Continuing with George:
A very common problem with theist simpletons, like Steve here, is they tend to bifurcate the world into just “two sides”. You know…”saved – unsaved”, “Good Calvinist Christians – evil, militant, relativist, unbelievers”, “good Republican conservatives - bad, liberal Democrats”…that sort of thing.
That’s called the logical fallacy of false dilemma (also known as falsified dilemma, fallacy of the excluded middle, black and white thinking, false dichotomy, false correlative, either/or dilemma or bifurcation).
Make a mental note of this statement as we run across examples of George’s own bifurcations.
“Again, this is another application of the false dilemma fallacy by Steve. I’m guessing he does this a lot. He seems to insinuate that altruism and self interest are mutually exclusive. His ignorance that altruism often serves a “self interest”, speaks volumes about his ignorance of basic evolutionary behaviors and the various strategies employed by social, cooperative species such as ours. I’m sure he’s never studied any game theory.”
The false dilemma is due to George’s inability to read and/or comprehend what I actually wrote.
I did not treat these as mutually exclusive. Rather, I brought up textbook examples in which altruism and self-interest are in tension.
This is a tension that evolutionary ethics cannot resolve inasmuch as the tension is generated by evolutionary ethics in the first place.
“Sigh…what can one expect from someone who derives his understanding of the world from 3000 year old Genesis mythology?”
Sigh…what can one expect from someone who derives his understanding of the world from the shifting sands of humanism?
“I’m not sure what planet Steve lives on, but I have always lived on one with limited resources. And there are lots of examples of other social cooperative mammals that use various altruistic survival strategies that have never heard of Steve’s gods or his idol John Calvin.”
Since other social animals operate by instinct rather than abstract reason, they are in no position to evaluate those instances in which altruism comes into conflict with self-interest.
“There’s no evidence to show that Christians are more or less altruistic than Buddhists or humanists or athiests.”
Even if true, that’s irrelevant. The point at issue is not who is more altruistic, but whose worldview is logically supportive of altruism.
“It seems Ted Turner and Bill Gates have given more to charity, then Steve’s entire congregation.”
Given Bill Gates’ net worth, that’s’ a pretty safe tautology.
“In the meantime, thanks for this simpleton view of complex, evolved behaviors your little brain doesn’t understand. “
And in the meantime, thanks for ducking the philosophical complexities of warranted behavior by your anti-intellectual resort to anecdotal decoys.
“For the same reason you have them Steve. They are part of your DNA and social learning. Unfortunately, our DNA and social learning are comprised of vast, unique gene combinations and life experience…thus, we don’t all have the exact same ones…”
i) This does not justify secular ethics. To the contrary, you are committing the naturalistic fallacy as well as the is-ought fallacy—both of which were raised by secular philosophers.
ii) The very fact that we are aware of our genetic programming and social conditioning makes it possible for us to evaluate our genetic programming and social conditioning.
Hence, we’re in a position to rebel against our genetic programming or social conditioning if they collide with our individual self-interest.
Appealing to the role of instinct or socialization is not a justification for instinct or socialization. Try again.
You yourself admit to the biological basis of sexual coercion, yet you apparently believe that rape is wrong.
“Imagine Steve as one of Calvin’s henchmen in 16th century Geneva, and you’ll quickly realize he was simply born 4 centuries too late.”
Imagine George as one of Stalin’s henchmen in mid-20C Russia, and you’ll quickly realize he was simply born a few decades too late.
Oh, and while we’re at it, notice how George, what with his bifurcated, either/or, black/white worldview divvies up humanity into good guys like himself and evil, militant Calvinistas on the other side.
“Poor Steve, he can’t quite figure out that ‘greater good,’ and the adjectives ‘gratuitous and pointless’, as they relate to ‘evil’, are all subjective value judgments that might be perceived quite differently, by different people in any given situation or moral dilemma.”
Poor George, he can’t quite figure out that if ‘greater good’, and the adjectives ‘gratuitous and pointless’, as they relate to ‘evil’, are all subjective value judgments that might be perceived quite differently, by different people in any given situation or moral dilemma, then Sam Harris et al. will be unable to disprove the Christian by invoking the problem of evil.
“Perhaps Steve never saw the results of the poll amongst Egyptian peasants who were asked if they thought Steve’s omnipotent god, slaughtering their first born children, so he could free some Hebrews, who he could easily freed without this genocide…”
Perhaps poor George never figured out that his moral subjectivism renders his opportunistic appeal to would-be defeaters like “genocide” otiose.
Notice how his current position amounts to a retraction of his previous position, in which he said:
“I’m not sure who told you that naturalists can’t believe that certain human behaviors are atrocious or gratutious or even ‘evil’ without the benefit on your three headed Hebrew tribal deity. But I assure you, you’re wrong. Just because someone accepts the universe and natural world for what it is, and perhaps can even identify the causes of disease or violent tendencies in certain humans, doesn’t mean we surrender our value judgments of what we believe is good or right behavior.”
Now, however, he relegates all of this to the realm of individual subjectivity.
And let us remember, once again, that I’m citing a distinction (“gratuitous” evil) drawn by secular philosophers as they formulate the problem of evil.
“Altruism is completely consistent with survival of genes in cooperative, sentient mammals, and mindless insects.”
It may be consistent with the survival of species. But it is frequently inconsistent with the survival of individuals.
An atheist is not a gene or mindless insect. He is a sentient being. And he will often be confronted with situations in which there is a conflict between altruism and his personal self-interest.
How does evolutionary ethics adjudicate that dilemma? Is he supposed to take one for the team? Why would he feel obligated to do what Mother Nature says when Mother Nature feels no obligation towards his individual wellbeing?
“And you see, I not only quoted the bible, I quoted the alleged second person in the three headed godhead. So excuse me if I take his word over Mr. Carson’s and Longeneckers.”
Quoting the Bible and exegeting the Bible are two different things. George has shown that he can quote Scripture, not that he can understand Scripture.
But if George wants to be an obscurantist, that’s fine with me.
Once again, ignorance is the royal road to unbelief.
“I never claimed to be a ‘secular humanist’ whatever you think that slur implies.”
You think that “secular humanism” is a slur? I guess that makes you a closet Fundy or jihadi.
“Well I would certainly count as evidence your reformed, protestant god manifesting himself in front of the whole world, clearly identifying himself as Steve’s god, and then slaughtering all the first born children of Muslim terrorists, and saying there’s more like that to come unless they all convert to Calvinism.”
This is why George’s appeal to evidence is frivolous and disingenuous.
“Or perhaps is it just one more example, in the long history of crazed theists, terrorizing and murdering people who don’t believe like them, and claiming their imaginary, invisible gods, authorized and helped them accomplish it?”
Not to mention the long history of crazed unbelievers like Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot, terrorizing and murdering people who don’t believe like them.
Oh, and while we’re at it, notice how George, what with his bifurcated, either/or, black/white worldview divvies up humanity into good guys like himself and crazed theists on the other side.