Why do I get so upset when people believe in something like ID? Faith is important in many peoples' lives, so why can't we just live and let live? This is a question that was recently asked by a friend of mine who is generally smarter than I am. It's been bothering me for a while now, so I feel I have to get out an answer.
Let me try to explain the problem I have with faith. Faith is belief without proof. Religions teach people from an early age that faith is a virtue and doubting is a sin. This is one of my biggest issues with religion. Faith is NOT a virtue. Blind belief should not be something that people respect. I understand that faith in some things makes sense, but faith in and of itself is not a good thing. Respecting faith because it's faith is akin to tolerating intolerance.
Faith is what empowers suicide bombers. Faith is what keeps stem cell research from its potential. Faith is what encourages people with AIDS to not use contraception. And in any of those three previous statements I could have used a different word: Ignorance.
If there were a god and He were truly wise and just, I find it impossible to believe he would not reward intelligent skepticism more than blind faith. On the subject of ID, this same friend said that many rational people believe in ID to some extent. If there really are plenty of rational people who believe in ID, then there really are only two explanations. The first is that they don't really know what ID is. I explained previously that it is creationism re-branded. I was not exaggerating. If they know that and still believe it then they might as well believe the world is flat because I don't know how to talk someone out of that much crazy. The second explanation is that they believe in a creator of some sort that had a hand in designing us. A belief in god is not something I'm going to attack in this post, but denial of evolution is just ignorant. I see the options as a few categories.
1. The person believes in creationism. The earth is only a few thousand years old, etc.
2. The person believes that there is a god or designer who designed all that exists. The person denies evolution for the most part or totally.
3. The person believes there is a god or designer who may have had a hand in evolution. The person does not deny evolution, but thinks god helps it along with some greater purpose (humans ... or perhaps bananas).
4. The person believes evolution has happened without the need of any divine intervention.
I believe anyone in the 1 and 2 category is severely deluded. The rational people my friend spoke of must be those of group 3. I think that those in this category suffer from a earth-is-the-center-of-the-universe complex and a lack of education in genetics and evolution, but certainly these people are rational and just a few books and perhaps a bonk on the head will land them in category 4. Basically, if you deny evolution in favor of a biblical explanation, you are not rational.