‘Induction over the history of science suggests that the best theories we have today will prove more or less untrue at the latest by tomorrow afternoon.’ Fodor, J. ‘Why Pigs don’t have wings,’ London Review of Books, 18th Oct 2007

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Dawkins on Ethics

Watching part 2 of Dawkins series on the Genius of Charles Darwin I couldn't help noticing how sad Dawkins looks sometimes. Human beings have spiritual needs that are met in worshipping God, and Dawkins refusal to acknowledge and worship God must be taking its toll on his life.

As for content; there was a glaring inconsistency in his questioning and comparison to apes. Thankfully apes don't ask questions about their origins, which makes one wonder why Dawkins does, if he thinks he is just a fifth ape. As Darwin questioned, who would trust the conviction of a monkey's mind?

Dawkins spent a great deal of the programme promoting himself, as if the series should really be entitled the Genius of Richard Dawkins. But Dawkins made some claims about ethics. Again there is inconsistency in Dawkins statements, firstly recognising that ethics haven't evolved, then explaining how he thinks they have evolved. Which is it to be?

Dawkins asserts that altruism has evolved so that we can be nice to each other, but if ethics are merely evolved and based on the sentiment of sympathy it must be recognised that hatred has evolved too because that is a sentiment as well, in which case one may ask which is the correct one to follow? But Dawkins, thankfully, thinks the Christian concept of love is of more importance than hatred. A shame that Hitler and communist atheists have not agreed. Both were inspired by Darwinism, but Dawkins ignored communism, and stated that Hitler was not a Darwinist. I beg to differ.

Any attempt to model ethics from nature falls into the naturalistic fallacy of Hume and G.E.Moore. How can anyone, they questioned, consistently develop ethics from facts of nature? Christians believe that human beings do have an inner witness to know right from wrong, even atheists, but it is one given by God, and easily suppressed because of mankind's selfishness. All of us, including Dawkins, need to submit to God so that we might be filled with Christ's transforming grace.
Andrew S.


Anonymous said...

I've just randomly found this post, but already, just a sentence or two in, I feel myself wanting to retch.

"Human beings have spiritual needs that are met in worshipping God, and Dawkins refusal to acknowledge and worship God must be taking its toll on his life."

How original of you. It's just like the old "atheists hate god" canard, with a little bit of self righteous pity thrown in. Nauseating.

Atheist don't believe in god. Dawkins isn't ignoring "someone" he knows is there, he doesn't think that "person" is there at all. Frankly, it is far more annoying to deal with the insufferably corporeal presence of his worshipers than it is to deal with the less noticeable "presence" of god.

Anonymous said...

This reference tells you all you need to know about applied christian ethics as it has been practised ever since the church was coopted by the Roman state and thus INEVITABLY became an entirely worldly POWER and CONTROL seeking institution which has in one way or another sought to gain power over the entirety of Humankind altogether.