Day 18: An explanation that makes sense – Part 6c

Can the human race fix its own problems?

Bible References (NIV)

Devotional

Why do you think James said boasting about where we might go and what we might do is foolish? I suggest he was making a comparative statement. He was saying that it is foolish to live with no regard for God.

Once we realise there is a God it affects everything. For starters, every thought and deed counts because we will all one day stand before God to give an account of our lives.

Today’s video clip summarises some areas in which the Christian faith makes sense of our world — in a way that alternative beliefs do not. Because many will never have considered these areas, I will summarise in writing also, because these points reveal a remarkable inherent logic in this faith!

Right now you are thinking. You are also conscious that you are thinking. This is called consciousness — but what is that, and where did this ‘self-awareness’ come from?

If there is no God, the only logical answer is that human consciousness is just an illusion. For those in the Eastern religions, its existence is an illusion they claim no explanation for. Meanwhile, for the atheist, our consciousness is the result of a remarkable accident, springing out of random chemical reactions in our brains. If there is no God it follows that our every thought is also just a chemical reaction. But what guides these reactions? They are pre-determined and conditioned by our DNA and prior experiences! There is therefore no ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ or ‘real you’. However, most significantly, this means there is no actual free thought! While we think we have free will (the ability to make independent choices) this too sits within the illusion that is our consciousness. In case you aren’t yet aware, the Eastern religions and atheism agree with this point — though few ever speak of it.

It logically follows that our hopes and dreams — which are very real and important to us — are also entirely within this same illusion of consciousness. To follow the basic logic, without free will there is also no actual love — because true love requires a choice. Feelings of love are instead just pre-programmed chemical reactions, like ‘animal instinct’. Without free will, there is also no moral responsibility or culpability (fair and just blame), because our every choice is the product of our DNA and prior experiences. This has significant legal implications. For a last point, there is therefore no such thing as rationality — because, as above, our every thought (and argument) is again merely a chemical conclusion reached due to our DNA and prior experiences. As modern sociologists openly affirm, we are just biological machines!

What does this mean? To deny God makes no sense at all!

We therefore discover some ways in which the Christian belief system is logical in the highest sense of the word! We have been ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14). As the verses you read in Ephesians say, ‘we are blessed in every way — and have been chosen before the creation of the world.’ God has a plan, it is wonderful, and there is every reason to have hope!

Video clip: An explanation that makes sense – Part 6c — 2:15mins

Reflection questions

  • What is human consciousness if there is no God to have created it?
  • What is free will if there is no God to have created it?
  • What is rationality if there is no actual free will?
  • What is love if there is no actual free will?
  • What is moral responsibility or culpability (fair and just blame) for wrongdoing if there is no actual free will?
  • Does the existence of our dreams, hopes, thoughts, free will, moral culpability, rationality and love make sense if there is no God, and why?
  • Does the existence of our dreams, hopes, thoughts, free will, moral culpability, rationality and love make sense if there is a God, and why?
  • If God made us and loves us, who is most logically able to help us — whether individually or as a planet?

For prayer

“Thank you, Lord Jesus, for not only creating the material world but also the spiritual and psychological dimensions of who we are. Thank you for the incomprehensibly complex programming by which we exist within our bodies as physical, spiritual, intelligent, thinking, relational, social, emotional, conscious beings. Thank you for free will, without which we would have neither love nor free thought. You have given us some amazing gifts, too great to comprehend. Thank you.”

coming up in our next devotion

Day 19: A faith that works – Part 7a

For a first area of experience, we have noted that if a God exists then miracles are possible. Jesus performed many amazing miracles. The Old Testament is also full of miracles. The period of the Exodus, where God’s people walked through desert areas depending on God’s supernatural provision and protection stands out. The Christian faith is one of miracles.

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