Implications of Atheism [Part II]
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Part I of this two-part series appeared in the July issue. Part II follows below, and continues, without introductory comments, where the first article ended.]
SEXUAL DEVIANCE AND PERVERSION
Not only does atheistic evolution devalue human life, it also taints many of the most important areas of human interaction. Sexuality is one area of human behavior that has been completely disrupted by the erroneous concepts of evolution and atheism. In a work he titled Ends and Means, atheist Aldous Huxley wrote:
I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning; consequently, assumed it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find reasons for this assumption.... For myself, as no doubt for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom (1937, pp. 270, 273, emp. added).
Following Huxley’s argument, if we assume that the world was not created by God, and that there is ultimately no real meaning to human existence, then we can have sex with whomever, whenever, and in whatever way we choose. Evolutionary atheism offers sexual deviance a blank check to be filled out in whatever way each “naked ape” chooses. Numerous examples can be shown in which atheistic evolution is used to explain and defend sordid sexual perversions.
Rape and Evolution
Working under the assumption of naturalistic evolution, and knowing the ethical implications of such, Randy Thornhill and Craig T. Palmer co-authored a book titled A Natural History of Rape, published by the MIT Press in 2000. In their preface they stated that they “would like to see rape eradicated from human life” (p. xi). A noble thought—to eradicate such a detestable practice. Their self-professed purpose is to educate their readers as to the causes of rape. They feel this education will help their readers understand rape better, and be more fully equipped to initiate programs that will prevent rape more efficiently than the current programs.
Yet, as noble as their suggested aim may be, Thornhill and Palmer embarked on an impossible task. Since they apply naturalistic, evolutionary thinking to rape, they are forced to say, in essence, that there is really nothing ultimately wrong with the practice (although they do not like it and want to see it eradicated). In the third chapter, titled “Why Do Men Rape?,” the authors note: “The males of most species—including humans—are usually more eager to mate than the females, and this enables females to choose among males who are competing with one another for access to them. But getting chosen is not the only way to gain sexual access to females. In rape, the male circumvents the female’s choice” (2000, p. 53).
Comparing humans with animal species, the authors view rape as a natural way for males to circumvent the selection process. In fact, they claim: “Human rape arises from men’s evolved machinery for obtaining a high number of mates in an environment where females choose mates” (p. 190, emp. added). They further state that “[e]volutionary theory applies to rape, as it does to other areas of human affairs, on both logical and evidentiary grounds. There is no legitimate scientific reason not to apply evolutionary or ultimate hypotheses to rape” (p. 55).
In their proposed “scientific” reasons why men rape women, Thornhill and Palmer suggested that in some cases heavy metals such as lead “disrupt psychological adaptations of impulse control,” which may lead to a “higher rate of criminality” (p. 58). They stated: “Lead may account for certain cases of rape, just as mutations may” (p. 58, emp. added). Thus, rape may simply be caused when a male of a species is exposed to an excess of some type of heavy metal like lead or by mutations. Sam Harris added: “There is, after all, nothing more natural than rape. But no one would argue that rape is good, or compatible with a civil society, because it may have had evolutionary advantages for our ancestors” (2006, pp. 90-91). Joann Rodgers quipped: “Rape or at least rape-like acts clearly exist in many species, giving additional weight to both rape’s ‘natural’ roots and its ‘value’ in our biological and psychological legacy” (2001, p. 412). She further commented: “Even rape, fetishes, bondage, and other so-called aberrant sexual behaviors are almost certainly biologically predisposed, if not adaptive, and may therefore be what biologists call ‘conserved’ traits, attributes or properties useful or essential to life across all cultures and genomes” (p. 11, emp. added).
The fallacy with this line of thinking is that it flies in the face of everything humans know about moral decisions. Furthermore, it transforms a vicious, morally reprehensible activity into something that may occasionally be caused by mutations or other phenomena that exempt the rapist from taking responsibility for his actions. Such “scientific” explanations for an immoral action like rape are absolutely appalling. When boiled down to its essence, as Thornhill, Palmer, Harris, and Rodgers, have so well illustrated, proponents of naturalistic evolution can never claim that any activity is wrong in an ultimate sense. This being the case, any action that a person chooses to do would be considered just as morally right as any other action, since all human behavior would be the by-product of evolution. As Darwin himself said, “A man who has no assured and ever present belief in the existence of a personal God or of a future existence with retribution and reward, 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” (1958, p. 94, emp. added). If a man follows his impulse to rape a woman, atheists cannot say, and more and more will not say, it is wrong.
In the section dealing with abortion (in part one of this series), we noted how evolutionists often appeal to nature to justify immoral behavior. They claim that if animals can be found to exhibit a certain behavior, it is then moral for humans to engage in that behavior as well. Evolutionists have followed this line of reasoning in their defense of homosexuality. For example, the Oslo Natural History Museum opened the world’s first exhibit documenting cases of “homosexual” behavior in nature. One of the statements in the exhibit reads: “We may have opinions on a lot of things, but one thing is clear—homosexuality is found throughout the animal kingdom, it is not against nature” (Doyle, 2006).
In a Live Science article titled, “Animal Sex: No Stinking Rules,” the author wrote:
Animals flout established rules when it comes to the game of love and sex. In fact, the animal kingdom is full of swingers. Bonobos are highly promiscuous, engaging in sexual interactions more frequently than any other primate, and in just about every combination from heterosexual to homosexual unions. Mothers even mate with their mature sons.... Bonobo societies ‘make love, not war,’ and their frequent sex is thought to strengthen social bonds and resolve conflict. This idea could explain why bonobo societies are relatively peaceful and their relatives, chimpanzees, which practice sex strictly for reproduction, are prone to violence (n.d.).
Of course, the fallacy of such thinking has already been exposed. Immoral behavior cannot be justified by referring to animal behavior. Furthermore, homosexuality is certainly “against nature,” that is, the natural way that God designed humans to function. The inspired apostle Paul condemned homosexuality:
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due (Romans 1:26-27, emp. added).
Homosexuality controverts human nature in at least two fundamental ways. First, on a basic physical, anatomical level, homosexuality disregards the natural use of the sexual organs of men and women. Males and females were designed to be sexually compatible in order to reproduce and bear offspring (see Genesis 1:28). If homosexuality was a natural, genetic occurrence (which it is not—see Harrub and Miller, 2004), the genes responsible for it would quickly disappear due to the inability of same sex couples to reproduce. Second, God designed men and women to be capable of a relationship, in marriage, unlike any other human relationship. When a man and a woman are joined together, they become “one-flesh,” a biblical phrase that describes the epitome of intimacy and compatibility (Genesis 2:23). God specifically designed Eve, and all future women, to be perfect helpers suitable for Adam and subsequent men. And, while it is true that sinful humans often fail to achieve the intimacy and oneness designed by God, it is not because of faulty design, but of people’s sinful decisions. God designed men and women to be naturally compatible both physically and emotionally. Homosexuality circumvents that inherent compatibility.
Sex Behind the Bike Sheds
In the United States of America, one would be hard pressed to find a person who does not understand that teenage pregnancy among unwed mothers is a colossal problem in this country (as well as many others). Contributors to the official Web site of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, explain: “Despite hitting the lowest level in 30 years, 31% of teenage girls get pregnant at least once before they reach age 20” (“The National Day...,” 2008). The site further informs its readers that 750,000 teens per year get pregnant. In order to curb this destructive trend, the government sanctioned a day designated as “The National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy,” the seventh annual of which occurred on May 7, 2008. Organizations that partnered in this effort included The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Medical Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the March of Dimes, the National 4-H Council, and a host of other well-known groups.
In the official Teen Discussion Guide of “The National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy,” the authors noted: “Sex has consequences—both physical and emotional.” They further stated: “Not having sex is the best and safest choice to prevent pregnancy...” (“Teen Discussion Guide,” 2008). In a section of the guide titled “Fact or Fiction,” the authors wrote: “Fact: Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to prevent pregnancy” (2008). It is abundantly clear that the general population of approximately 300 million people in the U.S. recognize teen pregnancy as a problem and would like to see it stopped.
The only sure solution to teen pregnancy is equally clear—total sexual abstinence among unmarried teenagers. When thinking about ideas or philosophical frameworks that would encourage such abstinence, where would one turn? The obvious answer is to the New Testament. The Bible repeatedly stresses the need for sexual purity, and condemns sexual activity outside of the marriage bond. Hebrews 13:4 makes that point abundantly clear: “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” The apostle Paul admonished his readers to “put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5, emp. added; cf. 1 Corinthians 6:18). The New Testament clearly and consistently presents sexual guidelines that, if followed, would prevent 100% of out-of-wedlock teen pregnancy.
When attention is turned to the philosophy of atheistic evolution, the situation is much different. Not only do the logical implications of evolution not prohibit teen pregnancy, they actually encourage and justify it. In June 2006, Dr. Lawrence Shaw, deputy medical director at the Bridge Centre in London, spoke at the 22nd annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (“Teenage and 60-Year-Old...,” 2006). In his speech, he explored the alleged evolutionary history of humans, and how that heritage affects present human behavior. Speaking directly to the issue of teen pregnancy, Shaw stated:
Therefore, before we condemn our teenagers for having sex behind the bike sheds and becoming pregnant, we should remember that this is a natural response by these girls to their rising fertility levels. Society may “tut, tut” about them, but their actions are part of an evolutionary process that goes back nearly two million years; whilst their behaviour may not fit with Western society’s expectations, it is perhaps useful to consider it in the wider context (as quoted in “Teenage and 60-Year-Old...,” 2006, emp. added).
Shaw’s rationale is in complete harmony with the implications of evolution, while at the same time completely at odds with what is morally justified. In Sex: A Natural History, Joann Rodgers wrote about a high school sophomore who was longing to entice the local football star into a “few stolen kisses” or a sexual “backseat tumble.” Concerning this teen, Rodgers wrote:
Her physiological need, her reproductive status, and her strategies are not altogether removed from that of the Florida black beetle, Lara the bonobo, or the castle-bound Guinevere longing for Lancelot. Athleticism and body building, one-night stands, romantic love, and jealousy, along with infidelity, monogamy, and homosexuality, are so universally demonstrable across species and cultures that they have long been presumed in large measure to have been drawn through the filter of sexual evolution and biology” (2001, p. 11).
According to evolution, promiscuous teenagers are not morally responsible for negative sexual behavior. They simply are programmed to pass on their genes to the next generation. Teenagers who are getting pregnant might not fit into “Western society’s expectations,” but they are not doing anything immoral or wrong—according to the theory. They are simply acting on their evolutionary impulses that span back some two million years, just like black beetles and bonobos.
Evolution and Adultery
Why would a person make a solemn vow to be sexually faithful to his spouse in a committed marriage relationship, but then break that vow and commit adultery with another person? Is there anything morally wrong with adultery? As with other deviant sexual practices, evolutionary theory explains adultery in purely naturalistic terms, absolving adulterous perpetrators of any moral delinquency. In her article titled “Are Humans Meant to be Monogamous,” Jeanna Bryner said: “Evolutionary psychologists have suggested that men are more likely to have extramarital sex, partially due to the male urge to ‘spread genes’ by broadcasting sperm. Both males and females, these scientists say, try to up their evolutionary progress by seeking out high-quality mates, albeit in different ways” (n.d.). Bryner quoted Daniel Kruger, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, who said: “We’re special in this regard [the tendency to be monogamous—KB], but at the same time like most mammals, we are a polygynous species.” Bryner then explained: “Kruger said humans are considered ‘mildly polygynous,’ in which a male mates with more than one female” (n.d.). According to atheistic evolution, adultery is not a morally debased breach of a marriage contract, but rather simply the outworking of the “evolutionary urge” to pass on one’s genes to the next generation in the most effective way possible.
Joann Rodgers noted: “Indeed, lifelong monogamy appears to be as rare in us as in the animal world, at least among the so-called alpha or most powerful males and females” (2001, p. 341). Rodgers further stated: “Other evidence for a natural tendency to infidelity emerges from how easily and simply our behavior and our biochemistry can be subverted to the game” (p. 341, italics in orig.). She paralleled human sexual behavior with studies done on birds, such as the reed warbler, bluebirds, and the pied flycatcher, as well as other animals, such as primates and prairie voles. Concerning these studies, she said that “evidence for the prevalence and reward of promiscuity in females is considerable” (p. 342). Rodgers concluded:
And in humans and most animals, adultery and infidelity—what Fisher calls “nature’s Peyton Place”—are widespread, common, tolerated, and in fact reinforced by our biology. Only if promiscuity really maximizes a woman’s reproductive edge is it worth both the risk and her having evolved those subtle deceits such as hidden ovulation and the capacity to hide or fake orgasm (p. 343).
Notice that Rodgers takes it to be a matter of fact that humans naturally commit adultery. She reasons that such is the case because adulterous females maximize their reproductive “edge.” In fact, she is so bold as to state that if adultery were not evolutionarily productive, it would not exist, and the fact that it occurs so often, both in humans and in animals, is evidence that it is beneficial as far as evolution is concerned.
What does Rodgers have to say about the feelings of guilt and shame that often accompany adulterous relationships? She admitted that “[g]uilt and shame always seem to be part and parcel of sexual cheating” (p. 341). But she suggested that “shame, guilt, and concepts of sexual morality evolved just as surely as our tendency to stray” (p. 379, italics in orig.). Analyzing adultery, then, from an evolutionary standpoint, it is simply a natural, inherited behavior, that is often accompanied by the evolved emotions of shame and guilt, but it has several practical, reproductive advantages and that is why it persists. According to such evolutionary thinking, humans should hardly even attempt to regulate sexual activity or apply moral constraints to it. Rodgers quipped: “What seems to be the case is that human societies do best when they live and let live, up to a point, in order to keep our social responsibilities and our biological drives in some balance” (p. 353, emp. added).
Such thinking is debased and illogical. Sexual misconduct is not a product of evolution, it is the product of selfish decisions made by the parties involved. Society cannot clear its bespattered conscience with a single swipe of the evolutionary eraser. We must face the fact that we as a society are acting immorally, and we must resolve to teach the one philosophy that can remedy the situation: there is a God in heaven and we must live according to His Word.
Since sexual behavior such as promiscuity before marriage, adultery, and homosexuality are generally viewed by atheistic evolutionists as “mainstream” and harmless when involving consenting adults, most evolutionists have no problem openly declaring them to be products of evolution. Yet it is difficult, though not impossible, to find an “honest” evolutionist that will extend the logical implications of atheistic evolution to fringe, grotesque sexual behaviors such as pedophilia. In truth, if adultery and promiscuity are nothing more than the outworking of evolutionary urges, are not all sexual behaviors? Who is to say which behaviors are “moral” and should be maintained, or which ones are “immoral” and wrong? Such is the quagmire into which evolutionists have plunged themselves.
In a chapter titled “Bad Sex,” Joann Rodgers wrote: “In addition, even the criminal justice system is coming to recognize that while pedophilia and other forms of exploitive sex must be punished in order to protect victims, the perpetrators may also be victims—not necessarily of any abuse but of their biological predispositions” (2001, p. 429, emp. added). She then quoted psychiatrist Fred Berlin, who said: “Nothing in the research suggests that perversions are ‘volitional’ or that their expression is a failure of self-control” (p. 429, emp. added).
Notice the implications involved in these statements. Pedophiles allegedly are victims of their biological predispositions. Furthermore, their actions are not “volitional” (based on their own choices or freewill), nor are their actions a failure to control their urges. One has to wonder why, then, such behavior should be punished. If it is not volitional, or controlled by a person’s will, we cannot expect punishment to alter the behavior. Furthermore, if pedophilia is not a lack of self-control, why would we expect punishment to hinder those contemplating committing such acts in the future? If pedophiles are biologically predisposed to sexual perversion, cannot will themselves in any other direction, and are not suffering from a lack of self-control, punishment can neither change their behavior nor discourage them (or others) from future involvement in it. If evolution is true, then all sexual behaviors, including pedophilia, homosexuality, necrophilia, bestiality, polygamy, and promiscuity are equally “moral” options. As Rodgers wrote:
In the origin and development of species, no surviving component of sex, can be considered unnatural or unnecessary. All aspects of sex observable in animals today, no less than sexual reproduction itself, are what biologists and psychologists call “highly conserved.” All aspects of sex are the evolutionary winners across the eons of natural selection, of trial and error. They persist in us and every other creature precisely because of their importance in survival (2001, pp. 4-5, italics in orig.).
ATHEISTS’ SEXUAL AGENDA
Not only is sexual perversion and promiscuity a direct and logical implication of atheistic evolution, but such sexual laxity is one of the primary aims of the atheistic community. In 2007, atheistic writer Christopher Hitchens wrote a book titled god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. Hitchens has been critically acclaimed as “one of the most prolific, as well as brilliant, journalists of our time,” according to the London Observer. The Los Angeles Times stated that he is a “political and literary journalist extraordinaire.” In god is not Great, Hitchens repeatedly argues that biblical sexual purity and monogamous sexual fidelity are not only undesirable, but actually destructive. In his list of four irreducible objections to religious faith, he included that faith “is both the result and cause of dangerous sexual repression” (2007, p. 4). Just six pages later, he wrote that it is absurd to think that someone could know that there is a God and “to know what ‘he’ demands of us—from our diet to our observances to our sexual morality” (p. 10). Later in the book, Hitchens wrote:
The relationship between physical health and mental health is now well understood to have a strong connection to the sexual function, or dysfunction. Can it be a coincidence, then, that all religions claim the right to legislate in matters of sex? The principle way in which believers inflict on themselves, on each other, and on nonbelievers, has always been their claim to monopoly in this sphere (p. 53).
In opposition to the “sexual repression” that Hitchens assigns to all religions, he stated: “Clearly, the human species is designed to experiment with sex” (p. 54). He also stated: “Sexual innocence, which can be charming in the young if it is not needlessly protracted, is positively corrosive and repulsive in the mature adult” (p. 227).
In his final chapter titled “The Need for a New Enlightenment,” Hitchens concluded his book with a plea to banish all religions. He wrote:
Above all, we are in need of a renewed Enlightenment, which will base itself on the proposition that the proper study of mankind is man, and woman.... Very importantly, the divorce between sexual life and fear, and the sexual life and disease, and the sexual life and tyranny, can now at last be attempted, on the sole condition that we banish all religions from the discourse (p. 283, emp. added).
From Hitchens’ writings, it is abundantly clear that one of his primary purposes for getting rid of God is so he, and those who adopt his atheistic propositions, can “experiment” sexually as evolved animals without any fetters of conscience. [NOTE: Many of the religions that Hitchens discusses are guilty of approving unbiblical injunctions regarding sex that deserve denunciation, such as forbidding to marry. Hitchens’ point, however, is clear: all religions, including New Testament Christianity, should be abolished so that no sexual restrictions hinder unregulated sexual experimentation.]
Hitchens is certainly not alone in his desire to see atheism propel human sexuality into an unregulated realm of experimental promiscuity. Militant atheist Sam Harris, in his Letter to a Christian Nation, attempted to explain to Christians that sexuality has nothing to do with morality. He wrote:
You [Christians—KB] believe that your religious concerns about sex, in all their tiresome immensity, have something to do with morality.... Your principle concern appears to be that the creator of the universe will take offence at something people do while naked. This prudery of yours contributes daily to the surplus of human misery (2006, p. 26).
Harris further commented that “any God who could concern Himself with something as trivial as gay marriage...is not as inscrutable as all that” (p. 55).
Other atheists have advanced the banner of sexual anarchy into realms such as pornography. David Mills, in Atheist Universe, titled chapter nine “Christian Fundamentalists and the ‘Danger’ of Internet Porn” (2006, p. 190). In that chapter, Mills extrapolates from his atheistic philosophy that pornography is harmless and morally neutral. He stated: “When viewed in historical perspective, it is difficult to believe that teenage males are genuinely harmed by sexual images.... No credible sociological or psychological study of this question has discerned any harmful effects whatever of a teenage male’s viewing photos of nude women or of adult copulation” (p. 197). Mills further proposed that senseless religious moralizing is to blame for the fact that pornography has ever been stigmatized as immoral. He brazenly asserted: “When all the religious and moralistic blathering is dismissed, opponents of internet porn have failed utterly to document any empirical ‘harm’ to teenage males...” (p. 198).
Mills is demonstrably wrong in his assertion that no documented empirical evidence verifies that teenage males are harmed by pornography. Numerous studies document that, among other deleterious effects, viewing pornography “can lead to anti-social behavior,” “desensitizes people to rape as a criminal offence,” and “leads men and women to experience conflict, suffering, and sexual dissatisfaction” (Rogers, 1990). According to one study of rapists, half of those surveyed “used pornography to arouse themselves immediately prior to seeking out a victim” (1990). In addition, heavy exposure to pornography “encourages a desire for increasingly deviant materials which involve violence, like sadomasochism and rape” (1990).
Mills, Hitchens, Harris, and many of their fellow atheists are attempting to strip away all moral “regulations” from human sexuality. Make no mistake: atheism justifies sexual conduct of any kind, and those atheists who understand this point are demanding that all societal regulations on sex be abolished. As Joann Rodgers aptly summarized:
Animals, insects, and bacteria, with their multiple desires, mutinous genders, alternative sex lives, and sometimes violent mating habits, behave in ways that we humans, in our arrogance, consider graceless if not immoral. And yet what we may consider profane in nature is indeed profound.... With evolutionary biology as our guide, however, we are better able to see what has long been concealed in our nature and nurture, and that the profound is not at all profane (2001, pp. 40-41, emp. added).
THE ATHEISTIC OBJECTION
Of course, atheists do not sit idly by while their philosophy is accused of grotesquely immoral implications. They fire back with the idea that millions have been abused, tortured, and murdered at the hands of “Christians.” Atheistic apologists then proceed to detail horrible crimes that took place during the Salem Witch Trials, the Crusades, and the Spanish Inquisition. David Mills wrote: “The Crusades, the Inquisition, the witch burnings, the torture of ‘infidels’ were all carried out in the name of the Christian God. While it is unfair to hold Christianity responsible for perversions of its teachings, it is nonetheless indisputable that, historically more people have been slaughtered in the name of the Christian religion than for any reason connected to atheism” (2006, p. 48). Hitchens’ book god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything contains copious examples of crimes against humanity perpetrated in the name of religion. The second chapter of his book is titled “Religion Kills.” In it, he discussed several countries he visited. He stated: “Here then, is a very brief summary of the religiously inspired cruelty I witnessed in these six places” (2007, p. 18). The paragraphs that follow that statement document multiple tortures and murders done in the name of specific religions.
Hitchens and others can easily document atrocities performed in the name of religion. But does this prove that all religion is false, and that if a person can spot a flaw or comprehend a fallacy in one religion, then he has effectively disproved the validity of all religions? Absolutely not. Can you imagine what would happen if this type of argument were used in other areas of life? Apply such thinking to food: since many foods are poisonous and have killed people, all foods should be avoided. Apply the thinking to electricity: since many people have died while using electricity, all electrical use is detrimental to society. Or apply it to activities like swimming: many have drowned while swimming, thus all swimming leads to drowning and should be avoided. What if the logic were applied to surgery? Since it is true that thousands of people have died during or as a result of surgery, then all surgery should be avoided, because it leads to death or is in some way physically detrimental to society. Obviously, the ridiculous idea that all religion is detrimental to society, simply because it can be proven that some religions are, should be quickly discarded by any honest, thoughtful observer.
New Testament Christianity does not stand or fall based on the validity of competing religions. In fact, Hitchens and others are right in asserting that many religions are detrimental to society. But they are wrong to lump true Christianity in with the rest of the useless lot. New Testament Christianity is unique, logically valid, historically documented, and philosophically flawless. It does not crumble with those religions that are filled with “vain babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge” (1 Timothy 6:20). Instead, New Testament Christianity, as personified in the life of Jesus Christ, shines forth as the truth that makes men free (John 8:32).
Furthermore, it should be noted that atheism is not discredited based on the behavior of its adherents. Some atheists are kind to others, hard-working, and considerate. Does this prove that atheism is true? No. On the other hand, some atheists shoot their classmates because they consider them less fit. Does the brutal, immoral behavior of these individuals discredit atheism as a philosophy? Not necessarily. No philosophy can be correctly assessed based solely on the behavior of those who claim to follow it. Hitchens correctly stated: “The first thing to be said is that virtuous behavior by a believer is no proof at all of—indeed is not even an argument for—the truth of his belief” (2007, pp. 184-185).
Having said that, we must hasten to state that a philosophy can be correctly assessed by considering only the behaviors which are based on the correctly derived, logical implications of the philosophy. In regard to the crimes done in “the name of Christianity,” even atheists admit that such crimes were justified by twisting the teachings of the New Testament. Notice that Mills conceded: “While it is unfair to hold Christianity responsible for perversions of its teachings, it is nonetheless indisputable that, historically more people have been slaughtered in the name of the Christian religion than for any reason connected to atheism” (2006, p. 48, emp. added). Harris made a similar statement: “You probably think the Inquisition was a perversion of the ‘true’ spirit of Christianity. Perhaps it was” (2006, p. 11, emp. added). An honest reading of the New Testament lays bare the lucid fact that activities such as the witch hunts and inquisitions were not behaviors based on the logical implications of the teachings of Christ in the New Testament. Jesus taught people to treat others with love, kindness, and respect—the way they, themselves, wish to be treated (Matthew 7:12).
Notice, however, that the behaviors and views decried in this series about the fruits of atheism are directly derived from a proper understanding of atheism, and are propounded by the atheists themselves. Who said that atheistic evolution destroys all moral absolutes? Who stated that parents should have the option to kill a child a month after it is born? Who proposed that humans are no better than bacteria, and that 90% of the human population needs to be eliminated? Who suggested that sexual promiscuity, teen pregnancy, rape, and homosexuality are natural products of the evolutionary process? Evolutionary atheists are the ones promoting these ideas. Radical Christian fundamentalists are not building rhetorical straw men by concocting outlandish, grotesquely immoral behaviors out of thin air. On the contrary, the immoral actions and attitudes arising from atheistic evolution are clearly spelled out and advocated by the atheists themselves. If a person who claims to be a Christian kills a one-month-old child because the child is a hemophiliac, that person violates every principle derived from an accurate understanding of New Testament teaching. If an atheist does the same, he does so with the full force of a proper understanding of atheistic evolution justifying his behavior.
The concept of God is the only rational basis for an ultimate moral standard. When the concept of God is eradicated from a philosophy or society, that philosophy or society cuts off its ability to make moral decisions. In turn, it forfeits the ability to “eradicate” such actions as rape, theft, murder, or any other immoral vice. As John Paul Sartre appropriately commented, “Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist, and man is in consequence forlorn, for he cannot find anything to depend upon either within or outside himself” (1961, p. 485). When the Bible succinctly stated, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God,’ they are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good” (Psalm 14:1), it offered accurate, divine commentary on every person, society, or philosophy that would abandon the notion that God exists—“They are corrupt.”
In truth, the false philosophy of naturalistic evolution fails on many accounts, not the least of which is its inability to provide a foundation for ethics. The denial of a divine, ultimate standard of morality throws one into hopeless confusion about how actions such as rape should be viewed. Naturalistic evolutionists who are honest with their theory’s implications can say they do not “like” things like rape, or they think it is best that rape be stopped, or that they think it might be more beneficial to the majority for the action to be limited or eradicated, but they have no grounds on which to say it is absolutely, morally wrong.
In stark contrast to the foundationless ethics of naturalistic philosophy, the concept of God provides the perfect rationale on which to base moral determinations. There is a God who sees both “the evil and the good” (Proverbs 15:3). He will call every person into account for his or her actions (Revelation 20:12-15). Therefore each individual is responsible to that God for any actions he or she commits in violation of His moral standard found in the Bible (Ephesians 3:3-4). Rape, murderous abortion, school slayings, genocide, and other such heinous crimes against humanity are not biological, evolutionary by-products passed down to humans from some mammalian precursor, nor are such crimes biological “malfunctions” caused by mutations. Such actions are sinful, morally reprehensible crimes against humanity and God by individuals who have chosen to ignore the ultimate moral standard God manifested in His Son Jesus Christ and recorded in His Word, the Bible.
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