I did something I rarely do at a debate—I lost my temper. Normally, I can let ignorance roll like water from a duck’s back, but sometimes there are such stunning and dazzling displays of dunce-hood that make it hard to catch your breath or focus clearly. I debate regularly at a local “higher education” institution for theology. Like in the Barnes and Noble store the irony of a term like “Christian Fiction” is lost in the same smoke that clouds minds with “theological higher education,” but that is not what set me off on a 30-minute rant about intelligent design (ID).
Of course, I said there was nothing intelligent about it and posited the question, “Rather than have human beings born helpless and needy, why didn’t God just give us all the knowledge he has so we could be productive from the womb and, perhaps, even assist the doctor in the delivery?” A hush fell over the room, but a brave soul stood and recited dogma saying, “No one knows the mind of God.” That set me off. Since Intelligent Design was the subject, I asked what university granted God a diploma as a designer or engineer? Yahweh U?
I picked up where Neil deGrasse Tyson left off by asking the students, “What engineer or designer would place a playpen next to a toxic waste dump? Why can birds see better than human beings? Why are our ears facing forward, when I need to know if some Christian is about to sneak up from behind and Shanghai me away to the Vatican or Pat Robertson’s house?” Why can’t I regenerate organs like other animals? Why does anyone need to be taught about God? It seems that would be a priority for such an egotistical bastard.
Why does God need to test anyone? He already knows the answers. If he does not then perhaps he is nothing more than the Great Karnak, if that good. Why is Satan allowed to exist? Is it for warped entertainment, or, is it because he cannot do damn a thing about him. Why don’t my nails retract? Why do I need sunglasses instead of just a film that naturally slips over my eyes to protect me from harmful effects of the sun? By the way, it seems a little advanced planning could have produced a sun without those harmful rays.
Suddenly, I realized that no one was talking asides from me. I was highly embarrassed by my outburst, apologized to the instructor, the students and left the scene. On the way home, I cursed myself for allowing such an outburst to mark my presence at Yahweh U. My telephone rang while I was working my way back to a dark spot to hide my shame. It was the professor that invited me. He just wanted to tell me that there was no need to apologize and that they wanted me back, but this time in the auditorium so more people could participate, including instructors.
I guess I didn’t piss them off as much as I thought because many wanted to know my sources and how I could rattle them off without referring to notes. I was still ashamed, but I suppose I showed that non-believers actually have solid reasons for not believing. Until next time: “Cogito ergo sum."