Nihilism: The Unreality of Your Existence

In "Animal Rights/Bioethics/Transhumanism to Converge at Yale," Wesley J. Smith reports that animal rights groups together with mainstream bioethics, and the transhumanist movements are united by the desire to destroy society’s belief in the unique value of human life:

"Animal rightists in order to create moral equality between us and fauna; transhumanists because they are a eugenics movement and believe they have to knock humans off the pedestal of exceptionalism as a predicate to engaging in biological recreationism; and mainstream bioethics would make membership in the human species morally irrelevant to allow the utilitarian exploitation of some of us as a natural resource (among other reasons)." (Smith,, 4/12/2013)

These allies are coming together in a big conference at Yale in December, co-sponsored by the animal rights group Nonhuman Rights Project, the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, and  the Yale Animal Ethics Group.   Smith writes that the event will focus on personhood for nonhumans,

"...including great apes, cetaceans, and elephants, and will explore the evolving notions of personhood by analyzing them through the frameworks of neuroscience, behavioral science, philosophy, ethics, and law....Special consideration will be given to discussions of nonhuman animal personhood...and ways to protect animal interests through the establishment of legal precedents and by increasing public awareness." 

A rising tide of anti humanism is pouring out of the academy and radical think tanks like a pyroclastic flow, and if we are not careful,  said Smith,

" will destroy the universal human equality backbone of Western Civilization just as surely as Vesuvius did Pompeii." 

Although the terms "transhumanism"  "anti-humanism" and "personhood for nonhumans"  seem freakish and of no importance to most people, these movements are politically powerful, both nationally and internationally, as well as  extraordinarily well-funded.

Nor do the majority of people see how these movements actually go back many millennia in history, pre-dating the first Pre-Socratic philosophers and Gnostic cults, and are grounded ultimately in ancient anti-human (nihilist) naturalistic cosmogonies and dogmas dating from 5000 B.C. at least.    All are forms of pagan and mystical pantheist monism that deny man's soul/spirit (the seat of personality), lack an ultimate source for life, and invert and destroy supernatural Christian theism beginning with the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo. 

The idea that matter is eternal is a pattern of thought stretching back to the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, and Greeks in the West and in the East to the Upanishads. 

With Greek nature sages such as the Atomists, matter (atoms) is a more or less physical substance that bumps around in a void.  With Upanishads, Prakriti substance (matter) is energy called Universal Mind or Soul.  Either way, matter is not personal. It cannot produce life and  being (soul/spirit), nor can it think, speak, or move.  It is neither male nor female.   As a result, the human soul is not created in the image of anything, making man a walking dead body that somehow speaks.

With great mastery, Ravi Zacharias illustrates this point in his book, "The Lotus and the Cross: Jesus Talks with Buddha."  Through captivating dialogue between Jesus Christ and Buddha we learn that when God the Son and Buddha, the man worshipped as a god, talk about 'self' (soul/spirit, seat of personality) they mean something entirely different.   Jesus loves the soul:

"The essence of the human is not the body, but the soul.  It is the soul alone that God made in his own image and the soul that he loves....For the sake of the soul...the Son of God came into the world...." (Incomplete Work on Matthew, Homily 25, Ancient Christian Devotional, Oden and Crosby, p. 153)

 Buddha however, sees man's individual soul as the primary source of suffering:

Jesus to Buddha,   "You seek to solve the problem of suffering, and in order to solve it, you say that the self doesn't took God away from them (and) your espousal of an absence of self is the most unique and fearsome claim you made...First, you told them there is no God. Then you told them there is no self.  You also told them there is no one to pray to.  You told them there is no evil one to fear. You told them everything is only within themselves, even though those selves do not exist...You gave them scores of rules to live by (a great debt)....You told them you would cease to be, and, when they have paid (their debt), they will cease to be."    (The Lotus and the Cross: Jesus Talks with Buddha, Ravi Zacharias, pp.59, 60, 67, 70)

Vishal Mangalwadi, India's greatest Christian scholar concurs:

"Six centuries before Jesus Christ, the Buddha already knew that if God does not exist, then the human self cannot exist either......Therefore, he deconstructed the Hindu idea of the soul. When one starts peeling the onion skin of one's psyche, he discovers that there is no solid core at the center of one's being. Your sense of self is an illusion. Reality is nonself (anatman). You don't exist. Liberation, the Buddha taught, is realizing the unreality of your existence." (The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization, Vishal Mangalwadi, p. 6)

In "The Pagan Temptation," Christian philosopher Thomas Molnar writes that for ancient nature sages in the centuries after Buddha as well as for their contemporary evolutionary monists (i.e., Hegel, Darwin, Blavatsky, Marx, Nietzsche, Teilhard, Joseph Smith and James H. Austin, emeritous professor of neurology at the University of Colorado) the thought that God assumed materiality is as distasteful,

" the idea of creation ex nihilo, which meant that matter too was God's creation and did not preexist creation as a separate and evil principle." (pp. 26-27)

In his book, "Zen and the Brain: Toward an Understanding of Meditation and Consciousness" James Austin elaborates an  840-page synthesis of brain research and anti-human  Zen Buddhism that serves as a bridge between Darwin's biological progressivism and the more spiritually oriented evolutionary conceptions of mystical pantheist thinkers such as the Hindu-style alchemist Teilhard de Chardin. (The Making of the New Spirituality: The Eclipse of the Western Religious Tradition, James A. Herrick, p. 141)  

  While faithful Christians adhere to the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo, the fact that Christ's birth was the result of a miraculous conception, that Mary was a virgin yet still conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18) modern nature sages in company with scientifically enlightened priests over and across the entire denominational spectrum reject creation ex nihilo and by extension the Incarnation and their own soul/spirits---whether wittingly or unwittingly--- in favor of evolutionary conceptions and pre-existing matter.

Dr. Albert Mohler illustrates the growing rejection of creation ex nihilo by evangelicals in "Total Capitulation: The Evangelical Surrender of Truth,"   In this example, Mohler reports that two so-called evangelicals, Karl W. Giberson and Randall J. Stephens,  brazenly accuse faithful evangelicals of “simplistic theology, cultural isolationism, and stubborn anti-intellectualism,” because they refuse to embrace evolution:

" They point specifically to the rejection of evolution, which they call “the rejection of science,” and then refer to this as “textbook evidence of an unyielding ignorance on the part of the religious.” (, October 25, 2011)

Over in the Roman Catholic Church, Teilhard's mystical pantheist alchemy is taught by nuns to children and evolutionary thinking accepted in general:

"....the evolution model states that life forms have changed through the ages; the word "evolve" simply means to change. Two scientists, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace, proposed the theory during the 19th century. Darwin amassed a tremendous amount of data, which indicated that many plants and animals that once lived on the Earth had become extinct or had changed through time to become the present-day forms. He described a process of change that he called "natural selection." Although some scientists were at first hesitant to accept Darwin's conclusions, evolution has become a cornerstone of science during the last century.   The view prevailing among most theologians today is that there is no conflict between the evolution model of the origin and development of life and the truths presented in the Book of Genesis...We can say simply, as Christians who learn from science, that God created the universe, which evolves as time goes on." (Evangelization Office, Diocese of Lake Charles, 1991, With Ecclesiastical   Approbation)

Though Wallace was a man of science he also believed in spiritualism because of his first-hand experiences of it.  He rejected Christianity and argued for evolution but of an altogether more enlightened, spiritual kind than Darwin's biological treatment. It was during a fit of fever that Wallace's theory suddenly came to him.   (Spiritualism and Science, Alfred Russell Wallace,, uk)

As for Darwin's philosophically materialist theory, which he received from his pagan grandfather Erasmus Darwin, Dr.Wolfgang Smith, physicist and mathematics professor at Oregon State University, has identified it as an anti-human Gnostic cosmogony:

"...As a scientific theory, Darwinism would have been jettisoned long ago. The point, however, is that the doctrine of evolution has swept the world, not on the strength of its scientific merits, but precisely in its capacity as a Gnostic myth. It affirms, in effect, that living things created themselves, which is in essence a metaphysical claim....Thus...evolutionism is a metaphysical doctrine decked out in scientific is a scientistic myth. And the myth is Gnostic, because it implicitly denies the transcendent origin of being; for indeed, only after the living creature has been speculatively reduced to an aggregate of particles does Darwinist transformism become conceivable. Darwinism, therefore, continues the ancient Gnostic practice of deprecating 'God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth.' It perpetuates...the venerable Gnostic tradition of 'Jehovah bashing.'" (From Old Gnosticism to New Age I, Alan Morrison, SCP Journal Vol. 28:4-29:1, 2005, pp. 30-31)

 In his book "Utopia: The Perennial Heresy," Dr. Thomas Molnar (1910-2010) notes that the two recurring themes of modern ideologies, nature religions and systems are monism and evolutionary conceptions. At the root of these two themes there is:

"... defiance of God, pride unlimited, a yearning for enormous power and the assumption of divine attributes with a view to manipulating and shaping mankind's fate."  (p. 227)

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Genesis 1:27, KJB

For fifteen hundred years, Christendom and then later Protestant America had followed St. Augustine (AD 354-430) in affirming that as all men are the spiritual image-bearers of the transcendent Triune God then it logically follows that each person is a trinity of being — of soul, spirit, and body.

But for over two hundred years,  ancient anti-human (nihilist) cosmogonies, philosophies and dogmas such as naturalism, monism and alchemy have been working their way through our culture, embedding themselves, often unconsciously, within our psyches, causing us to believe that we are less than nothing.  

Nihilism is spiritual, moral, and intellectual suicide, yet for the last two hundred years, Enlightenment humanists — rationalists, materialists, positivists, their modern naturalist counterparts such as occult New Agers and Trans-humanists together with scientifically enlightened priests have been moving the West and America closer and closer to Buddha's denial of the soul.

How did it come to this?   Jesus answers:

"Wherever the worship of the living God has been perverted, it has always been the result of a departure from my Word."   (The Lotus and the Cross, p. 74)

Without exception, every worldview  has a beginning. It must give an account of how the cosmos, life, consciousness and all other things came into being.  The answer determines what follows in the narrative.

The Bible begins with the declaration that “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). The doctrine of creation ex nihilo forms the starting point for our understanding of the cosmos, of who we are, what is wrong with us, and our need of a savior. 

The early Fathers regarded Genesis, especially the first three chapters, as Divinely inspired text that tells of actual, historical events and people.  St. Cyril of Alexandria, for example, wrote that Genesis is Divinely inspired and cannot be apprehended rightly without respect for its’ historical meaning:

Those who reject the historical meaning in the God-inspired Scriptures as something obsolete are avoiding the ability to apprehend rightly, according to the proper manner, the things written in them…whenever some historical events are presented to us by the Holy Scriptures (a) useful search into the historical meaning is appropriate, in order that the God-inspired Scripture be revealed as salvific and beneficial to us in every way.” (St. Cyril, “Commentary on the Prophet Isaiah 1,4, PG 70, 192AB)

The Bible rejects the ancient anti-human idea of pre-existing matter, evolutionary change over vast periods of time and all forms of  pagan, mystical pantheist, and polytheist monism, leaving the living, supernatural God of the Bible as the sole explanatory principle of the universe.  

On these truths we must take our stand lest we destroy ourselves after the fashion of transhumanists.    By their own choice they are annihilating themselves, thereby serving as a stark and terrible example of the failure of man, not the living God.

@Linda Kimball