How Can Evolutionists Judge Morality?
When trying to account for the “evolution of religion and morality,” Darwinians cut off their own feet.
Today is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. While many persecutors these days claim a religious motivation, it’s worthwhile to consider worldviews that have, in terms of sheer numbers, been responsible for the worst persecutions of Christians in history. It’s worthwhile, because those worldviews are still prevalent in 2017.
The Evolution of Religion, or Vice Versa
The latest pretentious academic trying to explain the evolution of religion fails, once again, to see the inherent illogic of his position. At The Conversation, Dimitris Xygalatas, Assistant Professor in Anthropology at University of Connecticut, attempts to answer the question, “Are religious people more moral?” First, he admits that most people look askance at atheists:
Survey data show that Americans are less trusting of atheists than of any other social group. For most politicians, going to church is often the best way to garner votes, and coming out as an unbeliever could well be political suicide. After all, there are no open atheists in the U.S. Congress. The only known religiously unaffiliated representative describes herself as “none,” but still denies being an atheist.
So, where does such extreme prejudice come from? And what is the actual evidence on the relationship between religion and morality?
By merely asking the question “Are religious people more moral?” however, Xygalatas sets himself up as someone who can judge degrees (“more” vs “less”) of morality. He purports to know what “prejudice” is, having attributed it to people in his prior paragraph. Further, he assesses himself as a judge of evidence.
That would be fine if he accepted the Biblical view that humans are created in the image of God with a conscience that presupposes knowledge of universal standards of good and evil. But the article makes clear that Xygalatas believes religion evolved in social groups by natural selection. He speaks of the “co-evolution of God and society” – even making God a product of evolution! In the last paragraph, Xygalatas comes to the defense of the poor, forlorn, picked-on atheists:
In those societies [i.e., early less-evolved societies], a sincere belief in a punishing supernatural watcher was the best guarantee of moral behavior, providing a public signal of compliance with social norms.
Today we have other ways of policing morality, but this evolutionary heritage is still with us. Although statistics show that atheists commit fewer crimes than average, the widespread prejudice against them, as highlighted by our study, reflects intuitions that have been forged through centuries and might be hard to overcome.
From this we can assume Xygalatas is at least an atheist sympathizer, and probably an atheist himself. Religious people only have “intuitions” but atheists (like himself and fellow evolutionists) have evidence, reason and knowledge. Again we see the kind of snooty elitism hatched in the academy (see Yoda Complex in the Darwin Dictionary).
Well, we can ask, is it immoral to be illogical? It is if you have a conscience, and a firm foundation for morals. On what foundation does Xygalatas stand? On natural selection? That’s a foundation of shifting sand where morality is based on breeding success. Exact opposite behaviors are justifiable in Darwinism if they produce offspring: flight or fight, fast or slow, camouflage or showmanship. This carries over into behaviors and thoughts as well. Xygalatas can only claim moral success by Darwinian standards if, by writing this article, he passes on his genes to the next generation. The content of his thoughts is irrelevant. His judgments of degrees of morality are, therefore, vacuous. He’s blowing hot air in hopes of having more sex. That’s the “evolution of morality.”
By his own theory, he should get religion. It seems to work for the majority of people, who distrust atheists. They must be the fittest. By insinuating that atheists are more moral, Xygalatas has cut off his own feet and committed himself to the ranks of the unfit.
But if he decides to get religion to get with the fitness program, which religion? They’re all the same to a Darwinian. They’re all products of natural selection working on populations. He might as well pick one that gives him the most sexual pleasure, like Baal worshipers did in ancient times as they committed holy prostitution under sacred trees.
The only way he can justify his wish to judge other human beings with intellectual content, though, is to pick a worldview that has a foundation of truth and unchanging morality. There are not too many of those, since they require an all-powerful, all-knowing, righteous God who has Authority as Creator of the universe. The God of the Bible matches that description, but He does not take lightly to false faith. Xygalatas had better not try fakery if he decides to get fitness as a Christian. He has to really mean it. But to really mean it, he would have to abandon Darwinian evolution.
No matter which way you slice it, Xygalatas has propounded a view that collapses on itself. His intellectual sand castle degenerates into particles of sand in the sandpile on which it stands.
The Evolution of Revenge
The website The Conversation seems to give voice to a predominance of shallow-thinking academics. Another example is this article by Stephen Fineman of the University of Bath, titled, “Wanting revenge is only natural – here’s why.” The basic idea is that revenge served an evolutionary purpose for our hominid ancestors, and that’s why we are stuck with it now.
As I explore in my new book, by sensationalising and deprecating the idea of revenge itself, we may forget that some forms of revenge can work well and serve a crucial purpose.
Revenge systems have been around for a very long time, with our primate cousins leading the way. Chimpanzees and macaques will freely inflict punishments on strangers and rule breakers and, with their excellent memories, cannily postpone retaliation until a suitable opportunity arises.
If that is true, then we are certainly doing the right thing (according to his worldview) to exact revenge on Fineman by attacking his views.* Fineman describes some pretty awful cases of violence and revenge, but says, “Who can blame them?” Did it occur to him that blame is a moral term? Did it occur to him that purpose is a term of design? By use of these words that are not found in the Darwin Dictionary, Fineman has revealed that he has a conscience. He knows deep down that cases of gratuitous violence are morally wrong.
*If Fineman were to exact revenge by responding to our views, we could just accuse him of not really meaning anything he says, because his worldview knows nothing of truth. His selfish genes are manipulating him to engage in behaviors (such as writing articles for The Conversation) in order to get more sex.
The Legacy of Atheist Morality
If Fineman or Xygalatas think that evolutionists have some kind of edge on morality due to the explanatory power of Darwinism, we would like them to take a serious look at some very, very disturbing photos. Last month was the 100th anniversary of “Red October,” the communist revolution led by Lenin that established the Soviet state. The UK Daily Mail has posted “Victims of the red revolution: The haunting faces of prisoners worked to death in Stalin’s slave camps emerge as 100th anniversary of 1917 Bolshevik takeover approaches.” Please take a moment to read the captions, and look into the faces of the prisoners. Imagine yourself among them, having been kidnapped in the middle of the night by secret police and carted off to some wretched place, most likely freezing cold, where you were sentenced to work for years, or to the death. The photo gallery is a mere peephole into a vast network of crimes against humanity justified in the name of atheistic communism.
The USSR was but one of the many atheistic regimes of the 20th century (China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba, North Korea among the others). Whatever one wants to think idealistically about communist morality, here is what actually happened in the USSR:
- This year marks 100 years since the 1917 Russian Revolution that led Lenin to take control of the Soviet Union
- When Lenin died in 1924, Joseph Stalin rose to power and became the Soviet Union’s authoritarian leader
- Between 1929 and Stalin’s death in 1953, 18million people were transported to Soviet slave labour camps
- Labourers in the prisons worked up to 14 hours a day on huge projects, including the White Sea-Baltic Canal
- By the time the last Soviet gulag closed, millions of people had died from exhaustion, starvation and murder
On WND, John Stossel reminds readers of “Communism’s bloody legacy: 100 years and 100 million deaths.” Communism was “one of the worst mistakes ever made,” he says, describing the truckloads of bodies and labor camps where the very ‘proletarians’ who had cheered the revolution were worked to death in extremely inhumane conditions. Soviet dictators prided themselves on their godlessness, murdering pastors and turning churches into museums of atheism. Bibles were absolutely forbidden. The only ‘scientific’ view of biology allowed in Soviet schools was—you guessed it—Darwinian evolution.
This week, on November 7-9, the Victims of Communism will hold a centennial commemoration for the Russian Revolution. It will not be a happy celebration or fun party. The objective will be “to honor the memory of the more than 100 million victims of communism, to celebrate liberty where it has triumphed, and to further our pursuit of a world free from communism.” One outspoken critic of communism, Dr Sebastian Gorka, whose parents escaped from communist Hungary, reminded Fox & Friends passionately that communism killed 100 million people. Responding to a recent poll that showed 44% of millennials think socialism and communism are good systems, Gorka said that the fault is with our education system, subverted by leftists, that has denied the truth to our students. And like it was in Soviet Russia, any attempt in America to grant students an opportunity to hear criticisms of Darwinian theory in public school science classes is met with holy horror and condemnation.
Lest we forget, a wise Teacher once said, “By their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:20). An evil tree brings forth evil fruit. That’s because good and evil are objective realities, not products of evolution.