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Monday, April 22, 2013

Neuroscience, Madness or Christianity

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Neuroscience, Madness or Christianity -   Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D.


I am deeply concerned about how secularism and atheistic humanism are influencing the way our new generation of young people think. I am not merely concerned about the shifting balance of conservative influence in institutions of higher learning. I am talking about the implied 'junk status' of humanity in general through an atheistic and humanistic view of neuroscience in a setting of evolutionary anthropology, as if this was scientific truth. Now, those who promote these beliefs are certainly entitled to them, just as I hope there is still some freedom left for me to challenge them.
· Darkness Descending
In this article I am urging it is now time to wake up to this new reality that would slowly immunise us to the dark chaos to which it is inevitably leading. And believe me, this is no joke - this is a clash of kingdoms - of darkness with light. This is where once the "true light [that] is already shining" (1 John 2:8), the light of Christ in the gospel of God's grace that gave our Western foundations of law, freedom, justice and compassion, is being extinguished. I am talking about recovering a biblical Christian view of human life and responsibility.
· Ultimate Futility Implanted in Minds
There is no doubt that this is an issue of vital public interest at the present time, when disturbed minds are able to inflict so much violence on others.
In the eighteenth century one of the shocking social evils that England's William Wilberforce worked so tirelessly to rid the world was the slavery of the black African person. Indeed, there are still forms of slavery around today, one of which is how spurious science is degrading and dehumanising so many people.
Now, under the cover of science the ultimate futility of human life is gripping people more insidiously than metal chains or psycho-active drugs. These ideas are taking hold on peoples' minds and destroying a sense of value and the beauty of human personality. My title is not suggesting three separate options but that without a clear biblical framework for understanding our humanity, people will find the study of neuroscience dehumanising, depressing, or even disturbing.
· Values have Vanished
Under the cover of modern medical science - neuroscience is being given an interpretation controlled by beliefs which are offered as if they were authoritative science, but which are grounded in secular ideological beliefs, quite independent of genuine science. There is now no concept of objective moral wrong - anything you do is simply the complex chemistry that you are reduced to, as it interacts with your own environment, where all your personal objective meaning and value are lost. I am reduced to being my genetic stock, food and my environment. Everything is ultimately trash, including myself. So, how can I be blamed or punished for something over which I had no control? I couldn't help it could I?
If secularism continues to permeate society, our values and our judicial system, the revolution is well under way where behaviours once considered deserving of serious penalties are progressively normalised until we reach a point where instead, the big offence will be the criticism of the new status quo - the new normality. If you destroy the roots of responsible thinking and action and believe you have no moral choice then chaos and destruction descend, as in the totalitarian regimes and destructive revolutions of the past.
· Determinism Smashes Your True Significance
Francis Schaeffer saw this clearly, "The Reformation confronts us with an Adam who was, using twentieth-century thought forms, an unprogrammed man - he was not set up as a punch card in a computer system. One thing that marks twentieth-century man is that he cannot visualise this, because modern man is infiltrated by a concept of determinism... People today are trying to hang on to the dignity of man, and they do not know how to because they have lost the truth that man is made in the image of God. He was an unprogrammed man, a significant man in a significant history, and he could change history" (Escape from Reason, IVP, 1968, p 24).
With advancing secularism, people have lost all thought of God, the living God of Judaeo-Christian Scripture as the final reference point, and instead, they think they are a sufficient reference point - but then can never be sure - never, and they are caught in this anguished dilemma trying to anchor the validity of their reason in itself and never upon the infinite wisdom and reason of God.
· Uncertain Future of Law
And so, you have thinkers like Sam Harris and his cerebral neurones determining our behaviour in such a way that the US system of law may well begin to get concerned for its survival, "The great worry, of course, is that an honest discussion of the underlying causes of human behaviour appears to leave no room for moral responsibility. If we view people as neuronal weather patterns, how can we coherently speak about right and wrong or good and evil?" (Free Will, Free Press, 2012, p 48). Now Sam Harris wants to hang on to a theory of social responsibility, but he has no adequate foundation for it.
With this view, just as Schaeffer saw a generation ago, people are bewildered over their loss of significance, where they are merely complex models conditioned and manipulated by their electro-chemical circuitry. With this level of reductionism, forget all thought of moral accountability to the God in whose moral and rational pattern we have been made! At best we are left with a humanistic concept of social behaviour, where the ruling class determine the norms.
· Meaningless
The tragedy is that when people turn away from who they really are there is nothing left but meaningless suffering, absurdity, depersonalised shallow relationships, despair and madness. I use the term "madness" to cover a terrible sense of absurd meaningless, not medical insanity, although some people may have become insanely meaningless to themselves in their escape from God, the source of life, peace and rational meaning.
The more I ponder atheism, the more I am persuaded that its claim to be the pinnacle of scientific wisdom and its hostility towards any who disclaim it, are marks of a huge cover, a pseudo-religion masquerading as "science", concealing an insidious denial of its most terrible fear - that the uncreated I AM, the living God of biblical theism is the ONE whom they ultimately confront, even now.
· Collision
The future of societies once built on secure foundations is at stake. We face a collision of world views. One is based on scientific materialism, supported by naturalistic philosophy, which depersonalises humanity and loses objective moral responsibility. While the second position, that I advocate, of biblical Christianity, shows us the truth about our wonder, our uniqueness, our noble grandeur and our shameful fallenness. And gives the final answer for genuine moral guilt; a true objective forgiveness and peace with God, on the basis of the one sacrifice for REAL moral failure, accomplished on the cross by Jesus the Saviour, the eternal Son and Lord of all - what love! This is the only way out of the dehumanising chains of secularism and atheism; the only way to recover a peaceful, ordered society. Turn and trust him today.
Then with Christ as your Saviour, you will be able see neuroscience in the wider context of revealed truth; our unique persons with objective responsibility created in the pattern of God's own moral and rational being, redeemed by Christ for the eternal praise of the God of grace.

Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D. has authored several books and many articles that offer answers for many of life's big questions - 'Is biblical Christianity finished, or does it still speak to the 21st century?' Take a look at my ebook or paperback, 'DAWKINS' DILEMMAS' to see how Richard Dawkins' atheistic belief cannot support itself, either as philosphy or science. Use the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Dawkins-Dilemmas-Deluded-question-ebook/dp/B007RFLYI8/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_t_2 My title, 'Darwin's Puzzle - Unravelling the Riddle of Reason' discusses how the evolutionary beliefs of Charles Darwin destroy human reason. He admits this when he says he inherited his thinking from monkeys. And try this link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007ZE34GG Use my books and articles to help you find faith in Christ, or to strengthen your faith. Also find titles on other websites - Thank you! Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_J._S._Austin,_Ph.D. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7223665


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