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Author Topic:   Germany before, China now; Darwinism on the rampage
Inactive Member

Message 2 of 6 (409306)
07-08-2007 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Syamsu
04-08-2007 6:33 PM

I will argue that:
- it is neither Herbert Spencer, Ernst Heackel, Francis Galton or Konrad Lorenz versions of natural selection theory, which have all been mentioned by various historians as changing Darwin's theories to unfortunate ends, but that the problems mainly arises out of Darwin's standard natural selection theory itself
- that these problems inherent to natural selection theory are:
1 making, or tending to make, moral statements about what is good and bad as objective fact
2 manipulating, or otherwise neglecting knowledge about freedom over knowledge about laws of nature
The problem, as I see it, is that it is extremely difficult to subject morality to naturalistic causes. Are we to think that chance + time is going to produce the arts? Music? Morals? Mathematics?
The mind reaches for something far more laudable an explanation than some mindless chance mutation far in the distant past, having no conceivable relevance that would have caused it to begin with.
The same question could be applied to the religious affinities of humans. Naturalists will often scoff at the notion of religion, passing it off as superstitious hokum. But they can't get around the fact that it plays a central role in who we are.
So how is it that a strict naturalist seeks to undermine the very thing that nature has produced?
The problem with Dikotter's ideas is that he doesn't have a big enough smoking gun to point to on which to blame the racism identity crisis.
Is not racism an extension of Darwinism, with its details about survival of the fittest, predator versus prey? Is that not the natural consequence of Darwinism? If there is no moral law, then racism, and all the ugly things such as this-- isn't this the natural thing to come? And if so, why then do we look down upon it from a sociological point of view?
Although Darwinism goes about it in a more roundabout way, natural selection theory is also based on a concept of organisms that "want" to live, and "want" to reproduce, and perhaps even "want" to do these things more then a competing other.
Exactly my point. So why usurp that which nature has naturally doled out?
Darwinism problemizes this teaching about freedom no end, because it appropiates the "will" of organisms into it's theory, as if this will is some kind of mechanical law of nature.
Isn't it though, if naturalistic explanations are all we have? How can we reconcile the two?
If Newton would have talked about gravity theory in terms of stones and apples wanting to fall the furthest in the struggle for depth, we would immediately recognize that this was just pseudoscience. But for some reason people don't recognize the struggle for reproductive success as pseudoscientific. When people consequently identify themselves as being part of the natural selection process it becomes; "I want to survive", "I want to reproduce" and I want to do it more then the other.
And as we clearly know, that isn't in any sense true when we see Gerbils eating their young, people aborting their children, people using various forms of contraceptives in order to do everything in their power NOT to procreate, etc. What is pseudoscientific is to hope, by the conjecture of faith, the same kind of faith that is scoffed at, that we live such droll lives-- that we drift aimlessly on a sea of meaninglessness, in an ocean of happenstance.
Here science is telling people what they want, leaving little room for themselves, or religion or secular culture to tell them what they really want deepest in their heart.
I agree.
"And as natural selection works solely by and for the good of each being, all corporeal and mental endowments will tend to progress towards perfection." (C. Darwin, Origin of Species)
Perfection? What is perfection in an arbitrary universe, in a relative world with no lines of demarcation? Must not someone have a general idea of what perfection is in order to aspire to such a lofty goal?
But supposing it was the case, then there really is a general direction in evolution, as nature itself aspires to achieve greater. If so, then the objection made by many neo-darwinists, that evolution has no direction, is rendered moot.
As you can see Darwin posits goodness at the point where he posits the will of the organism to survive and reproduce.
Then murder, rape, and pillaging are in the quintessence of goodness in a naturalistic view. In which case, if I'm here by accident, then I can remove you by incident and not think twice about any moral repercussions.
As argued, the common denominator of the influence of Darwinism is the destruction of knowledge about freedom, and consequently the pretense of scientists, and sciencefans alike to have authority to speak about what is good and bad by natural selection theory. Knowledge about any kind of free behaviour is consistently oppressed by Darwinists because freedom requires that spiritual aspect making the decision from the alternatives. Knowledge about the laws of the universe gets awarded a very high level of awareness, while knowledge about freedom get's awarded a very low level of intellectual awareness.
That's a great argument, and you've made it so succinctly. This is what I've been saying since I arrived at EvC.

"The problem of Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it is difficult and left untried" -G.K. Chesterton

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Syamsu, posted 04-08-2007 6:33 PM Syamsu has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Straggler, posted 07-08-2007 4:06 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Inactive Member

Message 4 of 6 (409312)
07-08-2007 4:27 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Straggler
07-08-2007 4:06 PM

Your whole post is based on the assumption that what is "natural" is good and what is "unnatural" is bad.
I think you've misunderstood my premise. It is not I that believes in this. If I were to point out a tree out the window, and asked you, "What is wrong with that tree," or in contrast, "What is right about that tree," what would you say as a response?
I was addressing how drab existentialism is for strict naturalists. Good and bad are meaningless terms to that which has not been bestowed any moral governance.
The OP was commenting on Darwin's ideas about good and bad from a naturalistic point of reference. I was arguing Darwin's argumentation.
As an example - I would consider rape to be natural and in many ways an inevitable penomenon in a large society but still completely morally reprehensible.
Exactly my point. If a bull runs up on a grazing cow and copulates with her, whether she seems to be annoyed by it largely seems inconsequential to us. Its just bovine doing what bovine do. But when a man sexual plunders a woman, we are horrified. Why is that?
If we live as the animals do, and in fact are just animals, why or how are we imparted this knowledge that it is morally reprehensible to sexually plunder people against their will when it is perfectly natural for bovine to do it?
Naturalism has no good explanations for this. Only unsubstantiated conjecture on why they think their explanation has some sort of explanatory power.

"The problem of Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it is difficult and left untried" -G.K. Chesterton

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Straggler, posted 07-08-2007 4:06 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Straggler, posted 07-08-2007 7:23 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied

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