The naturalist, if he is true to his principles, must ultimately conclude that humanity is a freak accident without any purpose or real importance. Naturalism is therefore a formula for futility and meaninglessness, erasing the image of God from our race's collective self-image, depreciating the value of human life, undermining human dignity, and subverting morality.
The drift of modern society proves the point. We are witnessing the abandonment of moral standards and the loss of humanity's sense of destiny. Rampant crime, drug abuse, sexual perversion, rising suicide rates, and the abortion epidemic are all symptoms that human life is being systematically devalued and an utter sense of futility is sweeping over society. These trends are directly traceable to the ascent of evolutionary theory.
And why not? If evolution is true, humans are just one of many species that evolved from common ancestors. We're no better than animals, and we ought not to think that we are. If we evolved from sheer matter, why should we esteem what is spiritual? In fact, if everything evolved from matter, nothing "spiritual" is real. We ourselves are ultimately no better than or different from any other living species. We are nothing more than protoplasm waiting to become manure.
As a matter of fact, that is precisely the rationale behind the modern animal-rights movement, a movement whose raison d'être is the utter degradation of the human race. Naturally, all radical animal-rights advocates are evolutionists. Their belief system is an inevitable byproduct of evolutionary theory.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is well known for its stance that animal rights are equal to (or more important than) human rights. They maintain that killing any animal for food is the moral equivalent of murder; eating meat is virtually cannibalism; and man is a tyrant species, detrimental to his environment.
PETA opposes the keeping of pets and "companion animals"—including guide dogs for the blind. A 1988 statement distributed by the organization includes this: "As John Bryant has written in his book Fettered Kingdoms, [companion animals] are like slaves, even if well-kept slaves."
Ingrid Newkirk, PETA's controversial founder, says, "There is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. . . . A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy" (Cited in Katie McCabe, "Who Will Live and Who Will Die?" The Washingtonian, August, 1986, p. 114). Newkirk told a Washington Post reporter that the atrocities of Nazi Germany pale by comparison to the killing animals for food: "Six million Jews died in concentration camps, but six billion broiler chickens will die this year in slaughterhouses" (Cited in Chip Brown, "She's a Portrait of Zealotry in Plastic Shoes," Washington Post, 13 November 1983, B-10).
Clearly, Ms. Newkirk is more outraged by the killing of chickens for food than she is by the wholesale slaughter of human beings. One gets the impression she would not necessarily consider the extinction of humanity an undesirable thing. In fact, she and other animal-rights advocates often sound downright misanthropic. She told a reporter, "I don't have any reverence for life, only for the entities themselves. I would rather see a blank space where I am. This will sound like fruitcake stuff again but at least I wouldn't be harming anything" (Ibid.).
And the summer issue of Wild Earth magazine, a journal promoting radical environmentalism, included a manifesto for the extinction of the human race, written under the pseudonym "Les U. Knight." The article said, "If you haven't given voluntary human extinction much thought before, the idea of a world with no people in it may seem strange. But, if you give it a chance, I think you might agree that the extinction of Homo sapiens would mean survival for millions, if not billions, of Earth-dwelling species. . . . Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental" ("Voluntary Human Extinction," Wild Earth, Vol. 1, No. 2, 72).
That is worse than merely stupid, irrational, immoral, or humiliating; it is deadly.
But there's even an organization called The Church of Euthanasia. Their Web page advocates suicide, abortion, cannibalism, and sodomy as the main ways to decrease the human population. Although the Web page contains elements of parody deliberately designed for shock value (for example, they "advocate" cannibalism with the slogan "Eat people, not animals"—to make the point that in their view the act of eating any animal is the moral equivalent of cannibalism),the people behind it are deadly serious in their opposition to the continuance of the human race. They include detailed instructions for committing suicide.
The one commandment church members are required to obey is "Thou shalt not procreate." By deliberately making their views sound as outrageous as possible, they have received widespread coverage on talk shows and tabloid-style news programs. They take advantage of such publicity to recruit members for their cause. Despite their shocking message, they have evidently been able to persuade numerous people that the one species on earth that ought to be made extinct is humanity. Their Web site boasts that people in the thousands have paid the $10 membership fee to become "church members."
That sort of lunacy is rooted in the belief that humanity is simply the product of evolution—a mere animal with no purpose, no destiny, and no likeness to the Creator. After all, if we got where we are by a natural evolutionary process, there can be no validity whatsoever to the notion that our race bears the image of God. We ultimately have no more dignity than an amoeba. And we certainly have no mandate from the Almighty to subdue the rest of creation.
And if a human being is nothing more than an animal in the process of evolving, who can argue against the animal-rights movement? Even the most radical animal-rights position is justified in a naturalistic and evolutionary world-view. If we really evolved from animals, we are in fact just animals ourselves. And if evolution is correct, it is a sheer accident that man evolved a superior intellect. If random mutations had occurred differently, apes might be running the planet and humanoids would be in the zoo. What right do we have to exercise dominion over other species that have not yet had the opportunity to evolve to a more advanced state?
Indeed, if man is merely a product of natural evolutionary processes, then he is ultimately nothing more than the accidental byproduct of thousands of haphazard genetic mutations. He is just one more animal that evolved from amoeba, and he is probably not even the highest life-form that will eventually evolve. So what is special about him? Where is his meaning? Where is his dignity? Where is his value? What is his purpose? Obviously he has none.
It is only a matter of time before a society steeped in naturalistic belief fully embraces such thinking and casts off all moral and spiritual restraint. In fact, that process has begun already. If you doubt that, consider some of the televised debauchery aimed at the MTV/Jerry Springer generation.