No God means no justice

Posted on January 28, 2016 By

“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”

–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men evolved equal, that they are endowed by some other people with certain inalienable Rights…”

Imagine if Thomas Jefferson had chosen to put these words in the Declaration of Independence instead of his actual words, which reference our Creator as the source of equality and inalienable rights. There are some very big problems with grounding equality and human rights in anything other than in a transcendent source (read: God). First off, if we really have inalienable rights as humans, and these rights were merely endowed by other people, we are left with the question of how other people can endow inalienable rights. After all, what constitutes human rights to one society may not constitute human rights to another society. And which people are the people who endow these rights? The Nazis and Communists, to cite a couple examples, certainly didn’t endow us with these rights. As Frank Turek and Norman Geisler point out in I Dont’ Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist:

If the Moral Law doesn’t exist, then there’s no moral difference between the behavior of Mother Teresa and that of Hitler. Likewise, statements like “Murder is evil,” “Racism is wrong,” or “You shouldn’t abuse children” have no objective meaning. They’re just someone’s opinion, on a par with “chocolate tastes better than vanilla.” In fact, without the Moral Law, simple value-laden terms such as “good,” “bad,” “better,” and “worse” would have no objective meaning when used in a moral sense. But we know they do have meaning. For example, when we say “society is getting better” or “society is getting worse,” we are comparing society to some moral standard beyond ourselves. That standard is the Moral Law that’s written on our hearts.

Moral progress requires a moral standard to progress toward

And the concept of progress, in terms of social justice, makes no sense if there is no Moral Law which transcends the opinions about justice held by various people. In order for such a thing as progress to occur, there must be a moral ideal toward which to progress. But who or what provides this moral ideal toward which to progress? The moral standards of one particular group of people? Which group of people? By whose standard does ridding our society of racism, for example, constitute progress? Certainly not by the moral standards of the Nazis or the Klu Klux Klan. C.S. Lewis (as cited by Turek and Geisler) notes the need for a moral standard which exists above and beyond subjective human opinions about morality: 

“The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another, you are, in fact, measuring them both by a standard, saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other. But the standard that measures two things is something different from either. You are, in fact, comparing them both with some Real Morality, admitting that there is such a thing as a real Right, independent of what people think, and that some people’s ideas get nearer to that real Right than others. Or put it this way. If your moral ideas can be truer, and those of the Nazis less true, there must be something—some Real Morality—for them to be true about.”

Indeed, if there is no Moral Law which transcends subjective human opinions about morality, then changes in morality would be nothing more than changes in moral fashions. A return to institutionalized slavery would be akin to a “retro chic” trend in clothing…such as when 1960’s era suits worn on the hit TV show Mad Men became popular again.

Atheists are fond of arguing that our morals evolved as a result of amoral natural processes. But this stance is wrought with problems. Evolution implies progress, which again brings up the question of how changing moral fashions could be deemed progress rather than merely change. Secondly, if our morals evolved, we are left with the question of why some groups of people did not evolve the same moral values as other groups. Did we not allegedly evolve from the same common ancestors as the Nazis and the Klu Klux Klan?

Natural forces cannot produce morality

Put another way, the easiest way to see that amoral natural forces of evolution cannot be the cause of a moral values such as “Slavery is wrong,” or “Genocide is wrong,” is to realize that the same natural forces which evolved these moral values must have also evolved the contrary moral values (held by such groups as the Nazis)…”Slavery is right,” and “Genocide is right.”

The indifference of natural forces towards moral values was eloquently expressed by the famous atheist biologist Richard Dawkins, in his book River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life:

“In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”

The Holocaust was rationalized using Darwinian thought

The only “justice” considered by Darwinian evolution is that of survival. And the pitiless indifference toward God’s Moral Law displayed by the Nazis had its origins in Darwinian thought, as demonstrated by California State University Professor of History Richard Weikart, in his book From Darwin to Hitler. As Weikart points out, the racist Nazi rationalization for killing comes straight from Charles Darwin. Weikart cites Darwin from his book The Descent of Man:

“With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, the sick;….Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man.”

Ending the lives of the “weak members of civilized societies” was apparently a moral virtue in Darwin’s opinion. At another point in The Descent of Man, Darwin (as cited by Weikart) writes:

“The civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world.”

Statements made by Adolf Hitler reveal his unmistakably Darwinist views. For example, Hitler once said:

“The law of selection justifies this incessant struggle, by allowing for the survival of the fittest. Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.”

Hitler also said:

“The stronger asserts his will, it’s the law of nature. The world doesn’t change; its laws are eternal.”

And exterminating “weak members of civilized societies,” those deemed by the Nazis to be unworthy of passing on their genes, is exactly what the Nazis tried to do. It is not difficult, then, to see why Weikart is justified in stating that:

“Darwinism by itself did not produce the Holocaust, but without Darwinism…neither Hitler nor his Nazi followers would have had the necessary scientific underpinnings to convince themselves and their collaborators that one of the world’s greatest atrocities was really morally praiseworthy.”

Considering the need for a transcendent source of morality, it is unsurprising that the civil rights movement in the United States was founded by Christians such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The success of the civil rights movement can be largely attributed to the fact that figures such as Dr. King were able to convincingly argue that the attitudes and practices of the white majority toward racial minorities did not comply with God’s Moral Law, as cited in the Declaration of Independence.

  1. Gerry De naro says:

    Hi Scott,
    A point to note, is that Hitler in his rise to power in the early thirties, quoted scripture in almost all his ‘sermons’ which inspired a nation reeling from the effects of WW1.. However, the Nazi agenda became all to clear when he obtained absolute power.
    Atheists love to point out Hitler was a Catholic/Christian but even the ‘devil can quote scripture.’ No doubt we will be judged by what is in our hearts as expressed in our actions.
    The problem that atheists smugly ignore is (1) Hitler admitted in his biography that his speeches and writings were pure political propaganda. (2) He privately derided Christianity with zealous hatred. That Hitler was a Christian is one of the most pernicious lies perpetrated by modern secularists. The second, one promoted by revisionist historians, is that Hitler and the Nazis were “right wingers.” In fact, Hitler and his party were left-wing socialists. The Nazis were “National Aryan Socialists.”
    Hitler often quoted materialist philosophers with glee. One of his favorite sayings was that the destruction of the weak is a good thing for the survival of the strong for “nature intended it that way.” Hitler went so far as to ban Christmas and demand the Hitler Youth praise him on December 25th rather than Jesus. The Nazis also jailed any Christian who dared to criticize them while “tolerating” churches, which kept their faith within the four walls of the church. This move is being replicated today throughout Europe, Canada and anywhere else where believers dare to do something such as advocate for traditional marriage. I hope and pray that history does not repeat itself but I’m not so sure. May God have mercy on us in this Year of Mercy.

    • Scott Youngren says:

      Gerry, Hitler once said:

      “The law of selection justifies this incessant struggle, by allowing for the survival of the fittest. Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.”

      • Gerry De naro says:

        Looking at the biography of Hitler and who he was influenced by: The man was BORN into a Catholic, Austrian family and received some schooling in the faith of his parents. As he gained absolute power in the mid 30s however, Hitler rejected Catholicism and Christianity in large part because of the influence of a fanatical “atheist” by the name of Friedrick Nietzsche. Nietzsche was an influential German philosopher of the 1800’s who saw Christ and Christianity as an abhorrent expression of weakness. A true leader, in Nietzsche’s view, had to be a “Superman,” free from the shackles of religion and ready and willing to use cruelty to achieve power and control over the masses.
        “Thus…Nietzsche offered grounds for the reprehensible Nazi ideology of a superior race exercising its will to power as it saw fit. Hitler was living out what Nietzsche had envisioned, trying to prove himself to be the Übermensch and the precursor of the Master race. He despised weakness as much as Nietzsche did and wanted to “transvalue” the current social values into something that supported the aggressive instinct. He wanted to become, as Nietzsche called it, a “lord of the earth.”[i]
        Let’s just pretend for a second that Hitler wasn’t a Christian. What would that imply? That Hitler, pretending to be a believer in his writings and speeches, was able to manipulate the masses by invoking God’s name, convincing millions that the actions of the Nazi party were the will of God. His later admissions about his idol Nietzsche, scorn for all religion & embrace of neo-Darwinian ideology would make for a strong argument in service of the Christians who wish to distance themselves from him.
        There are numerous quotes attributed to Hitler, many as recorded by Martin Bormann “The Ten Commandments have lost their validity. Conscience is a Jewish invention, it is a blemish like circumcision.”
        “The law of selection justifies this incessant struggle, by allowing the survival of the fittest. Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.” and
        “National Socialism and religion cannot exist together The heaviest blow which ever struck humanity was Christianity; Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew.”
        The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death…. When understanding of the universe has become widespread… Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity…. Christianity has reached the peak of absurdity…. And that’s why someday its structure will collapse…. …the only way to get rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little…. Christianity the liar…. We’ll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State.”
        “The reason why the ancient world was so pure, light and serene was that it knew nothing of the two great scourges: the pox and Christianity.
        Hitler just like many current terrorists cunningly quote scripture to win over the gullible & justify the most heinous acts. That hardly implies theyre true believers.
        “By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise”.
        “Any alliance whose purpose is not the intention to wage war is senseless and useless.” “Great LIARS are also great magicians.”
        “I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.”
        “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” Adoft Hitler
        – Frederic Nietzsche was right, with God out of the way, the 20th century would be the bloodiest in history.
        Hitler in fact only made such statement about the church and Catholics after the tide of the war had turned against him and he began to view them as obstructions to his will. It begs the fact that he DID use Christianity to manipulate the Germans, and that their religious history primed them to be receptive to such monstrous ideas as the extermination of the Jews and domination of the western world
        Quotes from other Nazis:
        Martin Bormann: “The Christian religion and National Socialist doctrines are not compatible.” (Bormann 1945).
        Joseph Goebbels, 12/28/1939: “The Führer is deeply religious, though completely anti-Christian; he views Christianity as a symptom of decay. Rightly so. It is a branch of the Jewish race. Both [Judaism and Christianity] have no point of contact to the animal element, and thus, in the end, they will be destroyed.” (Boelcke 1970).
        Heinrich Himmler: “We shall not rest until we have rooted out Christianity.” (NAACD 2005).
        Hans Kerrl, 11/19/1935: “Adolf Hitler is the true Holy Ghost.” (Kerrl 1935).
        Ludendorff, 1935: “The days of the Cross are counted. We must deliver the German nation from the pernicious influence of Christianity.” (Quoted in Anti-Semitism Throughout the Ages, by Count Heinrich Coudenhove-Kalergi. 1935.)
        Robert Ley, 1937: “Catastrophe was only narrowly averted. It was all due to the faith of one man! Yes, you who called us godless, we found our faith in Adolf Hitler, and through him found God once again. That is the greatness of our day, that is our good fortune!”
        Paul Schnabel, 7/04/1935: “In a certain sense National Socialism is religion, for it does not require its partisans to be convinced of the rightness of its teachings but to believe in it.” (Schnabel 1935).

  2. Gerry De naro says:

    Interesting to note that a new TV series ‘The man in the High Castle” has the scenario of Germany and japan winning the war. And if morality is only doing what is fashionable in some culture at some point in History, on whose authority do we condemn them?

  3. SKL YJD says:

    Gerry De naro thank you for such a well informed article about Hitler. Most religious writers do not realise he was not a rational thinker, a clever manipulator and obviously some part insane because he invented his own warped justifications for his actions, therefore no solid evidence directly or indirectly can blame Darwin the most influential scientist of our era and atheism for the holocaust.

  4. Jeff Mwangi says:

    That’s kind of funny because some atheist writers will ignore the sermon on the mount and will still think religious zealots represent Christianity and still mention the crusades despite it going against turning your other cheek. That is what we call the fallacy of special pleading. When a mad man uses atheistic reasons to justify his own means, he is using warped justifications for his own goal. When a Christian commits an evil act, this is what Christians do.

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