Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bumper Sticker Philosophy [Megan]

College campuses are like great big idea generators — lots of different ideas swirling around and giving birth to new ideas.
One of the best places to see the ideas being churned out is in a campus parking lot — namely on the backs of the vehicles in those parking lots...the ones covered with bumper stickers. And by comparing the bumper stickers adorning a single vehicle, one can discern whether or not the vehicle's owner is a careful thinker. A recent trip to the University of Georgia campus made this evident.
Case and point: the first sticker that caught my eye on one sticker-clad red sedan was a parody of the Christian fish symbol — inside the fish was "DARWIN," and the fish had stick feet. Just to the right of that sticker were two others (one placed just above the other) that respectively read, "Fight racism" and "Pro-choice." Uh-oh.
The owner of the red sedan was clearly not majoring in metaphysics. If she was — I'm guessing it was a "she" because of the nature of the remaining stickers — she might have picked up on some of the conflicts beneath the surface.
For starters, the "Darwin fish" showed her hand — she was undergirding her ideas with a naturalistic worldview. (Note: Naturalism asserts that reality can be explained by purely natural means — nothing beyond the physical world allowed.)
Not only that, the sticker — poking fun at the Christian fish symbol — implied that she believed her worldview is better than others. But "better than" depends on an unseen scale of goodness. Naturalism cannot account for goodness, much less better than. According to her worldview, ideas are just the inevitable result of bombarding particles. So ideas can be different, but none can be better than others.
The same problem extends to the views implied by the other stickers — including "Fight racism" and "Pro-choice." The best she can do is say she prefers those views to others, but she cannot explain why they are "better," or why one ought to hold them.
Furthermore, there is a gaping inconsistency between those two views. "Fight racism" implies that she thinks it is wrong to discriminate based on physical appearance — skin color, for instance. I agree.
But "Pro-choice," the view that advocates abortion, asserts that discrimination is okay on grounds of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency (SLED). Those are the only real differences between the embryo you once were and the adult you are today, and none of them are grounds for declaring embryos less human, less valuable, or less deserving of life than their born counterparts. As we teach at LTI, the unborn are unquestionably human — science has settled that for us. And human beings are intrinsically valuable — valuable just in light of being human, made in the image of God.
Ideas are powerful things, especially as they give birth to other ideas. Ideas that flow from a single falsity can be dangerous, which is evident in the web of beliefs — and actions — that flow from the single thought, "The unborn are not human."
Ideas that are grounded in the Christian worldview, however, harmonize in a way that is good, true and beautiful. They make sense of reality. As C.S. Lewis concluded, "I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else."


  1. The girl with the red sedan...she doesn't really care about anything outside of her own desires...and especially anything a pro-lifer might say.

  2. Another amusing contradiction is that a strict Darwinist would have to admit that Darwin would have had to have been staunchly against abortion in order to be consistent with his own theory. According to his theory of evolution, the greatest good any species can accomplish is procreation and from that the further survival of one's own species. However, abortion is the exact opposite of this.


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