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Challenging beliefs

If people don't like having their beliefs challenged, whose fault is that? The people people challenging their crazy beliefs? Or the people having them in the first place?

I was reading the transcript of the Situation Room this evening where they interviewed several of the Democratic Presidential candidates. Among them was John Edwards, who was asked about evolution. From here.

O'BRIEN: Nice to see you, sir. How are you?

A warm round of applause, maybe because you're first or maybe because you own the crowd tonight, we'll have to wait and see. Let's get right to it.

There was quite a little dustup that Republicans had in their debate over the question of evolution. So I'll put the same question to you. Do you believe in evolution or do you believe in creationism?

JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe in evolution. O'BRIEN: What do you say to all the people -- and there are millions of people who go to church every Sunday and who are told very clearly by their pastors that, in fact, the Earth was created in six days, that it's about creationism? Are those people wrong? Are their pastors wrong?

EDWARDS: No. First of all, I grew up in the church and I grew up as a Southern Baptist, was baptized in the Baptist Church when I was very young, a teenager at the time. And I was taught many of the same things. And I think it's perfectly possible to make our faith, my faith belief system consistent with a recognition that there is real science out there and scientific evidence of evolution. I don't think those things are inconsistent. I think a belief in God and a belief in Christ, in my case, is not in any way inconsistent with that.

O'BRIEN: There are some people who say, well, it's actually -- isn't it mutually exclusive? I mean, either man was created by, you know, from Adam's rib or, in fact, that man came evolution-wise from apes? Aren't the two mutually exclusive?

EDWARDS: No, I don't think they are. Because the hand of God was in every step of what's happened with man. The hand of God today is in every step of what happens with me and every human being that exists on this planet.

(Edwards was then asked a question about gay marriage which boiled my blood and was almost as confusing, but let's leave that aside for the moment.)

Um, am I completely losing all command of the English language, or did John Edwards just say that a SIX DAY CREATION is NOT incompatible with SCIENTIFIC EVOLUTION???

Okay, let's just start with the fact that such a claim is completely illogical. If someone of faith wants to say god directed evolution, I'll let that pass as long as they don't try to teach it in science classes, but how is a six day creation even remotely compatible with 4 billion years of evolution? 6 days vs. 4 billion years. Sorry, they can't both be true. Either John Edwards terribly mispoke, or he has no idea what he's talking about.

I mentioned the interview to my mother, and she felt the need to tell me that I offended her when I pointed out that people were making no sense. She thinks I'm doing just what religious people do. It's nothing alike, though. I don't tell people they are immoral and can't function in society because they are sheep who can't think for themselves. I don't tell people they are going to burn in hell because of what they believe rather than for what they do. I don't try to force people to believe as I believe by means of the government. Nor do I send people death threats for being irrational. How exactly is telling someone they aren't making any sense the same thing as any of these?

You know, it would be typical of my mother to complain about my timing of confronting people with their irrational beliefs, but being offended because I notice that they are being illogical and I don't give them a pass on it? Thanks, mom.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 5th, 2007 11:57 am (UTC)
My brain hurts.

I think he is one of the "deity-directed evolution" people, if only because he can't be anti-god and get elected in our nascent theocracy. He didn't make that clear, though. Perhaps that was because the theistic evolution angle is hated by a significant minority of religious people, who would rile up a crowd if they thought he was saying that Genesis is a bunch of bull.
Jun. 5th, 2007 02:11 pm (UTC)
I can live with the "deity-direct evolution" people a lot more than I can live with what he actually said. People who believe in the literal truth of Genesis though aren't going to vote for him anyway, so what the hell difference does it make?? And if he really doesn't believe what he just said (which is something else my mother thinks) then he lied and we shouldn't vote for him anyone... someone who has anything to get elected isn't deserving of being President. I can live with a complicated, nuanced view rather than an outright deception. And the sick thing is people EXPECT this and so it doesn't bother them when they say it.

Christ, if the top candidates keep saying shit like this I may really have to vote for Dennis Kucinich, if only because I'm sure that someone that far off the political mainstream can't possibly be lying!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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