As the Standard for Justice, Can Evolution Replace God’s Creation?
[I wrote the following reflections in response to the reader’s comment, from which the above quoted argument is taken.]
Evolution is about creating complex and ever-more efficient, co-operative (and so, moral) structures from primitive, savage (i.e., evil) ones. It can easily be seen as a slow-paced meticulous Creation process, if one bothers to try to see it that way.
You’re just scared because it seems to rule out the shallow and slanderous notion that God has to create everything out of thin air each time, and that he doesn’t have the wits or brains to design something which can evolve without him having to constantly micro-manage it all the time.
People seem to believe (wolf-like/dog-eat-dog) indifferent evolutionary “nature” is inherently, intrinsically opposed to civilizing God-influenced “nurture,” but it’s not so.
Biologists understand there’s only two (as usual, it’s binary) approaches to life and existence: EITHER parasitical, cannibalistic criminal predation, OR cooperative symbiotic collaboration. (From a reader’s comment on my article Brits muzzle Christians, subvert self-government)
Everything you say about evolution takes it for granted that existence (which is the modification of being that gives rise to what we perceive as discrete and particular ways of being) is good, and that human existence (the particular way of being characteristic of humanity) is especially good. Even if you could explain how this assumption about the value of existence “evolved”, you would not have explained why we are obliged to take it for granted as a moral good.
You use words like efficient and co-operative as if they have moral significance. But when Nazis strove to make the means of mass slaughter more efficient; or when terrorists do their best to assure greater co-operation in and among their various cells, on what basis would you claim that their success a moral good? Is it so simply because it is the result of “evolution”? But how does the assertion that whatever happens to sustain itself is good (for as long as it does so) differ from the assertion that effective power is the ultimate standard of morality?
You can assert that if you like. But if, as a people, we Americans go along with you, we validate the notion that might makes right; that the successful application of superior power constitutes a valid basis for government; that there is no higher standard to which people may appeal when they are forcibly subjected to tyrannical dictatorship, which is to say, government successfully imposed by dint of violence and terror.
You pretend to see injustice only in the act of striking the first blow, but in fact the notion that evolution is somehow, in and of itself, morally consequential tacitly relies on the view that moral right depends on who strikes the last blow, the one that makes them the last ones standing.
The doctrine of God-endowed right relies on the view that God, the Creator of all, is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and last and everlasting being. It further trusts in the benevolence of God toward our humanity, such that from the first, and at the last, human beings are called to exist contentedly, which is to say, in a way filled with content that accords with His will for their existence.
This sense, that there is a transcendent and overruling aim or end that governs the objective relations of all things, gives moral authority to what America’s founders called “the laws of nature and of nature’s God.” The reference to God is essential, since it acknowledges the being that, in and of itself, informs and validates whatever moral qualities we perceive in those objective relations.
By referring to the facts of what you call “evolution” you purport to dispense with the need to acknowledge God. But unless something in being “comes of nothing”, there is nothing in being that makes moral sense of the premises we have to take for granted, in order to distinguish right from wrong. Individuals may sometimes have the luxury of wallowing in the existential angst that necessarily results from this deficiency. It makes for wonderful novels and philosophic amusements.
But when human beings are required to engage in the activities on which life and death actually depend; and when they must trust in one another to make the ultimate sacrifice; co-operation demands a common sense of purpose that gives meaning to what seems, in prospect, our individual extinction. In that prospect we know we will not be among the last ones standing. But if we see ourselves in terms of a good that informed our existence as it began; and that endures in being even after, for us, it ends; and if we hold fast to that good as the principle of our being, in reality; then though we die, yet shall we live.
In the struggle between those who see no right or justice beyond what their existence allows, and those who see themselves participating in the way of being right and just that transcends the particular existence of all things; which side is most likely to fight, and never give in? Which side is more likely to fight on when required, so that, against all odds, the good they fight for will be the one that stands at the last, because it is everlasting?
“In God we Trust” is not just America’s motto. It’s the reason our armies, composed of souls (whom some would say your pretended science of “evolution” does not favor,) time and again outlasted the self-styled noble kings and princes of the earth, who fancy themselves a favored race of masters, born to rule over ordinary folks. For “He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and has exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.”
Once Americans enacted their motto, rejecting the Godless, prideful musings of elitists determined anew to master and overtake “ordinary” humanity. So, our nation went from strength to strength, enduring despite all hardship. We will not do so again until we again look beyond the theme of worldly greatness, and act upon our trust in God. For that trust alone will restore us to His grace. It is the good, greater than any “evolving” greatness human beings can conceive without God. And it can be ours again, here and now, once we renew our faith in Him.
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