Valuing Humanity in a Secular Society

I recently had a conversation with a co-worker over lunch about abortion and its current political status in America. It was an interesting discussion but ultimately it ended up with him continually defaulting to his pro-choice position because he “just feels that way.” When asked for the justification for his position, he could not provide anything further than “that’s just how I feel.” Before long it became overwhelmingly clear that he had never heard any of the pro-life arguments that I had been putting forward. He never questioned the pro-choice status quo and couldn’t articulate a reasoned response for his position. He was caught flat-footed and unprepared so he resorted to the emotional plea, “I just feel that way.” For me, it’s incomprehensible how anyone could adamantly hold a position that allows for the destruction of innocent human life. In the end, while he still “felt that way”, he did admit that the unborn were human, abortion was the unjustified killing of an innocent human life, and the act of abortion was immoral. Regardless of these concessions, he felt that a woman should still “have the right” to choose to end the life of the innocent unborn child living within her. He didn’t know why but he “just did.”

In the brief exchange above between Christian philosopher Dr. William Lane Craig and the late atheist Christopher Hitchens concerning the value of humanity, you’ll notice that Hitchens is making the mistake that many atheists make in regardless to their perspective towards religion. It is grossly misplaced. Hitchens complains that the church is politically advocating for causes to ban things like same-sex marriage and abortion in an attempt to “gain power”. Hitchens uses Fyodor Dostoevsky’s quote, “If there is no God, all things are permitted”, but attempts to argue that it can also be said that, “With God, all things are thinkable” because, he reasons, that if God truly exists, why do Christians care what happens in the present because God would ultimately bring justice to those who perform injustices? He’s essentially implying that Christians should sit back and relax because….God’s got this. Well, that answer is much easier than you may think…

As Dr. Craig brilliantly responded, if God made us in His image and humanity has been endowed with unalienable rights and intrinsic moral value, we should value all life. When Hitchens quoted Dostoevsky, it hurt his point. Hitchens was debating from the atheistic position, and he was morally objecting to how he perceives Christians politically interfering with an immoral agenda that would seek to abolish abortion and same-sex marriage. If Hitchens’ position of atheism is the right position, Dostoevsky’s quote would also be true. Given the truth behind Dostoevsky’s quote describing the philosophical implications of atheism, Hitchens would not be in a position to object to any moral behavior because “all things are permitted.” Hitchens has placed a self-destruct button on his argument by quoting Fyodor Dostoevsky.

From the historical evidence that we can present for the credibility of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to all other philosophical and scientific evidence presented in a cumulative form, the case for Christian theism is truly a death by one thousand paper cuts. Meaning, all the evidence, presented accumulatively, make Christian theism the most likely conclusion of the available worldviews. This Christian apologetic case has the power to transform the way we all view the world we are in. If everyone followed the evidence where it leads, people would be able to open their hearts to the Holy Spirit and let it lead them into a personal relationship with Christ. If our hearts and minds were open to the facts, social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage wouldn’t be controversial any longer. We would be able to openly speak out against these behaviors without being harshly condemned as someone who’s filled with hate, bigotry, and intolerance.

A well-reasoned and supported case can be made against abortion and same-sex marriage but unfortunately our culture muzzles the Christian voices as being the voice of narrow-mindedness before listening to what we have to say. Our main motivation for speaking against these social issues is because these issues are in complete contrast to the will of God. God unambiguously defined marriage as one man and one woman and God unambiguously affirmed that humans are made in His image and that we all have intrinsic value in virtue of being His special creation. Given the reliability of these facts, we can rest assured that God is in favor of our position! However, exposing the truth will likely upset the status quo in a progressively secular culture. For example, Republican Presidential nominee Dr. Ben Carson has been burned by the news for being pro-life and speaking out against same-sex marriage; same with Duck Commander Phil Robertson and the Benham brothers. Don’t forget about businesses Chick Fil A and Hobby Lobby in their public support of Christian values. All these individuals and businesses have been maliciously labeled as intolerant and narrow-minded by those who allegedly champion tolerance and open-mindedness.

Conclusion

In the end, we are debating the value of humanity. Is it better for society to kill the innocent unborn or let them live out their natural lives? Is it better for society to promote God’s definition of marriage or a revised manipulation of God’s original design for marriage? Obviously, if God exists, which I strongly contend that He does, God’s ways would be the best ways and we should strive to follow them.

Does that mean that Christians should politically advocate for pro-life and traditional marriage causes? Absolutely! In America, people are free to love as they choose but it doesn’t mean that Christians should be forced to celebrate homosexuality. Yet, it should crystal clear that we should still love homosexuals as valuable individuals who are made in the image of God. In regards to abortion, every life matters because all life, born or unborn, is made in the image of God. As Dr. Craig said, this is not a power grab by the church but rather a genuine desire to save the unborn from destruction.

Christians have the security of knowing that their beliefs are planted firmly in strong evidence. Given this fact, we are perfectly rational to take the pro-life/traditional marriage position because it makes the most sense of intrinsic human value. Opposing the pro-life/traditional marriage positions would be to oppose the design of God. Personally, I would rather be on God’s side than man’s side.

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