Thursday, September 09, 2010

Evolutionary amorality

(Posted on Steve's behalf.)

Christian apologists are frequently accused of lying about atheism when we argue that atheism can't justify objective moral norms. However, it seems as if an increasing number of atheists, often in the name of naturalistic evolution, are coming out of the closet on the moral nihilism implicit in a naturalistic Darwinian worldview. Case in point.


  1. Refreshing, really, though I am left with a vague feeling that it really is some kind of joke.

    Do you think that any of the TBloggers might take up some of the points he made, or more specifically, the ones he avoided? Like why anything should be punishable by law? Or perhaps the question of "Why anything?" that he so conspicuously avoided?

    It would be a rather short treatment to be sure, but a good one as well.


    “The Divine Command theory does not prove morality.”

    i) Irrelevant. The post wasn’t making a case for the Christian alternative. Rather, it’s a frank admission by an unbeliever about amoral consequences of atheism.

    Don’t waste my time by posting off-topic comments.

    ii) You’re also assuming that divine command theory is the only alternative to secular ethics. Ignorant.

    “But it is also humans who wrote such ‘holy books" in the first place.”

    That’s a question-begging assertion instead of an argument.

    “Ironically, in nearly all cases, such a ‘hell’ does not exist to promote universal ethical behavior, but to promote belief in the truth of that person’s particular theology/denomination as opposed to rival theologies/denominations. So if you do not share their particular theology nor belong to their particular denomination, then they are convinced you are going to hell regardless of whatever kindnesses you share with them or society at large.”

    That’s demonstrably false. It’s not as if Southern Baptists say Presbyterians are going to hell, or vice versa.

    And, once again, this is irrelevant to the topic of the post.

    “Just as it makes more sense to raise children to think and act in terms of how ‘they would feel if what they did was done back to them.’”

    Like blood feuds? You kill my kin–I’ll kill your kin?

    “All the world’s religions enshrine the principle, ‘Do not do to others what you would not want done to yourself,’ and, ‘Do to others what you would want done to yourself.’”

    Really? Was that the creed of Assyrian warriors? Aztec warriors? The Samurai? Suicide bombers who exclaim "Allahu Akbar"?

    “The fact that monkeys, apes, and humans all engage in reconciliation behavior (stretching out a hand, smiling, kissing, embracing, and so on) means that it is probably over thirty million years old, preceding the evolutionary divergence of these primates...Reconciliation behavior [is] a shared heritage of the primate order…”

    Even if we accept your evolutionary narrative, explaining the origin of a belief or feeling doesn’t make it true. Explaining that I see unicorns in the basement because I’m high on LSD doesn’t mean there are unicorns in the basement.

    And having similar feelings is not a basis for morality. For that fails to distinguish between licit feelings and illicit feelings.

    Don’t continue to litter my combox with your copy/paste red herrings.