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Darwin, Evolution, and Racism


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#1
shiloh357

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Darwin, Evolution, and Racism

 

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.
Kyle Butt, M.A.

 

http://www.apologeti...=9&article=2654

 

The creation and evolution models stand in stark contradistinction in many ways. One model suggests the Universe is the product of an infinite, eternal, omnipotent Creator; the other credits time and random chance processes for the Universe and everything in it. The creation model declares that an intelligent Designer created a variety of life on Earth; evolution purports that all life evolved from a common ancestor. The creation model maintains that morality originated with the Creator; atheistic evolution implies that morality is a human invention without a universal standard.

 

Another major contrast between creation and evolution, which receives relatively little attention from evolutionists, concerns whether some groups of humans are innately superior to others. The biblical creation model indicates that all humans, regardless of shape, size, or color, descended from an original couple created specially by God (Genesis 1-2). Every human life is valuable (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 9:6), but no human (save God incarnate—John 1:1-3), nor any group of humans, is more valuable or superior than others (Romans 10:12; cf. Colossians 3:11). Darwinian evolution, on the other hand, is grounded in the idea that all humans evolved from ape-like creatures, and, since some groups of humans supposedly are less ape-like than others, some humans are more highly evolved, and thus, superior and of more value.

 

Multiplied millions, perhaps even billions, of people around the world are familiar with Charles Darwin’s most famous work, The Origin of Species. This year (2009) marks the book’s 150th anniversary—a fact highly publicized by today’s scientific establishment. It seems, however, that relatively few people are aware of the full title of Darwin’s 1859 work: The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection—or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (emp. added). Favored races? Did Darwin believe that some races, or “species of men,” as he referred to them (1871, p. 395), were favored or more highly evolved than others? Although he steered clear of these ideas in The Origin of Species, his second major work on evolutionary theory, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, published in 1871, did address the issue.

 

Darwin began the first chapter of The Descent of Man with these words: “He who wishes to decide whether man is the modified descendant of some pre-existing form, would probably first enquire whether man varies, however slightly, in bodily structure and in mental faculties; and if so, whether the variations are transmitted to his offspring in accordance with the laws which prevail with the lower animals” (1871, p. 395). Later, in his chapter titled “On the Affinities and Genealogy of Man,” Darwin wrote:

 

At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla (p. 521).

 

 

 Clearly, Darwin was convinced that the more “civilised races” (e.g., Caucasian) would one day exterminate the more savage races, which he considered to be less evolved (and thus more ape-like) than Caucasians. Darwin believed that “the negro” and “Australian” are like sub-species, somewhere between Caucasians and apes.

 

[NOTE: In addition to Darwin’s racist comments in The Descent of Man, he also included sexist statements. His evolutionary views led him to believe that “[t]he chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man’s attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman—whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands.... [T]he average of mental power in man must be above that of woman.... [M]an has ultimately become superior to woman” (pp. 873-874).]

 

 

At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla (p. 521).

 

One of Darwin’s closest friends and defenders, the prominent 19th-century English biologist Thomas Huxley, was even more direct in his evolutionary-based racist remarks. In his 1865 essay, “Emancipation—Black and White,” Huxley remarked:

According to “Darwin’s Bulldog,” as Huxley was called, the “Negro” is not equal to “the white man.” The alleged smaller-brained, big-jawed negro supposedly cannot compete on the same playing field with the white man. Huxley espoused the false notion that “[t]he highest places in the hierarchy of civilisation will assuredly not be within the reach of our dusky cousins” (1865, emp. added). Little did Huxley know that less then 150 years later an African-American would sit in the highest office of the most wealthy and powerful nation on Earth.

 

 

It may be quite true that some negroes are better than some white men; but no rational man, cognisant of the facts, believes that the average Negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man. And, if this be true, it is simply incredible that, when all his disabilities are removed, and our prognathus relative has a fair field and no favour, as well as no oppressor, he will be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried on by thoughts and not by bites. The highest places in the hierarchy of civilisation will assuredly not be within the reach of our dusky cousins, though it is by no means necessary that they should be restricted to the lowest (emp. added).

 

 

The fact is, Darwinian evolution implies that some groups of humans are closer to our alleged ape-like ancestors in their mental faculties than others. Thus, some groups of humans supposedly are superior to others. The Bible teaches exactly the opposite. There are not different species or races of men; there is just one human race—an intelligent people (see Lyons, 2002)—that God created “in His image” in the beginning (Genesis 1-2; see Lyons and Thompson, 2002), both “male and female” (Genesis 1:27, emp. added). All of humanity descended from Adam and Eve, the first couple (1 Corinthians 15:45; Genesis 3:20), and later Noah, through whom the Earth was repopulated after the Flood (Genesis 6-10). Whether we are red, yellow, black, or white, we share equal value as human beings, God’s image-bearers (Genesis 1:26-28; cf. Romans 10:12). What’s more, all men stand on equal footing before God as sinners (Romans 3:10,23) in need of a Savior (John 8:24; Mark 16:15-16).

 


#2
other one

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Hummm,   interesting Shiloh.....    I think that Forest Gump would say,  "Well that's about all there is to say about that."



#3
alien224

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Lol Other One. Interesting great job Shiloh as usual.

#4
alphaparticle

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I'm not sure what a bunch of old timey quotes have to do with scientific knowledge a century and a half later... hmm. Saying so and so believed in animal magnetism doesn't mean he couldn't have had a good physical theory. Likewise, having false ethical beliefs has nothing to do with whether or not the broader concept of biological evolution is valid.



#5
LookingForAnswers

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wasn't there racism long before there was a Darwin?  Didn't Christians use the Bible to support racism and slavery long before Darwin came along?


Edited by LookingForAnswers, 30 January 2014 - 11:36 PM.


#6
other one

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I think it had to do with that serpent seed stuff that really made no sense.



#7
shiloh357

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wasn't there racism long before there was a Darwin?  Didn't Christians use the Bible to support racism and slavery long before Darwin came along?

Perhaps you should read the article.  The article isn't saying that racism came from Evolution.   The article is pointing out that it is an enabler for racism.



#8
shiloh357

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I'm not sure what a bunch of old timey quotes have to do with scientific knowledge a century and a half later... hmm. Saying so and so believed in animal magnetism doesn't mean he couldn't have had a good physical theory. Likewise, having false ethical beliefs has nothing to do with whether or not the broader concept of biological evolution is valid.

You're oversimplifying what the article claims.   Those quotes relflect how Darwin viewed evolution relaitive to modern humans.  

 

Now today in our socially sensitive, politically corrrect world, Evolution is selectively applied to human beings. If we applied it across the board the way we do with the rest of the created order, we would have to admit that according to evolution, some human being MUST be evolutionarily inferior to other human beings.  Darwin was simply being honest about the naturally logical conclusions that evolution leads to when applied to human existence.

 

The cruelty is evoution isn't really seen until it is applied to human beings.  Human beings according to most evolutionists are just higher animals, higher primates.   If your argument is that God used evolution to create human beings, then you need to be honest about the theory and where it leads for human beings.   If evolution didn't stop, and is still part of our world, then it must apply accross the board to all evolved creatures.  You can't exclude human beings from the struggle for survival.    I mean most racism is based on survival.  If you look at most white supremist literature, a common theme in their books and literature is that they are fighting for their survival against the inferior races of sub-humans, or "mongrel" races.

 

It is historical fact that Maragaret Sanger, who was the founder of Planned Parenthood  considered blacks less evolved and inferior to whites and abortion was originally created to be part of her plan to eventually rid the world of black people in additoin to steriizing black people so that they could not reproduce.

 

HItler was influenced  by both Darwin and Margaret Sanger.   He viewed Jews, Gypsies, and all other races inferior to his mythical "aryan" race.   But his justification was to paint nonaryans as being descended from apes.  In both abortion and in Hitler's holocaust the justification for murder is to paint your humans as lower animals on the evolutionary chain.

 

Evolutionists are cool with human beings higher primates until someone decides that you are inferior he/she needs to get rid you to make their survival and the survival of their offspring, possible.   Suddenly "survival of the fittest"  becomes overrated when applied to human existence.

 

Darwin's "old timey" quotes were enablers for those who were able to advance their racist agendas and it is the heart of racism today.   The fact that liberal proponents of evolution are embarrassed by the way some apply evolution to human existence, the truth is that the racists are actually more honest about the social implcations of evolution than social liberals.



#9
alphaparticle

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I'm not sure what a bunch of old timey quotes have to do with scientific knowledge a century and a half later... hmm. Saying so and so believed in animal magnetism doesn't mean he couldn't have had a good physical theory. Likewise, having false ethical beliefs has nothing to do with whether or not the broader concept of biological evolution is valid.

You're oversimplifying what the article claims.   Those quotes relflect how Darwin viewed evolution relaitive to modern humans.  

 

Now today in our socially sensitive, politically corrrect world, Evolution is selectively applied to human beings. If we applied it across the board the way we do with the rest of the created order, we would have to admit that according to evolution, some human being MUST be evolutionarily inferior to other human beings.  Darwin was simply being honest about the naturally logical conclusions that evolution leads to when applied to human existence.

 

The cruelty is evoution isn't really seen until it is applied to human beings.  Human beings according to most evolutionists are just higher animals, higher primates.   If your argument is that God used evolution to create human beings, then you need to be honest about the theory and where it leads for human beings.   If evolution didn't stop, and is still part of our world, then it must apply accross the board to all evolved creatures.  You can't exclude human beings from the struggle for survival.    I mean most racism is based on survival.  If you look at most white supremist literature, a common theme in their books and literature is that they are fighting for their survival against the inferior races of sub-humans, or "mongrel" races.

 

It is historical fact that Maragaret Sanger, who was the founder of Planned Parenthood  considered blacks less evolved and inferior to whites and abortion was originally created to be part of her plan to eventually rid the world of black people in additoin to steriizing black people so that they could not reproduce.

 

HItler was influenced  by both Darwin and Margaret Sanger.   He viewed Jews, Gypsies, and all other races inferior to his mythical "aryan" race.   But his justification was to paint nonaryans as being descended from apes.  In both abortion and in Hitler's holocaust the justification for murder is to paint your humans as lower animals on the evolutionary chain.

 

Evolutionists are cool with human beings higher primates until someone decides that you are inferior he/she needs to get rid you to make their survival and the survival of their offspring, possible.   Suddenly "survival of the fittest"  becomes overrated when applied to human existence.

 

Darwin's "old timey" quotes were enablers for those who were able to advance their racist agendas and it is the heart of racism today.   The fact that liberal proponents of evolution are embarrassed by the way some apply evolution to human existence, the truth is that the racists are actually more honest about the social implcations of evolution than social liberals.

 

Well... evolution properly understood in the modern science has  no directionality. That's why there's an emphasis now there is no 'ladder' of life. There is no monkey, then ape, then man type of progression. There's a bush of life. Everything around us is equally 'well adapted' because it's around and still propagating. 'Well adapted' does not, and *should* have zero moral or ethical implications whatsoever. Those are founded elsewhere, such as, in our theological understandings.

 

It's true, I agree those guys were not only racists but scientifically ignorant. They had half-baked ideas that they turned into very unfortunate social programs. But, those were not based on *modern* evolution. But people misunderstand and misuse perfectly good ideas all of the time. I mean, you need only go to the 'metaphysical' section of your Barnes and Noble to see how badly quantum mechanics is abused, or the theory of relativity. A scientific idea being abused or misunderstood-- even by researchers in the field! -  means something about the person being wrong, it doesn't reflect on the theories in question. The question that is relevant in  my mind is, is the idea itself a good one, even if it has been ill used by others.



#10
LuftWaffle

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 'Well adapted' does not, and *should* have zero moral or ethical implications whatsoever. Those are founded elsewhere, such as, in our theological understandings.

 

 

According to whom? From a theistic point of view one could say this, but the point of the theory of evolution is to explain the world according to naturalism, without invoking a God. When God is left out of the equation what prevents one from attaching moral weight to something like evolutionary fitness or any other subjective criteria for that matter? In fact doesn't survival of the fittest imply that the highly adapted will prevail while the lesser adapted populations will shrink?



#11
alphaparticle

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 'Well adapted' does not, and *should* have zero moral or ethical implications whatsoever. Those are founded elsewhere, such as, in our theological understandings.

 

 

According to whom? From a theistic point of view one could say this, but the point of the theory of evolution is to explain the world according to naturalism, without invoking a God. When God is left out of the equation what prevents one from attaching moral weight to something like evolutionary fitness or any other subjective criteria for that matter? In fact doesn't survival of the fittest imply that the highly adapted will prevail while the lesser adapted populations will shrink?

 

Alright, but there is nothing in the physical theory which would allow an atheist to found any ethical system. If they do, they are making a categorical error. You can't describe how nature works and then say that is how things *ought* to be. Descriptions don't give you moral imperatives.  Slugs may be 'better adapted' to some environments than people are, so what?

 

Anyway, as an atheist I thought there were moral absolute standards. I can describe for you the details if you are interested.



#12
LuftWaffle

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wasn't there racism long before there was a Darwin?  Didn't Christians use the Bible to support racism and slavery long before Darwin came along?

 

The Bible doesn't support racism or slavery in the sense of what the OP refers to. The question isn't whether "Christians" could use the bible to support racism and slavery, but whether the Bible itself supports it. It doesn't which is precisely why slavery was ended by Christians such as Wilberforce and Luther King Jr.

 

A person could use a McDonalds burger wrapper as justification for some immoral act, that doesn't mean that McDonalds actually supports the act.



#13
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Darwins book "Origins of the species" talked mostly about miner evolution. But he has been given credit for major evolution because he has credentials and a name. The fact it was used for racism is pure evil. The father of lies gave the darkest days in history with those lies. Pray against his lies. Pray for Gods truth to be known in today.

#14
LuftWaffle

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Alright, but there is nothing in the physical theory which would allow an atheist to found any ethical system. If they do, they are making a categorical error. You can't describe how nature works and then say that is how things *ought* to be. Descriptions don't give you moral imperatives.  Slugs may be 'better adapted' to some environments than people are, so what?

I agree that descriptions don't give you moral imperatives, but they can and do influence them. Our understanding of our origins definitely impacts our understanding of human value, and ethics. Would you say that believing that all men are created in God's image and has intrinsic value, has the same net effect as believing that mankind is simply the result of time and chance and that life itself has no objective purpose or value? 

 

 


Anyway, as an atheist I thought there were moral absolute standards. I can describe for you the details if you are interested.

It's not really important what you thought while you were an atheist, but what's important is whether your thoughts were consistent with your worldview.

It also depends on what you mean by moral absolute standards, I believe moral values and duties are objective but not necessarily absolute.

I am interested in how you were able to ground objective moral values and duties as an atheist, though, so go ahead.



#15
alphaparticle

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Alright, but there is nothing in the physical theory which would allow an atheist to found any ethical system. If they do, they are making a categorical error. You can't describe how nature works and then say that is how things *ought* to be. Descriptions don't give you moral imperatives.  Slugs may be 'better adapted' to some environments than people are, so what?

I agree that descriptions don't give you moral imperatives, but they can and do influence them. Our understanding of our origins definitely impacts our understanding of human value, and ethics. Would you say that believing that all men are created in God's image and has intrinsic value, has the same net effect as believing that mankind is simply the result of time and chance and that life itself has no objective purpose or value? 

 

If you are a naturalist/physicalist, you are going to face that challenge with or without evolution.

 

 

 

 



 


Anyway, as an atheist I thought there were moral absolute standards. I can describe for you the details if you are interested.

It's not really important what you thought while you were an atheist, but what's important is whether your thoughts were consistent with your worldview.

It also depends on what you mean by moral absolute standards, I believe moral values and duties are objective but not necessarily absolute.

I am interested in how you were able to ground objective moral values and duties as an atheist, though, so go ahead.

 

 

I wasn't a naturalist/physicalist. I asserted the existence of all kinds of abstract objects. I was a moral realist and thought there were moral properties (right, wrong, good and bad) which have objective existence. So, if I say 'murder is wrong' it's a truth claim which can be right or wrong in the objective sense. That is it in a nutshell.



#16
LuftWaffle

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If you are a naturalist/physicalist, you are going to face that challenge with or without evolution.

Sure, but evolution is really the only option, which is why naturalists will hold to evolution and continue to do so despite the many problems with the theory.

 

 


I wasn't a naturalist/physicalist. I asserted the existence of all kinds of abstract objects. I was a moral realist and thought there were moral properties (right, wrong, good and bad) which have objective existence. So, if I say 'murder is wrong' it's a truth claim which can be right or wrong in the objective sense. That is it in a nutshell.

Ok, so you believed that objective morals values were just a brute fact of the universe. There are some atheists who believe this, but it seems odd that the moral and the physical realms should intersect in an obscure species on an obscure planet in a very large universe, which seems otherwise oblivious to such things. Such an explanation, while freeing the atheist from the embarrassment of moral subjectivism, really doesn't really offer anything more than for instance saying "I don't know", or did you see it differently?



#17
shiloh357

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Well... evolution properly understood in the modern science has  no directionality. That's why there's an emphasis now there is no 'ladder' of life. There is no monkey, then ape, then man type of progression. There's a bush of life. Everything around us is equally 'well adapted' because it's around and still propagating. 'Well adapted' does not, and *should* have zero moral or ethical implications whatsoever. Those are founded elsewhere, such as, in our theological understandings.

 

But evolution DOES have an affect on morality and ethics. 

 

If I am just a higher primate, that evolved from a hominid ancestor that evolved from a other creatures going back to some kind of primoridial soup, then why should morals or ethics matter?   

 

What people fail to understand is your view on where you came from affects your worldview.   Evolution is meant, in part, to be an explanation of man's origin without God.  That is why evolution is seen as an alternative to Genesis 1.  Without a moral lawgiver, without an independent and objective standard of morality, who set's the standard for right and wrong?  

 

Stephen J. Gould argued that man is accident.  To him man has no purpose and there is no good reason for man to exist at all.  In his view of evolution man has no inherent worth or value.   A person who sees himself and others as nothing more than higly evolved animals will, in his heart, devalue you.  Adolph Hitler's first step in justifying the Holocaust was to devalue his victims.  

 

In Hitler's day there was a ladder of life in evolutionary thought and you can't judge Hitler except by the evolutionary thinking that was in play at that time. I realize that the hypothesis has been tweeked over time. Evolutionists used to claim that men evolved from apes and I think they would like to us to forget that chapter of evolutionary thought.  But there is an evolutionary chain a sort of "molecules-to-man" progression.   Man did evolve from something if evolution is to be believed.  I am not sure how that differs from a the "ladder of life" you mention.

 

 

It's true, I agree those guys were not only racists but scientifically ignorant. They had half-baked ideas that they turned into very unfortunate social programs. But, those were not based on *modern* evolution.

 

 

Their actions were not based on scientific ignorance, but on the evolutionary model that existed in their day.  Even moden evolution completely devalues human life if taken to its logical conclusion.  A complete naturalist who is atheistic would have no reason to see human life has having any intrinsic value.

 

 

But people misunderstand and misuse perfectly good ideas all of the time.

 

But they were not misusing it.  They were completely consistent with evoutionary thought as it existed in their day.   It may be embarrassing to liberals today, but the fact is that until the modern attempt sanitize evolution to make it more palatable to modern liberal sensitivities, evolutionists believed that some races were inferior and needed to be eliminated to make room for and to enable the survival of the stronger more fit races.

 

The cruelty of evolution isn't really seen for what it is until you apply it to humanity.  Folks are okay with "survival of the fittest"  until that principle is applied to human existence.   We are part of the evolutionary chain until we are on the receiving end of those grand evolutionary principles.   It's not a problem to apply them to dogs, cats, field mice, and other rodents, but when it comes to decide which human beings are less fit to be on earth than others, suddenly evolution has to be tweeked to remove  the obvious moral problem.

 

 

I mean, you need only go to the 'metaphysical' section of your Barnes and Noble to see how badly quantum mechanics is abused, or the theory of relativity. A scientific idea being abused or misunderstood-- even by researchers in the field! -  means something about the person being wrong, it doesn't reflect on the theories in question. The question that is relevant in  my mind is, is the idea itself a good one, even if it has been ill used by others.

 

The answer to the question is that it is not a good idea, because it wasn't being "ill used."   Adolph Hitler  and Margaret completely consistent with the evolutionary worldview,  but there is something innate in each of us that says that the evoloutionary worldview is wrong, and that is never more clearly seen than when evolution is applied to humanity. 

 

There is, even though some suppress it, an innate understanding hardwired into us that there is a value to human life that exceeds that of any other creature.  Human beings are special and we know it on the inside, which is why even naturalists understand that child molestation/abuse is wrong.   There is an objective moral code in all of us.  There are human tribes in the jungles of S. America and Africa that worship trees and have had no contact with outside cultures, but yet have had laws within their community against adultery, murder, etc., long before anyone even knew those tribes existed.

 

If man is the product of evolution and was not a speical creature made by God separate from the created order as the Bible says, then human life means nothing.   Human life only has value if there is a God who made man in his image from the dirt just the way the Bible says.  Human evolution is a myth and strikes at the heart of the Gospel.



#18
alphaparticle

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If you are a naturalist/physicalist, you are going to face that challenge with or without evolution.

Sure, but evolution is really the only option, which is why naturalists will hold to evolution and continue to do so despite the many problems with the theory.

 

 

Yeah but that's like saying I'm going to derive moral values from the theory of gravity. It just doesn't work in principle.

 

 


 


I wasn't a naturalist/physicalist. I asserted the existence of all kinds of abstract objects. I was a moral realist and thought there were moral properties (right, wrong, good and bad) which have objective existence. So, if I say 'murder is wrong' it's a truth claim which can be right or wrong in the objective sense. That is it in a nutshell.

Ok, so you believed that objective morals values were just a brute fact of the universe. There are some atheists who believe this, but it seems odd that the moral and the physical realms should intersect in an obscure species on an obscure planet in a very large universe, which seems otherwise oblivious to such things. Such an explanation, while freeing the atheist from the embarrassment of moral subjectivism, really doesn't really offer anything more than for instance saying "I don't know", or did you see it differently?

 

The bolded yeah. Ultimately there is going to be an 'I don't know moment', and that is with the brute facts about existence. For instance you could have asked me, why are there *any* properties at all, let alone moral ones, I would have said, I have no clue but this is what we observe to be the case. Why is there something instead of nothing? I don't know, but again, we know something exists. And so on. So the existence of moral properties I would have classified as a brute fact in that way yes. I thought they needed to exist because there was no good alternative that explained the facts.



#19
alphaparticle

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Well... evolution properly understood in the modern science has  no directionality. That's why there's an emphasis now there is no 'ladder' of life. There is no monkey, then ape, then man type of progression. There's a bush of life. Everything around us is equally 'well adapted' because it's around and still propagating. 'Well adapted' does not, and *should* have zero moral or ethical implications whatsoever. Those are founded elsewhere, such as, in our theological understandings.

 

But evolution DOES have an affect on morality and ethics. 

 

If I am just a higher primate, that evolved from a hominid ancestor that evolved from a other creatures going back to some kind of primoridial soup, then why should morals or ethics matter?   

 

What people fail to understand is your view on where you came from affects your worldview.   Evolution is meant, in part, to be an explanation of man's origin without God.  That is why evolution is seen as an alternative to Genesis 1.  Without a moral lawgiver, without an independent and objective standard of morality, who set's the standard for right and wrong?  

 

Stephen J. Gould argued that man is accident.  To him man has no purpose and there is no good reason for man to exist at all.  In his view of evolution man has no inherent worth or value.   A person who sees himself and others as nothing more than higly evolved animals will, in his heart, devalue you.  Adolph Hitler's first step in justifying the Holocaust was to devalue his victims.  

 

In Hitler's day there was a ladder of life in evolutionary thought and you can't judge Hitler except by the evolutionary thinking that was in play at that time. I realize that the hypothesis has been tweeked over time. Evolutionists used to claim that men evolved from apes and I think they would like to us to forget that chapter of evolutionary thought.  But there is an evolutionary chain a sort of "molecules-to-man" progression.   Man did evolve from something if evolution is to be believed.  I am not sure how that differs from a the "ladder of life" you mention.

 

 

Maybe you have a point insofar as how people view the world more generally, where they come from, where they are going and all this, just does affect stuff like morality and ethics, whether it is consistent or follows from inference strictly thought out or not. If that is what you mean then I have a better idea of what you mean here, but I'd still protest, that people being inspired by it to make up  bad ethics doesn't mean the theory itself is wrong.

 

The tree or bush of life is different because the ladder suggested some kind of progression from a lower to higher animal as if there is some top, and some bottom. The modern understanding is that every animal is equally 'on the top' as any other animal, including bacteria, including sea stars, sharks, elephants and so on. There's not one 'more highly evolved' and one 'less evolved'. The stuff that exists today exists simply because its parents/parent procreated and so on. There should be no lessons to be learned here about value because there's not really any room for that in that picture.

 

Any value picture is going to come from misunderstanding the theory or something else. As an atheist I got it from a metaethical position which includes objective moral values (as I describe above). Others promote relativism, or think they do. Most just don't think it through much and posit random stuff as good or bad without really thinking about what that means or why anybody should care about the 'good of the species' (yeah I have heard that as an excuse... ).



#20
shiloh357

shiloh357

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Maybe you have a point insofar as how people view the world more generally, where they come from, where they are going and all this, just does affect stuff like morality and ethics, whether it is consistent or follows from inference strictly thought out or not. If that is what you mean then I have a better idea of what you mean here, but I'd still protest, that people being inspired by it to make up  bad ethics doesn't mean the theory itself is wrong.

 

What I mean is that how you view your origins, meaning if you feel you are the product of evolution and simply a higher animal or if you believe you are made in God's image as a special creation from the dust of the earth, apart from the rest of the created order.  That will affect your worldview and your view of absolute morality/ethics.

 

 

The tree or bush of life is different because the ladder suggested some kind of progression from a lower to higher animal as if there is some top, and some bottom. The modern understanding is that every animal is equally 'on the top' as any other animal, including bacteria, including sea stars, sharks, elephants and so on. There's not one 'more highly evolved' and one 'less evolved'. The stuff that exists today exists simply because its parents/parent procreated and so on. There should be no lessons to be learned here about value because there's not really any room for that in that picture.

 

I hear modern evolutionists all of the time referring to man as a higher animal, but in the sense that man is higher than a dog or a cat, not that we have some dogs that are higher than other dogs or human that are higher than other humans.  The point is that if you see yourself as merely an evolved animal and you see others as evolved animals, then at some point, there are going to be some who are viewed as less fit, not less evolved, like they would have said say 70 years ago.

 

 

Any value picture is going to come from misunderstanding the theory or something else. As an atheist I got it from a metaethical position which includes objective moral values (as I describe above). Others promote relativism, or think they do. Most just don't think it through much and posit random stuff as good or bad without really thinking about what that means or why anybody should care about the 'good of the species' (yeah I have heard that as an excuse... ).

 

Its' not a matter of saying Evolution actively causes people to devalue other people.  It is a matter of where an evolutionary worldview leads.  Margaret Sanger didn't say that evolution made her do what she did.   Rather it was the worldview that developed from her view of humans as animals. She didn't misunderstand the theory at all.  She was completely consistent with theory as it was understood in her day.






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