Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Evolutionary materialism’s amorality

China’s surveillance and control move, targeting esp. Christians

We see in current news: The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has activated measures to drastically restrict the availability of Christian content on the internet, Open Doors reported this week. Last December, China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) announced its upcoming “Measures for the Administration of Internet Religious Information Services,” a series of regulations designed to eliminate any online religious message that fails to conform to the principles of the CCP. Without express government permission, no organization or individual “shall preach on the Internet, carry out religious education and training, publish sermon content, forward or link to related content, organize and conduct religious activities on the Internet, or live broadcast or post recorded videos of religious rituals,” the CCP declared Read More ›

L&FP, 48f: Orwell exposes how Language and meaning are being relativised, too, with hints on how to correct it

When we have to resort to Orwell, it is a sad sign of how far the rot has gone. LF&P 48, no 146: >>it seems language itself (so, dictionaries and other reference resources by extension . . .) is under the gun of the elephant game. Orwell wrote about Newspeak replacing Oldspeak in the interests of IngSoc . . . English Socialism (the National Socialist English Worker’s Party we suppose), and how part of the dumbing down was to make it impossible to conceptualise heresy against the partyline. There was also Doublethink: To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to Read More ›

L&FP 48e: Plato’s anticipation of and exposure of radical relativism (and linked evolutionary materialism) c 360 BC in The Laws, Bk X

Now that the six blind men and the elephant paradigm is broken, we may look at Plato with fresh eyes. Here, 92 in LF&P 48a: >>Plato . . . is highly relevant to our own mutiny on the good ship civilisation. For, the lessons of sound history were bought with blood and tears; those who neglect, forget, dismiss or disdain those lessons doom themselves to pay in the same coin over and over again. Let’s therefore listen to Plato, as he lays out how ancient evolutionary materialism on the part of the sophists and others of the avant garde of c 430 BC led to radical relativism, amorality, nihilistic factionalism and chaos — and we will also trace the like Read More ›

The folly of projecting group-stereotype guilt and the present kairos

The kairos concept is, in a nutshell, that there are seasons in life and in community, so that there are times that are opportune or even simply pivotal and trend-making. At such times, we are forced to decide, for good or ill. And yes, carry on with business as usual . . . especially on a manifest march of folly . . . is a [collective, power-balance driven] decision; ill advised though it may be: More formally: With that in mind, I now draw attention to Chenyuan Snider’s expose of some of the more terrifying Red Guard-like group-guilt, stereotyping and scapegoating tactics of the totalitarian government she grew up under; here, targetting a particularly revered group in historic, Confucius- influenced Read More ›

Does The Bible “condone” slavery, even as Darwin opposed it?

It seems, this issue is on the table here at UD again, and it needs to be publicly corrected for record. As a first step, I link a discussion in response to the oppression thesis used to try to discredit and marginalise the historical contribution of the Christian faith (and to create the false impression that due to “obvious” ethical failure, the gospel can be dismissed). It is also worthwhile to link my recently updated discussion on moral government, objectivity of ethics and law. (While we are at it, here is a summary response on the rhetorical challenge of evil.) Let me also again put up an infographic that has been featured several times here at UD in response to Read More ›

FYI-FTR: The answer given to attempts to undermine moral government (and to those that — even worse — suggest that Christians must become/are vigilantes)

A new accusatory talking point being used by one particular frequent objector, is that I am ducking answering what he imagines I cannot answer. This arose in connexion with his drearily raising yet again an obsessive theme that would drag threads into the sewer. Having taken time to deal with such in one thread, I refused. I took time to deal with the focal topic (currently at top of UD’s recent active threads) then I took time to answer objections as above. For corrective record, I now headline, and as the relevant thread is still open, discussion will be entertained there. First, 419 in the atheism warrant challenge thread, July 17 2019 at 11:54 am on blog timestamp: [KF, 419:] Read More ›

Logic & First Principles, 16: The problem of playing God (when we don’t — cannot — know how)

In discussing the attempted brain hacking of monkeys, I made a comment about refraining from playing God. This sparked a sharp reaction, then led to an onward exchange. This puts on the table the captioned issue . . . which it seems to me is properly part of our ongoing logic and first principles reflections. Here, the other big piece of axiology (the study of the valuable) ethics, with side-orders of limitations in epistemology. So, kindly allow me to headline: KF, 10: >>It is interesting what sparked the sharpness of exchange above: KF: Playing God without his knowledge base, wisdom and benevolence is asking for trouble. A78 is right: all I’m saying is proceed with caution we shouldn’t play God Read More ›

A note on eugenics, social darwinism and evolutionary theory

Notoriously, the Second International Congress on Eugenics [1921] defined Eugenics as the self-direction of human evolution and saw eugenics as applied evolutionary science with intellectual, logical and factual roots in several linked branches of science, medicine and scholarship. If you doubt this, simply examine the logo to the right. Perhaps the best summary of the then prevailing mentality comes from Scientific Monthly, in an article on the congress — noting how it highlights a keynote by a son of Darwin: >>THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF EUGENICS In this journal special attention has always been given to problems of evolution, heredity and eugenics. As older readers of the THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY will remember, it gave the first American publication to Read More ›

Is it time to “reboot” our formal and informal education in ethics, to save our civilisation?

On reflecting on the ongoing discussion on ethical matters (as part of the science and worldviews in society theme of UD) in the thread in response to Sev on moral truth, I suggest yes. Not least, because the already in progress, suicidal moral bankruptcy of our civilisation will take down science, math, technology, sound governance systems, sound policy-making and linked engines of progress if we go over the cliff: KF, 105: >>The onward exchanges are interesting, underscoring however the persistent, widespread failure of our current formal and informal ethical education. Thus, instead of being teachers to the world, we need to think afresh and go back to first, mother’s milk baby stage steps and principles. Our civilisation is like land Read More ›

Responding to Sev: “Moral claims are not about what is but about how we ought to behave, primarily towards one another. They are not capable of being either true or false”

Again, it is vital for us to see what today’s evolutionary materialism, scientism, athiestical advocates and fellow travellers are thinking in their own words, and we must answer them on the merits. Where, as captioned, it is being argued in the intersubjective consensus thread, that there is no such thing as moral truth. This means, as our frequent objector Sev then goes on to argue in the same comment: SEV, 29:  >> a consensus morality is neither true nor false, right or wrong in any objective sense. If the consensus is that a society is made safer, more stable and generally beneficial by the voluntary adherence of all to agreed moral principles, then you could argue they are right in Read More ›

Answering AK: “who determines who is in the right? From my reading of your words, you obviously do not brook the possibility that you may be wrong.”

Where, of course, the very first self-evident, plumbline truth I have stressed is this: error exists. (The crucial diagnostically decisive error of cultural relativism here being exposed by the reference to WHO determines, rather than WHAT defines and determines the truth and the right.) It is one thing when we of UD say that we deal with a pattern of thought, talking points and behaviour; it is another thing entirely when we see it in action, live from the horse’s mouth.  Let me clip from the continued discussion in the correcting hyperskepticism thread: KF, 244:>> I have limited time, so let me clip the following from 229 and respond, as it seems to go to the heart of the matter. Read More ›

Sev, JDK, the value of philosophy [esp. metaphysics] and addressing the intersubjective consensus challenge

In the PZM on the state of atheism thread, some key fundamental issues have emerged: JDK, 12: >>to both ba[77] and kf: because I think your belief in the power and importance of metaphysical philosophy is excessive and misguided . . . >> Sev, 17: >>[to BA77,] You consistently ignore the possibility that a consensus morality can be achieved through inter-subjective agreement.>> Both of these deserve notice, and I responded. This, I now headline, as it goes to the core of the many vexed debates that are going on not only in and around UD but across our civilisation. Pardon, JDK, I here redirect to the correct source: KF, 26: >>a long time ago now, I realised that if one Read More ›

CT4: AK on morality: “Since the moral fabric is man made, all we are doing is seeing it change . . .”

Sometimes, one of our frequent objectors has a truly noteworthy letting- the- cat- out- of- the- bag moment that is worth headlining. In the still live CT2 thread, AK unwittingly exposes the incoherence and implied amorality of atheistical, evolutionary materialism when he comments in key part: AK, 80: >>Since the moral fabric is man made, all we are doing is seeing it change, as it has done over the centuries. Sometimes history shows that the change has been for the good, and sometimes for the bad. But since civilization is thriving, it is reasonable to conclude that we have had more wins than losses.>> Note first, “[s]ince the moral fabric is man-made.” Here, the question is clearly begged in grand Read More ›

Can Wikipedia be fixed? (And, should we care? [Is it time to walk away and lock it out like a virus?])

By 2012, the longstanding Encyclopedia Britannica had published its last print edition. Microsoft’s Encarta has long since bitten the dust, and so has Collier’s notable effort. Wikipedia, like it or lump it — mostly the latter — seems to have taken over that go-to first source slot. Indeed, for a great many subjects a Wikipedia article will dominate a Google search (or the like), to the point where one gets the impression that if it is not in the top three or so references, that was programmed in by the search engine’s programmers. And yet, as PJ Media reports, co-founder and original author of Wikipedia’s “neutral point of view [NPOV]” policy, Larry Sanger has gone on record, regarding Wiki’s entrenched Read More ›