Saturday, March 05, 2011

 

Ugly Gods


Via Tantalus Prime comes this criticism of Amy Peters' guest post at Pharyngula by Georgia Purdom.

Purdom is a not very perceptive employee of Answers in Genesis (you should forgive the redundancy), who finds it horrible to think that humans might be "animals" and, worse, that a mother might tell her child about it.

When Peters' child asks "But, Mommy, we seem . . . different," Purdom responds "Out of the mouths of babes!" But of course, we are different ... that's practically the definition of species. But we also have vast similarities to the rest of life. One thing that humans do that few if any other species do is go around wondering about their "special place" in the universe.

Peters finds it in being the one with nature and millions of years of evolution. Purdom cannot find any meaning unless as a pet of something bigger than herself but still not competent enough to make its creation to its own satisfaction.

But the ugliest and meanest part of Purdom's failure of imagination is this:

I wonder what this mother would think if her son grew up and murdered someone. I'm sure she would be horrified. But if the Bible isn't true and humans are animals, then she wouldn't have a basis for saying what her son did was wrong, because after all, he's just an animal, and morality doesn't apply to animals.

What would she think if her son grew up to believe that someone had the knowledge of what some god wants and that included, against all human feelings and sense of morality, that innocent children should be killed in cold blood?
.

Comments:
What about telling our kids that they were intelligently, purposefully, designed to be like chimps and other animals?

Myself, I would rather be more closely related to Binti Jua than to Torquemada. But, unfortunately, that's not true.

TomS
 
One could pull literally hundreds of references from the Bible demonstrating the Abrahamic god's less than stellar empathy for human beings. Why someone would read those passages and then sign up for a literal interpretation of that particular monotheistic religion's holy book is beyond me.

If someone could definitively prove the literal nature of the Bible and the existence of Elohim, that would not be a reason to fall to your knees; it would be a reason to run in the other direction as quickly as possible.
 
Of course, that AiG space (IIRC the Hamster Himself) is also on record as saying that one should tell the SS where the Jews are hiding, 'cuz God's morality commands us not to lie, no matter what the stakes.

These people are moral imbeciles who have no business lecturing others on the subject.
 
To be fair, that's also pretty much what Kant would say...
 
who finds it horrible to think that humans might be "animals"
But if Purdom was a scientistit would be ok because she didnt say that this is science right?
 
The lack of spacing after scientist was unintentional
 
Why someone would read those passages and then sign up for a literal interpretation of that particular monotheistic religion's holy book is beyond me.
Tradition.
You have to now admit that all the saints and a lot of the so called experts that used to take everything literally were ignorant and wrong.
 
But if Purdom was a scientistit would be ok because she didnt say that this is science right?

Purdom purportedly has a Ph.D. in molecular genetics from Ohio State University.

Is it be "ok" for her to say that? As a scientist, it wouldn't be ok without evidence that would meet basic peer review. As a person, it is pretty crummy.

On the other hand, when Jerry Coyne suggests that the failure to condemn moderate, science-accepting theists in America somehow results in Afghan girl being defaced with acid ... equally without evidence ... that is ok?
 
@John
So then was it crummy for Collins as a person to comment about morality could not have evolved? (Its funny we would say Purdom has failings as a scientist, but you seem to imply her behavior is crummy as a person, a far harsher criticism in my opinion)
that the failure to condemn moderate, science-accepting theists in America somehow results in Afghan girl being defaced with acid
You are misreading the post.
A focus for a lot of accomodationists seems to be the reconcile evolution with religion- which does nothing for the other problems that are at the least correlated with religion. The reduction of religions influence might help those problem. Maintaining the status quo (as accomodationists seem to want to do with respect to the respectability of religion )wont.
 
The reduction of religions influence might help those problem.

And your evidence for that is? Otherwise, you are doing nothing more than Purdom's projection.

Maintaining the status quo (as accomodationists seem to want to do with respect to the respectability of religion )wont.

Beyond the fact that the supposed "secular societies," that Gnus so often cite as an ideal, have never acted in any way contrary to the "status quo," would you care to give a rational, evidence-based, ground for thinking the "accomodationist" program will fail? I assume you know that "A occurs and B occurs does not mean A caused B".
 
So then was it crummy for Collins as a person to comment about morality could not have evolved?

Did he suggest a mother who disagreed with him was raising a murderer?

... you seem to imply her behavior is crummy as a person, a far harsher criticism in my opinion ...

Then we should judge the science people do by their moral character? Not a few very good scientists have been crummy people. Purdom has no science to back up her claim AND she is a crummy person. The two are not connected.

You are misreading the post.

Or you ar "accommodating" Coyne's views.
 
And your evidence for that is?
It is an opinion - Religion is divisive today (and you can find enough evidence for that). it creates various social problems.

It is reasonable to assume that reducing religion might reduce the problems (not eliminate it ofcourse).

ground for thinking the "accomodationist" program will fail?
What is this accomodationist 'program'? What are your grounds for thinking it will succeed?
I'm merely observing that accomodationists tend to focus on one symptom(evolution denial) and on the gnu's - you can read the blog posts of various accomodationists to see what they focus on - that's evidence for my views.
"A occurs and B occurs does not mean A caused B"
Where did I make this conclusion? A secular society has less religious divisions by definition. That's the only claim I make.

Did he suggest a mother who disagreed with him was raising a murderer?
Ah I thought you were saying Purdom's views were crummy for not being able to figure out how humans are animals and worse that a mother might tell her child about it.

Or you ar "accommodating" Coyne's views
is that a compliment?
 
It is an opinion - Religion is divisive today (and you can find enough evidence for that).

I have no problem with an opinion when it is labeled as such. Gnus tend to claim that their anti-theism is scientific.

But "religion" is too broad a category. Is Jainism devisive? And once you agree that not all religions are devisive, then you have to do the heavy lifting of judging each by that standard. Is Ken Miller's religion devisive? Bhuddism? B'hai?

What is this accomodationist 'program'? What are your grounds for thinking it will succeed?

Since it is a not-very-well defined term invented by Gnus, maybe you should ask them. Roughly, though, it amounts to the idea that starting arguments about the religious beliefs of those people who otherwise share our views (science and science education are a large part of this, but not the only values that many theists share with those who want a more secular society) is fighting the wrong battle. Again, the evidence shows that highly secular societies didn't fight that battle. Instead, encouraging the high social acceptance of science and secularism, including among theists, seems to have been more important.

"A occurs and B occurs does not mean A caused B"
Where did I make this conclusion?


I didn't say you did. I was warning against the argument, so often made by Gnus, that the "accommodationist program" has failed because there has been little movement in the numbers of anti-evolutionists in the US over the last 40 years or so.

Or you ar "accommodating" Coyne's views
is that a compliment?


It is if you don't think "accommodationism" is a bad thing.
 
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