Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Religion Running Scared; Neurology and Morality


According to Martin S. Pribble, religion is running scared from advances in science specifically around supposed advancements in the area of morality. Why? According to Pribble, the brain is the final frontier in uncovering the reasons for belief in superstition, religion, and a higher power.

Quote, “After all, the brain is what interprets everything we see, read, think, do or believe, and also it determines how we react to these things. The brain is the start and the finish of our life experiences, the alpha and omega of any and every action we make in our lives.” Can you imagine if this were actually true? Ethics would simply be a matter of one brain versus another. Where is the super-brain to which all other brains could settle their differences? Oh wait, why bother? Just kill your opponents. The best way for your ethic to survive is to destroy all opponents. But that is harsh! Really? No it isn’t. It is just my brain doing what it does. It isn’t my fault that your brain is wired differently. By the way, just in case you are tempted to think that my way of thinking is wrong, that is just your own brain’s way of thinking. Your brain has no authority over my brain. I will not submit my brain to your brain’s thinking. In addition, I hope your body is equipped to be able to stop me. Because if it isn’t, your ethic isn’t going to matter at all. That is because you don’t matter at all. You will be exterminated for the irritant that you are according to how my brain sees you. You are a threat to my happiness. You are a danger to my way of life and therefore you must be extinguished. My brain says that I deserve to be happy. Therefore, any and all threats to my happiness should be removed. Moreover, the most efficient way for me to remove those threats is to make sure I do it permanently. This way I won’t have to worry about recurrence.

There are approximately 8 billion people on this earth. Imagine if all of them bought into the idea that the brain is all there is. Imagine if they all adopted independent worldviews similar to the one played out above. The world would collapse into utter chaos. There would be no moral restraint to stop it. However, neuroscience itself is subject to ethical standards the same as every other area of life. Science does not establish morality any more than it establishes the law of gravity. Moreover, science is in a very precarious position even in its endeavor to explain the “why,” let alone the how in many instances. The Christian religion is not running-scared from neuroscience or any other science as far as that goes. Wishful-thinking atheists desperate to justify their own existence make statements like this. These are people that want to sound as though they have scored some major win against the God that is. They hurry out to blog about something that they think will rescue them from the conscience within and the God that exists. However, soon they will discover there is no rescue. The human brain cannot account for numerous metaphysical realities, let own explain why human beings everywhere have some moral code that guides their living. Honor, dishonor, meaning, and purpose exist everywhere human beings do. It is both amusing and disturbing on many levels to watch intelligent, albeit God-hating people attempt to do away with the very cause of their existence.

The article goes on to claim that the differences that exist in morality from one culture to another demonstrate that universal morality does not exist. However, this view proves that intelligent people do not always think intelligently when making statements. The Christian claim is not that there is an agreed upon universal moral standard in the world. What Christianity asserts is that human beings are universally concerned about morality. That a moral code exists in every culture is undeniable. Moreover, this moral concern is universal from culture to culture. From this fact, the Christian claims that only Christianity can account for the existence of such a universal moral concern. Atheism fails to account for the existence of a universal moral concern in human beings. It should be much more hit or miss if the naturalism that underpins atheistic beliefs is legitimate. However, it is anything but hit or miss. If the atheist is right, then life has no meaning. People have no value. Therefore, we can use people as a means to an end. Oppression is not good or bad, right or wrong. The act of loving one’s neighbor is morally equivalent to murdering one’s family. The act of saving a drowning child is morally equivalent to raping a twelve year old virgin. If the atheist is right, women have not inherent “right” to abortion on demand. In addition, homosexuals do not have a “right” to have sex with whomever they please. Rights only exist if morality is real. Ideas have consequences. I am afraid that most atheists really don’t want the real consequences of their grandiose ideas. What would happen if one were to turn the gun on them? What would happen if we subjected every atheist to his or her own ideas? What would they say if we decided that an atheist could be treated any way we want to treat them because right and wrong does not really exist? What if I found out you were an atheist and I fired you because of it? Would that be wrong? What if atheists were prohibited from publishing their works? What if they were censored from public speaking? What if we decided to kill every male atheist and rape every female atheist? Would this be wrong? Christianity, the kind of Christianity expressed in the Bible would condemn such practices in the strongest manner. The only thing the Atheist has to fear from the Christian is losing the debate. Atheists can always count on fair treatment and protection along with the rest of us because the Christian ethic demands it. Anything else would be really, actually, truly wrong! Too bad the Atheist cannot say that.

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