by Bill Nugent
In postmodern western civilization most people claim to be free thinkers yet are enslaved to the ideas of four men who rule the world from the grave. The four men are Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882), Karl Marx (1818 – 1883), Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) and Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939). These four men of the nineteenth century were the wrecking balls of western civilization. Their poisonous ideas challenged traditional Christian views and seduced Europe and America into a grand social experiment in unbelief.
What philosophers discuss over tea in one generation is taught in college in the next. A generation later it’s taught in high school. Then it’s in popular culture and finally it’s even taught in primary school.
Charles Darwin’s atheistic theory of evolution undermined the Christian faith of hundreds of millions. Marx, Nietzsche andFreud were directly and profoundly influenced by Darwin’s writings. The Darwinian contention that human beings are nothing more than soulless descendants of apes who have no conscious existence after death became the presuppositional foundation of the whole secular intellectual edifice.
Ironically, Darwin’s biographers freely admit that Darwin offered very little original thought in his famous 1859 book The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Evolution as a theory of natural history had preceded him by at least two generations. Earlier writers had even discussed natural selection. Darwin’s own grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, had written on evolution.
Until Darwin, evolution had been confined to the smallest corner of the intellectual elite. Darwin is famous because he tied all the loose ends together and presented it in an orderly way that caught fire among a far wider range of educated people.
Darwin is also famous for his extremely confrontational and racist 1871 book The Descent of Man. This book was penned to counter the criticism of his 1859 book and to fully and boldly develop his belief that human beings are descended from apes.
The Descent of Man is unfortunately overtly racist and claims that certain brown skinned peoples are less evolved than the Europeans. This gave great momentum to biological based racism and gave it intellectual respectability. Aborigines were legally hunted like big game in Australia. Belgians in the Congo shot black natives with impunity. Hitler quoted extensively from Darwin in his book, Mein Kampf, and developed his claim of Aryan superiority from Darwinian principles.
In the United States, in the late nineteenth century, evolution was taught and discussed only among the educated elite. Evolution was taught only at the university level and to some degree in the high schools. In the 1880s only about 4% of American students went on to high school which was called secondary school. Only about 1% of the population went to college. All the rest were educated in primary school up to the eighth grade.
The well educated people in the US were increasingly secularized while the primary schools still held to traditional Christian values. This led to a divide between the upper class and the common man that persists to a degree down to the present generation. Secular Humanism has emerged as the dominant faith of the elite. Darwinism is its origins myth.
Karl Marx and Charles Darwin were contemporaries and familiar with each other’s work. Marx was influenced by Darwin and mentioned him in his book, Das Kapital. Marx subscribed to a philosophy of economic determinism. He regarded economic gain as the strongest urge of the human animal. He regarded humans as animals; as mere atoms in motion.
Marx subscribed to the Hegelian concept that human government is greater than the sum of its parts. Thus we have the Marxist illogic that regards the individual as worthless but if you put the individuals together into a government then you have something of real value. Marx considered human government the savior of mankind that would lead people to utopia.
Marx’s writings inspired generations of revolutionaries that embarked on the largest economic social experiment of all time. The experiment to see if an all powerful government owning all property could create a perfect utopian society failed miserably. Historians estimate that between 70 million and 100 million people were killed by communist governments in their quest for utopia.
Nevertheless Marxist ideas still guide the socialistic tendencies of all the modern democracies of Europe and of North and South America.
A generation after Darwin and Marx a bolder and more passionately atheistic philosopher arose. His name was Friedrich Nietzsche and he believed that humans are most profoundly motivated by a desire to dominate others. Nietzsche called this“the will to power.”
Nietzsche was an existentialist philosopher. Existentialism is radical individualism in which the individual must exert his own will and throw off social convention to create his own unique life. He regarded those who lived according to the rules as inauthentic, as mere followers and small minded.
Nietzsche rejected God’s law and wrote some overtly blasphemous things. He also had radical views on politics. He was of the opinion that all the great civilizations of the ancient world were built on slavery and brutality in which the intellectual elite lived luxuriously off of the hard labor of the many. He rationalized that slavery and oppression were good because it freed the elite to build fabulous buildings and produce great works of art. Hitler read Nietzsche extensively and even gave copies of Nietzsche’s books to his officer corps.
Nietzsche’s existentialism and atheism was very influential among the intellectuals of his own time and reverberates down to our own day especially in postmodernism. Nietzsche influenced the existentialist philosophers Jean Paul Sartre and Albert Camus and their post WWII philosophy of pessimism. The youth rebellion of the 1960s had many elements of Nietzschean radical existentialism.
Sigmund Freud regarded sexuality as the principle motivator of humans. His entire psychoanalytic therapy is based on the influence of sexual feelings and desires. He was especially concerned with repression of sexual urges and how that influenced the mental health of the individual.
Those he influenced went on to launch the sexual revolution in which traditional family structure and fidelity were abandoned. This also is a great social experiment that is ruining lives all across the world. Family breakdown, child abandonment, abortion of millions of babies and the spread of more than three dozen varieties of sexually transmitted disease are grim witness to sexual anarchy.
Darwin saw man as a soulless animal motivated only by the will to survive. Marx saw man as a purely economic creature. Nietzsche saw man through the lens of power and the will to rule others. Freud saw man as motivated disproportionately by sex. Their blasphemy and lawlessness has torn the heart out of humanity and brought about the alienation and despair that leads to lawlessness, family breakdown, serial killings, shooting sprees and teenage suicide.
Darwin, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud worked no miracles and had no supernatural accreditation yet billions of people follow them. These four men offered nothing but a vain attempt at utopia in this life and no promise of life hereafter.
Jesus Christ by contrast came in fulfillment of over three hundred predictive prophecies that were written in the Old Testament hundreds of years before His birth. He worked miracles among the people of his time and miracles still occur today in His name. He taught us God’s morals and He lived a perfect life and then suffered and died for our sins. We receive forgiveness of sins through Christ. He is the promised Messiah of Israel and the redeemer of all mankind.
Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. This also was foretold by the prophets. Those four men rule from the grave but Christ rules from heaven and is greater than all.