Dawkinswatch

Exposing Evolution As A Mess and Atheism As Hot-Air!

The Problem Of Evil and The Theory Evolution

with 20 comments

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Well this is what I really dislike about the theory of evolution, it promotes selfishness. If the theory is true that every event in history has worked out for the survival of the fittest and that is the way of nature selecting those who are fit for survival and from those who are not worthy to exist.

No Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were not being evil, but rather they were doing us all favour by wiping out all those who were not fit to exist.I often here Atheists claim that serial killers are evil but where does that fit in your philosophy?At least Christian have a theory of evil even though it is not really understood by the critics of God. 

You see if Charles Darwin is correct then I should become as selfish as possible.  Richard Dawkins has spoken a selfish gene and as does Adam Smith’s economic ideas.Christianity asserts that we cannot be plain selfish and we have to have right relationships (righteousness) with others.  

I think Christianity has superior form of morality but I would like to here your thoughts? Does evolution  really justify evil and man brutality towards his fellow human-beings?

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Written by dawkinswatch

March 26, 2008 at 4:05 pm

20 Responses

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  1. “Does evolution really justify evil and man brutality towards his fellow human-beings?”

    Only if you know jack about logic and philosophy. You can’t get from is to ought. Just because gravity pulls people down doesn’t mean I should go around shoving people off buildings.

    In case that wasn’t clear enough:

    No.

    Nimravid

    March 26, 2008 at 4:45 pm

  2. Many people look at evolution from a Christian or humanist perspective and see cruelty and selfishness. Darwin himself once wrote, “What a book a Devil’s Chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering low and horribly cruel works of nature.” I think Dawkins quoted this in one of his books. At the same time, belief that natural selection accounts for the origin of the species is often accompanied by belief that ethics or morality matter – they did matter to Darwin, for example. It is true, though, that many people now fear and believe that ethics lacks a foundation – it is hard now for many of us to say why ethics matters, and hard to arrive at a consensus about what is moral and why.

    Belief in evolution is associated with seeing the relatedness of all of life and that can lead to feeling a certain compassion for all of life and from that compassion an ethic of kindness emerges. Loren Eiseley is an example of one who has that ethic, and Aldo Leopold.

    Ken

    March 26, 2008 at 7:11 pm

  3. I am not as bright as the rest of you on this. How do you connect from natural selection to selfish? The maternal instinct to guard the young, the instinct to protect your mate, the instinct to gather in groups to protect the weak,the instinct to bring food to others of your species, how is any of that selfish?
    And then how do you connect selfishness to ethics in the animal kingdom?
    Ethics and morality are rooted in the belief that there is a ‘right’ that exists and that the lack of doing right is a wrong. How would any animal have a clue what is right or wrong?
    I do not believe that higher order concepts like morality and ethics spring from a root source. If you are familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it can be seen that the while needs can be ordered, they do not derive from each other or from lower level needs. So, too, are concepts. Unique unto themselves and perhaps ordered, but not derived from some common physical base.
    I don’t understand the point on consensus for what is moral. Why in the world would there be a consensus among so many different cultures? There are common moral traits in all cultures, yes, but the morality in a culture would be modified by the environment and the history/experience of the cultures.
    Flour can be used to bake many kinds of bread. Is it not enough to recognize flour as the moral root and then identify the elements that make it raisin bread or cheese bread?
    Does evolution justify evil? This is a strange question. Man once thought that both evil and good came from gods. Man also thought that Man’s suffering was evil. But science has shown that Man can suffer from natural causes without any divine intervention. Now Man can show that some (not all) evil perpetrated by Man is rooted in deviant genetics. But deviant genetics is not evolution. I cannot begin to think that evolution would ever be ‘justification’ for evil. Again I would say that a higher order concept does not spring from a lower order concept. In this case, because my ancestors once killed for food would not lead to a justification that I could kill indiscriminately (evil).
    Sorry to be long winded. Thanks for letting me say my piece.

    ReasonableCitizen

    March 27, 2008 at 3:02 am

  4. Sorry to return for another comment.
    What is the connection between natural selection and the history of mankind? Is the presumption that because claws, coloration, and environmental adaptation may cause one species to succeed while another fails that choices made by sentient beings may evolve under the same conditions of survivability?

    ReasonableCitizen

    March 27, 2008 at 3:37 pm

  5. Reasonable Citizen welcome to this blog.

    I know you are dawkins fan just by your name.

    I happen to be awre of Maslow’s theory of hierachy of needs and I know where he is coming from. I might do a bi write up about it next week.

    I would suggest you go deep into the archives to search for social darwinism and it links to the evolution theory.

    I think that social implications are serious.

    I am not linking evolution with evil but asking Atheist to tell me if there is such a thing as evil.

    dawkinswatch

    March 27, 2008 at 4:11 pm

  6. If you think that you should become more selfish, go ahead and do so. If you want to think that Stalin, Mao, and Hitler were good men, go ahead and do so.

    But remember that no aspect of evolutionary theory suggests these things. Evolutionary theory contains no statements about morality. It doesn’t say that anything is good or bad.

    And if you believe that Creationism is correct because you find Evolution so disgusting, you’d better stop basing your beliefs on what you’d like to be true.

    J. Frantz

    March 28, 2008 at 1:36 am

  7. I’ll spend some time on this. Thanks for pointing the way.

    ReasonableCitizen

    March 28, 2008 at 1:58 am

  8. Oops, I am slow on the uptake lately. This blog is about disputing Richard Dawkins, the atheist, and you thought that my name reflected support for his beliefs.
    To clear this up, I believe that Dawkins and God both exist to confound each other. It is reasonable to believe in God and unreasonable not to. Thanks again for pointing the way.

    ReasonableCitizen

    March 28, 2008 at 2:16 am

  9. Why isn’t it unreasonable to believe in Zeus? What about Anubis? What’s so special about Jehovah?

    J. Frantz

    March 28, 2008 at 2:20 am

  10. Meant to say “is” not “isn’t”, sorry. Tripped myself with a double-negative.

    J. Frantz

    March 28, 2008 at 2:21 am

  11. Well Zeus is only an exoteric expression of god, when you get to the esoteric all pagan religion become monotheistic.

    But still they do not worship Yahweh because he has not been revealed to them. Yahweh Is holy and he is the one who created the world .

    dawkinswatch

    March 28, 2008 at 4:03 pm

  12. Selfishness? How. If anything, it promotes altruism since it is all about survival of the species. And then, when you get the human level of comprehension of the environment, survival of the species means taking pretty good care of the environment and other species (else the food web and environment collapses).

    If you want selfishness, christian theology is where it’s at – from “god created the universe just for ME” to “Oh, it’ll be fine, god will fix it.”

    Matt

    March 29, 2008 at 7:05 am

  13. Lovely. Now you’re saying that you don’t believe in evolution because you don’t want to.

    “I often here Atheists claim that serial killers are evil but where does that fit in your philosophy?At least Christian have a theory of evil even though it is not really understood by the critics of God.”

    Fine. Serial killers aren’t evil. They’re highly immoral rat bastards who ought to be locked away at the very least. You and I both think that it’s wrong to kill. I don’t think that it’s wrong to kill because your theory of evil tells me so, and I don’t think that you’d become a serial killer if you didn’t have your theory of evil (I hope not.)

    splendidelles

    March 29, 2008 at 7:53 am

  14. Does Evil Exist?

    dawkinswatch

    March 31, 2008 at 2:00 pm

  15. Q: Does Evil Exist?
    A: Yes

    Q: What are you gonna do about it?

    ReasonableCitizen

    April 4, 2008 at 10:28 am

  16. You are equating evolution with selfishness, evolution has nothing to do with morality, its a scientific theory explaining how organisms change over time be natural selection. Morality is how we should act towards one and other. Evolution doesn’t say we should be selfish, we have moved past that. We are no longer under the chains of natural selection, we are free to make moral choices based on our own view of morality. And I agree that atheism does not sqauare as well with morality as Christianity but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a moral person and an atheist at the same time.

    James T Kirk

    April 5, 2008 at 6:05 pm

  17. “I agree that atheism does not sqauare as well with morality as Christianity”

    Why is that? I actually am agnostic because I was unable to resolve morality with Christianity. For instance, now I can say slavery, forced marriage of POWs, and infanticide are all wrong, while the Old Testament allowed all of these at one time or another without condemnation.

    Nimravid

    April 7, 2008 at 8:29 pm

  18. Read your Bible. Jesus in the Gospel told his followers not to beat their slaves so hard that an eye or a tooth fell out, otherwise they would have to set their slave free.

    Christian scripture promotes slavery.

    @Matt: Natural selection happens at the individual or gene level … survival of the species doesn’t play into the picture.

    Forrest

    April 17, 2008 at 7:32 am

  19. Who told you that accepting evolution requires becoming selfish? I am very nearly certain you didn’t come up with it yourself, as we have yet to see an example of even an effort at original thining from you.

    Whoever it was, you should stop listening to them. It simpy isn’t true; you have been lied to and you are parroting it to others. Shame on you. Altruism is a useful evolved ttrait found in many species.

    Mike

    April 17, 2008 at 2:48 pm

  20. Of course it applies on the species level. Example; just look at the introduction of feral cats into the Australian ecosystem. Many species, most notably the Bilby, have been brought to the edge of extinction from this one source. Some species have been made extinct from just a new predator being introduced. That’s a text book example of survival of the fittest.

    Matt

    April 17, 2008 at 10:24 pm


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