Sent November 21, 2009 by Eye2EyeIIIV:
Think about it...
WHERE DO CARING AND MERCY COME FROM?
While many evolutionists cry out that a loving God is inconsistent with this world of cruelty we inhabit, they conveniently overlook other things. For example, how does evolution explain charity, and caring? If evolution is true, the driving force of nature is "survival of the fittest". Those less able to compete are destined to die. Any attempt to rescue these "less competitive" people would be to work AGAINST the most fundamental force of nature. The existence of doctors, hospitals, charitable organizations, and even police force is contrary to raw evolutionary forces.
The evolutionist has no basis for moral judgments. If man is just the result of millions of years of evolution, our behavior is based on random chemical reactions. There is no ultimate moral code. All morality is relative. So if a person needs money, why is it wrong to rob someone or a bank? According to evolution, the stronger person should succeed. Might makes right. So in the evolutionary view, such violence is a natural, and necessary, part of the world.
Those who have a worldview based on the Bible have a consistent basis for acts of kindness, charity, or caring. We are commanded in Scripture to love our neighbors as ourselves, to perform acts of mercy, and to care for the widows and orphans. If we take evolution to its logical conclusion, we will conclude that these widows and orphans should die because they are a drain on the resources of nature.
Only true Christians ultimately offer the world a basis to make moral judgments. Those who reject the Bible have no basis for morality.
Hit the jump for the responses.
Sent November 21, 2009 by tiggster13:
Evolution certainly does have a basis for moral judgments. Let me illustrate:
Suppose there was a competition involving a huge obstacle course. The winner of this competition would receive all of the food, water, and shelter he could possibly want. The four contestants include a large, powerful body builder, a sleek and graceful track star, a physicist with an IQ of 200 and a normal guy who had 5 close friends committed to helping him succeed. It should be obvious that 6 people working together will always be more successful than anyone working alone (no matter how fit they might be). But success comes with a price; the rewards would have to split up or the team will fall apart.
This can be seen in the wild as well. Wolves, for example, often hunt caribou, animals that are much larger, much stronger and much faster than wolves. The wolves' advantage is that they work together as a pack and they achieve that advantage by making sure that everyone in the pack gets fed and cared for. Even the slow and the weak can contribute when you get your power from numbers. And its not just wolves; meerkats, monkeys, dolphins, geese, ants etc. etc. all have learned to rely on others for their survival.
Morality, then, is our instinctive recognition that we are fittest when we are not alone and the best way to ensure that we are not alone is to be as concerned about the health and well being of others as we are about ourselves. Its natural and we do it because we evolved in this way. (And no, evolution is not based on random chemical reactions. Why would you think that anyone is going to listen to what you say if you won't take the time to actually learn about the topics you wish to discuss?)
Christianity, on the other hand, teaches that sin is an innate feature we all have and that moral laws are followed not for the betterment of others but for our own personal rewards (or to avoid personal punishment). It also teaches that, one day, god will segregate all of humanity up into two groups - the people he likes and those he is prejudiced against. Fear, hate, bigotry, selfishness and irresponsibility are the lessons of christianity.
You don't care about widows and orphans because they are needy, you care because, if you help them, you are that much closer to having your own private mansion in heaven where you'll never have to care about anyone or anything ever again.
Finally, according to your "ultimate moral code", slavery, rape, child abuse and genocide are all morally acceptable as were the crusades, holy wars, inquisitions, witch hunts and the dishonesty rampant within the creationist community today. There is not, nor has there ever been, a single, comprehensive definition for what is moral and what is immoral that all christians have universally agreed to. You are just as subjective and just as arbitrary as everyone else.
Sent November 21, 2009 by thelastholdout:
Although Tiggster already gave a damn good response to you, allow me to put my two cents in.
Your first mistake is interchanging "evolutionists" with "atheists," as there are many people who recognize the facts of evolution who still believe in God. Acknowledgement of evolution as a valid explanation for the diversity of life and recognizing that there's no reason to believe in any supernatural deity are mutually exclusive stances; in other words, a given person who takes one of these stances may not necessarily take the other.
Secondly, Tiggster is right; groups working together do have an evolutionary advantage in many ways over individuals. Allow me to give a hypothetical example: say there's a group of our primitive ancestors sitting around when a saber toothed tiger attacks one of them. If they all work together to save the victim, not only will the victim live to reproduce, but now the group has access to food, material for clothing, tools, etc. However, if they all sit there and let the victim get devoured, and display such apathy each time the tiger attacks, soon there will be no ancestors left to reproduce. In a modern setting, factories, offices, restaurants, etc. (all of the facilities which help provide our comfortable standard of living) work better with a group of people working together than with one person working alone. Hospitals, etc., help ensure the survival of the SPECIES. See, "survival of the fit" (not fittest, necessarily) is about survival of the species. Even if I die saving a school bus filled with children, the species will live on through the reproductive efforts of those children when they grow up, even if I will never rear children of my own.
In summary, there are plenty of practical reasons for people to work together and help each other, while your Scripture is simply an argument from authority. The argument you advance is "God commands it." Well, great. God commands plenty of things that aren't so nice, according to your religion and plenty of others. Your particular religion argues that man is a depraved creature by nature, born into sin because curiosity overpowered the arbitrary command of a jealous and irrational God at the dawn of mankind. The tree which caused our "downfall" was the tree of the KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL. If this is what Adam and Eve gained when they ate of it, this means that beforehand they had no understanding of morality. They had no idea what right and wrong are. They did not know that it was indeed a "sin" to disobey God. Here's an analogy: A man travels to a foreign country. He is absolutely ignorant of all the laws and customs of that country. He sees a tree with delicious looking fruit hanging off its branches. There's a sign nearby that in the native language gives a warning with a skull and crossbones, but the man does not understand the language, and sees a bird pecking at the fruit, so it's obviously safe to eat.. He grabs a fruit off the tree and bites into it. Immediately he's surrounded by police who beat him savagely and throw him in jail, because apparently the tree's fruit is considered sacred by the locals. The man spends the rest of his life rotting in the jail due to this "crime."
Next, any chemical reactions which contribute to the life process are NOT random. If you understood evolution at all you'd know this.
Next, only an arrogant, sexist ass would consider widows and orphans as "drains on the resources of nature" by default. Being deprived of your husband or your parents does not make you any less capable as a person of fending for yourself. You may have to work harder, but it's still possible. And orphans can still grow up to be perfectly healthy members of society. If we're going to follow your logic, religious leaders should all die because they ARE leeches on society. All they do is stand behind their pulpits and demand that you worship the deity they claim to represent while taking all of your money and time. Those who actually do anything good for the people around them are the exceptions to the rule.
And let's test your statement that there's no such thing as morality in the absence of God or the bible. Let's say, hypothetically, that you were to be convinced that God does not exist. Would you immediately drop every shred of the rules you live by? Would you go out and rape, murder and steal? If you answered yes, you are one of the most monstrously immoral people who's ever lived, because you only act moral when "someone's watching."
Anyway, that's the sum of my thoughts for now.
Sent November 21, 2009 by scikidus:
Since I didn't realize other people were goign to hit Reply All, I wrote a direct response. Here's mine.
Although responding to mass e-mails is not particularly enjoyable, perhaps I can clarify a point or two.
Homo sapiens have evolved in groups, and therefore we have developed group morality. On a very basic level, it may indeed seem more beneficial for an individual to murder others for their own gain, however this is not beneficial to the group overall, reducing the chances fo survival of the group. A basic scenario might help illuminate this point. Suppose that you're in a group of 2 other males and 3 females. Each of you males wishes to reproduce with the other females, and therefore you compete. Competition is fine: what's not fine is taking the actions too far and murdering each other. Why? Because it dissolves trust in the group, making the 6 of you much more vulnerable to attack. If you know the other group members want to kill you, why are you going to work with them to fight off the angry lion which is trying to kill you?
On the other hand, helping others in the group is extremely beneficial to the group overall. Our sense of compassion probably evolved out of mothering instincts towards children, which themselves evolved so we wouldn't abandon our offspring and our genes. Because we now have the mantle of group morality, "survival of the fittest" does not apply to individual members of a group, but to groups and populations overall, and by extension to the entire human race. Helping others lets them help you in return. Even selfless acts gain reward and favor from others, and so are beneficial to you should your individual person ever be in trouble.
You then go on to speak of the Bible as a firm basis for morality. I must ask you: how exactly do you select which parts of the Bible constitute your moral code and which parts do not? For instance, the Golden Rule first appears in Leviticus 19:18. But what lets us decide that this verse is part of a moral code, while in the very next chapter, Leviticus 20:27, we are told to stone to death any man whom we believe to be a wizard? How can we reject certain lines but not others? If there is a Biblical foundation for ignoring certain verses or chapters of the Bible, please let me know. Otherwise, you must have chosen which verses to follow yourself. And if you can choose which verses to follow yourself, what's to stop you from deriving those morals on your own? You have effectively derived a moral code on your own by picking certain morals out of a book filled with moral and amoral rules.
I look forward to continuing this conversation.
Sent November 21, 2009 by lucidatheist:
Sorry that my response will not be as long, or thought out as the others but stop spamming me with religious propaganda.
Anyone who uses the Bible for their ethics and morals should not be taken seriously considering all of the absurdities and impossibilities in it such as saying the Earth is flat and immovable.
Sent November 21, 2009 by Underlings:
The responses of the others to your incorrect claim should suffice, but I'll toss in a bit more:
EVERY social species has behavior that allows them to coexist with others of their species. Piranha, wolves, ants, etc. don't tear each other to shreds; instead, they cooperate to improve their odds of survival. Any mutations that may appear in a social species that increase the odds of survival for the species will spread throughout the species. The same thing happened (and happens) with humans, which is why we have evolved to become moral beings. Morality is the behavior we evolved to help our species coexist with other people in close societies, and it has made our species very successful indeed. All it takes is behavioral change that improves social cohesion appearing in a population, and natural selection will do the rest. We even see the result in computer simulations of natural selection of behavior.
So evolution very easily explains altruism, charity, kindness, etc., and it very clearly has a basis for moral judgements. That doesn't mean morality isn't relative--it is, because one can envision social behavior quite different from ours that could also be successful--but humans evolved morality, which is evidently a successful approach, and within our own societies a lot of morality isn't very relative.
But I'll bet even YOU believe that morality is relative. After all, God says don't commit murder...yet he commits murder throughout the Bible. Is he exempt from his own moral code? If so, then you believe morality is relative. If not, then you must accept that God is immoral.
And be aware that MOST people who accept evolution are ALSO Christians, and that MOST Christians accept evolution. Don't forget, there are a billion Catholics alone, and the Pope has accepted evolution as not being in conflict with scripture. And don't forget that there are literally THOUSANDS of additional religions, sects and cults in the world, most of which are NOT Christian, yet they also almost universally have integrated moral codes. So Christianity isn't any different.
Well, that's not entirely true...Christianity actually PROMOTES some evil behavior. Don't forget, the one character in the whole Bible who commits, condones or orders murder, genocide, slavery, torture, child abuse, rape, lying and theft is NOT Satan...it's God. And since God is supposedly the source of morality in Christian mythology, it's pretty hard to make the claim that Christianity promotes a GOOD moral code. But I will agree that it has A moral code, even if it is full of hypocrisy and ignores many behaviors any sane, rational person knows is evil.
Sent November 21, 2009 by stemcgolf:
Not interested in your christian babble and nonsense. You can come to me when you have a published peer reviewed paper on the subject. Until then, keep your fairytales to yourself. And educate yourself while you are at it.
You guys kick so much ass.