“A serious and thoughtful objection against metaphysical naturalism is that it cannot provide a basis for some of our deepest and most intuitive moral judgments…The argument is clearly stated by Alvin Plantinga. He first notes that there seem to be instances of real and objectively horrifying evil in the world (Plantinga, The Shorter Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, p. 326). The real and objectively horrifying acts that Plantinga means are those that are purposely and maliciously committed, like the hideous tortures and genocidal atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein, Stalin, the Nazis, or the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot.”
And what is Parsons’ alternative?
“Nature has designed the human organism to fulfill a characteristic function, just as other organisms are adapted to the performance of their roles in the economy of nature.”
Notice how he personifies the natural process—attributing goal-oriented behavior to the natural process. But from a secular standpoint, this is literal nonsense.
So, if we remove the teleological ascriptions, what, exactly, does his claim amount to? Hard to see what’s left, really.
“Humans are naturally adapted to live a life of intellectual and moral virtue in society with other human beings.”
How could he possibly arrive at that conclusion from naturalistic evolution? How does evolution select for a life of intellectual and moral virtue?
Moreover, if his claim is true, then how does that explanation account for the atrocities of Stalin, Hitler, Hussein, Pol Pot, &c.? If human “organisms” are naturally “designed” or naturally “adapted” to live a life of intellectual and moral virtue, then how come so many human “organisms” fail to fulfill that very role that nature has assigned to them?
Put another way, what would count as evidence against his claim? Given the evidence of human barbarity, what evidence does he appeal to prove that this is just an aberration? What natural evidence supplies the norm?