Morality and Atheism: Still don’t mix…

Posted: August 5, 2011 in Arguments, Logic Related, Social Concerns
Tags: , , , , ,

‘Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear … There are no gods, no purposes, no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end for me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning to life, and no free will for humans, either.’

-Dr. William B. Provine, Professor of Biological Sciences, Cornell University.

  1. Provine, W.B., Origins Research 16(1), p.9, 1994.

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From a debate between two evolutionists. Lanier is a computer scientist; Dawkins is a professor at Oxford and an ardent atheist.

Jaron Lanier: ‘There’s a large group of people who simply are uncomfortable with accepting evolution because it leads to what they perceive as a moral vacuum, in which their best impulses have no basis in nature.’

Richard Dawkins: ‘All I can say is, That’s just tough. We have to face up to the truth.’

-‘Evolution: The dissent of Darwin,’ Psychology Today 30(1):62, Jan-Feb 1997.

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‘We no longer feel ourselves to be guests in someone else’s home and therefore obliged to make our behavior conform with a set of pre-existing cosmic rules. It is our creation now. We make the rules. We establish the parameters of reality. We create the world, and because we do, we no longer feel beholden to outside forces. We no longer have to justify our behavior, for we are now the architects of the universe. We are responsible to nothing outside ourselves, for we are the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever and ever.’

-Jeremy Rifkin, Algeny, p. 244 (Viking Press, New York), 1983.

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‘To teach children that they are nothing more than developed mutations who evolved from something akin to a monkey and that death is the end of everything is hardly going to engender within them a sense of purpose, self-worth and self-respect.’

Branigan, T., Top school’s creationists preach value of biblical story over evolution: State-funded secondary teachers do not accept findings of Darwin, The Guardian (London), 9 March 2002, p. 3.

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‘If a person doesn’t think there is a God to be accountable to, then—then what’s the point of trying to modify your behaviour to keep it within acceptable ranges? That’s how I thought anyway. I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime. When we, when we died, you know, that was it, there is nothing…’

Jeffrey Dahmer, in an interview with Stone Phillips, Dateline NBC, Nov. 29, 1994.

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The full title of Darwin’s Magnum Opus is Origin of the Species by means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of the Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Darwin’s other writings reveal how barbarous evolutionary philosophy can be:

With savages, the weak in body and mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick; we institute poor laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of everyone to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands who, from a weak constitution, would formerly have succumbed to smallpox. Thus the weak members of civilised society propagate their kind.

No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but, excepting in the case of man himself, hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered in the manner previously indicated more tender and more widely diffused. Nor can we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature … We must, therefore, bear the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind.

(Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 2nd Ed., pp. 133–134, 1887)

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‘Darwinism can be used to back up two mad moralities, but it cannot be used to back up a single sane one. The kinship and competition of all living creatures can be used as a reason for being insanely cruel or insanely sentimental; but not for a healthy love of animals … That you and a tiger are one may be a reason for being tender to a tiger. Or it may be a reason for being cruel as the tiger. It is one way to train the tiger to imitate you, it is a shorter way to imitate the tiger. But in neither case does evolution tell you how to treat a tiger reasonably, that is, to admire his stripes while avoiding his claws.

‘If you want to treat a tiger reasonably, you must go back to the garden of Eden. For the obstinate reminder continues to recur: only the supernaturalist has taken a sane view of Nature. The essence of all pantheism, evolutionism and modern cosmic religion is really in this proposition: that Nature is our mother. Unfortunately, if you regard Nature as a mother, you discover that she is a stepmother. The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate.’

Chesterton, G.K., Orthodoxy, John Lane, London, pp. 204–205, 1927.

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Comments
  1. aflashlight says:

    nice one 😉 also chk mine

  2. Noel says:

    Atheist usually perceive man as the center of the universe. They think morality is an evolved way of thinking that was developed as a result of certain behavior’s consequences (killing/stealing/rape became wrong because they negatively affected the rest of community) I perceive this notion more arrogant than thinking that Jesus is the only way to God. Great post by the way.

  3. matthew2262 says:

    “The notion that evolution undermines any objective morality is widespread in academic circles. Darwin taught this in The Descent of Man, and many contemporary evolutionists agree. Last summer I attended a conference on “The Evolution of Morality and the Morality of Evolution” at Oxford University. One of the keynote speakers at the conference was Michael Ruse, one of the most prominent philosophers of science today. He famously wrote in a 1985 article co-authored with E. O. Wilson, the founder of sociobiology: “Ethics as we understand it is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to co-operate.” Ruse has reaffirmed this position many times since then.

    At that Oxford conference I presented a paper about the history of evolutionary ethics, showing that many evolutionists from Darwin to the present have rejected objective morality in favor of evolutionary ethics. Indeed I became interested in studying the history of evolutionary ethics when I was working on my dissertation in the early 1990s on the reception of Darwinism by German socialists. While researching this theme, I noticed that many Darwinists, both scientists and other scholars, wanted to replace Christian ethics with some kind of evolutionary ethics. Some hoped to construct a whole system of morality on evolutionary theory. Others dismissed this as misguided. However, most — including Darwin himself — tried to explain the origins of morality through evolutionary processes.

    Also, while I was a graduate student at the University of Iowa in the early 1990s, two prominent Christian intellectuals came to the university and gave talks about apologetics. They both argued that objective morality exists and provides strong evidence for the existence of God. During the question and answer session after their presentations, secularists in the audience challenged their claim that objective morality exists. The primary argument of the secularists was that morality had evolved through natural selection, so it did not have a theistic origin.

    The claim that ethics has arisen through evolutionary processes is one of the most common arguments used by secularists today to reject objective morality of any kind, including Christian morality. Even postmodernist philosophers, such as Richard Rorty, who reject any objective truth whatsoever, ironically have admitted that they rest their case for the rejection of objective morality on evolutionary theory. Apparently, in the postmodernist view evolution is a fact, even though nothing else merits that designation (especially Christianity and Christian morality).”
    -Richard Weikart “How Evolution Challenges Christian Ethics.” as quoted on
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/01/beyond_hitlerda054841.html

  4. matthew2262 says:

    ‘I had motive for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves. … For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.’

    Huxley, A., Ends and Means, 1937, pp. 270 ff.

  5. matthew2262 says:

    “Without absolutes there cannot be any ethical standards. This is clearly seen in the development of our western culture. When Christian consensus is gone the society is helpless in trying to impose rules on people. More and more people do what they want and fewer and fewer people are asking what is right and what is wrong.”
    Dr. Matti Leisola -Dean of the Faculty of Chemical and Materials Science at Aalto University, Finalnd
    http://creation.com/matti-leisola-interview

  6. matthew2262 says:

    “With respect to those meanings of “human” that are relevant to the morality of abortion, any fetus is less human than an adult pig.” -Richard Dawkins

    http://www.nationalreview.com/human-exceptionalism/342891/dawkins-clams-pig-more-human-fetus

  7. matthew2262 says:

    “…if we are just another animal, distinct only in our degree of intelligence, involved in a struggle for existence, that has implications as well. The logical outcome of naturalistic Darwinism, although many proponents refuse to accept it, is social Darwinism. When there is a struggle for resources, it would be in our best interest to allow the inform to be eliminated from the population. Others who suffer from various infirmities, mental, or physical, should also be removed from the gene pool, whether passively by withholding assistance, or actively by euthanasia.”

    -Gerald Rau (Ph. D., Cornell) Founder and Chief Editor at Professional English International.

    Rau, G., (2012) Mapping the Origins Debate, (Downers Grove, IL: InvterVarsity Press) pp.151.

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