December 29, 2009

A Few Over-generalizations

Some of you may remember that I’d basically given up on the whole evolution “debate” out of what amounts to sheer exasperation with pretty much every side involved. Recently, however, I seem to have been drawn in again, mostly through discussions with several youth members at church. It has led me to do some more reading in the area, on two sides (of many) in particular, and yet I still find myself at a place of …

… “So?”

The issue that keeps coming back for me is this: how is it that the two sides in question seem so full of paradoxes, and how then can we then make these central debates to any sort of worldview?

For example, young-earth creationists claim that the universe was created in six, 24-hour days (because time was measured that way already) by a benevolent God who told them to be fruitful and multiply and to take care of their garden and the people of the earth He loves so much. I get the opposition to abortion, it seems to fit pretty well with “God loves all creatures”. However, they then oppose social health care, as if it would be such a terrible thing for everyone to be healthier, for more people to live, and for more people to live well. Now, I know there are issues with health care reform and socialized health care from an economic perspective (i.e. we can’t really afford it), but how on earth can you claim that these are issues that scripture can oppose? Sure, they’re not particularly consistent with traditional American values, but scripture isn’t particularly for or against America. I’ve yet to hear from any of the conservatives/fundamentalists how the two go hand-in-hand. Now they may, there’s the possibility since everything is really a religious issue, but I’ve yet to hear their justification for it. What the world does is only my concern inasmuch as I need to understand it to then show them the love of Christ in a way they can understand.

My beef with the other side is that they’re just as paradoxical. Most naturalistic evolutionists would say that there was no particular cause for everything, just random chance (if we can label it that). They also would tend to say, by definition, that everything arose through natural selection of genetic variation, the fittest genes survive, the most cunning are able to pass on their genetic material for a new generation. However, what I don’t understand is that the same group of people – to over-generalize – also seem to be most often in favor of universal health care, socialism, etc. This isn’t to knock those ideas one way or the other, but to notice an inconsistency: if you’re so in favor of naturally selected survival, then why on earth would you try to guarantee everyone surviving? And THEN you say that it’s our freedom of choice that we should make abortion legal. It seems a contradiction and a paradox to me as to how these can all coincide in the same worldview.

Just some thoughts, hoping that maybe it’ll get my writing juices flowing again. I’ve been away from this for far too long and I miss it. And yet I also seem to have very little time for it. Ah well.



Anonymous said...

In "favor" of evolution?
I favor evolution like I favor gravity. Actually there's no "favoring" involved. It just is. -A.Annie

Chris said...

And yet that has nothing to do with what I wrote ...

Anonymous said...

You said "If you're so in favor of natural selection ..." By using the word "favor" you're tying an opinion to a process that just happens. People don't "favor" or disfavor things like natural selection or gravity or evolution. This has nothing to do with the health care debate.
But to go ahead and answer the question anyway, we're interdependent in ways that boggle the mind in this day and age. Look at your breakfast plate. How many other people were involved in getting that food to your table? Could you have assembled that breakfast yourself from scratch (I mean all the way from the seeds in the ground)? From the farmers, distribution efforts, the boxes, the packaging, and on and on. If that's not social behavior than I don't know what is. Denying that we all have a stake in each other's health is ridiculous as is spending 2x+ what other countries spend for health care without anything special to show for it.
My brother in law had a time in his life when he had no health insurance. His son had a serious injury and it took him more than 10years to pay the money back. My friend's health insurance dropped her like a hot potato one week after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. If not for Colorado's publicly funded program for self-employed people like her, who knows if she would have gotten the care she needed? As long as companies can cherry pick customers, and some people are allowed to opt out, we will never have affordable health care.
The whole point of insurance is shared risk. Everyone has to participate.
The chart in National Geographic kind of says it all.