Thursday, October 30, 2008

If Evolution, then moral freedom

"Evolutionary ideas fueled Hitler's Nazism and Stalin's communism," said CSI director Tom DeRosa. "Today, its consequences are evident in our society's lawlessness and immorality. No Creator means no accountability for our actions."

Closing the door on the existence of God liberates man, DeRosa said, to become his own master and lawgiver. Darwin himself acknowledged this. "A man who has no assured and ever-resent belief in the existence of a personal God ... can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones."

(from "Impact," April 2008)

If Darwinian Evolution is true, then there is no foundation for ethics, and no ultimate meaning in life.

10 comments:

thekingpin68 said...

A foundation of ethics without God, for example, as I argued with one atheist many years ago provides bad 'outs'. For example he stated all human life was valuable because it was sentient. He does have a moral code. But I noted that if a theory could be developed that some humans had developed less than others, such as the Nazi's views on Jews and Slavic persons, which were of course ridiculous, then some persons considered less evolved could be deemed as expendable.

However, if we are all made in the image of God, even the mentally handicapped can be seen as diamonds is the rough, awaiting the resurrection and worthy of life.

Great Googly Moogly! said...

The school of Presuppositional Apologetics stresses points such as this to great effect. Personally, I have no problem using "classical" or "evidential" apologetical arguments if the situation presents itself, but I favor the "presuppositional" method the best.

Cornelius Van Til is considered the pioneer in this field. Greg Bahnsen and John Frame are two of his most recognized "disciples" (though Frame has more variance with Van Til than did Bahnsen); and both of these men have written some great "apologetical" material.

The argument that the idea of evolution destroys the concept of morality is a very powerful tool in our witness. Evolution and our innate (God-given) sense of morality truly are mutually exclusive--they are incompatable. And the fact that all people everywhere recognize "right" and "wrong" (even though people may disagree with each other what actually is "right" and what is "wrong") is a strong argument not simply against evolution, but for the reality of God. It doesn't "prove" the existence of God (I'm not sure that's even possible), but it is a powerful argument to be added to others in favor of the existence of God.

GGM

Jeff said...

A foundation of ethics without God, for example, as I argued with one atheist many years ago provides bad 'outs'. For example he stated all human life was valuable because it was sentient. He does have a moral code. But I noted that if a theory could be developed that some humans had developed less than others, such as the Nazi's views on Jews and Slavic persons, which were of course ridiculous, then some persons considered less evolved could be deemed as expendable.

However, if we are all made in the image of God, even the mentally handicapped can be seen as diamonds is the rough, awaiting the resurrection and worthy of life.


Thanks, Russ. Excellent points.

Jeff said...

GGM (Jason),

The school of Presuppositional Apologetics stresses points such as this to great effect. Personally, I have no problem using "classical" or "evidential" apologetical arguments if the situation presents itself, but I favor the "presuppositional" method the best.

Cornelius Van Til is considered the pioneer in this field. Greg Bahnsen and John Frame are two of his most recognized "disciples" (though Frame has more variance with Van Til than did Bahnsen); and both of these men have written some great "apologetical" material.


I'm not familiar with those. If you could post some comments summarizing or even detailing some of that material, I would be interested.

Abbey said...

I think the statements you made in your post are very true. Evolution actually rooted from Rousseau's ideas from the Enlightenment (which of course came because of our estrangement from God). These ideas of being able to destroy any moral laws comes from people not believing there is any God. If they don't think there is any God, all they can do is look to themselves for what they think is right and wrong.

To use the argument that people can be shown to be created in God's image because of their innate sense of right and wrong against an atheist doesn't really seem to work. I've tried it on debate forums and the such. I think it's because they assume it's the society that has put these rules into place, and that's what they've grown up with. They'd rather be "free," living with some headhunting tribe where laws don't seem to exist. :P

Great Googly Moogly! said...

"They'd rather be "free," living with some headhunting tribe where laws don't seem to exist." :P

That's a good point, Abinator! But even in these "societies", the concept of a law of "right" and "wrong" do exist. I dare an atheist living with these people to try to "steal" somebody else's severed head! He would himself certainly be...well...beheaded!! :-)

How would the athiest account for a similar base moral compass in tribes that are so far removed from "cultured" society?

I agree that this, in and of itself, doesn't prove the existence of God or that human beings are created in His image; but it can be used with other "presuppositional" arguments to prove that the Christian worldview makes the most sense of the universe and our lives in it.

Of course, people actually have to be interested in the truth to see their own inconsistencies; and this is one of the problems, the presuppositionalist would say, with "evidential" apologetics. People who are simply not willing to believe (which is all of us before the call of God by the Spirit) will always view any "evidence" for the existence of God through their own "worldview". Presuppositional apologetics uses universal concepts to try to break down opposing worldviews in order to show that the Christian worldview is the most consistent with reality and makes the most sense out of this world and ourselves as human beings.

I used to have Greg Bahnsen's intro to presuppositional apologetics entitled, "Always Ready: Directions for defending the Faith." This is a very good intro into how to use presuppositional methodology to debate at the "worldview" level rather than in the surface issues that tend to sidetrack serious discussion.

Wow...it's almost time to leave. I hope this comment makes sense--I've been writing and thinking very fast, so this comment will probably make even less sense than most of my other comments that I acutally thought about beforehand!

GGM

Jeff said...

Abbey,

Evolution actually rooted from Rousseau's ideas from the Enlightenment (which of course came because of our estrangement from God).

Thanks for that helpful info.

To use the argument that people can be shown to be created in God's image because of their innate sense of right and wrong against an atheist doesn't really seem to work. I've tried it on debate forums and the such.

Yes, people tend to say either that they believe in a code of conduct or some sort of moral standards, or they say that society has developed such standards for the existence and development of society. However, when you take Atheism and Darwinian Evolution to their logical extreme, a person could then say, "Why should I care about the future of society, or about any other human being, if I am only here by accident, and I will cease to exist when I die? I might as well gratify my desires to the utmost while I do exist, no matter who I hurt!" The only thing that would be logical to keep them from killing people, etc., is a fear of punishment (prison, execution, etc.) In similar fashion, why should anyone then cry or be sad when a relative dies? After all, that husband/wife/son/daughter/nephew/niece/grandson/granddaughter etc. is only a bunch of chemicals that accidently came together, so who cares if a bunch of chemicals went back into the ground? Love is a concept that originates from God. If all we are is chemicals, and we have no soul or spirit that will exist eternally, and if no God exists, then why does love exist?

Jeff said...

GGM (Jason),

How would the athiest account for a similar base moral compass in tribes that are so far removed from "cultured" society?

Of course, people actually have to be interested in the truth to see their own inconsistencies...

People who are simply not willing to believe (which is all of us before the call of God by the Spirit) will always view any "evidence" for the existence of God through their own "worldview".


Very good points.

Abbey said...

GGM,

"That's a good point, Abinator! But even in these "societies", the concept of a law of "right" and "wrong" do exist. I dare an atheist living with these people to try to "steal" somebody else's severed head! He would himself certainly be...well...beheaded!! :-)"

Very true. I really like learning about different people groups, and even these headhunter groups have a list of rules that they feel they must keep. However, atheists tend to think that rules come from living with people. They think that if someone were born and lived completely all by themselves (if that were even possible), there would be no right and wrong. Also, people's perception of right and wrong has been severed from the fall, so something that society declares as being wrong, atheists would tend to think that someone who had never been in a society would never even think of a rule like that.

Dunno if I made any sense in what I was saying... I'm going to post a thread on the debate forum, asking atheists to voice what they think about this. They'll do it - and probably more. :P I'll let you know what they decide.

Jeff, thanks for the reply. Like I said before, I'm going to try posting on the forum. I'm doing it more for research purposes than trying to convince them of anything.

Abbey said...

I was just ready to post a thread like I was going to, but I noticed someone else had already started one. I figured there was no reason to get them all steamed up again, so here's the link to the discussion:

Moral Law

Looks to me that they think sin is a myth created by the earliest of men. They say that if there had been no laws, everyone would have killed themselves right off the bat. Makes me wonder why there aren't more animals extinct than there...