A friend of mine wrote a blog post recently about atheism and intellectual honesty which I enjoyed. Apparently he received a fairly negative response from those that consider themselves rational atheists. It is an important issue for us executives because it helps to provide us with a larger context of why pregnancy centers even need to exist in America today. My response follows:
The issue of why an atheist or for that matter a state system that intentionally extracts God from all decision-making is more than just an important one, it is fundamental to a stable and free society. The presupposition to atheism and an atheistic state system is that reason is man’s ultimate authority. But the question of authority always begs the question, “What legitimizes that authority?” Authority is always a circular argument that cannot be won or lost, just assented to. An atheist would say his own capacity to observe and interpret empirical data is his final authority. But who or what legitimizes that ‘belief?” He does. Similarly a Christian would say that not he but God is the final authority as described in His word the Bible. But who legitimizes God? God does per the Bible.
A corollary to the question of legitimacy is: “What is man?” If man is nothing but a concoction of biochemistry then he has no intrinsic value beyond that of his biochemical surroundings. This notion of rationalized autonomy taken to its logical conclusion ends in either valueless social chaos playing out in post-Stalinist Russia, or tightly controlled Tyranny-see post-revolutionary China. Either extreme exacts a punishing cost on the dignity of a population as well as the literal rivers of blood shed to force the State, or a set of rationalistic atheists (see the French Revolution), to be the absolute authority over all human thought and behavior.
On the other hand, if man is the crown of creation made in the image of God but fallen from grace in rebellion against His ultimate authority, then every man, atheist and believer alike must be protected as image bearers. That is, mankind is created to manifest the glory of his Creator, thinking, acting and creating. This has ramifications on how we view not only ourselves but also how we treat one another, what we believe to be right and wrong (think abortion, euthanasia, etc), how we raise our children and the beliefs we instill within them. To stifle the belief that we are made in the image of God is to remove the invisible protection afforded by the expectation that belief requires of others to speak and act on behalf of those that cannot do so for themselves.
Large-scale atheistic rationalism as has happened in history before and has been happening in the American educational, legal, political, university, and medical systems is intentional albeit short-sighted. This rationalism when taken to its logical end places a society under a burden of stress that it cannot long sustain. Whole groups of society become alienated and begin to contribute to the disintegration. Issues of political import become how to ‘reintegrate’ various groups to society, to make sense of them such that society can help them become positive contributors rather than disruptive influences. Groups like fatherless children, homeless people, homosexuals, women facing unplanned pregnancy. Rationalistic solutions are things like, legalized abortion, redefinition of marriage to include same sex unions, more money into chronically under-performing schools and more social service interventions. It is precisely these factors that contribute to a general sense of purposelessness, the kind that drive people to seek legitimacy in a higher authority. The most benevolent higher authority is the God of the Bible, the One that recognizes mankind’s proclivity to make himself out to be God and yet lovingly seeks to restore him to wholeness and health.
Every culture needs a core set of values by which the people in it can predictably interact with one another. It is when rationalism is taken to the extreme that everyone has their own set of values irrespective of another that one of two things will happen; 1) society devolves into chaos or 2) society applies a strict and complicated set of controls with individual freedom being the sacrificial lamb.
The only salvation from this fate is a reorientation to the Christian values of uncalculated devotion to Jesus and free sacrifice to others. Loving Jesus and loving our fellow man can only come when God brings an awareness of the sin of a people to those people and then those people choose to submit themselves to God’s authority at the foot of the cross of Christ. Only when a man is free from His sin can a man be truly free and unaffected by the world around him. When Jesus is our authority nothing can offend, or harm us. As Martin Luther intimated, “All of life is repentance.” Simply put, I am not my own. I am God’s.