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Existence of God: Implications of Atheism

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Ideas Have Consequences

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.

Some of you might be thinking to yourselves, “What does it matter if I believe in God, the Bible, and creation, or a concept such as organic evolution?” You might be thinking that it is just a belief—a bunch of words and arguments that have very little to do with real life. If you are thinking that, let me politely suggest that such is not the case. What you believe is the driving force behind how you behave. If you believe that man is created in the image of God, then you place a very high value on human life. But if you believe that man is just another animal that has evolved from a primordial soup in the distant past, then human life loses its uniqueness and value. After all, if man were just a “glorified animal,” what would be wrong with ridding ourselves of those who we view as nuisances—unwanted (unborn) children, the retarded, the handicapped, or the infirm elderly? If man is just a “naked ape,” then “putting him out of his misery” would be no sin. After all, we shoot horses when they break their legs, don’t we?

“No”, you say, “surely belief in the theory of evolution would not offer any encouragement for someone to commit such crimes against humanity.” First, let’s look at the principles upon which evolution is based. Take “survival of the fittest,” for example. This principle stands at the very foundation of evolution, and basically claims that the stronger ("more fit") succeed by out-surviving, and sometimes even by destroying, the weak. If we follow this principle to its logical conclusion, it means that stronger humans could kill and destroy weaker humans, all the while remaining in total harmony with the “natural order of things.” If you don’t believe that someone might carry the theory of evolution to its logical conclusion, keep reading.

ADOLF HITLER—A TEST CASE

Adolf Hitler claims his rightful place as possibly the most infamous villain of all time. Children of all ages, and the adults who teach them, history shudder at the deeds done by this criminal mastermind. His vicious atrocities claimed the lives of over 6 million Jews and over 4 million other ethnic groups such as the polish, blacks, and gypsies. Gruesome stories of gas chambers, concentration camps, heinous human experiments, heartless starvation, and forced labor are but a few of the mental pictures that come to mind upon hearing the name “Hitler.”

One question immediately presents itself to anyone contemplating Hitler’s actions: Why? What could allow a man to think that such acts of injustice ever could be justified? Simply put, the answer is—the theory of evolution. Hitler believed that the German Aryan race was superior to all other races. He believed that this superior Aryan race had the right to exterminate all inferior races since, according to evolution, the “natural order of things” is for the strong to survive. To use the words of Charles Darwin, Hitler viewed his murderous plans as nothing more than “the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life.”

A serious study of Hitler’s life and actions, one can easily shows conclusively that the theory of evolution played a major role in his atrocious acts. But many evolutionists object to such an idea. They claim instead that it was not the theory of evolution that perverted Hitler, but Hitler who perverted the theory of evolution.

The problem with this line of thinking is that Hitler did not pervert, or even alter, the theory of evolution in order to use it to support his deeds. He simply followed it to its logical conclusion. According to the theory of evolution, nature has no conscience that distinguishes between what is right and what is wrong. Where would “nature” get such an awareness of morals? Such morals certainly could not evolve from lifeless, matter. No chemical soup could progress by evolution into a being with a conscience. The most evolution could produce would be the idea that “might makes right.” When Hitler exterminated approximately 10 million innocent men, women, and children, he acted in complete agreement with the theory of evolution—and in complete disagreement with everything humans know to be right and wrong.

Still many evolutionists object and suggest that using Hitler’s actions to show the terrible effects of evolution would be like using the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, or the Salem “witch trials” to show the terrible effects of Christianity. The difference lies in the fact that the Crusades, witch trials, and Spanish Inquisition were perversions of Christianity’s teachings. Christ taught His followers to turn the other cheek, to pray for their enemies, and to love their neighbors as themselves. It is true that many people in history have committed terrible crimes “in the name of Christianity.” But it is not true that they were following Christ’s principles. In fact, they were perverting Christ’s teachings, and twisting them to say things that Christ did not say. On the other hand, the deeds performed by Hitler in the name of evolution were not a perversion of the theory. Rather, he understood perfectly the principles of evolution and attempted to apply them consistently.

One writer said: “If you teach children that they evolved from monkeys, then they will act like monkeys.” How true. On the other hand, if you teach children that they were made in the image of the holy God, then we can expect them to be holy as He is.




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