On this day in 1966, Time Magazine published it’s (in)famous cover story, “Is God Dead?” It was about some radical theologians who decided to take the theos out of the ology. It has not exactly proved to be prophetic. In some parts of the world God is more popular than ever, even in countries that are officially atheist like China. Europe, on the other hand, instead of being the vanguard of the future, as predicted by secularists for decades, is dying on the spiritual vine. Not only are churches empty, but most Western Europeans are not even having enough children to replace their populations. Growing Muslim populations, by contrast, are filling the spiritual vacuum (which we know nature abhors) because they value the next generation and are passionate about their God.
No, God is indeed not dead, but here comes Time almost 51 years later again asking another question of negation: “Is Truth Dead?” I will give the magazine credit for logical consistency. If there is no God, there is no truth. As I often ask my kids, if all we are is lucky dirt, then what makes one thing true and not another, or what makes something right and not wrong? Nothing. In the moral realm, you cannot get ought from is. If all we are is lucky dirt who’s to say torturing babies for fun is wrong. And if God is dead truth is dead. Without God the only thing that can make one thing ultimately true or not is power.
I am speaking logically here. We would not know a line is crooked unless we had a sense inside us of what a straight line is. We would not know something is wrong unless we had a sense of right, or what lies are unless we had a sense of truth. There has to be an objective transcendent standard apart from our own preferences or perceptions, or truth and morality are basically material illusions.
Fortunately, because we are not just lucky dirt, most people are not logical when it comes to truth or morals. If you want to see logical consistency when it comes to atheism look at Stalin, Mao, and Hitler (throw in Pol Pot and Castro, and our friends in North Korea today). These men decided that their might made right because they had no God to be accountable to for their actions, and they left north of 100 million people dead in their wake. Nineteenth century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche called might making right the “will to power.” He knew getting rid of God would fundamentally change Western civilization, but one wonders what he would think of the suffering and misery left in its wake.
Human beings are made in God’s image, and thus even when people don’t believe in God, or think he is irrelevant to their life, they live as if he did exist. They know without a shadow of a doubt that some things are true and others are not, that some things are wrong and others are right. So because we are in fact not lucky dirt, truth can never die.
But Time being a typical “mainstream” American liberal publication, they don’t discuss truth in any philosophical way, but use the provocative title to rip President Trump. Not surprising, but it would have been nice if the editors had realized that more is at stake when we talk about truth than political power. But that’s pretty much all that matters to modern liberals.