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Talk:Evolution is the foundation of an immoral worldview

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The current issue of the Journal of Religion and Society has a nice study about the correlation between religion and quantifiable measures of societal health. The conclusion: "Data correlations show that in almost all regards the highly secular democracies consistently enjoy low rates of societal dysfunction, while pro-religious and anti-evolution America performs poorly." http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html --Churl Beck 13:59, 29 Sep 2005 (BST)

First off, I've never heard a creationist or any religionist blame evoluiton for crimes. But I would mention what C.S. Lewis said (sorry no exact quote. I loaned out my source), basically he said that if you think about what evolution implys, all our thoughts are just random chemical reactions happening in a randomly formed organism that randomly developed over time. If evolution is true, there is no purpose for life. No life after death, no higher calling. What you see is what you get. That would mean no ultamate right or wrong. If you don't get caught there are no consequences. Then you truly have the phrase "it's only illegal if you get caught"

You seem to be under the mistaken impression that evolution is atheistic. You should always be suspicious when creationists talk about things like "what evolution [implies]," because usually that's the point where the article/conversation/rant/whatever leaves the realm of science and evolution and shifts to a different topic entirely (randomness, purpose, afterlife, God, moral relativism, etc). As for creationists who link evolution to crime, there are several examples (and most of them start from the same flawed premise), such as Answers in Genesis' "How to Build A Bomb", the quote by Tom Delay (though I'm having trouble verifying it), Kent Hovind's seminars with transcriptions provided by JCSM, and others. TheIncredibleEdibleOompaLoompa 21:27, 15 Nov 2005 (GMT)
At least one quote attributed to Tom DeLay but definitely repeated in the transcripts of the Texas school book controversy was that evolution was behind the shootings at Columbine. The anti-evolutionists picked up on this supposedly because one of the shooters was heard to say he was "helping" or "speeding up" natural selection. --Dmill96 15:47, 19 March 2006 (GMT)
Anonymous: You say that you've never heard a creationist blame evolution for crimes. I don't know where you've been, but I've heard them routinely blame "Darwinism" for the Holocaust, for one example. It's true Hitler thought the "lower races" evolved from apes, but he believed the "Aryans" were "God's people". Also, you say that if evolution is true, and if there is no afterlife or God, then life is meaningless. WHY? How come purpose and morals can only come from an invisible sky being? That is a typical false dilemma put out by religious fundamentalists. You say, "If you don't get caught there are no consequences." So, you're saying the only reason you're "moral" is because of the threat of fire and brimstone? What would happen if you have a crisis of faith? Would you be running around, raping, pillaging, and murdering? Hmmm... - 68.33.120.32 16:57, 23 Nov 2005 (GMT)
Yes, there's a very important point here. The assumption of C.S. Lewis (and others) is that either there is an absolute moral, or there is no moral, and if there is no moral, then people will run around committing as many crimes as they can (before they get killed by someone with a faster trigger hand :-)). This is circular reasoning. We cannot assume humans to be born with an insatiable lust for committing crimes, because only in a society with laws can we talk about crimes (= transgressions of the laws). Would I want to e.g. murder, if I wasn't punished? Why should I? It is assuming a fixed human nature, a sinful nature, that can only be hold in control by divine laws that are zealously carried out. A much to negative view on ourselves, imho! It's very strange to me that creationists glorify that we are supposed to have been created in the image of God and yet they manage to have such a low estimation of humans!
--FreezBee 12:42, 19 March 2006 (GMT)
I'm a German living in Munich. I've been to Birmingham, Alabama for one year on an exchange program. I was shocked by the religious conservatism, poverty and crime rate.
  • When it became publically known, that Guido Westerwelle, leader of the FDP (liberal party), is homosexual, it barely made it into the newspapers. He is (or at least was) a close friend of Angela Merkel, leader of the CDU (conservative party) and today chancelor of Germany, and would have become a minister if those two parties had won a majority in the last elections.
  • I saw much more homeless people. Health insurance is a much bigger problem.
  • In Munich I can walk around in downtown at 3AM (and meet others doing the same).
My personal theory is that all three issues are due to a single cause, the lack of social security. Poverty is most clearly connected. And the high crime rates are most probably due to poverty and the social gap. But I also think the power of religious organisation is linked to the lack of social security. If the state does not provide social security, religious organisations often fill the gap, thus they gain influence with the masses. Hamas for example won the recent elections partly due the the network of social facilities they provide. For example, many hospitals in the Palestinian territories are run by Hamas. But also in the USA, and in the past also in Europe, the Christian churches secured their influence by providing social services (Salvation Army, missions, soup kichens). Markus Schmaus
Hmm... I live in Munich too. Maybe we can meet some time? In a few months I'll do a talk about Intelligent Design there, for the local skeptics organization [1]. --tk (t) 10:04, 21 March 2006 (GMT)

Contents

Emphasis? What emphasis?

There's a quote from Hawkes in the article, which originally looked like:

Hawkes: "I think that all [emphasis in spoken sentence] people, if they think they can get away with something, and if there's no consequences, we actually tend to do it. I think that it is the reality – look at the world in which we live, that is the reality."

I changed it actually emphasizes the "all", and put the note after the quote. However, is this where the emphasis is? It could have been on people, I suppose. I haven't seen the documentary, if someone who has access to it could check, it would be a good thing.

--Suttkus 17:43, 19 May 2006 (BST)

Mismeasure of Man

I removed Gould's MoM from "Further Reading". I don't think it has anything to do with the subject, being about bad science involving intelligence tests, overconfidence in them, prejudices about women and about different races masquerading as science, and the consequences of that "science": racist immigration rules and discrimination based on questionable tests, and eugenics in the form of sterilization of alleged "imbeciles", both practiced in the U.S. in the early 20th Century. Evolution is only a side issue.

Maybe it's still relevant? --tk [[User_talk:Thomas_Kettenring|(t)]] 10:42, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Please don't smear the page. If you want to discuss, this is the page for it

Added by anonymous user on the article page, then moved her by tk [[User_talk:Thomas_Kettenring|(t)]] 11:52, 8 February 2007 (UTC):

Problems

  1. The sly tactic of describing socially Darwinian and eugenic beliefs as "always based on intelligent design beliefs instead of natural selection" (thus giving creationists a taste of their own medicine) is nonetheless remarkably dishonest and does a disservice to our readers by potentially misleading them into thinking that there is an actual direct relationship between eugenics and either the modern ID movement or the teleological ("design") argument. It's a cute point to make, but should be made as a wink-wink-nudge-nudge side-note if anything; we should not be taking a page out of the creationist playbook here by trying to attack ID through deceptive guilt-by-association games. The reason it's deceptive is because we have deliberately opted to use the term "intelligent design" here in lieu of the more common, specific, and appropriate scientific term, "artificial selection." It's artificial selection, not ID per se (in the theological context creationists use it in), which is actually employed by eugenics. And moreover, we're leaving ourselves open to counterattack by trying to poison the well here, since artificial selection is in a sense a kind of (natural) selection, meaning that one could very well say that eugenics is based on natural selection—it's just not based solely on natural selection, nor are its normative judgments on how to select derivable from evolutionary theory.
  2. There are two different sections on the naturalistic fallacy which should be merged.
  3. "Consequences have no bearing on the truth of something, and provide no reason to declare something wrong." - The first part is clearly true. The second part is very debatable. If a certain piece of knowledge had truly horrific consequences, I think most ethical person would agree that knowledge of should be suppressed for the good of everyone. If knowledge of evolution had no good results and had horribly bad effects upon society, creationists would actually have a good ethical argument for suppressing knowledge of evolution. It's their empirical premise (that evolutionary theory is universally harmful), not their ethical premise (that universally harmful knowledge should be suppressed) that is unambiguously wrong.
  4. Almost this entire article is devoted to eugenics and Social Darwinism, even though the article title does not reference either topic. Really, this level of detail on eugenics belongs best at Eugenics or Evolution encourages eugenics, and this level of detail on social Darwinism belongs on Evolution leads to social darwinism or Hitler based his views on Darwinism. It's not that we shouldn't cover those topics, or that we shouldn't give them some of the focus (since they obviously are among the most popular examples used by creationists to attack evolution), but they shouldn't be the entirety of an article about evolution being "the foundation of an immoral worldview", when there are so many other examples creationists love to use (Stalin, etc.) and when the real core of this argument is rooted in the view that evolution is against the Bible, not in any historical factoid about Nazis and social Darwinism. -Silence 08:33, 5 May 2008 (BST)
  1. Just as an aside: I think there should be very few references to dishonesty on this site because honest errors are, in most cases, another viable explanation for people saying wrong things. This holds true for evolutionists saying wrong things too.
  2. No, as far as I could see, one of them is on the reverse naturalistic fallacy, which is another thing.
  3. I don't agree. One reason: You simply can not suppress knowledge. It will leak out. If there ever is a truth which has "horrible consequences", I am sure one can find another, more practical way of preventing them than suppressing the knowledge. --tk 09:26, 6 May 2008 (BST)
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