Saturday, 13 August 2016

Evolutionary Paradox: Why Be Good Without God?

Darwin did not teach us to be good.

Joel Kontinen

Animals often eat others instead of helping them, though we can occasionally see glimpses of a very different kind of world that reminds us of the Garden of Eden.

Seen against this background, doing good to others does not make much evolutionary sense in a world that is supposed to be red in tooth and claw.

Yet, not even the most ardent atheist can deny that many good things do happen in our evil world where we see the consequences of the Fall.

At least some people are altruistic even though they don’t get a reward for their unselfish deeds.

Recently, New Science published a series of articles on human rights, dignity and altruism from a Darwinian perspective. The magazine acknowledged that the evolutionary world is indeed a bleak one:

EVER since Darwin, some people have warned that social ills would soon follow the idea that humans are no more than a particular species of ape. If there’s nothing special about us, why should we treat people any better than we do other animals?”

Then the writer attempts to solve this puzzle:

“Our sense of morality appears to have been hardwired into us by evolution.”

But this is only true if Darwinian evolution is true. And the evidence against evolution seems to be growing almost daily.

New Scientist acknowledges:

New research suggests that those who have a strictly biological definition of humans are subtly less supportive of human rights, although it doesn’t claim they are any more likely to treat others badly … But if this preliminary result is upheld by further research, it will come as an unwelcome shock to scientific materialists.”

Atheists often claim that they can be good without God, but they tend to forget that Christian morality and ethics have had a real impact on European values for two millennia.

In other words, their rich Christian heritage prompts them to do good.

Jesus gave us the perfect illustration of altruism. He came to atone for the sins of fallen mankind and paid the ultimate price – His own life, of His free will, because He wanted us to know what God is really like. Perfect and just, yet loving and compassionate.


Holmes, Bob. 2016. The kindness paradox: Why be generous? New Scientist (10 August).

New Scientist. 2016. We need a new secular approach to dignity (3 August).