Logic chopping in the naturalist universe

“If” we are nothing more than advanced primates (assuming a purely naturalist explanation of life).

“Then” would it be wrong for one to murder his neighbor?

“Since” any other primate doing this is merely the natural order of things (assuming a purely naturalist explanation of life).

Comments?

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15 responses to this post.

  1. I’ve never understood a naturalist who argues otherwise. Apparently Dawkins has done some kind of mental gymnastics to explain morality without God, but I don’t know the argument. As far as I can tell, if we’re just blobs of chemicals completely lacking the image of God then what does it matter what we do to each other?

  2. Posted by John on December 19, 2009 at 10:30 am

    There is clearly a logical breakdown in the naturalist’s thinking, but in a postmodern world they feel no qualms about abandoning logic. Logic, they would assert, is simply a line of thinking the collective whole of a bygone era agreed together upon. This does not make it objectively true and therefore something we must deal with, for in fact there is nothing objectively, completely true. I never cease to be amazed at how naturalistic-thinking, post-modern people can assert two logically impossible assertions with hardly a breath between them and feel no uneasiness in doing so. In fact, they smile at you with a “so there” kind of expression–as if they’d just won the day!

  3. What does Britney Spears have to do with it?

  4. Fred,

    I would say “nothing” but that would presuppose neutrality which I disavow.

    PSL

  5. That depends on what you mean by “wrong”

    According to the laws of all countries, it is wrong to kill someone

    According to the the decision making processes of almost all (but not all) humans, it is wrong to kill someone except in particular circumstances.

    There is no “law of the universe” or equivalent which says that it is wrong to kill another person, or that it is wrong to do any action.

  6. Boz,

    The naturalist has to justify why there are such laws to begin with. However we’re not asking a legal question but a personal/human nature question. Would there be anything wrong with killing one’s neighbor especially if they were weaker in a way (physically, mentally, socially, etc.)? I’m working from the assumption that the naturalist has to say “no” in order to be consistent with his world view.

    Paul

  7. Posted by Skwirl on December 20, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    I agree that naturalism isn’t logical, but you took a logical leap here in that you still have to prove that it’s the natural order of things for primates to kill one another.

  8. Posted by Boz on December 20, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Paul, do you know what was the origin of the universe, and its natural laws? I don’t.

    As to whether there is anything wrong with killing one’s neighbour, That depends on what you mean by “wrong”.

  9. Boz,

    It seems you’re getting hung-up on the word “wrong” so let’s try it another way. Is it evil/immoral/inhumane to murder a neighbor that is weaker mentally, physically, or socially? I realize that all such words have meaning and assumptions but let’s try not to be postmodern and assume that we can all speak and understand English. I’m not trying to be trite with your questions but I’m not wanting this to descend into a debate about linguistic theory.

    The answer to your first question is “yes” I do know the origin of the universe and its so-called “laws.” However this post does not directly deal with any such questions. Maybe we can take this up in another post. For now let’s stay on topic.

    Paul

  10. […] Expository Thoughts) 45.545648 […]

  11. almost all humans, including myself, would agree that it is immoral/wrong to kill another person. Perhaps I was unclear about this earlier.

    Also, you could get the Nobel Prize for Physics for knowing origin/beginning/cause of the universe and its laws.

    • Why is it immoral to kill another person? Just because most would agree?

      “Also, you could get the Nobel Prize for Physics for knowing origin/beginning/cause of the universe and its laws.”

      That depends on what you mean by “knowing.”

      Boz, would you consider yourself an atheist, naturalist, or some other mixture? It would be helpful to know where you’re coming from.

  12. Posted by Boz on December 21, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    You and I think that it is immoral, as do 99%* of the population. Is that sufficient to proclaim that “X is immoral” ? Is 100% sufficient? Is 90% sufficient? 51% ? I’m not sure. I don’t think so. It sounds like the argument from popularity.

    I can only say that my opinion is that X is immoral.

    Given that there are no “Laws of the universe”, I don’t think that it is possible to proclaim that “X is wrong”

    If you can demonstrate how I am mistaken in any of this, please do. I am keen to know if I am wrong.

    I am an atheist, and I don’t know enough about naturalism to give myself that label. A quick look at the wikipedia article returns “It requires that hypotheses be explained and tested only by reference to natural causes and events”, which I disagree with because it eliminates the possiblity of paranormal/magical/supernatural/divine events, which I am open to.

  13. Posted by Boz on January 1, 2010 at 2:43 am

    Paul, I don’t think you actually know what the origin of the universe was.

    On a pesonal note, how are your five sons going at school/university? I had previously heard that they were all performing well academically.

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