Morality and the Lord of the Flies

If you’ve never read the Lord of the Flies, I urge you to do so. I had to read it in my 10th grade English class and it was one book I was definitely on top of. When a student came in from another class who understood the symbolism of the book, the teacher always knew that they’d been talking to me.

What happens in it? A bunch of boys fly away from England during World War 2 and end up crashing on an island. They must all form tribes and survive. However, factions arise and in the end, the more warlike of the tribe tries to destroy the more moral of the tribe. There are two deaths. The first is of the Christ figure in the book. The second is of the one that represents rationality.

Which is exactly where our culture is going.

We can see this in ourselves though. Let us suppose that we want to do something and we are convinced in many ways that it is immoral. What do we call the process where we convince ourselves that it really is “okay”? We say that we are rationalizing it. We may not have moral reasons, but we’ll find a rational reason. (In root, to go against the commands of God is always irrational.)

What has our society done? Largely begun in the 60’s, we have relativized our morality. The sexual revolution and the philosophy of Sartre along with the “God is dead” movement led us to say that there are no moral standards. It’s not a shock that abortion came through that open door.

Where have we gone then? Who are the high priests of our culture if not the real priests? They are the scientists. Rationality has become the basis for everything. Man has become convinced that by his reason alone, he can conquer the universe. He can be the one who will in the end stand on the Earth.

Now I’m not against rationality at all. I love it. I am against rationality without the parameters of guidance set by God. I do not believe such rationality exists. The person who wishes to use rationality is actually borrowing from the Christian worldview and then placing it in his own.

Can rationality survive for long without morality though? Not at all. Morality is rooted in God and once we abandon God, we abandon the basis for rationality. Before too long, we will even be calling rationality into question and seeing if we can really discover anything at all through thinking. Science, I predict, if it continues down the materialistic path will hang itself by its own rope. Science with God is great. Science apart from God is impossible.

Isn’t this happening in Postmodern circles already? Have we not seen this in religious pluralism? Don’t we see it in sayings like “True for you but not for me?” The very foundation of truth is so shattered that in the 80’s Allan Bloom could say that any university professor can be sure of one thing upon first seeing his students. They all believe or say they believe, that truth is relative.

What happens then? Exactly what happened in the Lord of the Flies. Chaos. The righteous stragglers left behind are routed out for getting in the way of the culture that seeks to fulfill its own desires. Don’t think such things haven’t happened. I would say that is exactly what happened in Nazi Germany.

I’ve been in dialogue with a very friendly atheist lately who said that people just wouldn’t choose the path of Hitler to life instead of the response of Christ. There’s a problem with that. Hitler chose it. The Nazis chose it. Germany chose it. There were several people who chose that path. Why shouldn’t they if God is not there and morality is an illusion and the mind can give no truth? Why not just seek for pleasure and whatever you want?

I have seen many atheists go down this path in their personal lives. Fortunately, the one I mentioned doesn’t seem to be of this type. I am thinking of one right now though who at a time seemed rational and able to discourse, but the fall he had was a moral one that led to skepticism and finally atheism and the more he went down that path, the more irrational he got. It is an inevitable consequence. Man will have to justify more and more and that will require a lie and not truth.

What’s the answer? The same one the boys on the island had. We need outside help. When help arrived, things were put right. What is our help? We need to return to Christ and start living the life. I believe that Christ is the only hope for restoring America to the glory she once had. I say this with sadness as a proud American, I do not believe our culture can last long the more we reject God.

So what are you going to do about it?

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