Category Archives: Musings

Mankind- Lower than the grass?

What follows is an amazing quote from renowned Christian thinker Francis Schaeffer, from his book, The God Who Is There. It is a perfect explanation of why the materialistic, anti-supernaturalistic worldview is an utter failure and most dismal of all possible worlds.

Imagine that a universe existed which was made up of only liquids and solids, and no free gases. A fish was swimming in this universe. This fish, quite naturally, was conformed to its environment, so that it was able to go on living. But let us suppose that by blind chance, as the evolutionists would have us believe, this fish developed lungs as it continued swimming in this universe without any gases. Now this fish would no longer be able to function and fulfill its position as a fish. Would it then be higher or lower in its new state with lungs? It would be lower, for it would drown. In the same way, if man has been kicked up by chance out of what is only impersonal, then those things that make him man- hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication- are ultimately unfulfillable and are thus meaningless. In such a situation, is man higher or lower? He would then be the lowest creature on the scale. The green moss on the rock is higher than he, for it can be fulfilled in the universe which exists. But if the world is what these men [naturalistic evolutionists] say it is, then man (not only individually but as a race), being unfulfillable, is dead. In this situation man should not walk on the grass, but respect it- for it is higher than he!

(From The Francis Schaeffer Trilogy, pp. 95-96)

“To Thine Own Self Be True” is the Essence of Satanism

The spirit of the Age- or the spirit of the World- can in many ways be summed up by the oft-repeated quote “To Thine Own Self Be True”, taken from Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Act 1, Scene 3). What exactly Shakespeare’s character Polonius actually meant by that is open for debate. According to the authors at enotes.com,

Polonius has in mind something much more Elizabethan than the New Age self-knowledge that the phrase now suggests. As Polonius sees it, borrowing money, loaning money, carousing with women of dubious character, and other intemperate pursuits are “false” to the self. By “false” Polonius seems to mean “disadvantageous” or “detrimental to your image”; by “true” he means “loyal to your own best interests.” Take care of yourself first, he counsels, and that way you’ll be in a position to take care of others.

This may or may not be what was in Shakespeare’s mind when he devised that phrase. Nonetheless, my concern is not really so much with what Shakespeare meant, but what the modern culture means when it constantly repeats this phrase, putting it on everything from T-Shirts…

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… to tattoos.

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What people mean by this today seems to boil down more or less to, “Do what you really want, not what others tell you,” and, “Believe what seems right to you, not what others tell you to believe,” and such things as this. There are many other pop-culture phrases which pretty much have the same thrust:

“Be true to yourself” (Same, just modernized language)

“Follow your heart”

“Believe in yourself”

Does the spirit of these phrases square with solid Biblical teaching? Absolutely not! The Bible tells us not to put faith and trust in ourselves, but rather in God.

Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. (2 Corinthians 1:9 ESV)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5 ESV)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10 ESV)

Notice that Shakespeare’s quote, “This above all, to thine own self be true,” is nearly an exact inversion of “The heart is deceitful above all things…” Yet I fear most Christians are unaware of this danger. Be very wary about the kinds of motivational phrases you hear repeated in our modern culture. They may superficially sound good, but at their base often they are a rejection of the truth of the Bible. This idea is essentially no different from “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law,” which is the “Law of Thelema” developed by who is most certainly one of the most evil men of recent history, Alistair Crowley, the famous “Beast 666” satanist. It is the utter rejection of the Truth and subservience to the hedonistic doctrine of the Beast. Don’t “do what thou wilt,” but rather do what God wills. Pray that God will guide you and give you a new heart that desires the things of God, not the things of this world. God bless.

Mother 3: A Critical Analysis

Mother 3! For most people, this is a video game that remains utterly and completely unheard of. It’s a sequel of a game, Earthbound (Mother 2) for Super Nintendo, that was popular in Japan, but never received a huge following elsewhere. Nonetheless, it has a strong and devoted cult-following; now this game, Mother 3, is even more obscure, since it was never released in America at all! Yet, due to the aforementioned strong cult following, some people got together and formed an unofficial fan translation into English for this game, and made it available online. Now with an emulator, this game can be played in English. How many people have actually done that? It’s hard to say. However, it’s undeniable that there exists a sizable, hardcore internet fan base for this game, some going so far as to create their own costumes, fan art, etc.

So why, then, am I taking the time to write anything about this obscure topic? Simply this: I, too, am a fan of these games. Earthbound and Mother 3 are probably my favorite RPGs  (Role Playing Games) of all time. They stand so far out from the crowd that they almost deserve their own genre. It could be called “Whacky Sci-Fi Social Commentary RPG” (WSFSCRPG). These games are all the brainchild of the enigmatic and interesting Shigesato Itoi of Japan. Apparently he has done many things in his career, and writing these video games is only one of them. He is also a well-known personality in Japan, having been a voice actor and author of various books. I have not read anything else that Itoi has written, but the strangeness of these games is more than enough for me. Needless to say, if you haven’t played this game and you plan to, you might not want to read this whole article until afterward, since it does contain spoilers.

Mother 3 is a dark, serious (and yet also insane), satirical adventure in the guise of a kiddie game. It has so much questionable content and so many adult motifs that I seriously doubt it will ever be given an American release (yet… with the rise of such programming here as Adventure Time, aimed at young kids, I can’t rule it out). I would never suggest allowing a young child to play this game. There’s nothing “normal” about it. Throughout the game, you, the player control different characters taking part in the overall narrative.  The nature of this narrative is such that you get progressive revelation as the story continues, and with each step it gets more colossal and dark and serious than you realized it was before. As a mature adult, I can overlook the innuendo, occasional mild profanity, and other questionable content and appreciate the nature of the social commentary and philosophical ruminations that are actually being presented; but for a young child, I just wouldn’t even go there. As you can see from my website, I am a Christian, and from a Christian perspective there is a lot which can be said about this game which is positive. Yet, overall, the storyline takes on a rather inverted, quasi-satanic slant. It will be difficult to explain this, but I’ll try my best. Without actually playing the game, there’s only so much that you will really be able to grasp of how strange and deep it is. I’ll try to keep this relatively short; there is enough to say about Mother 3 that I think a book could be written on the subject. I’ll mention this one more thing, also: the game has one of the best soundtracks, in my opinion, of any video game ever. The music is extremely well-written and creative, much like the music of the predecessor game, Earthbound.

The player starts out in an idyllic setting- the primitive town of Tazmily. Yet something strange is going on. There are strange outsiders wearing Nazi-like pink military uniforms with pig masks on who are attacking the village.

pigmask

The main character is Flint, and right at the outset, tragedy strikes when his wife is killed by a giant dragon which has been mechanically-altered by the Pigmasks. Here the player gets the first dose of shocking tragedy mixed with seemingly out-of-place black humor.

hinawadead

WALK AROUND A LITTLE AND BRONSON RUNS IN. TALK TO HIM.

Bronson:

Flint….what to say…well, first of all, calm down and listen closely. I have good news and bad news. Which should I say first? Um, I guess the good news first. I got my hands on the super-huge Drago Fang. It will be the greatest weapon. I thought you could use it. The bad news is…..the bad news is….the place where I found Drago’s Fang. It was in…your…It was thrust through your wife’s heart.

FLINT FALLS TO HIS KNEES.

Bronson:

Flint, please, be strong. I’m sure that Hinawa is the reason the boys are safe. She must have sacrificed her life for theirs.

Tessie: Flint….. Ollie: Flint…

Abbot: Flint, I’m not sure what to say. I’m sorry…

FLINT BASHES HIM WITH A PIECE OF FIREWOOD. OLLIE TRIES TO GRAB IT FROM HIM BUT HE SMACKS OLLIE WITH IT AS WELL.

Abbot: Flint, not in front of your kids. What do you think you’re doing?

LIGHTER APPEARS AND KNOCKS FLINT UNCONSCIOUS WITH A 2X4. FLINT DREAMS OF HIS WIFE AND KIDS AND THEN WAKES UP IN PRISON.

[Script obtained from http://www.gamefaqs.com/gba/914622-mother-3/faqs/42740%5D

Shocking for a video game (supposedly) aimed at kids, right? Yet the whole game is like this. Extremely adult situations and innuendo, and deep, dark storyline elements. What is Itoi getting at with this game? What is it really about? There are many real-world themes, extremely relevant for the modern times we live in, which are brought out during the course of this game.

One such theme is the corrupting influence technology has on society. In the game, the evil character Porky uses the infiltration of technology to destroy the simple, innocent society found in Tazmily and draw everyone out into his big, horrible New Pork City.

new pork city

It starts with the introduction of televisions (“Happy Boxes”) to the town. Suddenly everyone gets mesmerized and mind-controlled into wanting to leave the town and go to New Pork City after getting happy boxes put in their homes. Satan does this in real life. If you do some research, you will find that there are countless examples of satanic mind-poisoning going on in modern television and movies. I’m not going into it all here, but anyone has the ability to research this for themselves. Be very careful what you watch and especially what you let children watch. I’ve spoken a little about some of it before, like the song Counting Stars. In any case, be alert.

happybox

The Pigmask army is also involved with experiments combining biology with technology- animals with machines, as well as genetic engineering to create ‘chimeras’.  This type of Nazi-style research is actually going on today. People involved with the “Transhumanist” movement, like Ray Kurzweil of Google, actually think that they will be able to cheat death and attain immortality by blending man with machine. This is nothing other than satanic ideology- attempting to overcome the Curse that came from God by using high-level secret knowledge (science), as well as playing God by attempting to create new forms of life that don’t exist naturally. By “coincidence”, that also just happens to be the plot of the new Jurassic World movie.

chimera lab

The game also incorporates the concept of a more direct, powerful type of mind control (like what the researchers behind the secret government MK Ultra project have been doing for years), that seeks to turn a person into a mindless slave.  This happens to another one of the main characters, Claus, the brother of Lucas, who gets turned into a Darth-Vader style bad guy who is working for evil despite being the close relative of the main good guy. Claus wears a headset that overtakes his mind and makes him wicked.

claus

One of the most bizarre aspects of this game is the fact that it incorporates transsexual characters known as Magypsies. They are some kind of pseudo-angelic beings which exist solely to guard needles stuck into the ground (I’ll explain that next). Their presence in this game is so odd, out of place, and downright strange that I’m not sure there’s much more I can say. To quote the game’s own explanation from the script:

 
 Alec: Flint, you’re probably intrigued by the name Magypsy. I can tell by how slow your walking has become. The Magypsies have been in this land for a long time protecting something. They all have strange powers. They’re not humans and they’re not demons. They’re also not men or women. I also have no idea how old they are. So, even though I’ve explained it to you, you still know nothing. Well, in summary, they’re strange. All of them, strange. That’s what kind of things they are. However, they are really good natured.
 

magypsies

Unlike the previous elements I mentioned, this strange transgender motif is not associated with anything negative in the game; it is not the result of evil. However in the real world we know otherwise. God has created this natural order with male and female for a reason- any attempt to blur those lines is always from Satan, not God. All kinds of sexual perversion, whether it be bisexuality or homosexuality or whatever else, are abominations before God, and as cultures move further and further away from God over time, we tend to see more and more of this type of thing rising to the surface in society. That is exactly what we see today in the world. The dialogue and appearance of these characters is an obvious satire of the stereotypical homosexual cross-dresser; not something I ever could have imagined would appear in a game from Nintendo!

Towards the end of the game, the player finally is treated to a robust explanation of the backstory. It comes from another enigmatic character, Leder, who is a giant tall man who, previous to this point in the game, is only a minor presence and never speaks. He has this to say:

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Leder: Hi. I’m the bell-ringer, Leder. You must be surprised to hear me speak. All this time it’s not that I couldn’t speak, but that I didn’t speak. Not talking to people for so many years built up inside me, so I rang the bell. But, the secret that I have been protecting has started to leak out …

Once, there was something called “the world”. It’s different from what this island’s people think of as a world. “The world” was extraordinarily big. More people lived in “the world” than all the grains of sand in Nowhere Island. I’m sure that you can’t even imagine something like that. But, “the world” once existed. …

One day, “the world” was destroyed. Of course, it was at the hands of humans. Everyone had the faintest inkling that this time might come. And come, it did. That’s why “the world” is no longer. …

A little before the end of “the world” a “white ship” arrived. All of Tazmily’s people boarded this ship. The people who boarded the “white ship” and escaped from “the world” were just a fraction of the people living there. The people who left in the “white ship” kept the names they had when they were in “the world”. Before the destruction of “the world”, the “white ship” plan was drawn up. This island, Nowhere Island, while being part of “the world”, was also a special place. This was a place that would keep on existing, even with the loss of “the world”. It was the only place to survive. The “white ship” arrived at this island.

The reason that this island was special was because of the giant dragon, which is about the same size as the island itself. Once, long ago, man and the dragon co-existed. However, all of a sudden, man and the dragon became unable to live together. And so the ancestors of the Magypsys, who have lived on the island for ages, drove the needles into the ground and made the dragon enter a long, deep sleep. The Magypsys protected the needles to make sure that no one woke the dragon before the time it’s power became necessary. Until the dragon wakes, he sleeps and gives power to the land. Thanks to the power of this dragon, buried deep underground, this island was saved from the end of “the world”. 

The people who boarded the “white ship” and came here feared nothing more than another end to their “world”. They all came to the consensus that the cause for the downfall of “the world”, was their way of living. The people from the “white ship” put their minds together and talked long and hard about the situation. Their conclusion was to erase everyone’s memory of the former “world” and with new rules and new roles, live their lives. In other words, they decided to become actors in an ideal “story”. With the simple, peaceful village, a place that they had all longed for since childhood, as the stage, they would start their lives over again. Their memories of “the world”, everything they owned, and all the rules that had surrounded them were erased, and they started over. They reset their old memories and opened the first page of the new “story”.

That is how Tazmily Village came to be. However, the fact that the memory replacement took place needed to be recorded somehow.  I still knew about everything and it was my role to be on duty and watch out. I was they only person to not get a new life in the new village of Tazmily. The bell that I rang had a suggestive power to it, and kept the people from returning to their old memories. …

Well, for not knowing anything, things went pretty smoothly. The people from the “white ship” easily took on their new personalities and they lived together in peace and harmony. The fact that everything got thrown into confusion is all the fault of Porky, who crossed space and time to come here. He has some kind of machine that is capable of freely traversing the time tunnel. However, he was shut out of all times and spaces and ended up arriving here. He is now using the time tunnel to bring people here from other times. The pig-masks and all the people in New Pork City were brainwashed by Pokey. Pokey thinks of this island as his own toy box, to do with as he pleases. He turned all the animals into freak chimeras. He built the Lightning Tower and organized an army. This childish dictator has taken over this island. Pokey learned of the “white ship” when one of the Magypsies turned traitor. 

The Magypsy that turned on his people is the only one you haven’t met yet; the guardian of the seventh needle, Locria. His friendship with Pokey led him to reveal the secrets about the “white ship” and also the sleeping dragon. Porky is planning on removing the needles, waking the dragon, and then using that power as his own. The dragon is the power of the land. The one who removes the needles is said to be the dragon’s master. However, the only ones who can remove the needles are the extremely limited humans. Even the Magypsies, who protected the needles all these years, couldn’t be of any help to Porky. Regardless of that, he began removing the needles. Porky is controlling someone and having him obtain the power of the dragon for him. We can’t allow him to go on like this any further. This world is being destroyed anew and the true end to everything is near. For Porky, this is the ultimate rush. We cannot let it come to be. We, the last few remaining humans, cannot permit this. Lucas, you were chosen to remove the needles sealing away the dragon. Remove the remaining needle and reflect the goodness of your heart in the dragon. This is my only order as leader to you…”

So, yes, that’s a lot to digest. This story is clearly pulling elements from many different sources, but I would describe it as the Biblical Timeline meets The Giver. It’s obvious that there is a strong correlation between ideas found in this story and ideas from the Bible. The “White Ship” sounds very similar to Noah’s Ark, along with the destruction of the world. But the other part of the storyline sounds a lot more like the book of Revelation.

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while. (Revelation 20:1-3 ESV)

Notice the striking role-reversal here? This game’s story sounds almost exactly like the Bible, but instead of the dragon being evil, this dragon is morally neutral, and will absorb whatever nature its user imparts to it (like “the force” from Star Wars). This is typical of eastern religious thought. The Yin and the Yang. In eastern thought (and this game does come from the East) good and evil are just two sides of the same coin, eternally in combat with one another.

The picture the Bible paints is much brighter than that, though. Evil is not eternal, but will eventually be defeated and pass away. The dragon, who will be locked away for 1000 years, is none other than Satan, and will do nothing but evil. So unfortunately this game takes a Biblical concept and turns it nearly upside-down. At one point, the dragon is even prayed to as a god:

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I’m going to bring this to an end, though there’s plenty more that could be said about this game. I’ll leave that to someone else. I will simply say this: Mother 3 is intensely deep and entertaining, and it’s one of the best all around video games I’ve ever played. Unfortunately it’s also littered with strange and child-inappropriate content, and the overall story takes a Biblical theme and twists it upside down, cutting the one true God completely out of the picture and putting a mysterious dragon in his place. We see this in many types of art throughout the ages which do not stem from true Christian thought; the Bible’s themes are so powerful that they always wind up getting repeated in popular fiction, but with changes here and there that ultimately wind up obscuring the truth. For those with eyes to see, the deception is not hard to catch.

Test everything, and hold on to what is good. God bless!

The Issue of Consciousness

As a prologue to this post, let me first explain what it is. This is a research paper I wrote many years ago as a senior in high school- it was 2004, to be exact. I find that it is no less relevant and important today than it was a decade ago when I first wrote it. Enjoy!

Abstract

Consciousness is a thing that nearly everyone takes for granted. It is a topic on which the average person spends minimal time thinking, although it is consciousness that allows people to think in the first place. This paper examines the historical and modern beliefs about consciousness, explains the impact Darwin’s Theory of Evolution has had on the study of consciousness, defines and attacks the materialistic philosophy, and refutes the concept that human minds are computers and thus that computers could one day potentially gain genuine human-like consciousness. This paper asserts and provides evidence for the idea that consciousness cannot be produced by any known physical means and that consciousness is derived from a ‘supernatural’ soul in an as-of-yet unexplained interaction with the brain.

        The issue of consciousness has sparked philosophical musing and debate for centuries. The most fundamental, inevitable questions that every human must ask are “Who am I”, “Why am I here”, etc. Traditionally, consciousness has been linked to the soul of man. More recent developments have begun to call into question the traditional ideas of the supernatural spirit and soul, leading many scientists and philosophers to search for consciousness elsewhere: in the physical brain. If such an endeavor were to prove to be successful, the consequences would be massive; the concept of life after death would be thrown almost entirely into the realm of the superstitious, and along with it nearly every major religion that exists today. This will not happen, however. Consciousness is a direct result of a supernatural soul, and creating any sort of conscious machine or computer either now or at any point in the future is a logical and scientific impossibility.

In the seventeenth century, French mathematician René Descartes made history by addressing the issue of consciousness on record for the first time. His musings included the famous phrase, “Cogito, ergo sum,” which means, “I think, therefore I am”. He also founded the school of thought known as dualism, which still exists today. Dualism states that there are two fundamental components of any conscious entity: the physical body and the nonphysical soul or mind, and there is some sort of interaction and connection between these parts within the brain. Descartes even believed he had located the exact point of interaction in the pineal gland, an idea that has since been disproved (Keenan 2). Dualism fits nicely with religious concepts of the soul and the afterlife and was adopted by most everyone, until a major event changed the way the world was viewed forever— at least for many. Charles Darwin wrote his Origin of Species in the late nineteenth century, and in doing so he gave credence to the philosophy of naturalism or materialism, which has been dominant in academic circles ever since. Materialism states that rational thinkers should believe only in what can be physically proven by science to exist. Immaterial concepts such as the soul are deemed mere superstition under materialistic assumptions, which creates a whole new set of problems for those wishing to explain consciousness. If no supernatural forces exist, then consciousness must be derived from physical matter.

Darwin single-handedly changed the face of intellectual and academic thought when he released his theories to the world. At first, they weren’t widely accepted, but slowly they began to take hold. What exactly did this book contain? Darwin’s theory is called the theory of evolution. He believed he had found a mechanism by which all life could have gradually come into being, or evolved, from a single unicellular common ancestor. He believed this original ‘protocell’ had sprung from primordial pools of chemicals and inanimate matter through random trial and error. It’s important to note that Darwin’s evolution is specifically an unguided process; he left no room for an Intelligent Designer. A multitude of problems exist for evolution; there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever for these supposed ancient primordial pools. Evolutionists use circular reasoning when discussing this: because life exists, it must have originated through random interactions in primordial pools. Materialistic assumptions have become the norm in this area of study, and anyone who invokes a Creator is not taken seriously. This is in spite of the fact that the odds of even the most simple form of life coming together absolutely randomly are so incredibly low as to be considered by most mathematicians to be zero. This is only the beginning of the problems for evolution, however. Darwin’s mechanism by which evolution is supposed to work is known as natural selection. Natural selection itself is a scientific fact, and it takes place when random mutations of the genetic code occur in the offspring of animals. These mutated offspring usually have slightly different characteristics than their parents, and occasionally these characteristics give the offspring an advantage over other animals of their species. Over generations, the mutated versions of the species have better success in survival and procreation, and eventually the entire population displays the mutant traits. In this case, the population has ‘evolved’. The problem is this: mutations do not add new, more complex information to the genetic code, they degenerate it by either adding random, scrambled pieces or deleting parts altogether. Genetic code is like blueprints of a building or encoded information on a computer— it is in no way random or unorganized, and seriously degenerating the code prevents the offspring from being properly formed. For example, if a population of dogs with long hair were to migrate to a hotter environment, they might have a propensity to overheat. If a mutation occurred that deleted or scrambled the genetic code for long hair, the offspring might have short hair, and they would coincidentally be more adapted to the hotter environment. In this case, natural selection would favor the shorthaired dogs and the species would evolve to have short hair. The genetic information for producing long hair would be totally deleted from the gene pool (Sarfati 35). What’s important to note is that information has been lost, not gained. Darwin’s theory is that over eons, mutations aggregate and simpler organisms become more and more complex. This is like saying you’ll scramble or delete parts of an essay in short increments over many years, and at the end expecting to get a longer, more complex and cohesive essay.

Obviously, Darwin’s supposed mechanism leaves a lot to be desired, but something in human nature seems to like the idea of getting rid of God. Most scientists want to believe in evolution. In the words of biologist and Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin,

It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. (Quoted in Johnson 81)

By the mid twentieth century, nearly the entire scientific community had accepted Darwinism as fact, and materialism was the new intellectual standard. Perhaps the terrible events of WWI and WWII helped to assuage many intellectuals that no loving, compassionate God could exist and allow such travesties to take place, although ironically Hitler’s actions were fueled by the notion of Social Darwinism. The reason the issue of evolution is so critical to the topic of consciousness is because its acceptance has ruled out for many people the idea that consciousness is a result of a spirit, not the physical brain. Consciousness, evolutionists argue, must be a result of evolutionary change. Julian Keenan in his book about consciousness studies called The Face in the Mirror writes, “Evolutionists look at behavioral traits in terms of costs and benefits… Millions of years ago, prehumans who were capable of self-recognition perhaps had a slight advantage over others…” (238). In other words, to evolutionists, consciousness itself, the very thing that allows them to ask the questions that they are asking, is in existence only because it allows our species to more effectively reproduce.

 If materialists are correct, the human mind must indeed be merely an evolutionarily advanced computer. Thought must be reducible to mere mathematical calculation. The concept of reductionism entails attempting to explain the whole by looking at increasingly smaller and smaller parts (Ito 5). Reductionism applied to the mind is the natural result of materialism and is the prevailing movement in modern neuroscience and other studies of the brain and consciousness. Computers are machines whose actions are ultimately divisible into simple mathematical algorithms. An algorithm is a “step-by-step problem solving procedure, especially an established, recursive computational procedure for solving a problem in a finite number of steps,” according to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Qtd. at Dictionary.com). If a mind is just a computer, as materialists suggest, then thought must also be explicable in terms of algorithms. In his recent book, Computers and Cognition: Why Minds Are Not Machines, philosopher James Fetzer begins by stating, “The arguments presented in this volume clearly demonstrate— definitively, in my judgment— that…[minds] are not digital machines and people are not computers,” (Preface). Fetzer argues that minds are semiotic systems, or sign-using systems, as opposed to mark-manipulating systems such as computers. He writes, “Computers manipulate marks on the basis of their shapes, sizes, and relative locations,” and, “These shapes, sizes, and relative locations exert causal influence upon computers, but do not stand for anything for those systems.” Conversely, “Minds operate by utilizing signs that stand for other things in some respect or other for them as sign-using (or “semiotic”) systems.” Thus, computers are not semiotic, and computers do not have minds (Preface). Despite the apparently bland nature of this argument, it is actually extremely powerful; Fetzer shows that there is a fundamental difference between the way minds work and the way computers work. In his second argument in the Preface, Fetzer states, “Computers are governed by programs, which are causal models of algorithms… Most human thought processes, including dreams, daydreams, and ordinary thinking, are not procedures for arriving at solutions in a finite number of steps.” This makes sense— most normal human thought doesn’t even closely resemble following rigid, programmed steps— human thought doesn’t usually fit even the most basic definition of an algorithmic program. Even if humans can think in algorithmic ways, these are special cases that are not representative of most human thought (Fetzer 166). If we were computers, this wouldn’t be the case at all. In this case, all human thought would be reducible to merely following some preprogrammed routine. Some people will cite Artificial Intelligence, or AI, as evidence that computers can have minds like humans, and thus perhaps that the opposite is true as well and humans’ minds are also computers. Fetzer responds to this (also in the Preface) by asserting that while computers can simulate human thought through AI programming, they can never actually engage in it. Computers can only follow instructions. If this were true of humans, then the concept of free will would be awash, and the decisions of the very scientists that are pushing this materialistic theory would be nothing more than predetermined chemical reactions to stimuli— this utterly destroys these people’s credibility. Phillip Johnson in his book about Darwinism illustrates this point:

The contradiction between materialism and reality … is most inescapable when we consider the human mind … For one thing, materialism applied to the mind undermines the validity of all reasoning, including ones own. If our theories are the products of chemical reactions, how can we know our theories are true? Perhaps Richard Dawkins [a leading evolutionist] believes in Darwinism only because he has a certain chemical in his brain, and his belief could be changed by somehow inserting a different chemical. (81-82)

The famous writer and philosopher C.S. Lewis also addresses this issue when he writes, “I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all other accidents. It’s like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milk jug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset,” (Koukl).

If we are to have faith in our ability to rationally deduce truth, we must first have faith in our ability to freely think.

Nothing is more damning to the concept of materialism than human emotion. Emotion is scientifically inexplicable- it goes much deeper than mere calculation. Sadness and happiness are things for which science has no explanation; they are immaterial concepts that defy a purely physical explanation. Perception and feelings are prerequisites of emotion. While a computer can record input from a connected keyboard, mouse, or camera, the computer doesn’t perceive these inputs (Koukl). Consciousness means the ability to witness events taking place, not merely to record them. Each and every human knows that he or she exists and is alive; this is more than any computer could ever hope for, if computers could indeed hope for anything in the first place. The very idea of self-awareness is so fundamental that it is difficult to explain in words. Human thought is often completely spontaneous, and without any point or purpose. Subjective experience is something that a machine is fundamentally incapable of.

Self-awareness is the ability to reflect upon thoughts and past experiences and to have a developed sense of the self as separate from others. It seems to be the case that self-awareness and consciousness are not the same things. Emotion is only possible in things that have consciousness, thus, it stands to reason that anything that can display emotion is conscious. Julian Keenan believes that consciousness and self-awareness are the same, and he utilizes a test developed by Gordon Gallop called the Mirror Test to determine self-awareness (xix). If a creature can recognize its own reflection in a mirror as itself, as opposed to some other creature, then it has self-awareness and thus consciousness according to this test. A conflict arises when we acknowledge the fact that many animals such as cats and dogs that cannot recognize their image in a mirror seem to display emotions such as pleasure, excitement, happiness, shame, etc. In his book, Keenan cites an example of a woman who had sustained brain damage who could not recognize her face in the mirror as herself; she thought someone else was looking at her through the mirror (xvii). It is somewhat odd that Keenan would cite this, however, because it seems to undermine his point. The woman was able to lucidly respond to questions she was being asked, but unable to recognize her face in the mirror; surely Keenan would not agree that the woman was no longer conscious, or even self-aware, because of this. If nothing else, this example serves to show that the Mirror Test is inconclusive. By far the best indicator of consciousness seems to be emotion— while some animals may have no real ability to reflect on their person and their thoughts and experiences, they still do have experiences, as is evidenced by their emotional responses. Self-awareness then must be simply a higher level of consciousness- a progression in awareness.

Many current reductionistic studies in neurology seem to indicate that some scientists believe that they can tap into the conscious thoughts of a person by merely examining the chemical reactions going on inside their brain. Gregory Koukl likens this to a person watching a movie projector and saying he’s seeing the movie itself. Looking at a movie projector reveals the physical mechanism by which the movie is displayed— a large spinning disk with celluloid engulfed in hot light being threaded through an apparatus— but this doesn’t reveal anything about the movie itself, because the movie is the picture on the unseen screen, and the drama, plot, etc. portrayed by it (Koukl). Keenan, like Descartes, believes he has located the site of consciousness in the brain (251). This time the claimed location is not the pineal gland but more generically the right hemisphere itself. The dualist interpretation of these findings is that not the site of consciousness itself has been found to be in the right hemisphere, but the point(s) of interaction between consciousness and the physical brain. Interestingly, it seems to be the case that the interaction between consciousness and the physical brain goes not one but two ways- just as the consciousness influences the brain, the brain can also influence the consciousness. The effects of chemical medications on the emotions evidence this; certain medicines can help alleviate depression, and depression is certainly a type of sadness, which is an emotion. Chemical imbalances in the brain can affect the emotions experienced by the conscious mind, and this must mean that the brain and the consciousness have some sort of mutual relationship, or perhaps the consciousness itself is dependant on the brain as a sort of substrate (Koukl). Evidence for a relationship between consciousness and physical states within the brain shouldn’t be confused with evidence that consciousness is a physical state within the brain.

The current state of neuroscience and other similar fields of study is a curious one. Despite our heavy research, we still know virtually nothing about the inner workings of the brain other than the fact that it is complex beyond belief. This fact alone leads many to reject the notion that such a thing as a human brain could ever have come into being randomly as the materialist paradigm suggests. Furthermore, the materialistic view of consciousness is self defeating- beliefs and decisions are reduced to chemical reactions and nothing more, and this in effect destroys the very idea that human rationality is trustworthy. Not only do we know very little about it, we can scarcely agree on how to approach the study of this topic. More and more scientists are being led by the evidence to reject a purely materialistic explanation of human consciousness, although many are much too entrenched in their theory to give up on it so easily. How could intelligent scientists be willing to attribute such obviously nonphysical things as emotion, beauty, music, etc. to purely physical causes? Fetzer offers us some insight into this peculiar phenomenon in his book by admitting, “Our enthusiasm for a theoretical position may even appear to be virtually independent of our experiences in life, which, were they only taken seriously, might completely undermine what we take as our best theories,” (153). This appears to be an apt description of the situation. Most scientists, being human and biased, contrary to the unrealistic expectations of many laypersons, are prone to throw out evidence that would imply that the majority of their life’s work of advancing what have now become dubious theories was wasted (Fetzer 153). It is this same bias that creeps up time and time again in the field of evolutionary paleontology with scientists exaggerating the importance of their often miniscule finds. It is important that we, as rational thinkers, agree to go wherever the evidence takes us, even if it is in conflict with our current beliefs. Ironically, that is the same argument that is so often utilized by evolutionists when arguing with creationists— it seems many might do well to ‘practice what they preach’!

Fetzer’s realization that there is a major fundamental difference between the human mind and a computer destroys the materialistic foundation- there is no conceivable way that consciousness can be reduced to mere computation, and thus the evolution of a very complex computer in the form of a brain, were it possible, would do nothing to explain the consciousness that we currently enjoy as humans. There is no scientific reason to reject dualism as a valid explanation for consciousness, and given the evidence, it seems to be the only credible one. Future research may help to establish more concretely what relationship exists between the consciousness or soul and the physical brain. New discoveries in the field of quantum physics are continually redefining what we have traditionally considered natural. Consciousness has intrigued and mystified scientists and philosophers alike and will likely continue to do so for a very long time— perhaps forever. Some choose to be agnostic about consciousness, simply giving up. Others choose to believe in what they deem to be the most likely answer, using faith to fill the gap that empirical scientific evidence cannot fill. Consciousness continues to be an issue on which each individual must decide for themselves what they believe— evidence exists that materialism is an inadequate solution, but definitive answers from the realm of physical science are nowhere to be found. Only time will tell what new discoveries will one day reveal about ourselves, but hopefully researchers in the future will approach the study of the mind with an open … mind.

Works Cited

Dictionary.com. Word definition entry: algorithm. Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. 9 April 2004

<http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=algorithm&gt;.

Fetzer, James. Computers and Cognition: Why Minds are Not Machines. Dordrecht, The

Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2001.

Ito, Masao, et al. Cognition, Computation, and Consciousness. New York: Oxford University

Press, 1997.

Johnson, Phillip E. Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity

Press, 1997.

Keenan, Julian, et al. The Face in the Mirror: The Search for the Origins of Consciousness. New

York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2003.

Koukl, Gregory. “All Brain, No Mind.” Stand to Reason. 9 April 2004 < http://www.str.org/free/commentaries/philosophy/nomind.htm >.

Sarfati, Jonathan. Refuting Evolution. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 1999.

Decoding the Satanic Message of “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic

I heard this song on the radio, and the satanic message just jumped out at me.

Listen carefully: “I feel something so right about doing the wrong thing.”

Watch carefully: In the video, the singers are below the church people, symbolizing hell. There is an alligator prowling around down there with them, symbolizing the dragon/Satan.

Watch carefully: The lead singer throws up satanic hand signs when he says “I’ve been praying hard”.

The Lord of the Rings: A Symbolic Retelling of the Bible

Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy has come to be my all time favorite work of fiction. It has all the elements of the perfect story, and now I’m certain of why: it is a symbolic retelling of the Bible. Tolkien himself said this on allegory:

“I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history – true or feigned– with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse applicability with allegory, but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author.”

So, if this quote from Tolkien is to be taken seriously, then the Lord of the Rings cannot intentionally be written as biblical allegory. So what then? Am I reading too much into it? Perhaps I’m reading exactly what Tolkien himself, a professed Christian, would have read. Perhaps Tolkien would simply like to give the reader the freedom to see what he or she wants to see in the series. As for me, I simply cannot avoid the obvious correlations between the themes of the Trilogy and the Bible. What are some of these? In no particular order:

1) An ancient evil, sleeping for millennia, is reawakened to threaten the Earth one final time.

In the Trilogy, this element comes from the main evil character, Sauron.

Sauron-e1348474315182

Sauron was defeated by men long ago, but not eliminated. He lives on in the One Ring, waiting for his moment to return and win the final battle to control the planet. Where can we find this element in the Bible?

    The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.

(Revelation 17:8 ESV)

The Bible teaches that, at the end of history, an ancient beast will rise once more to threaten the world. This beast is (arguably) named by the Bible as Apollyon the Destroyer (Apollo). Remember, the Bible teaches that the ancient false gods were not fake or unreal, but rather they are demons pretending to be gods.

    No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

(1 Corinthians 10:20-22 ESV)

The Bible teaches that the ancient Greek false god Apollo will return and wreak havoc on the earth. It may well be that Apollo, mentioned here, is one and the same as the Beast- the Antichrist.

   They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.

(Revelation 9:11 ESV)

Belvedere_Apollo_Pio-Clementino_Inv1015_n3Could this Apollo be the same as the ancient undefeated conqueror, Alexander the Great- who just happened to be depicted on ancient coins as having horns sprouting from his head?

Head of acoins0002p1

Heh, yes, that’s speculation gone wild. Time will tell. Suffice it for now to simply note the strong connection between this biblical theme and the Trilogy.

 

2) A ruling elite give their power over to the Evil One.

 

In the Trilogy, Sauron tricks 9 kings into handing their power over to him by giving them 9 rings, but keeping the One Ring- which controls all the rest- for himself.

NineKings

In the Bible, we find the same thing will happen at the end. Instead of 9, there are 10 kings who ultimately give their power over to the Beast.

And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”

(Revelation 17:12-14 ESV)

3)  Half-human ‘demonic’ hybrids

In the Trilogy, Saruman, a wizard who defected to the side of evil, created a hybrid of orcs, which are demon-like creatures, and men (or elves, depending on your source material). These hybrids were taller and stronger than men, but evil and demonic.

urukhai

In the Bible we can find this type of thing really did occur in the days of Noah prior to the Flood.

   When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose … The Nephilim [giants] were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

(Genesis 6:1-2, 4 ESV)

Some Christians, for whatever reason, resist the eerie and supernatural sound of this passage, and attempt to say that “sons of God” here just refers to some earthly kings. There are other ancient witnesses, such as the Book of Enoch, which testify to the idea that this passage is talking about fallen angels, or demons, producing hybrid offspring. As another proof of this, I would point out that in the ancient Alexandrine text of the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament), this verse reads “angels of God”, not “sons of God”, making the meaning completely clear. The fact that Christ said ‘As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the coming of the Son of Man,’ has lead some to speculate that the Nephilim, or demon-giant-hybrids, may actually make a return appearance at the end. Again, time will tell.

4) An innocent, suffering savior

 

In the Trilogy, Frodo Baggins voluntarily chooses to take the tremendous burden and weight, the One Ring, upon himself and carry it to his own certain demise in order to save the world. Along the way he undergoes tremendous suffering, despite the fact that he had done nothing to deserve it. In the end, salvation comes to all people because of this self-sacrifice.

FrodoIcanseetheshirePencilDetailedS rotk1359

As will be obvious to anyone familiar with the most important message of the Bible, this parallels the sacrifice of Christ, the innocent Lamb who suffered died for the sins of the world so that we may be saved from destruction.

Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands.

(John 19:1-3 ESV)

So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.
So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.

(John 19:16-18 ESV)

Thorn again … Jim Caviezel as Jesus in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ (2004).

5) Self-sacrificial death, followed by glorified resurrection

In another instance of the self-sacrifice theme, Gandalf, the wizard who guides the Fellowship, does battle with a giant demon and is ultimately killed in the struggle- but he takes the demon down with him and saves the Fellowship from certain destruction in the process.

gandalf-balrog
Later on, Gandalf, formerly “Gandalf the Grey”, is resurrected supernaturally as “Gandalf the White”- a more graceful and powerful version of his former self.

maxresdefault
This, too, is mirrored in what happened with Jesus Christ- who died for our sins and was resurrected by the Father in a glorified, supernatural body.

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

(John 20:19-22 ESV)

6) Savior riding a white horse defeats the evil hordes

At one point in the Trilogy, at the battle of Helm’s Deep, Gandalf the White wins the battle against the evil Uruk-Hai (demonic hybrids) by galloping down a steep hill riding a white horse.

sunrisegandalfHelms%20Deep

This is mirrored in the Scriptures by the account of Revelation, where Christ returns on a white horse and does battle with the armies of the Beast.

    Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

(Revelation 19:11-16 ESV)

 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.

(Revelation 19:19-21 ESV)

 

7) What Satan/Sauron intends for evil, God uses for good

One of the most powerful elements of the Trilogy’s story, to me, is this concept that all things work together for good– even evil! At the end of the series, Frodo finally makes it to Mt. Doom where he is to throw in the Ring and destroy evil once and for all. Yet the power of the ring winds up corrupting him and he decides to keep the Ring for himself.

ring-is-mineIt is at this point that Gollum, the evil, twisted being who has been following them up to this point, comes onto the scene and steals the Ring for himself. In the ensuing fight, however, Frodo knocks him off the ledge and the Ring winds up going into the lava anyway- exactly what they were supposed to be doing in the first place. And thus the story has a happy ending as a result of the actions not only of the good characters, but also the bad ones. Without the evil Gollum, the story would have ended in failure.

Gollum_Con_el_Anillo

This illustrates the Biblical principle that what Satan intends for evil, God uses for good.

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

(Genesis 50:20 ESV)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

(Romans 8:28 ESV)

8) The Return of the King, the marriage to the Bride

After Sauron is defeated, the rightful king of Gondor, Aragorn, is crowned and a great celebration ensues. At this time, the elf-woman Arwen, to which Aragorn was betrothed, is brought in and they are finally married.

9650155 kiss-aragorn-and-arwen-3152314-350-447

This correlates to the biblical Return of the King- the Second Coming of Christ, where he will reign over the peoples of this earth. This also marks the time when the Bride of Christ- that is, symbolically, the Church- is married to Him.

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

    “Hallelujah!
    For the Lord our God
        the Almighty reigns.
    Let us rejoice and exult
        and give him the glory,
    for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
        and his Bride has made herself ready;
    it was granted her to clothe herself
        with fine linen, bright and pure”—
    
        for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

(Revelation 19:6-8 ESV)

And there it is. The more you look into it, the more correlations between the Bible and the Trilogy you find. I’m sure I’ve probably only begun to scratch the surface of it, but I think these are probably the biggest and most important examples. Feel free to let me know in the comments if you find other similarities. God bless you, and, if you haven’t seen the Lord of the Rings before (or in the last few months) go watch it now!

The Logic-Driven Sociopath

The inspiration for this post comes from a comment I received from an atheist in a discussion recently:

You’re right, there is no ultimate, objective morality. The universe isn’t going to care what I’ve done or not done over the course of my short life, but that doesn’t mean morality doesn’t exist. Acknowledging that morality is subjective doesn’t nullify it. Unless you’re a sociopath, you have a sense of empathy, and can imagine what effect your actions have on others. Even if you lack empathy, you should understand that your actions have consequences, and the only way for a society to thrive is to have rules that need to be followed.

Why is it that, these days, atheists are a dime a dozen on the internet, but it’s nearly impossible to find ones that don’t still try to defend morality tooth-and-nail? Why are they so ready to throw God out of the picture, but they can’t let go of moral rules of conduct? Before I give my answer to that question, let me bring perhaps the most famous atheist philosopher who ever lived to bear on this situation. Nietzsche wrote a parable known as the “Parable of the Madman” addressing this very issue.

THE MADMAN—-Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: “I seek God! I seek God!”—As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated?—Thus they yelled and laughed

The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. “Whither is God?” he cried; “I will tell you. We have killed him—you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.

“How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us—for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto.”

Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners; and they, too, were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke into pieces and went out. “I have come too early,” he said then; “my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time; deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than most distant stars—and yet they have done it themselves.

It has been related further that on the same day the madman forced his way into several churches and there struck up his requiem aeternam deo. Led out and called to account, he is said always to have replied nothing but: “What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?”

Source: Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (1882, 1887) para. 125; Walter Kaufmann ed. (New York: Vintage, 1974), pp.181-82.
[Quoted from http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/nietzsche-madman.asp ]

Of course this is poetic, but the meaning is this: by rejecting God, humanity has plunged itself into a reality far scarier than they could possibly imagine. One does not overthrow God and simply continue living life normally as if nothing happened. If there is no God, then everything changes. Everything about our society has originally and historically had, at its root, a theological underpinning. Why do we get married, one man to one woman? Because that’s how God ordained it in the Garden of Eden. Why can’t we murder people? Because people are made in the image of God, and thus have innate value. God said, “Whoever sheds mans blood, by man shall his blood be shed.” Why does the sun come up every day without fail? Because God is there to hold the constants of nature in place and prevent chaos from overtaking us. When God is removed from the picture, all we have left is a cold, dark space, devoid of any cosmic love or meaning.

So what of all these mushy, half-hearted atheists who denounce God but cling desperately to the heritage of God’s influence on the world? Nietzsche would have nothing of it. And neither will I. If you are going to claim there is no God, then at least be willing to man up and deal with the logical consequences of that claim.

Why, atheist, should I care about such impulses as empathy? Is empathy not, according to you, just the biological vestige of evolutionary progression? Is it not just some trait which happened to get selected for by a mindless, unguided process of nature? And yet we somehow have the freedom to either obey or ignore our base impulses. And that’s just the problem: there’s no real, objective reason to prefer one over another. When people say “morals are subjective”, then they are really saying “morals are imaginary”. The very idea of subjective morality is a contradiction. The essence of morality is behavioral guidelines that have some real, objective basis and apply across the board to all people- not just to those who happen to agree with it. When we teach children not to steal, do we add “unless that’s your fancy”? No! We teach them that stealing is wrong, period. Why? Because morality is objective- if it’s anything at all.

At this point the typical response is to bring the survival of society as a whole into the picture. “Yes, morals are imaginary, but without them society will fail.” So? There’s no cosmic duty or responsibility for me or anyone else to care about society as a whole. Isn’t evolution supposed to be all about survival of the fittest? Aren’t we supposed to cheer for the winner? Well, if human society falls, what is that to me? Won’t I just be dead and in the ground in a few short years anyway? What difference will it make to me? “Yes but the younger generations…” But won’t they also die and be forgotten as well? Yes, they will. And then the whole universe, as scientists well know, will die a “heat death” and all life will be extinguished. So what was that great responsibility I had to future generations again?

The world without God is a world populated by only two kinds of people: sociopaths and useful idiots. The sociopaths are those who, like Nietzsche, recognize that in a world devoid of any Cosmic Lawgiver, and devoid of any eternal justice, there is no such thing as right or wrong; only what you can do, and what you can’t do. Nietzsche refers to this type of person as the “Uebermensch” (“superman”). Then there are those ignorant masses who are still entrapped by the old superstitious ways of thinking. The goal of the supermen is to take power and rule over those ignorant masses.

Make no mistake, this dichotomy really exists in the world today. There is an elite, upper-echelon group of individuals who have accepted this philosophy and all its implications, and they are using it to their utmost advantage. The ultimate “uebermench” is prophesied in the Bible, and he is known as the Antichrist. He will achieve absolute power and demand to be worshiped. The ignorant masses will gladly oblige in exchange for the right to continue living.

The true overcomers are those who see through the lies: the followers of Jesus Christ- the living God. Nietzsche was dead wrong: God is alive and well, and history is summing up and coming to its close exactly as the Bible predicted it would thousands of years ago. Global population is skyrocketing. Israel, a scattered and persecuted people for almost two thousand years, are back in the land God gave them, and overnight, in 1948, Israel once again became a nation. And just as the bible predicts, Israel is living in constant fear from its neighbors, and global hatred of Jews and Israel is on the rise like never before. The stage is increasingly set for the cataclysmic events of the final book of the Bible to begin unfolding.

Prepare yourself for what is ahead. God is not dead, and neither is morality. You will be judged based on what you do with your life.

So what, then, is the ultimate answer to my initial question? Why can’t atheists let go of morality completely? The Bible has the answer.


For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

(Romans 2:12-16 ESV)

God has written the basics of morality on the hearts of each and every human being. Most atheists are simply not willing to go against that internal testimony and reject morality altogether. But then you still get the odd, logic-driven sociopath who is willing to take that step out into nothingness, and then we can see the true horrors of life without God.