Evolution Part Deux: My response
For those who read the evolution debate. Thank you for your input….
Of course, I always get the final word. A couple clarifying remarks.
1) Neil wrote, “It’s as though you earmarked this special topic, because it challenges your religion, as safe ground to be skeptical.”
2) Fatmir wrote, “There is of course some individualistic selfishness, but I think feelings of guilt and angst about those actions evolved to temper those individualistic desires.” and, “There is also beauty in the chaos that you describe as nature. ”
Now all we need is a hookah, cigarettes (not for me, I prefer brisket) and a deck of cards.
Neil is right, I am with him a hundred percent about finding the best system of governance and rational model to harness this selfishness. I truly believe that best model is one based on the Austrian school of economics (give or take). Now, my bigger problem is that I see this vicious cycle of selfishness. Sure we have elements of teamwork ultimately out of self-interested goals but to take the econ-crisis model (thanks to Fatmir for a particularly insightful conversation): Home mortgagers lied on their income reports, bankers gave “predatory loans”, originators bundled these toxic assets etc.
Fine, we can argue the system is flawed, I agree it is. But I think its a rather incomplete solution. We can increase the scope of governance, but as Neil you should know this would only incentivize “rent-seeking”. My ultimate issue is a lack of satisfaction at our human condition, not that fact that I think evolution scientifically challenges my faith. I am not skeptical about the positive arguments for evolution as Longley noted. I am however disappointed at the end result. WE can’t have it both ways and discuss only the positive manifestations of our selfishness (i.e. self-interested teamwork) and say these show the benefits of evolution. We want to have our cake and eat it too, but then when the crappy side of selfishness creeps up again, we spit up the cake and start all over again. I agree with the arguments there partially; but it ultimately comes down whether we believe ourselves to be unchangeable monoliths of self-centeredness or whether we believe heart redemption is possible.
I argue for the latter and I see when we go against the grain of this natural order. We don’t behave like our lives are largely deterministic; whether its our own edification, our actions towards our children, our deeds towards loved ones. Perhaps attributing these emotions of love and conscience to God is a quite a leap, but I find the alternative impossible to live for. I don’t find that irrational at all….