In a previous post, I wrote a bit about my opinions on human arrogance (An Arrogant Bent). I was generally referring to any person who feels a sense of superiority and self-importance over others, which many of us may have exhibited traits of at one time or another.
There is so much in the universe that cannot be explained due to a lack of empirical evidence. There is no physical evidence that proves how our universe came into being (or any other universe, for that matter, if you believe in multi-verse theory), nor is there any material evidence of exactly how and when human life on earth came into being, either.
Materialists and creationists have debated their viewpoints on this for quite some time. Both sides of the debate have provided thoughtful reason behind their beliefs on what are essentially unknown and unobservable events.
So, from a purely physical and material perspective, I believe that creationism and materialism are on equal footing here since neither side can provide empirical evidence to support their position. For the creationist, the foundation is the belief that everything in existence is the product of an omnipotent, omniscient and eternal creator. For materialists, the foundation is the belief that everything in existence is due to natural causes.
What concerns me is how people approach one another on these issues. I would prefer that people always treat one another with respect and dignity when dialog occurs on this (really, any topic, of course), but that doesn’t always seem to be the case. There are some creationists who sometimes react in a rigidly pious manner (holier than thou); likewise, there are some materialists who sometimes react in a vain and arrogant manner (smarter than thou).
Have either of these reactions seemed common to you? If so, do you find it difficult to resist responding in like manner when your beliefs are in question? The reason this is of concern to me is that I believe that both behaviors diminish the understanding between opposing viewpoints. My further concern is with how this affects our youth, both in high school and especially in college where young minds are so vulnerable when hearing only one side of any debate.