Unreal People

Previous posts have provided compelling reasons to believe that God created the universe. In an earlier post we noted that a culture most closely aligned with reality is superior. Consequently, we must conclude that a culture built on the existence of God will be vastly superior to one that is not.

This is especially the case because if God exists, He must comprise the dominating aspect of reality. A culture missing the engine that drives the whole process is doomed to decline. Failure to acknowledge God changes everything, especially when the alternative is the exclusively materialistic world (one that includes only matter and energy) proposed by the left.

Consider the implications of such a material world for humanity.

First, this arrangement deprives human beings of a soul, resulting in their differing from animals only in degree and not in kind. It consigns them to the status of biological machines. This material makeup drastically reduces human value, leaving human beings with no transcendent worth. Consequently, their value is restricted to the contribution that they can make to society.

From this perspective one understands why liberals seem to have no problem with abortion and euthanasia. The unborn baby is not yet able to make a contribution and the elderly person no longer can. If persons are just tissue, then getting rid of such useless tissue, especially those viewed to be a drag on society, makes sense.

This solely material human being is morally incapacitated as BF Skinner suggests in the title of his classic volume, Beyond Freedom and Dignity. As strictly materialistic beings these individuals are biological machines incapable of making choices. Instead, every decision stems from programming by the environment. This moral disability deprives humans of any capacity for nobility or dignity or honor or courage or love or compassion.

Think of the impact of the exclusively material human on relationships. Marriage consists of the union of two biological machines, neither of which has the capacity for love or loyalty or compassion or any of the other qualities that provide marriage with warmth and meaning. The same applies to all relationships, essentially leaving every individual alone in the world.

This biological machine devoid of a soul also possesses no prospect beyond the grave. When the human body dies nothing is left. Death is the end. This prospect may not seem all that terrible to those who are young or middle-aged. However, having served as a hospice chaplain for a number of years I watched people lose one positive trait and capability after another and felt life closing in on them. It was only the prospect of life after the grave that made this decline bearable. I witnessed those without that hope descend into utter despair.

This transient biological machine also suffers from lack of meaning. If we are an accident of nature to begin with, if life at the macroscopic level has no purpose, if we have no moral capability, if all others are machines, too, then what can one live for that makes life meaningful? It is no wonder that suicide is epidemic among young people who are being taught this perspective on life.

This materialistic view of the human being has generated a society of unreal people. This view of humanity, using the term loosely, explains so many of the concepts, attitudes, and initiatives of our current society.

Recognition of the existence of God and the spiritual world makes all the difference. It engenders a view of human beings who possess an eternal soul, are endowed with great value, have moral capabilities that enable them to display nobility and dignity and love, can find meaning in this life, and have assurance of life after the grave.

We have limited this discussion to the impact the existence of the spiritual world makes on our view of humanity. Even within this limited scope, imagine the superiority of the culture that acknowledges the spiritual world.

However, many cultures acknowledge the existence of God but manifest traits we find objectionable and not compatible with reality. This takes us to our next topic, the advantage of a Christian culture.

3 comments on “Unreal People
  1. Patty Kearon says:

    This reminds me of our class Theology II. Humans being born with a dead spirit, and have no capacity for” real” love. In your quote, “This moral disability deprives humans of any capacity for nobility or dignity or honor or courage or love or compassion.” I know many people who would get angry at this statement. Especially non Christian parents who sacrifice their own needs everyday for the good of their children. Or many in the military especially wounded soldiers. Or Hospice volunteers and other medical fields and helping volunteers. I think if you told them they have none of these moral qualities, expect a punch in the face. What do you say to those people?

  2. pbrownback says:

    Dear Patty,

    Thanks for your comment. My point in this post is not that this is our position, but the position of those who adopt a materialistic worldview. This is what people like BF Skinner are saying. It is also the logical implication of a worldview that rejects a spiritual dimension.

    Your point is well taken. It is strange that no one seems to get mad at BF Skinner for saying these things or at the vast segment of academia that holds to this position. They seem quite satisfied to live with the implications of an evolutionary perspective.


  3. wayne y says:

    Paul – Appreciate, and agree with your perspective here. Would like to add what may seem to be an obvious caveat; and one that Im sure was understood by you when you wrote the post. However, for those who may not have thought it through, here it is: You mention that the acknowledgement that ‘God exists’ is foundational to true human dignity. I agree. However, the mere acknowledgment that “God” exists is insufficient if the (“god”) that we acknowledge is not the True God. That is, words are mere symbols that we fill with content. The content with which we fill the word “God” in this case – is all important. Many ‘gods’ out there. Some – such as the god of the Book of Mormon – closely resemble our own, until you unpack the language, and find that he is actually somewhat grotesque (the mormon god was once a man named elohim, died, and was given his own planet – earth – which he populates via spirit sex with his wife – whose ‘paradise’ is to be eternally pregnant).

    More to the point, with regard to dignity, consider allah. The nature of allah, as he is understood by many Muslims – and certainly salafists, is quite different than the YHWH of the bible. allah is distant, capriciously unpredictable, unapproachable, and deterministic in an ultimate fashion [I would argue that three of those descriptors also apply to the God of extreme Calvinism… but that is a discussion for a different post]. I believe that the capricious, deterministic nature of Islam’s god does not lead to the kind of dignity that we as christians take for granted. I think that the dynamic in Islam is perhaps similar to the way that a distant unpredictable (untrustworthy) father robs the dignity of his children.

    The christian God, as revealed in the Bible as a whole, is intimately involved in the affairs of men (although again – not by means of an exhaustive determinism – as in Sproulian Calvinism). Furthermore, and incredibly, He has made Himself available to believers on a personal level {hence the repeated intimate appeals of God to men and women for relationship – in both the Old and New Testaments}. As I think I learned from you, Paul, people’s beliefs absolutely inform the way they (we) act. Although I think that a measure of dignity is available to any who would live for something higher than themselves, I agree that the truest form of dignity is found only when what we live for is the truth of the True God.

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