A post at UD, insidiously tagged with “academic freedom”, promotes charity. Contributor johnnyb highlights a piece on NPR’s website which calls for recognition that
other people’s religious and scientific commitments can be as deeply felt and deeply reasoned as our own.
Sure, ID proponents are passionate about the tenets of their faith, and indeed the theist keeps on digging when the soil runs out. As Kierkegaard noted, there is always an unbridgeable emptiness for the theist, the “leap of faith.” So no matter how much reason one applies to religion, religious belief is at heart irrational. Those who attempt to trowel reason over the gap are foolish, and cowardly in their attempts to divert from the irrationality of their belief.
We already understand why people believe in ID. It is because they belong to sects which cannot accept that an upgraded Canaanite storm god did not create beasts and birds and plants fully formed, in many cases a few hours after finishing the planet. In the twenty-first century, this is a ridiculous idea, utterly contrary to the firmly established science based upon mountains of evidence. Furthermore, to preserve the fiction that ID is science, its supporters must fall back on a conspiracy theory which grants inordinate power to an atheist minority despised and marginalized in much of the world, especially the United States.
This is not all. We know that prominent figures associated with ID, and particularly the intelligent design advocacy organization, the Discovery Institute, have a theocratic, anti-science agenda. They do not balk at lies. This is all well documented.
The public face of ID is political. The politics are those of the American Christian right. Those of us who value reality, science, progressiveness, inclusiveness, social justice, and opportunity for all make a grave mistake by being charitable to proponents of ID. The American Christian right deserve no more charity than any other would be totalitarians. If the odd nice, deluded, and ignorant but honest creationist is offended by a lack of charity, that is tough as far as I am concerned. Obliviousness is no excuse for assisting the enemies of humanity.