Thursday, July 16, 2009

We are on the Moon!

On July 16th, 1969, two United States astronauts began a journey to finally land on the moon. This was one of the most remarkable and important events of the 20th century.

We began to conquer space... Science was believed to be able to solve all of man's problems. If we can only understand the physical world, we can harness it and bend it to our will. Even our amusement parks resembled our optimism in the Scientific universe.

When Tomorrowland was first created, Walt Disney tried to show the possibilities of science, and Tomorrowland was made to look futuristic, and optimistic. It was a tribute to the ingenuity of man. Man would be traveling at light-speed, and never want for anything!

40 years later, much is better, but much is worse. Conquering space did not solve humanity's problems. Neither did the rest of Science. In fact, Science has actually created some more problems. For those who held to Science, many stopped being able to find meaning. An unhealthy dependence on the promises of Science actually brought a sense of anguish, because many people believed the natural world was all that exists. This meant to these people there was no heaven, no supernatural, no life after death. When we die, we die.

Science has lost credibility to the "postmodern" mind. Even the development of Disneyland shows our general lack of faith in Science now.

Go visit Disneyland today... much has changed. Tomorrowland does not seem optimistic anymore. Instead it resembles more cartoon or sci-fi worlds than anything actually attainable. This metamorphosis in Disneyland has closely paralleled the general public's trust of Science. People no longer trust Science. When Science stopped being able to give meaning, people have moved to despair.

We have "conquered" the moon, but we have lost our confidence. Today is a great opportunity for Christianity to be a beacon of renewed hope. In a world searching for meaning, because Science has taken meaning of existence and obliterated it, Christianity can give true hope. Using the Scriptural example of showing reasons for our hope (I Peter 3:15), Christians can be light in a dark world.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

An Exercise in Futility: Freedom, Equality without God

On this day, July 14, 1786, the frustration of the French people towards their government culminated in the storming of the Bastille. This kicked off the French Revolution.

The revolution was run under the banner of "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity." This reflected the ideals of the enlightenment to treat their fellow man as equal, and of worth because they were all human. The goal was to create a society which saw all others as equal, but without the oppressive restrictions of a Deity.

Although the French Revolution occurred quickly after the American Revolution, and it seemed to be built on similar philosophies of value, France did not have nearly the stability of government as the United States after their revolution. Quickly after the end of the revolution, the Reign of Terror began. Among other things, the Reign of Terror is noted for sending thousands of people to their death at the guillotine, which was considered humanitarian compared with other methods. Those who were taken to the guillotine were taken because they had different political ideas than the new regime.

This is wholly unlike anything which occurred after the American Revolution. How do two revolutions with such like ideals produce two completely separate results?

The answer comes from each revolutions grounding or basis for the equality they sought and fought for. In the United States, equality of persons was something "endowed by their creator," but this is not true of the ideals of the French.

The French tried to base their equality in their own humanity. They had fully bought into the enlightenment ideals of the epitome of man. Unfortunately, morals have no true basis in this worldview. Morality becomes a he said, she said proposition. This culminated in the French not actually believing in the equality they had initially fought for. Instead, there was only equality for those who held the same political views as those in power.

The French Revolution seems to be something we would all cheer for, but instead it is really about how life would truly be without God. As Fyodor Dostoyevsky declared, "Without God, everything is permissible."

Equality, and all other moral precepts, need God as a basis, or it really doesn't mean anything.