Reason Honestly with Purpose
Science and society cannot exist without moral values. Use them; you were born with the capacity to apprehend them.
Babies have logical reasoning before age one, Science Daily says. “Deductive problem solving was previously thought to be beyond the reach of infants,” but now scientists at Emory University have demonstrated with puppets that infants have the innate ability to reason things out. This challenges decades of psychological theory. It adds to the known capabilities children possess from earliest days.
“Everybody knows that babies learn rapidly, like little sponges that soak in incredible amounts of knowledge,” Lourenco says. “This findings tells us about how humans learn. If you can reason deductively, you can make generalizations without having to experience the world directly. This ability could be a crucial tool for making sense of the social relationships around us, and perhaps complex non-social interactions.”
Where did this ability come from? One of the psychologists gives a BAD answer:
“It’s remarkable that the infants could make these inferences about social dominance with minimal presentation,” Gazes says. “It suggests an early emerging, and perhaps evolutionary ancient ability, that is shared with other animals.”
But we don’t see animals engaging in logical reasoning, so on what basis does he say that? What mutation would cause logical reasoning to “emerge”? (See “poof spoof” in the Darwin Dictionary.) We all know we are exceptional in this regard, but why?
Honesty varies significantly between countries, another article on Science Daily says. Psychologists in the article try to attribute the differences to economic factors of psychological mumbo-jumbo like “self-projection,” but we all know that we possess a conscience that we can choose to obey or disobey. The experiments done by psychologists from the University of East Anglia, however, might not reflect real-world situations. And they may not have reflected on the conundrum that publication of their results relied on their own honesty.
Corrupt village chiefs provoke disinterest in rural Liberian farmers, a report on PhysOrg says dismally. “A corrupt village chief in rural Liberia has a crippling effect on investments made by the farming community,” the article says. “However, if such a chief is entirely honest then this is reflected in his villagers’ willingness to invest and desire to work.” The problem is not resources; “On paper Liberia is a very rich country with a wealth of natural resources”—including diamond and gold mines, timber, and rubber plantations. The problem is human wickedness, that suppresses the conscience for selfish gain. King Solomon spoke of this: “Abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor,
But it is swept away by injustice” (Proverbs 13:23).
Sense of purpose makes molehills out of mountains (Medical Xpress). This article is about a psychologist who tested people’s attitudes about climbing a hill. “Having a purpose in life can make an uphill climb seem like a walk in the park,” it begins. “A Cornell developmental psychologist in an outdoor laboratory has found that people with a sense of purpose are more likely to perceive a steep hill as easier to climb.” Before testing participants, he asked them questions about their long-term purpose in life. “Purpose was defined as an intention that will benefit one’s self as well as others that does not have a end-point,” for purposes of the study. But where does purpose come from? In Darwin’s world of natural selection acting on selfish instincts, there should be no “intention that will benefit one’s self as well as others” for the long haul. Intention is the activity of a mind, because it can go against natural instincts. Salmon will leap waterfalls to reach their spawning grounds, but they cannot do otherwise; they cannot think, “Let’s reason about this and find a better solution.” They are driven by programmed responses to stimuli. Purpose, by contrast, can envision and create a distant goal, like becoming a neurosurgeon, and make choices to overcome obstacles against all natural inclinations in order to accomplish it.
The Bible is full of purpose, starting with the Creator Himself. “The Lord has made everything for its own purpose,” Proverbs 16:4 says. Since the fall of man, humans can have evil purposes as well as noble purposes. The wicked lay snares for “an evil purpose” Psalm 64:5 says, but Daniel and his three friends “purposed in their heart not to defile themselves” with the Babylonian king’s food—even though it threatened their survival to disobey his wishes. That’s hardly a choice natural selection could explain. In II Corinthians 9:7, Paul urged the saints to give as each one purposed in his heart. They didn’t just follow the herd instinct; each individual could choose. The heart (mind) is where purpose originates, not instinct.
All Together Now
Reason, honesty, and purpose. Try to imagine science without all three of these. Without reason, a scientist could invent utter poppycock. Without honesty, one could never trust a thing he or she says. And without purpose, a scientist would simply follow natural instincts for the pursuit of pleasure or the avoidance of pain.
Try to imagine society without these qualities. To the extent a society loses any one of them, it declines, collapses, or becomes wicked. Evil purposes (like conquest or personal gain) can make a corrupt ruler reason his way toward a goal, but he will likely deceive others to achieve it, and the society, like the Liberian farmers, will lose incentive to maintain the social order except under threats. Without honesty, no one can trust anyone else, and it becomes a war of all against all. Without reason, humans become like mere beasts.
Here’s the point: reason, honesty and purpose are spiritual qualities. They are not made of particles. They do not evolve. They must be rooted in concepts that transcend the physical universe, anchored in solid foundations. Science depends on them.
This is why everybody who uses reason on purpose in an honest way is a supernaturalist, whether or not he claims to be an atheist or evolutionist. The Bible points to a righteous, dependable God of reason who has a master plan and purpose for the entire creation. We are successful only to the extent we hear Him and obey Him. Materialist science is a contradiction in terms.
Have you found a purpose for your life? Follow the map.