Some philosopher, commenting on the need for humans to be kept securely in line by means of fear, quipped that "If God did not exist, we would have to invent him". What he meant was that the idea of a God -- of an absolute force beyond reason, logic, or argument --- was needed to enforce social order. There had to be an ubercop, an inarguable absolute, a cosmic power stating, "Because I'm the mommy, that's why!"
While the idiocies of this idea are manifold, it has nonetheless resurfaced in the form of morons who claim that if only the Ten Commandments (which version of them? Blank out.) were posted in public schools, no one would kill anyone, there'd be no teenage sex, and everyone would be clean-cut, blonde and blue eyed, even the Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. The usual tactic is to attack evolution, apparently believing that if only Darwin was wrong, that means something.
Let's pretend they're right. Remember, this is only pretend.
Tomorrow, it is announced by the Union Of Old Guys in Labcoats that an experiment has conclusively proven that life does not evolve -- that all life was created by an outside intelligence. What does this mean to morality, to justice, to ethics?
Diddly-squat. If we're lucky.
When all is said and done, absolute evidence that all life, indeed, the entire universe, began as the result of a conscious act by a supernatural being or beings would at best leave the world in its current moral muddle, at worst reduce it to unending war.
OK, Christians (and other dubious sorts)-- I am going to ask you to do something you aren't good at, that you are not trained to do, and that is probably very, very, painful for you -- I'm going to ask you to *think*. Not react. Not quote. Not reach for the gasoline and the matches and look for a pile of books. Think.
Incontrovertible evidence of intelligent creation is not incontrovertible evidence of the existence of your God -- or anyone elses, for that matter. To argue otherwise is to claim, in effect:"Here is a pocketwatch;it is obviously a made thing;the makers' name, therefore, was Fred, he was 52 years old, and owned a pet beagle named Lucy."
So, the universe was made. What does this tell us about who or what made it? Nothing. What can we infer about his, her, its, or their nature? Zip. What moral guidance does it give us? None. What purpose does creation serve? Unknown. Why did he/she/it/they make the universe? No answer.
In other words, proof of a creator leaves us back at ground zero. Actually, it leaves us back at ground negative-infinity -- because while science might not know all the answers, it posits that the answers *are* *knowable*. In a created universe, nothing can be known. Ever.
Faith is meaningless, because it reduces to subjective perception. Every argument for the existence of the Christian God applies equally well to all the other gods imagined by all the men who have ever lived, and all the infinite gods yet to be imagined by all the men yet to come. With science, a baseline of objective evidence can be established;with faith, it all comes down to feelings. In a scientific universe, the basis of 'the good society' can be deduced, reasoned, argued, debated. In a creationist universe, it ends up as whims and whips. Morality and ethics become the province of priests, not philosphers. Which priests? The ones with the burliest soldiers. All ethics, all morality, all concept of right and wrong collapse to the rule of the loudest preacher with the largest army -- and there can be no argument. A universe run by the principles of faith is a universe in which two disputants cannot even agree that a yardstick exists, much less on how to use it to measure things.
So what becomes of humanity in such a world? Humans cannot live in a state of perpetual war. (Not for long, not with modern weapons, at any rate) So what will we do? In the abscence of any basis for moral value other than the whims of an unknowable creator or creators, we must come up with something. We must make up some credo, some code of behavior that will keep society creaking along until the creator(s) decide(s) to show up and give us instructions. We will probably do so by looking at human nature and human needs, acknowledging our fallibility and failings. Since we know we cannot know what the creator(s) want(s), we will allow a lot of leeway in terms of morality as applied to the individual, much less as applied to others.You know -- modern day liberal secular humanism, the bane of right-(non)thinking people everywhere.
Modern society cannot exist in a world run by faith. Faith works in worlds where the peasants never travel five miles from their village and, when told that their suffering is "the will of God", they never ask, "Which God?", because they've never heard of any others. It cannot exist in a world where any child can access the mythology of ten thousand years and ten thousand societies with the click of a mouse. Absolute proof that there was a creator or creators would not lead the world into peace and harmony -- it would smash it into a billion warring pieces, a war of all against all, until there was nothing left to fight for and no one left to fight against.
If God did exist -- we would have to destroy him.
For sufficiently small values of 'unending'. About 15-30 minutes, I'd warrant, until the Earth is a nicely blackened radioactive ember. I'd like to hope that the next species to evolve would be smarter, but we're postulating a no-evolution universe, so that will be that. Game over, man, game over!
Some of you, the more stupid of you, will now scream "But the watch was signed by the Creator! He wrote it all down in the Bible!" Except that there's another group who says it was signed by Allah, not Yahweh. And another who says it was signed by Odin, and another by Shiva, and another and another and another....Get it yet? Evidence of creation is not evidence of *a* *specific* *creator*. Fine, you've shown life can't evolve. Now, construct an experiment to prove that creation happened in accordance with a specific mythology. You can't. The Creator(s) will remain forever unknown *and* *unknowable*.
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