Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat it Too…

Perusing the comments of a recent NPR article discussing a recent journal article on the hypothesis that human’s intelligence may be an evolutionary trade-off to an improved immunity as seen in some chimps (the article isn’t the point of this post but it’s an interesting, although I’m not necessarily convinced of the authors’ conclusions, hypothesis), I ran across a user conveying outrage at the simultaneous existence of the pointless and harmful worshiping of a non-existent deity every Sunday while nations wage war and death upon each other. I’ve come across these two points stated together before (so have other more intelligent people than I), but for some reason this comment gave me pause and made me thing about this oft repeated sentiment.

I’m interested how people can hold both of these as bad/immoral things. That there is BOTH no God (and a harmful delusion that there is) and killing/war is inherently evil. I find that statement horribly inconsistent, and I think those that make it know its inconsistency yet still viscerally can’t/won’t admit the logical and rational conclusions of a materialistic impersonal universe without any sort of god.

Either God does exist and this existence is the very foundation for human value (created in the image of this God), or God does not exist and we’re all the result of impersonal, materialistic forces driving us toward this unimportant moment in time. I’ve heard it said way too many times that the only value out there is the value we give it. Ok, so why should one person have to value human life if he doesn’t want to (see Hitler, Stalin, etc.). Either there is transcendent value to humanity, or we’re all just a bunch of protoplasm and atoms bouncing around in a meaningless void. Every Darwinian (I actually have a lot of Darwinian leanings – I’m not debating evolution here) stops short of being a full fledged materialist social Darwinian. They don’t like where it necessarily leads which is a true “survival of the fittest,” might makes right.

To quote Wilson (to whom I’ve linked above), “without God, nice does not exist.” There is no reason why atoms organised in cells, tissues, organs, to bodies should be called people. It’s easy and often correct to attack the abuses of religion and rightfully to call out the problems with many wars and all murder, but you can only do so by borrowing from a deistic point of view. Otherwise on what grounds can you point out the “immorality” of certain actions? That they violate human laws? Why do we need to listen to a bunch of cells stacked on top of each other? The only reason I’ve ever been able to be convinced of is that that stack of cells bears the image of a deity who fashioned it from the clay and breathed (animatus/animosus/soul) life into it.

I’m not stating atheists are unintelligent, rather I’m saying I’ve always noticed this inconsistency. I’ve just never understood how they avoid coming to the strict materialist social Darwinian conclusion without appealing to some internal/personal endowment of humanity with value. When you personally decide to give value to humanity out of a materialistic worldview, don’t you still out of necessity have to appeal to the right of others who themselves choose to not give this same value the right to do as they so please such as murder, steal, and commit other violations of another person’s humanity since these things don’t really have any real existence anymore?

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~ by veniatregnum on November 12, 2010.

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