Sir, there is a Rabbit in your Hat (Worldview 4)
We have been examining worldview. We noted what each worldview needs to have, what no worldview is allowed to have and we have described the Christian worldview.
No God, No Nothing
Nihilism teaches that there is no meaning, no absolutes, no reality. The one truth in nihilism is that there are no truths. The meaning of life is that there is no meaning to life. This worldview doesn’t have a bottom because it teaches that there is no bottom. There isn’t a down or an up. There is just chaos and we happen to be living in it; at least we think so.
The problem with this worldview is when you take it into the real world; the world God created, the one you are reading this in. The real world declares absolutes everywhere you turn. There are absolute laws of mathematics, logic and science. Societies, though they differ in moral standards, are built on the reality of moral absolutes. A person can claim to believe in nihilism but they’ll have to find another universe to live it out in.
No God, No Good
Remember Harambe? Three years ago he took a bullet for a kid and the world went wild. Similarly, some dentist shot poor Cecil the lion with a bow the year before. This year a man has allegedly stolen 500 turtle eggs.
If your moral views of Cecil, Harambe and Donatello’s kids don’t have a solid framework or foundation then your opinion of these events are invalid. You can tweet that Harambe should have been allowed to live, I just want to help you understand that your tweet may not be worth the twit it was tweeted on.
I’m not saying you can’t have an opinion, I’m saying you need a framework to place your opinion in. If you say there are no absolutes and then make moral claims you are being inconsistent. If you make a moral claim but don’t have an absolute standard that serves as a framework for your claim you are being arbitrary.
People speak about the idea of having a moral compass. A compass works by pointing North. The only way a moral compass can work, then, is by having a moral North for it to point to.
And we’ve only dealt with little issues above. What about our opinions on politics, the economy, wars, feminist rights, racial issues, abortion etc?
Who Want’s Cake?
Back to the bag illustration. If, inside your bag, you say there are no moral absolutes, like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat, you’ll have to somehow magically dip your hand into your no-absolute-morality bag and pull out a moral opinion. See the problem?
As Richard Dawkins declares:
“There is at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference”
So Dawkin’s worldview bag apparently has no absolute good or evil in it. Fair enough. Now watch as Dawkins pulls the rabbit out of the bag. If Dawkins really believed what he said above, he could never say this:
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser, a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadamasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully”
If you look carefully, you’ll see Dawkins attempting the impossible task of having his cake and eating it. On one hand there is no good or evil, and yet God is evil. Do you see the holes yet? Can you see the inconsistency and arbitrary nature of these statements?
The only way Dawkins can make a moral claim when he has a no-absolute-morality worldview bag is to stick his hand into someone else’s bag; he has to borrow from someone else’s worldview, namely the Christian one. Either that, or, as I would argue, Dawkins bag has been wrongly labelled; there are moral absolutes in there after all, the rabbit has been in there all along. Dare me to say it? Dawkins is living in God’s universe and he knows it.
If there is no good or evil, misogyny is neither good or evil. If there is no right and wrong and you enjoy being a capricious malevolent bully then have at it! Who are we to judge after all? And what standard would we judge according to if we did?
Next we are going to explore why people would rather sit in a no-god worldview and remain content even if there are inconsistencies and arbitrariness. I want to show that remaining in a no-god worldview is a lot like remaining in a boat on the shore that is full of holes, but, as I’m sure I’ve already said, the rain is coming.
Alan Campbell is from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He came to Christ as a young adult and trained for ministry at Bethesda Free Church, Sunderland. Alan ministered in Bethesda as the Associate Pastor until 2019 and now ministers at Union Chapel, Bath. From time to time he teaches at North Cotes (NTM/Ethnos 360) College and The Theological College of North Staffordshire. Alan travels across the UK, Ireland, Europe and the States speaking at universities and equipping churches and campus ministries to share the gospel in a post-modern context. He is passionate about helping the believer to root their identity more and more into the person and work of Jesus Christ. Alan is married to Victoria.