Atheism Ethics Intelligent Design Naturalism

Michael Ruse update: “Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction…

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The Terror of Existence: From Ecclesiastes to Theatre of the Absurd . . . And any deeper meaning is illusory.” Reader Ken Francis, author with Theodore Dalrymple of The Terror of Existence: From Ecclesiastes to Theatre of the Absurd, read our piece on Darwinian philosopher Michael Ruse explaining why he is not a new atheist. He thought other readers might be interested to know of something Dr. Ruse has said in the past:

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.”
Michael Ruse, “Evolutionary Theory and Christian Ethics,” in The Darwinian Paradigm (London: Routledge, 1989), pp. 262-269.

Note: Someone has been trying to get William Lane Craig in trouble for assuming that Dr. Ruse would not go that far:

 

But apparently, he does. It seems Dr. Ruse’s dislike of new atheists is, as he implies, aesthetic.

Oh well, back to our regular coverage.

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See also: Why Darwinian philosopher Michael Ruse is not a new atheist Ruse: Partly it is aesthetic. They are so vulgar. Dawkins in The God Delusion would fail any introductory philosophy or religion course…

and

Theodore Dalrymple and Ken Francis on the terror of a materialist atheist’s existence

13 Replies to “Michael Ruse update: “Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction…

  1. 1
    EugeneS says:

    Any suspicion that Michael Ruse talks substance is illusory.

  2. 2
    Latemarch says:

    ES@1

    Any suspicion that Michael Ruse talks substance is illusory.

    But he smiles when he talks….surely that must count for something.

  3. 3
    Ed George says:

    It is hard to argue that morality does not aid survival and reproduction. The question is how our sense of morality arose. God given or evolved?

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Ed G states

    “It is hard to argue that morality does not aid survival and reproduction.”

    Really??? Just how moral are pathogenic microorganisms that are exceedingly excellent at survival and reproduction?? Yet not so excellent at ‘loving thy neighbor’?

    The truth is that the ‘survival of the fittest’ morality of Darwinian Evolution could care less about altruistic morality, especially loving your neighbor as yourself, (much less loving God with all your being).

    In fact, Darwin himself offered this as a falsification criteria of his theory, “Natural selection cannot possibly produce any modification in any one species exclusively for the good of another species”… and even stated that “If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.”

    “Natural selection cannot possibly produce any modification in any one species exclusively for the good of another species; though throughout nature one species incessantly takes advantage of, and profits by, the structure of another. But natural selection can and does often produce structures for the direct injury of other species, as we see in the fang of the adder, and in the ovipositor of the ichneumon, by which its eggs are deposited in the living bodies of other insects. If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.”
    – Charles Darwin – Origin of Species

    Nov. 2018 – Where is love, empathy, and altruism to be found in physics, chemistry, or especially in Darwin’s ‘survival of the fittest’ maxim?
    Altruistic behavior of any type is completely antithetical to Darwin’s theory.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/bbc-chimpanzees-show-empathy-and-altruism-just-like-humans/#comment-668342

    Moreover, contrary to the ‘selfish gene’ concept, that is more of less directly based on Darwin’s own ‘survival of the fittest’ thinking about competition, genes are instead best thought of as existing in a holistic web of mutual interdependence and cooperation, (i.e. mutual ‘altruistic’ behavior).
    Which is, needless to say, the exact polar opposite of being ‘selfish’. (And should, if Darwinism were a science instead of being the religion for atheists that it actually is, count as a direct falsification of the theory).
    https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/might-snakes-provide-a-way-of-testing-dawkinss-selfish-gene-hypothesis/#comment-667208
    Altruism vs Darwinism – Nov. 2018
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/bbc-chimpanzees-show-empathy-and-altruism-just-like-humans/#comment-668342

    In fact there is a perverse anti-morality inherent within Darwinian evolution that was made readily apparent for all the world to see when the Nazis and Communists applied supposedly Darwinian morality to society as a whole.

    Hitler, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao – Foundational Darwinian Influence – quotes – (Nov. 2018)
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/historian-human-evolution-theorists-were-attempting-to-be-moral-teachers/#comment-668170

    Ed George further asked,

    The question is how our sense of morality arose. God given or evolved?

    Since unguided Darwinian processes have never shown the origination of a even a single gene and/or protein, as these following references show,,,

    Stephen Meyer (and Doug Axe) Critique Richard Dawkins’s “Mount Improbable” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rgainpMXa8

    Yockey and a Calculator Versus Evolutionists – Cornelius Hunter PhD – September 25, 2015
    Excerpt: In a 1977 paper published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology, Hubert Yockey used information theory to evaluate the likelihood of the evolution of a relatively simple protein.,,,
    Yockey found that the probability of evolution finding the cytochrome c protein sequence is about one in 10^64. That is a one followed by 64 zeros—an astronomically large number. He concluded in the peer-reviewed paper that the belief that proteins appeared spontaneously “is based on faith.”
    Indeed, Yockey’s early findings are in line with, though a bit more conservative than, later findings. A 1990 study of a small, simple protein found that 10^63 attempts would be required for evolution to find the protein.
    A 2004 study found that 10^64 to 10^77 attempts are required, and a 2006 study concluded that 10^70 attempts would be required.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....ersus.html

    Dan S. Tawfik Group – The New View of Proteins – Tyler Hampton – 2016
    Excerpt: Tawfik soberly recognizes the problem. The appearance of early protein families, he has remarked, is “something like close to a miracle.”45,,,
    “In fact, to our knowledge,” Tawfik and Tóth-Petróczy write, “no macromutations … that gave birth to novel proteins have yet been identified.”69
    http://inference-review.com/ar.....f-proteins

    Since unguided Darwinian processes have never shown the origination of a even a single gene and/or protein,,, then it is very interesting to note that the gene expression of humans are designed in a very sophisticated way so as to differentiate between hedonic moral happiness and ‘noble’ moral happiness: The following paper states that there are hidden costs of purely hedonic well-being.,, “At the cellular level, our bodies appear to respond better to a different kind of well-being, one based on a sense of connectedness and purpose.”

    Human Cells Respond in Healthy, Unhealthy Ways to Different Kinds of Happiness – July 29, 2013
    Excerpt: Human bodies recognize at the molecular level that not all happiness is created equal, responding in ways that can help or hinder physical health,,,
    The sense of well-being derived from “a noble purpose” may provide cellular health benefits, whereas “simple self-gratification” may have negative effects, despite an overall perceived sense of happiness, researchers found.,,,
    But if all happiness is created equal, and equally opposite to ill-being, then patterns of gene expression should be the same regardless of hedonic or eudaimonic well-being. Not so, found the researchers.
    Eudaimonic well-being was, indeed, associated with a significant decrease in the stress-related CTRA gene expression profile. In contrast, hedonic well-being was associated with a significant increase in the CTRA profile. Their genomics-based analyses, the authors reported, reveal the hidden costs of purely hedonic well-being.,,
    “We can make ourselves happy through simple pleasures, but those ‘empty calories’ don’t help us broaden our awareness or build our capacity in ways that benefit us physically,” she said. “At the cellular level, our bodies appear to respond better to a different kind of well-being, one based on a sense of connectedness and purpose.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....161952.htm

    Moreover, and as would be expected if morality were objectively real as Christians hold, it is now found that atheists suffer physically and mentally as a result of forsaking the objective reality of morality in general and from forsaking God in particular. Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists states that ‘The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best-kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine generally.’,,, lower rates of depression and faster recovery from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes towards suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower rates of alcohol and drug use and abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity; greater marital stability and satisfaction…

    “I maintain that whatever else faith may be, it cannot be a delusion.
    The advantageous effect of religious belief and spirituality on mental and physical health is one of the best-kept secrets in psychiatry and medicine generally. If the findings of the huge volume of research on this topic had gone in the opposite direction and it had been found that religion damages your mental health, it would have been front-page news in every newspaper in the land.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – preface
    “In the majority of studies, religious involvement is correlated with well-being, happiness and life satisfaction; hope and optimism; purpose and meaning in life; higher self-esteem; better adaptation to bereavement; greater social support and less loneliness; lower rates of depression and faster recovery from depression; lower rates of suicide and fewer positive attitudes towards suicide; less anxiety; less psychosis and fewer psychotic tendencies; lower rates of alcohol and drug use and abuse; less delinquency and criminal activity; greater marital stability and satisfaction… We concluded that for the vast majority of people the apparent benefits of devout belief and practice probably outweigh the risks.”
    – Professor Andrew Sims former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists – Is Faith Delusion?: Why religion is good for your health – page 100

    Thus, morality has a very pronounced effect on our lives and yet Darwinists have no clue how our sense of morality could have possibly arisen. In fact, our sense of morality is completely antithetical to the whole Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ maxim.

    Verses and Video:

    Matthew 22:36-40
    “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
    Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    Romans 3:23
    for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words “The Lamb” – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Tmka1l8GAQ

  5. 5
    Latemarch says:

    Ed@3

    It is hard to argue that morality does not aid survival and reproduction.

    No it’s not hard to argue. Many a person have given their lives for principle or morality just as many have forgone reproduction for similar reasons.

    The question is how our sense of morality arose. God given or evolved?

    Nothing but chaos arises from a stochastic process let alone morality.

  6. 6
    Ed George says:

    Latemarch

    No it’s not hard to argue. Many a person have given their lives for principle or morality just as many have forgone reproduction for similar reasons.

    Very true. But do they outnumber those who have attracted “mates” because of demonstrating moral behaviour?

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Ed G claims that morality can be explained by the Darwinian principle of “do they outnumber” “because of demonstrating moral behaviour?”

    “Very true. But do they outnumber those who have attracted “mates” because of demonstrating moral behaviour?”

    If evolution by natural selection were actually the truth about how all life came to be on Earth then the only life that should be around should be extremely small organisms with the highest replication rate, and with the most ‘mutational firepower’, since only they, since they greatly outclass multi-cellular organism in terms of ‘reproductive success’ and ‘mutational firepower’, would be fittest to survive in the dog eat dog world where blind pitiless evolution ruled and only the fittest are allowed to survive. The logic of this is nicely summed up here in this Richard Dawkins’ video:

    Richard Dawkins interview with a ‘Darwinian’ physician goes off track – video
    Excerpt: “I am amazed, Richard, that what we call metazoans, multi-celled organisms, have actually been able to evolve, and the reason [for amazement] is that bacteria and viruses replicate so quickly — a few hours sometimes, they can reproduce themselves — that they can evolve very, very quickly. And we’re stuck with twenty years at least between generations. How is it that we resist infection when they can evolve so quickly to find ways around our defenses?”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62031.html

    In other words, since successful reproduction is all that really matters on a neo-Darwinian view of things, how can anything but successful, and highly efficient reproduction, be realistically ‘selected’ for?

    “every single organic being around us may be said to be striving to the utmost to increase in numbers;”
    – Charles Darwin – Origin of Species – pg. 66

    The Logic of Natural Selection – graph
    http://recticulatedgiraffe.wee.....35.jpg?308

    Any other function besides successful reproduction, such as much slower sexual reproduction, sight, hearing, thinking, and especially altruistic morality, would be highly superfluous to the primary criteria of successful reproduction, and should, on a Darwinian view, be discarded, and/or ‘eaten’, by bacteria, as so much excess baggage since it obviously would slow down successful reproduction.

    Yet, contrary to this central ‘survival of the fittest’ assumption of Darwinian evolution, instead of eating us, time after time we find micro-organisms helping each other, and us, in ways that have nothing to with their own ‘survival of the fittest’’ concerns.
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/bbc-chimpanzees-show-empathy-and-altruism-just-like-humans/#comment-668342

    Thus, Ed G’s Darwinian principle of “do they outnumber” “because of demonstrating moral behaviour?” is actually a principle that proves that Darwinian processes are incapable of producing morality, (much less any other abstract immaterial concept such as say mathematics, personhood, justice, etc.. etc.. etc..).

    Moreover, I don’t expect Ed G, since he is a Darwinist, to have the moral integrity within himself to honestly admit that he is wrong and that Darwinian Principles are completely antithetical to altruistic morality.

    Hopefully one day this changes for him before it is too late.

  8. 8
    Mung says:

    Morality is a biological adaptation…

    Let us, for the sake of argument, grant that this is true.

    How does it then follow that the following must be the case?

    Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory.

    Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction

    Let us, for the sake of argument, grant that this is true.

    How does it then follow that the following must be the case?

    …any deeper meaning is illusory.

    To this is just more atheist incoherent babble where they assume their conclusion.

  9. 9
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    Ed G claims that morality can be explained by the Darwinian principle of “do they outnumber” “because of demonstrating moral behaviour?”

    I never made any such claim so the remainder of your response is irrelevant. Tilting at windmills. I merely asked a devil’s advocate type of question.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Ed G states,

    “I never made any such claim”

    Well goodbye and good riddance to Darwinian evolution, Welcome to Intelligent Design.

  11. 11
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    Well goodbye and good riddance to Darwinian evolution, Welcome to Intelligent Design.

    I support ID. But I prefer to play devil’s advocate when people make statements or assertions. If these assertions can’t stand up to scrutiny then they have to be re-thoughgt.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    I plan to falsely defend the reality of fluffy pink unicorns dancing on rainbows someday. 🙂

  13. 13
    Ed George says:

    BA77

    I plan to falsely defend the reality of fluffy pink unicorns dancing on rainbows someday.

    It is always best practice to stick with your strengths. 🙂

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