Explaining the Failings of a Worldview
A friend said:
“Believe it or not, it is possible to lead a moral lifestyle without religious convictions.”
My friend missed the point. While the atheist, or non-religious (say, a Buddhist) can act morally, they do not have an epistemology that can support the “ought’s” of the matter. They can simply describe a moral action, but unlike the Christian, they cannot give an answer to why I “ought” to do something. When an atheist or Buddhist try to explain to me a delineating line of morality that both he or I should know and not cross, they have stepped out of their atheism or Buddhism and stepped into the worldview of the theist.
So when the pro-choice-femi-nazi/atheist-evolutionist tries to argue rights with me that both she and I should adhere to, I break it down a bit further and explore their worldview and show where they are coming from is vacuous in its explanatory power of why I should know that their choice is a “right.”
If naturalism is true, for instance, you really do not love your wife. You are merely responding to chemicals reacting with the firing of synapses in your brain caused by one natural event stacked upon another which has determined through selection and environment (which are natural events) all the way back to the Big-Bang that has caused you – without free-will – to choose your wife. Love, then, can logically, be weighed. It should have a section in our brain where this “feeling” comes from and it should have an atomic weight.
The atheist or Buddhist (when I say Buddhist, you can supplement pantheism, which include all Eastern philosophies/religions) arguments and propositions are self-refuting. We can only have free will if there is a personal God who created us.
In a recent debate between Christopher Hitchens and Dr. Mark Roberts about God’s existence, Christopher Hitchens made this comment:
“Darwin points out, and others have noticed since that there are animals who behave ethically to one another. They have solidarity, they have family groups, they seem able to feel sympathy. They certainly come to each other’s aid, in the case of some of the higher mammals.”
I would have made the point that in fact, what we find in nature more often is death and killing, as has been said, nature is “red in tooth and claw.”
"Most animals are either eaten or eat other animals. Plants, too, are often consumed by animals. Consequently the chances of being devoured, or of eating some other organism in order to survive, are exceedingly high" (Zoologist Christopher McGowan).
While it may seem to Christopher that there are “moral” animals, the real question becomes “with what do you differentiate between which action is superior?” This was exemplified in Ravi Zacharias’ book Can Man Live Without God? when he referenced the debate between the philosopher Frederick Copleston and the atheist Bertrand Russell:
Again, while Hitchens can describe an action (an act of solidarity lets say) in the natural world, he has no basis or standard above nature to cal one action or the other moral. Naturalism, then, cannot respond to a truth that can determine which action is moral or not. I will finish here with an extended quote from the book Philosophy for Dummies, enjoy it, it can revolutionize the way you view truth:
Robots and Cosmic Puppetry: The Scientific Challenge to Freedom
Since at least the time of Sir Isaac Newton, scientists and philosophers impressed by the march of science have offered a picture of human behavior that is not promising for a belief in freedom. All nature is viewed by them as one huge mechanism, with human beings serving as just parts of that giant machine. On this view, we live and think in accordance with the same laws and causes that move all other physical components of the universal mechanism.
According to these thinkers, everything that happens in nature has a cause. Suppose then that an event occurs, which, in context, is clearly a human action of the sort that we would normally call free. As an occurrence in this universe, it has a cause. But then that cause, in turn, has a cause. And that cause in turn has a cause, and so on, and so on [remember, reductionism].
“Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible player” ~ Albert Einstein.
As a result of this scientific world view, we get the following picture:
Natural conditions outside our control…
Inner bodily and brain states,
mental and physical actions
But if this is true, then you are, ultimately, just a conduit or pipeline for chains of natural causation that reach far back into the past before your birth and continue far forward into the future after your death. You are not an originating cause of anything [this includes brain activity of all degrees, that is, love, pain, etc.). Nothing you ever do is due to your choices or thoughts alone. You are a puppet of nature. You are no more than a robot programmed by an unfeeling cosmos.
Psychologists talk about heredity and environment as responsible for everything you do. But then if they are, you aren’t. Does it follow that you can then do as you please, irresponsibly? Not at all. It only follows that you will do as nature and nurture please. But then, nature on this picture turns out to be just an illusory veil over a heartless, uncaring nature. You have what nature gives you. Nothing more, nothing less.
Where is human freedom in this picture? It doesn’t exist. It is one of our chief illusions. The natural belief in free will is just a monstrous falsehood. But we should not feel bad about holding on to this illusion until science corrects us. We can’t have helped it.
This reasoning is called The Challenge of Scientific Determinism. According to determinists, we are determined in every respect to do everything that we ever do.
This again is a serious challenge to human freedom. It is the reason that the early scientist Pierre Laplace (1749-1827) once said that if you could give a super-genius a total description of the universe at any given point in time, that being would be able to predict with certainty everything that would ever happen in the future relative to that moment, and retrodict with certainty anything that had ever happened in any moment before that described state. Nature, he believed, was that perfect machine. And we human beings were just cogs in the machine, deluded in our beliefs that we are free.
Footnotes & Glossary:
 The Bible does not teach the horrible practices that some have committed in its name. It is true that it's possible that religion can produce evil, and generally when we look closer at the details it produces evil because the individual people [“Christians”] are actually living in rejection of the tenets of Christianity and a rejection of the God that they are supposed to be following. So it [religion] can produce evil, but the historical fact is that outright rejection of God and institutionalizing of atheism (non-religious practices) actually does produce evil on incredible levels. We're talking about tens of millions of people as a result of the rejection of God. For example: the Inquisitions, Crusades, Salem Witch Trials killed about 40,000 persons combined (World Book Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia Americana). A blight on Christianity? Certainty. Something wrong? Dismally wrong. A tragedy? Of course. Millions and millions of people killed? No. The numbers are tragic, but pale in comparison to the statistics of what non-religious criminals have committed); the Chinese regime of Mao Tse Tung, 60 million [+] dead (1945-1965), Stalin and Khrushchev, 66 million dead (USSR 1917-1959), Khmer Rouge (Cambodia 1975-1979) and Pol Pot, one-third of the populations dead, etc, etc. The difference here is that these non-God movements are merely living out their worldview, the struggle for power, survival of the fittest and all that, no natural law is being violated in other words (as atheists reduce everything to natural law – materialism). However, when people have misused the Christian religion for personal gain, they are in direct violation to what Christ taught, as well as Natural Law.
 The killing of a baby on the day of its birth.
 Philosophy for Dummies, by Tom Morris, pp. 133-134
“Retrodict” to utilize present information or ideas to infer or explain a past event or state of affairs.