The most powerful thermonuclear device ever detonated was called the Tsar Bomba. When it was tested over Severny Island on Oct. 30, 1961, this Soviet rds-220 hydrogen bomb exploded with a force 3,800 times greater than the blast that leveled Hiroshima, Japan.
If the Tsar Bomba had been dropped on the center of New York City, half of Brooklyn would have been incinerated in a 7-mile-wide fireball. Every residential building in the Greater New York City area would have been flattened by the high-pressure airburst emanating from this fireball. People 50 miles away in Trenton, New Jersey, would have suffered third-degree burns from a radiation wave engulfing an area larger than the state of Connecticut.
Over 7 million people would have perished, and millions more would have suffered debilitating injuries.
Yet there is a greater threat to humanity than the Soviet rds-220.
Thermonuclear weapons don’t make themselves. They don’t detonate themselves. They don’t use themselves as leverage to threaten their enemies. It’s human beings who do that. Therefore, the ideologies that influence and control human minds are far more powerful than any thermonuclear device.
Since moral laws are the social force that restrains humans from committing atrocities, an ideology that misassesses concepts of right and wrong is a greater threat than any physical weapon of mass destruction. And an ideology that proposes that there is no such thing as right and wrong is the greatest threat of all.
That is why Herbert W. Armstrong, the editor in chief of the Trumpet’s predecessor, the Plain Truth, wrote in 1928 that evolution is the “most powerful modern weapon.”
In a world full of horrifying weapons and dangerous ideologies, the claim that evolution is the most dangerous weapon of them all may seem like an exaggeration. Yet a historical examination of the past 150 years reveals that the application of the evolutionary theory to the realm of human morality is wreaking more destruction upon Western civilization than the airbursts of 1,000 hydrogen bombs!
What If There Is No God?
The idea of a creation that came into being without a creator has been taught since the days of the Epicurean philosophers of ancient Greece. But this notion did not take deep root in the Western world for thousands of years. Then Charles Darwin sparked an academic revolution in 1859 with his book On the Origin of Species.
The book, along with its sequel, The Descent of Man, argued that all organic life descended from one primordial organism. By providing a scientific hypothesis that God does not exist, Darwin revolutionized the world in ways even he probably did not expect.
American writer, critic and naturalist Joseph Wood Krutch published his book The Modern Temper in 1929. Krutch, who believed the evolutionary hypothesis, proceeded to its logical—and chilling—conclusion.
“Formerly [man] had believed in even his darkest moments that the universe was rational if he could only grasp its rationality, but gradually he comes to suspect that rationality is an attribute of himself alone and that there is no reason to suppose that his own life has any more meaning than the life of the humblest insect that crawls from one annihilation to another,” he wrote. “Nature, in her blind thirst for life, has filled every possible cranny of the rotting Earth with some sort of fantastic creature, and among them man is but one—perhaps the most miserable of all, because he is the only one in whom the instinct of life falters long enough to enable it to ask the question ‘Why?’ As long as life is held to have been created, creating may be held to imply a purpose, but merely to have come into being is, in all likelihood, merely to go out of it also.”
In short, if humanity is only a distant cousin of insects, as Darwin proposed, then the 7 million people who would die in a thermonuclear strike on New York City are no different from the 7 million ants dying of boric acid poisoning in a routine pest control procedure today down the street from your house.
Even Darwin himself realized the radical implications his theory would have on ethics and morality, even though he avoided commenting on them in On the Origin of Species.
But the father of evolution addressed the subject in his later book, The Descent of Man, in 1871. Darwin admitted that “the moral faculties of man” are not inherent. Rather, he proposed that morality is an ever changing byproduct of evolution. “In order that primeval men, or the ape-like progenitors of men, should have become social,” he wrote, “they must have acquired that same instinctive feeling which impel other animals to live in a body.”
Those who follow the Christian ideology believe that morality is God’s definition of right and wrong. Those who follow the evolutionary ideology believe that morality is actually an invention of the human mind. Therefore, logically, the human mind can alter the definition of right and wrong at will, because the human mind is the authority that made up right and wrong in the first place.
Everything Is Relative
Many politicians and educators still pay lip service to the Bible and Christianity; even some popular atheists say that some Bible teachings are useful social constructs. But the glowing reactor core of modern culture is evolution. Six in 10 U.S. adults believe humans evolved over time. Roughly the same ratio believes that knowledge of what is right or wrong is a matter of personal experience.
In the early modern period, America’s founders voiced the nation’s broad political consensus in the Declaration of Independence: “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (emphasis added). About 100 years later, following the publication of On the Origin of Species, the political consensus began to change as people increasingly accepted the premise that concepts like morality and human rights were themselves byproducts of evolution.
“The political philosophy of the 18th century was formulated before the announcement and acceptance of the theory of evolutionary development,” wrote U.S. educator Frank Goodnow in 1916. “The natural-rights doctrine presupposed almost that society was static or stationary rather than dynamic or progressive in character.”
In his essay “The American Conception of Liberty,” Goodnow described how America’s founders believed “rights” were “eternal and immutable” because they came from humanity’s Creator. He disagreed with this assessment, however, saying the “rights” outlined in the Declaration of Independence did not come from a creator, but from human beings, who invented them based on the “social and economic conditions of the time.” He argued therefore that “rights” can and should be “amended” as society changes, in a similar way to how Darwin said organisms change based on the environment around them.
What was right in the past may not be right today. Morality laws are even less permanent than scientific laws. Right and wrong evolve.
This is a well-developed, widely believed ideology that now dominates education, politics, philosophy and entertainment in the West. People call this concept Moral Darwinism or Moral Relativism. It began to take deep root in the American educational system as the Progressive Era began in the 1890s. The ideology comes straight from the pages of Darwin’s The Descent of Man, yet even most Christian denominations in the Western world have now accepted, wittingly or unwittingly, the notion that there is no global, absolute moral law that applies to all people, for all time, and in all places.
Because society at large accepted the premise that everything is relative, including morality, evolutionists like Alfred Kinsey and Wilhelm Reich were able to propagate the idea that perversions like fornication, adultery, homosexuality and pedophilia are not inherently evil, but are natural results of the evolutionary process and are only “wrong” because people arbitrarily say they are wrong. After all, if there is no God, marriage is not a divinely sanctioned union between a man and a woman; it is a social construct that humanity invented in order to give children their best chance at survival. If society wants to dispense with that institution, it’s not fundamentally right or wrong to do so because marriage is not right or wrong because there is no such thing as right and wrong.
It isn’t only radicals on the fringe of society who believe there is no such thing as absolute morality, absolute right and wrong, absolute truth. This ideology of moral relativism is everywhere.
In fact, former U.S. President Barack Obama wrote in The Audacity of Hope that there is no such thing as “absolute truth.” And America then elected him to the presidency, twice.
Once you realize the logical conclusion of evolution—that truth, morality, right and wrong are just made up by human minds—you will be shocked at how widespread this radical thinking is. Without realizing it, you have even absorbed some of it yourself.
‘Man’s Mind Is Man’s Fate’
In a world where God is a myth and there is no absolute morality, the most powerful force in the universe is the human mind. Thus, instead of trying to limit the power of the government in order to protect your and my individual rights that are endowed by our Creator, atheists often try to get control of governments and to expand their power to the point that they can use them to end war, poverty and suffering.
This is the logic that led to the totalitarianism of Communist Russia.
Famous Soviet defector Whittaker Chambers wrote in his 1952 memoir, Witness, that Josef Stalin’s Gulag Archipelago was the inevitable result of Russia’s embrace of Darwinist-inspired atheism. “Hence the Communist Party is quite justified in calling itself the most revolutionary party in history,” he wrote. “It has posed in practical form the most revolutionary question in history: ‘God or Man?’ It has taken the logical next step which 300 years of rationalism hesitated to take, and said what millions of modern minds think but do not dare or care to say: ‘If man’s mind is the decisive force in the world, what need is there for God?’ Henceforth, man’s mind is man’s fate.”
In other words, if you believe there is no God, and that mankind’s fate is in mankind’s hands, what price would you be willing to pay to establish your version of “utopia” on Earth? Would you be willing to kill someone if you believed doing so would ease poverty and create a more equitable world? Would you be willing to kill a countless number of people who were preventing paradise?
In Stalinist Russia, over 20 million people were executed, starved or worked to death in the evolutionary struggle between social classes. In atheistic China, the state slaughtered 40 million people and actually encouraged teenagers to literally eat school principals suspected of counterrevolutionary sympathies. Some 3 million North Koreans have been murdered in a state-sanctioned attempt to purge society of the concept that “inalienable rights” exist.
These millions of grisly murders starkly violate God’s moral law. But they did not violate the man-made morality of the societies that perpetrated them.
Darwin wrote in The Descent of Man, “If … men were reared under precisely the same conditions as hive-bees, there can hardly be a doubt that our unmarried females would, like the worker-bees, think it a sacred duty to kill their brothers, and mothers would strive to kill their fertile daughters; and no one would think of interfering.”
If you believe in an ideology of “moral absolutism”—if you believe truth, by definition, doesn’t change—if you believe that right is always right and wrong is always wrong, no matter the time, place or society—then you have faced the most revolutionary question in history—“God or man?”—and, whether you realize it or not, made your choice. Natural law and absolute truth exist only in a universe created by a Creator.
If humans are only the most sophisticated of the apes, and they only come into existence to go back out of it, then the rule of law must give way to the law of the jungle. The strong rule the weak. Only the fittest survive.
Consequences of Lawlessness
After 150 years of indoctrination in evolutionary theory, almost every sector of Western society has accepted the premise that there is no absolute truth. People protest and riot in the streets over whether or not the concept of gender is a biological reality, whether or not a mother has the right to kill her child, and whether or not the unemployed have a right to use the government to forcibly extract wealth from others.
The fact of the matter in all human controversies is this: If humanity evolved from primordial ooze, no one can say what is “right” or “wrong” because there is no such thing. There is only the strong and the weak.
“Both our practical morality and our emotional lives are adjusted to a world that no longer exists,” wrote Joseph Krutch shortly after he accepted evolution. “In so far as we adhere to a code of conduct, we do so largely because certain habits still persist, not because we can give any logical reason for preferring them ….”
Abortion, assisted suicide, sexual promiscuity, drug use and numerous other practices that were once condemned are now socially acceptable. We live in a different social universe than we did a century ago, a universe where the laws of morality are turned upside down. The whole world is in the midst of a moral crisis.
Nearly 40 years after Herbert Armstrong warned about the danger of evolution, he further elaborated on the moral crisis precipitated by Moral Darwinism. “The world crisis had already started prior to World War i,” he wrote on Nov. 24, 1967. “Only most of the peoples of the world were not yet aware of it. But men like Karl Marx and Nikolai Lenin knew. This world crisis resulted from the impact of science and technology—and the injection of godless ‘German rationalism’ into education. World wars are the military expression of that crisis. Worldwide depressions are the economic expression. The so-called ‘New Morality’ is the moral expression—plummeting morals into the cesspool. Universal desperation is the spiritual expression. This has spawned the beatniks and the hippies—the riots—the marches—the ‘civil disobedience’—the breakdown of law and order” (Plain Truth subscriber letter).
The “German rationalism” Mr. Armstrong referred to was the “rationalism” Whittaker Chambers referenced. It is the atheist-inspired philosophy that proposed that “human reason” is the only source and only judge of all kinds of knowledge. In other words, if there is no God, whatever seems reasonable to you is right.
This is the line of thinking that leads to family breakdown, welfare addiction, drug addiction, gang membership, racial problems, looting, rioting and anarchy. The moral law revealed in the Holy Bible says that such behavior naturally leads to a condition where cities are “laid waste, without an inhabitant” (Jeremiah 4:7; also Jeremiah 2:15; Ezekiel 6:6).
The blast radius of a Soviet rds-220 hydrogen bomb is 45 miles, but the destruction unleashed by moral lawlessness, the logical conclusion of the evolutionary theory, has become entrenched in most of modern civilization. This makes moral relativism over a thousand times more destructive than the Tsar Bomba!
“When Satan destroys belief in creation—when the devil succeeds in convincing men that this Earth was not created by an all-powerful creating God, but that it came … ‘by continuous progressive change, by natural causes, according to fixed laws, brought about only through resident forces’—then has Satan destroyed the proof of God,” Mr. Armstrong explained in 1928. This is why “evolution is the devil’s most powerful weapon.”
Until humanity accepts God’s inexorable spiritual law as static, stationary, eternal and unchanging, we stand in great danger. Unless the Creator, whose existence evolutioninsts so adamantly deny, intervenes to save this world’s sick society, the moral relativism and evolutionary progressivism radiating throughout society will poison all humanity, leading to the extinction of all life on Earth (Matthew 24:22).
Thankfully, the Bible records a definitive promise that God will intervene to save human beings from ourselves as soon as we prove this lesson.