Friday, April 22, 2005

Rusty Nails, 4/22/05...

Koukl on why Naturalism asks why: Greg Koukl asks, in Earth Day for Evolutionists?,
Has anyone else but me noticed an inherent contradiction in the underlying convictions that drive annual “Earth Day” celebrations? The vast majority of those who attend such fetes are Darwinists who believe humans have a moral obligation to protect the environment. But why?
Indeed, a very good question. No Greg, you aren't the only one noticing. I've posted on this essential topic many times in the past. Reference:
What should we have done? Additional thoughts on human obligation and natural law Do the practical thing: Contrasting worldviews against current events Do the right thing, or should we? Was Darwin wrong? Pragmatic Nihilism: How a naturalistic worldview renders our existence supreme Naturalism, flu vaccines, and the survival of the fittest
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Mandatory Preschool, for the good of society: World Magazine's blog has a post titled, The Meathead's back, in which we revisit the liberal agenda of universal preschool (for the good of society) which, if left unchecked, could quickly degenerate into mandatory preschool. I've written at least two posts on this topic. Check Johnny is 3 years old, goes to preschool, and..., as well as Mandatory Preschool in California. Also check a report by the California Family Council which addresses the question of whether or not preschool is as beneficial as some people claim. You might also want to simply sit back and think, think long and hard, about whether or not a preschool-age child - your child - is better off being cared for by someone paid to do so, in an institution filled with other people's children, funded by bureaucracy; or whether or not your preschool-age child's entire psyche is better off being shaped and formed by the person(s) he or she should be most closely bonded to?
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Fun with Dowd: From Mere Comments,
Maureen Dowd from her column in today’s editions of The New York Times on the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI: "For American Catholics— - especially women and Democratic pro-choice Catholic pols— - the cafeteria is officially closed."
Are these the women Dowd is referring to?
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Dembski's Blog: After the recent start-up of the Intelligent Design blog ID the Future, contributor Bill Dembski has finally started his own blog (c'mon Bill, I've been at it for 18 months now). You can find his posts at Uncommon Descent and, for all you Panda-maniacs out there, he allows comments to be posted (so be prepared to see accusations that he's dishonest, disingenuous, a liar, uses double-speak, is incompetent, blah, blah, blah).

10 comments:

Paul said...

"believe humans have a moral obligation to protect the environment. But why?"

Well, I don't know about those other people, but for me it's because if we don't protect it, there's no god to do it for us. And being rather attached to things like oxygen, food etc, I'd rather they were available for me (and my children).

Incidentally, on what basis can we describe these people as Darwinists? Or is that Koukl just making stuff up?

386sx said...

Well, I don't know about those other people, but for me it's because if we don't protect it, there's no god to do it for us. And being rather attached to things like oxygen, food etc, I'd rather they were available for me (and my children).

I suppose the world should consider itself fortunate that people like Mr. Koukl and Mr. Lopez have their pretend beliefs, because if they didn't have their religion then K & L apparently would be some sort of horrible ugly monsters who couldn't care less about much of anything and incapable getting along with the rest of the planet.

As it stands now, they believe that stoning people to death and cutting open the bellies of pregnant women with swords are some of the best and wisest moral values in the entire universe, but if they didn't have their beliefs then they wouldn't think much of anything at all was worth giving a crap. Like I said, we should count our blessings that there are pretend magic faeries babysitting those guys.

Incidentally, on what basis can we describe these people as Darwinists? Or is that Koukl just making stuff up?

Oh, he's probably just pulling stuff out of his hat.

Tom said...

Rusty,
Koukl's cliche about evolution, "The logic of naturalism and the rules of evolution dictate human beings rape our environment, just as everything else does, not protect it." is as stupid as an atheist's cliche like "Christianity is a fairy tale for people who can't handle reality."

And Rusty, as easily as you could destroy the logic of someone who posted the latter cliche, any smart eighth-grader who just finished their first Bio class could destroy the former.

Rusty said...

Tom,

I believe that Koukl is simply stating that other organisms do not care whether or not they harm the environment... so why should we?

Attempting to answer that question by appealing to any form of it's the right thing to do is fine - it's just not empirically based.

Tom said...

Can you break down your basic argument? Are you saying evolution doesn't bring about altruism, and only God gives us altruism? And that's where I'm a little puzzled since altruism would not be surprising as at least one method that genes stumble on to help assure their replication.

I'm trying to break your thinking into smaller chunks, which might or might not work here. (Apparently my genes are programmed for smaller chunk understanding.)

-Humans protect their environment
-Other animals don't protect their argument
-So humans are not like other animals
-Humans protect their environment because it's the right thing to do (or maybe it helps protect fellow humans)
-Material evolution can't bring about altruism (or the desire to protect other humans?)
-Altruism is (is not?) the same as "the right thing to do."

386sx said...

I believe that Koukl is simply stating that other organisms do not care whether or not they harm the environment... so why should we?

Koukl's "locust swarms" don't even have the capacity to understand the concept, so therefore the analogy is unfounded. It's worthless. This, folks, is the "logic" of people who go around playing the "pretend" game all the time.

386sx said...

Can you break down your basic argument?

"Mother Nature" rapes the environment.
Locusts rape the environment.
Death reigns everywhere in the universe except for the Earth.
"Darwinists" don't rape the environment.
Therefore God created everything that rapes the environment.

386sx said...

Can you break down your basic argument?

1.) Locusts don't care if they destroy the environment = the laws of naturalism and Darwinism, which means it's really really bad.

2.) Locusts don't care if they destroy the environment = the laws of theism and supernaturalism, oh in that case it's really really good.

Rusty said...

Tom,

If you peruse my archives you should find quite a few posts outlining my position on how Naturalism fails to account for the existence (or validity) of morality.

There are many facets to this topic, but my beef here isn't that evolution could not have generated an organism with altruistic tendencies (even though I don't believe it could have); rather, I'm addressing the issue of believing that altruisitic tendencies are good to begin with. It's the grand "Sez' Who?" argument - in other words, by what authority can we declare that protecting our environment is what we should do?

The answer, because it assures our replication is no good because it assumes that our replication is a good thing. Who's to say that our replication is good? If we are simply nothing more than smarter primates, then we ultimately have no reason to claim that we should protect the envirnoment in order to assure our replication, for one could just as easily argue that we should rape the environment in order to assure our immediate pleasure.

Neither alternative trumps the other because neither can be shown as authoritative.

Thanks for the comments... gotta go for now.

Tom said...

Okay, I see a little better where you're going. A huge topic. Couple thoughts.

The theory that has appealed to my agnostic sentiments is that evolution brought about a moral sense and the behaviors that come along with those moral feelings for the human species. Feelings of doing good like righteousness, "Wow I can tell I did the right thing," etc. Same with bad feelings like guilt or shame. Important: Since they're at a human species level these feelings transcend a given culture's values. In other words, they're not relative--like the two ears and a nose come that with every human, these moral senses do too.

The new Catholic Pope who accepts theistic evolution could be happy with this since if his God set up the laws, then kicked over the first domino, He knew morals were coming billions of years later. And of course the atheist can shrug still, feel a moral good sense of righteousness, and say, "But still who needs God?"

Okay, to bring it full circle, Koukl shouldn't be puzzled at all why we evolved human folk would feel a sense of pride and righteousness when we do the good and just thing and try to save the Earth. It's plain as the nose (and his two ears) on his face. We're gloriously evolved creatures! If Koukl still has a preference that his God kicked over the first domino, fine, that's his call.