Ponder the common truth-claim that truth cannot be known, but only sensed subjectively according to one’s own values – grasped at clumsily in the darkness, but never to be apprehended. Such a claim against the knowability of truth, which itself purports to be true, is deeply ironic and self-defeating. One must be hopelessly confused to mistake this leap of illogic as not only rational, but a viable defense of rationality.
From this wobbly pseudo-intellectual platform launched the artistic movements of absurdism, existentialism and nihilism. Some artists sought to expose the deranged and suicidal aspects of this worldview, while others simply expressed the meaninglessness they sensed overtaking the modern world.
In conjunction with the arts going loopy in the 20th century, our political and social realms suffered the ape-mad fevers of atheistic regimes which sprang from this meaninglessness and caused more war and destruction than the prior 2,000 years of civilization put together. Marxism, based on the fundamental principle that religion is the cause and expression of all suffering, itself caused unprecedented suffering under Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao. To be sure, the fascist twins of Hitler and Mussolini only embraced Christianity insofar as they could exploit and ultimately destroy it, making them literally antichrist in the biblical usage of the word.
Alas, this is the native territory in which we find ourselves living today: the postmodern era. I’ve lost count of the number of people who have argued passionately that they believe in nothing absolutely, all in defense of their worldview that no God exists, but rather only an aimless universe consisting of space, time, matter and chance (usually with an unblushing nod to Eastern mysticism and Western psychology). According to them, this is not a belief system or a worldview, but rather just a hunch, a working hypothesis with enough practical justification to keep on going wherever it may lead.
What could be lurking behind this tendency to eschew meaning and just enjoy life, while at the same time managing to congratulate ourselves for being so good and clever in this world of chaos?
“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecc 1:9).
Naturalism is nothing new. This philosophy of man that says God doesn’t exist has always served as a handy instrument to temporarily suppress the knowledge that God will righteously judge our deeds and give us exactly what we ask for.
What is new as a surface justification for naturalism, however, takes the form of scientism – the belief that science alone is sufficient for grappling with all aspects of existence and, given enough time and effort, will release us from our physical bonds on earth and even enable us to transcend all metaphysical limits, whatever they may be. This is a blind faith in pure unsubstantiated theory, which has the counter-scientific property of being untestable and unfalsifiable. Not surprisingly, scientism has given rise to a widely-accepted and institutionalized theory of life that seeks to explain the world without invoking the most obvious conclusion that a mind with personality is at work: evolution.
Evolution demotes man down to the level of mere animal, so it’s no surprise that meaning and expectations for our existence would not exceed that of an animal: to successfully propagate our species over time and space. Indeed, the ethos underlying such material aspirations does not exceed that of a virus, nor should it in a universe of molecules banging together for no reason whatsoever other than to be.
The Darwinian concept of “survival of the fittest” ought to strike every thinking person as a tautology, a logical backwater – it merely claims that survivors are the individuals who survive due to their fitness to survive – but the fact that it does not immediately offend the intellect of most people is itself a striking piece of evidence for collective blindness.
History shows that the underlying engine of evolutionary theory is not survival of the fittest, but death of the unfit. Eugenics got a bad name through the genocidal crimes committed by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust, but it started as a respected scientific endeavor backed by Darwinian theory, and it’s alive and well today in the justification for abortions at Planned Parenthood. Ask any “pro-choice” advocate “Why?” and their answer, after declaring the rights of a woman alone to determine the use of her uterus, will likely revolve around the issue of poverty and other social factors such as race that would lead a mother to justifiably terminate her pregnancy. This line of reasoning was explicitly set forth by Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood and herself an advocate for negative eugenics.
The death-cult of scientism strains deeper than eugenics and genocide into the spiritual realm. Many westerners don’t understand the meaning of the Buddhist concept of nirvana, even while strangely approving of it, but its purpose in Eastern mysticism serves the same purpose as it does for Western scientism. It means annihilation, lights out. Thus, death without a continuing eternal existence means a final release from all suffering, a bliss in nothingness. Game Over without consequences. Given our sympathies for Buddhist spiritualism and our increasing belief that death is final and without meaning outside the consciousness of the living (so sad for them, but that too shall pass), it’s no wonder the suicide rate in the US has increased 24% in 15 years according to the CDC.
Still, there is always hope. God is not far from every one of us, and He has made Himself known to all of us. The only question is whether or not you suppress that truth in unrighteousness.
“I hear what you’re saying,” says the blind man, “but I just can’t see where you’re coming from.”
Look here, then:
Everyone has faith in something and worships something – it’s just a matter of who or what you find worthy of your belief and honor. Unless that object of worship is your holy Creator, your worship is called idolatry, and we’ve been suffering from that sin from the beginning, fueled by pride.
Claiming ignorance will not excuse you on the day of judgment. God came to us in the form of a man in order to show us the truth and to offer the only way to enter His kingdom rather than paying the penalties we’ve earned: just believe in Him as your savior. Seek God, if you will, and you will find Him waiting with arms outstretched. God wants to give you eternal life, and He is waiting patiently for you to come home.
The experience of giving yourself over to Christ is not unlike dying, because it involves giving up all that you worship and hold dear aside from Him, which includes your own strength and ability to survive without Him.
Quite contrary to Darwin’s theory of “survival of the fittest” is God’s promise for the revival of the weakest in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”