In my previous two posts (one and two) I argued that how we understand our origins, where we come from and why we are here, have implications for life that are all encompassing. If we, as Scripture declares, are creatures made in God’s image in God’s world, then we can know what “real reality” is, and live accordingly. The results will be positive because we can live according to the actual nature of things. If, on the other hand, all we are is lucky dirt that erupted for no reason at all with no cause but chance, a grand cosmic coincidence if you will, then the implications will be bad, very bad.
Things, of course, are generally never absolutely one way or the other, perfect good or perfect evil, because in fact, as is evident all around us, we live in a fallen world that was created by a God good. So we see evidence of fallenness and goodness in everything. But the logical implications of origins will eventually drive people one way or the other. This is very important and should not be missed: a person’s, or people’s, or country’s, or culture’s basic presuppositions about the world we inhabit and what human beings are, will eventually find its way into the culture.
For example, if we are simply material beings, with no soul or higher purpose for our existence other than luck (thus, lucky dirt), then we can have no more value than dirt. This logical conclusion cannot be disputed. Mind you, real and armchair philosophers since the Enlightenment have tried, but you simply cannot get to ought from is. In other words, there is no such thing has human dignity, or human worth in any cosmic sense. Why should a human being have any more value than the dirt with which it is made? The only credible answer from the atheist is, just because. That’s not very persuasive in the face of tyrants, thugs, and dictators. The history of the 20th century and all it’s bloodshed and destruction is only one example, all flowing ineluctably and logically from the implications of human beings seen as cosmic accidents.
Both the moral/religious relativist who thinks he gets to determine right and wrong, truth from fiction, and the progressive, Utopian, communist drink from the same well of materialist lies. The fount of those lies would be that reality is not an objective thing whose definitions are separate and apart from what we think of them, which follows if all we are is lucky dirt. For the former (relativist) their motto is “true for you, but not for me.” For the latter (Utopian) their motto is “might makes right.” The materialist presuppositions lead both to ignore that reality is not ultimately malleable. Looking at consequences of these lies, the former has given us a society of moral confusion where almost 45,000 people a year successfully kill themselves, and the latter a 20th century where well over a hundred million people were murdered by totalitarian thugs.
A favorite example of mine that shows side-by-side the implications of these worldview questions (God or chance) is the American and French Revolutions. The American Revolution was built on moderate Enlightenment and Judeo-Christian values. Our founding document states, “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” No lucky dirt for America’s Founding Fathers! Only something beyond humanity itself can be appealed to to make its rights secure. The French Revolution by contrast tried to destroy all religious and moral traditions in its past, and built it’s revolution upon the abstract concepts of liberty, equality, and fraternity. How’d that work out? We should not be surprised that le guillotine became the enduring symbol of a revolution that not only ignored God as Creator, but actively tried to kill him.