Posted tagged ‘materialism’

The Descent and Ascent of Man

May 27, 2017

Image ID: 150736070 Copyright: claverinza

When Charles Darwin wrote The Descent of Man[i], the title was a play on words. In the context of the book, Darwin meant the word in the sense of “derivation from an ancestor”; “the fact or process of originating from an ancestral stock”; and/or “the shaping or development in nature and character by transmission from a source”.[ii] Descent, of course, can have a quite different meaning.

The word, descent, can also mean “the act or process of descending from a higher to a lower level, rank, or state”; “an inclination downward”; and/or “a downward step (as in station or value”), as in decline. Darwin probably meant the word in this sense, also, in that philosophers and scientists and thinkers of all types before him had mostly viewed man standing apart from the rest of the natural world, standing above it (just a little lower than the angels). Darwin’s theory revealed man descending not from heaven, but descending (ascending) from lower life forms. This is the play on words.

In thinking about these things many generations after Charles Darwin coined the book title, in the context of all that has developed since his time, the subtlety and nuance of the play on words strikes me, but not in the way Darwin likely intended.

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Questions on Morality and the Materialist

April 10, 2017

Depositphotos Image ID: 129286826 Copyright: Olivier26

In a naturalistic world in which there is nothing supernatural, nothing other than the material world, and everything there is can be summed up by what we can touch, see, hear, feel and measure, survival of the fittest reigns. In a world like that, what is wrong with genocide?

Genocide is like the ultimate survival of the fittest. The superior people group dominates, overcomes and wipes out the inferior people group. What could be more Darwinian? What could be more natural in a naturalistic world?

This, in fact, is largely the history of the world. Why, then, is this expression of survival of the fittest wrong?

Thankfully most people today recoil from such a notion, but on what basis?

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Myth, Appearance and Reality

February 3, 2016

Some of the great breakthrough realizations in human history are that the earth is not flat, that the earth is round and rotating, that the Sun does not revolve around the earth, that the Earth revolves around the Sun, and the earth along with other round bodies in space rotate around each other kept in correlation with each other by gravitational pull. These realities are not the appearance, obviously.

We appear to be standing on a stationary earth that, for all we can see, is flat. The Sun appears to rise, cross the sky and set every day. It is no great leap to understand that the sun might move around the earth, though the perception of a flat earth persisted into modern times. The moon seems to move around the earth and the Sun, like the sun seems to move around the earth.

Although we have known these things for centuries, we still talk in terms of the appearances. We talk about the Sun rising and setting. We describe the phenomena as sunrise and sunset. Someone unfamiliar with our colloquialisms might hear us speak and think that we have amnesia and periodically forget what we know to be true.

The appearances have a strong hold on us. So strong that they persist in our language and how we routinely describe things. Those appearances stubbornly refuse to leave our everyday speaking patterns.

What other appearances and corresponding realities exist that we have yet to debunk or lay hold of? (more…)

Are Reason & Faith in God Contradictory Terms?

December 30, 2014

Looking for a Sunset


I began taking notes on a series of hard questions posed to Tim Keller by some heavy hitting interviewers that is posted to the Veritas Forum. I thought I would take my notes and create a series of quick answers to these hard questions, but I got sidetracked by the first question: Aren’t faith and reason contradictory terms? The question took me back to college and things I first began to wrestle with, and answers I first found to be satisfactory, in college.

Implied in that question is an assumption that the only rational conclusion of reason is disbelief in God. Reason is defined by Merriam Webster as “the power of the mind to think and understand in a logical way.” Faith is defined as the “strong belief or trust in someone or something.” Reason (logic) depends on a premise, and premises are not necessarily subject to proof or disproof. (more…)

The Idol of the Mind

November 9, 2013

Wise_Fools


I listened to a lecture on materialism yesterday. Materialism is a predominate worldview that informs the scientific community. A materialist worldview sees no purposeful principles in nature, no designing influence, no God, no inherent moral or ethical laws and ultimately no meaning in life. The world, in essence, is arbitrary and capricious, “governed” by chance.

When I woke this morning, I began thinking about government. I am an attorney, and I represent local governmental bodies. One cardinal rule that applies to governmental bodies is this: they can never be arbitrary or capricious. There must be a rational basis, a reason, for every law. If no rational basis, a law will be determined unconstitutional and void.

Ironic, is it not, that we would govern ourselves by such a standard and not believe in purpose, meaning, intelligent design, God or inherent ethical and moral laws.

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