Behind the Curtain of Naturalism

Naturalists, among others, claim they are able to see through the foolishness of human religious folly and hold the answer to humanity’s natural inclination to believe in God. According to naturalists, the reasons for widespread belief in a creator are basically primordial fear of people’s surroundings, fear of imminent death, and an attempt to understand unexplained natural phenomenon. Naturalists believe human beings have an inward need to understand such phenomena. Therefore, because people lack sufficient scientific knowledge and intellectual ability, they conjure up or invent deities to help them cope with their fears. To naturalists religion is the folly of humanity.

Here are two quotes which provide a clear picture of how naturalists view people’s widespread belief in a creator.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.”--Seneca

"Religion is still useful among the herd—that it helps their orderly conduct as nothing else could. The crude human animal is in-eradicably superstitious, and there is every biological reason why they should be. Take away his Christian god and saints, and he will worship something else...”--H.P. Lovecraft

The choice of disbelief
Is it possible that naturalists are the small group who believe correctly? Is it possible that there is more behind the naturalist’s position? What do naturalists have to gain when they deny the existence of a creator? The question is more easily answered than what may appear. There are basically three benefits for naturalists and secularists to remove God from being the creator of all things. There may well be more reasons that could be listed, but for our purposes let’s keep the number to three.

Without a creator, man is the highest authority for truth.
Naturalists hold that mankind is the final arbitrator for moral standard. In fact, when naturalists and Christians debate, one of the primary subject matters is that of morality and understanding right from wrong. Christians maintain that understanding moral good is due to a standard established by God provided to humanity through the Hebrew Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments. As a result, people can understand immoral conduct because they have an overarching standard for good. Naturalists, on the other hand, insist that humanity alone is the arbitrator of morality. They believe human society alone determines right and wrong, good and bad. In America today, moral conduct and lifestyle is no longer to be brought under the light of an objective moral standard—but brought under the light of societal norms and acceptable societal mores. The result is the absence of an objective moral standard.

Without a creator, man is freed from ultimate accountability.
Belief in a creator produces a seismic shift in a person’s thinking. One of those shifts pertains to accountability. Generally speaking, people shy away from moral accountability and people naturally do not like to take responsibility for their misdeeds. In fact, people do not like to be governed by external rules—we never have.

Naturalists insist that no creator exists. One of the underlying causes for this is due to their perceived freedom from external guidelines for living and ultimate accountability. Because, if a creator exists, then there are objective expectations from that creator. And if there are objective expectations from a creator, then there is ultimate accountability. If, on the other hand, no creator exists, then the individual is the sole authority for his conduct and has freedom to do whatever he chooses without restraint—of course within the guidelines of the law of the land. Simply said, if there is no creator then there is no external and ultimate accountability. This is an appealing aspect of naturalism.

This is not to say that all naturalists have as their goal to live lascivious lifestyles. Not at all. The point here is that one of the underlying drives behind naturalism is freedom from accountability which nearly all persons intuitively recognize is inherent with belief in God. When God is excluded from an individual’s life, whether at the individual or societal level, moral accountability is based only on human dictates and personal choice. This is specifically appealing to naturalists and those who consciously choose to exclude God from their life.

Without a creator, man is free to discredit God.
A third reason for denial of a creator is the desire to discredit God and religion. Consider the following quotes provided by naturalists and atheists in their desire to discredit God as the creator.

“If all the animals and man had been evolved in this ascendant manner [evolutionary], then there had been no first parents, no Eden, and no Fall. And if there had been no fall, then the entire historical fabric of Christianity, the story of the first sin and the reason for an atonement, upon which the current teaching based Christian emotion and morality, collapsed like a house of cards.”--H.G. Wells

“Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes, or he doesn’t care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil or imaginary.”--Sam Harris

“Religion will eventually become as offensive and unacceptable as racism.”--Chris O’Dowd

Discrediting God is a motivating reason for naturalists to deny a creator exists. But the matter goes further—not only do naturalists attempt to discredit God—they also expend great effort persuading others to do the same. And how are people persuaded and trained into believing no creator exists? There are numerous ways that can be mentioned but let’s focus upon the greatest effort made by naturalists—removing the creator from the public square through the national education system.

Before we turn the page, I would like to provide you a video to watch that summarizes this matter. The speaker in the short clip is Peter Hitchens, the brother of now deceased Christopher Hitches. The video was taken during a debate about the existence of God in November, 2012. The debate took place at Oxford University and is part of the ongoing debates held by the Oxford Union Society. Hitchens’ argument is that people willfully choose to construct a disbelief about God. People do this not because of any lack of physical evidence or missing inward compulsion, but because of a conscious effort and choice to disbelieve and reject God. The video can be viewed here.

Now let’s discuss how naturalism is spread throughout society.

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