Today I decided to post something that I originally posted on Facebook as part of a discussion on the existence of God (among other topics). I decided that I took long enough writing it that I might as well post it here as well.
If you already read it on Facebook then skip to the last couple of paragraphs for something new for this blog.
I am going to weigh in one last time on this thread because I think we might go on forever. It has been an interesting discussion but I have to bow out sometime.
Josh celebrates that which is based on fact, but in his post on evolved morals he posits a hypothesis. Morals that stem from evolution certainly don’t rise to the definition of theory because there is no observable evidence to support such a claim. After all, Darwin himself in his later years was terrified of what mankind might be capable of if his own theories were carried out to their logical conclusions. This of course occurred in several cases, perhaps most notably with Frederich Nietzsche, a devout follower of Darwin, and his quest for Superman and corresponding declaration that “God is Dead”. His writings in turn informed Adolph Hitler who shared them with Stalin resulting in the torture and death of tens of millions.
Darwin feared what he had wrought, namely that without some moral absolute, there is no basis for morals. There is certainly no need for morality in a Darwinist model. Morality does nothing to further survival of the fittest.
Someone in an earlier post referenced Jean Paul Sartre to further this idea of evolved morality. But it was Sartre himself that furthered the notion that a finite point is absurd if it has no infinite reference point. If there is no absolute moral standard (that which always applies, that which provides a final or ultimate standard) then one cannot say in any final sense that anything is right or wrong.
Ancient thinkers from the Greeks forward were rationalists too. That is they assumed that man, though finite and limited could gather enough particulars to make his own universals (see Plato). In that way they were similar to John, Josh and Devin here. Rationalism rejects any knowledge outside of man himself.
Though the scientific revolution rested on a Christian base, the gentlemen in this debate have elected to base their lives on the belief that they can answer life’s questions through rationalism. John, Josh and Devin believe in the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system. In other words, the universe is a machine which resulted from some variation of time plus matter plus chance. Man is only a part of the larger machine. Hawking and others who have been named leave no room for God in this system. He becomes unnecessary.
Yet the early modern scientist believed in the uniformity of natural causes in an open system. In their view man and God were outside the cause and affect machine of the cosmos and therefore they both could influence the machine. Newton, Galileo, and Pascal would have rejected the closed system thought process.
In the closed, cause and affect system, God would indeed be dead, as would man, as would love. There is no place for morals in a totally closed system. Man becomes a zero. People and all they do is only a part of the machinery. Life is pointless, devoid of meaning.
Aside from the mathematical/statistical objections to Darwin’s theory, (randomness could not have produced the biological complexity present in the Universe out of chaos in any amount of time). Evolutionary theory cannot answer the simple questions of a child. How did I get here? Why am I here?
Josh’s comparison of the morals of less developed cultures versus more developed cultures becomes irrelevant. As Dostoevsky said, “If God does not exist, then everything is permissible.”
What is the purpose of individual personality, creativity or compassion, in this type of closed, evolutionary system? There is none.
Only in a universe with a personal, eternal, self sufficient God, do any of these concepts have a reason for existence. Speaking of creativity, I close my input to the discussion with a quote from the brilliant Alexander Solzhenitsyn, “The task of the artist is to sense more keenly than others the harmony of the world, the beauty and the outrage of what man has done to it, and poignantly to let people know. Art warms even an icy and depressed heart opening it to lofty personal experience. By means of art we are sometimes sent dimly, briefly, revelations unattainable by reason. Like that little mirror in the fairy tales. Look into it and you will see not yourself, but that which passes understanding, a realm to which no man can ride or fly and for which the soul begins to ache.”
For this blog only I would like to add a quote from one of my favorite writers, Malcolm Muggeridge, “Built into life is a strong vain of irony for which we should be grateful to our creator. It helps us to find our way through the fantasy that encompasses us to the reality of our existence. God has mercifully made the fantasies (the pursuit of power, of sensual satisfaction, of money, of learning, of celebrity, of happiness) so preposterously unrewarding that we are forced to turn to Him for mercy.
We seek wealth and find that we have collected worthless pieces of paper. We seek security and find that we have only acquired the means to blow ourselves and our little earth to smithereens. We seek carnal indulgence only to find ourselves caught up in the prevailing erotomania. Looking for freedom we infallibly fall into the servitude of self gratification or collectively into a gulag.
We look back in history and what do we see? Empires rising and falling, revolutions and counter revolutions wealth accumulating and wealth dispersed. One nation dominant and then another.”
Can this really be what life was about? This interminable soap opera? I for one refuse to believe it. Instead I believe that God has reached down to make himself known to man. God’s special parable for a fallen man in a fallen world.