I wrote this back in 2014, but the concepts are timeless so, enjoy.
American psychotherapist Perry London (author of Behavior Control) admitted that, if man is a machine (and he believed we are), it is meaningless to speak of good and evil or moral responsibility. We are no more than computers on legs that procreate and we don’t accuse computers of criminal behavior. If man is no more than a complex physical organism, a relative of the rat and whale, why do we hold men responsible for their actions as if any of us were moral agents? London argued that good, evil and moral responsibility are imaginary, but he also recognized that we seem to need those concepts to live meaningfully. He then went on to suggest ways of programming people to create a better society.
Yeah, by his own admission, better is a meaningless term in his philosophy, but let’s think about his theory for a moment. All human societies have a common factor in seeing good and evil as distinct and people as moral agents. Yet, in the western world today, we see the terrible fruit of a philosophy that denies a distinction between good and evil. In our society it’s deemed okay to slaughter unborn babies. While we recognize the horror of, say, the Cambodian killing fields, we don’t recognize that we are not far off from them.
“Where the insane reversal of value lies is in the belief that notions like “purity” or “corruption” can have any meaning outside an absolute system of values: one that is resistant to the tinkering at will by governments or revolutionary groups. The Cambodian revolution in its own degraded “purity,” has demonstrated what happens when the Marxian denial of moral absolutes is taken with total seriousness by its adherents. Pol Pot and his friends decide what good is, what bad is, and how many corpses must pile up before this rapacious demon of “purity” is appeased.
In the West today, there is a pervasive consent to the notion of moral relativism, a reluctance to admit that absolute evil can and does exit. This makes it especially difficult for some to accept the fact that the Cambodian experience is something far worse than a revolutionary aberration. Rather, it is the deadly logical consequence of an atheistic, man-centred system of values, enforced by fallible human beings with total power, who believe, with Marx, that morality is whatever the powerful define it to be and, with Mao, that power grows from gun barrels. By no coincidence the most humane Marxist societies in Europe today are those that, like Poland and Hungary, permit the dilution of their doctrine by what Solzhenitsyn has called “the great reserves of mercy and sacrifice” from a Christian tradition. (D. Aikman “Cambodia: An experiment in Genocide” TIME, July 31, 1978, pp 39-40)”
That passage was written only 35 years ago, yet we in the West now regularly denigrate the sentiment that Christianity might prevent genocide while increasingly in America, thinkers pretend to have forgotten the fairly recent fruit of atheistic Marxism. Christians are told we should be embarrassed by the doctrine of judgment, that our acceptance of the notion of good and evil is naïve or foolish.
On the contrary, Christianity should rejoice in the doctrine of judgment as one of the glories of the faith. All people feel in their hearts that some things are right and some are wrong, even though we may be unable to explain why we feel that way. The Christian can say with confidence that there is a difference and we can identify it.
We should not be reluctant to admit that real evil exists. God’s character is one of perfect goodness, justice and holiness and defines for us what is good and right. All behavior must be measured against His character. The law of God is written on the heart, but the heart can become confused or hardened, either by cultural traditions or an individual’s sinful choices. All men’s ideas can be checked against God’s character and law. The Christian stands on firm ground when confronted with the immorality of those in power … whether they be elected in a democracy, wielding authority in a dictatorship or expressing their will as the 51% majority of a western society where morality changes with the consensus of the day.