Atheism, Evolution, and Morality
Evolution says we are a result of random chance mutation. Survival of the Fittest. Everything is done for efficiency and pragmatism. Where do morals come from? Why can’t I kill or commit adultery? Killing the weak is the prerogative of the strong in Survival of the Fittest. Adultery would be common sense--spread my seed, not all births will go well, not all birth-mothers are equal. Spread the odds! Both fit into an evolutionary mindset.
Atheist's usually say that their morality is based on desire or happiness. It makes us sad to be mean to people and ruin their happiness and desires. Atheist Bertrand Russell "Outside human desires there is no moral standard."
Morality is a sticking point for the Atheist. Atheists wonder how a good God lets bad things happen. I wonder how atheists know what good and bad is. I wonder, in an atheistic mindset, why do people do good?
Darwin said in The Origin of Species, that his form of evolution takes place through conflict and conquering
“When two tribes of primeval man, living in the same country, came into competition, if the one tribe included…a greater number of courageous, sympathetic, and faithful members, who were always ready to warn each other of danger, to aid and defend each other, this tribe would without doubt succeed best and conquer the other. Let it be borne in mind how all-important, in the never-ceasing wars of savages, fidelity and courage must be."
It is through the conflict of civilizations that one survives, and the weak is dismissed. When asked if we should kill the weak humans, Darwin downplayed this conclusion. Darwin didn’t think we should kill the inferior, we should keep them from breeding. Much nicer. Abortion anyone?
Frederick Nietzsche picked up philosophically where Darwin left off biologically. Nietzsche said that morality is based on custom, what people have done in the past. Religion and philosophy gets people stuck in the past. New is always evil until it becomes old and accepted. This is evolutionary thinking. In the past we had lower life forms, but over time, life forms evolve into higher beings. Therefore new things are good and old things are bad. But since humans are trapped in religion, they are against new things, and initially new things are looked on skeptically (which makes no sense in an evolutionary world mind you), but over time we grow accustomed and our morals change.
All observable mutation is a breaking of things. There has never been any mutation that shows a building of anything. A beak may get bigger, or skin thicker, but we don’t see beaks and skin turning into something else. Mutation is always breaking things, which means at the beginning there had to be perfect forms that led to mutations that have arisen since.
When we look at morality and the revelation of God’s Law five thousand years ago or so, have we evolved to a higher sense of morality, or are we breaking things? Our evolution is reducing sin, reducing moral violations. Yet while our morals are declining, our evolutionist pals are telling us we are getting a higher form of morality and human existence. The violence of the 20th Century was due, in large part, to Darwinian evolution lived out. It also lead to the sexual revolution and the various odd things celebrated today that used to be called sin.
Most of Nietzsche's morality is based on power. Some are masters, some are slaves. Slaves turn the other cheek, masters smack people and control them. mere morality, like religion, is for cowering slaves. The future must belong to the real masters, Nietzsche once said,
“Let us admit to ourselves…how every higher culture on earth so far has begun. Human beings whose nature was still natural, barbarians in every terrible sense of the word, men of prey who were still in possession of unbroken strength of will and lust for power, hurled themselves upon weaker, more civilized, more peaceful races…”
Adolf Hitler liked the writings of Nietzsche. He took Nietzsche's philosophy and brought it into action. Hitler said, “the highest aim of human existence is not the maintenance of a State or Government but rather the conservation of the race.” He also said, “existence is subject to the law of eternal struggle and strife….where the strong are always the masters of the weak and where those subject to such laws must obey them or be destroyed.”
Darwin said conflict and struggle are what's necessary for evolution, for the fit to survive. Nietzsche took it further and said our lust for power will lead us to seek warfare to wipe out weaker people. Hitler came along and did begin wiping out the weaker. Morality based on who is in power is the fruit of Darwin's thinking whether you like it or not.
Rudolf Hess, the deputy Party leader of the Nazis, said “National Socialism [Hitler's form of government] is nothing but applied biology."
Morality, for the evolutionist and the atheist, is based on some idea of what good is. Usually the good is the survival of the species. We work together to help our species evolve. It's a nice thought, but hasn't yet worked. The "good" is a biological concept. C S Lewis once said in his book God in the Dock, that when we make sin a disease; disease becomes sin. Alcoholism is no longer a sin; now it's a disease. This trend is gaining steam. This is dangerous ground because the line between sin and disease is getting blurred.
Observe our current healthcare climate. We are encouraging people to abort babies that have birth defects detected in ultrasounds. Increasingly euthanasia is being promoted because old people are drains on the economy. If we could eliminate sick people we'd be better off. Disease is increasingly becoming a sin. This is what happens when you believe "good" is a biological concept.
The Bible says that all things were created and were good. Through the rebellion of humanity, the only moral free agent in creation, all of creation began to fall apart. All things go from order to disorder, I seem to recall my science teacher telling me. Humanity is born dying. This dying process makes us selfish and causes us to do stupid things. We sin. We continue to rebel against God. Ephesians 2:3 says we are "by nature the children of wrath." By nature we do messed up things. The Bible does not believe that man is inherently good.
At the same time, the Bible doesn't think we're inherently all evil either! Romans 2:14 says that even people who don't have or never knew God's law "do by nature the things contained in the law." Everyone is born with a conscience, a sense of right and wrong. God put this in us. Our only deliverance from this state--knowing right and wrong and yet mostly doing wrong--is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Through the power of the Gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit, we are created new in Christ Jesus. We are made new creations and now we are able to fulfill the righteousness of the Law (Romans 8:4). Not only can we know what good is, we can do it. There is no hope elsewhere. Evolution logically leads to denying more adn more good, a warping of morality, and will eventually spawn very ugly fruit. It's already been proven in history and it will happen again. The answer is to bring people to Christ.