Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design Mind Naturalism

Random evolution somehow creates responsibility?

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The Open Door, William Henry Fox Talbot (British, Dorset 1800–1877 Lacock), Salted paper print from paper negative
the open door/William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–1877)

From Brian Gallagher at Nautilus:

Certain features of human behavior recur regardless of culture.

Does that mean that we are in some sense fine-tuned by natural selection to be a particular kind of creature? Nope, says Ian Tattersall, a paleontologist and the former chairman of the department of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History. The notion that evolutionary forces sculpted humans in a certain way is misleading. In fact, he says, it’s the biggest misapprehension about human origins. “We can basically blame evolution for our shortcomings and look upon ourselves as somewhat optimized, and therefore not have to change our behaviors,” he told Nautilus. “We are not the product of perfectionizing. We are, in many ways, totally accidental. That to me is the big lesson. If we’re accidental, then we have the responsibility to exploit our own abilities in the most responsible way.” More.

That’s an astonishing statement, really, and shows the bankruptcy of naturalist culture. Obviously, if everything is completely random there is no “we” to take responsibility, nothing to take responsibility for, and no possibility of doing so. Or reason for it.

At least such a perspective leads to nihilism by a direct route. If this piece is directed against the implied fatalism of evolutionary psychology it is directed against nonsense that is now tending to mischief ( anti-Semitism, for example). But we don’t need Darwinian nihilism to drive out Darwinian fatalism. We can just dump the lot.

See also: Neuroscientist: Free will is an illusion but we should believe we have it

Neuroscientist debunks hype about no free will, etc.

Evolutionary psychology: A promising new strategy for anti-Semites?

“The evolutionary psychologist knows why you vote — and shop, and tip at restaurants”

GP, Mike Pence and Free Will 

At Physics Central: How human beings can have free will as complex, purely physical systems

Do the defects of real numbers open the door to free will in physics?

and

How can we believe in naturalism if we have no choice?

4 Replies to “Random evolution somehow creates responsibility?

  1. 1
    vmahuna says:

    Why is it that you INSIST on imagining that there is ONE and ONLY ONE Culture common to all human beings across all of our history?

    Good, bad, right, wrong, naughty, nice all have different definitions for different groups of humans in different centuries. Anyone who argues otherwise simply doesn’t read enough.

    The Phoenicians, for all their skill in marine navigation and brilliance in inventing the alphabet (aleph and beth are Phoenician names for letters), thought it was good and proper to BURN THEIR CHILDREN ALIVE as part of worshiping their god. (The Phoenicians are of course the Biblical “Philistines”)

    So was there something PHYSICALLY wrong with the brains of the Phoenicians? Or did they just happen to have an odd culture? And was their culture more or less odd than the Aztecs, who cut beating hearts out of people as a sacrifice to THEIR god?

    It is perhaps useful to note that neither the current descendants of the Phoenicians (Lebanese) nor the current descendants of the Aztecs (Mexicans) include human sacrifice as part of their current cultures. Somehow I don’t think this had anything to do with Evolution.

  2. 2
    Nonlin.org says:

    Hey News,

    So what’s the point of citing retards (let’s be honest!) like this Nautilus guy over and over and over again?

    Can’t we discuss something less retard instead? I have a number of views that no one to date has been able to shut down (including your own smart buddy gpuccio). Why not discuss any of those instead?

  3. 3
    asauber says:

    The Phoenicians, for all their skill in marine navigation and brilliance in inventing the alphabet (aleph and beth are Phoenician names for letters), thought it was good and proper to BURN THEIR CHILDREN ALIVE as part of worshiping their god.

    vmahuna,

    I take it you think your culture informs you killing children is wrong, because of your ALL CAPS.

    Or do you think it’s objectively wrong across cultures?

    Andrew

  4. 4
    Eugene S says:

    One of the biggest achievements of the devil is in persuading lots of people he does not exist…

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