Thursday, June 03, 2010

What I do is what is right

Ken Pulliam, the Former Fundy, and I had some helpful conversations about his ideas of morality based on intuition, which are shared by many, especially atheists, in modern times.  Let's take a look at how well this extends out.
I'd said:
I bet you wouldn't ask "true or correct for whom?" if the question were: "Is it true that life on Earth evolved by a series of slight, successive modifications?"
Or am I wrong to think that? 
If I'm not wrong to think that, why would this be a valid question? I'm asking about objective morality, not "What you think is right". What you think is immaterial - you could be wrong. 

Ken said:
Let me ask you a couple of questions:
1. Is it always wrong to kill infants and toddlers?
2. Is it always wrong to own another human being as your personal property?
Regarding your question about evolution. I think there is plenty of evidence that leads me to believe that evolution is true. There is also plenty of reasons for me to think that child rape or any kind of rape is wrong.


I said:
1. No.
2. No.
Please answer them too. Thanks!
Now, you said that "evidence" leads you to think evol is true. Then you said "reasons" lead you to think rape is wrong. In what way can these latter "reasons" be likened to evidence you think you have for evol? Where is the prescriptive power in evidence for evol? And where is the prescriptive power in your reasons to categorically reject rape? Why do you reject rape while other atheists such as Dan Barker can think of scenarios in which it might be acceptable? And what of my scenario - is what Tkalim is doing wrong? How do you know?

Ken said:
I maintain that we as human beings have an instinct or intuition that certain things are wrong. Where does this intuition come from? I tend to think its just the way our brains have evolved. We can act against these intuitions, especially when an authority tells us its okay, but usually the authority gives us some rationale (excuse) why in this particular case its okay to go against our intuition.
Thus, my intuition tells me that its always wrong to kill infants and toddlers, its always wrong to own another human being as property and its always wrong to rape.
----

With that in mind, I'd like to propose a few other things that I personally know by intuition.
I maintain that we as human beings have an instinct or intuition that certain things are wrong. Where does this intuition come from? I tend to think it's just the way our brains have evolved. We can act against these intuitions, especially when an authority tells us it's OK, but usually the authority gives us some rationale (excuse) why in this particular case it's OK to go against our intuition.

Thus, my intuition tells me that it's always wrong to believe in Darwinian evolution, it's always wrong to own a computer, and it's always wrong to call oneself a Former Fundy.  Further, my intuition tells me that, not only is it wrong to believe in Darwinian evolution, Darwinian macroevolution actually never happened.  My intuition tells me that the Book of Mormon is true.  My intuition tells me that no atheist deserves the protection of law. That Ken's children are responsible for all the unsolved murders in the USA and Mexico.  That B. Hussein 0bamuhh is (against all evidence to the contrary) actually a really good President.  That the speed of light is ~26 miles per hour, but can get all the way to 30 mph if it really tries.

Now, the astute reader will note that I'd asked Ken whether it is possible to make an objective moral statement, independent of whether anyone believes it or not.  Ken no doubt thinks that Darwinian evolution is responsible for the variety of lifeforms we see on Earth today, independent of whether anyone believes it or not.  So when I ask him for a fact and he gives me an intuition, why can't I just play the same game myself?

The facts don't support some of the intuitions I listed above, you say?  Why doesn't that same argument bother Ken?

2 comments:

thechemistscorner said...

That was an interesting conversation. I am quite pleased with how my interaction went with him. Seems to be the normal bluster.

bossmanham said...

I'm always surprised when these smart people with Ph. D's. use such bankrupt logic to maintain their Godless worldview.