Spreading Naturalism to the Masses
As stated in numerous locations throughout this site, all civilizations and people groups throughout human history have sought to understand God and incorporate religion into human society and individual life. In fact, a recent study found that only 16% of the world’s population considers themselves irreligious.
Based upon the evidence, we should conclude that people are naturally inclined to seek God. People appear to have within them a natural propensity to search for, understand, and relate to God. Regardless if the tenets of belief of people groups are undeniably varied, the inner religious drive within people has remained constant throughout every civilization and all human history. The conclusion most people draw about this issue is that a creator exists and that the creator placed within human beings the need and desire to know him. This inner drive appears to be true in the same manner as other natural human needs such as love, need for family, journey for personal identity, and the like. Nothing else can account for the consistent human pursuit for a creator. In fact, it is our contention that human beings will by nature pursue God and only disregard him when taught or influenced in some manner.
Combating the natural inclination In order to combat this natural propensity to seek God, naturalists attempt to persuade others that a creator does not exist. This attempt to teach people to turn from their natural inclination can be summarized by Madalyn Murray O’Hair (italics added):
“The atheist realizes that there must not only be an acceptance of his right to hold his opinion, but that ultimately his is the job to turn his culture from religion, to eliminate those irrational ideas which have held the human race in intellectual slavery.”
There are two primary paths naturalists take to persuade people from believing in a creator. The first is to ridicule and belittle the idea of belief in a creator, and secondly, through a nation-wide training program developed and installed into the national school system.
The first attempt at deterrence can be understood by quotes such as this one by Marquis De Sade who says, “Anything beyond the limits and grasp of the human mind is either illusion or futility; and because your god having to be one or the other of the two, in the first instance I should be mad to believe in him, and in the second a fool.”
And of course there is always Richard Dawkins’ famous statement that proves ridicule and belittling is a tactic used by naturalists when he says, “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that).”
The second effort and path to train people to disbelieve in a creator is to persuade them that nature itself is the creator. Consider this quote by Abhijit Naskar: “When Mother Nature speaks, even the Gods hold silence.”
Naskar’s comment is the underlying approach to train people away from belief in a creator—namely, that nature is superior to God. In order to train people to think this way, education of the population must occur. This is primarily accomplished through teaching evolutionary theory or Darwinism in the science classroom and re-enforcment of the theories through other academic disciplines. This approach intentionally seeks to educate students to believe that the existence of all things is credited with the blind forces of nature rather than a creator.
Training the masses Unfortunately for naturalists, they have repeatedly found that overcoming the inherent human belief in a creator is difficult indeed. Nevertheless, greater and greater success has been achieved through evolutionary training in public education.
In an article titled, “Accepting, understand, teaching, and learning (human) evolution: Obstacles and Opportunities”, the writers point out that educational tools and strategies must be employed in the public classroom to successfully teach students in evolutionary theory.
“Teachers, who are on the front lines of these challenges [persuading students to accept Darwinism], must be armed with the tools and techniques to teach evolution in formal education settings across grades K-16 in a straightforward, thorough, and sensitive way.”
You will notice several things mentioned in this statement. First, educating students in Darwinism is “challenging.” This is the case because a belief in a creator is naturally instilled into human beings. Reprogramming people, as it were, is not an easily accomplished task. Secondly, notice that evolutionary theory is taught to students from kindergarten through college graduation. Third, the author cites tools to be used to attain the goals in sight. And what does the author consider as a core tool for teaching evolutionary theory to students? Using good pedagogical (teaching) methods that is enjoyable and relevant in such a way that it speaks to a student’s “enormous self-interest.”
…helping students learn concepts of evolution by employing a pedagogical focus on examples from human evolution can provide an enjoyable, engaging, and effective way to teach core evolutionary concepts because it helps students see this subject as personally meaningful and relevant—and takes advantage of adolescent students’ enormous self-interest.
The point here is that human beings inherently consider their best self-interest to believe in a creator. The prescribed national education, advice, and predominant opinion of naturalists is that a person’s self-interest is to accept the naturalist’s perspective on the origins of the universe—Darwinism.
Now allow me to provide you just two examples of how naturalists train students to accept naturalism as a part of their life’s view of existence.
Teaching younger students The first example targets young students by training them to view belief in God as foolishness, and to view those who believe in God as fools. The following poem was written by Frank L. Ludwig and openly appeals to children to consider belief in God as a fairytale and challenges the children to cognitively rise above the foolishness of others who do believe.
You kids have Oz and Peter Pan, so do not think it’s odd that grown-ups too need fairytales, and they created God. Some say He rules with love, and some and some say with an iron rod: the grown-ups need their fairytale, so they invented God. Some grow out of it, some won’t, but you should know the score: let grown-ups have their fairytale, but you should grow up more.
This is a clear educational appeal to children to discount their natural inclination to believe in God. This pernicious effort appeals to children’s natural human pride to disassociate themselves from anything that may be ridiculed by others. And make no mistake, naturalists openly ridicule belief in God. Of course, these same people adamantly advocate disregarding other’s opinions when it comes of individual lifestyle choices, whatever they may be. Furthermore, the poem encourages children to disregard the beliefs and training instilled by their parents.
Teaching advanced students Young children are not the only ones targeted. This training continues to the highest levels of education and academia.
In 2005 I took my wife and six-year-old daughter to a local university planetarium to watch one of the 40-minute-long programs offered. I recall being encouraged while standing outside the entrance into the planetarium itself which had these words posted above the entrance doors: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).
Once inside and seated, the 40-minute program presented the wonders of the earth and the grandeur of the cosmos on the planetarium ceiling. The spectacular visual and verbal presentation was inspiring—emotion and awe welled up within the viewers (at least for my family). The program then turned to an explanation about how all of these wonders came into existence. The program presented some eight or ten experts with extraordinary educational degrees from the most prestigious centers of learning in America and international nations. The credibility of each speaker was clearly put on display for all viewers to see and for approximately 30 minutes the experts explained the naturalistic and Darwinian origins of the universe. The presentation took on a voice of undeniable authority based upon the credibility of its proponents and its unquestionable scientific reasoning. There was certainly no allowance for an alternative view or explanation. The views as expressed during the program is a quintessential example of the ability of our national science and educational communities to train its citizenry in naturalistic thinking while disallowing alternative views. Students from first grade through the highest levels of academics are taught the origins of life through this lens.
In closing, here is a statement made by James Sire that accurately describes the position of those who hold to a naturalistic presentation of a world and universe without God—the position maintained by those who are charged with teaching the greatest percentage of America’s youth.
In naturalism it is the nature of the cosmos that is primary, for now, with an external creator God out of the picture, the cosmos itself becomes eternal—always there though not necessarily in its present form, in fact certainly not in its present form. Carl Sagan, astrophysicist and popularizer of science, has said it as clearly as possible: ‘The Cosmos is all that is or ever will be’ (Sire, The Universe Next Door, p. 61).
For our final discussion on naturalism, let’s quickly summarize the Bible’s response to naturalism's position on creation.To next section Homepage