This is the final instalment in a six-part series on life, death and what may lie beyond the here-and-now, and I’ve learned something from your feedback over the last month and a half. The first thing I’ve learned is how many people support the idea of talking about things beyond this world. Some people are actually quite eager to talk. Some, but not all.
I’ve written professionally since 1988, I have about 10,000 articles published in print and online, but nothing has yet triggered the same extent of response as the articles in this series. Not all comments were polite, but most have been. For every nasty response, 20 or 30 were civilized, decent, respectful and supportive. What’s more, this series has connected me with several people who have something of an advantage over the rest of us. They know they’re dying, they know they probably won’t be long for this world, and this gives them an incentive to search. And make no mistake, if I could change just one thing about how I and most people live life, it would be to remember how this world and everything about our lives hangs by a thread. Human beings are very fragile creatures indeed, but making sense of our mortality rarely seems urgent. That’s why it’s often ignored.
Lack of urgency is the biggest roadblock to discovering the truth, and you can see the results of lack of urgency with people who get angry any time the topic of God comes up. Without exception in my personal experience, I have yet to meet a God-angry person who was willing to sit down and logically, scientifically and calmly defend their position and listen to opposing ones. Every God-angry person I’ve responded to because of these essays has exhibited their bluster, but failed to take up my offer to have a civilized discussion about why they believe what they do. As I mentioned before, there’s an emotional bias against there being an intelligence in the universe because it’s a lot easier to live in a world without eternal justice, consequences or responsibilities that extend beyond this life. Perhaps this is why the people opposed to my writings have been rude and vulgar.
When you boil it all down, the truth can stand on its own two feet and it needs no defending. The truth doesn’t need people at all either, but people need the truth. The trouble is that a large and tragic portion of the population never find it. And as more and more young people come of age without having done the homework to discover the truth or been taught that absolute truth can be discovered, they suffer.
Over the last decade I’ve seen an increasing number of people suffering deeply and unnecessarily because they don’t understand the truth, and in many cases don’t even think any kind of truth exists beyond mere preference. I find it heart breaking. Youth suicide is skyrocketing, about 1/4 of all US women ages 40 to 50 take prescription anti-depression medication, and a record number of people are unable or unwilling to submit to the challenge of living with other people. In my own country, Canada, for instance, single-person households have increased from 1.7 million in 1981 to 4.0 million in 2016. For the first time in history, single-person households are the most common type in my country, and I expect it’s the same in the entire developed world.
Ideas have consequences, and I believe that declining mental health and the inability to maintain close relationships are a couple of the natural consequences of the “accidental life” hypothesis that’s commonly taught and believed. Actually, even Richard Dawkins, a staunch and high-profile professional atheist, says the same thing. While he still believes in the idea of an accidental universe, he has recently started to lament the disappearance of ideas of the Christian God in the world. Back in the 1800s, Charles Darwin developed a theory that all of life came about by unguided, accidental natural selection, with no intelligence responsible for the variety of life we see around us. Today we call this idea “Darwinian evolution” and the consequence of this theory is the belief that there’s nothing beyond our life here and now. It all just happened. But is this idea true? Probably not according to Darwin himself.
In Darwin’s own words: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case,” he wrote in On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.
The “no such case” argument might have been valid back in Darwin’s day, with the limited information he had about the complexities of the natural world. Today the state of science is different. The DNA programming of information found in each cell, for instance, and the abrupt, non-gradual changes we see in the organisms preserved in the fossil record, suggest to me that not even Darwin would be a Darwinian evolutionist if he were alive today. The fossil record is not a friend of Darwin, and the more digging we do, the less friendly that record is to his old theories. Dr. David Berlinski is one of many non-Christian, non-fundamentalist scientists who laugh at the idea that Darwinian evolution is a reasonable explanation of reality. I have yet to meet anyone who can honestly refute the non-religious, scientific arguments of Dr. Berlinski against the accidental universe position.
One God-angry person who emailed me asked a question and it’s good and fair, though stated without kindness: “Why do you feel the need to ruin all the good articles you’ve written in the past by insisting on talking about God garbage?”
Well, I wonder how a handful of articles at the bottom of an email newsletter can ruin 30 years of article writing, but I’m happy to explain my motivation. It’s simple. Love. Even though I’ve never met most of my subscribers, my aim is to help you. That might involve finishing a deck or refinishing your basement, or it could mean other, deeper, more important things.
It’s an amazing thing to see the truth make a difference in people’s lives, and I guess I’d just like to see more people connecting with the truth and, it’s close cousin, love. If I can help you do that, then a few angry emails is a small price to pay. In fact, I probably deserve those emails. I used to be the kind of person who might have launched an angry email myself when I knew less than I do now. Here’s what I mean . . .
I was in my late 20s before anyone ever suggested to me that the universe has an intelligent designer behind it. In high school and university I was taught that chance was the one and only driving force behind everything, and that this fact had been fully proven scientifically. It’s a closed case, right? That’s what I thought until I met a guy named Francis back in 1987. He was the first person who ever suggested that chance was not the most likely force behind the universe and not the most logical explanation for what we find around us. This made me both sad and angry. Angry because it turned my world upside down in a way that thrust more responsibility on me, and sad because I figured I’d lost a good friend. Francis was an intelligent, university-educated guy that I respected highly for his reasoning ability and powers of intellect. Respected, that is, until I heard the first arguments of my life against Darwin’s “accidental life” notion. “That’s too bad about Francis”, I thought to myself one afternoon as I drove away from his house. “I believed he was a logical, smart man, but now I see that he’s a total crackpot. Only crackpots even suggest that there’s more to the universe than accidental happenstance, right?” That’s what I thought back then, but the funny thing is that now, 30 years later, after having spent more time bumping into reality. I’m the crackpot sharing my own delusions!
If you’re truly interested in pursuing the truth, and if my essays have got you thinking, then I’m here to explain more about what I’ve discovered and why. If you’re interested, send me an email. If you’re not interested, thanks for reading, as always. I appreciate you getting this far with this article.