Atoms and Animals
Reflecting on a student riot at the SIU Carbondale, IL, campus which made news, there is
cause to wonder why those who broke windows and generally caused havoc in the
community acted in such an unruly way. University students obviously have the best
opportunity to secure educational and vocational success not generally possible for the
average young person. Why would anyone in that position want to jeopardize an entire
future of opportunity for a season of animal-like behavior?
Could it be that a fundamental answer lies in the university curriculum itself? No one can
dispute the underlying philosophy of higher learning today starts from the viewpoint of a
meaningless, aimless universe. That is, everything is merely a product of blind chance --
whether an atom or an animal -- they are equally meaningless with no reason for being or
not being. Certainly humans are, according to this philosophy, highly developed animals
-- but nonetheless have no more purpose or meaning than atoms since everything in the
universe just happened by pure chance.
Consequently, when university students riot are they not acting logically on what they
have been taught? They rightly reason that if they are merely animals why not act the
part? Human laws based on ethics and morals, according to the prevailing philosophy,
are only artificial constructs which have no more meaning than the atoms and animals
they are meant to govern. So students rightly question why they need to keep the law.
Blind chance can never and will never form the basis of any moral or ethical behavior.
This comes only when there is meaning and purpose deduced from an ordered universe
which bears the fingerprint of God.
Solomon put it well, The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. The residents of
Carbondale would certainly be better off with this kind of philosophy in the university.
At least, there would be a lot fewer broken windows!