The Question of Evil: Libertarian, Darwinian and Biblical Perspectives

In an opinion piece entitled, "Are We Rome Yet?" Libertarian John Stossel writes that a group of libertarians gathered in Las Vegas recently for an event called "FreedomFest" during which they debated whether America will soon fall as Rome did.  (Stossel,  July 31, 2013,

Matt Kibbe for example---president of the tea party group FreedomWorks---commented on the ominous parallels between modern America and Rome:

"The parallels are quite ominous -- the debt, the expansionist foreign policy, the arrogance of executive power taking over our country... But I do think we have a chance to stop it."

Libertarians are motivated by the question of evil: why does it exist and what can be done about it. 

 They believe that through movements like the tea party, libertarian philosophy and events like FreedomFest that hopefully alert people to the danger in imperial Washington and try to fight it that they can wake up the public.   This is our only  hope, said Stossel.

Despite that some Christians embrace Libertarianism, at bottom it is a form of materialist atheism that with Freud believes the supernatural Triune God is an illusion since all that exists is matter in motion, so by extension, man is not fallen, is capable of perfecting himself and evil arises from unjust social institutions, moral laws, sexual ethics, and all other restraints on autonomous man's freedoms.  

Ayn Rand is one of Libertarianism's most influential thinkers and is therefore representative of the Libertarian worldview.   Rand was an egocentric atheist whose philosophy called Objectivism combined elements from Aristotelian rationalism (knowledge begins in the senses), Nietzschean 'superman' atheism, Adam Smith's capitalism, Sigmund Freud's materialist-based illusionism (God is an illusion caused by movement of chemicals in the brain) and hedonistic egoism.  

Rand declared that life spontaneously generated and/or created itself from eternally existing matter in much the same way as the Egyptian Sun-God Ra created himself from eternally existing primordial waters (matter).  For Rand then, the god she has raised up over the earth,

"...this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy, and peace and pride (is in) one word: I."  (For the New Intellectual, p. 65)

Rand populated her novels with morally and intellectually perfected heroic men and women (supermen) who by their own great intelligence, courage and independence changed the face of the earth.   Following this line of egoistic reasoning, heroic Libertarians such as Stossel and Kibbe believe that if they deliver the "right" knowledge to sleeping Americans they will "wake up" to their dangers and fight back.  

This line of reasoning makes sense only if self-created man is basically good (not fallen) and his capacity for self-redemption comes from right knowledge and unfettered liberty to do whatever he wants so long as it doesn't harm anyone.   By extension of this way of reasoning, right and wrong are determined by a majority of people.  This is moral relativism, a type of nihilism wherein the eternally unchanging Triune God does not exist and life has no higher, fixed meaning or purpose with neither hope of an afterlife nor any accountability to his Maker for his actions here in this world, therefore,  since men no longer have reason and purpose for being good, they are free to be bad.  

This is where Libertarianism falls apart.  Where there is no fixed meaning, purpose, ultimate accountability and no restraining influence of Biblical morality, Libertarianism quickly devolves into the evils of Anarchy, which then quickly leads to yet more evil, the necessity for Caesar-- totalitarianism.

Over on the conservative Free Republic website a fan of Thomas Malthus and Darwin offered his self-described "humble opinion" and implied prescription to the concerns raised by Libertarians.   He begins by saying that though we like to believe otherwise, our evolved species isn't that long "out of the trees" and the same laws of nature that affect all of God’s creatures apply equally to us, meaning that when species, especially the genetically inferior, are allowed to reproduce without limitations there will be dire  consequences.

With respect to the genetically inferior---the weak, lazy and stupid according to the Darwinian---when they are allowed to reproduce unimpeded they soon outnumber the genetically superior---the strong, productive, and intelligent---and when the genetically inferior dominate the gene pool, the entire population becomes "weak/ lazy/stupid, and then the population collapses."

According to the Darwinian, in the past when these collapses occurred they were referred to as a “Malthusian Collapse.” Though Malthus, a Nineteenth Century Economist, never really pinned down the exact reason for these collapses, it is now thought that they occur whenever the genetically inferior greatly outnumber the genetically superior and being too lazy to perform the work necessary to provide for themselves, what's left of the genetically superior refuse to continue to do it for them.

Here we have another egocentric atheist philosophy that combines elements from Aristotelian rationalism (knowledge begins in the senses), Malthusian population control schemes, Nietzschean 'superman' atheism, both Darwin's materialist evolutionary conception and a spiritual 'pantheist' conception. 

Darwin was a physical materialist, which means that all that exists is physical matter and evolutionary energies (elemental spirits) acting on matter, thus the supernatural Triune God, heaven, hell, demons, angels, soul/spirit do not and cannot exist.

But the mention of a God bespeaks a nonphysical or spiritual evolutionary conception such as Teilhard de Chardin’s quasi-Hindu pantheist idea which has a god-force emerging from spontaneously generated matter, making all matter spiritual and divine rather than merely physical, while evolutionary energies become living, conscious self-directed forces like the Force of Star Wars.

The Darwinist turns out to be an evolutionary theist whose god is a Gnostic Manichean demiurge, a pathetically limited, demonic deity that is the deterministic cause of all evil---death, suffering, and of course of unfit, weak, stupid life forms.

But in the Darwinists Gnostic tale of good versus evil all is not lost as the divine living Force otherwise known as “laws of nature” selected (predestined) a few highly evolved human beings and setting them apart from the rest of the genetically lazy, stupid herd (forces of corruption/evil) endowed the small, select brotherhood of heroes with the super genes of strength, courage, intelligence and great wisdom.

It is up to the band of heroes to defeat evil and its' genetic spawn by way of abortion (of the unfit, unwanted), euthanasia (of worthless human vegetables), eugenics (careful breeding of the genetically superior), and the Final Solution: famine and genocide---mass murder of the genetically unfit.

The Gnostic Manichean Marxist Communists put this plan in motion and liquidated 60,000,000+ unfit human weeds, dinosaurs, and other useless eaters while Hitler's Socialists accounted for about 30,000,000 more.

While the Libertarian and Darwinian answer to evil boils down to, "the devil made me do it," God's Word charges out of the gate with the vastly uncomfortable, entirely offensive words,

"There is not a righteous man, not even one..." Romans 3:10

Romans 3:10 is eloquently expressed by Alexander Solzhenitsyn in his response to the Gnostic Manichean view of good and evil held by Marxist Communists:

"The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being." (The Deadliest Monster, J.F. Baldwin, p. 58)

The brilliant psychotherapist Victor Frankl, who survived Auschwitz and all the horrors of Nazi death camps saw human nature at its best and worst.  In a paraphrase of  Romans 3:10 he said,

"After all, man is that being who has invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who has entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord's Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips." (ibid)

The checks and balances within the power structure of our government's judicial, legislative, and administrative branches is due to Madison's conviction that all men are by nature children of wrath (Eph. 2:3) bent inward on themselves and if given half the chance, will further their own interests at the expense of others.   While Libertarians, Darwinists and other atheists call this a backwards, superstitious, and pessimistic view of man, Madison thought it was a very realistic view of the human condition.  

Commenting on man's fallen condition, his kindly Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde sides, Blaise Pascal said,

"What sort of freak then is man!  How novel, how monstrous, how chaotic, how paradoxical, how prodigious!  Judge of all things, feeble earthworm, repository of truth, sink of doubt and error, glory and refuse of the universe!.....Certainly nothing jolts us more rudely than this doctrine (inherent sinfulness), and yet, but for this mystery, we remain incomprehensible to ourselves." (ibid, pp. 58-59)

 Men can be both bestial and heroic.  Even little children recognize this, according to psychologist Bruno Bettelheim:

"There is a widespread refusal to let children know that the source of much that goes wrong in life is due to our very own natures---the propensity of all men for acting aggressively, asocially, selfishly, out of anger and anxiety.  Instead, we want our children to believe that, inherently, all men age good.  But children know that they are not always good, and often, even when they are (bad), they would prefer not to be.   This contradicts what they are told by their parents and therefore makes the child a monster in his own eyes." (ibid, p. 59)

Libertarianism, Darwinism, and all other atheist philosophies are forms of nihilism unable to account either for life or the being of man, and because they are morally relative, they are unable to address the issue of evil without making everything much worse.

We will remain incomprehensible to ourselves and unable to understand why things are going so very wrong here in America unless we turn back to our Divine Creator, the ultimate Source of Life, Truth, Moral Law and man's being.   We must return with the understanding and acceptance of our fallen nature because as Pascal said, unless we know ourselves,

" be full of pride, ambition, concupiscence, weakness, wretchedness and unrighteousness, we are truly blind." (ibid, p. 60)

@Linda Kimball