googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: April 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

Morals are Silly!

Morals are silly! That's not my opinion, it's the title of a YouTube video posted by a girl calling herself “healthyaddict.” Healthyaddict is an atheist who posts videos where she usually bashes Christians and occasionally defends atheism. In this video, she's responding to another video by a person posting as “Jesusfreek777” and she attempts to explain where morals come from. As usual, I'm going to recommend you view the video before I begin discussing it. It's only 3:12 long. Go ahead. I'll wait. //RKBentley taps his foot patiently//

I didn't choose this video because healthyaddict is the most articulate defender of atheism. Frankly, I've heard other, more articulate atheists make these same points. I picked this video because healthyaddict is very brief and I believe she is more representative of the casual way people usually make this argument. By the way, I spend about as much time looking at material critical of Christians as I do examining material defending Christians. When I talk about the unbelievers' arguments, I want to fairly represent their views and not build a straw man of their position. In this case, you can hear healthyaddict's position in her own words. I can't be accused of misrepresenting her.

Are we all agreed? Then let's move on.

She opens her video with the comment that “morals are silly” but she never really addresses what she means by that. It's very strange. From there, she changes direction and begins explaining her theory on the origin of morals. It's to this point that I'm going to respond.

Healthyaddict says that morals come from natural selection. That's not a big surprise because that's all that atheists or evolutionists ever have as an explanation. She's a little vague, though, in that she doesn't explain how this mechanism works. Is she saying that morality is a conscious act where we choose behavior that offers the greatest survival advantage or is morality an evolved trait where we instinctively act in ways that offer the greatest chance for survival? Either way, I will show you why she's wrong.

For her first example, she says that if we go around killing people “then the species would die off.” I guess she's saying that if we killed people carte blanche, then eventually we'd kill everyone. That's a little overreaching, don't you think? Again, I don't want to put words into anyone's mouth but I'm going to try to help her out. What she might be trying to say is that if we go around killing people, we are more likely to be killed in revenge. Therefore, if we act peaceably toward our neighbors, we're more likely to be left alone by them and, so, are more likely to live longer, have more kids, and pass along the trait of being peaceable.

This sounds plausible at first but it fails under scrutiny. First, it's well known that animals often fight and kill each other – even members of the same species. Sometimes, they fight for reproductive rights where the victorious male is allowed to mate and the defeated male is dead. This actually strengthens the species as a whole by removing the weaker males from the gene pool. If survival of the fittest is the goal, why would it necessarily be morally wrong for humans to kill each other if it were for something like the love of a woman?

Furthermore, under the “don't kill and you won't be killed” theory, would imperialism be objectively immoral? In the US, under our Manifest Destiny mission, we militantly displaced whole nations of American Indians, killing many of them and forcing many more onto reservations. Since this allowed the invading, white men to prosper, it must be moral by healthyaddict's standard.

Healthyaddict also attempts to tackle the dilemma of altruism. Why do humans do things that are a cost to them and a benefit to others? It doesn't make any sense according to evolution where everything is measured only by its survival benefit. Healthyaddict suggests altruism is a sort of reverse to the “don't kill and you won't be killed” principle; altruism is a “do this and they'll do it back to you” strategy. She gives the example of chimps picking bugs off other chimps. They do it in the hope that later, some chimp will pick bugs off them. I think healthyaddict needs to look up the definition of altruism. If you are expecting something in return, then it isn't altruism by definition. When people give money to starving children in third world countries, they never expect the children to someday repay them. Neither does the giver imagine that someday he might find himself in a third world country and will need some, middle class Westerner to give him food.

About 2 minutes into the video, healthyaddict undoes her entire point. She says, “I do think some things are very core when it comes to altruism, not killing each other generally, not raping each other. I think that's kind of like a universal standard because of natural selection.” You can see that the idea of morality by natural selection is so vague as to be meaningless. It's far more subjective than objective. No behavior could really be called immoral if an argument could be made that it offers some survival value. Yet she uses words like “core” and “universal standard” when it comes to the immorality of things like murder or rape. Is there a “core,” “universal standard” of morality or isn't there?

Immediately after stating that some things are universally wrong, healthyaddict points out that some attitudes of morality change over time. She uses the example of homosexuality. Now, homosexuality does not convey any survival benefit. Evolution hinges on reproduction and attraction to the same sex guarantees there can be no offspring. If perpetuation of the species is the objective, then homosexuality should never be viewed as moral. So if attitudes toward the morality of homosexuality have changed, something other than natural selection must be the standard by which it is judged. I would ask healthyaddict, what is that standard? What makes murder and rape always wrong and homosexuality sometimes wrong?

Healthyaddict highlights the futility of the atheist's position. Atheists strive mightily to demonstrate that there is no transcendent, absolute standard of morality. They know to acknowledge the existence of immutable morality strongly suggests there must be a transcendent Judge of right and wrong. So they equivocate and change the meaning of morally “right” to mean “what is expedient.” Yet when it comes to things like rape and murder, atheists immediately label them as absolutely immoral.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day 2013 AKA Radicals on Parade

I don't know if Earth Day has an “official” site, but Kathleen Rogers on this official-looking site billed Earth Day as “the largest secular event in the world.” I'd have to think about that one for a while. I don't know about the world but it's certainly not the largest, secular event in the US. I'm sure it ranks well behind Halloween, Independence Day, and probably even Cinco de Mayo. Still, it does get enough support that I could take a few moments to laugh at... er... I mean, write about it.

In the infancy of Earth Day, back in the 70s, the focus was on “over population.” It was feared that the earth did not have enough resources to support the three billion or so people who lived in the world back then so an early objective of Earth Day was to push for zero population growth. The idea of having children was booed by environmental advocates. Paul Erlich, author of The Population Bomb and an early champion of Earth Day made these radical statements:

[T]he first task is population control at home. How do we go about it? Many of my colleagues feel that some sort of compulsory birth regulation would be necessary to achieve such control. One plan often mentioned involves the addition of temporary sterilants to water supplies or staple food. Doses of the antidote would be carefully rationed by the government to produce the desired population size.” [The Population Bomb, pp. 130-131]

Of course, abortion was also one of the big issues of the 70s and liberals used population control as another reason to support their argument to allow abortion. Liberals often defend their radical agendas by saying, “it's for the children.” In the case of abortion, that doesn't quite have the same effect so they instead said, “it's for the planet.”

We now have doubled the population of the planet since Mr. Erlich wrote his book so all of his dire predictions have been proven false. God commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and fill the earth (Genesis 1:28) so He gave us a world capable of supporting many times the number of people who are alive now. The idea of purposefully limiting population growth is not only unnecessary, it's also a direct rebellion to God's plan.

Liberals also hate the free market and capitalism and so, over the years, they have used environmental concerns as a cudgel to beat down private property rights and for-profit endeavors. At first, radicals simply did things like chaining themselves to trees to prevent logging. I wonder if any of these nuts lived in houses built with lumber? Anyway, it's gotten worse over the years and now we are forced to save the environment or face criminal fines. We can't drill for oil in Alaska because there are caribou there. California farmers couldn't water their orchards due to the delta smelt. I can't buy a five gallon flush toilet or incandescent light bulbs because legislators believe these things are destroying the planet. Now the EPA even wants to fine (fleece?) cities and states for the rainwater that runs off of roads and highways.

Liberals have even used the environment to meddle in healthcare. For example, the Feds have banned over the counter inhalers used to treat asthma and have forced asthma suffers to buy more expensive, prescription-only inhalers. The reason: the over the counter inhalers contained CFCs.

On this Earth Day, the focus is “climate change.” It's simply a new spin on the old theme of forcing everyone to comply with liberal ideology by making everything seem to be about the environment. Liberals want to control everything that everyone does. Even something like eating meat is condemned because cow flatulence is supposedly destroying the ozone layer.

And I can't resist mentioning the evolutionary connection to Earth Day. A few years back, I posted this Oakland Zoo quote about their Earth Day celebration:

Bring the whole family out to the Oakland Zoo from 10:00am - 3:00pm for Earth Day 2009 Festivities! This year, the theme is "We're All Connected." All of the world is connected in a beautiful web of life, including you!

You see, Earth Day advocates want everyone to believe we're all connected via evolution: people, pandas, and petunias – we're all the same.

Finally, Kathleen Rogers includes this quote in her article:

More than one billion people from almost every single country on earth will take an action in service to our planet.

What probably bothers me about Earth Day more than the liberal agenda on parade is the not-so-subtle idea of earth worship that seems to be going on. What exactly does Ms. Rogers mean when she says talks about acting “in service to our planet”? The Bible says that God gave us every green thing to be our food (Genesis 1:29). God gave man dominion over the birds and the fish and the beasts of the earth (Genesis 1:26). In other words, the earth was made to serve us; we were not made to serve the earth!

God gave us a wonderful world because He loves us. On this earth day, let's be good stewards over what God has given us but let's not glorify the earth. Instead, give glory to God for His providence!

Have a Christ-centered Earth Day!

Monday, April 15, 2013

What Is Their Ultimate Authority? Because It Isn't Science!

Evolutionists pretend to be believers in science. I don't mean they intentionally treat science like it's a religion (although they often act like it is), but certainly they put their confidence in the findings of science. They pretend to be thirsty seekers of knowledge who go only where the evidence leads them. They pretend to reject creation not because they reject the Bible but because “science” has shown that the world is billions of years old and that evolution is true. Blah, blah, blah.

I've often written about the self defeating worldviews of unbelievers. The simple fact that they their worldview rejects the Bible means they have laid the foundation of their arguments on shifting sand. As a consequence, their philosophies cannot stand up to scrutiny. The idea that knowledge ultimately comes from science is another of those self defeating philosophies.

Have you ever heard someone say, “I don't believe anything without scientific evidence”? That's about the most ridiculous statement I think I've ever heard anyone utter. It can't stand up to the most cursory examination yet I hear it all the time. My usual response anymore is to simply ask the person this: “So, you don't believe anything without scientific evidence, eh? Could you please show me the scientific evidence that led you to that belief?”

You can imagine the kinds of responses that I get. Sometimes they launch into a rant where they mock, ridicule, and insult me. Sometimes they attempt a psuedo-intellectual argument to justify their stance. But not one time has anyone ever showed me any scientific evidence to justify this belief.

It's fairly obvious that there really is no scientific evidence to justify the belief that we should only believe things with scientific evidence so the people who claim believe this actually do believe some things without scientific evidence. Therefore, their statement contradicts itself and, according to logic, something that contradicts itself cannot be true.

Since these people have a belief that isn't based on science, I next wonder what they consider to be the final authority in determining what is true. After all, it can't be science. What I mean is, these people already believe something for which there is no scientific evidence (namely, that they should only believe things with scientific evidence) so what else – besides science – convinced them that belief was true?

How do we know anything is true? How do we know what is right and what is wrong? There must be some ultimate authority which we can use to determine these things. For the believer, of course, the final authority is the word of God. The Bible has the last word on anything it addresses. I know what is right and wrong because I can appeal to the one who created right and wrong. I know the true origin of the universe because the one who created the universe has revealed it to us.

On the other hand, to what authority can the unbeliever appeal except his own opinion? And if he is his own authority in determining what is true, then truth cannot be absolute. Neither can right or wrong be absolute. The atheist has no grounds on which he can say Christians are wrong. If absolute truth exists... if absolute right and wrong exists... they can only exist if God exists!

I don't appeal to the Bible because it's the easiest explanation. I believe the Bible because it is the only explanation. Nothing in this universe makes sense unless God is real. It's difficult for evolutionists to persuade me that scientific evidence trumps Scripture when they cannot even support their own claims using scientific evidence. If you want to convince me that I'm wrong, give me something besides your opinion.

I'm asking in earnest. Atheists, how do you ultimately decide what is true? Science doesn't do it. There has to be something else going on in your brain. What is it? Go ahead. I'm listening.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Really, Google?

Yesterday was Easter, right? I mean, it was on the calendar. I've been seeing Easter baskets and candy on display in stores for weeks. I went to Church and heard a sermon about the Resurrection. Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was yesterday. Why is it then, that when I logged onto Google, I saw this on their front page:

Really, Google? On the biggest holiday in Christendom, you chose to honor the birthday of Cesar Chavez instead? I guess Google is heading the way of Yahoo.

It's a shame that my blog is hosted by Google. Frankly, I'm getting tired of patronizing businesses that spurn my beliefs. It's old news that retail stores stopped celebrating “Christmas” and adopted the generic “Holiday” themes. Now the word “Easter” is being abandoned for the less religious sounding “Spring” activities. I'm reading more and more accounts of the “Spring bunny” and “egg hunts.”

Oh well. What can I do about it? It's not like I'm going to move my blog because Google is joining the politically correct crowd. If it were an easy thing to do, I would do it but there's more to it than just uploading my posts onto another site. I will, however, use my blog to say how stupid I think Google is being. So here I go:

Google, you're being stupid!