Summary: The Moral Argument For God
The early 21st century stands as a period of profound moral confusion. On the one hand, mothers and doctors are permitted to crack open the skulls and suck out the brains of nearly-born babies with government sanction under the banner of partial birth abortion. Should these very same people hike into the woods and crack open a bald eagle egg, they could face serious prison time.
It would therefore seem that contemporary society is marked by two seemingly contradictory extremes --- that of extreme license and that of excessive control. However, upon closer inspection it could be concluded that these conditions are not as contradictory as the situation might originally appear. Rather, it would seem each is the result of the systematic removal of the ethical balance provided within the Judeo-Christian tradition with its emphasis upon transcendent standards provided by an infinitely just and loving God.
With the increasing complexity of knowledge and technology, those trained in the acquisition and use of this complex body of thought (those broadly referred to as “intellectuals”) have taken on increased levels of influence and responsibility throughout society. No longer does agriculture or manufacturing dominate society to the degree it once did.
Futurists from Alvin Toffler to Newt Gingrich have characterized the current sociological epoch as information-based, with those manipulating this information from government bureaucrats to Hollywood producers exercising unfathomable power over the composition of the contemporary mind. Therefore, it must be remembered, as Lord Acton is believed to have said, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Through a historical process too complicated to detail to a significant degree in this brief analysis, the prevailing secular elite came to see the world around them and their own assorted intellectual systems as satisfactory explanations in and of themselves for the reality in which these thinkers found themselves. According to Phillip Johnson in “Reason In The Balance”, this way of viewing the world prevalent among the most influential intellectuals is naturalism. Naturalism is the idea that the material reality constitutes the totality of existence and the idea of God is merely a mental construct promulgated in an attempt to cope with the stark realities of the universe in which man finds himself (7).
The average person might naturally conclude that naturalism by its nature would confine itself to the issues of blunt observable scientific fact. However, naturalism has left the tedium of the laboratory and now seeks to influence fields as divergent from science as education, ethics, and government. It is through this set of paradigms embracing the present material reality as the highest criteria of judgment that the twin siblings of chaos and tyranny have become so prevalent throughout world society.
No matter what the secular elites call their particular systems or what concerns these systems emphasize, it is the goal of the secular elite to remake man in the image of the prevailing secular elite. According to Alister McGrath in “Intellectuals Don’t Need God & Other Modern Myths”, prominent ideologies competing for the minds of men include Enlightenment rationalism, Marxism, and scientific materialism (160).
Despite the shades of difference between each of these systems, at their core each shares the assumption that man is bound by no eternal standard beyond this reality and can be remade into whatever the powers that be see fit. It is from this effort to remake the fundamental nature of man that the sorrow of anarchy and tyranny flow.
Bound by certain God-ordained limits regarding behavioral standards and human relationships, man can expect nothing but heartache should he decide to ignore these warnings. However, those seeking to craft a cultural ethos standing apart from the moral will of God regularly ignore these moral stoplights like newly-licensed teenagers barreling down the Las Vegas strip.
Proponents of modernism originally hypothesized that man could retain a high degree of morality without reference to all that theological superstition. Yet without a clear theological reference by which to measure, the actions of man degenerate into the depths of unfathomable evil.
According to Norman Geisler in “Introduction To Philosophy: A Christian Perspective”, when man looks to himself as the source of right and wrong, the result is existential subjectivism and relativism where each person becomes a law unto themselves (404).
And while modernism attempted to maintain the illusion of objective standards apart from the revelation of God, the logical conclusion of such atheistic thinking --- postmodernism --- holds to no such delusions. In fact, political radical and literary critic Michel Foulcalt has stated there are no facts (though this assertion is itself stated as a fact) and his fellow travelers down the deconstructionist superhighway literally fancy themselves as “assassins of objectivity” according to Lynne Cheney in “Telling The Truth: Why Our Culture & Country Have Stopped Making Sense & What We Can Do About It” (91).
Such sentiments possess ramifications beyond settling the issue of whether or not hemlines will be low or high for the coming year. Such ideas determine the very shape and composition of human society and relationships.