youngearther wrote: youngearther 5 days ago in reply to Darrel Henschell
A scientist who believes in evolution can be brilliant and exceptional. But in order to be a good scientist he or she must borrow from the Biblical worldview. Qualities like honesty and integrity necessary for good research do not make sense in a evolution worldview.
Please explain. Why should we think that qualities like honesty and integrity do not make sense in a evolution worldview? It certainly appears that honesty and integrity would have evolutionary value, since these qualities would help make a society run more smoothly, and societies do better than individual, rogue persons trying to make it in the world apart from a society.
youngearther wrote:"Moral Relativism is a worldview. To determine for yourself which position to hold where morality is concerned, you must first determine what you believe about the origin of life. Do you believe life evolved or do you believe life was created? Evolution and moral relativism go hand-in-hand, for evolution teaches that life is accidental, without meaning or purpose. Therefore, anything you do is OK, because it ultimately doesn't If you believe we are created, however, moral relativism cannot work. Creation implies a Creator. All things created are subject to a set of laws, whether natural or divine." from able2know
You are making a number of errors in your reasoning here. I'll only highlight a couple of them below.
First of all, ethics does not follow from one's origin. There is no logical connection between where one is from, how one is "made," etc. and one's ethics. Even IF it were the case that a creator made us and wants us to conform to his set of rules, it does not follow from the fact that he is the creator of humanity that we are compelled to follow such rules. A child is not compelled to follow a parent's rules except by upbringing, social norms, and force. A parent who is a pedophile or criminal and wants to teach this activity to his or her child is not teaching the right thing to do regardless of the fact that he or she created that child. The same applies to any alleged creator of humanity. Morality is not force, and it is not authority. To think otherwise is to have a simplistic, child-like view of morality.
Second, you said that "evolution and moral relativism go hand-in-hand, for evolution teaches that life is accidental, without meaning or purpose." This is false, for two reasons:
i) Even if there is no god it does not follow that moral relativism is true. There are many ethical theories in which morality is definite, non-subjective, and inviolable, yet ethics is not the product of divine mandate. For example, Immanuel Kant held such a view. In fact, MOST theories of ethics one would find in a typical ethics class (I've taught ethics classes, so I know this for a fact) are theories in which ethics is not subjective AND ethics is not based on the will of a divine being.
ii) People create meaning in their lives. Meaning in life is not something that is "given" by a divine being. In fact, the notion that a magic being can make your life meaningful is utter nonsense. Obeying a divine being may make you a slave, but it does not ipso facto make your life meaningful.
The philosopher Robert Nozick has this thought experiment:
Robert Nozick asks us to suppose that God reveals to us one day that he created us to serve as food for some more advanced creatures from outer space. They are on their way to Earth and God wants us to serve ourselves as food to these aliens. Would it make our lives meaningful to be eaten by those creatures? It is part of a divine plan, so if being part of a divine plan were a sufficient condition to make life meaningful, then if the divine plan consisted of having human beings get eaten by space aliens, this should make our lives meaningful. But few people would hold that such a life would be meaningful. (On one occasion, however, a pastor I met in Maryland stated that he would rub catsup on himself and serve himself to the aliens if God so ordered.) To the extent that someone might hold that a life lived to become nothing more than an alien entrée would not be meaningful, Nozick's thought experiment about God's plan suggests that doing what God wants will not necessarily make our lives meaningful. So it is not a sufficient condition for a meaningful life that it is part of a divine plan.
Philosophers of the existentialist school of thought argue that life can be meaningful without reference to a divine plan. According to the philosophical school called existentialism, “existence precedes essence.” This means that humans exist prior to and independently of any notion of who they are or what they should do. Humans define themselves and create their own meaning by making choices. Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) believed that "...Man is nothing else but that which he makes of himself. That is the first principle of existentialism." If Sartre is right that human beings can create their own meaning in life, then the claim that a divine plan is a necessary condition for having a meaningful life is false.
It is not immediately obvious why a divine plan would
be required for life to be meaningful. Is it that God is an authority figure? We don't typically assent to the view that an authority can dictate what we must do with our lives in order to make our lives meaningful. It used to be much different in Western culture. It used to be the case that most of society accepted that an authority figure could dictate what someone under that authority could do with his or her life. A father who was a cobbler could dictate that his son would follow in his footsteps and also become a cobbler. In some circumstances a daughter could be betrothed to marry someone she may have never met. Women were often denied an education on the grounds that since they were not allowed to seek employment they would not have to know much. It is different in our society now. We do not typically accept that parents, for example, can dictate what a son or daughter will do with his or her life. The meaning of life argument seems to be appealing to intuitions that were prevalent in our society in times past. Since in our society it is no longer simply accepted that authorities can dictate one's life, argumentation would be needed to show that this applies in the case of a divine being.
A proponent of the claim that a divine plan is a necessary condition for having a meaningful life would have to show that there is some relevant factor about a divine plan that makes life meaningful that is missing when a human being creates a meaningful life. It is not clear what that element is supposed to be.
"We could have done something important Max. We could have fought child abuse or Republicans!" --Oona Hart (played by Victoria Foyt), in the 1995 movie "Last Summer in the Hamptons."