Vladimir Putin is a hero, if….
Win or lose, Vlad is the poster boy for Darwin’s “natural selection.” In a world birthed and incubated in the nurturing ooze of “survival of the fittest,” Putin epitomizes evolutionary virtue. The struggle for power helps guarantee that the strong survive, while the weak die and exit the gene pool. In this manner humanity continues its ever-evolving upward journey. That’s good, isn’t it? We want humanity to continue evolving, don’t we? Weren’t we taught in school that “survival of the fittest” is the way of the universe?
But here is the HUGE dilemma for most thinking people who sincerely care about others. How do you begin with Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” and end with Jesus’ “Love your neighbor?”
Parenthetically, I’ve heard some folks try to wiggle their way out of this corner by responding, “Darwin did not coin the term ‘survival of the fittest.’” They are correct—albeit at bit insincere. In the 5th edition of On the Origin of Species, Darwin admitted it was a better description of his theory than his original term, “natural selection.” Now, let’s get back to the dilemma at hand.
Some people claim that morality evolved just like we did. That’s great! How? What is it about “survival of the fittest” that now obligates me to love my neighbor when it did not before? What in the universe obligates me to be kind if I am powerful? What within the violent cosmos obligates me to now play nice? I’ve been asking that question for 25 years. The best answer I have heard apart from “God,” is, “Absolutes are self-evident.” I agree, but it still utterly fails to explain the “why” of moral obligation.
Believing morality evolved is nice, and it may therefore make it “true for you,” but it does not obligate anyone else to agree. And that’s the real problem, isn’t it? When you sincerely believe in the platitude, “Be Kind,” but Putin believes in “survival of the fittest,” real people suffer. Real people die. And you have no way to convince Putin, nor any of his ideological fellow travelers, that they have done anything wrong. All you can do is yell louder, pound the table, or get a bigger stick.
Obligation must be rooted in something deeper than your feelings, or my feelings. In Darwin’s world of “survival of the fittest,” when your feelings and my feelings come into conflict, all that is left is a spitting match. No one is really right. No one is really wrong. In the words of Don Henley, “There is no wrong; there is no right…. Just people selling t-shirts.” You can believe whatever you want, but in a Darwinian universe, be sure to keep one eye in the rear-view mirror.
According to “survival of the fittest,” where the strong survive and the weak die, Putin is a hero. He personifies the very essence of Darwinism. It is only in a cosmos where divine Providence reigns that Putin’s lust for power makes him a bloody monster. Only in a world created by God do Jesus’ words “Love your neighbor,” assume the mantle of moral obligation.
©2022 Brad Bright