All Arguments Use Presuppositions
In any argument (using the "logical" connotation of the word), the author or speaker always has some form of presupposed beliefs. For example, any arguer must presuppose the following in order to even make an argument:
The laws of logic exist.
Laws of morality exist; that we can judge something to be “true” or a “lie.”
The uniformity of nature exists; in other words, that the laws of physics are not changing.
Their own brain is functioning properly.
These are the most basic presuppositions. In fact, only the Bible can make sense of these presuppositions, and I recommend Dr. Jason Lisle’s book The Ultimate Proof of Creation to learn more. With that being said, presuppositions often go beyond the four basic ones listed above. Does the arguer assume naturalism? Does the arguer consider the supernatural? Does the arguer use an ultimate standard for morality? How does he or she judge something to be right or wrong? In order to form any kind of judgment, an ultimate standard is needed. Let me be open about my presupposed belief that the Bible is the Word of God and is completely 100% true. Therefore, it is by this ultimate standard that I attempt to make any kind of judgment.
The name of this blog is “Unmasking Humanism,” and my blog posts are focused on the claim that Humanism is a religion that is veiled behind various “masks.” Why do I believe that Humanism is a religion? While I may reference various court cases and statements in Humanist writings as evidence that Humanism is a religion, I use the Bible as my ultimate standard for making this judgment. There are only a few instances where the Bible uses the word “religion,” but I believe the Bible uses a different term that is almost synonymous with the modern connotation of the word “religion”: “gods.” When defining “religion,” we think of God, gods, worship, morality, salvation, and so forth. Now, consider the following characteristics of “gods” in the Bible (scripture taken from ESV):
1. Gods are served and worshiped, while a person’s religion determines who they serve and worship.
…you shall not bow down to their gods nor serve them, nor do as they do, but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces. –Exodus 23:24
These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. –Numbers 25:2
And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. –Deuteronomy 8:19
They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently, whom your fathers had never dreaded. –Deuteronomy 32:7
2. Morality is associated with the god(s) that people serve, just as religion defines morality.
But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them… –1 Kings 9:16
Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known… –Jeremiah 7:9
3. People choose which gods they serve, just as people can choose their religious beliefs.
Go and cry out to the gods whom you have chosen; let them save you in the time of your distress. –Judges 10:14
Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. –Jeremiah 2:11
And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. –Joshua 24:15
For all people walk each in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever
4. People may simultaneously serve different gods, just as many people will inconsistently adhere to a variety of religious beliefs.
So they feared the Lord but also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away. –2 Kings 17:33
5. People are sometimes called “gods,” or often see themselves as gods, in the same way that people often invent their own religious beliefs and standards of right and wrong.
“Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord God: “Because your heart is proud, and you have said, ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of the gods, in the heart of the seas,’ yet you are but a man, and no god, though you make your heart like the heart of a god..." –Ezekiel 28:2
6. The God of the Bible is greater than all other gods.
Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?
For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. –Deuteronomy 10:17
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods. –1 Chronicles 16:25
7. There is only one True God, just as there is only one true religion (Biblical Christianity).
You shall have no other gods before me. –Exodus 20:3
Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the Lord your God. –Leviticus 19:4
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens. –Psalm 96:5
Are there any among the false gods of the nations that can bring rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Are you not he, O Lord our God? We set our hope on you, for you do all these things. –Jeremiah 14:22
For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. –1 Corinthians 8:5-6
When considering the characteristics of “gods” in the Bible and the modern connotation of the word “religion,” my claim is that every single individual on the face of the earth is serving a “god” of some sort. Born-again Christians typically* serve the one true God, whose written Word is the Bible. Non-Christians that believe in the supernatural will profess to serve a “god” that may or may not be associated with a sacred text. Non-Christians who do not believe in the supernatural, but only believe in the natural world, will ultimately serve themselves as their own “god.” Since there is only one true God, all non-Christian religions can technically be classified as various forms of Humanism. Humanism is the religion where Man is the ultimate authority instead of God. However, the modern connotation of Humanism is usually in reference to atheism and agnosticism, and that is the connotation that I will most often use throughout my blog posts.
Therefore, even if an individual denies the supernatural, they are still serving a “god,” even if it is their own self. By the same token, they are still following a religion. This makes the religion of Humanism essentially a “catch-all,” for all those who claim to be “nonreligious.”
*I must also mention that while born-again Christians serve the one true God, we can fall into the trap of simultaneously serving other gods, such as the god of self. Likewise, individuals may adhere to one god/religion on one topic, and then adhere to another god/religion on a different topic. Therefore, it is more precise to use religious labels to define specific worldviews, since a person's beliefs and/or actions may not always be consistent with their professed religious label (i.e. "Christian," "Humanist," etc.)