We humans share many things in common; we desire to be loved and accepted for who we are not what we can do; we long for happiness and fulfillment; we don’t like it when people mistreat us; we dislike it when people lie to us; we all try to make sense out of reality as we know it. These dearly held notions are mainly communicated through words.
The “Black Lives Matter” notion is a case in point. The desire to communicate that “we matter” can be put “our lives have meaning” and we should thus be treated a certain way. But whether or not that’s actually true depends on the worldview held.
For example, if naturalism is true (a la Atheism), and humans are merely material entities without an immaterial soul, an accident of macro-evolution where there’s no design, purpose or meaning, then “Black Lives” actually don’t matter. This is true for at least two reasons; first, “meaning” is not something physical—it can’t be tasted, seen, smelled, heard, or touched, but its’ effects (which are immaterial) are constantly seen in the physical world. Secondly, the basis of naturalism is that there is no “mind”, no “design”, no “better”, no “progress” but “eternal matter that just is”.
According to the this worldview, humans are simply born, live out their meaningless lives, and then die, never to be remembered, cherished or loved again. It’s a cold reality. Thus if this position is true, “Black lives can’t matter”.
Another example comes from nihilism (naturalism’s child) which reduces all of life to chance plus matter plus time. This means that human decisions are matter in motion and are thus determined. This means that human choices are not significant, but a mere illusion. The reason is because what seems to be “our decisions” is actually, impersonal, mechanistic matter in motion. According to this worldview, those in favor of or against “Black lives matter” have no choice in the matter, but are simply determined to one “view” or another. Thus if this position is true, then really “Black lives can’t matter”.
Still another example is pantheistic monism (a la Buddhism and certain branches of Hinduism), which among other things teaches that the individual is part of the oneness of the universe, that life is illusory and thus “individuality” is not real, but a fantasy. Trying to get meaning from this position is an exercise in futility. Ironically, many Westerners have looked to the East for its wisdom and insight on reality, except that at its core, there’s a denial of reality. According to this worldview, there’s no real “Black lives that matter” because that whole notion too is an illusion. Thus, if this position is true, “Black lives can’t matter”.
Yet another example is moral relativism (a la the University), which among other things is the self-refuting position that there’s no such thing as absolute truth (i.e. correspondence view of truth) and “we know this to be absolutely true”. That is, the basis for reality is not any higher power, God, etc., but the individual who creates what is true and right for herself/himself.
If this worldview is true, then “Black Lives can’t matter” for it means that we can’t tell anyone that they are wrong because the individual decides; we can’t complain about the problem of evil because the individual decides; we can’t blame or praise anyone for deeds they’ve performed because the individual decides; we can’t object to injustice because the individual decides; we can’t improve on our morality because the individual decides; we can’t have meaningful moral discussions nor demand tolerance from the opposition because the individual decides.
The “Black Lives Matter” position under this worldview is incoherent at best and diabolical at worst. Under this self-refuting worldview, “Black lives can’t matter”.
In contradistinction to the aforesaid, theism (a la Judaism or Christianity) holds that the universe—contra naturalism—is not a closed system but one that is open. This means that both divine and human decisions significantly shape the present and the future. Moreover, in a theistic world human beings are not chance accidents or illusory entities—contra nihilism and pantheistic monism—but created in God’s image and likeness with the purpose to reflect the wonder of the Creator unlike any other creature. And in opposition to moral relativism, theism grounds all truth and morality in the Creator not the fading whims of the creature.
Only in a theistic worldview can one coherently and rationally argue that “Black lives matter”. For if the God of Scripture (I.e., The Law, Prophets, & Writings, and the New Testament) actually exists, not only do Black lives matter, but every life matters. The reason is because human meaning under this worldview comes from the Self-existent, Eternal, All-wise, All-powerful, All-knowing God who came near to us in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
And I would further say that only from this theistic worldview can emotions rightly and compassionately be expressed, because they are rationally based on the God who is there, the One to whom all humanity will give account for their lives—which indeed matter.