The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” (Psalm 2:2-3)
I followed David Horowitz on Chris Arnzen’s “Iron Sharpening Iron Show” on August 14, 2019. Horowitz was interviewed about his book Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America. Horowitz is an agnostic. The book has been endorsed by Mike Huckabee, fellow-agnostic Alan Dershowitz, Tucker Carlson, and Gary Bauer.
It’s a helpful book. It exposes the intolerance of the atheistic Left. Why should they be tolerant of anyone or anything? There are no absolute moral rules. There’s no way to account for morality in a cosmos where there is no God. Horowitz and Dershowitz are living off Christian moral capital.
Atheism assumes and is dependent upon evolution. Evolution is the survival of the fittest, and in human evolutionary history, the survival of those who hold the most power. Who’s to say Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Josef Stalin were morally depraved? There’s nothing within either agnosticism or atheism to account for morality. It’s obvious by the mass shootings that we’ve seen that the perpetrators of these killings have no fear of God or judgment. Why should they? They’ve been told repeatedly that there is no God to judge them.
Any person who utters a moral injunction is most often met with, “By what standard?,” “Who says?, and “Who are you to impose your morality on me?” The late Yale Law professor Arthur Leff (1935–1981) explains the problem:
[I]f we are looking for an evaluation, we must actually be looking for an evaluator: some machine for the generation of judgments on states of affairs. If the evaluation is to be beyond question, then the evaluator and its evaluative processes must be similarly insulated. If it is to fulfil its role, the evaluator must be the unjudged judge, the unruled legislator, the premise maker who rests on no premises, the uncreated creator of values…. We are never going to get anywhere (assuming for the moment that there is somewhere to get) in ethical or legal theory unless we finally face the fact that, in the Psalmist’s words, there is no one like unto the Lord… [Ps. 86:8]. The so-called death of God turns out not to have been His funeral; it also seems to have affected the total elimination of any coherent, or even more-than-momentarily convincing, ethical or legal system dependent upon final authoritative, extra-systemic premises.1
What is the secularist’s answer? How does the modernist create a moral center in the Darwinian struggle for life? The usual answer is “by doing good” that benefits the species. Being kind, for example, has a good result. But is this always true? Who gets to define “good result”? The claim is made “that a variety of widely accepted norms, including the keeping of certain promises, the abhorrence of unjustified killing of human beings, and perhaps even the sanctity of property rights, promote the adaptation of the human species to its environment. But so does genocide.”2
All the “great” tyrants claimed that what they were doing was for the betterment of mankind. To Hitler, Jews were a world problem. Mass sterilization was first considered, then more efficient and quicker methods were proposed and carried out to rid the world of the “Jewish problem.” But in the end, it was all done for the “good of society.” Islam works in a similar way.
For a chilling reenactment of the Jewish extermination plan, see the HBO film Conspiracy: The Meeting at Wannsee, starring Stanley Tucci, Colin Firth, and David Threlfall. The two-hour meeting on January 20, 1942, essentially sealed the fate of Jews in Europe. The approach taken by the thirty German bureaucrats was medicinal, a straightforward outline on how to solve the Jewish problem without ever using the words “kill” or “exterminate.”
The law as it existed in Germany at the time was followed, giving them proper legal cover and justification for their actions. The date of the meeting nearly coincides with the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 (January 22) which has had a more ominous effect. Safe to say that more than six million Jewish babies have been killed legally through abortion since 1973.
While Leff did a masterful job in analyzing the problem, he offered no solution: “All I can say is this. It looks as if we are all we have. Given what we know about ourselves and each other, this is an extraordinarily unappetizing prospect; looking around the world, it appears that if all men are brothers, the ruling model is Cain and Abel. Neither reason nor love, nor even terror, seems to have worked to make us ‘good,’ and worse than that, there is no reason why anything should…. As things now stand, everything is up for grabs” (1249).
Nevertheless,” as Leff continues, he cannot distance himself from a series of moral absolutes that he cannot account for in a matter-only world:
Napalming babies is bad.
Starving the poor is wicked.
Buying and sell each other is depraved.
Those who stood up to and died resisting Hitler, Stalin, [Idi] Amin, and Pol Pot—and General Custer too—have earned salvation.
Those who acquiesced deserve to be damned. There is in the world such a thing as evil.
[All together now.] Sez who?
God help us.
Exactly! As the unbelieving world becomes more consistent with its secularized worldview, there won’t be a way to evaluate anything the State does to maintain its power and authority.
In sum, Leff’s analysis is that apart from grounding in God’s will, there is no ultimately unassailable ethical proposition. But Leff did not “clarify the special status of God as the foundation of an ethical … system” so that he could then “discuss whether or not [God] exists and can ground such a system for US. Rather, Leff’s purpose was to “push … [our] face” into the terrifying reality that our society has at its core “a bare, black void … the total absence of any defensible moral position on, under, or about anything.3
This is the darkest of all agendas.
- Arthur Leff, “Unspeakable Ethics, Unnatural Law,” Duke Law Journal (1979), 1229–49. [↩]
- Richard Posner, The Problems of Jurisprudence (Boston: Harvard University Press, 1990), 235–236. Quoted in Phillip E. Johnson, “The Modernist Impasse in Law,” God and Culture: Essays in Honor of Carl F. H. Henry, D.A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge, eds. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1993), 184. [↩]
- Samuel W. Calhoun, Grounding Normative Assertions: Arthur Leff’s Still Irrefutable, But Incomplete, “Sez Who?” Critique, 20 J. L. & Religion 31 (2004-2005), 37-38. [↩]