In "Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture," Herbert Schlossberg, a leading fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, writes that exultation of "self" to status of deity, "...dates from the earliest reaches of antiquity, but its development into an ideology embracing the masses is a characteristic trait of modernity." (p. 40-41)
The first person to commit this sin was Eve...the first idolatrous humanist and moral relativist said Schlossberg. The temptation she succumbed to was not the fruit but rather the seductive idea that she would be like God, knowing both good and evil. The physical attraction was the fruit, but what was fed was her pride, and what would grow was her appetite for self-worship. Eve already knew good, now made foolish by pride she would know evil as well. (p.40)
Humanists have a high conceit of "self," thus on the basis of their inflated pride, feelings, and appetites they decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong. Thus irrational feelings (i.e., dislike based on how someone looks, walks, dresses) appetites and pernicious compulsions (i.e., gluttony, sadism, incest) judge each situation on its merits, and so depending on how the "judge" feels and what his appetites are, the decision in one case may be in favor of road-rage, child pornography, and pedophilia while for others it may be for lethal injection, gun confiscation, transnational highways, "gay" marriage, universal health care, and open borders.
The respected historian Arnold Toynbee surveyed civilizations across the whole span of history and concluded that self-worship and its self-serving morally-twisted companion, moral relativism, was the paramount religion of mankind, and though its guises over history have been numerous and varied, today it exists as Schlossberg said, as a humanistic ideology embracing the masses. It takes many forms, for example: rationalism, positivism, scientific materialism, secular humanism, transhumanism, liberalism, spiritualized science and evolutionary thinking:
"The doctrine of God the Creator is vivid throughout the pages of Scripture. The gods of the nations are not creator gods and, as the interesting little Aramaic insertion in Jeremiah puts it, the gods that did not create the world will perish, as indeed they have. In our own times idolatry, which was a universal substitute for the Creator God, has been replaced by the widely held theory of evolution. Both are substitutes for the concept of the Creator God. Just as the ancients and the heathen today deified and worshipped the creature as the creator, modelling images of man or birds or animals or reptiles and worshipping these, so for western secular man the modern theory of evolution deifies nature, and acknowledges it as creator of all we see around us. All the beauty and intricacy and all the marvellous arrangements of the natural world are supposed to have been evolved by a thoughtless, purposeless, mechanical operation of nature, and in this way the God who made the world is as effectively shut out of the minds of those who are enjoying the blessings of His creation as He was by the false religions of idolatry. Just as the idolators could not see the foolishness, indeed the stupidity, of worshipping gods of wood and stone, which have no life nor purpose nor mind, so modern believers in the theory of evolution cannot see the foolishness of that theory, which not only lacks evidence to support it, but also runs counter to such evidence of origins as is available. Nevertheless, this false worldview is being indoctrinated into children in the schools with the aid of public money and placarded in natural history museums as though it were the only explanation of the world around us, while those who criticize and expose the theory receive the same intense religious hostility as did those who denounced idolatry in earlier days. The Bible says that if we refuse to have the Creator God in our mind, God gives us up to a reprobate mind." (Dr Broughton Knox, former principal of Moore Theological College, Sydney, from 1959 until 1985)
The propensity for self-worship is behind the incessant Biblical injunctions against pride. Tyre was struck down "Because your heart is proud, and you have said, 'I am God." (Ezek. 28:2) The judgement at the Tower of Babel was for the same reason (Gen. 11:4). In his declaration of God's death, Nimrod preceded "death of God" humanists like Karl Marx, Nietzsche, Freud and liberal theologians by thousands of years.
In a self-exulting recitation of his greatness, conquests, his execution of captives with fire and sword, the enemies he skinned alive, and the general devastation he wrought, Assur-Nasir-Pal, divine ruler of ancient Assyria boasted:
"And now at the command of the great gods, my sovereignty, my dominion, and my power, are manifesting themselves; I am regal, I am lordly, I am exulted, I am valiant, I am lion-brave, and I am heroic. (I) Assur-Nasir-Pal, the mighty king, the king of Assyria, chosen of Sin, favorite of Anu, beloved of Adad, mighty one among gods, I am the merciless weapon that strikes down the land of his enemies...." (A History of Western Morals, p. 48, 1959)
In terms of his use of "I" and "me," Assir-Nasir-Pal loses out to Obama and Romney, who in recent self-glorifying speeches used "I" and "me" 117 times and 55 times respectively. (Obama Used "I" and "me" 117 times during speech, http://patriotsandliberty.com/?p=17794 )
In terms of catastrophic cultural, economic and religious devastation, cruelty, and the genocidal murder of their own people, Assir-Nasir-Pal is topped in every way by 20th century Communist and Nazi humanists.
The Soviet Union for example, was a humanist-pagan state. Its so-called "scientific socialism" was grounded in evolutionary materialist-monism with Buddhist undertones while decisions concerning who should live and who should die were decided on the basis of hatred, envy-fueled resentment, covetousness and pragmatism, that is, whatever seemed to work at the moment.
A tsunami of concentrated evil swept over humanist-controlled Orthodox Christian Russia. Historian R.J. Rummel details some of it:
"...communism â€” Marxism-Leninism and its variants â€” meant in practice bloody terrorism, deadly purges, lethal gulags and forced labor, fatal deportations, man-made famines, extrajudicial executions and show trials, and genocide." With this understood, "the Soviet Union appears the greatest megamurderer of all...killing near 61,000,000." (http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/POWER.ART.HTM)
Man's capacity for self-deception and self-justification, for example, of whatever self-serving lie he has told or whatever wicked appetite he seeks to gratify, is almost infinite. And this is the reason why humanist subjectivism (moral relativism) always leads to disaster, individually and collectively.
The post-Christian West and America are idolatrous and as a result have fallen into varying degrees of lunacy and unreason because a majority of Westerners and Americans have either wittingly or unwittingly made gods of themselves and of things, technology, feelings, disordered appetites, concepts, politics, science, evolution, and ideologies. Thus today, law-making is an expression of humanist autonomy (idolatry) and everything and everyoneâ€“--from babies and toddlers to Jesus Christ and Christian theismâ€“-- exist to gratify inflated pride, caprices, whims and desires of self-centered individuals.
Despite that from antiquity men have been disposed toward self-deification, the fact remains that from days of old to our own time, laws have always been theologically based, that is, handed down to mankind, at first by gods and later on by the true, living God, said Schlossberg. Laws had to have ultimacy or they could not work as intended:
"When law loses what only the conviction of ultimacy can bestow, it degenerates into pragmatism, and that means the end is near."
The end is near for the post-Christian West and America. Both societies are idolatrous and eventually will be tyrannous. Law will be used to justify anything....from males marrying males to the sale of aborted baby parts to mass murder, as was the case in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.
Idolatrous humanists believe they possess self-righteousness. But this is a dangerous delusion with eternal consequences. Only metanoia (spiritual regeneration) and return to the eternally unchanging Truth and Moral Laws of the living God are the hedge against the coming disaster.