Home » Evolutionary biology, Evolutionary psychology, News » They said it: Did you think we were kidding about Darwinism and morality?

They said it: Did you think we were kidding about Darwinism and morality?

Religion & the Natural Sciences: The Range of Engagement

The time has come to take seriously the fact that we humans are modified monkeys, not the favored Creation of a Benevolent God on the Sixth Day. In particular, we must recognize our biological past in trying to understand our interactions with others. We must think again especially about our so-called ‘ethical principles.’ The question is not whether biology—specifically, our evolution—is connected with ethics, but how. As evolutionists, we see that no justification of the traditional kind is possible. Morality, or more strictly our belief in morality, is merely an adaptation put in place to further our reproductive ends. Hence the basis of ethics does not lie in God’s will… In an important sense, ethics as we understand it is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to cooperate. It is without external grounding… Ethics is illusory inasmuch as it persuades us that it has an objective reference. This is the crux of the biological position. Once it is grasped, everything falls into place.

- Michael Ruse & E. O. Wilson, “The Evolution of Ethics,” Religion and the Natural Sciences: The Range of Engagement, , ed. J. E. Hutchingson, Orlando, Fl.:Harcourt and Brace, 1991.

By the way, these guys are supposed to be the Darwinists who are sympathetic to values of some kind. What do you think the others are like?

Elect people shaped by their thinking, and you will get to find out.

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

One Response to They said it: Did you think we were kidding about Darwinism and morality?

  1. News:

    Re Ruse & Wilson on ethics as cited above:

    We must think again especially about our so-called ‘ethical principles.’ The question is not whether biology—specifically, our evolution—is connected with ethics, but how. As evolutionists, we see that no justification of the traditional kind is possible. Morality, or more strictly our belief in morality, is merely an adaptation put in place to further our reproductive ends . . . In an important sense, ethics as we understand it is an illusion fobbed off on us by our genes to get us to cooperate. It is without external grounding… Ethics is illusory inasmuch as it persuades us that it has an objective reference. This is the crux of the biological position. Once it is grasped, everything falls into place.

    A clear warning sign!

    Did they discuss the warning about how as evo mat becomes the avant garde in a community it opens the door to radical, abusive nihilist factions who imagine that the highest right is might, as is given in Plato’s The Laws, Bk X?

    If so, how did they respond?

    KF

    PS: I see they fall into the macro-evo is a fact fact fact fallacy, too. No theory in science can properly be a fact. Theories are explanations, and hope to be empirically reliable or even accurate, but on the sheer logic of implication (as in affirmation of the consequent) are only provisionally warranted. THAT IS DOUBLY SO FOR THEORIES ON THE UNOBSERVABLE REMOTE PAST OF ORIGINS.

Leave a Reply