Friday, November 13, 2009

Darwinism: What Should We Do?

At Uncommon Descent, Barry Arrington takes note of Dennis Sewell's groundbreaking article in the Sunday Times: Charles Darwin and the Children of the Evolution.

Mr. Arrington observes....

The author obviously wants his readers to consider not the validity of the theory itself but the implications the theory has for ethics. When we teach our children that their existence is an ultimately meaningless accident and that morals are arbitrary byproducts of random genetic fluctuations and mechanical necessity, should we be surprised that they place a lower value on human life than someone who is taught that all humans have inherent dignity and worth because they are made in the image of God?...

What to do? What to do?... There are three and only three options.
1. We can continue to fill our children’s heads with standard Darwinian theory (which Dennett rightly calls “universal acid”), understanding that at least some of them are going to put two and two together and realize that the acid has eaten through all ethical principles – and act accordingly.

2. We can try to come up with a secular noble lie. “OK kids. You might have noticed that one of the implications of what I just taught you is that your lives are ultimately meaningless and all morals are arbitrary, but you must never act as if that is true because [fill in the noble lie of your choice, such as “morality is firmly grounded on societal norms or our ability to empathize with others”].

3. We can teach our children the truth – that the universe reveals a wondrous ordered complexity that can only be accounted for by the existence of a super-intelligence acting purposefully. And one of the implications of that conclusion is that God exists, and, reasoning further, He has established an objective system of morality that binds us all, and therefore the moral imperatives you feel so strongly are not just an epiphenomenon of the electro-chemical states of your brain.

Looking around I see that for the last several decades we have tried options one and two, and we have gotten what we have gotten. I vote to give option three a run.

Me too.

No comments: