Saturday, November 20, 2010

Human Equality and Naturalism- Part 2

Last week, I explained how the naturalistic evolutionary paradigm cannot explain the existence of equal human value. This week, I will build upon last week and show why it cannot explain intrinsic value either. If you have not read last week's post, you will probably be lost.

The fact that we do survive is a product of the Imago Dei. We possess a mind that is capable of simple and complex thought- both of which can be and are used for survival. Unfortunately, man is fallen. One of the results of this fallen nature is the fact that man is self-focused (prideful and narcissistic). This causes man to focus acutely on his survival (survival is not wrong in itself, but the desire for it causes many to make choices based on a certain level of paranoia). Man will use this mind to come up with "ways of survival" that violate the intrinsic, equal value of other human beings (typically the illogical conclusion is one that violates another human life. They "reason" that it is the only option when it really is not). Murder is an example. In Christianity, murder is a sin because it is a direct insult to God, Himself ("I think so little of God and so highly of myself, that I will destroy a reflection of His value and His nature to further my own existence."). 

Let's also take the entire medical enterprise. Why do we spend so much resources (time, money, and energy) to find cures for ailments? If a member of the species gets sick, they apparently have a feature that makes them susceptible to a particular microbe or virus (or anything else), which means that they are not the fittest human (or even organism) for the environment they are living in. Why not allow nature to eliminate the weaker gene pools in favor of stronger ones? We can't really say that survival is the objective value that we appeal to when searching for cures, because of the fact that we have assigned greater value to this generation and species than to the later generations and other species (the value is relative to our species and our generation). Not only have we denied the later generations a more resistant set of genes, but our efforts are causing bacteria to mutate to become immune to our treatments. We have, in essence, worked against the health of future generations on two different levels, and even ensured the survival of another species that are not really more "fit" for the environment (they are dependent on unfit humans to survive). When the unfit humans die off, so do the organisms dependent on them.

This all stems from our idea that human beings who are currently alive have intrinsic value, and that value is greater than that of other life forms. Naturalistic evolution cannot explain how such value exists on an objective level, it can explain it on a relative level. But if it can only explain human "value" on a relative level, then it is equally acceptable to allow a person to suffer and die versus treating them to the point of recovery- whether we allow a person to die or treat them must then be determined by other people who may use whatever relative value system they wish to use (keep in mind that they cannot say that any conclusion they come up with is objectively what "should" be done, because no system they use will be objective in nature). This decision will eventually come back to what I described as "murder" above. An example would be the conclusion that someone does not possess enough resources to enhance the lifestyles or survivability of the current generation, so it is okay to allow them to die- they are not worth the resources that would be spent on treating fact, this could be taken to the further point of "well, they are taking up resources from those of us who would like to survive and have the capability to, so let's end the life of the person and call it a 'mercy killing' to trick our consciences into believing that our survival was worth the ending of a life."

How many psychological tricks would we be willing to play on ourselves to "ensure" our own survival to be the highest value and affirm the truth of naturalism?

No person in their right mind would acknowledge that a person's value is reduced to being relative or that one is more valuable than another (equality does not exist). If one denies the objective value of one person, they must deny it for all people including himself. Human intrinsic and equal value is one of those things that man knows to be objectively true, but cannot ground the existence of it or his certainty of it unless he acknowledges the Imago Dei. Which means that man must acknowledge that the Judeo-Christian God exists if he wishes to hold that man possess intrinsic value and "all men are created equal."

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