At risk of being dismissed as a "troll", may I submit this Paper for discussion. I've bought & read Jesse Bering's "The God Instinct", and it was a waste of money & a waste of time.
"JESSE BERING - SON OF DAWKINS"
A Short Paper by Richard W. Symonds. Member of International Society For Philosophers (ISFP) - December 31 2010
"GOD IS...A SOPHISTICATED COGNITIVE ILLUSION"
('The God Instinct' by Jesse Bering - NB Publishing 2011)
.1 This Paper seeks to show it is not the vast majority of people Jesse Bering believes to be living an "illusion" - but Bering himself.
.2 I mean "illusion" in the sense that, say, the clever people in Galileo's time - who built a vast, monolithic body of knowledge on the (false) assumption the Sun went round the Earth - were living an illusion...and (unintentionally) deluded countless millions of the not-so-clever in that false belief.
.3 Jesse Bering ("Son of Dawkins") and Richard Dawkins ("The God Delusion") - both committed 'Blind Faith' Evolutionists & Moral Relativists - have built a vast, monolithic body of knowledge on the (false) belief that Human Beings are just Animals - not unique Moral Beings - and are deluding countless millions of the not-so-clever in that false belief.
.4 70 years ago, Philosopher & Moral Realist 'Professor' CEM Joad (1891-1953) pleaded with his colleagues to mend their newly-found philosophical ways (eg Moral Relativism, Logical Positivism & Animal Behaviourism), predicting that failure to do so would render Philosophy (& Psychology) increasingly irrelevant – and increasingly vulnerable to totalitarian thought.
.5 CEMJ’s warning ‘fell on deaf ears’ in his time – and continues to do so….except for a few readers of Cambridge University’s Alumni Magazine (”Essay : In Defence Of Moral Philosophy” by Professor Simon Blackburn – Michaelmas 2009 Edition), and adherents to Mega Theory.
.6 Totalitarianism, which George Orwell – a contemporary of Joad – was warning against in 1949, was already prevalent within the social and economic culture of the time – primarily due to the ‘false teachers’ of philosophical relativism (eg Wittgenstein & The Vienna Circle). Times have not changed. 'False teachers', like Bering & Dawkins, continue to successfully peddle this increasingly-obsolete, biologically-rooted-only, Darwinian Evolutionary Psychology.
.7 Cyril Joad, as a Moral Philosopher, was warning against Moral Relativism 9 years earlier than Orwell :
In 1940, Joad warned his profession of the dangers in rejecting its ‘Classical’ tradition (eg Plato’s ‘Forms’ of Truth, Beauty & Goodness), and pleaded for a return to that tradition (”Appeal To Philosophers”, University of London Aristotelian Society – XL 1940).
Dr. CEM Joad continued to warn – but nobody was listening….except a few debaters at Oxford University:
.8 In June 1950, 5 months after Orwell’s death (and 3 years before his own), Cyril Joad won an Oxford Union Debate : “That This House Regrets The Influence Exercised By The U.S. As The Dominant Power Among The Democratic Nations” – resulting in Randolph Churchill accusing him of being a “Third Class Socrates”.
.9 ‘Professional Outcast’ Joad, also a celebrity wartime BBC Brains Trust panellist, was treated with ridicule, contempt and disdain by most professional philosophers of the time – especially Bertrand Russell – and his warnings were ignored and dismissed within his profession, and beyond – and remain so.
.10 CEMJ was a Moral Realist – in direct opposition to Moral Relativists – and later developed his “Transcendence-Immanence” ideas in his last book: “Recovery of Belief – A Restatement of Christian Philosophy” (Faber & Faber 1952)
.11 Today, we can’t say we were not warned of this ‘totalitarian’ danger – now more prevalent than ever – and we can’t say moral philosophy (& philosophers) have had nothing to say in dealing with the problems which continue to haunt us.
.12 Joad is still ’shouting from the rooftops’ – through his many books – but we need to understand (and deal with) the unpalatable reasons why such clear warnings are still loudly ‘falling on deaf ears’.
.13 One 'deaf ear' is Bering - the other 'loud mouth' is Dawkins. They are the deluded ones. Be warned.
.14 A greater understanding of Moral Realism (especially through the work of Moral Philosopher CEM Joad) – and an unequivocal rejection of Evolutionists & Moral Relativists (especially Bering & Dawkins) - will be two critical pre-conditions for Humanity’s survival in the early 21st century.
Richard W. Symonds MCIPD is a Member of the International Society For Philosophers ( http://www.isfp.co.uk ),
Founder Member of The Cyril Joad Society (CJS) & Gatwick City of Ideas (GCI)
Author of “The Mega Instinct : Mega Theory & The Moral Revolution"
He can be contacted by Email : email@example.com or at GCI :
Fair comment David - here is my response
Am I supposed to actually read all of this?
Aren't there some sort of cliff notes you can throw in.....
In a nutshell Dustin - just for you :
We all have a Mega Instinct which controls all other instincts - and its this Moral Instinct which makes us uniquely human.
If truth abides in these ideas, then Dawkins ideas are in deep, deep trouble.
This Theory is about The Mega Instinct; a Moral Instinct, made up of 7 Mega Values (or Mega Motivations), which makes us uniquely & fully human; a controlling Instinct which is both immanent within - and transcendent of - all our other instincts.
Interesting, but ultimately flawed. Not only can I think of several 'ultimate values' that people can hold that are not within the seven 'Mega instincts' (Knowledge, for one.), but a number of these supposedly uniquely human attributes have been observed as being valued in non-human beings.
I challenge anyone to claim that animals do not value Life. As for Love, while we cannot measure emotions directly there are numerous examples of animals mating for life (swans, wolves) and showing definite affection and loyalty towards one another and their offspring.
Furthermore, the idea that we have values and those values motivate us is hardly earthshaking news. Nor does it run counter to evolutionary theory. The development of empathy, altruism, love and so forth are adequately explained in evolutionary terms via social grouping theory.
You're not providing any evidence that these mega instincts are in any way obtained from without the human brain or society, nor that they are absolutes. Different societies throughout history have valued these seven concepts at differing levels, depending on the society and culture. Slavery is certainly the antithesis of freedom, yet slavery was endemic throughout the world until very recently in human history. Likewise, while all cultures may value beauty, they may not agree at all on what, precisely, is beautiful. Look at the lip discs (or plates) used by numerous cultural groups throughout history and currently used by tribes such as the Mursi people of Ethiopia. I would not consider such a modification beautiful, but to a member of her tribe, it would be.
definitive proof animals protect and care for their offspring.
Of course it is "ultimately flawed" David - it's a theory dreamed up by a man - both are fallible, & thus both are imperfect.
I maintain this Theory corresponds with reality, more so than others on the subject (but I would say that, wouldn't I ?!), and is the least implausible explanation of the universe (inner & outer).
I'm sure a less flawed theory will replace it.