Critical Thinking, Evolution, and Our Next President

January 12, 2008

Why would you vote for a president who has a different religion than you? If you are certain of the rightness of your own beliefs, and equally certain of the wrongness of a presidential candidate’s belief, that proves the candidate has, in your opinion, bad judgment about the most important question in reality.

For this discussion, I think you would have to say that someone who believes in a literal interpretation of the bible, complete with devils and angels, has a different religion from a Christian who believes much of the bible is not literal. The point is not whether the two have much in common, but how good they are at determining truth from nonsense. That’s exactly the sort of skill you want a president to have.

Arguably, sorting truth from nonsense is the biggest part of being president. Every big question has multiple possible solutions. The president’s job is to pick the right one.

You wouldn’t vote for a candidate who believes in Ouija boards or horoscopes, because such beliefs would be a reliable indication of simple-mindedness. So why would you vote for a candidate who can’t figure out what version of God is right?

– From Religion and Politics by Scott Adams

Adams summed up in this brief passage my feelings about the importance of a future presidents religious beliefs. And more importantly, how those beliefs translate into their view of the everyday world.

Take evolution, for example (because it’s the most obvious, out in the open science topic). I realize that the candidate won’t be ‘writing 8th grade science textbooks,’ as Huckabee has stated. At the same time, a disbelief in evolution amounts to a general lack of willingness (I say willingness, because I highly doubt it’s because of a lack of ability) to use critical thinking skills. And it could be argued that strong critical thinking skills are the (perhaps up there with leadership skills) most important qualities of a president.

Unfortunately, I have no candidates that share my beliefs (strongly agnostic, bordering on atheistic). So I’ll just have to choose from the next best thing. Which, right now, is Barrack Obama’s secular humanist brand of Christianity.

Don’t get me wrong, I have complete respect for the men and women that choose to follow the Christian religion, especially when they actually follow the moral code, as opposed to giving it lip service and then being an ass. But I still get a queasy feeling about the idea of a man running our country that doesn’t believe in a basic, well-proven tenet of the biological sciences.


3 Responses to “Critical Thinking, Evolution, and Our Next President”

  1. Kenny said

    I don’t think Huckabee ever came out and said that evolution doesn’t exist in this world. From what I’ve seen, I think he likes to take the more… Change has occurred over the past thousands of years, but God is still at the root of these changes. How can we argue against this? We have no scientific evidence that there isn’t something more out there. After all, we still can’t figure out how old our universe is, so what makes us think we can find the presence of some almighty god.

    I understand where you’re coming from with not wanting a religious man to run your country, but this is a different type of man. He’s not going to make the country follow his beliefs. I think his best attribute would be the ability to instill FAITH (not religion) into the people of this country. I’m not a man who believes that God is the end all be all, but why not at least have faith that there is something out there besides recession, war, and Global Warming ( :-) ) .

    It’s also pretty funny how in this country we’ve become so afraid of mentioning the name Jesus. It’s like some curse word that must be avoided or a whole bunch of people will go crazy. I haven’t gone to church in so many years I can’t remember, so why am I not in this group. Besides the fact that i’m not a crazy liberal, I don’t know.

    As far as critical thinking skills, he was a minister Dave! He can’t just come out and say that evolution exists and all of the people I’ve preached to are all a bunch of morons. He is an intelligent man who has had science save his life. He knows what science offers this country and will invest in a future that doesn’t shy away from it.

    And to wrap everything up, he was the governor of Arkansas for ten years Dave!!! If you’re so concerned about becoming a born again Christian, look at his record in Arkansas and tell me where he forced religion upon his people. When president, he will not shy away from his religion but will use it in order to instill faith in the people of this country. A faith that has been lacking over the past decade.

  2. ddarmon87 said

    Good points, and I too see where you’re coming from. Like I said, I don’t have anything against him. He seems like genuinely great guy who has some genuinely great ideas for our country. It’s just… I don’t know. There’s a queasy feeling whenever I hear him talk about evolution. I realize queasy feelings aren’t the best thing to base an election decision off of. But I can’t deny my gut.

    Huckabee has said (at least in this interview: that he doesn’t believe in macroevolution. I realize that he’s making an argument for intelligent design (something I personally believed in for a good two years). Better that than creationism.

    I’m not too worried about him trying to convert me to Christianity. Mainly because it wouldn’t work. Unless he can somehow slice through all the science, biblical scholarship, and the other world religions that claim they’re the one and only and provide me with some really strong evidence.

    Again, it’s not the forcing of the belief that worries me. It’s the irrationality of the belief, when all the evidence points in the opposite direction. The strongest example I can think of was during one of the democratic debates. During the debate, Dennis Kucinich said that he believed that there might possibly be UFOs out there, and he was lambasted by the national press. But at least believers in UFOs have eyewitness accounts from the past 10 years to back them up, compared to the belief in Christianity (Jesus-on-toast sightings notwithstanding). Basing a worldview on a book written 2000 years ago by several different authors, which has subsequently been rewritten enough times to make its original content nearly unknowable, doesn’t seem like a wise decision. But we make fun of the UFO believer instead.

    And for the record, I think Jesus was a great guy! It’s dogmatic Christianity that I have a beef with. I don’t think Jesus would even recognize the beliefs he espoused if he came back today. The zealots of the religion have strayed so far away from his message that it seems appropriate that Jesus’ name isn’t a part of the title of the religion.

    When all is said and done, if Huckabee is elected president, I have no doubt that he’ll govern well. I guess ultimately this is more about me than him.

  3. The error in your statement is that YOU believe you actually have a vote. You believe this untruth because you are not familiar with the workings of fiat, usury, fractional reserve banking, and debt based monetary systems – in other words, you don’t KNOW money (and “corrupt” money at that) so you don’t realize that your “vote” was stolen from you in 1913. You live in a communist nation (ALL nations are nowadays) that maintains a “democratic” front, an illusion. Even that is horrible because you were promised a “Republic” constitutionally and not a democracy because the essence of democracy is MOB RULE. The Federal Reserve is playing “3 Card Monte” with the American people. They win every time in elections because they run pocket politicians from both the democratic side and the republican side simultaneously. They also maintain a controlling interest in the stocks of media companies to continually keep you locked in a lie, never seeing the truth. In 2,000 they cemented their POWER by learning how to hack the software for the DIEBOLD voting machines so that now they can have more control over the ILLUSION of voting. Will a democrat win or a republican… it’s all THEIR show and all THEIR vote. You or I have NO SAY whatsoever. I don’t write this to be snotty, just to illuminate people who are locked in a huge delusion that their vote actually means something. Telling people to go out and vote is the same as telling people that they can win at 3 card monte. As artists our ideals should be held to the highest truths possible and that is only possible with real KNOWLEDGE. MAAT!

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