Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Are Evolution Deniers and Geocentrics Hypocrites if Using Modern Technology?

At times this has been claimed - not just by Frédéric Chaberlot, in whom it does not fit very well with his admission that scientific method is different from case to case, but also by US American Science Believers, like thunderf00t. Now here is the wikipedia definition with a caution attached to it:

Hypocrisy is the state of promoting or administering virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that one does not actually have and is also guilty of violating.[1] Hypocrisy often involves the deception of others and thus can be considered a kind of lie.[1]

Hypocrisy is not simply failing to practice those virtues that one preaches. Samuel Johnson made this point when he wrote about the misuse of the charge of "hypocrisy" in Rambler No. 14:

Nothing is more unjust, however common, than to charge with hypocrisy him that expresses zeal for those virtues which he neglects to practice; since he may be sincerely convinced of the advantages of conquering his passions, without having yet obtained the victory, as a man may be confident of the advantages of a voyage, or a journey, without having courage or industry to undertake it, and may honestly recommend to others, those attempts which he neglects himself.[2]

Footnotes are to following references:

1) Definition of "Hypocrite" on dictionary.com

2) Rambler 14, P. 154. In Chalmers, Alexander: Full text of "The British essayists : with prefaces, historical and biographical" Retrieved 2009-04-15.

But whether we talk of radio or of fridge, of pulling teeth or of giving antibiotics, these technologies do not depend on the admission of:

1/ a moving earth
2/ our descendance from Tiktaalik, or
3/ absence of God, angels, devils, ghosts and monsters

in order to work. Even if Piggy in Lord of the Flies say they do.

They depend on electromagneticism, anatomy and lever principle, and on biochemistry as extant in organisms living now, notably the inability of many bacterial stems to survive where there is penicilline.

But the question is whether they involve some kind of moral inconsistency. We take them from the scientific community (except those of us who are Amish and who won't read this in the electronic version) - so why not take belief in a moving earth and a tree of life where everything stems from unicellular organisms from them as well?

Well, some of the things we use, and which are really very useful (including basics of dentistry) were discovered by people who believed the earth to be still and who believed creatures come in very various kinds from the very first. As far as we know at least.

So, do you feel like a hypocrite if you use something grown by agriculture, unless you agree with very pre-modern ideas? Do you feel like a hypocrite if you drink wine without agreeing one hundred percent with or about Noah? Do you feel like a hypocrite if you use language without admitting Adam named the animals?

Some things should be left to reason rather than to gratitude.

Our Lord was invited to dinner by Pharisees, and he did not feel obliged not to criticise them.* He was born in Bethlehem - but did not stay there to get slaughtered by Herod.** And He is the best example, because He is God as well as Man.

Gratitude and loyalty are very good things, but do not push the merely human gratitudes or loyalties too far.

Merry Christmas!

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Paris, in a cyber café
Christmas Day

*That is, He criticised them collectively, but was obviously polite and grateful to the individual hosts. But He did not let them attack repentant sinners unanswered.

**But in the end He was loyal to them:

Jesus, sweetest Child, You were sought by wicked Herod to be slain, and You were carried with Your Mother into Egypt by Saint Joseph. You were rescued from the cruel slaughter and You were glorified by the praises of the martyred Innocents. Have mercy on us.

source : The Lewis Crusade : Veneration of the Mysteries of the Sacred Infancy

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