One of the charges raised against Christian in recent years is that they are ‘imposing’ their morality on the rest of the community. The most obvious response – morality has got to come from somewhere – is an important point to make, but there is a deeper issue that we need to explore: in reality there is a metaphysical basis to their arguments – they just don’t want to recognise it as such.
This is most obvious in the abortion debate. It only makes sense to argue that a woman has ‘the right to choose’ if the foetus within her is not a human being with rights. Much ink is spilt by secularists trying to avoid this logic – invocations of ‘science’ being a favourite ploy; certainly the claim that a baby is not dependent on the mother but the foetus is collapses into an argument in favour of infanticide as the Romans practised it, leaving new borns to die on hill sides when they weren’t wanted (there’s an American moral philosopher who proposes this as legitimate – he lives in fear of his life). Similarly the opposition of feminists to gender selective abortions proves that they don’t REALLY believe that foetuses have no rights.
A similar metaphysical argument is present in the debate over pornography. It is highly ironic that the feminists have now lined up with the church in opposing porn; the anti-Christian sixties regarded its prevalence as a sign of freedom; now however the zeitgeist has come to recognise that the treatment of people as objects to be appreciated for their external appearance is deeply flawed. Yet hiding in that argument is the claim that people are more than just their outward presence and what they can do, which is a metaphysical argument.
An interesting outworking of this argument is that given that the founding ideological text of the USA (the declaration of independence) argues that human rights are given by ‘the creator’, atheists should not be serving the American armed forces since they will not be fighting for ‘America’!
As ever, we Christians need to learn to THINK; that we routinely fail to do so is a culpable failure to obey ‘Love the Lord with all your… mind’. There is an answer to the intellectual issues that are irritating us – let’s make the effort to engage and not just run away.