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The Moral Argument for God’s Existence.

  An atheist might say you can be good without believing in God. However the question isn’t can you be good without believing in God but can you be good without God? Here’s the problem if there’s no God. What basis remains for objective good or bad, right or wrong? If God does not exist objective moral values do not exist. Here’s why. Without some objective reference point we    really have no way of saying something is up or down. Gods nature however provides an objective reference point for moral values. It’s the standard which all action and thoughts are measured. However, if there is no God then there is no objective reference point. All we are left with is one persons view point as opposed to some other persons view point. This makes morality subjective not objective.  It’s like a preference for vanilla ice cream. The preference is in the subject not the object. Therefore it doesn’t apply to other people. In the same way subjective morality applies only to the subject. It’s not va

The New Adam

A New Adam

Modern people believe the problem with humans is a lack of information and a lack of time to handle the information already available. Given sufficient money, equipment and time for investigation, and a powerful enough computer to handle the data, human’s problems will be isolated, analyzed and solved. Then we can have a New Adam.  Ray Kurzweil states that we are the only species that goes beyond our limitations - "we didn't stay in the caves, we didn't stay on the planet, and we're not going to stay with the limitations of our biology". He is quoted as saying "I think people are fooling themselves when they say they have accepted death". Therefore all the problems that plague humanity, internally such as corruption, greed, immorality, disease and the external problems of the environment, society which bring us the ultimate tragedy death, can be solved through physical material means.  

Essentially, the model for the so-called scientific solution to humanities problems is the machine, for human beings are considered merely a highly intricate a biological, electro-chemical machine. Human’s problems are the results of mechanical failure. If the parts can be corrected and restored to wholeness, the machine will function properly and people will be what they should be. How they define this “should be” no one modern person knows. If we accept the premise that human beings are merely machines, and it's not far off to call such a reconstituted and perfectly operating machine a "new Adam," even though some of us would prefer the old one.

If the thinking of modern man is correct in assuming that all peoples actions are the results of some sort of chemical or physical process and that there is no "inner self" to control the way in which the mind and body will react to stimuli, then people are in fact a machine. Modern man then can say from a “scientific” point of view that a person is not a body with a person inside, but of a body which is a person in the sense that it displays a complex collection of behavior. This kind of conclusion for transforming people relies on this mechanical materialistic conception of human nature. If we change humanities external and internal environments in such a way we can bring about changes in humanity itself. The goals seem worthy enough so that we can have a world in which people live without quarreling, enjoy themselves and contribute to this enjoyment of others in art, music, literature, games and not dying. Were we don't pollute the environment, etc. However, the question is whether in such a mechanical transformation humanity can retain any freedom or dignity.

Within the human frame, is there anything left we can still call "human"? If we abandon the notion of a "self" or an "ego" or a “soul”, which stands above and beyond the machinery of the body/mind complex, people are nothing but robots. Now whether the robot functions poorly (as humans now seems to do) or perfectly, they are still a robot. It's simply the difference between a rickety Model T and a finely tuned Lamborghini.

The Great Universe at Large

Most modern people, certainly most university students are not at all impressed with the scientific transformation of man. In fact the opposite is closer: Many young people are living under a postmodern deconstructive subjective frame of mind. Were the universe in which we live in is not the only one so let’s go find another. The way to that universe is through drugs or some form of esoteric religion which open up "doors of perception" and allow some kind of Universal Mind to flow into a person’s mind. We see this when people today refer to the Universe as something that will respond or act in your favor or bring about some kind of cosmic justice. This kind of thinking can also be seen in Eastern mysticism. However, drugs are a shortcut that provides instant visionary experience; instant transformation of man.

But this way of solving the problems of humanity, that is, escaping from the problems of existence in the present universe and participating in the joyous vision of another one has its problems also. One thing, the model on which the solution works is not too different from the scientific model. That is, people are still primarily conceived of as a machine: One is a happy material entity or a sad one depending upon whether they know how to "press their own buttons”.  The difference is that here the emphasis is on people’s interior feelings and visions rather than on their objective, metaphysical existence in relation to the world they really exist in.

We begin to get this metaphysical notion that after death a person’s disembodied “essences” continues in this impersonal Universal Mind. Therefore, this radical transformation is a mixture of the mechanical and the mystical ideas of mankind. That is, by mechanical means a person can be radically transformed or at least helped along the way to a state of mystical union with the Universe.
The problem here is that union with the impersonal is nothing but a surrendering of individual personality or self. While this has proved attractive to the East, it remains a great obstacle to Western thought who correctly sees that loss of personality, of self, of individuality, is just the reverse of what people need - what will truly fulfill a person and give them eternal joy. We want to remain ourselves.

Should We Get Rid of Ourselves

The issue is this: If a person is so depersonalized by being reduced to a robot, or absorbed into an impersonal Universe are they still human?

Here is another problem with this train of thinking. It ultimately leads to the the de-humanizing of people. Individuals become a means to an end. Though it might not be declared externally and even denied when exposed, it still cannot be escaped, people are no longer treated as "humans" therefore they can be easily disposed of in the name of evolution or whatever cause someone wants to make up.  
Maybe humanity should get rid of itself. Of course. If it can. However, people have something in themselves which they intuit that it’s important to continue. Something that deserves to go on. It is something that has to go on, and we just know it. The spirit feels cheated, outraged, defiled, corrupted, fragmented, and injured. Still it knows what it knows, and this knowledge cannot be gotten rid of. The spirit knows that its growth is the real aim of existence. This seem right. Besides, humans cannot be something else.

To those who would want to transform humanity, that is precisely the point being challenged. Some say that because of the incredible plasticity of the human nature, instinctual structure can be changed. People are so bound by their society and by their cultural environment that even their needs must undergo a qualitative change if they are to be transformed into something worthy of being called a human. The People who are to determine what those needs should be are a select few, an elite, who somehow know what people truly should be.

All schemes for a radical transformation of humanity have difficulty at this point. If humanity is not yet what they should be, how do we know what they should be? If there has never been a perfect person from whom we could derive our notions of perfection, how will we recognize perfection, let alone produce it? It is a commonplace that all of the utopias constructed by philosophers and visionaries from Plato through Thomas More to Samuel Butler and Aldous Huxley are really dystopias, hells to anyone except the utopia maker himself. We see these ideas in “The Giver”, “Island” and “Brave New World.”  No one seems to be able to convince anyone else that their private vision of a perfect world is in fact so perfect. We do well, therefore, to look at the fact that the perfect human is seen three times in the short space of two verses in the bible. (Gen. 1:26·27).

Then God said, “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

The image of God in humans includes at least the following:

(1) Personality. The capacity for self-reflection (knowing one's self as a self) and self-determination (the freedom to choose between various courses of action),

(2) Intelligence. The capacity for reason and knowledge.

(3) Morality. The capacity for understanding and sensing good and evil (conscience).

(4) Companionability or social capacity. This is human's characteristic and fundamental desire and need for human companionship, community, especially represented by the "male and female" aspect.

(5) Creativity. The ability to imagine new things or to endow old things with human significance.

(6) Spirituality. The need and desire to relate personally to God.

This is a human being in their essence. Anything less is a corruption or a reduction. Furthermore, when humans were created they were perfectly good. And their goodness consisted in being what God wanted them to be, a being created in the image of God and acting out that nature in their daily life. The tragedy, of course, is that they did not stay that way.

The Image of God Shattered

Humans were created in the image of God and given the freedom to remain or not to remain in that image. However, they chose to disobey their Creator at the only point where the Creator put down limitations. This is the essence of the story of the Fall. Humans chose to eat the fruit God had forbidden them to eat, and hence they violated the personal relationship that they had with their Creator. Humans have thus set themselves up as autonomous self-serving beings, navigators of their own way of life. They wanted to define good and evil themselves. They have chosen to act as if they had an existence independent from God. But that is precisely what they do not have, for they were created by God, brought into existence by another.

The result of this act of rebellion was death for Adam and Eve. And their death has involved for subsequent generations long centuries of personal, social and natural turmoil with God, each other and their environment. Essentially in the Fall the image of God in people was shattered in all its aspects.

(1) In personality, humans lost their capacity to know themselves accurately and to determine their own course of action freely in response to their intelligence.

(2) Their intelligence, itself, became impaired and people can no longer gain a fully accurate knowledge of the world around them nor are they able to reason without constantly falling into error.

(3) Morally, they became less able to discern good and evil.

(4) Socially, they began to exploit they fellow humans; passionate physical love turned to lust. People became and are stepping stone for other people’s personal agendas.

(5) Creatively, their imagination became separated from reality.

(6) Spiritually their relation to God was broken and they ran from contact with him.

The vacuum created by this string of consequences is ominous indeed. Theologians have summed it up this way: Humanity has become alienated from God, from others, from nature and even from itself.

Here the Christian conception of humanity as they now are and the views of others begin to converge. All of them agree that humanity today is in very bad shape. People need a radical transformation.
Are humans therefore in need of being made into something new, something beyond humanity? Not if it means obliterating their personality.

The Image of God Repaired

The Good News avoids that problem because it recognizes that humans were originally created perfectly good and that they have fallen through their own actions. Unlike modern people of science and philosophy today, who would remake people into something other than themselves (through evolution or self-transcendence), the Christian believes that the transformation begins with a restoration to what they essentially were.

The New Testament talks about redemption, regeneration, and restoration, all terms which imply a coming back to something that was there before, or potentially there before. Paul, for example, says that people can "put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator" (Col. 3: 10).

As we begin to live as Christians, we are "being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another" (2 Cor. 3:18). The primary difference between a person fallen and a person reborn is therefore, that the reborn person is being restored and reoriented on their way to completion. They are a person on their way to becoming a full human being, a full reflection of what God intended them to be when He created humans in His image.

People restored to fellowship with God is not the last stage. Not only is Christian person being changed "from one degree of glory to another," but they are eventually going to be completely transformed for an existence beyond the grave. Here is where the concept of the resurrection of the body plays so large a part in Christian thought.

For the materialistic naturalist, death ends personal existence. For the Eastern mystic, the soul makes its journey hopefully and eventually to its absorption into the impersonal Universe. But for the Christian, being created in the image of God means having personality and individuality and keeping it forever. Individual people are significant far into eternity. Furthermore, a person does not exist merely as a disembodied soul but as a resurrected perfectly unified being. Paul spends a long section in one of his letters (1 Cor. 15) emphasizing and reemphasizing the importance of the resurrection of the body.

Prerequisites for Transformation

All of this can come about because of God's free favor (grace) to all people in sending his Son, Jesus Christ, to rescue humanity by his death on the cross, paying the penalty for man's rebellion against God. And yet radical transformation is not automatic. It is not a natural result of being human. For any person who would like to be transformed, there are several prerequisites.

First, each person needs to acknowledge their dependence on God; he must give up trying to be self-servingly autonomous, for they never have been autonomous and they never can be.

Second, each person must admit that they are "fallen," that is, in personal rebellion against God. A sinner in need. If we humble ourselves in the sight of the LORD He will lift you up.

Third, they must rely on God alone to bring them back into fellowship with Him. They must not think that the restoration can begin with them or that they can add anything to what the love of God in Christ has already done for them. You cannot pour new wine into old wine-skins.

Finally, they must relinquish their own continued lordship over themselves, accepting Jesus Christ as both Lord and Liberator. They must repent, turn away from a self-driven life and turn toward a Jesus centered life.

The transformed life, the life of personal freedom to be, to love, to communicate, to create, is the life lived on the terms of the Lord of the Universe. For God is himself the ultimate Personal and is therefore a sufficient means for human freedom and personality. It was in his image that people were created; it is in his image that people are to be restored; it is in his image that people are to find complete personal fulfillment.

There is, to be sure, much more to be said about the radical transformation offered in Christ. Those whose appetite is stimulated by what has been said will find the New Testament especially helpful. The Gospel of John was in fact written in order to explain the new life and how it can be acquired. What is important here is just this: In Christ there is a way out of the mess we have made of both our personal and our corporate lives.

The radical transformation of humanity is an absolute necessity. The only question is which kind of radical transformation it will be: a naturalistic transformation, a mechanically induced spiritual transformation, or the radical restoration of humanity back into the image of God and the subsequent transformation into a purified personality in fellowship with God and God's people. Only the latter is based on the notion of humans as beings who are significant because they are essentially broken image bearers of God and first needs a restoration to original dignity. Only that notion retains in humans the essential elements of humanity. We can thus become what we truly were meant to be, radically transformed, but more “US” than ever before. 

Thank you James Sire


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