This is from Lewis Thomas, the American physician. He does not write as a Christian, but his writings are intriguing. One of his books is Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. It is a long title, but it is an interesting book. He has a chapter on the lie detector. He says,

“As I understand it, a human being cannot tell a lie, even a small one, without setting off a kind of smoke alarm somewhere deep in a dark lobe of the brain resulting in the sudden discharge of nerve impulses or the sudden outpouring of neuro-hormones of some sort or both. Lying, then, is stressful, even when we do it for protection or relief, escape or profit, or just for the pure pleasure of lying and getting away with it. It is a strain, distressing enough to cause the emission of signals to and from the nervous system that something has gone wrong. In a pure physiological sense, it is an unnatural act.”

Once again we have an illustration of the fact that people are born with a sense of God and with some sense of right and wrong. This is instinctive. It is ineradicable. That seed remains and can in no way be uprooted. For Calvin, this meant that there cannot be any atheists.


About this entry