It is instructive to see this inadvertently revealing comment on a blog post by Jason Rosenhouse.
But first, let’s remind ourselves of a very important visually made point:
>>eric April 15, 2015
Of course, you can challenge my definition. You can say that it’s just a product of my own subjective judgment that it’s bad to harm sentient beings. But so what?
I have not read Arrington’s posts, but I would bet that he is exactly going after the subjective vs. objective distinction. There’s been a recent spate of philosophers and/or reasonably prominent atheists trying to propose an objective morality (without the need for a god). I would bet he is going after these ideas.
It may be “so what” to you (and me) that morality is ultimately subjective, but many people find that thought upsetting. Arrington is pushing on that discomfort to gain converts for theism. He’s proselytizing: design will give you laypeople back that foundation for objective morality you want so badly, so (this part is implied and rarely stated) therefore you should believe in design.>>
In short, we are right back to an indifferent shoulder-shrug to the longstanding (cf. Plato in The Laws Bk X, c 360 BC) implication of evolutionary materialism, that might and manipulation make ‘right.’ (So, it’s just a matter of who has more might and who is cleverer at manipulating the opinions — and, especially the emotions — of the sheeple who think that we are under objective moral government of OUGHT. Who actually imagine they have real unalienable rights, starting with life, liberty, conscience and the like.)
Which, should ring some very loud warning bells.
In answer to such cynicism, I draw to our attention, a warning and a hope at the foundation of modern liberty and democracy, as Locke cites Hooker in his 2nd treatise on Civil Government:
>>. . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [[Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [[Eccl. Polity, preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80]>>
And again, Jefferson et al as they built on that foundation in the US DoI 1776:
>>We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness . . . >>
So, whose report do we believe — eric et al, or Locke, Hooker and Jefferson et al, why? And, where does this all point? END