- “While we may assent to the idea that we are but matter in motion, seldom do we act that way. We love. We fight. We distinguish between the good and noble and the bad and base.”
- “More than just religion, our literature and our politics and our music resonate precisely because they speak to these things” (William McGurn).
The wonders of human achievement and the moral dignity we ascribe to human beings cannot fit the claim that we are no different from animals.
- Human creativity, love, reason, and morality all seem to indicate that humans are creatures of extraordinary unique distinction. The undeniably clear discontinuity between humans and animals cannot be overlooked.
- Humans think, feel, and choose in profoundly deep and relational ways. But what accounts for this? Impersonal forces?
- Human thoughts, desires and capacities cannot be adequately (or honestly) explained by appeals to an impersonal evolutionary development. These realities go beyond the physical to the metaphysical in unexpected ways — if one follows the strict materialistic view.
As profoundly beneficial as scientific research has been, there are many things that are outside of the reach of scientific inquiry. Universal human longings for love and meaning are two examples.
Human awareness of how things “ought to be” and longing for “something better” also testify to our nature as unique beings of dignity and design.
Some suggest that evil is a metaphysical necessity for finite creatures. Yet, if this is the case, why do we so strongly oppose it and long for a world without it? Why do we cry “foul” or “unfair”? Why do we long for a kind of restoration of Paradise Lost? Why do we even think in terms of good and evil?
Struggling honestly with this exasperating enigma, Scottish writer, Richard Holloway, groaned,
“This is my dilemma. I am dust and ashes, frail and wayward, a set of predetermined behavioral responses, … riddled with fear, beset with needs…the quintessence of dust and unto dust I shall return…. But there is something else in me…. Dust I may be, but troubled dust, dust that dreams, dust that has strong premonitions of transfiguration, of a glory in store, a destiny prepared, an inheritance that will one day be my own…so my life is spread out in a painful dialectic between ashes and glory, between weakness and transfiguration. I am a riddle to myself, an exasperating enigma…the strange duality of dust and glory.”
There appears to be good reason for agnosticism about agnosticism itself.
We are paradoxical beings, Jekylls and Hydes; combinations of dust and glory. We have plenty of empirical evidence for this universal truth about humans, but again what is there to account for it?
Why do we possess moral sensibilities to recognize right and wrong and participate in benevolent activities? We are capable of distinguishing justice from injustice, love from hate and freedom from oppression, but so often our vision of these things is twisted in self-serving ways. Why does the same mind that invents life-saving machines and medicines also invent instruments of war and torture?
I cannot endorse the overuse of the science of evolution to explain realities outside of the reach of science.
Honest scientists know that it’s simply outside the function of science to resolve questions like how the universe began or metaphysical capacities. When the atheist stretches science into philosophy (or into a form of religion), they often give unsuspecting people the misleading impression that the science of evolution substantiates more than it’s capable to offer.
Science can describe in fascinating detail what is within the universe and reveal purposes related to adaptability and survival in the physical world. But only a Creator could reveal purposes that were prior to and beyond the descriptions of scientific inquiry.
I equally reject the myopic optimism of humanism and the dark pessimism of cynicism.
The grounded realism of a Christian worldview is far more plausible when one weighs all of the evidence. (see – The Most plausible worldview)