6) According to Darwinian evolution there is no Creator God (i.e., no ultimate authority in the universe). Then ultimately there is really nothing more than survival, self-interest, and self-centered personal opinion. There can be no such a thing as moral "right" or "wrong", and there can be no such thing as "justice" and/or "fairness" either, because things either just are, or they aren't. According to Darwinism, all moral standards must be, in the end, nothing more than philosophical junk. We should have the right to do anything we can (rape, murder, lying, stealing, bullying, etc.) in order to survive and reproduce. Why don't we openly admit this?
I’ve always found this “argument” gave me more insight into the morals of the person asking the question then the question itself. It’s disturbing just how many people seem to brag that they refrain from raping, stealing and murdering their way through life largely because they fear a cosmic daddy figure will spank them for all eternity if they do.
This question gets at a fundamental claim the religious use against atheists, that without God you cannot have morality. The problem is, most Christians don’t even get their morals from God. If we really got our morals from the Bible, Christians would be executing non-christians left and right. Ultimately, atheists get their morality from the same place as the religious, from our culture and society. Most human beings have a capacity for empathy and an inherent sense of justice. The religious might argue that God put it there, but our prosperity as a species would suggest that such a capacity is beneficial in and of itself.
This is yet another place where most Creationists fundamentally misunderstand natural selection. Yes, it is a competition for survival, but for tribal animals such as humans, being able to survive as a group has proven a key advantage. Someone who runs around murdering, killing and raping often ends up imprisoned or dead. Dying is the opposite of surviving, and dying before passing on your genetic legacy means your maladaptive, antisocial behavior has been selected against.
Kirk claims that “According to Darwinism, all moral standards must be, in the end, nothing more than philosophical junk.” In saying this, he has lied about Darwinian Evolution. Moral standards are themselves an evolutionary advantage, not philosophical junk. A functional tribe can work together to prepare for the winter and to ward off invaders. Our modern civilization with its social safety net and complex economy can support scientific advances in agriculture, food distribution and medicine that has greatly enhanced the success of the human species. Kirk Hastings sees no value in morality beyond a deity because he fails to see the numerous ways in which morality is beneficial to the tribe.
Kirk makes another error with the line, “We should have the right to do anything we can (rape, murder, lying, stealing, bullying, etc.) in order to survive and reproduce.” such an argument may be true of solitary species who birth their young and abandon them, but it’s not the case with human beings. Squid get along just fine indiscriminately raping everything they can get their tentacles on, but it takes close to two decades to raise a human offspring to adulthood. For human beings to survive, we need the support of the tribe. A nursing mother recovering from a difficult birth cannot hunt down a caribou, but if she’s part of a tribe that’s supporting her, others can take over the duties of procuring food and water while she focuses on raising the next generation.
Kirk’s entire premise, that without God humanity should devolve into barbarism, ignores the fact that a society that dissolves into brutal chaos collapses and dies. Descending into amoral barbarism as he suggests would result in the people who do the descending being at a substantial reproductive and survival disadvantage to those who remain organized and cooperative.
We should have the right to do anything we can (rape, murder, lying, stealing, bullying, etc.) in order to survive and reproduce. Why don't we openly admit this?
We don’t “openly admit this” Kirk, because it’s not true. Humanity as a whole is not dependant upon fear of cosmic judgement to behave. If we were, then Christianity, with it’s blanket forgiveness after a simple prayer, would have resulted in endless carnage from almost every church member. To highlight this, let’s rephrase Kirk’s question in light of the ease with which Christians receive absolution for God.
According to Christianity, there is no punishment if you ask forgiveness (i.e., no ultimate consequences as long as you accept Jesus). Then ultimately there is really nothing more than survival, self-interest, and self-centered personal opinion. There can be no such a thing as moral "right" or "wrong", and there can be no such thing as "justice" and/or "fairness" either, because no matter what you do, God will forgive you as long as you accept Christ into your heart. According to Christianity, all moral standards must be, in the end, nothing more than philosophical junk, because God forgives you for everything. We should have the right to do anything we can (rape, murder, lying, stealing, bullying, etc.) in order to spread the Gospel, survive and reproduce. Why don't we openly admit this?
If you’re a Christian, do you find the above reworded question to be absurd? Do you find it to be a childish slam that glosses over major aspects of forgiveness? Do you think the way it completely ignores not only the existence of, but the necessity for, repentance to be a fatal flaw in the question? Do you find it so far divorced from reality that the question is too stupid to answer it?Congratulations. You’ve just seen the reworked question the same way an atheist will see Kirk’s original. Both versions are a pack of nonsense that makes irrational and unfair assumptions about the targeted ideas. Kirk’s question has to lie about the morality of atheists and the reworked question has to lie about the nature of Christian redemption theology to make its case.
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Seventh Question for Darwinists