Hope is possibly the most addictive drug in the world because most people desperately need to believe in something. They will hold onto their faith long after they’ve lost everything else. It goes to reason that the fear of losing something so important will motivate people to accept all kinds of fallacies. This is nothing new—such arguments have been made by Freud, Nietzsche and countless others who claimed that people believe what they want to believe.
Consequently, in an attempt to keep their beliefs, generations of people continually customize the Bible. Rather than conform their lives to fit their beliefs, they prefer to alter their creeds into what a Duke professor of mine once called “Christianity Lite.” It’s a low calorie version of the original religion, which has been purged of its troublesome indigestible.
After all, this is the only way that many people can bring themselves to swallow the bitter pill of religion, which advances in modern science (with its empirical calculations and supposed “proofs”) constantly make harder to stomach. Take evolution. It’s a theory so firmly established by scientific research that it leaves no room for “Creation.” If the very first sentence of the Bible—“In the beginning God created heaven and earth”—can be proven wrong, where can you possibly go from there?
In the chapters that follow, as you get a bare-bones dogma: God creates humans and animals, the Earth is flat and only 2000 years old, and so on, ad nauseam, all of which have been debunked. How do you know when to start believing what the Bible says? More importantly, what makes you, your priest or anyone else qualified to make such a judgment?
The Bible, although open to interpretation, is not open to revision—and there certainly isn’t a second edition hitting the shelves any time soon. Yet in recent years, people have tried to do exactly that, tapering the Bible into their own personal editions. The latest tailors on the scene have turned the timeless Creation classic into a fresh new piece called intelligent design—a sensational style so successful that it just might warrant a second edition of the Bible.
Of course, no one is actually proposing a new edition, but they certainly should. The changes which the ID theory proposes contradict the theory of creation to such an extent that one side will have to concede.
According to ID, creation and evolution occurred together. They’ve found the solution to the problem that many Christians have faced since Darwin published his troublesome little book. However, after 5th grade science class (at least under the old curriculums), you know that the theory of a seven-day creation doesn’t fit and that humans might not be a product of divine creation. What is a Christian to do?
ID acknowledges that all life forms are the result of evolution but claims that such evolution is still a result of a divine creator.
The entire argument is contingent upon the idea that it is inconceivable that something as complex as the human brain or as intricate as the human eye could have occurred by pure chance. It must have been created by a supreme being because everything has to have a designer. While everything does originate from something else, countless critics and scientists have pointed out that this still does not dismiss evolution.
The processes of evolution, they argue, is capable of creating any design, regardless of how complex, because it is not blind chance. All evolution requires is time. The random mutations, aided by natural selection, can create anything—even the wonders ID proponents dismiss as too complex to be a result of chance.
The various arguments that expose the logistical holes of intelligent design are easily accessible to anyone willing to seriously consider the ideas in question.
To ponder these things is no easy matter. It might even require critical thought. Instead, it seems that many people would rather let the most appealing and accommodating theories lead the way.
That is how fads such as intelligent design earn their influence. It offers people an easy way out. But wouldn’t it be worth the effort to try and work through even the most difficult parts of Christianity? It certainly wouldn’t be easy, and there is a substantial chance that it would all fail to make sense. You might question—and perhaps lose—your faith.
Even so, isn’t it better to run the risk of becoming an atheist or an agnostic rather than settle for a complacent religious existence, sustained by someone else’s low-calorie version of what, one would hope, should be your own personal beliefs? Of course, that is a question only you can answer.
Emin Hadziomanovic is a Trinity senior. His column runs every other Tuesday.
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