Culture & Ethics Icon Culture & Ethics

An “Impersonal Universe” and Its Consequences

David Klinghoffer

Physicist Frank Tipler, as I noted earlier today, provocatively personalizes the Singularity, the beginning point or moment from which the universe burst forth, from nothing to something, at the Big Bang. The Singularity, he says, is “A supernatural being that created the universe out of nothing.” The consequences of personalizing the origin of everything are of course profound, and so are the consequences of de-personalizing it. Watch this fascinating recent conversation with Center for Science & Culture historian Richard Weikart:

Dr. Weikart, author of The Death of Humanity among other books, spoke with Peter Saunders about “Darwin, Hitler, and the Modern Devaluation of Human Life.” He cuts to the heart of the materialist conception of reality: “Once you buy into that kind of an idea, that humans are just an accidental product of an impersonal universe, then it’s hard to see how human life would have any kind of value.” Given any strictly materialist understanding of origins, ideas like the sanctity of human life or human exceptionalism are necessarily shredded. The more candid Darwinists, admittedly a minority, have understood and conceded this.

While atheists and others who deny the existence of a design behind nature “at some level know that human life has value,” their way of thinking undercuts that knowledge. You see the outcome of this in contemporary discussions of euthanasia, abortion, even “post-birth abortion” aka infanticide that our chilly culture increasingly embraces, not only as morally acceptable but worthy of government funding.