Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ben Stein's Expelled--Rejoined

One of the last things I mentioned in the previous post was what I considered to be the weak link between Darwin and Hitler as presented in the movie. This argument, that Darwin leads to Hitler, is the basic substance of the entire second part of the film. To help make the case, Stein interviews Richard Weikart, author of From Darwin to Hitler.

To be fair, I haven't read the book. I note it has been widely criticized--but check this--by the academic community. Seems to me that the academic community might have a dog in this fight, so the fact that they criticized it does not necessarily carry any weight with me. On the other hand, as I already pointed out, in the film this tie-in seemed weak.

The weakness lies in the partial and parsed quotation from Darwin's The Descent of Man. See previous blogpost. Nevertheless the film slugs its way forward and demonstrates the atrocities that might develop from a Darwinist worldview.

Now this is a delicious little irony is it not?

Militant atheists are fond of pointing out all the atrocities committed by men down through history in the name of religion. They are quick to name religion as the source, the root of world evil. They gladly remonstrate against this plague of organized superstition and the zeal it produces in men's hearts for murder and mayhem. Their solution for solving the world's problems? Put an end to religion or, at the very least, neuter it by gutting it of substance (liberal theology anyone?)

Yes, they love to do that. And, yes, it is very weak argumentation, if one should deign to call it argumentation at all.

And along comes Ben Stein and points out that if one is to use the same logic--the logic that blames theism for wars, atrocities, murders, etc.--then one might similarly conclude that Darwinism and its ugly cousin atheism are similarly responsible for all the wars, atrocities, murders, etc. that took place under and because of the Nazi regime in Germany and throughout the 20th century under atheistic communists in the Soviet Union, its eastern bloc satellites, and in communist China, as well as in other communist countries.

One good turn deserves another.

Of course, as someone pointed out, the science of Darwinism is morally neutral and the theory cannot be held responsible for the way some men came along later and misused it.


Then, in response let me say that the Church has been, all things considered, a force for moral good in this world and that those who have misused its institutions, influence, and/or teachings are, in the same way, those who are to be held responsible, not the concept of Christianity itself.

What is the common denominator? Evil men. Individuals are responsible for their actions whatever ideological or theological or scientific excuse they may invent for themselves as a cover.

I will deal more with atheism in the coming weeks as I read my new books and think more along those lines. In the meantime, when Stein's movie comes out on video, do yourself a favor and rent it. It is highly entertaining from the perspective of a Christian and you are sure to derive some satisfaction from seeing Stein make atheistic academics squirm by asking them the tough questions.


mithrandir77 said...

I watched the Expelled movie twice in the theater and am absolutely crazy about it. Glad to see you post on this

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