Hell, I can answer this one- as I said in the Libertyville abortion thread, I don't regard newborn infants as morally considerable persons. I do, however, find infanticide repugnant, and can oppose it on the grounds that I find it unpleasant. There's nothing irrational about wanting to minimize things one finds unpleasant.
Emotions are patterns of brain chemistry. We have sciences- psychology and neurology, for example- which in part explore human emotions. If emotions were not rational, psychology would be useless, and psychoactive chemicals would not work. Particular emotional responses may stem from stimuli which human beings regard as overreactions or mysterious, but emotions have causes.
3. Mathematics depends on assuming unprovable axioms, science depends on mathematics
Reading things like this just makes my blood boil. I don't know how many times I can tell people that mathematics contains no information about the real world; they'll continue to believe whatever they want.
As a mathematician, I find your comment extremely insulting.
Science means unresting endeavour and continually progressing towards an aim, which the poetic intuition may comprehend but which the intellect can never fully grasp.—Max Planck. The Philosophy of Physics. New York: Norton, 1936.
You are misreading Dawkins and misunderstanding reason maybe? He is saying that ANY belief should be willing and able to stand under the onslaught of critical thinking or be discarded
Someone please point out to me where an atheistic world view (by which I assume you mean one where reason reigns supreme) doesnt produce "consistent ethics".
Seriously? If God didn't exist you'd kill babies? Come on people!
TE, sorry but your infanticide argument isnt valid. One could claim that caring for infants is a biological evolutionary trait (the tribes that cared survived longer than those that didnt).
TE, so what about non-christian cultures? How did they survive when they didnt have the benefit of the Bible to tell them not to kill their young?
The existence of infanticide is not evidence of the need for religion to prescribe morals. *rolls eyes*
TE, you're obsessing with the tree in order to ignore the forest. Do you believe that God is necessary for morality?
Evolution operates at the gene level, not at the individual level and certainly not at the tribe level.
You are comparing apples to oranges so it is hard to tell exactly what you mean. But if you mean that natural selection always acts on individual genes independently, you are mistaken. The three words "genes are selfish" does not even approach explaining the complexity of evolution.
Dawkins has been consistently sceptical about non-adaptive processes in evolution and about selection at levels "above" that of the gene. He is particularly sceptical about the practical possibility or importance of group selection.
If a tribe practiced infanticide regularly, at some point they would have a smaller population than one that didn't. And as many tribes have realized, population numbers can mean superiority. (i dont think anyone is arguing against this, im just restating.)
These ethics of ours live in the real world and are not necessarily scientific.
In the twentieth century, for the first time since pre-Christian times, anyone could safely espouse agnosticism or atheism, although the Blasphemy Statute of 1698, survived until recent times. The clause about the Trinity had already been rescinded in 1813, and the rest of Act was quietly repealed in 1967.
Yes, because after all, it's not as if we have a century of empirical research in psychology, communication theory, message theory, human perception, learning theory, semiotics, diffusion of innovations, linguistics, communities of practice, etc., etc., which have given us both empirical findings and prescriptive practices.
It is a manifest fact that the brain—especially the human brain—is well able to over-ride its ultimate programming.—Dawkins
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