Thursday, January 21, 2010

Social Darwinism

If somebody used my views to justify a completely self - centred lifestyle, which involved trampling all over other people in any way they chose, roughly what I suppose, at a sociological level social Darwinists did - I think I would be fairly hard put to argue against it on purely intellectual grounds. I think it would be more: “This is not a society in which I wish to live. Without having a rational reason for it necessarily, I'm going to do whatever I can to stop you doing this.”

I couldn't, ultimately, argue intellectually against somebody who did something I found obnoxious. I think I could finally only say, “Well, in this society you can't get away with it’ and call the police.”

I realise this is very weak, and I've said I don't feel equipped to produce moral arguments in the way I feel equipped to produce arguments of a cosmological and biological kind.
Nick Pollard talks to Dr. Richard Dawkins

14 comments:

Sarah said...

So there you have it! Dawkins invented athiesm in an attempt to destroy society. Straight from the horses mouth. He should stick to biologicy.

JD Curtis said...

No word of lie. I recently got into an online discussion with a guy who stated, quote "Social Darwinism has nothing to do with evolution". I pointed out that thesaurus.com defines it as "social theories derived from evolution". He changed the topic, of course.

Anonymous said...

Artificial selection is not natural selection.

atheistsnackbar said...

JD if you'd like to discuss this, I won't change the subject. Note that Thesaurus.com calls Social Darwinism a "theory". Thesaurus.com also defines a "theory" as a "hypothesis". A theory, in Science is not the same thing as a hypothesis. A theory makes consistent predictions, a hypothesis is more of a hunch of which has yet to be tested and peer reviewed. So we have to look at the definition given to us by thesaurus.com the same way the Website views it, which is as an idea. As an idea, it is directly related to evolution, (Assuming we're talking about Darwinian evolution, as thesaurus.com defines evolution as "development, progress", which I think is right) however, Darwinian selection, as an actual scientific theory, is not attached to social Darwinism, social Darwinism is an idea to where it's mechanics are borrowed from Darwinian evolution, not to be confused with a device in the theory of evolution itself. Of course, I would avoid confusing thesaursus.com as an authority in understanding scientific theories.

Accepting social Darwinism as a scientific theory primarily on the basis that it borrows the idea of selection from an actual scientific theory, is like you accepting every person as your savior just because they were nailed to the cross.

Anonymous said...

thesaurus.com offers "demon" and "idol" for God... but that would be changing the subject.

Anonymous said...

What about all of the horrors of Christian history before the appearance of Darwinism?

All of the participants in the never-ending slaughters had the full backing and "blessing" of their various ecclesiastical establishments, including (in the relevant context) the Pope, the cardinals, bishops etc.

Onwards Christian soldiers FOREVER marching into wars of conquest.

Papal armies!!!!

These two stark references tell the unvarnished truth re Christian history.

www.dartmouth.edu/~spanmod/mural/panel13.html

www.jesusneverexisted.com/cruelty.html

Anonymous Number 1 said...

Christianity don't need to use its armies now that they own the political landscape of many countries.

Anonymous #3 said...

JD Curtis wrote:

"I recently got into an online discussion with a guy who stated, quote "Social Darwinism has nothing to do with evolution"."

Isn't obvious that he meant:
"Promoting Social Darwinism as a good way to run society has nothing to do with accepting the theory of evolution as a proven scienctific fact" ?

Makarios said...

horrors of Christian history before the appearance of Darwinism?"

On atheism / Darwinism there aren't any "horrors," Christian or otherwise. Just phenotypes doing what they believe they need to do to survive and produce more of the same.

Human animal social darwinism is no different than other animal social darwinism. Away with who the powerful believe are the ill equipped / poorly adapted so the rest can survive.

Anonymous 1 said...

Every time Mak makes a straw man an angel dies.

Anonymous 1 said...

Human animal social darwinism is no different than other animal social darwinism.

Say what now?
No different?
Animal social darwinism?
What the deuce?

Anonymous #3 said...

"Human animal social darwinism is no different than other animal social darwinism. Away with who the powerful believe are the ill equipped / poorly adapted so the rest can survive."

Who wants to live in a society like that?

atheistsnackbar said...

First of all Mak, you continue to ignore the fact that "survival of the fittest" is not best physical shape, it's misleading and was a bad metaphor expressing the success of the most adapted to it's environment, as jinx expressed in a reply to the previous post. The ideas of Eugenics and some definitions of social Darwinism convey ideas with historical political agenda that predate Darwin. Darwin's name was attached to these ideas later on.

http://scienceblogs.com/primatediaries/2010/01/deconstructing_social_darwinis.php

That link is a good history of social Darwinism, it should clear up any questions you have about the history of social Darwinism.

With that out of the way, let's get to the real issue...

"Human animal social Darwinism is no different than other animal social Darwinism."

Well... I think if we were talking about a special place of human being with respect to the religious paradigm, I'm quite positive you wouldn't share any opinions expressing your belief of exact congruency between the behavioral algorithms of human beings vs. the remainder of our animal cousins, but i digress...

Being that you would agree that human behavior differs from our cousins, you might even agree that any theory expressing the social patterns of animals of which possess distinctively large and power brains which permit abilities otherwise not seen at an agent of equivalent mental threshold, might differ from those animals of which don't posses such like mental abilities that permit the rendering of mental abstractions by which predictions are made and analysis is computed. Our cousins do possess the processors, but the computing power between us and our cousins radically alters capacities between us. To ignore such vast differences is distorting reality.

And most importantly, If there is no difference between what you call "animal social Darwinism" and "Human social Darwinism" (terms that you just kind of made up), than how do you explain why we're not killing off the sickly, weak and old? I mean, if it's a theory, we should be able to make predictions with it right? If it's some Darwinian mechanism by which we are involuntarily bound, why do i bother working with the developmentally disabled? I could just show up and stone them, since they are weak, but I'm not bound by any made up, politically charged, non-scientific idea like social Darwinism. Remember, a scientific theory MAKES PREDICTIONS. I surely hope you reply Mak.

Anon 2 said...

Christian Identity is no different than other Christianities.