The Bitter Fruits of Atheism [Part I]
[EDITOR’S NOTE: For several decades now, evolution has received preeminent exposure throughout American culture via public schools, natural history and science museums, television programming, national parks guide booklets, popular magazines, children’s toys and clothing, movies and cinema, and the list goes on. What have been the results of such widespread, unilateral propaganda? Has the teaching of evolution exerted a positive influence on society? Have people been enriched, elevated, and enobled by the teaching of evolution? Atheistic evolutionists do not relish taking responsibility for the logical implications and consequences of their belief system. Nevertheless, read for yourself the first installment in a series on the bitter fruits of atheism and its progeny, evolution.]
On February 12, 1998, William Provine, a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the distinguished Cornell University, took to the podium on the campus of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He was invited to deliver the keynote address at the second annual Darwin Day, a day dedicated to commemorating the life and teachings of Charles Darwin. In an abstract of that speech, on the Darwin Day Web site, Dr. Provine’s introductory comments are recorded in the following words: “Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent” (Provine, 1998). Provine’s ensuing message centered on his fifth statement regarding human free will. Prior to delving into the “meat” of his message, however, he noted: “The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them” (1998).
It is clear then, from Provine’s comments, that he believes naturalistic evolution has no way to produce an “ultimate foundation for ethics.” And it is equally clear that this sentiment was so apparent to “modern naturalistic evolutionists” that Dr. Provine did not feel it even needed to be defended. Oxford professor Richard Dawkins concurred with Provine by saying: “Absolutist moral discrimination is devastatingly undermined by the fact of evolution” (2006, p. 301).
Comments from such high-profile evolutionists provide an excellent springboard from which to examine the logical consequences of belief in naturalistic evolution. If it is true that humans evolved from non-living, primordial slime, then any sense of moral obligation must simply be a subjective outworking of the physical neurons firing in the brain. Theoretically, atheistic scientists and philosophers admit this truth. Charles Darwin understood it perfectly. He wrote: “A man who has no assured and ever present belief in the existence of a personal God or of a future existence with retribution and reward, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones” (1958, p. 94, emp. added). On a pragmatic level, however, when a person or group of people actually allow the theoretical idea to influence their actions, the brutality of evolution’s immorality is brought to light, and its absurdity is manifested.
DEVALUING OF HUMAN LIFE
It is an easily ascertainable fact that belief in atheistic evolution devalues human life, demoting it to the base level of animal status. Such thinking logically leads to the adoption of measures that destroy innocent human life, but are still viewed by atheistic thinkers as “moral.” For instance, in 1983, Peter Singer published an article in the prestigious magazine Pediatrics titled “Sanctity of Life or Quality of Life?” In the article, he contended that there is no moral burden to keep alive human infants who are born with mental retardation or other developmental problems such as Down’s syndrome. The entire article presents a case against the sanctity of human life, and suggests that the lives of some animals would be much more valuable than the lives of mentally retarded children. In fact, he alluded to the fact that modern, evolutionary teaching has destroyed the idea of the sanctity of human life:
We can no longer base our ethics on the idea that human beings are a special form of creation.... Our better understanding of our own nature has bridged the gulf that was once thought to lie between ourselves and other species, so why should we believe that the mere fact that a being is a member of the species Homo sapiens endows its life with some unique, almost infinite, value?... If we compare a severely defective human infant with a nonhuman animal, a dog or a pig, for example, we will often find the nonhuman to have superior capacities, both actual and potential, for rationality, self-consciousness, communication, and anything else that can plausibly be considered morally significant. Only the fact that the defective infant is a member of the species Homo sapiens leads it to be treated differently from the dog or pig. Species membership alone, however, is not morally relevant.... If we can put aside the obsolete and erroneous notion of the sanctity of all human life, we may start to look at human life as it really is: at the quality of life that each human being has or can achieve” (Singer, 72:128-129 emp. added).
In his book The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins expressed the same idea when he wrote: “Notice now that ‘pro-life’ doesn’t exactly mean pro-life at all. It means pro-human-life. The granting of uniquely special rights to cells of the species Homo sapiens is hard to reconcile with the fact of evolution.... The humanness of an embryo’s cells cannot confer upon it any absolutely discontinuous moral status” (2006, p. 300, italics in orig., emp. added).
In his book Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism, self-proclaimed Darwinian James Rachels stated that when the true moral implications of evolution are understood,
human life will no longer be regarded with the kind of superstitious awe which it is accorded in traditional thought, and the lives of non-humans will no longer be a matter of indifference. This means that human life will, in a sense, be devalued, while the value granted to non-human life will be increased. A revised view of such matters as suicide and euthanasia, as well as a revised view of how we should treat animals, will result (1990, p. 5, emp. added).
He further noted: “The big issue in all this is the value of human life.... The difficulty is that Darwinism leaves us with fewer resources from which to construct an account of the value of life” (p. 197, emp. added).
According to atheistic evolution, whether a human child lives or dies should depend on the level of potential suffering, intelligence or lack thereof, mental retardation, or physical handicap. If resources are so limited that an intelligent chimpanzee and a human child cannot both be kept alive, then the child’s intelligence or threshold of suffering should be compared to the chimpanzee’s. If the chimp happens to be more “intelligent” or more capable of suffering, then the “simple” fact that the child is a human should not confer any special moral status. Thus, according to this line of thinking, it would be morally right to eliminate the human child in favor of the chimpanzee. Rachels presented this idea quite clearly:
An infant with severe brain damage, even if it survives for many years, may never learn to speak, and its mental powers may never rise above a primitive level. In fact, its psychological capacities may be markedly inferior to those of a typical rhesus monkey. In that case, moral individualism [of which Rachels is a proponent—KB] would see no reason to prefer its life over the monkey’s (1990, pp. 189-190).
The absurdity of such thinking flies in the face of everything that humans have understood to be moral. The framers of the Declaration of Independence understood the special place that humans hold. They penned the famous words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (1776). Notice that the Declaration framers believed that humans had certain rights that were “self-evident.” In fact, the framers simply recorded this idea that had been understood by humanity for millennia.
What happens when individuals, who believe that humans should not be given any special moral status, put their belief into action? James Rachels shed a sickening light on that question when he concluded:
Some unfortunate humans—perhaps because they have suffered brain damage—are not rational agents. What are we to say about them? The natural conclusion, according to the doctrine we are considering, would be that their status is that of mere animals. And perhaps we should go on to conclude that they may be used as non-human animals are used—perhaps as laboratory subjects, or as food (1990, p. 186).
Forrest Mims III is the Chairman of the Environmental Science Section of the Texas Academy of Science. He edits a publication titled The Citizen Scientists. On March 3-5, 2006, Mims attended the 109th meeting of the Texas Academy of Science, which was held at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Mims related the events that occurred during that meeting in an article titled Meeting Doctor Doom (2006). [Unless otherwise noted, the following quotes and facts are derived from that article.]
At the meeting, Dr. Eric R. Pianka, “the University of Texas evolutionary ecologist and lizard expert who the Academy named the 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist,” delivered a speech to about 400 attendees. Just before Pianka spoke, Mims noted that an official of the Academy was involved in a conversation with the cameraman who was recording the meeting. The conversation resulted in the cameraman pointing “the lens of his big camera to the ceiling and slowly walking away.” Mims started taking notes on the speech when Pianka began by warning the audience that most people are not ready to hear what he had to say to the assembly.
Mims noted that one of Pianka’s main points was that humans should not be given special status among other animals. “Pianka hammered his point home by exclaiming, ‘We’re no better than bacteria!’” In his speech, Pianka suggested that the Earth cannot survive the current human population increase, and that something needs to be done “to reduce the population to 10 percent of the present number.” Pianka then mentioned several ways this might occur. “His favorite candidate for eliminating 90 percent of the world’s population is airborne Ebola (Ebola Reston), because it is both highly lethal and it kills in days instead of years.” The speech ended with a question-and-answer period. Mims noted: “Immediately almost every scientist, professor and college student present stood to their feet and vigorously applauded the man who had enthusiastically endorsed the elimination of 90 percent of the human population. Some even cheered.”
Of course, many within the evolutionary community did not want to connect themselves closely with the idea that an evolutionary ecologist seems to think that his evolutionary ideas need to lead to the mass destruction of five billion humans. They quickly accused Mims of misrepresentation. On April 6, 2006, Nick Matzke wrote:
The wingnut echo chamber has recently gone insane over the idea that Eric Pianka, a distinguished and much-loved ecologist at UT, advocates mass genocide by ebola in order to bring down world population. The allegation was leveled by disgruntled creationist Forrest Mims, and rapidly spread to the blogosphere via places like Dembski’s blog (three posts!) and Telic Thoughts, and then went to the Drudge Report and caused a national media firestorm appearing in my local paper by Monday morning. I smelled a rat from the beginning, and now I have been proved right. KXAN News36 in Austin, TX, has just debunked the whole thing (2006, emp. added).
Matzke’s statement that the information from News36 debunked “the whole thing” was far from the truth. In fact, in a letter dated April 10, 2006, Assistant Professor Dr. Kenneth R. Summy, the Vice-Chairman of the Environmental Science Section of the Texas Academy of Science, wrote:
My overall impression of Dr. Pianka’s presentation was a ‘doomsday’ message that life on earth is about to end, and the sooner the human population crashes the better. I hope he was joking or being sarcastic when he stated that a pandemic of ebola virus would be great for the earth? [sic] no sane person would really believe that (2006).
Dr. Summy further noted:
Forrest Mims did not misrepresent anything regarding the presentation. I heard these statements myself, and would be willing to bet that most of the audience attending the presentation got the same impression that I did. In my opinion, the message contained in the keynote address detracted from what was otherwise an excellent meeting (2006).
The following statements by a student “defending” Dr. Pianka add further credence to Mims’ record: “Dr. Pianka’s talk at the TAS meeting was mostly of the problems humans are causing as we rapidly proliferate around the globe.... He’s a radical thinker, that one! I mean, he’s basically advocating for the death of all but 10% of the current population! And at the risk of sounding just as radical, I think he’s right” (“Dr. Eric R. Pianka...,” 2006; see also “Revisiting...,” 2006).
Additionally, Dr. Pianka personally posted several student evaluations of his teaching. One student commented: “I don’t root for ebola [sic], but maybe a ban on having more than one child. I agree...too many people [are] ruining this planet” (“Excerpts from Student Evaluations,” 1999). Another wrote: “Though I agree that convervation [sic] biology is of utmost importance to the world, I do not think that preaching that 90% of the human population should die of ebola [sic] is the most effective means of encouraging conservation awareness” (“Excerpts from Student Evaluations”).
The fact is, Dr. Pianka’s evolutionary concepts of ecology push him to conclude that humans are no better than bacteria and that the human population needs to be dramatically reduced. As much as many of his fellow evolutionists would like to distance themselves from such radical thinking, they cannot logically do so. Atheistic evolution implies that humans are no better than bacteria. They may have more capacity to suffer, they may have more complex brains and body structures, but in the end, one living organism is only as valuable as another. If you have the moral right to destroy millions of bacteria because they are hindering the “progress” of humanity, you have the same moral right to destroy billions of humans because they are causing ecological problems for other, equally valuable, organisms on the planet.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines abortion as: “the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus” (“Abortion,” n.d., emp. added). In the United States, this murderous practice has been legal since January 22, 1973, and has resulted in the deaths of more than 48 million innocent human lives in this country alone. If the abortions performed in Europe and Asia during the same time period were added to this figure, the death toll would easily reach into the hundreds of millions. Is it immoral to terminate the lives of unborn human children?
According to the atheistic evolutionary community, abortion is not an immoral practice. In fact, it is often viewed as something moral and right. One line of reasoning used to justify the practice is the idea that humans should not be treated differently than animals, since humans are nothing more than animals themselves. The fact that an embryo is “human” is no reason to give it special status. Dawkins wrote: “An early embryo has the sentience, as well as the semblance, of a tadpole.... One school of thought cares about whether embryos can suffer. The other cares about whether they are human.... Secular moralists are more likely to ask, ‘Never mind whether it is human (what does that even mean for a little cluster of cells?); at what ages does a developing embryo, of any specie become capable of suffering?’” (2006, pp. 297-298, italics and parenthetical items in orig.). Dawkins identifies himself as a “secular moralist” who would not factor into the moral equation the idea of “humanness.” How would he and other “secular moralists” decide if a human embryo should live? He noted:
A consequentialist or utilitarian is likely to approach the abortion question in a very different way, by trying to weigh up suffering. Does the embryo suffer? (Presumably not if it is aborted before it has a nervous system; and even if it is old enough to have a nervous system it surely suffers less than, say, an adult cow in a slaughterhouse.) (2006, p. 293, parenthetical item in orig., emp. added).
The modern atheistic moralist simply “weighs up suffering.” If the human embryo has not yet reached the stage at which a nervous system develops, then it is less valuable than an animal that does have a nervous system. And even if it does have a nervous system, it probably does not suffer as much as a cow in a slaughterhouse. Thus, it would be more moral to stop killing cows in a slaughterhouse than to stop allowing humans to abort their children. As atheistic writer Sam Harris noted: “If you are concerned about suffering in this universe, killing a fly should present you with greater moral difficulties than killing a human blastocyst [three-day-old human embryo—KB]” (2006, p. 30). He further stated: “If you are worried about human suffering, abortion should rank very low on your list of concerns” (p. 37).
The moral bankruptcy of such thinking is brutally obvious. Since when is the amount of suffering the criterion by which moral decisions of human life and death are made? Yet that is exactly what Dawkins and his fellow atheistic moralists contend. He wrote: “Of course, it could be argued that humans are more capable of, for example, suffering than other species. This could well be true, and we might legitimately give humans special status by virtue of it” (2006, p. 301). According to Dawkins, it would be logically permissible to kill any person as long as they do not suffer, or others (like parents or siblings) do not suffer because of their deaths. Suppose, then, a society decides that five-year-old orphans with no siblings are less than ideal and need to be eliminated. In keeping with Dawkins’ morality, if policemen sneak up behind the children and deliver an immediately lethal bullet to their brains so that they never feel any pain, then such actions could be as morally viable as killing adult cows in a slaughterhouse. Dawkins and his fellow atheistic thinkers have absolutely no grounds on which to assert that killing five-year-olds in this fashion is “wrong.”
Peter Singer admits the reality of this logical implication of atheistic evolution. In his chapter titled: “Justifying Infanticide,” Singer concluded that human infants are “replaceable.” What does Singer mean by “replaceable”? He points out that if a mother has decided that she will have two children, and the second child is born with hemophilia, then that infant can be disposed of and replaced by another child without violating any moral code of ethics. He explained: “Therefore, if killing the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others, it would, according to the total view, be right to kill him. The total view treats infants as replaceable” (2000, p. 190).
He went on to argue that many in society would be aghast at killing an infant with a disability like hemophilia, but without good reason. He argued that such is done regularly before birth, when a mother aborts a child inutero after prenatal diagnosis reveals a disorder. He stated:
When death occurs before birth, replaceability does not conflict with generally accepted moral convictions. That a fetus is known to be disabled is widely accepted as a ground for abortion. Yet in discussing abortion, we say that birth does not mark a morally significant dividing line. I cannot see how one could defend the view that fetuses may be “replaced” before birth, but newborn infants may not (2000, p. 191).
Singer further proposed that parents should be given a certain amount of time after a child is born to decide whether or not they would like to kill the child. He wrote: “If disabled newborn infants were not regarded as having a right to life until, say, a week or a month after birth it would allow parents, in consultation with their doctors, to choose on the basis of far greater knowledge of the infant’s condition than is possible before birth” (2000, p. 193). One has to wonder why Singer would stop at one week or one month. Why not simply say that it is morally right for parents to kill their infants at one year or five years? Singer concluded his chapter on infanticide with these words: “Nevertheless the main point is clear: killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Very often it is not wrong at all” (p. 193, emp. added). When the logical consequences of atheistic evolution are so clearly spelled out by its adherents, the prospects are grisly indeed.
Animals Kill Their Offspring
Another line of reasoning used to justify abortion (and various other immoral practices) is the idea that since humans are animals, it is right for them to behave like animals. Charles Darwin himself proposed in a chapter of The Descent of Man: “My object in this chapter is to shew that there is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental faculties” (1871, p. 446). Thus, it is suggested that if we can find an example of animals engaging in an activity, that would provide enough moral justification needed for humans to practice the same. Applying this idea to abortion, Barbara Burke wrote: “Among some animal species, infant killing appears to be a natural practice. Could it be natural for humans too, a trait inherited from our primate ancestors? Charles Darwin noted in The Descent of Man that infanticide has been ‘probably the most important of all checks on population growth throughout most of human history’” (1974, 185:653).
Notice that Burke recognizes the fact that humans kill their offspring, and justifies the practice by referring to “analogous” activities in the animal kingdom. Maybe, she reasons, humans kill their infants or unborn children because they inherited the murderous practice from their animal ancestors. By reasoning in this fashion, she attempts, not only to suggest that killing human infants is not morally neutral, but that it could be morally right if the practice is used to check population growth. In this regard, James Rachels wrote:
Finally, if one is nevertheless tempted to believe that humans are psychologically unique, it is useful to remember that the whole enterprise of experimental psychology, as it is practiced today, assumes otherwise. Animal behaviour is routinely studied with an eye to acquiring information that can then be applied to humans. Psychologists who want to investigate maternal behaviour, for example...might study the behaviour of rhesus monkey mothers and infants, assuming that whatever is true of them will be true of humans—because, after all, they are so much like us (1990, p. 166, emp. added).
In response to such thinking, several points need to be considered. Humans are not animals. There is no documented evidence verifying the false idea that humans evolved from lower organisms (see Harrub and Thompson, 2002). In fact, all observable evidence verifies that humans maintain a completely unique status in regard to their mental, emotional, and cognitive components (see “In the Image...,” 2001; Lyons and Thompson, 2002). To justify human behavior based on behavior observed in the animal world exhibits a grotesque ignorance of everything humans understand about morality. Ten percent of the diet of an adult Komodo dragon often consists of its cannibalizing young Komodo dragons. Would anyone be so irrationally disturbed as to suggest that, because we see infant cannibalism in Komodo dragons, it would be natural for humans to eat their young as well? Apparently so. James Rachels wrote: “The whole idea of using animals as psychological models for humans is a consequence of Darwinism. Before Darwin, no one could have taken seriously the thought that we might learn something about the human mind by studying mere animals” (1990, p. 221, emp. added).
If all conceivable human behavior can be justified based on the idea that it mimics animal behavior, then why not abolish all laws, allow stronger humans to kill the weaker ones, allow mothers to eat their babies, allow men to murder sexual rivals, allow women to murder and cannibalize their lovers after intercourse, and simply chalk up such a deplorable situation to “nature”? The logical consequences of such philosophical justification are as obvious as they are ridiculous. The ploy to justify abortion (and other equally reprehensible immoralities) by suggesting that it is “natural” is little more than an attempt to cast aside all moral constraints and debase society to the point of mindless bestiality. Yet such is the logical result of atheism.
Death in the Name of Atheism
Not all atheists are grotesquely immoral people. In fact, many of them would be viewed as moral individuals who do not steal, murder, abuse their children, or violate laws. The point to be made is not that all atheistic thinkers are living out the logical implications of their beliefs. The point is that the philosophy of atheism logically implies that immorality is acceptable or non-existent. It is true that most atheists do not put the implications of their belief into practice, but it is also true that some do, and that their actions cannot be construed to be anything other than what they are—the logical consequences of atheistic, evolutionary thinking.
Of course, “respectable” atheists deny that people commit heinously immoral crimes at the instigation of atheism. As Dawkins has stated: “Individual atheists may do evil things but they don’t do evil things in the name of atheism” (Dawkins, 2006, p. 278, emp. added). His assertion is patently false. People often do evil things in the name of atheism. These people understand their evolutionary atheism to be a primary contributing factor to their evil actions, and the full weight of atheism’s logical conclusions justifies their behavior.
April 20, 1999 will go down in U.S. history as the date of one of the most nefarious, murderous criminal acts in modern times. Two teenage boys, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, after months of elaborate planning, opened fire on their schoolmates, killing 12 of their peers and one teacher, injuring 23 others, and then committing suicide. Evidence posted on the Web and in written documents showed that the two teens had concocted detailed plans to kill hundreds of students with homemade explosives, but most of their macabre plans went awry.
Hundreds of police investigators, educators, political leaders, and other professionals delved into the reasons why Harris and Klebold snapped as they did. One eye-opening aspect of the research has been the very clear connection between the evolutionary idea of natural selection and Harris’ desire to kill his fellow humans. On the day of the shooting, Harris wore a white T-shirt with the words “Natural Selection” emblazoned on it (“Columbine,” 2008). This was not coincidental, but was designed to make a statement. According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Report, in a document found in his room, Harris wrote: “I would love to see all you f-------ds die. NBK. I love it! sometime [sic] in April me and V will get revenge and will kick natural selection up a few notches” (as quoted in “Columbine,” 2008, emp. added). His diary also stated: “I will sooner die than betray my own thoughts. but [sic] before I leave this worthless place, I will kill whoever I deem unfit for, anything at all, especially life” (as quoted in “Columbine,” 2008, emp. added).
In his article titled “Kill Mankind. No One Should Survive,” Dave Cullen reported extensively on the investigation surrounding the Columbine massacre. He wrote:
“They do consider the human race beneath them,” one investigator said. Harris “talks a lot about natural selection and that kind of leads into his admiration of Hitler and Nazism and their ‘final solution’—that we, the human race have interrupted or disrupted natural selection by inventing vaccines and stuff like that. In one of his writings, he talks about that: ‘It would be great if there were no vaccines, because people who should have died would have died, and we wouldn’t be perpetuating this kind of stuff’” (1999, emp. added).
The Columbine killers’ evolutionary beliefs cannot be disconnected from their brutal slayings.
Another example of this type of relationship between atheism and immoral behavior comes from Finland. An 18-year-old man named Pekka Eric Auvinen marched into his school and shot and killed seven of his schoolmates as well as the headmistress. He then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide. When such gruesome carnage occurs, we naturally ask, “Why?” What would drive a young man like Auvinen to commit such horrific atrocities? In Auvinen’s case, the answer is clear.
Auvinen explained the philosophy that led him to commit this dastardly mass murder. On a Web site message board post from before the slaying, he explained that he was a self-avowed “cynical existentialist, anti-human humanist, anti-social social-Darwinist, realistic idealist and god-like atheist” (“Teen Dead...,” 2007, emp. added). He went on to state: “I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection” (2007, emp. added). There you have it. The reason he murdered eight innocent people is because he was an atheistic evolutionist who devalued human life and believed that he had the right to destroy any living being who he considered to be less fit than himself.
As much as evolutionists insist on separating themselves from such disgusting displays of immorality, the logical implications of their godlessness tie them indubitably to Auvinen’s actions. The only thing that separates Auvinen from other atheists is that he acted out the logical implications of his atheistic belief. It is high time atheism’s immorality is recognized, repudiated, and exposed for the reprehensible fruit it bears.
Jeffrey Dahmer was one of the most notorious serial killers in modern history. He murdered 17 men and boys, dismembered them, stored human body parts in his apartment, practiced homosexual necrophilia and cannibalized his victims (Dahmer, 1994, p. 10). He was convicted of 15 counts of murder and sentenced to serve over 900 years in prison. During his incarceration, he was murdered by another inmate.
When a person perpetrates such brutal and deranged crimes against his fellow man, natural questions that arise in the minds of those who hear the details include: Why would a person commit such heinous crimes? What would cause a person to become such a murderer? In Jeffrey Dahmer’s case, he supplied the world with the answer.
In 1994, Stone Phillips interviewed Jeffrey Dahmer and his father Lionel Dahmer for NBC’s Dateline. In that interview, Stone Phillips asked Jeffrey Dahmer several questions regarding the possible causes of Dahmer’s behavior. In one portion of the interview, Jeffrey explained that he took complete and personal responsibility for his actions, and his crimes could not be blamed on his parents, school, or other external circumstances. Following those remarks, Jeffrey said: “There comes a point where a person has to be accountable for what he’s done.” His father, Lionel, then asked him: “Let me ask. When did you first feel that everyone is accountable for their actions?” Jeffrey responded:
Well, thanks to you for sending that creation science material. Because I always believed the lie that evolution is truth, the theory of evolution is truth. That we all just came from the slime, and when we died, you know, that was it. There was nothing. So the whole theory cheapens life.... And I’ve since come to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the true Creator of the Earth. It didn’t just happen (Phillips, 1994, emp. added).
Lionel Dahmer then began to discuss the period of time during Jeffrey’s upbringing that he thought most influenced Jeffrey’s murderous behavior. Lionel said: “At that period of time I had drifted away from a belief in a Supreme Being. And I never, as a result, passed along the feeling that we are all accountable. In the end, He owns us. And that basic concept is very fundamental to all of us.”
Stone Phillips then asked Lionel: “You feel that the absence, at least for a while, of a strong religious faith and belief may have prevented you from instilling some of that in Jeff?” Lionel responded: “That’s right.” Phillips then turned to Jeffrey and asked: “Is that how you feel?” Jeffrey responded to Phillips’ question: “Yes, I think that had a big part to do with it. If a person doesn’t think that there is a God to be accountable to, then what’s the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable ranges? That’s how I thought, anyway” (Phillips, 1994).
To what, then, did Dahmer attribute his gruesome, horrifying crimes? He simply said he believed that evolution is true, that humans arose from primordial slime, and that there is no personal accountability inherent in the theory. Dahmer understood the logical implications of atheistic evolution perfectly. Dahmer’s behavior appalls society because he had the brains and drive to put the theoretical implications into practice in real life. When he did, society was justifiably outraged at his behavior. But such outrage is justifiable only in the context of a God to Whom all people are accountable. Without such accountability, Dahmer was right to conclude: “What’s the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable ranges?” Dahmer is yet another example of a person who committed heinously evil crimes in the name of atheism.
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