Wednesday, June 15, 2011

In Defense of Faith - day 5

Finally, Brog tackles the Myth of Enlightenment Perfection. Many will say they don't need the Judeo-Christian worldviews, that they rely on the Enlightenment way of thinking. Of course, our most famous Enlightenment thinkers still regarded humans as divided into classes, whether it be based on race, nationality, gender, slave, free, religion or even physical and mental abilities. "Indeed, this idea - that certain groups of humans are inherently inferior to others - is nothing less than the mother of genocide." In taking a very utilitarian viewpoint and with their own inescapable biases and self-interest, the highly esteemed "enlightened" thinkers defended slavery, genocide, and eugenics. Brog uses example after example of the views of these intellectuals, people like Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Montesquieu, who believed contrary to the Judeo-Christian idea of the sanctity and equality of all human life.

It is tempting to say that these thinkers should be judged by the standards of their day rather than hold them up to modern sensibilities. This is true to an extent, however, "one need not judge these thinkers by our current standards to find them wanting. Men like Jefferson, Buffon, and Kant fall short when judged by the standards of contemporaries such as Wilberforce... who unequivocally rejected slavery and racism." They even fall short when compared to those who, centuries earlier, defended Native Americans in the name of Christianity.

Finally he traces the Enlightenment from Kant to Herder to Hegel to Marx and even to Hitler. Their ideas, when enacted apart from their theoretical beginnings and put into practical reality gave us the bloodiest century in human history. "The twentieth century was, from start to finish, a century punctuated by genocide. The past century was truly without precedent when it comes to both the number of genocides and the vast death toll they left behind. Almost every one of these genocides was motivated by one or more of the modern ideologies of racism, nationalism, and Communism. It is bitterly ironic, yet unavoidably true, that the greatest atrocities in human history were fueled by these competing visions for the perfection of man."

Jews and Christians already know that man can not be perfected except through the grace of God alone. Discarding God and the sanctity of all human life is neither moral nor particularly "enlightened." These God-abandoning philosophers have much to answer for!

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