Sunday, September 25, 2011

Squaring the Circle: Liberal Christians and Evolution

It is frustrating talking to religious cherry pickers. In their eyes, “true religion” can do no harm. Other religions do not have it right, “they do not understand what Jesus really meant.” Other Atheists have nailed this frustration better than I can, but this liberal religious behavior of cherry picking I find particularly offensive around evolution, the God had a hand in evolution meme. Don’t get me wrong, at least evidence of reality is not completely ignored. At least these Christians make an attempt to care about observable reality and evidence, and put some value in our awe inspiring world that their God supposedly created for them. But retaining the concept of God comes with the psychological task of squaring the circle; dealing with the cognitive dissonance.

Evolution is not perfect. Evolution is not all good, or all moral. Evolution is tough, brutal, and competitive. Evolution is redundant, slow, and obsessed with survival. I find it so offensive that some Christians believe that the process of evolution was the best way that an omniscient God decided to use for creation.

Evolution made males billions of times more reproductive then females, and because of this males like sex a lot more than females. This heightened sexuality in males is often shameful and left with no socially sanctioned way to release before marriage in Christian cultures. Females have painful and bloody monthly reproductive cycles, they cannot decide if they want to be pregnant, and pregnancy can have severe medical complications.

Human beings are plagued with bacteria, fungi, viruses and cancer. We are constantly engaged in a competitive battle between illness and our defense systems. Bacteria utterly destroyed us in the Dark Ages with the black plague. Entire cities were obliterated except for a small variance of individuals with a genetic resistance to the normally fatal illness. Cancer comes from malfunction in our own bodies; cells become corrupted and reproduce uncontrollably. The AIDS virus can hide itself as non-threatening to our cells. Once inside, there is no defense. Humans have not yet adapted to this vicious attacker and our inability of a defense causes great suffering and harm around the world.
We have appendixes that burst in midlife, wisdom teeth, tail bones, and other useless vestigial organs. We have birth defects; mental retardation, sickle cell, sclerosis, palsy, blindness, deafness and countless others. Our earth has an inability to provide with enough food or water for all of us. Some Human beings live in starvation and thirst because we require nutrition to survive.

Competition is not moral; survival of the fittest means others will die prematurely. In a biological natural setting, survival is the goal; everything else is irrelevant. Rape, murder, violence, theft, and other heinous crimes would contribute to survival. Social Darwinism, shows how horribly immoral the logic of evolution can be applied. Poor people are left to starve, individuals who were less than perfect were sterilized for fear of contaminating the gene pool, and the elite can justify their elevated position through Social Darwinism. Human beings have thankfully left most of the ugly forces of evolution for society; where we work for the common goal of equal human rights.

It is impossible for liberal Christians to square the circle between an all loving and good God, with the harsh forces of evolution. A square can never be a circle. Evolution personified is a callous, lazy, and incompetent designer. I am told that the Christian God is not that way.

My harsh critic of the morality of evolution is not the same argument as, “Why do bad things happen,” it is categorically different. Christians are now saying that evolution is Gods own system, his own blessed method for creation. God’s supposed system morally sucks, and there is no logical way to weasel God out of responsibility for that.

Again don’t get me wrong; compared to fundamental zealots, liberal Christians cause much less misery. I can share a world with them, and we can work towards common goals of secularism, and tolerance. But this justification process causes harm. When little children get cancer or are born with a defect, they are taught to pray to God for healing or whatever. Instead of feeling, “This is biology. It is rough, competitive, and it sucks. Let’s grieve together and try to fix it,” Theists and especially children need to figure out how it’s all part of God’s plan. And if they die or stay sick, it’s because they didn’t pray right, or God didn’t love them enough.

Evolution brought us here and gave us life but it should not be worshipped. It is a cold process responsible for our biological pain. It can easily be blamed. But a caring, loving, powerful God will need to be justified, and the blame will go in harmful and insulting directions. The squaring the circle required for acceptance of evolution is foul and offensive emotional abuse. While it is impossible for anyone to be completely fundamental toward the bible, pick a side. Build your life on Bronze Age dogma, or rational empiricism. Be consistent. You cannot have it both ways.

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