“What is faith? Is it to believe that which is evident? No. It is perfectly evident to my mind that there exists a necessary, eternal, supreme, and intelligent being. This is no matter of faith, but of reason.”
Among the most lamentable of human traits is our seemingly infinite capacity for self-deception. A case in point is the tendency to equate knowledge and technical advancement with understanding and wisdom. They are not the same, nor is there a causal connection between them. Unfortunately for our society – and mankind in general – too few of us seem to understand this and too many apparently believe education equals intelligence. In fact, we’ve taken this confusion so far as to believe we have advanced beyond God. This is irrational, but the world seems to think it’s the very definition of reason. Evidence for my claim can be found in nearly every aspect of our society. From our understanding of the language to our knowledge of our own history: we exhibit a profound ignorance and total lack of understanding that, if allowed to continue, will destroy the remnants of our culture.
I’ll start with the destruction of our language. How can we possibly expect to work out our differences if we can’t communicate, and how can we communicate if we don’t speak the same language? The current fad in our society is to redefine the meaning of words to suit our personal agendas. This simply doesn’t work. Words have established definitions, and those definitions do not change. True, a word may take on a different meaning over time, but the old one still remains. Failing to understand this leads to errors in communications, and thus, our reasoning. A specific example is applying modern definitions to history. This is the fallacy of etymology and it will lead to making mistakes. For instance, our modern belief that our founders were Atheists and Deists results partially from our confusion over language.
‘Atheist’ and ‘Deist’ have clearly defined meanings. Atheists believe there is no God, Deists believe in a God who does not care about nor participate in the activities of man. Jefferson and Franklin are often cited as the prime example of our founders’ Atheism and Deism, yet both specifically said they were neither Atheist nor Deist. When Franklin addressed the Second Congressional Congress to plead for prayer, he asserted that he not only believed in God, but that he believed prayer was necessary to secure God’s hand in the founding of our government. In his personal letters, Jefferson clearly and pointedly said he could never be an atheist, and that he considered himself to be a Christian. His words as recorded on his memorial tell us he certainly believed there is a God and that God does take an active interest in the affairs of men. These are facts – not interpretations. We still have the words these men wrote by their own hands to prove it. So how is it we have come to believe otherwise if not through a deliberate act to deceive ourselves?
Another indication of self-deception is in the modern acceptance of the notion that morality is different for every individual. If you think about it, there’s no doubt you can probably remember hearing words to the effect “What’s right for you may not be right for me.” But the notion of individual morality is actually the negation of the concept. Morality depends on a set standard that is recognized and accepted by the majority of society. To be recognized and accepted by all men, morality must be understood to be a universal law equivalent to the laws of gravity and of motion. Otherwise, any moral law will be seen for what it would be: nothing more than one man’s argument against another. With that, we would end up back where we started: no morality at all. Our founders understood this, which is why they told us that a free and self-governing society based on individual rights and liberty depended upon faith in God, and without said faith, none of the former are possible. Yet, in our arrogance, we’ve convinced ourselves that science has advanced us past any need to still believe in God.
Nowhere is this arrogance more prevalent than in the belief that evolution is a proven fact. It isn’t; it is still just a theory – and a seriously flawed theory at that. The theory of Relativity is the most tested and affirmed theory known to man, yet it is still just a theory. It has not been proven to be true and likely never will be. The same goes for evolution. Now, I do not pretend that life began in a literal six-day creation, but neither do I ignore the fact that the evidence available to us does not match the predictions presented by Darwin. Darwin said that if the fossil records did not eventually produce the intermediate evolutionary creatures necessary to his theory, it would represent a fatal blow to his theory. To date, those necessary fossil records have not been found. What’s more, what has been found contradicts the theory that life evolved from one small organism to many larger creatures. What we have seems to suggest there were periods where many new species suddenly appear, then trend downward to fewer species. And in all cases, size does not appear to be connected to the process. Now, according to the scientific method, when faced with facts such as these, we are supposed to go back and reexamine our theory. Have we done this, or have we stuck dogmatically to the assertion that evolution is fact in spite of the evidence that the theory is flawed? One path is sound science; the other is more akin to religion.
We see the same issue in our approach to economics. Today, the trend is toward bigger and bigger government with ever expanding spending programs. Yet the historical record is clear that this doesn’t work. How many modern socialist or centrally controlled economies have lasted more than a few decades? I couldn’t find one in my research (keep in mind, when a government restructures do to bankruptcy, it has failed). At the same time, I found many examples where responsible spending such as that the founders encouraged has led to economic stability and relative prosperity for the people living under such a system. We have an excellent example in the current governments of Wisconsin and Illinois. Less than two years ago, when Gov. Walker took over in Wisconsin, the State was running a $4 billion deficit. Today, this has been erased and the State is starting to see some signs of economic recovery. While in Illinois, where the same policies of deficit spending and heavy taxation have been left in place, the situation remains as bad or worse and the economy has not improved. We can see the future of continued deficit spending in Greece and Europe in general, or in States such as California, or Cities like Detroit. And still we insist that the ideas of centrally controlled economies and welfare spending haven’t worked because they haven’t been tried on a large enough scale. I ask you, how much larger can one get than the EU, and must we destroy the economy of the entire world before we finally accept reality? Or will we still make an excuse for our own arrogance and ignorance after we have destroyed the world?
But it seems we are stuck in our belief that science has somehow disproven God. It is a fact of logic that God cannot be proven real, but God cannot be disproven, either. Logically, there’s nothing inconsistent between God and science. Learning how things work doesn’t mean they weren’t created by God. We must remember, God exists outside this world: anything and we discover about it is just a new discovery of Him and His creation. This is what the story about the Tower of Babble is intended to teach us: that we shouldn’t allow arrogance to convince us that we can replace God with ourselves. Our founders rejected the ideas of the continental European Enlightenment because they understood God is real and that we need Him. Instead, they embraced the ideas of the English Enlightenment. Francis Bacon is considered to be a founder of the scientific method, yet Bacon wrote more in defense of Christianity than he did about science. The same applies to both Isaac Newton and John Locke. How many of us know Locke wrote much more in defense of Christianity than he ever did on government? Thomas Jefferson said he considered these three men to be the greatest minds man had ever known, and all three of these men saw no inconsistency between their work and the existence of God. So I ask you, how did so many of us come to believe reason has advanced us past God? This is an absurdity, and how can a nation that believes in an absurdity ever expect to survive?