Can't Darwin and God Get Along?
- It is frustrating because Gilberson admits to his own cognitive
dissonance. Ultimately he uses the same the reasoning as the
creationists he condemns.
The sum of his argument seems to be that there is a God because I need
for there to be a God.
This need is the insanity that is at the heart of the human condition.
In a nutshell the cause of this insanity is:
1. Both the experience and belief that self is unitary, autonomous,
central and disembodied.
2. Both the experience and belief that self has the absolute ability
to choose between two courses of action (free will).
The results of the above are:
1. Existential malaise - feelings of aloneness, alienation, and the
feeling that life has no meaning.
2. Existential terror - existence is perceived as self and not-self.
The cessation of self is perceived as a void. This is the nameless
terror that can grip a person when they contemplate their own death.
The supernatural band-aid solution is to believe in a god. This offers
relief from the feelings of aloneness and alienation. In addition an
immortal soul offers relief from existential terror. A soul is simply
the self imbued with the characteristic of immortality.
But this is a false solution. It can only work in so far as the person
can maintain a certain credulousness. The person also has to be able
to endure some cognitive dissonance i.e. contradictory ideas. Most of
the time this involves compartmentalizing reality. Keeping
supernatural beliefs with its own set of rules in one section of
reality and everyday reality in another section.
The real cure for existential malaise and terror is to embody the
mind. Embodying the mind changes the experience and perception of
self. It means changing the perception and experience of self from
unitary and autonomous to diffuse and interconnected.
But this is a big step. It means changing the fundamental
psychodynamic structure of the mind. Buddhists have been making these
psychodynamic changes with varying degrees of success for millenia.
They call it enlightenment. You can think of Buddhist enlightenment as
a sort of psychological therapy for existential malaise and terror.
Short of enlightenment, I don't ever see people like Gilberson ever
giving up their belief in the supernatural. Or objectivists giving up
their strident belief in Free Will. etc, etc.
This is the impasse we find ourselves at. It is a chasm between people
that can never be bridged by rational arguments alone.