Man the Supreme Jerk
by Bill Lockwood
Some have thought it an insult to be called a “jerk.” And yet, there are philosophers who pride themselves on their naturalistic philosophy of life which makes all of us “jerks.” Man’s body is jerked through space by forces operating upon matter. His thinking consists of twitches of the nerves, a jerking in the brain. Naturalism pronounces the very verdict, on its adherents, at which we had arrived, i.e. that the naturalists are nothing but a bunch of irresponsible jerks.
If one doubts this verdict, listen to Delos McKown, one-time head of the philosophy department at Auburn University. This is from his book Myth-Maker’s Magic, p. 31. “Moreover, the more we understand our brains by ‘chemicalizing’ their functions, the more the person is ‘biologized,’ and the greater our success in mapping the human genome, with its myriad markers of predilection and vulnerability, the more difficult it will be to see human beings as a little lower than the angels. A little higher than the animals, but of their kind, is more like it!
“Furthermore, some studies in neurophysiology indicate that our brains select among alternatives before delivering to consciousness intuitions of choice. If so, what of the vaunted ‘free will’ upon which so much of western religion, morality, and jurisprudence is based? With notions of deity held hostage to cosmology, with the alleged spark of divinity in us deeply doubted, and with free will at risk, what stock can be placed on intimations of immortality? Precious little, if any, it would seem.”
Of the many things that could be said about the above representative statement from a major university philosophical department, consider the following facts he says he believes: Man is nothing more than an animal. A “higher kind” they would say, but upon what basis will that determination be made? With these types of devaluing assessments, little wonder that so many young people at the university are confused. The Mind of Man is nothing more than “chemical” fluids acting by “physical” stimuli.
Is it not amazing that, in an apparent effort to reject a God-centered worldview, supposedly brilliant professors offer a position that completely undermines everything, including its own position? If this is the truth regarding thought and the mind of men, then “thought itself” is no different the salivation of a dog. It is solely the result of physical and chemical stimuli. To change one’s opinion, therefore, just physically bang that person on the head. Once again, man, the supreme jerk. Man has No Free Will if McKown is correct. The power of intelligent choice completely evaporates when one strives to eliminate God from his or her thinking. But anything that undermines everything has undermined itself.
Thankfully, the philosopher has it wrong. Man is not merely a “supreme jerk.” David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, praised God in Psalm 139, “For you [God] formed my inward parts.” “Inward parts” is translated in the KJV as “reins” but the idea is the “seat of feeling”—or moral sensitivity. Continuing, David writes, “You knitted me together in my mother’s womb, I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” How much more dignity has man when considered in light of his Maker’s revelation than viewed through the philosopher’s stone!