Creationism, Evil, and the Crocoduck

by Luke Muehlhauser on October 11, 2009 in Creationism,Ethics

ray comfort and kirk cameron

Earlier, I wrote about Ray Comfort’s plan to distribute 50,000 copies of The Origin of Species that include a 50-page introduction stuffed with Creationist lies about evolution. In that post, I resisted an atheistic call that amounted to a call to book-burning of ideas you do not agree with. But I neglected to make what I take to be a more obvious point: that Creationism is evil.

Alonzo Fyfe makes the case for this better than I can. Specifically, he writes that “what young earth creationists believe contributes to death and maiming.”

Actually, is not the belief itself that is evil, but rather the set of desires that produces a belief in Creationism. For example, the desire to blind oneself to the evidence:

The evidence for evolution and for the Earth being over 4 billion years old is so overwhelming that only a person with a morally irresponsible disposition to ignore evidence would not accept it.

For example, the person must knowingly erect straw-men arguments about such absurd creatures as the crocoduck. Fyfe continues:

…A person cannot contribute to making sound policy on a wide range of matters – some of them being matters of life and death – without an appreciation of the fact of evolution and of an earth that is over 10,000 years old.

Examples include environmental concerns, medical concerns, agriculture, and policies about natural disasters. All of these require an understanding that life has evolved and that the earth is more than 10,000 years old. Unfortunately, we do have Creationists making such decisions.

Alonzo also says that Comfort’s introduction, which blames evolutionary theory and atheism for the Holocaust, is hate speech:

I also do not need to tell any reader with a smidge of intelligence that theories of natural selection are not the intellectual foundation of the holocaust. The holocaust was wholly grounded on the long-standing practice of artificial selection. It does not take much intelligence to grasp the fact that the holocaust was not natural at all – it was clearly man-made.

…Cameron and Comfort feel no particular need to hate farmers, ranchers, and others who have practiced the art of artificial selection for millennia. They want to hate atheists – and they want others to hate atheists as they do. So, they want to believe a lie – that the Holocaust can be blamed on a theory of natural selection instead of a theory of artificial selection. And they are desperate to spread their lies and their hate as far as they are able.

And, in fact, even if Hitler had drawn his ideas from a theory of natural selection, blaming those who developed the theory for the Holocaust would still be as absurd as blaming the true originators of the ideas of the Holocaust – farmers, ranchers, and the like.

Cameron and Comfort are into feeding a persisting form of the same type of hatred [and] their actions should be treated just like… Neo-Nazis handing out hate-mongering propaganda appended to the Old Testament…

These are truly two despicable human beings.

As are any who praise their work.

As are any who will not respond to their efforts the way they would respond to any other hate-group coming onto campus to spread their hatred, bigotry, and lies among the student population.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

EvanT October 11, 2009 at 7:20 am

I’ll agree with Alonzo that Evolution is as much to blame for the Holocause as Gravity for the increased numbers of suicides in Japan by leaping off of skyscrapers. But “hate speech” is too far, in my not so humble opinion, in this case. Unless he wants to say that most of the Old Testament is hate speech and since they support it they are inevitably speaking hate. But that’s not what he wants to say.

The real issue is: Why do we fear “hate speech” so much that we feel the need to suppress it. It’s obvious. Because hate is a powerful and elating human emotion and we know that all human beings are easily drawn to it. We love to hate; even those of us who claim to reject it (the “the only minority worth hating is racists” motto comes to mind). We love to relinquish control of ourselves to our cerebellums and give in to our primordial nature. Well, we won’t get rid of hating this way, that’s for sure. Not unless we mature as a species and pinning up Cameron and Comfort as tomato-throwing target practice isn’t gonna bring us any closer to that.

It’s hardly surprising that the otherwise diverse atheist community, which can’t really make up its mind about any issue, can so easily agree on this sort of scapegoating and name-tagging. Is it because we think we’ll feel guilty, if Comfort’s “ministry” becomes more successful and “corrupts” more people? Perhaps. But why should we allow Comfort’s apparent hate to flare up our own feelings as well?

Alonzo is clearly pissed off and it shows. Should we follow after him? Thunderf00t is also clearly pissed off, but it can be hard to find this sort of language in his work.

Have we really come to the point where we no longer believe that fist-fighting should be contained in the philosophical arena? Or do we fear to acknowledge the fact that our words don’t appear to hold as much weight with the public as we would’ve liked them to?

I feel torn on this issue as well, but I can’t get rid of this gut feeling I have that taking pages out of Comfort’s (or any Comfort-like person’s) tactical manual isn’t gonna do much good in the long run.

Umf…

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Lee A. P. October 11, 2009 at 8:56 am

“Unless he wants to say that most of the Old Testament is hate speech”

Yes.

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Ben October 11, 2009 at 9:20 am

Yeah, this is stupid. You can’t leap from one issue to the other as though people are consistent. It’s ad hominem and false, since people who believe in a young earth can in fact come to correct conclusions otherwise and often do. I was going to hit Alonzo’s screed on this, but didn’t get around to it.

Ben

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IntelligentDasein October 11, 2009 at 10:10 am

Ben, it is not an ad hominem. When someone’s policies are shaped by their religious views, it is very very relevant.

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Bob October 11, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Actually, is not the belief itself that is evil, but rather the set of desires that produces a belief in Creationism. For example, the desire to blind oneself to the evidence..

I’m curious how you surmised the desires of the two creationists in question? Are you suggesting that you have some kind of empirical method of identifying the exact thoughts and desires of a given individual or are you simply able to read their minds?

Plus, I find the use of emotive language and sloganeering to have been applied somewhat self-righteously. You actually sound like a fundamentalist.

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jesusfreak574 October 11, 2009 at 1:19 pm

“They want to hate atheists…”

I think Fyfe’s comment is disingenuous. I’m fairly certain that Comfort runs around doing all he does because he doesn’t hate people, atheists or otherwise. If one believes, as he does, that everyone who isn’t a Christian is going to Hell, the hateful thing would be not telling them about their impending judgment.

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ayer October 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm

jesusfreak574: “I think Fyfe’s comment is disingenuous. I’m fairly certain that Comfort runs around doing all he does because he doesn’t hate people, atheists or otherwise. If one believes, as he does, that everyone who isn’t a Christian is going to Hell, the hateful thing would be not telling them about their impending judgment.”

I agree with jesusfreak574. Cameron and Comfort hate a viewpoint called atheism; there is no indication that they hate the people who call themselves atheists. Just as Fyfe hates a viewpoint called Creationism, and I presume does not hate Cameron and Comfort personally (at least, I would hope so).

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Ben October 11, 2009 at 8:24 pm

IntelligentDasein: Ben, it is not an ad hominem. When someone’s policies are shaped by their religious views, it is very very relevant.

Yeah, it is.

Luke: For example, the desire to blind oneself to the evidence:

How the hell does Luke know every creationist has the desire to willfully blind themselves to the evidence? Um, sure Luke. W/e.

Alonzo: The evidence for evolution and for the Earth being over 4 billion years old is so overwhelming that only a person with a morally irresponsible disposition to ignore evidence would not accept it.

Yes, Alonzo know that “only” that kind of person could possibly disagree with him about the facts of the world. Only. He says only. This is not the polite conversation starter that Luke advocates everywhere else. He’s better than that (and I’m sure Alonzo is, too) and is being inconsistent.

When you make blanket statements about all creationists as though they are all intentionally misprocessing the data or explicitly shunning the proverbial “mountains of evidence” that *is* ad hominem. Not to mention psychic, trite, and solipsistic. I’m not saying YECs are right and I’m not saying you can’t find examples of some (or perhaps even many) of them doing some of those kinds of things, but it’s just not everyone. And die hard YECs can can throw it right back in your face with examples of hard nosed evolutionists doing similar things. Lots of people come at the evidence from all sorts of perspectives and there are creationists that get entire degrees in a relevant scientific field of study and remain YECs. You can call them grossly mistaken (after you show it of course), but the rhetoric here wreaks of putting Luke/Alonzo in the creationists’ shoes and making extreme moral judgments based on how *Luke and Alonzo* should be judged in that position. That’s not a realistic or fair perspective and doing so puts your target audience on the immediate defensive and goes no where productive. It just starts the finger pointing and grade school politics.

As much as Luke and Alonzo aren’t going to listen to me, the creationists aren’t going to listen to Luke and Alonzo, and the mountains of evidence still aren’t going to convince the creationists. Everyone loses. But, Luke and Alonzo *could* listen to me (this really isn’t that hard of a concept is it?), and could just stick to pointing out the factual errors of the creationists rather than going all moral screed on their asses, and then maybe the creationists could set aside their own axes to grind against evolutionist condescension and be convinced. Then everyone but God wins. ;)

Oh well. In conclusion, you are correct in the fact that public policy is often shaped by religious beliefs. However it should be obvious we can confront those policies and those beliefs without attacking the people who believe them in ways we wouldn’t appreciate being mischaracterized ourselves.

Ben

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IntelligentDasein October 12, 2009 at 6:30 am

Ben, I personally thinks creationism is wrong and can lead to many misunderstandings about the world. This does not mean I hate creationists. Despite what you think about me, several of my best friends are Christians and I am in the process of becoming a historian (I have a deep appreciation for the classic theology, architecture, art, and culture that Christianity helped create) first and then continuing on my journy of being a philosopher (I got a double major and am doing one Ph.D then the other).

However, when someone runs for office and they are a creationist, I think it can badly effect their policy. George W made many terrible decisions based on his religious views. If a candidate is religious but believes in separation of church and state and does not want to interfere with the teaching of science, then that is fine with me. But my first reaction is to make sure they do not believe in putting ID in schools, limiting stem cell research, etc. I do not think this is an ad-hominem. It would be no different then seeing if they are for low taxes and a balanced budget.

I hope this cleared up my previous statement because I think I might have not said what I meant to say.

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Ben October 12, 2009 at 10:53 am

IntelligentDasein,

Well, you’re being defensive and clarifying what doesn’t need to be clarified, because everything you’ve said is not the issue as should have been evident from my final paragraph of my last comment. I’m criticizing the approach. Not you. And I’m appealing to Luke/Alonzo/your good nature that I’m sure is there in order to help you recognize the *argument* (as quoted in my last comment) is ad hominem. So please get off of the good person/bad person track and start recognizing the actual distinctions in play.

As a refresher, the issue (as I see it) is what we might call the if-I-were-in-your-shoes–this-would-be-wrong fallacy. And the problem is that neither Alonzo, Luke, or yourself *are* in the creationists’ shoes and so creationists cannot reasonable be judged on those terms. Alonzo and Luke are trying to make a moral argument and they are making explicit claims about the real mental states of creationists when dealing with the evidence which are false when applied to the entire group. And as is, those claims are ad hominem. “You disagree with me about evolution, because you are a bad person.” That *is* an ad hominem argument. Period.

They can say, “Because getting issues x, y, and z incorrect have dire consequences in our cultural, it is our moral obligation to oppose people who believe incorrect things about them.” And there’d be nothing wrong with that. But they both twist the knife a turn or two too far. My contention is that Alonzo and Luke should stop using the ad hominem aspect of their posts, apologize, and move on to real issues.

Ben

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lukeprog October 12, 2009 at 9:03 pm

How the hell does Luke know every creationist has the desire to willfully blind themselves to the evidence?

Not every Creationist, but a great many of them. There is no way you can study evolution for more than a few hours and still say things like “evolution is just a theory” or “there’s no evidence for evolution” or “there are no transitional forms.” That requires willful resistance to millions of pieces of conclusive evidence.

“You disagree with me about evolution, because you are a bad person.” That *is* an ad hominem argument. Period.

No, sorry, it’s not. An ad hominem argument says:

1. Person A claims X.
2. There is something objectionable about Person A.
3. Therefore, X is false.

And I have made no such claim about Creationists.

What I have said about Creationists is something like this:

1. If someone studies evolution for a few hours and then makes incredibly ignorant claims like “There are no transitional forms” or “Evolution is just a theory,” then that person probably has more desire to protect their dogmas than to seek the truth.

2. Moral agents have many and strong reasons to promote the desire to seek truth and to discourage the desire to protect one’s dogmas.

3. Based on my theory of morality, this means that I can say that Creationists who have studied evolution but still make claims like “Evolution is just a theory” are people with bad desires.

Luke

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Ben October 16, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Luke,

What happened to that nifty “quote” button? Oh well.

Luke: Not every Creationist, but a great many of them.

I’m going to assume you were talking about the idea that not all creationists sit down and take a good look at the evidence and so some may be “innocent” because they are ignorant. However, I was referring to the set of all creationists who *have* done approximately this and come away with a different conclusion than an evolutionist. Sorry I wasn’t clear. So the question is, with that in mind, is your claim still “all” *those* creationists?

It seems you’ve already answered and so our dispute is over this factual claim:

Luke: There is no way you can study evolution for more than a few hours and still say things like “evolution is just a theory” or “there’s no evidence for evolution” or “there are no transitional forms.” That requires willful resistance to millions of pieces of conclusive evidence.

I can think of some ways and one of the reasons I say that is because I *was* a creationist and I understand what I was doing at the time. Did I have an evil desire to resist the evidence back then? Or did I think I had good reasons to interpret the evidence differently? I think the best interpretation is that I was led to a weaker *explanation* of the evidence for evolution because of other conclusions about the world I was wrong about. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t interested in seeking truth.

Luke: …then that person probably has more desire to protect their dogmas than to seek the truth.

Now we have a “probably” instead of a “no way.” And “protect their dogma” translates into empathetic speak as “strongly believe what they think are other true things.” When you look at it that way, your moral case against them seems to fail.

Perhaps you are willing to define all the otherwise normal desires people have to defend and understand the truth as they see it as evil because they happen to be getting things wrong? In an extreme brush stroke, I suppose that might make brute sense as far as DU goes, since errors often lead to unnecessary suffering, but it seems a bit much to demonize those desires rather than accepting them for what they are and *using* them (in terms of persuasion) to simply show why your perspective on the evidence is more correct than theirs. There’s just more than desires that go into convincing someone something is true. So, to focus on that rather generic aspect of human psychology as though a moral argument needs to be made against those particular desires is your error here, imo.

BTW, you seem to be doing a good job with Vox Day so far.

Ben

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lukeprog October 16, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Ben,

I dunno what happened to “Quote.” I upgraded the plugin and it disappeared. Comments are the most irritating thing about WordPress.

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ayer October 16, 2009 at 8:19 pm

lukeprog: “If someone studies evolution for a few hours and then makes incredibly ignorant claims like “There are no transitional forms” or “Evolution is just a theory,” then that person probably has more desire to protect their dogmas than to seek the truth.”

This is the flaw in your argument. Ray Comfort believes his scientific truth can be found in Genesis, since he believes it to be authored by God and that God intended it to be a scientific text. Thus his interpretation of Genesis, which he is sincerely convinced is the ultimate truth, provides evidence which trumps any evidence for evolution. Thus, he could have a desire for truth greater than yours but simply be mistaken about how to attain that truth. The task then, would be to redirect his good desire to the correct means of attaining scientific truth about the development of life.

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Ben October 17, 2009 at 12:37 am

Luke,

For my own information, what does it mean when you respond to one technical issue about the website, but not the argument? Busy? Not looking to stir things up? All of the above?

We can agree to disagree for now, that’s fine. I agree with Ayer above, and basically I’m content to expose you to what I think is a better way to look at things even if you don’t agree. I’d like to be able to get along well with you.

Ben

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lukeprog October 17, 2009 at 6:21 am

Ben,

Your comments on this post are on my to-do list.

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lukeprog October 17, 2009 at 9:54 am

Ben,

I was a Creationist, too. And it wasn’t because I didn’t want to know the truth, or because I had evil desires to believe falsehoods. But I did have evil desires (desires for which there are many strong reasons for action to condemn) to extend and perpetuate and spread my worldview without examining its foundations, for example. And I lacked many good desires (desires for which there are many strong reasons for action to promote), for example to seek out evidence and conflicting opinions. Both of these are condemnable according to desirism.

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cl October 18, 2009 at 12:06 am

What do atheists say when believers accuse them of incompetency when it comes to policy-making?

This is not the polite conversation starter that Luke advocates everywhere else. He’s better than that (and I’m sure Alonzo is, too) and is being inconsistent. (Ben)

I’m going to have to agree with Ben here. My first thought was, “Why in the hell would Luke – who rightly condemns so much of the New Atheist inanity – turn around and condone even worse inanity from Fyfe?” Luke dismisses the ad hominem nature of his position, yet agrees with Fyfe and makes the blanket statement that “Creationism is evil,” which is an objection about person(s) A-Z, and not a reasoned refutation. Granted, the “objection about person(s) A-Z” is not Luke’s support for his rejection of X (creationism) – and in this sense Luke’s argument deviates from the textbook ad hominem argument – but the “objection about person(s) A-Z” is Luke’s support for his current claims regarding the moral incompetency of YEC’s.

And die hard YECs can can throw it right back in your face with examples of hard nosed evolutionists doing similar things. Lots of people come at the evidence from all sorts of perspectives and there are creationists that get entire degrees in a relevant scientific field of study and remain YECs. You can call them grossly mistaken (after you show it of course), but the rhetoric here wreaks of putting Luke/Alonzo in the creationists’ shoes and making extreme moral judgments based on how *Luke and Alonzo* should be judged in that position. That’s not a realistic or fair perspective and doing so puts your target audience on the immediate defensive and goes no where productive. It just starts the finger pointing and grade school politics.

Right on, Ben. That’s exactly what I told Fyfe.

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lukeprog October 18, 2009 at 6:51 am

cl,

A factual claim that someone is immoral is necessarily an insult. As Fyfe writes, “There is no neutral way to accuse somebody of a moral crime.”

I think Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort are immoral. I have explained why, and given reasons. And you are write to say that I do not reject Creationism on the basis of their immorality, and thus I do not commit ad hominem.

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cl October 18, 2009 at 11:21 am

A factual claim that someone is immoral is necessarily an insult. As Fyfe writes, “There is no neutral way to accuse somebody of a moral crime.”

Nobody’s disputing the definition of an insult, are they?

I think Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort are immoral. I have explained why, and given reasons.

Correct. That wasn’t the issue, at least not for me. You agreed with Fyfe’s screed as worded: that “what young earth creationists believe contributes to death and maiming.” That is an out-of-scope, exaggerated claim based solely on moral objections to an entire group of people, and juxtaposed against everything else I’ve read from you, it stood out like a sore thumb. That’s all. It’s nothing personal.

..you are [right] to say that I do not reject Creationism on the basis of their immorality, and thus I do not commit ad hominem.

That’s not exactly what I said. Your rejection of Creationism (I presume) is not based on your moral objection to the people. However, your concurrence with Fyfe is undeniably based on a moral objection to the people. I believe you did formulate an ad hominem argument, in the sense that you used your objection to the moral nature of the people involved as the basis for your agreement with Fyfe’s claim. The problem with that, as Ben very clearly illustrated, was that if we are to refute religion with rationalism, we need to come with reasoned arguments and not broad moral judgments on entire groups. You talk pretty highly of Fyfe, yet I was quite shocked when I read his post, especially given all the smarmy talk about making this a better world. Blanket statements against groups generally do not improve the world, but always lend themselves nicely to more stereotypes and prejudices.

My bottom line? Like Ben said, as readers, and especially given your stance on so-called New Atheism, we’ve come to expect a certain level of integrity from you, and I, for one, saw that level slipping in this post. Consider it a scratch on an otherwise finely-detailed automobile.
That’s my two cents at least, and I’ll let others have the last words.

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lukeprog October 18, 2009 at 1:48 pm

cl,

I think Creationist values do contribute to death and maiming, for the reasons given quite clearly in Fyfe’s post.

I still don’t understand how I constructed an ad hominem. Could you give the premise-and-conclusion argument you think I gave, and show how it takes the form of ad hominem? I don’t think you can.

You are right about blanket statements about groups of people. But it is sometimes appropriate to make blanket statements about groups, for example if the group by definition has harmful characteristics. For example, we have no trouble saying that rapists make the world a worse place because they by definition thwart a great many strong desires. We can also make a blanket statement about Nazis, because Nazis are by definition racists, and racism tends to thwart more and greater desires than it fulfills.

Of course, it is quite possible that certain rapists and certain Nazis are, on balance, “good” people. Perhaps some of them saved thousands of lives but also committed one act of rape or one act of racist enslavement. But obviously, when we condemn rapists and Nazis we are not pretending to know everything about every racist and Nazi that has ever lived. We are condemning rapists and Nazis in their function as rapists and Nazis. (Also see this.)

And so when I condemn Creationists, I am not saying that all Creationists are necessarily, on balance, bad people. I am saying that Creationists are, in their function as Creationists, evil. Why? Because there are many and strong reasons to condemn their bad desires – or lack of good desires. Their bad desires and lack of good desires contribute to death and maiming.

Are we getting any closer to agreement? Which part, now, do you disagree with?

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ayer October 18, 2009 at 4:26 pm

lukeprog: “I am saying that Creationists are, in their function as Creationists, evil. Why? Because there are many and strong reasons to condemn their bad desires – or lack of good desires. Their bad desires and lack of good desires contribute to death and maiming.

Are we getting any closer to agreement? Which part, now, do you disagree with?”

The problem is that their Creationism is intimately tied up with their entire worldview, which also includes the biblical imperative to imitate Jesus in their behavior. As can be seen from Mark’s letters, such a desire can lead to a remarkable commitment to further good desires (love, kindness, honesty, etc.). Their Creationism does not reflect a desire to obscure and ignore the truth, but a confusion that Creationism is a necessary component of pursuing the good desires that Mark pursues. Condemning Creationism as evil (and placing it on par with Nazism and racism, which is ludicrous) does nothing to remedy Comfort’s confusion.

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lukeprog October 18, 2009 at 4:52 pm

I did not place Creationism on par with Nazism and racism. It’s probably more apt to put Creationists on moral par with those who support “alternative medicine” or oppose vaccination, etc.

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BathTub October 19, 2009 at 12:06 am

Well in Ray Comforts case he sets the bar for dishonesty, he’s as big a dishonest toad as they come.

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cl October 19, 2009 at 12:56 am

Well said, ayer.

Luke:

Are we getting any closer to agreement?

No.

Which part, now, do you disagree with?

See Creationist Values Do Not Lead To Death & Maiming: My Response To Luke & Fyfe

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Ben October 20, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Luke,

I’m thinking we maybe have a counter-example that limits the explanatory power of DU. You are blaming desires that are causing harm even though the desires themselves are potentially incidental and universal to anyone else defending what they believe to be true. We could blame their desires given the bad consequences or we could blame their kneecaps for transporting them around or their talking faces for spreading the message. Desires may be the security system keeping out the police in this case, but if we put someone other than the mafia in the house (false beliefs), we can leave the security system that’s doing its job. DU needs to be able to blame false convictions and it doesn’t seem directly able to.

Or really, this is just over-moralizing as though everything is directly a moral question. We should be hosting a debate over beliefs rather than a trial over desires.

So it seems you can either stop applying DU on this question sensibly or you can take the refutation of it (as the most comprehensive moral theory). Whatcha think?

Ben

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cl October 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm

[Luke is] blaming desires that are causing harm even though the desires themselves are potentially incidental and universal to anyone else defending what they believe to be true.

Correct, which is exactly what I meant by,

“slothful induction is not an inherently creationist fallacy. People of all creeds and walks of life are prone to resisting evidence that challenges their worldviews; it’s an innate human weakness I see atheists and others commit left and right,”

..in the post you read that Luke apparently either didn’t read or didn’t consider worth commenting on after he engaged me further.

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Rhys January 20, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I do not agree that all creationists have evil desires. Some have just genuinely not been exposed to the evidence, or not been informed that there was any. Mere naive ignorance is definetly not evil.

For example, much before Darwin’s time, creationism was the accepted paradigm in many civilizations for our origins, and labeling these people as having evil desires would be extremely unfair.

However now the paradigm has shifted, evolution has been established as confirmed fact, and since creationism been thrown in the scrapheap with the rest of the pseudo-scientific junk, we can now regard Young Earth Creationists with a very different attitude.

The truly evil creationists have to meet a set of qualifiers:

(1) The desire to intentionally be unconvinced by any evidence that might shift their beliefs.

Note that if a creationist looks at the evidence and genuinely cannot connect the dots and see how it favors evolution, this would not be based on bad desires, just ignorance and/or stupidity. However, a creationist whom has sufficient mental agility, and is cognizant that there are people out there whom are genuinely convinced that evolution is true based on physical evidence, has no excuse whatsoever to conclude that evolution is untrue after being exposed to the monolithic pile of facts supporting it. This creationist would genuinelly be seen to have a bad desire. This desire might have originated from lame beliefs such as ‘Satan made evilution!’. If this desire was encouraged, it would lead to states of affairs in which the desire to increase knowledge would be thwarted, the desire to have a progressive society open to positive reformation would be thwarted, and the desire for people to have a sound, factually based perception of the world around them would be thwarted. This desire is evil.

(2) The desire to promote creationist beliefs

This desire, if carried out succesfully, leads to states of affairs where either:

(a) The individual’s desire to only know true propositions and reject false ones is thwarted.

Plus,

(b) It generally promotes a public aversion to science, and the desire to intentionally be unconvinced by certain evidences, just because they support a conclusion you have a personal vendetta against (Evilution is an evil religion from Satan!). These are abhorrent desires! They should be condemned, squashed, stomped on, and utterly vanquished!

Kirk and Ray both have these desires. Now I completely agree that they think they are acting in piety! This is because they ascribe to the Divine Commandment theory, and certain doctrines of the Old and New Testament that they feel justifies their motives. However, under desire utility, what they are doing is objectively evil, plain and simple.

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