Creationist Wisdom #1,027: Evolution Is Depravity

Today’s second letter-to-the-editor appears in the Monticello Herald Journal of Monticello, Indiana (population 5,378). The title is If there is no God, isn’t life all about me? It’s actually a column, and they don’t seem to have a comments feature.

Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name — but today we’ve got a preacher. It’s Gregg Nydegger, described as “the evangelist at Christ’s Church at Monticello.” We may have found their website , but it makes no mention of Nydegger. That’s not important.

We wrote about two of the rev’s columns before — see #1,017: Evolution Is Evil, and before that see #1,003: Life Is Meaningless. Here are some excerpts from the rev’s new column, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Okay, here we go:

If the Darwinian theory of evolution and the godless origin of all life were true, then isn’t each of us our own god? [Huh?] With no Creator God and no eternity, this life is all there is. Why shouldn’t our life be about what we want, when we want it, and whatever we can get and accomplish …pleasure, sex, money, power, fame and our happiness?

Pleasure, money, happiness? Those sound like worthy goals regardless of evolution. We assume the rev thinks otherwise. He says:

Doesn’t survival of the fittest teach (and actually encourage) me that whatever I do is acceptable if it’s beneficial to me and makes me happier? I must survive — whatever it takes, whoever and whatever I have to use, abuse, knock down or climb over.

No, it doesn’t work like that. Al Capone isn’t the evolutionary role model — for humans or any other species. After that absurdity the rev tells us:

Evolution theory essentially teaches us to live life to its fullest now. “Let us eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.” Shouldn’t we indulge every lust and ambition we can? Why hold back? What would we hold back for? Let’s live our best life now! While we’re enjoying the lusts and passions nature has given us, evolutionary theory would tell us … homosexuality, pedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia, incest, pornography, adultery and sex outside of marriage are OK.

Some preachers behave like that, but has anyone ever known or heard of a biologist — or any other scientist — who fits that description? Ah well, the rev continues:

Aren’t these morally taboo only because of a belief (or former societal belief) in God or a moral authority outside of humanity? If there’s no God, why should there be taboos?

Now it’s atheists, so we’ll ask the same question about them that we just did about biologists. Anyone know of an atheist who fits the rev’s description? No? Well, let’s read on anyway:

If undirected blind chance has given someone urges to have sex with young children, who are we to stop him from acting on those urges? It’s just who he is. Might not he even argue that he was born that way and can’t help himself? [The rev is realy obsessed!] Necrophilia and bestiality aren’t abnormal. Some folks have just evolved a bit differently than we have. Who’s to say they’re wrong?

This is sick stuff, so let’s skip a bit. Okay, here’s another excerpt:

Eternal life? Hardly! Some sort of reward? From whom? There’s no God. Darwinian theory encourages people to care about themselves only, with a little bit of concern thrown in for their family so they can pass on their genes. Giving my resources away makes no evolutionary sense. It’s a waste. If nature, chance and the vagaries of life have made you less fortunate than me, then, sorry ‘bout your luck. We’re all going to die eventually anyway; why should anyone care?

How many preachers give to charity? Aren’t they usually on the receiving end of charitable donations? Here’s more:

If it’s all about me, and certain laws keep me from doing what I want to do or restrain my happiness, then why shouldn’t I disregard them? I owe nothing morally to anyone. My life is for my own pleasure and gratification. If I can break laws and get away with it, then I win. You follow the laws and I’ll flagrantly flout and disobey them. Who do you think will come out ahead? Guns, violence, fraud, deceit, betrayal? All wonderful tools for survival of the fittest.

You gotta admit, dear reader, the rev understands the theory of evolution! Skipping a bit more, we come to the end:

Do we want a better future? Do we want God to bless America? Then we need to repent, turn back to God, and acknowledge Him as Creator. That’s no theory. It’s the truth.

You heard it from the rev, dear reader. That means it’s The Truth™!

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #1,027: Evolution Is Depravity

  1. Dave Luckett

    The unspoken and unacknowledged presupposition is that the Christian triune God is the only cause for morality, and there cannot be any other. That idiocy was blown ‘way, ‘way out of the water long before Spinoza was out of nappies. But here it is again.

    As I’ve remarked before, I used to think that clergy of the major Christian denominations received some kind of training in theology and religious philosophy, including at least the major issues, but I gave that idea up decades ago. I have no idea what the title “Evangelist” means in the context of Christ’s Fellowship Church of Monticello, IN, or even if it is one awarded by Mr Nydegger to himself. I can only say that he should get an education.

  2. chris schilling

    “Guns, violence, fraud, deceit, betrayal.”

    How else does Gregg think such Christian nations as the US and Australia were colonized, but on the back of such tools?

    If Gregg wants to roll back the clock and return to Christian values — such as they were — then he has to acknowledge that conflict and painful dispossession went hand-in-hand with introducing the Bible to many non-European peoples.

    But there’s no way to promote evangelism and honesty at the same time. The one automatically rules out the other.

  3. I bet there are preciously few atheist evolutionists in the NRA.

  4. Pleasure, sex, money, power, fame
    And evangelicals

  5. “Pleasure, money, happiness? Those sound like worthy goals regardless of evolution.”
    While I wanted to make the same point as our dear SC I still slightly disagree – I think money not a worthy goal, only a necessary means to achieve goals, i.e. leading the life I want to live. More is superfluous ballast. Also I think sex a worthy goal as it contributes to pleasure and happiness.

    “Doesn’t survival of the fittest teach (and actually encourage) me that whatever I do is acceptable if it’s beneficial to me and makes me happier? I must survive ….”
    I’ve [got] to give it to Gregg; hardly never does a creacrapper formulate his silly errors clearer than he does.
    1. Evolution theory is descriptive, not morally proscriptive. It doesn’t tell you how you should behave.
    2. No, evolution has nothing to do with survival of individuals (sometimes I meet the expression “survival of populations”, which I think rather clumsy – see point 1, evolution theory doesn’t proscribe that populations should avoid extermination either). Evolution theory is about producing offspring. Then the population will continue and you can die just fine. Several spider species do this; the males get eaten by the females.
    3. Evolution theory is not only about “survival [of the] fittest”, but also about “mutual aid”. That has been known since about 150 years, but creacrappers are unwilling and/or incapable of learning this (so are some fans of Free Market Superstition).

    “Evolution theory essentially teaches us to live life to its fullest now.”
    Yes and I succeeded pretty well, despite some setbacks. But does christianity not teach the same? Was Jesus not the ultimate role model of living a life to its fullest?

    “Anyone know of an atheist who fits the rev’s description?”
    Yes, Martin Bormann of NSDAP fame.

    “Might not he even argue that he was born that way and can’t help himself?”
    Spot on, rev. But you know, in a few countries (notably Norway) societies act according to this principle and try to help those who were born that way. Know what? With success. Those countries are much safer than the USA with its backward conservative christian punishment above all legislation.

    “Some sort of reward? From whom?”
    Apparently our dear SC is already too sick to realize that this is the simplest question to answer of all – from the people I love and are important to me, of course. See, if I’d start to practice necrophilia and bestiality (which btw does nothing to pass on my genes, so even if evolution theory were morally proscriptive would be a bad thing) these people would start frowning a bit. E.g. our dear SC undoubtedly would start censoring me when someone started to promote it on his nice blog.

    “Giving my resources away makes no evolutionary sense. It’s a waste.”
    Of course it does. Mutual aid, remember? In the first place my genes get a better chance to be passed on if I help my relatives. In general: if I’m ready to help others I improve my chance (and of my loved ones) to receive help when needed.

    “I owe nothing morally to anyone.”
    And this is why fundagelicalism is so creepy. Gregg wants to convince us that he’ll go on a raping and killing spree the moment he loses his faith. The rebuttal as almost always was not invented by me: I have no desire to do such things. Never had.

  6. @DaveL has lost his faith in another matter: “I used to think that clergy of the major Christian denominations received some kind of training in theology and religious philosophy.”
    They do, at least in The Netherlands. And yes, they do learn crap like Gregg’s. In the end they can write a thesis on some variation of this crap and call themself Doctor of Philosophy or something similar. I’ve read two such Dutch theses and while neither graduate was a creationist they were build on some of Gregg’s stupidities.

    @Draken: “I bet there are preciously few atheist evolutionists in the NRA.”
    While I’m all for outlawing guns it’s also a fact that Switzerland and Norway (see my previous comment) are far more liberal on this issue, while having crime rates as low as in other European countries.

    What I’ve come to realize recently is one of the biggest problems with christianity in our 21st Century. It’s in Johannes 1:1.

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
    Here the author introduces Greek rationality, ie a heavy reliance on deduction (and thinking in general) in christian theology, which since then never has disappeared. Tom Holland just has released a book called How Christianity shaped the Western Mind. Indeed, while initially inspired by Greek intellectuals, way too many people still think that arguments trump evidence (hence violating two principles formulated by Richard Feynman). We see it with climate change “skeptics”, euroskeptics, creationists, jesusmythologists, 9/11 truthers, moon landing “skeptics” and of course holocaust deniers.
    As I’m a Dutchman and hence the product of a christian culture I have no doubt I tend to be guilty of this way of thinking too. We must get rid of it and because it’s so deeply ingrained it will be hard.

  7. “Do we want a better future?”
    This reminds me of another aspect of christianity I dislike, perhaps the one I dislike most.
    Want a better future? Try to live like Jesus, the embodiment of agape.
    You try this? You will fail, because Original Sin.

    It’s the chrisitans who can rape and kill as much as they like. Afterwards they confess, repent, pray, put their fate in the Lord’s hands and will be fine. Repeat all over again.

  8. The interesting point of this dimwit’s thoughts is that he is describing the actions and motivations of most preachers that have been discussed on many blogs and yet almost no known atheists do so.

  9. It should be obvious to anyone who thinks about it for a few seconds that social morals are independent of rev Gregg’s favorite god, since history shows that all societies have rules and regulations, even if their gods happen to be on Mt. Olympus.

  10. Michael Fugate

    https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2020/jan/26/terry-jones-a-man-who-grasped-the-meaning-of-life

    Commenting on Terry Jones as Sir Bedevere
    “Jones in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, has “established” that witches burn because they’re made of wood. And wood floats. And what also floats? (“Gravy! Very small rocks! Lead!” shout the villagers). No, a duck. If she weighs the same as a duck, she’s made of wood. “And therefore …?” A witch! A witch!

    That little … “and therefore” sums up Jones’s attitude to the usurping of logic for political/religious ends.”

  11. When I first read “1984” while I liked it, I thought that he overdid it. Nobody would accept what they were beng told. And then much later …

  12. It’s pure projection with a built-in “Get out of Jail Free!” card.

  13. Michael Fugate

    The thinking goes like this: science can’t speak on morals…. and therefore… religion can. Actually only my religion. OK only my interpretation of my religion. Which boils down to if I don’t want to do it nobody else can do it and if I do want to do it then it can’t be wrong.

  14. Rather it boils down to if my imaginary sky daddy doesn’t want me to do it even if I want to nobody else can do it and if my imaginary sky daddy tells me I can do it it can’t be wrong.