"For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths." - 2 Timothy 4:3-4 (ESV)
I have that sick, sinking feeling in my stomach. It's the one that comes when you know you've just come into close contact with something lethal. And it started so innocently! I was simply browsing through my Google news as I do most days, perusing headlines tailored to fit my diverse interests with stories about topics ranging from Cote d'Ivoire and the Tennessee Titans to US politics and the latest technology developments. Amid the great range of articles, one headline piqued my interest more than the others, so I clicked the link to the brief opinion piece posted by the New York Times. The link is below, and I implore you to read it now:
As the piece started out, I was curious where the author was going. He being an admitted atheist, we obviously have some different views, but his words captured my attention. As the article went on, I got more and more queasy. By the end, I was downright sick. In the end, his epiphany boiled down to this: since we use our morality to justify our desires, and there's no supernatural reason to implement morality, we should just cut the crap, admit we're living to satisfy our desires, and embrace this new reality.
I wanted to throw up.
On the one hand, I'm glad for his honesty. Here is someone who has actually taken their worldview, thought it out thoroughly, and applied it to their life. Here is an atheist who has truly come to terms with the ramifications of his beliefs. But that's precisely what's so sickening about it: here is a respected teacher and author using the New York Times as a megaphone to tell the world to do what they want and that it's okay.
This makes the opening verse from 2 Timothy ring in my ears.
What my fellow philosopher has failed to see is that in a world where desire is the only guiding factor, intelligent conversation breaks down. There is no need to sway others by any form of communication. The single most effective way to get one's way is by force; he who has the biggest stick wins. And no, we have not "evolved" beyond that. It still happens in Africa every day.
If the next generation takes this man's philosophy to heart, it will result in the death of civilization as we know it. Life will become a free for all, every man for himself, and the one with the fastest draw will be the one left holding all the cards. Pure anarchy, a prime situation for one man to step up and take control of the world.
This kind of thinking is the beginning of the end.
"Welcome to the end. It's all about to go down, and I know now... we've finally reached our bitter end. Welcome to the end."
-- "Welcome to the End" by 12 Stones