Sorry, atheists, but you’re wrong: The death of ‘Love your neighbour’
Flickr/Richard Cocks (CC BY 2.0)
Gone are the days when you could leave the milk money on the street without it being stolen.
Published: 5 June 2014 (GMT+10)
Our country, Australia, has changed dramatically in our lifetime. The streets were a much safer place when we were young than they are today.
For example, when we were young, we put empty glass milk bottles outside our front gate each night, along with the money for tomorrow’s milk. If we didn’t have the exact coinage, we’d place a $1 note half-way under one of the empty bottles—so it couldn’t be blown by the wind but in plain view for the milkman. By morning we’d find in its place our milk, along with the right change.
Everyone else in the street did the same. But we don’t know anyone who does that anymore. The situation now is very different from what it was in the 1960s.
In fact, young people today are incredulous when you tell them how it used to be. “What!?”, they say, astonished, “You used to leave money on the street? And it wasn’t stolen?”
You see, today the situation in Australia has deteriorated way beyond secretive, night-time ‘petty thieving’ of milk money on the footpath. There are now frequent drive-by handbag snatchings from older, vulnerable women, in broad daylight, for example. One lady we know of was badly injured because the handbag strap remained around her neck, so she was dragged by the car for some distance until the strap broke. (We’re told this is not unique to Australia1—overseas, there have even been deaths so caused.2)
Worldwide, crime rates soared for several decades until more recently when a different pattern emerged as highlighted in a magazine article which suggested rates were falling.3 But that article also provided a number of reasons for the ‘decline’ which explains a shift away from certain types of crime. (See box: Are crime rates really falling, or are there other explanations?)
There are varying factors at work in different countries because South Africa, with its unique recent history, has experienced a surge in crime, particularly murder, which is about four-and-a-half-times higher than the global average.4
The violence associated with robberies at shops and private homes today even shocks the police. They lament it’s now both genders committing violent crimes—indeed, some say that women are even more vicious than the men.5 Knives, baseball bats, and guns are the tools of the thieves’ ‘trade’ used to threaten terrified fuel station attendants and employees at fast-food outlets during a robbery. And today, something else is now happening. The downhill slide has now grown from petty theft to robbery with violence to random violence. It’s actually been an increasing phenomenon in the past decade or so but two deaths in separate incidents in 2012 certainly brought it into sharper media focus. Here’s how ABC (Australia) radio presenter Fran Kelly introduced a segment on the issue on her nation-wide ‘Breakfast’ program:6
FRAN KELLY: Another king-hit, another death. Nine days ago, teenager Thomas Kelly died after he was king-hit in Sydney’s Kings Cross.7 Now two men, one of them former NRL8 star Craig Field, have been charged with the death of a 50-year-old man who was allegedly king-hit on the NSW North Coast yesterday.
More often than not, this kind of violence is alcohol-related. Doctors at the trauma unit at Sydney’s St Vincent’s hospital say they are seeing more injuries due to alcohol-related violence, almost on a daily basis. They say the nature of the violence is changing too, with attacks becoming more vicious.
[In the aftermath of the death of Thomas Kelly and other individuals because of violent, unprovoked assaults and subsequent perceived inadequate penalties, the New South Wales State Government—along with other Australian States—introduced ‘one-punch’ laws to allow the judiciary to impose relevant sanctions.]9
Fran Kelly then proceeded to interview the Head of the Emergency Department at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Professor Gordian Fulde, who has treated many victims of the random street attacks.
DR GORDIAN FULDE: People have become more violent and angry at each other, for very little, if any, reason. And it just is scary how people are being hit, people are being stomped on—I mean that’s just a term which, that if you really think about it, is unthinkable, where somebody is on the ground, unconscious, and still there’s several people kicking somebody who is obviously defenceless.
Dr Fulde acknowledged that while drunken violence was unfortunately not new in Australia, there now seemed to be no limits, i.e. no longer any sense of restraint. He made this observation when answering Fran Kelly’s question, “What do you think is going on?”:
DR GORDIAN FULDE: Don’t know—I mean, if you go into the alleged ‘good old days’, you know, if somebody said ‘Look, come outside’ and maybe, you know, they knew they were going to have a fight. And then if that person was hit, and went to the ground, things stopped, or … In other words, there was some sort of, if you will, ‘codes of conduct’ or ‘codes of war’, but now there’s none whatsoever. And the king-hit—I hate that term, I think it should be called the ‘killer punch’—is vicious, because by definition, the person doesn’t see it coming, so they can’t defend themselves, they can’t brace themselves, and—I think in South Australia, David Hookes, and things like that, some time ago—when the person’s head hits the ground, that’s when the massive brain damage and fatalities happen.”
The late David Hookes that Dr Fulde refers to here was an Australian sporting identity (cricket player and coach) who died in 2004 as a result of being punched on a street footpath in Melbourne. Dr Fulde went on to describe modern Australia’s increasingly violent ‘street culture’:
DR GORDIAN FULDE: “You hear about it—people can be walking along, and suddenly somebody, for whatever reason, hits them. They can be standing in the queue at the takeaway at two o’clock in the morning, and suddenly ‘bang’—somebody’s taken exception, for whatever reason. No, unfortunately it’s become a bit of our sort of Australian street culture. ”
FRAN KELLY: “Are you talking to people who you’re treating … to get any sense of why this is part of the culture now, the king-hit, the gang kicking?”
DR GORDIAN FULDE: “I think we’ve just, it comes down to in my opinion, that we’ve become a more angry, violent, vicious society. If you turn anywhere, be it the news, be it the video games, be it anything else, even a football match—you know, what really is put up there first is somebody’s had a terrible tackle, or a terrible head clash—we seem to be fascinated by violence, and I think, a lot of it is fed to children and all of us all the time.”
With the decline of Christianity, the rise of post-modernism and Eastern mysticism, the West can expect to see more of the poverty and lack of compassion so evident in non-Christian countries. The above drawing by Caleb Salisbury is from page 144 of Christianity for Skeptics. This book is a stunning general defence of the Christian faith—the outcome of CMI’s prolific author Dr Jonathan Sarfati teaming up with famous New Zealand apologist Dr Steve Kumar. The book has become an instant bestseller, dramatically demonstrating the need that this project fills—a general apologetics book combined with solid Creation evidences. Lay Christians have certainly resonated with its theme and many are buying bulk copies to give to their doubting friends (as well as using it to strengthen their own faith). Indeed, as Dr Sarfati himself commented: “My previous books have essentially presupposed that the Bible and Christianity are true, and mainly explained the proper interpretation and scientific support. This new book contains evidence for the truth of the Bible and that Jesus was the Son of God as He claimed.”
There are many people who would surely agree with Dr Fulde on that point. Since the 1960s Australian schools have increasingly taught that we are the result of millions of years of evolution, that it’s a dog-eat-dog world where today’s life-forms are the outcome of ‘nature red in tooth and claw’, a survival-of-the-fittest contest. However, not surprisingly given the ABC’s history of anti-Christian bias, nowhere in the interview did Fran Kelly refer to the rise of evolutionary teaching, or to the loss of Christian culture. Instead, she endeavoured to prompt Dr Fulde to pin the blame on lax alcohol laws, or inadequate policing.
FRAN KELLY: “You’ve been working at St Vincent’s a long time. Have you seen a change or a spike in alcohol-related violence, would you say the intensity of alcohol in this mix has changed?”
DR GORDIAN FULDE: “You’re on the money there. I mean, people have been drinking, people have been fighting, since whenever, right? No, it’s now sort of the randomness. We have these words, I don’t like either, like ‘rage’. You have parking rage, people get into a rage about a trolley in a supermarket, you know. And it’s both genders, it’s not just the boys. We’re just nastier to each other, over the smallest reason.”
The presenter asked Dr Fulde about possible solutions, e.g. more police, compulsory earlier closing of nightclubs/bars, or limiting alcohol outlets/sales. He accepted that these could all be helpful, but were clearly not the whole answer.
DR GORDIAN FULDE: “There obviously has to be a whole lot of things [strategies] put in. I don’t think the police can do it all. We all don’t want police on every street corner all the time. That (a) costs taxpayers a lot of money and (b) doesn’t totally solve the problem.” “Trying to catch a taxi at two or three o’clock in the morning—people fight about it. They fight at the queue for taxis, the taxi drivers get molested. It’s awful—it’s a war over a taxi.”
So, if alcohol restrictions are only part of the solution, what is the key element that Dr Fulde believes is needed? He really ‘nails it’ in this next sentence.
DR GORDIAN FULDE: “What we’re really talking about is a community attitude.” [Emphasis added.]
An attitude. A change in community attitude is what’s needed.
And not just in Australia’s two biggest cities, Melbourne and Sydney. In the city of Brisbane, another ABC radio presenter, Steve Austin, interviewed then Royal Brisbane Hospital maxillo-facial surgeon Dr Anthony Lynham.10 One of the morning newspaper headlines that day had proclaimed, “Hospitals struggle to deal with the regular flow of the weekend wounded at emergency wards”.11 Here’s how Steve Austin introduced his listeners to the topic:12
STEVE AUSTIN: “I want to take you inside Monday morning in a major Brisbane hospital. This morning is normally the morning from hell. Alcohol-fuelled violence is on the increase, and it’s putting a huge drain on our health system. According to Queensland Health figures for the first nine months of the 2011–2012 year, 761 patients were admitted to public hospitals after being hit, struck, kicked, twisted, bitten or scratched by another person. And this is the busiest time of the week for those left to pick up the pieces, including Dr. Anthony Lynham, a maxillo-facial surgeon from the Royal Brisbane Hospital.”
With the interview underway, Dr Lynham described how the violence had increased and become nastier in recent years, and that “now we’re seeing a lot more unprovoked assaults”—but couldn’t say why. He and his hospital team now face having to treat an average of 40–60 assault victims every week. Just like Dr Fulde in Sydney, Brisbane’s Dr Lynham called for a stop to the violence:
DR ANTHONY LYNHAM: “Unless someone does something at the primary prevention level, we’re just going to keep pouring more and more money at this level, and it is ridiculous. You want me to go around putting titanium plates in your kids’ faces … well, the way things are going, it’s just going to keep going.”
And just what might Dr Lynham mean by ‘primary prevention level’? Here’s what he’d told the morning newspaper’s journalist, Janelle Miles:
“It’s a lack of respect from one human being for another. I think we have to go back to some old-fashioned values.”13
‘Old-fashioned values’, eh? Well how about this one:
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”—Matthew 22:39b
And, in the same vein:
“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”—Luke 6:31
Those words were the words of Jesus, as recorded in the Bible. So well known is the ‘love your neighbour’ commandment that it is widely referred to as ‘the Golden Rule’.
Now it so happens that leading atheists, well aware of the widespread (and correct) understanding that evolution opens the way for an opportunistic ‘anything-goes’ morality, have sought to strategically claim the Golden Rule as simply being an outcome of evolution. They say the Golden Rule is somehow ‘inherent’ to humanity.14 “Everybody knows it,” they say.
One atheist website even listed something akin to the Golden Rule as being at the top of its list of 10 secular ‘commandments’!15 But evolution doesn’t ‘command’ anything—the very reason that it is so appealing to many. E.g., self-professed atheist Thomas Nagel,16 Professor of Philosophy at New York University, said:
“I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and naturally, hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.”17 [Emphasis added.]
And the late renowned evolutionist Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World and grandson of T.H. Huxley, ‘Darwin’s Bulldog’, was similarly candid about the ‘benefits’ of having an evolutionary view of origins (given that evolutionary biology renders life as ultimately meaningless18):
“I had motive for not wanting the world to have a meaning; … For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.”19
So for atheists to claim that the Golden Rule is somehow ‘inherent’ in humans, a product of our evolution, is surely disingenuous at best. And with now more than five decades since the imposition of the near-universal teaching of evolution in schools and tertiary educational institutions in western countries, the ‘fruit’ of evolutionary teaching should by now be starkly evident to everyone old enough to remember what our streets used to be like. When it was still safe to leave the milk money on the footpath outside your gate. And even the car-key in the ignition. The first Holden cars made in Australia did not even require an ignition key to start them. How times have changed. Attitudes have changed.
Sorry, atheists, but if you had a strategy to ensure that the ‘inherent’ Golden Rule would remain in the forefront of people’s minds as society became increasingly estranged from Christianity, it clearly isn’t working. If you thought an attitude of neighbourly love is naturally ‘inherent’ in humanity, then time has proven you wrong. You are currently witnessing the ‘death’ of the love-your-neighbour ethos in your city streets, and everywhere else. As someone who has to travel those same streets, we are not at all appreciative of what the teaching of your favoured origins paradigm has done to people’s attitudes.
If we are to change people’s attitudes as per the plea of Drs Fulde and Lynham, and return to the ‘old-fashioned value’ of loving one’s neighbour, we need to return to the source of that ‘old-fashioned value’ in the first place. So let’s go back and look at the context in which Jesus said “Love your neighbour” in Matthew 22:39b. He had just been asked by the Pharisees (v. 36), “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Here is Jesus’ reply in full:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”—Matthew 22:37–40
Note: “a second is like it”. Integral to, and ultimately inseparable from, the first. Our capacity to love at all comes from God, our Creator, who is Love (1 John 4:8,16). We love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). And note that the aforementioned, “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them” in Luke 6:31 leads on to Jesus saying that this will show we are “sons of the most High” (v. 35)—we are to “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” (v. 36) So, if our community is to return to the good ‘old-fashioned value’ of loving your neighbour, it has to return to the whole package from whence it came as well.
Of course, this will be anathema to atheists. Atheism denies we have a Creator, a Father in heaven—the source of our capacity to love—as evolution posits instead that these are mere concoctions of the human mind, a product of the evolutionary process, a biological characteristic conferring survival advantage to the human species. In other words, atheists say that humans invented love and notions of God, thanks to evolution. It seems to me that the following passage from Isaiah is an apt rebuke for today’s atheists:
You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?—Isaiah 29:16
The increasingly evident barbarism in our streets since the ramping-up of school evolutionary curricula five decades ago ought to be a wake-up call to all that ‘turning things upside down’ clearly hasn’t worked.20
Richard Lewontin from Harvard University wrote regarding schools in the USA: “Evolution … was barely mentioned in school textbooks as late as 1954 … After Sputnik  … the study of evolution was suddenly in all the schools.”21 Over the next decade, evolutionary curricula spread from the USA and became the norm in most western countries, filtering from the evolutionary-focused university system right down to primary school level (and often to the children’s parents). As a result, the background thinking of people regarding politics, religion, and morality changed dramatically as well.
It’s interesting that in some things, e.g. the matter of charitable giving and true concern for others, some atheists and other non-Christians have been astute enough to correctly credit Christianity as being the motivating force driving support for the funding of charities. They have recognized the Gospel as being foundational to compassionate attitudes.22 But this matter of street violence really highlights the failure of atheism’s even minimalist ‘do good’ claims. The ‘Golden Rule’ of the aforementioned secular ‘10 commandments’ doesn’t actually say it in a positive way as Jesus said (“Do to others …”), but rather in the negative: “Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.”23 Note that this is a much easier ‘commandment’ to fulfil, than the one from the God of the Bible! (The illustrations on pp. 144 and 158 in chapter 6, “What about other religions?”, of the book Christianity for Skeptics reproduced in this article make this point beautifully—poverty and a general lack of compassion are so much more evident in countries/regions with majority non-Christian populations!) Yet as the increasing random street violence in the formerly Christian west shows, even the atheists’ “Don’t do …” soft-option ‘Golden Rule’ is manifestly ‘non-inherent’!
In conclusion: A minor prediction—and an appeal to atheists
Readers will note there’s a “Comment on this article” facility at the close of this article. On the basis of our past experiences publishing articles on this same topic (e.g. see listings under ‘Related articles’ and ‘Further reading’ below), we’d like to make a minor prediction. Given the tone of comments received in the past, we forecast that many atheist readers of this article will want to rush to submit comments expressing their outrage24 at their perception that we are accusing them of being immoral, of being incapable of doing good things. But that is not what we are saying—not now, nor in any of our other articles that have so incensed atheists in the past. Note that Jesus, too, didn’t say that unbelievers (sinners, pagans, etc.) were incapable of doing good things:
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.”—Luke 6:32–33
So our appeal to atheists on this issue is this. Before rushing in to comment on this article, please first go and read this excellent article by CMI’s Dr Don Batten: Why do atheists hate God? Note the many hostile responses to that article published beneath it. See if they mirror your own reaction. Then please note how Dr Batten has graciously responded to those ‘arguments’/accusations. In short, what we’re saying is: if you think you have some ‘new’ objection, don’t be in too much of a hurry to send it to us, because chances are we’ve heard it all before.
By way of conclusion, here’s a sample extract from feedback to Why do atheists hate God?, from US self-described atheist Mark N. …
“Why do atheists do good things, How about the ‘Golden Rule’? That has been around far longer than Christianity. I REALLY would like to believe in Fairy-Tales because the cold, callous nature of REALITY isn’t always pleasing nor is our ULTIMATE fate (Yes, you too will be worm food, bet on it) but I can’t fool myself so I feel better. Your BEST bet is on science, IF any of us will become immortal or immortal like, it will be because of hard work from our fellow travelers.”
… and here’s the latter part of Don Batten’s response:
The ‘golden rule’ is not universal. Just think how its practice was so lacking in those states that based themselves most strongly on atheism: the USSR, North Korea, Albania. Think also about societies based on other major religions; how much do people follow the ‘golden rule’ (which is explicitly stated in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible)? And what evidence is there that the ‘golden rule’ predates the Bible? But more importantly, only Jesus said, “love your enemies”;25 that is peculiar to Christianity and a major reason for the civil societies that exist today based on that heritage. This heritage is rapidly being lost and we are descending into an age of barbarism.
Jesus’ resurrection is God’s guarantee that death is not the end. While all our bodies might well be ‘worm food’, that is not all there is. Romans 8:11 says,
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.”
Amen to that.
Are crime rates really falling, or are there other explanations?
Despite reported indications that crime rates are falling, the reality is that there has been a shift to different types of illegal activities.
Consider some of the technical advancements that restrain people from committing such acts as rape, murder, burglary, etc:
- The threat of being caught out by leaving behind DNA at the scene of a crime.
- CCTV footage catches people in the act and cameras are now more prevalent in public places, businesses and even private homes.
- Police have far more sophisticated investigative tools to work with—such as DNA and CCTV—and also can track individuals from such things as receipts, banking records, and telephone usage.
- Bank robberies are almost a thing of the past because of the advance of security measures.
Consider also that many acts have been decriminalized, and/or under-reported:
- Definitions of what constitutes a ‘criminal act’ have changed.
- Compared to the 1950s, people in many western countries are now much less likely to report crime, especially property crime. Fifty years ago, if someone lost his wallet, he would report it to the police and the police would take it seriously. In most cities today, few would bother even reporting it now. Graffiti was almost unheard of, but it would be reported on the rare occasions that it happened, etc.
Also, the way in which statistics are gathered has changed, and how they are presented can strongly influence perceptions. E.g. the ‘decline’ in some major crime rates such a murder (where it is claimed) is only relative; it is a decline from record highs not long ago. And property crime in Australia is still twenty times what it was in the 1950s.
And where is the surge in new types of crime?
- On the internet where all manner of fraud is rife, such as stealing passwords to raid bank accounts.
- Criminal gangs raid bank ATMs using devices that help them obtain customers’ passcodes, create fake cards, and steal cash from accounts.
- Corporate crime such as America’s Enron scandal26 reveal the depths to which some companies will go to make a profit.
- Drug cartels take extraordinary measures in moving their ‘product’ around the world.
NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list but should serve to show that the crime ‘scene’ has merely ‘changed’28 and that society wasn’t as volatile before the rise of evolutionary indoctrination.
References and notes
- E.g. in the UK: Drive-by mugging suspects arrested—Three men have been arrested on suspicion of snatching women’s handbags during drive-by thefts in Walsall and Wolverhampton, expressandstar.com, 29 December 2012. Return to text.
- E.g. in the USA: Drive-by purse-snatching turns deadly in Walmart parking lot; suspect arrested, examiner.com, 13 March 2011. Return to text.
- Where have all the burglars gone?, The Economist, 20 July 2013. Return to text.
- South Africa: Official crime statistics for 2012/13, africacheck.org, 2014. Return to text.
- Holmes, J., Female offending: has there been an increase?, Crime and Justice Statistics—NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research: Bureau Brief, Issue paper #46, lawlink.nsw.gov.au, April 2010. Return to text.
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio National ‘Breakfast’ program, presented by Fran Kelly, Alcohol-related violence—an interview with Dr Gordian Fulde, broadcast Tuesday 17th July 2012, 6:35am, abc.net.au. Return to text.
- A man subsequently arrested in connection to this tragedy later pleaded guilty to manslaughter. ABC News, Kieran Loveridge, the man who fatally king hit Thomas Kelly, pleads guilty to manslaughter, abc.net.au, 18 June 2013. Return to text.
- NRL=National Rugby League, one of the popular football codes in Australia. Return to text.
- O’Farrell confirms ‘one punch’ laws push in NSW after ‘inadequate’ sentence for Thomas Kelly killer Kieran Loveridge, abc.net.au, 11 November 2013. Return to text.
- Dr Lynham now also works in a private practice called the Queensland Maxillofacial Group, maxfac.com.au. Return to text.
- Miles, J., Hospitals struggle to deal with weekend wounded, The Courier-Mail (Qld), 23 July 2012, p. 7. Return to text.
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation—612 Local Radio Brisbane, Mornings with Steve Austin, Alcohol-fuelled violence—an interview with Dr Anthony Lynham, broadcast Monday 23rd July 2012, abc.net.au/services/blogs/. Return to text.
- Ref. 11. Return to text.
- Being human—secular sermons for free minds: Is there an inherent basic sense of morality shared by all humans?, beinghuman.blogs.fi, acc. 1 August 2013. Return to text.
- The New Ten Commandments, patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/essays/, accessed 13/6/2013. For a rebuttal, see The ‘secular ten commandments’?, creation.com/secular-ten-commandments, 9 July 2013. Return to text.
- Actually, Thomas Nagel has recently enraged his fellow atheists because of his latest book, Mind & Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Most Certainly False. See Nunn, W., A different way of thinking—Thomas Nagel considers the mind (Reviewing the reviewers: how the atheists are trying to downplay and deconstruct fellow atheist Thomas Nagel’s latest book, Mind and Cosmos), creation.com/thomas-nagel-mind-and-cosmos-review, 28 March 2013. Return to text.
- Nagel, T., The Last Word, Oxford University Press, New York, 1997, p. 130. Return to text.
- Evolutionary biologist William Provine spelled it out clearly: “Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear … There are no gods, no purposeful forces of any kind, no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be completely dead. That’s just all—that’s gonna be the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.” Provine, W.B., Darwinism: Science or Naturalistic Philosophy? The Debate at Stanford University, William B. Provine (Cornell University) and Phillip E. Johnson (University of California, Berkeley), videorecording © 1994 Regents of the University of California. (See also: Origins Research 16(1):9, 1994; arn.org/docs/orpages/or161/161main.htm.) Return to text.
- Huxley, A., Ends and Means, pp. 270 ff. Return to text.
- See also Morals decline linked to belief in evolution. Return to text.
- Lewontin, R., Harvard University, in the introduction to Scientists Confront Creationism, Godfrey, L.R. (ed.), W.W. Norton, NY, 1984. Return to text.
- E.g. see Atheists credit the gospel, and The secret of giving. Return to text.
- Ref. 15. Return to text.
- It seems, from our experience of received comments, that the title of our articles is often sufficient to enrage atheists—who clearly haven’t always bothered to actually read the text of the article they’re commenting on! Return to text.
- E.g. Matthew 5:44. Return to text.
- The Texas-based company collapsed and some employees were jailed after illegal accounting practices were uncovered. This led to Enron becoming defunct in 2004. Return to text.
- Aitkenhead, D., A.C. Grayling: ‘How can you be a militant atheist? It’s like sleeping furiously’, The Guardian, 3 April 2011; guardian.co.uk. Return to text.
- Actually, some recent reports are indicating that not only has the crime scene ‘changed’, but that such changes are actually contributing to an overall increase in crime rates. E.g. in the Australian state of Victoria, the police have reported a 5% increase in crime rates associated with the introduction of ‘tap-and-go’ credit cards. “We’re seeing many, many theft of motor cars, handbags and burglaries where people are looking for these cards, are getting hold of them and within hours of getting them, they’re going into stores and using them,“ explained the Chief Commissioner of Police, Ken Lay. “They [tap-and-go credit cards] are chewing up an enormous amount of police resources. The banks build in a margin where they absorb the cost of the theft … but this is just another sign of some of the changing offending that we’re facing.” ABC News, Tap-and-go cards contributing to increase in crime, police say, www.abc.net.au/news/, 28 May 2014. Return to text.
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. 2 Timothy 4:1-4
The last half of Romans chapter 1 gives us a clear description of our society as it has developed in past years.
Jason F. wrote, "A creator laying down laws by fiat is arbitrary at best"
So, Jason, a creature laying down laws by fiat is better?
Think French Revolution, Mao's and Stalin's Dystopias, a thousand and one African dictatorships...which one Jason, which one?
Maybe Reason might serve us better, I hear you respond. Possibly...but think French Revolution, Mao's and Stalin's Dystopias, a thousand and one African dictatorships..or maybe the unsullied Reason of Jason F.
Jason F, you've dug a hole you'll never get out of. Can't you see that your belief that your Reason will solve everything is no different to any other person who believes their Reason will remove all this mess we're in...unless you believe your Reason is different per tanto yours is god-like and perfect. Yep, it's guys like you who got rid of slavery, gave women their rights etc etc, all from your 21st century armchair.
Correct. Crime has changed.
Redrup, Y., The new corporate criminals: young, smart, ambitious, male, Financial Review, 5 June 2014.
Fraud on the rise as credit providers warned to increase their defences, veda.com, 2 June 2014.
A great article. I forwarded it to friends, Christians and otherwise with these comments added:
Funny, how these ‘modern” guys who like to mock the Bible as old and out-dated, seem to think it necessary to copy a model used in that old, out-dated book. The trouble is there is no authority for those new commandments which originated in the mind of someone who, I suspect, is more than a little afraid the Bible might be true. Sort of an “Oops” moment.
Notice that the quote from Nagel is really wishful thinking. He has no basis for believing it, but it serves his purpose of ignoring God like he wants to do ….. still he’s afraid there might be a God and he tries to bring down those who believe in God because that may give him a feeling that he is right.
These believers apparently do not personify the weird, wacky characteristics that evolutionists would like to observe in believers. In his own words they are “some of the most intelligent and well informed people”. Unfortunately, he may end up like that other famous philosopher, Nietzsche, who said, “God is dead.”. He spent the last 10 years or so as a mentally deranged patient, being looked after by his mother, sister, and in asylums. Where else do you end up if you have no hope, and you actually do think about life and death? Of course, one may not bother to think; a haven for many atheists.
Cmi, I will be truthful though and say that i have seen people talk about how darwinism will get rid of people who are "unfit" and talk about how its all about survival of the fittest.I understand some of your points,but the thing is i feel as blaming evolution for moral decline is not a good argument.I seen atheists countering it by talking about how even before darwin there have been times where society had a moral decline and certain crimes today have nothing to do with evolution.Plus there was an article you guys wrote and someone from Switzerland commented how Christianity was on the decline there but crime rates were not increasing there.
James, here's a point we make repeatedly across the over 8,000 articles on this website:
"The sinful desire to dominate, reject, ignore or mistreat others for one’s own particular motives has never required much excuse. However, Darwin gave it a tremendous impetus, as has been shown before by both evolutionist and creationist writers."
We have never even implied that sinful behaviour didn't pre-date Darwin. The world's first murder was committed by the first man's firstborn son against his brother--while both parents were still alive! One can imagine their grief, especially seeing as they surely knew why their murderous son had inherited a sinful nature in the first place! And the Bible also documents the repeated moral decline exhibited by even the likes of Israel across many centuries. Note that the Bible also repeatedly warns that Christians aren't immune from vulnerability to falling into sin, either. We have never claimed that all crimes are because of evolutionary teaching. Thus the 'counter' you speak of [i.e. that pre-Darwin moral decay shows the teaching of evolution is not to blame] really doesn't counter the argument at all.
What evolution/Darwinism did, however, was to give an intellectual 'justification' to those who have a mind to do evil, in much the same way as the violent instructions in the Qur'an 'justifies' those who have a mind to kill/terrorise others not of their creed.
Re Switzerland: please read again the Box at the end of the article, and particularly consider footnote #28. (The same principles likely are at work in Switzerland, too, as elsewhere in the West.)
I am an atheist though I prefer the term humanist or romantic. Articles or books, proclaiming hatred or any negativity as a motivation for leaving religion, simply do not describe my departure. Actually a sense of fairness and empathy were the prime emotional motivations. Atheism, oddly, is more spiritually fulfilling.
Every generation proclaims a decay of morals yet we continue to march forward. I am unsurprised that such a bleak outlook appears on this website.
Excellent article, but I suspect most atheists will just bury their heads in the sand.
When it comes to vicious street crime and unprovoked attacks, I think the so-called Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) craze of the last decade has had quite an impact. Indeed, one of the thugs involved in a Kings Cross one-punch murder actually boasted that he was an MMA fighter prior to assaulting Daniel Christie.
This MMA thing is absolutely massive in its popularity -- people love the no-holds-barred brutality, they sell out stadiums in minutes. Of course, I doubt whether any genuinely Christian society of yesteryear would have allowed such an obscenely violent 'sport' such as MMA to flourish.
And when it comes to any apparent ebbing in a particular crime, as the article mentions, this could result from an improvement in policing, or even an economic factor, such as a period of sustained economic growth and material prosperity; but the fact remains that even after any temporal improvement the instance or rate of the crime is still well above where it was many decades ago (i.e pre-humanistic culture). So, sure, maybe crime x is less prevalent than it was in 1994, but it's still way higher than it was in 1950!
Sorry, theists, but ethical behavior is entirely measured by its effects on other beings.
A creator laying down laws by fiat is arbitrary at best. That's why you were on the wrong side of history when it came to slavery, civil rights, religious freedom, women's rights, and today gay marriage.
Please do some research into legal and moral philosophy. "Because the magic man in the sky likes/hates it" is a terrible moral argument.
Sorry, Jason, but it's Christianity that is on the right side of history when it comes to the issues you've listed, as the following articles show:
- Christianity as progress--A review of The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success by Rodney Stark
- The biblical origins of science--A review of For The Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-hunts and the End of Slavery by Rodney Stark
(Note that Christian opposition to slavery has deep historical roots.)
(The Bible’s high view of women contrasts with secularism based on evolutionary naturalism.)
Note that biblical morality is not arbitrary. Note also that true religious freedom comes from Christianity. (Cf. atheists are using government power to force atheism on everyone. Secularism=atheism.)
this article is utterly absrud filled with one naturalstic fallacy after the next,as well its extremely insulting to all non christian soceties and religons by attacking others with points that have been refuted athousand times over.trying to blame evolution for supposed social ills in Australia is nothing more then a naturalistic fallacy, besides i doubt people who randomly attack people on the street even CARE/remember about school or what they learn in school. Besides the "inherent barbarism" that existed now was nothing like the discrimination experience by anyone who wasnt a WASP when christianity was so predominient
An excellent article David and Warren. Yet another case of a biased media desperately trying to avoid the “elephant in the room?”
Along that vein David, if I may quote from your 2013 article:
" ‘Ape’ slur against Australian indigenous footballer Adam Goodes sparks anti-racism backlash—yet censorship still prevails"
"So, if it’s really time to get serious about curbing racism, then the taboo ‘elephant in the room’ topic of evolutionary teaching, and its horrific societal consequences, has to be brought into the firing line. An opportunity was missed on ‘Sorry Day’ in 2008 when the speech pre-prepared for Australia’s Prime Minister at the time, Kevin Rudd, had its references to eugenics and evolution excised out at the last minute:
‘Prior to 1861, missionaries were prepared to accept according to the principles of their religions, that Aboriginal people were every bit as capable as Europeans. But with the publication of Charles Darwin’s Origins [sic] of the Species in 1859, a new theory starts to take hold and the conception that Aboriginal people are a “disappearing race” starts to take hold in Australian public life. This had equally catastrophic consequences for Aboriginal people and communities.’ (taken from Wieland, C., A sorry day—with an unlikely twist, 13 February 2008)
—The classic example of high-level censorship."
There is a factor neglected here.
Look at the twelve year olds in Wisconsin.
God be thanked - again! the stabbed one survived!
But as to the other ones. Was it just Atheism gone to its logical conclusion, as one could think about Klebold?
No ... it is also delayed marriage laws and prolonged school obligation. Therewith a more cynical corps of teachers. Adapting the "kids" (what a horrid word if you think of it!) to "reality as it is" while it is getting worse and bleaker by the day. And of course less likelihood of actually getting a living, whether as employed or, usually, as self employed.
But Atheists have loved this development, since it affords work for school teachers, many if not all of whom think they are saving society from "superstition" - while really they represent one.
News today in my country of a seemingly random multiple shooting in Moncton and the fresh memories of the accused Dellen Millard and Aaron Hernandez seem to be examples of random violence or individuals living solely for themselves. To me these stories of horrific tragedies seem to be on the increase and I cannot help but to connect the dots of an apparent increase in general selfishness to a belief system (atheism) that teaches you are random, there is no purpose, or meaning, no creator, and rules are arbitrary. Christians-- please keep defying the norm, try to demonstrate Loving your Neighbour whenever possible-- this is letting the light of Jesus shine and showing there is purpose and meaning.
The rise in gratuitous violence is a disgrace, but as to whether the theory of evolution is to blame is somewhat controversial. In the 19C in your country the violence meted out to aborigenes was carried out when people were far more religious than today.
‘A disgrace?’ Then it’s a pity that the perpetrators of the gratuitous violence don’t seem to see it as such. And I don’t see how teaching them an evolutionary view of their origins is going to change their minds!
As for the pre-20th century ‘violence meted out to aborigines’, you clearly are not aware of the kind of historical information presented in the book One Human Family, by Dr Carl Wieland. The following extracts from pp. 51-57 provide a telling and sobering picture of the ‘religious’ views around at the time:
We have already seen [evolutionist Stephen Jay] Gould’s comment about the turbo-boost that Darwin’s book provided to racist thinking. For Gould to say that racism (the sort that argued for biological inferiority of the other group) increased by ‘orders of magnitude’ means that it was amplified a hundredfold, a thousandfold, or more. This was a worldwide phenomenon, but was particularly starkly illustrated in Australia’s colonial history. The country’s Aboriginal people had already suffered considerably due to the sorts of pre-Darwin/anti-Genesis notions discussed earlier. But their treatment took a massive nosedive post-Darwin.
ABORIGINALS—BEARING THE BRUNT
An unusual book was published in 1974, called Aborigines in White Australia: A Documentary History of the Attitudes Affecting Official Policy and the Australian Aborigine 1697–1973. Apart from a few introductory/editorial comments, it consists almost entirely of substantial excerpts from documents. These are parliamentary transcripts, court records, letters to editors, anthropological reports, and so forth.
Far from showing a progressive enlightenment in the attitudes of the colonists as time goes on, one can see a distinct change for the worse after 1859, with a marked increase in callousness, ill-treatment and brutality towards Aborigines being evident in official attitudes. This is not lost on the editor of the above book, who writes:
“In 1859 Charles Darwin’s book On the Origin of Species popularized the notion of biological (and therefore social) evolution. Scholars began to discuss civilization as a unilinear process with races able to ascend or descend a graduated scale. The European was … the “fittest to survive” … [The Aboriginal] was doomed to die out according to a “natural law”, like the dodo and the dinosaur. This theory, supported by the facts at hand [i.e. that Aborigines were dying out from ill-treatment and disease—C.W.] continued to be quoted until well into the twentieth century when it was noticed that the dark-skinned race was multiplying. Until that time it could be used to justify neglect and murder.”
... The influence of evolutionary thinking can also be seen in another excerpt from Aborigines in White Australia, on page 100. The writer quoted, also author of an 1888 book, is justifying the killing of the native population in the State of Victoria. He writes:
“As to the ethics of the question, there can be drawn no final conclusion.”
He says this is because it is
“a question of temperament; to the sentimental it is undoubtedly an iniquity; to the practical it represents a distinct step in human progress, involving the sacrifice of a few thousands of an inferior race. ... But the fact is that mankind, as a race, cannot choose to act solely as moral beings. They are governed by animal laws which urge them blindly forward upon tracks they scarce can choose for themselves.”
In other words, he is justifying ‘iniquity’ (another word for sin) by appealing to the ‘animal laws’ of the evolutionary struggle for survival. Opposition can be dismissed as ‘sentimental’—lacking understanding of such ‘natural laws’.
There were isolated voices of protest. On p. 93, we read of a letter writer to an Australian newspaper in 1880, who, incensed by the treatment of his fellow man, stated:
“This, in plain language, is how we deal with the aborigines: On occupying new territory the aboriginal inhabitants are treated exactly in the same way as the wild beasts or the settlers may find there. Their lives and their property, the nets, canoes, and weapons which represent as much labor to them as the stock and buildings of the white settler, are held by the Europeans as being at their absolute disposal. Their goods are taken, their children forcibly stolen, their women carried away, entirely at the caprice of white men. The least show of resistance is answered by a rifle bullet … [those] who fancied the amusement have murdered, ravished, and robbed the blacks without let or hindrance. Not only have they been unchecked, but the Government of the colony has been always at hand to save them from the consequences of their crime.”
But such voices were readily drowned out by the fashionable science of the day. Three pages further on, we read of someone else, also writing in an 1880 newspaper, who said:
“Nothing that we can do will alter the inscrutable and withal immutable laws which direct our progress on this globe. By these laws the native races of Australia were doomed on the advent of the white man, and the only thing left for us to do is to assist in carrying them out [i.e. helping the ‘laws’ of evolution by hastening the Aborigines’ doom—C.W.] with as little cruelty as possible … We must rule the blacks by fear … .”
Australian secular historian Joanna Cruickshank ... writes how by 1876, the library of a typical squatter (pastoralist) consisted of books by Shakespeare, John Stuart Mill, and Darwin. The pattern, widespread today, of church leaders anxious to compromise with this new ‘scientific’ ideology, was already evident. She writes how, in 1869, a Reverend Bromby gave a public lecture defending Darwin’s book, in which he
“followed Darwin’s logic in using the apparent dying out of Aboriginal people as evidence for evolution.
“In response, the Anglican Bishop of Melbourne, Charles Perry, attacked both Bromby’s evidence and his conclusions. Perry critiqued what he saw as the scientific inadequacies of Darwin’s book.
“In particular, however, Perry attacked the view that human beings could be divided by race—or any other category—into ‘savage’ and ‘civilised’ ... .”
Cruickshank explains that Bromby represented the ‘progressive’ wing of the Church of England. Betraying her pro-evolution bias, she calls him “open to scientific evidence” and “dismissive of biblical literalism”.
“Perry, by contrast, was a staunch evangelical, uncomfortable with the theological implications of Darwin’s theory and horrified at what he saw as a threat to the biblical claim that all humanity was formed of ‘one blood’.”
A gruesome trade
The body parts of Australian Aboriginal folk were keenly sought after. Following Darwin and his contemporaries, they were regarded by scientists and other evolutionary enthusiasts as ‘living missing links’. The remains of some 10,000 dead Aboriginal people in all were shipped to British museums over the course of this frenzy to provide specimens for this ‘new science’.
... Along with museum curators from around the world, [Australian journalist David] Monaghan says, some of the top names in British science were involved in this large-scale grave-robbing trade. These included anatomist Sir Richard Owen, anthropologist Sir Arthur Keith, and Charles Darwin himself. Darwin wrote asking for Tasmanian skulls when only four full-blooded native Tasmanians were left alive. (Ever the Victorian gentleman, his request came with a caveat; provided, that is, that it would not upset their feelings.)
For more information on this important topic, please read the book One Human Family, which can be purchased from our online store.
... Museums were not only interested in bones, but in fresh skins as well. These would provide interesting evolutionary displays when stuffed. Pickled Aboriginal brains were also in demand, to try to demonstrate that they were inferior to those of whites.
Good prices were being offered for such specimens. Monaghan shows, on the basis of written evidence from the time, that there is little doubt that many of the ‘fresh’ specimens were obtained by simply going out and killing the Aboriginal people. The way in which the requests for specimens were announced was often a poorly disguised invitation to do just that. A death-bed memoir from Korah Wills, who became mayor of Bowen, Queensland, in 1866, graphically describes how he killed and dismembered a local tribesman in 1865 to provide a scientific specimen.
Monaghan’s research indicated that Edward Ramsay, curator of the Australian Museum in Sydney for 20 years from 1874, was particularly heavily involved. He published a museum booklet which appeared to include his, my and your Aboriginal relatives under the designation of ‘Australian animals’. It also gave instructions not only on how to rob graves, but also on how to plug up bullet wounds in freshly killed ‘specimens’.
Many freelance collectors worked under Ramsay’s guidance. Four weeks after he had requested skulls of Bungee (Russell River) blacks, a keen young science student sent him two, announcing that they, the last of their tribe, had just been shot.
I remember the David Hookes tragedy well, and remember at the time (long before I came to Christ) that some of my Australian friends remarked on the fact that it was symptomatic of how society at large was becoming. In another cricket-related symptom, look at the Joe Root \ David Warner affair last (British) summer. Chilling indeed if this sort of thing is so widespread in most of the big Australian cities. It's remarkable that God is doing so much good work through Australian ministries like CMI against this backdrop - brings to mind Psalm 23:5! Of course, there are many similar situations in the UK, which is perhaps even more secularised than Aus is.
One day God shall reclaim these countries for Himself (compare Romans 11:1-4) as we repeal the destructive "Enlightenment" and its fruits, and hopefully soon, because none of us in the UK or Aus want to see it get much worse. Often the darkest hour is just before the dawn. Undoubtedly, you guys at CMI shall be (and already have been) used mightily by God in His counterpunch (that is, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 style counterpunch). Let's pray that the time comes soon! (Perhaps, indeed, it is already underway.)
Just a gentle word (in Christ's love) to Russell W., "king hit" may not be the appropriate term given the content of the article, particularly in relation to circumstances leading to the death of Thomas Kelly.
A very well written article - a king hit to atheism.
Generations have morally degenerated since the revivals of the previous century, but that falling off has accelerated drastically since the time of the Hippies and the "God is dead" claims began to be widely disseminated. From that time unbelief and evolution have been deliberately spread through media, education departments and other spheres of influence. What can we expect when the moral absolutes of the Bible are replaced with "values" that change with each person or group?
In the late 1950s, with the Russians launching Sputnik, America feared it was losing the space race, and frantically tried to ensure massive doses of extra science in the curriculum. This gave an opportunity for humanists to push evolution like never before, though of course it had nothing to do with rocket science. The result was that countries like Australia also inherited this curriculum. One should not underestimate the potential for this rapid ‘evolutionization’ of western culture to have shaped some of the 1960s phenomena you describe, rather than these being the primary causes of the decline. For instance, it’s hard to claim that ‘God is dead’ without a substitute explanation for nature’s incredible panorama, i.e. evolution.
Mark N [the US atheist mentioned in the article] may find himself worm food for eternity if he does not revise his attitude. What he fails to realise is the saving gospel is no myth, unlike his beliefs. I would much rather spend eternity with my loving Saviour Jesus, and I will. As the Bible says dust we are and to dust we shall return, but because Jesus rose from the dead we will too and be given uncorruptible eternal bodies.
The current culture is a direct result of rife destructive evolutionary teaching pervading everywhere and even leading the elect astray.
Atheist, refute that if you can, that society has adopted the myth survival of the fittest and we are reaping the results of this teaching. Think about why some raging moron in the street king-hits an innocent victim and causes untold heartache to surviving family members. What word of comfort would you give someone in that situation, Mark? 'Tough luck, he was weak and unfit anyway'? You can't hide from God forever, you know. Much better to have a loving relationship with Him ...
A well written article with a poignant appeal to atheists. I would like to recommend one of your publications I recently read that answers the claims of one of the current 'most credible' and aggressive atheists, Richard Dawkins. The book is The Dawkins Proof for the existence of God, by Richard Barns. It is brief but a most worthwhile read. Thank you for your stand for the truth.
I fear we have now got the society that the so-called "progressives" always wanted. A society where anyone can do what ever they want. We shouldn't be surprised at this, the basic doctrine of evolution is survival of the fittest. "Love thy neighbour...." it is radical, to today's world it is peculiar, but it works.