Avoiding Idolatry

Mitchell Silver

in A Plausible God

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780823226818
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236565 | DOI:
Avoiding Idolatry

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This chapter examines the virtues of “humanism” as an alternative both to new-God theology and to a secularism that refrains from embracing humanism. It argues that it is in human nature that we most clearly see God manifested. It defines secularism as a combination of naturalism and atheism. There is a natural connection between secularism and humanism. If there is no God to ground one's values, no God to guide one's life, no God to serve, then “humanity” becomes a plausible candidate to perform those functions. The chapter suggests that God's value gives people something to worship that is not human. Theism saves people from humanism. To the charge of idolatry there are two possible humanist replies. The first simply denies that humanism entails worshipping humanity. The second humanist reply to the charge that humanism is idolatrous argues that humanity is indeed worthy of worship.

Keywords: humanism; secularism; idolatry; theism; atheism; naturalism

Chapter.  4080 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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