions?

Making Sense Of The Last Three Posts

When we compare American Christians with American Secularists to determine what divides us, there are no obvious differences, but Christianity and Secularism are different. Christians and Secularists have different ways of resolving moral issues. In the last three posts, we discussed the formation of our consciences, the origins of modern Secular morality, and the differences in the way Christians and Secularists view humility, the opposite of pride. Why? How does the formation of our consciences, our view of morality, and our regard for humility create the potential for conflict? Let’s summarize the differences.

Conscience

Both Christians and Secularists begin the formation of their consciences the same way. Both pay attention to the feedback that they receive from those around them. The Christian, however, considers a mature conscience one that regards the All-Seeing Spectator as the final authority on right and wrong. The Secularist, on the other hand, does not overtly points to such a final authority. Nevertheless, what a Secularist considers a properly formed conscience depends upon whom he turns to as his final authority.

The Origin of Secular Morality

Because we share America’s Christian heritage, Christians and Secularists still share similar ideas about what constitutes right and wrong. However, because we turn to different arbiters to resolve moral issues, the divide between Christians and Secularists is rapidly increasing.  Whereas Christians use the Bible as their source of wisdom and truth, Secularists claim to seek the greatest happiness for all. Therefore, Secularists effectively use a “majority vote” to decide moral issues.

The Definition of Humility

Christians see humility primarily as a willing obedience to God. Secularists/Atheists define humility in terms of the collective, putting the needs of the group above the needs of the individual.

The Christian puts his faith in the wisdom of God, as manifested by the Bible, and the Secularist put his faith in the wisdom of man, worldly wisdom usually as manifested by the government. That difference, because Secularists demand that all of us must humble ourselves before the will of the majority — the demands of the government — creates a severe problem for Christians. Secularists, because their final authority on the collective will and morality is government, must almost inevitably demand that Christians render unto Caesar that which they can only rightfully render unto God. 

Different Sources Of Wisdom

Christian Wisdom

Christians believe wisdom comes from God through His Word.

Psalm 111:10 New American Standard Bible

10 The [a]fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;

All those who [b]follow His commandments have a good understanding;

His praise endures forever.

And Christians believe in asking for wisdom from God.

Psalm 25:4-5 New American Standard Bible

4 Make me know Your ways, Lord;

Teach me Your paths.

Lead me in Your truth and teach me,

For You are the God of my salvation;

For You I wait all the day.

What is the gain of Godly wisdom? Among other things? Peace.

James 3:13-18 New American Standard Bible

Wisdom from Above

13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and [a]selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, [b]natural, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and [c]selfish ambition exist, [d]there is disorder and every evil thing. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, [e]reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, [f]impartial, free of hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace [g]by those who make peace.

Secular Wisdom

What do Secularists uphold as their sources of wisdom? Consider Abraham Maslow – Wikipedia => https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Maslow#Hierarchy_of_needs.

An interpretation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, represented as a pyramid, with the more basic needs at the bottom (from Abraham Maslow – Wikipedia).

Note that Maslow’s Hierarchy describes a godless progression of needs from entirely fleshly to more spiritual needs. What exactly is Self-actualization? That depends upon the person.

Self-Actualization Needs

At the very peak of Maslow’s hierarchy are the self-actualization needs. “What a man can be, he must be,” Maslow explained, referring to the need people have to achieve their full potential as human beings.

According to Maslow’s definition of self-actualization, “It may be loosely described as the full use and exploitation of talents, capabilities, potentialities, etc. Such people seem to be fulfilling themselves and to be doing the best that they are capable of doing. They are people who have developed or are developing to the full stature of which they capable.”

Self-actualizing people are self-aware, concerned with personal growth, less concerned with the opinions of others, and interested in fulfilling their potential.

The 5 Levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (verywellmind.com)

What motivates people to self-actualize? That is not clear. Do we actually have to satisfy other needs lower in the pyramid before we attempt self-actualization? No, but why not?

Comparing Christian With Secular Wisdom

Maslow himself thought his hierarchy incomplete. So, there is an expanded model of Maslow’s Hierachy that includes Transcendence needs.

Transcendence needs – A person is motivated by values which transcend beyond the personal self (e.g., mystical experiences and certain experiences with nature, aesthetic experiences, sexual experiences, service to others, the pursuit of science, religious faith, etc.).

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs | Simply Psychology

How do Transcendence needs fit into Secularism? They don’t. What Transcendence needs point out is that something or SOMEONE pulls us upward towards the spiritual from the needs of the flesh. Christians would say that is God.

What is wisdom without God?

Ecclesiastes 2:12-17 New American Standard Bible

12 So I turned to consider wisdom, insanity, and foolishness; for what will the man do who will come after the king, except what has already been done? 13 Then I saw that wisdom surpasses foolishness as light surpasses darkness. 14 The wise person’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I know that one and the same fate happens to [a]both of them. 15 Then I said [b]to myself, “As is the fate of the fool, it will also happen to me. Why then have I been extremely wise?” So [c]I said to myself, “This too is futility.” 16 For there is no [d]lasting remembrance of the wise, along with the fool, since in the coming days everything will [e]soon be forgotten. And how the wise and the fool alike die! 17 So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was [f]unhappy to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.

The Wisdom of Man

Without God, consider our three primary sources of wisdom.

  • Educational Indoctrination. Because of the Secularist/teachers union opposition to school choice, most children and college student receive their education in government-run schools. Since politicians sell access to our children to the highest bidders, the controversy over what should be taught in the public schools is constantly expanding. Ostensibly, the role of the public schools is to teach the 3 R’s, reading, writing, and arithmetic. However, the list of ideologies taught in the public schools is constantly expanding. Therefore, teachers preach on Multiculturalism, Environmentalism, Socialism, Secularism, Humanism, Establishmentarianism, Transgenderism, Feminism, and so forth. Sex education, because it has become so ridiculous, stands out, but anyone who believes in religious freedom and parental rights should wonder why the public schools still exist. Apparently, the object is to undermine the Christian faith.
  • Mass Media Indoctrination. The mass media does not exist to inform us, entertain us, or to make us better people. The mass media exists to provide an audience for advertisers. Hence, the mass media will do anything to draw attention to the products that marketers want to sell us, whether we need these products or not. Hence, the mass media is full of sex, violence, and “edgy” ideas. Unless we hold it accountable by refusing to listen to and watch their junk — refuse to watch anything except decent content — the mass media exists merely to tempt us with the least expensive garbage it can produce.
  • Government Funded/Required Indoctrination. To indoctrinate both their employees and the public in Secular morality, government and corporations spend huge sums of money. For example government agencies are currently filling the air waves with ads encouraging us to wear masks, and government agencies and corporations are paying to have their employees given bias training. In effect, government is forcing people to pay for the propagation of ideas and beliefs with which they may disagree. What is the justification for wasting all this time and money? What is the practical difference from forcing employees to accept instruction in Christian morality, which would be illegal? Political indoctrination is not religious instruction, and the majority approves?

What is the consequence of Secularism? Read Romans 1:18-32 NASB – Unbelief and Its Consequences – For the – Bible Gateway. Then consider the trends in our society, our declining standards of morality.

Previous Posts

This is part of the fourth installment in this series. What were the first three?

Where are we at in Part 4 of this series?

Additional References

Christian

Secular

15 thoughts on “OUR NATIONAL DIVIDE: SECULAR MORALITY VERSUS THE CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW — PART 4D

  1. Tom,

    Great post and question: “What is wisdom without God?”

    Your selection of King Solomon Ecclesiastes 2:12-17 sums up in my opinion, what King Solomon came to the realize after spending his life trying to explain the answer to “what is wisdom without God.”

    Sadly, in a previous post of mine, I explained my thoughts of how three supposedly intelligent contestants on the Jeopardy show were asked a question and all three did not know the answer.

    “What king in the Bible did the Queen of Sheba visit?

    Which bears out your message of how in our contemporary times, how sad it is that our secular schools teach everything under the sun except the wisdom of God, The result is as King Solomon verse has become the sad truth because of the failure to teach wisdom and love in the Bible,

    For example, if you ever watched the quiz show Jeopardy, and were amazed on how many questions about everything under the sun the contestants somehow gathered in their minds, yet could not answer the above question.

    What results is we miss out learning the most beneficial guide to a help us remain on a righteous straight path in life of peach and happiness in both the good and bad times we will experience instead, to understand the sad result of the following verse. .

    “6 For there is no [d]lasting remembrance of the wise, along with the fool, since in the coming days everything will [e]soon be forgotten. And how the wise and the fool alike die! 17 So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was [f]unhappy to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind..”

    Sad.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    King Solomon, Why the USA is in ‘Jeopardy,’ rather than “Jeu parti”? (Repost) – Rudy u Martinka (rudymartinka.com).

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  2. I have not absorbed in detail most of your other posts on these subjects as I have limited time but I think my comments are reasonable.

    “Because we share America’s Christian heritage,”

    Atheists and secularists are basically the same ideals in any country of the world regardless of any kind of religious heritage and secularists will likely have existed well before Christianity.

    “The Christian puts his faith in the wisdom of God, as manifested by the Bible, and the Secularist put his faith in the wisdom of man, worldly wisdom usually as manifested by the government.” 

    This is very funny when you consider the overwhelming Christian involvement in politics, the lobbying and extremist views, the political worship of Trump where the conspiracies have run like crazy along with the not so funny wanton negligence of health issues as a political statement rather than assisting in preventing thousands of people from getting sick and dying, are all these part of your so called Christian wisdoms from God?

    “but anyone who believes in religious freedom and parental rights should wonder why the public schools still exist. Apparently, the object is to undermine the Christian faith.”

    If it really happens as you claim does that not tell you something about how society is changing and religion is becoming less relevant. I know you have written reams on such subjects but there is nothing complicated about secularism and atheist scientific understanding gradually taking the lead just as it has done over many decades in NZ, Australia, Europe, UK and Canada.You are fighting a war you cannot hope to win.

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    1. @sklyjd

      I have not absorbed in detail most of your other posts on these subjects as I have limited time but I think my comments are reasonable.

      You just admitted you did not take the time to read what I wrote, but…… I can’t make up the stuff people actually do and say.🙄

      Atheists and secularists are basically the same ideals in any country of the world regardless of any kind of religious heritage and secularists will likely have existed well before Christianity.

      Three points!

      • The subject is the United States.
      • Australia also has a Christian heritage.
      • The official religion of the Chinese Communist Party is Atheism. If want to claim that all Atheists are the same, you are not going to get any argument from me. Other Atheists, perhaps.

      Extremist views? I suppose asking big government busybodies to mind their own minds is extremist to a busybody Atheist.

      Why do Christians involve themselves in politics? God gave us three institutions: marriage, government, and the church. Government exists to protect us from each other. When we let dogs and swine run the government, those dogs and swine harm people we care about.

      If it really happens as you claim does that not tell you something about how society is changing and religion is becoming less relevant. I know you have written reams on such subjects but there is nothing complicated about secularism and atheist scientific understanding gradually taking the lead just as it has done over many decades in NZ, Australia, Europe, UK and Canada. You are fighting a war you cannot hope to win.

      One of life’s great ironies is the amount of faith Pagans and Atheists put in the power of government and the wisdom of man.

      Frankly, I don’t expect to win. Jesus won 2,000 years ago.

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      1. I was quite aware the US was the subject, however I was emphasising you were no different from the rest of the world in that respect. Australia has a Christian heritage as you say, however considering our new countries were seeded from Christian stock of paying immigrants and fortunate criminals mostly from the UK it is no surprise.

        “The official religion of the Chinese Communist Party is Atheism”.

        China has no official religion but does recognise 5 different religions. Atheism is simply only a disbelief in all gods, period, this is not also mean disbelief in the actual religious ideologies associated with gods.

        “Why do Christians involve themselves in politics? God gave us three institutions: marriage, government, and the church. Government exists to protect us from each other. When we let dogs and swine run the government, those dogs and swine harm people we care about.”

        Government is supposed to protect people from each other as you have stated. Tell me why they would mandate the wearing of masks and restrictions on movement if it was to not protect the people from harm and reduce the chance of contaminating each other?

        “Dogs and swine”

        You obviously only see one side. Why should it be the Christians job to decide who is a dog or a pig? An extreme depiction of human beings but in your terms the majority of your country has already decided who would be allocated these titles.

        The wisdom of man has always been the way of life on Earth and always will be the way. Your Godly wisdom is obviously no better as it too is all about self interests, even going back in history before 1950 when between 90% and 95% of US citizens were committed Christians self interest caused all sorts of problems. This is a human trait and I would guess if a real god existed and had any power our human mistakes would have been eliminated.

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        1. @sklyjd

          I guess you never even read the title.

          Your insistence that Atheism is not a religion is foolishness. It is most certainly a religious belief.

          Since all men devote their lives to some purpose, even Atheists, even Atheism is a religion. What we believe about God makes a difference in what we do, in what we make our purpose. If we deny God exists, that too makes a difference.

          You deny Godly wisdom? That is a difference.

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          1. Religion: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially personal God or gods.

            For example the case of disbelief in climate change, should this then be called a religion do you think?

            The political fever that runs rampant in the US would make Trumpism closer to a religion\cult than anything else considering followers claim he was appointed to be President by the Christian God.

            What difference and advantage in every day life do you believe Christians have over those that do not believe in God? I ask because I know some Christians and they do not have any advantage over anyone else. When I have asked this question they have no real answer except eternal life, the only problem with that is you have to wait to die first and it is likely to not deliver.

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          2. @sklyjd

            So, we are supposed to argue over which definition in which dictionary? Why bother? As a practical matter Atheists treat the denial of God as a religion because it is their alternative to a belief in God. That is why we discuss Atheism in the context of religion. It is your religion.

            What difference and advantage in every day life do you believe Christians have over those that do not believe in God?

            Not much point in being a Christian unless it serves a purpose.

            What do we gain in the here and now?Peace. Because I have peace with God, I have peace. Is that because I know that I and those I love have eternal life? In part. I am also at peace with myself. I know I belong to God. I am not torn between masters.

            Do I have peace with all my fellow men? No, but I am not obligated to make everyone like me or agree with me. Creation is God’s concern. I just have to obey Him.

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          3. Even the Merriam-Webster dictionary has a similar definition of “religion” so you have no argument on definition.

            The fact atheists may “religiously” support their disbelief in gods does not make it a religion as per the definitions, and as the skilled writer I know you are it is obvious you are moving the goal posts to suit your agenda.

            To answer your assumptions, the majority of atheists are also at peace with the world and with themselves, if we were not the case or it was not possible we would look for alternatives in life such as what all theists have done.

            Atheists do not have any masters that are of a supernatural entity and we are not torn between any beliefs that are not supported by reality. I and most atheists do not believe in an after life such as claimed by any religious scriptures from any religion today or in the past.

            Your obeying of God is down to interpretation of the Biblical word, it is not universal among Christianity and you would understand this better than most.

            A lot of assumptions, the first is that God exists, the second is that eternal life is real, the third that you have peace where atheists do not and fourth that your interpretation of God’s word is going to be the correct one.

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          4. @sklyjd

            Words represent concepts. What is the concept that religion represents? The word religion refers to the various ideological systems that concern themselves with the answers to ultimate questions.

            • How did we come to be?
            • What is our purpose?
            • What is the difference between right and wrong?
            • Is there life after death? What happens to our soul when we die?

            Since Atheism is a belief system that deals with all those questions, it is a religion. It looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck. We are supposed to believe Atheism is not a duck? Why? Because enough people believe the lie that Atheism is not a religion, Atheism currently has a monopoly in the public school system.

            Observation: Your belief system finds it acceptable to lie in order to get your way. That renders anything an Atheist says and cannot readily prove suspect.

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          5. “Various ideological systems that concern themselves with the answers to ultimate questions.”

            Atheism is not a true ideological system.

            Although some atheists have adopted secular philosophies (e.g. secular humanism), there is no ideology or code of conduct to which all atheists adhere.

            There are many different people who ask the questions you have posted, however most atheists will never be bothered to ask or care about any of those religiously motivated questions you ask and simply let the science take its course as it always has.

            If you bothered to check out what the word religion really means from a real dictionary you would not call disbelieving the gods and the supernatural as a religion because obviously atheists do not adhere to the definition.

            Atheists understand some theists like to lump atheism in as a religion like their own because it suits their idealism and categorisation. It also is seen to try and prevent the freedom in thinking and expression of many beliefs that theists cannot enjoy.

            Of course in the public school systems you will and should always be taught real science over supernatural entities and creationism, you will also not be taught about one religion but will be taught about all religions giving the atheist freedom that religious apologetics do not like so young minds can decide in their own time what they want to believe.

            You claim atheists lie all the time? Take a look at your Christian priest paedophiles, the Christian politicians and the lawyers currently on the rampage destroying your country. I think you should second think those kind of statements Tom.

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          6. @sklyjd

            Since Atheism is primarily a system of evasion, I will grant you that it isn’t a particularly good ideology, but it is an ideology.

            Why would I say Atheists lie? Well, not all Atheists lie. Neither do all Theists tell the truth. In fact, there is a substantial amount of ideological diversity among Atheists, non-Theists, and Theists. Atheists, however, when they overtly deny the existence of God, are proclaiming something to be a fact they cannot prove. That’s a lie from the starting line

            You may say Atheists don’t deny the existence of God, just assert that without proof there is no reason to believe God exists. However, that’s Agnosticism, not Atheism.

            There is another reason to assert Atheists lie. Using whatever guide he prefers, each Atheist essentially invents his own morality. Most Atheists in this country seem to affirm that whatever leads to the greatest happiness is good. With that excuse, we abort the birth of the unborn, and we claim that is not murder. In addition, we have replaced sex with gender, hard work with self esteem, charity with government programs, friendship with Facebook, and so forth. It seems the pursuit of the greatest happiness leads to fantasy world, one that cannot be sustained.

            On the other hand, when we each must accept personal responsibility and seek personal happiness, that leads people to pursue virtue in search of happiness. Because love is the greatest virtue, the wise find their happiness in their service to others.

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