Thursday, October 30, 2008

Expelled Now on DVD

If you have not seen Expelled, then you ought to see what all the fuss is about. Just listen to the glowing endorsements of critics. ;)

Expelled Website

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Memes to the rescue?

What's in a meme? It is a Neo-Darwinian concept that is supposed to explain some of the things we have been talking about in terms of survival and morality and God.

Oxford Prof. Alister McGrath gave a lecture on this, The Spell of the Meme (here is the PDF).

He also has a book length critique of Dawkins concept as well...

Dawkins' GOD: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life

(Review) "Wielding evolutionary arguments and carefully chosen metaphors like sharp swords, Richard Dawkins has emerged over three decades as this generation's most aggressive promoter of atheism. In his view, science, and science alone, provides the only rock worth standing on. In this remarkable book, Alister McGrath challenges Dawkins on the very ground he holds most sacred - rational argument - and McGrath disarms the master. It becomes readily apparent that Dawkins has aimed his attack at a naive version of faith that most serious believers would not recognize. After reading this carefully constructed and eloquently written book, Dawkins' choice of atheism emerges as the most irrational of the available choices about God's existence."--Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project

Monday, October 6, 2008

Does evolution make good sense of objective morality?

As we continue to explore the moral argument, we have admitted that objective moral values are real (i.e., rape is always wrong). The question at hand is whether anyone other than a moral lawgiver--God--can account for these objective moral values.

It seems to be the only other option is Nature gave them to us. but what is Nature? Well Nature turns out--even mother nature (notice the personification of nature to make people feel better and offer purpose and care)--to be nothing more than blind, random chance over time according to the Naturalistic story--Neo-Darwinism being a prominent part of the just so story.

Here is what Dr. Michael Ruse, a Darwinian Philosopher of Science at Florida State, had to say about morality:

“Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth. Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate that when somebody says "love thy neighbor as thyself," they think they are referring above and beyond themselves. Nevertheless, such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction . . . And any deeper meaning is illusory.”

Now not everyone agrees with him. But it is hard not to. Where do objective moral values come from? What about a random, blind process of chemical reactions puts an obligation on me to do one thing and not another? Even an 'obligation' is not physical, though we all know they are real--so how do you get non-physical obligations from a physical process...a rearranging of the bb's of matter?

Darwinian evolution, at best, only offers a description of the current state of morality today--perhaps social agreement? What it does not offer is why I ought to be moral tomorrow.

So it seems then that premise 1, in absence of a counter argument is more likely than not true as well.

If that is the cast then the argument is sound. The conclusion follows necessarily from the premises.

1. If God does not exist, objective moral values & duties do not exist.
2. Objective moral values & duties do exist.
3. Therefore, God exists.