THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 506, February 15, 2009
"Let me begin with the facts."
Happy Birthday Chuck
Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise
Charles Darwin's birthday was last week and God bless him. It so happens I am a Christian (not a very good one, I'm afraid) who opines in favor of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection. It is interesting to see the number of people who have issues with this combination of opinions.
To those who have issues with opinions favoring the existence of the Christian God I recommend Heinlein's comment that implies we will know for a fact if God exists and what His (Her? Their?) nature is soon enough. Until then live by the highest ethical standards you can handle and if you feel you need God's grace to live up to those standards bug Him for it with your prayers.
Of course there are religious believers who oppose my acceptance of Darwin, it violates their understanding that the Book of Genesis is meant to be taken as literally true. I will also not dispute opinions with these either. I will point out that they claim to believe in the doctrine of Original Sin also, something that is consistent with observations that chimpanzees are warlike, murderous, deceitful, infanticidal, and cannibalistic. Perhaps it is only God's grace that frees us of these tendencies, or at least frees us to choose other strategies?
Perhaps Darwin's proven theories support the Christian doctrines of Original Sin and Salvation (and Liberation) through Grace. Perhaps those who hold on to believing that Genesis is literally true are trying to deny these more central doctrines. Or perhaps by denying that God's grace is meant to free people from the tyranny of of corrupt rulers as well as sin.
Many of my opinions need clarification and correction. I wish to live in a world where I can achieve this through study, meditation, cordial debate (no one reaches for weapons), and the Holy Spirit's enlightenment. I do not wish to be held back by the struggle for alpha status among primates in this study nor do I wish to censor my thoughts for the convenience of those who wish to deny this struggle out of a desire to deceive themselves or others.
You will notice I have tried to avoid the phrase "I believe" in the earlier parts of this essay. To me belief implies commitment and loyalty, and the opinions discussed above are still being reconsidered and corrected. I do believe people should be free to learn and explore the truth and act on it in a manner consistent with the rights of others, whether this is the existence of a deity, the ancestry of humanity, or the relative merits of country and western versus hip hop.
I am also inclined to believe that God's grace is necessary for me at least, to learn this truth, and that Darwin's laws of natural selection will help my biological and intellectual progeny benefit from these lessons.
Anyhow, Happy belated Birthday Chucky Dee and god bless you wherever you are, ha cha cha cha cha, cha cha.
A relatively inexpensive hard-cover treasure is From So Simple a Beginning: Darwin's Four Great Books which contains Voyage of the Beagle, The Origin of Species, The Descent of Man, and The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals
1706 pages, $26.37 with free shipping from Amazon.com