Marco has said: Believing in "evoloution" over "creation" will not make you a more moral person, and would therefore not particularly help society.
To which I replied: Yes, believing in 'evolution' over 'creation' will help make you a more moral person, because you will not have to believe in a God who is a malevolent scumbag! See my earlier post, 'Does God suck?'
Why is it morally reprehensible and bad for society to believe in special creation? I will explain. If you believe in special creation, you have to believe that God created all of these poor animals ex nihilo perfectly adapted for carnivory, parasitism, and other icky things involving lots of pain and fear. There are two ways of explaining this away:
(1) Moral Laws do not apply to non-humans. This is not exactly cutting-edge morality, since prophets were railing against it 3000 years ago, and it won’t wash very well when the Grog Voidships materialise over Canberra, but it could still be rationally argued. This is why the letters page of the Devil Bunny City Morning Herald has recently been full of letters from angry clergymen defending the right of bored teenagers to torture kittens. But, it hasn’t actually, because creationists have taken the cop-put position:
(2) God is, like, mysterious. He seems to do evil stuff, but he isn’t really evil, no, he’s good. This is the intellectual equivalent of castrating yourself with a spoon. Nobody who doesn’t share your wacky assumptions is going to take your morality seriously. Any morality with such a big and unnecessary ‘mystery’ at the centre of it can never form a logical system, just a hodge-podge of propositions laid down by authority. Those who follow such a morality will behave as automata, not as rational moral agents. Such a morality can elicit heroism, and even holiness, in its devotees- I do not dispute that- but it will not be taken seriously in a pluralistic society, and it will be totally inept at coping with any situation not covered by its hodge-podge of propositions, which is sure to be thrown up by the advance of science. For instance, no one who believes that a human being is mystically ‘ensouled’ at a particular age, making them worthy of moral consideration where they were unworthy before, has any right to be taken seriously in the stem cell argument. Thus believing in spoecial creation damages the ability of religions to influence the moral direction of society in a whole.
Marco has said: I certainly believe the Universe is mysterious and I can call God the universe just as surely as anybody else. I think it nonsensical to "believe" in something so mysterious.
To which I reply in the words of Charles Sanders Peirce, the greatest intellect of the 19th century: “One singular deception of this sort, which often occurs, is to mistake the sensation produced by our own unclearness of thought for a characteristic of the object we are thinking about. Instead of perceiving that the obscurity is purely subjective, we fancy that we contemplate a quality of the object which is essentially mysterious ... so long as this deception lasts, it obviously puts an impassable barrier in the way of perspicuous thinking; so that it equally interests the opponents of rational thought to perpetuate it, and its adherents to guard against it.”