Thursday, February 7, 2008

Armageddon Arrogance

We live in a time when elements on both the Left and the Right believe in our imminent demise. Christ or Climate, take your pick.

When it comes to the rapture crowd, my main in-head response (assuming that bald logic and reasoning would never get me very far in a barroom argument with a Darwin Hater) has always been something like this:

Really. You think that after 200,000+ years of human history (check that... 6,000 for this crowd), NOW is the exact time of our demise? In your lifetime? How interesting. How inconvenient for us, but how convenient for you and your argument, and whatever you're trying to sell, which somehow leads to money going from my pocket to you, your church, or Mike Huckabee.

When it comes to the environmental crowd, the counter-argument on the Right is much the same:

Really. You think that after 4.5 billion years of earth's existence, NOW is the exact time of our demise? In your lifetime? How interesting. How inconvenient for us, but how convenient for you and your argument, and whatever you're trying to sell, which somehow leads to money going from my pocket to you, your nonprofit 401(c)3, or Hillary Clinton.

It's easy to write off both positions as extreme and irrational. Except for one thing. One of them is based on a degree of logic and reasoning. 

I recognize the inherit arrogance in any argument that claims NOW as the absolute best or worst of times. As far as religious belief, the arrogance is pure and complete. No one knows if God exists, and if God does exist, no one can talk to God. Your rapture B.S. is just that. And don't claim to base it on an oft-translated book of good stories that has been tinkered with by seriously flawed human beings for thousands of years (and which also advises selling your daughter into slavery).

But on the environmental alarmist side, consider these two facts:

1. There have never been this many human beings competing for resources on this planet.

2. There has never been this much carbon in the atmosphere while human beings have existed on this planet.

That doesn't prove anything, but the point is this: If you try to swat away global warming and environmental alarmism by thinking, "hey, we've been around a long time, it's a big planet, we always find a way to get through," that's not really very comforting. 

Each morning is a new experiment. There are more people than yesterday. It's just a little bit warmer than it should be. And both trends show no sign of dissipating. I'm not saying human beings are finished any time soon. But you have to admit, there is no model or manual for what we're doing right now. None whatsoever.

Cheers!

3 comments:

Vegas Gopher said...

And just look at what all that carbon has done to Michael Stipe's glorious head full of curls! That's all the inspiration I need to go out and get me a hybrid. Oh wait, I already have one. OK, I'll start using those canvas shopping bags every time I go to the grocery store like my wife wants me to...

Ted said...

Speaking for the Christians in this argument, okay more like myself, I don't need your money. Your possessions will do fine.

And more to the point, I don't think its even close to the end of the world. I think things are going to get much worse.

Anonymous said...

Nice. I'll take that argument to the mat in my next dust-up with an Evangelical...which, in my case, is only one phone call away to a family member...