Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The uncommon candor of a famed evolutionist

Thomas Huxley, "Darwin's bulldog," wrote this:
The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before.
Now, I don't pose as a Huxley-scholar. Huxley did go on to argue somehow that ethics indeed needs to strive against evolution, in order to sacrifice and help and show self-restraint.

But why?

This is the point that drives atheistic evolutionists (a near-tautology, but not quite) nuts. They say that it is because it is such a dumb question. That isn't it. It drives them nuts for the same reason the slippery-slope progression drives "gay" "marriage" advocates nuts: because it is irrefutable and dead on-target.

If two guys or gals committing serial-perversion can be called "marriage" simply because they feel like it, then there literally is no limit to what might be illegitimately so labeled. It's a fatal flaw in the argument, and bringing it up simply undoes advocates.

Same way with bringing up that the atheistic evolutionist is unable to argue for any transcendent ethics or morality.

Except that isn't strictly true, is it? Strictly, while an atheistic evolutionist could not argue that it is "good," he could argue that crushing the inferior is both imperative and advantageous. However, he cannot make an argument that either drive or advantage are "good."

Which exposes a fatal flaw in the system.

Which drives them nuts.


JackW said...

That's a down right monolithic question!

Chris H said...

Just a sidenote: one of my favourite "slippery slope" arguments for gay marriage is not in adult-child, or adult-blender, but in incestuous adult relationships. It has all the same earmarks of gay marriage; two consenting adults, feelings of affection (they call it love, but someone I know refuted that once...), no ability to procreate, been taboo for a long time, etc.

It's absolutely not possible for gay marriage proponents to escape the implications with this example.

Still drives them nuts, though; you're right about that.

Aaron said...

Chris H: I love that argument and the polygamy argument as well. Especially in light of birth control and abortion on demand, it's difficult to argue against allowing such arrangements if feelings of affection are the only criteria.

Dan: It's a testament of God's grace that I did not descend deeper into darkness. I ran around engaging in sin of all kinds and yet God kept me reigned in. I came to a point in my life where I knew I had to decide. Either there is a God of Scripture and I needed to follow Him or there wasn't. In which case, I would throw off all resemblances of morality and ethics as being hindrances to self gratification. At that point, God showed me the depths of darkness of which I was capable. Morality and ethics would have no meaning in an athiest world. Decisions are based merely on cause and effect. Any athiest who argues differently is lying to themselves. I know because I saw it.

Even today I am scared by that glimpse of how wicked I would have become. Fortunately, God saw fit to keep me for Himself.

Aaron said...

Dan caught my typo, that I made at least twice. Atheist.

I have noticed in my typing that it has become so second nature that I mis-type many words automatically and have to physically will myself to type them properly. It's almost as if my muscle memory is trained to type certain words incorrectly.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

DJP: "It drives them nuts for the same reason the slippery-slope progression drives "gay" "marriage" advocates nuts: because it is irrefutable and dead on-target.

Which exposes a fatal flaw in the system.

Which drives them nuts."

Driving them nuts is, if you about it a certain way, a loving thing to do. If an effective way for them to confront their cognitive dissonance is to help them become aware of their cognitive dissonance, then "driving them nuts" is a good thing. Because it'll help turn folks to Christ.

I think the unloving thing is to let them languish clinging to their precious delusion of cognitive coherence.

FWIW, I'm hoping and praying to get better at being poker-faced and sympathetic when people have an epiphany about their cognitive dissonance.

(Inside I'm doing the TeamPyro celebratory touchdown dance. D'Oh!)

Tom Chantry said...

That is perhaps the most apt artwork I have seen in any blog post in the last year. Bravo!