[Previously on Scientist v Creationist: In this particular case we have Creationism vs Science; logic, reason and scientific fact, which Richard Dawkins represents, squaring off against Creationism, a morality-driven Christian-based ideology that wishes to bend facts to fit its pre-established worldview.]
When pitching one against the other and listening to what they have to say, Dawkins makes the better argument. His atheism is polemic, and materialist reductionism borders on the dogmatic, but he represents the fitter belief system.
His opponent, Wendy Wright, makes some valid points against the inherent bias in science, which is subject to dogmatism of a particular kind, she says, but fails to make her case because she foregoes the facts.
Dawkins, for all his faults, wins the argument, plus the (near) future.
The discussion is pointless, of course, revealing only how unbridgeable the divide between these two points of view really is. The Creationist side speaks from a platform of twisted logic and self-fulfilling interest., its halcyon days behind it, not strong enough to seize the day and suck life back into its shaky ideology. It can’t rearrange the world based on its idées fixes (thank God! Ha!). Creationists around the world may be fervent in their beliefs, but they have limits. They don’t judge those who disagree with them in the way their antiquated texts instruct them to. If they did, all those who disagreed with them would be ‘blasphemers,’ and the world would still be in the middle ages. Anyone arguing against the design of God would be found guilty of subverting His authority, a sin punishable by death, according to the Bible.
Thankfully Creationists are weak. They have lost their authority after years and years of fighting a losing battle against the tide of facts. They are deflated and spent in historical terms, and they act as such. Their fervor is a matter of pride, not function. They don’t act as if they can reclaim the world. Their time had passed, no longer relevant. Their weakness (dare we call it their inevitable defeat, their ideological erosion and ontological collapse) weighs them down, and thank goodness for it. Their unyielding perspective is nothing more than wishful thinking, which can be taken with a grain of salt, even managed in the grand scheme of things. Their narratives continue to circulate the world, funded by strong interests, but they do so on a platform of dogmatism that functions within a system of dialog. When they reach out to other people, they do so within the confines of debate. Naturally they still resort to rhetoric and others forms of dodgy persuasion, such as preaching, psychological influence, coercion, even emotional and economic blackmail, plus the distortion of scientific facts.
It’s a bad state of affairs, but it could be worse, much worse, so let’s count our blessings.
Note: Creationism’s belief in the afterlife is very important to the relative ‘civility’ surrounding Creationism’s agenda, absurd as that agenda may be. The notion that those who disagree with its teachings are punished in the afterlife promotes debate, not outright violence. Creationists take grave offence at their detractors but leave the punishment of sinners to God. (It’s kind of funny!)
It’s not all smooth sailing, of course. Many Creationists choose to spread their irascible beliefs in a way that eliminates all discussion. Even to this day, 2017, they come down hard on those oppose them, sometimes politically and militantly, an approach that can only be met by an equally determined response. If Creationism politicizes itself, it needs to be defeated on the political battlefield before it secures a bridgehead.
Should it militarize itself, it needs to be disarmed and crushed before it advances.
Should there be a commonly held belief among its members that anyone who disagrees with it will be met with a violent end, or that God’s wrath will strike the unbelievers in the here and now because the Scriptures say so, it should be deemed a dangerous and hateful dogma, a worldview that conspires to do harm, and should be dealt with as such, as a hateful dogma, until it ceases harboring, promoting and tolerating such beliefs.
This applies across the board, to all religions, belief systems or dogmas. If any of them harbor hateful, vengeful, violence-based beliefs that involve God’s wrath, they are pathologically criminal in their intent, and conducive to violence. One cannot invoke violence and then deny responsibility on account of the violence being ‘theological.’
Dogmas that harbor these pathologically violent beliefs need to be deemed liabilities of criminal capacity, and treated as such. Their source of malediction needs to be located and addressed.
The stakes are, of course, high and enticing. Regimes and dogmas of all kinds exist because the world is there for the taking. It’s all or nothing. If they’re lucky, they win the game and claim the future for themselves. If they’re not, they either live to fight another day, or perish. It’s one hell of a gamble, especially when they come from a point of view that’s been tried and tested. They go for broke and broke is what they end up as, and broken.
If you’re going to dispense wholesale the fury of Revelation, or any kind of reckoning, you better do it from the right side of history. Make it count toward something with prospect, not something obsolete.
Bottom line, the world is not immune to righteousness. Whatever happens, there’s always a time when debate is not enough and one point of view needs to be done with the other for the standoff to end. In such a case, let it be the right point of view, or the lesser of all evils. The way ahead may be brutal, but it doesn’t have to be catastrophic, or as frustrating as the ‘debate’ below.
Let science prevail over Creationism because it has a richer and more interesting and useful narrative, as history attests. It’s the best paradigm we have so far.
From your forward-thinking Spin Doctor,
Eyes open, mind sharp.