The Christian begins with the presupposition that God created the universe and man as a special creation different in kind from both inanimate and other animate creations. In fact, man is so special, the Bible tells us that he is created in the “image of God” (Gen. 1:27). One of these image attributes is the existence of the mind and the ability to think rationally (Rom. 12:1-2; Col. 3:10) and to act morally (Eph. 4:24). The consistent materialist who denies God also denies the existence of the mind and a moral center. For materialistic philosophers, the mind is an “illusion.” “The brain is a machine. We have no selves, no souls. How do they know? It has to be that way, or they must acknowledge that they’re answerable to God, and they can’t have that.”
“The brain,” insists MIT’s Marvin Minsky, is just “hundreds of different machines . . . connected to each other by bundles of nerve fibers, but not everything is connected to everything else. There isn’t a ‘you.’” Such a view of the mind makes man nothing more than an organic machine.
With the advent of the computer, the materialists believe they have found the perfect scientific mechanism to demonstrate that the mind is an illusion. They see the brain as a superior model, somewhat more versatile than the industrial-strength Cray super-computer. The computer analogy is faulty, however. The machine is nothing without the program. The program is the product of the programmer. Who programmed the programmer? Are we to assume, following the materialist’s logic, that an inorganic machine programmed an organic machine? What kind of trust can we place in the random firing of neural synapses? No one has made this point better than C. S. Lewis:
If . . . I swallow the scientific cosmology as a whole, then not only can I not fit in Christianity, but I cannot even fit science. If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on bio-chemistry, and bio-chemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any significance than the sound of the wind in the trees.
There is no accounting for man and the world, between dreaming and waking, illusion and reality if the materialists are right. Of course, if we start with their ultimate presuppositions, how would we ever know?
Daniel C. Dennett proposes that anyone who holds a theistic view of origins should be allowed to live in America but only in “cultural zoos”:
If you insist on teaching your children falsehoods—that the Earth is flat, that “Man” is not a product of evolution by natural selection—then you must expect, at the very least, that those of us who have freedom of speech will feel free to describe your teachings as the spreading of falsehoods, and will attempt to demonstrate this to your children at our earliest opportunity. Our future well-being—the well-being of all of us on the planet—depends on the education of our descendants.
Not only does the State deny the teaching of creationism in the public schools, but Dennett wants the very idea of creationism to be blacklisted. Dennett, like Arthur C. Clarke, considers evolution to be the State religion. Those who deny its divinity will suffer swift and sure retribution at the hands of the educational establishment and the power of the State. Phillip Johnson writes that “it is not freedom of speech that worries parents, but the power of the atheistic materialists to use public education for indoctrination, while excluding any other view as ‘religion.’” We don’t have to search for long to find similar sinister applications of such a proposal. Nazi Germany can serve as a vivid reminder.
If you want to know how such threats sound to Christian parents, try imagining what would happen if some prominent Christian fundamentalist addressed similar language to Jewish parents. Would we think the Jewish parents unreasonable if they interpreted “at the very least” to imply that young children may be forcibly removed from the homes of recalcitrant parents, and that those metaphorical cultural zoos may one day be enclosed by real barbed wire? Strong measures might seem justified if the well-being of everyone on the planet depends upon protecting children from the falsehoods their parents want to tell them.
No God . . . No Law
Some people understood the dilemma of how to account for moral absolutes in a society that officially discounts God…