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The Expanding Culture of Death

The Expanding Culture of Death

Worldwide, a low opinion concerning the value of human life continues to expand. One of the most prominent ways this view is expressed has to do with abortion. In America, it used to be that pro-abortionists tried to disguise their dogged determination to have the right to kill babies in the womb by arguing that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” That has all changed now, with advocates not only calling for the open celebration of abortions, but saying it should be available throughout an entire pregnancy (with some even advocating for the right to kill newborn babies after they are born).

But abortion is not the only expression of the modern culture of death. Another one has to do with some people’s desire to kill off the elderly once they are deemed to no longer be of benefit to society. These advocates consider that the elderly consume valuable societal resources that would be better spent on those who are young and can contribute to society. This fight is seen most prominently in countries that have implemented socialized medicine – places where the state, through its national budget, provides free healthcare to the entire population. They reason that since there is a limited budget to take care of this national expenditure, those who are better able to contribute to society should have priority. When people become net “takers” they should be exterminated.

Then there is doctor assisted suicide. This one tends to go under the radar more than the others since it is considered that these are mostly people who, based on their own personal decision, want to end their lives. In most cases, those advocating for this policy believe that people who are deemed to have less than six months to live, or have some kind of neurodegenerative condition, should be allowed to get medical help to kill themselves. In some places, this has been expanded to include people who are simply deeply depressed and don’t want to continue living. Laws that allow for this have quietly been expanded into more and more places. Even in America, ten states plus the District of Columbia allow this.

It seems that Australia has just expanded the places where it can be done there. A bill allowing doctor assisted suicide has now been passed in the state of New South Wales. It is expected to fully become law before the end of 2023. New South Wales is the last of Australia’s six states to ditch safeguards protecting the terminally ill.

At this point, it seems to be reasonable to ask a question: Where does this “culture of death” mindset come from? Actually, the answer to that question is quite easy – it is a direct expression of a naturalistic worldview. 

Naturalism is the belief that the natural universe, operating by natural laws, is all that exists – there is no God or any kind of transcendent reality. If that is truly the case, human beings can be nothing more than natural animal creatures that have evolved the most advanced brain of any in the animal kingdom. That makes humans no more valuable than any other animal, and even less advanced in many ways than some. There are certainly others that are stronger, faster, and have other special abilities that humans don’t have.

Naturalism also has a belief about what is the ultimate that can be achieved in life (for any life form). That ultimate cannot possibly be anything other than survival. That being the case, the collective society must have priority over the individual. So, what is best for the “survival of the species” must be more important than the life and desires of any individual. So, if killing babies in the womb makes it easier for the collective to get on with their lives, abortion can be deemed a good thing. If killing the elderly provides more resources for the collective, then that is perfectly okay. And if helping people kill themselves, who are ill to the point that they are no longer able to contribute to society, that can certainly be considered appropriate.

Naturalism, in its essence, is a religious belief. It is based purely on faith that the presuppositions of that belief are true. What that means is that the reason the culture of death is expanding is that an increasing number of people are accepting atheistic Naturalism.

What this tells us is that these various attempts to expand the culture of death are not merely benign political and social policies. They are attempts to expand the influence of their atheistic religion. And the way to turn that around? Well, they must somehow become convinced that Naturalism is a false religion. They need to be converted to a different faith.

Christians need to wake up to the fact that Atheists are powerfully evangelistic, and that fighting against it is actually spiritual warfare. Part of this war needs to be fought by sharing the gospel of light and life with those who believe this other religion. Another part must be fought in the arena of confronting these “culture of death” policies in the society. What a great reason, and opportunity, to share the truth about Jesus Christ.

Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.

You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.

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