Creation is a movie about Charles Darwin and will be out in the theaters at the end of September.
The trailer highlights the tension between one particular image of evolution, and one particular image of God.
It may seem quaint. I know it does for me, having grown up in a culture where most are lukewarm agnostics, where religion plays very little role in society, and where the few Christians have no problem reconciling their religion with science. (Mostly by telling themselves they belong to different realms.)
But for some people in some places, it is of course still an alive question. How do I reconcile this one particular image of God with this one particular image of evolution? (Well, the answer is you don’t. You modify both so they stay true to their essence and just enough so they mutually enrich each other.)
Making it more personal makes this more interesting for me. I see clearly how beliefs makes people appear stupid and hold onto pretty stupid positions. When atheists and Christians take fundamentalist positions, they ignore the validity of the other side, and also overlook the many views that easily embrace – and sometimes enrich – them both. In short, they make themselves more stupid than they need to. They make themselves more stupid than they would have been if they had not taken those stories as absolute truths.
So how is that a mirror for myself? How do I do the same, including right now in relation to them? How do I make myself more stupid than I need to be, right now?
My tendency is to ignore fundamentalists. I don’t really encounter many or any in my daily life, apart from occasionally through US media, but when I do, I dismiss their views in my own mind. I tell myself ah, that’s no problem, just change your stories and all is fine. And that may be fine too, except that I don’t take their distress seriously. For them, the dilemma is real and the distress they may experience around it is real, so it is not very mature to just dismiss it.
A more mature approach would be to (a) take their concerns seriously, (b) gently offer an alternative that may be digestible for them, and (c) making myself available should they wish to explore it further. A more yang approach would be to cut through the confusion in a very direct way, maybe using humor to soften the edge. Michael Dowd is a great example of someone who is able to combine both of those approaches.
So how do I make myself stupid here, in relation to them? By dismissing their concerns, ignoring their distress, and making myself unavailable to them.
- evolution = no God
- only need to change the image of God, but resist (take all or nothing attitude, or rather, one particular image or no image)
- may seem a little quaint (for one who grew up in a northern european country where most are agnostics and religion plays very little role)
- but gets more interesting when use it as a mirror, find it here now (in other areas of life), how do I do the same, including right now?