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 : firstname.lastname@example.org or at GCI :
It is hard to spot a war without a "empire" context, Jean Marie - WW2 & Nazism, US War in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc
I followed Dawkins clip (with subtitles/I'm very deaf). Not that impressed to be honest, but that's probably because I don't care much for his 'primary motivatons'.
As to Adriana's questions :
Q. What's wrong with secular values ?
A. Which ones exactly ? Nothing wrong at all if not malevolent -I just disagree on their 'primary source'.
Q. Why does religion help humanity survive ?
A. Most religions (not the fanatical idiots who war-monger & terrorize eg American TV evangelists & Islamic fundamentalists) bring HOPE to Humanity - not Despair - which helps it to survive.
Q. How many wars has religion stopped ?
A. Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Mandela/Tutu
Q. How many sick people's lives saved by religion ?
A. How many sick people's lives saved by Empire-builders in their quest for power (eg American Empire)
Q. How many enslaved people religion liberated ?
A. Have a look at Liberation Theology in Central America & the assassinations of certain Bishops.
Q. How many women religion helped to attain equality ?
A. Patchy, but the Christian religion does its best. Not too sure on Muslim religion, but 'true' picture distorted by propaganda, misinformation & disinformation.
Q. How many children religion saved from child abuser ?
Don't blame God/Religion for Man's twisted forms.
"What is wrong with secular values? Why does religion help humanity to survive? Please give specific examples. How many wars has religion stopped? How many sick people's lives has religion saved? How many enslaved people has religion liberated? How many women has religion helped to attain equality? How many children has it saved from child abuse?"//
The claim humans are not animals is demonstrably false.
The claim that humans are the only moral beings on Earth is demonstrably false.
The claim that humans are the only beings in Earth with language is demonstrably false.
The claim that humans are the only beings on Earth with morals because we have language is a non sequitur.
Therefore, you need to go back to drawing board with your hypothesis. And when you come back, try bringing some evidence. And no, the fact that your dog can't read is not evidence.
The Immaculate Omelet? Oh please.
If, as current evidence is pointing, birds evolved from a branch of dinosaurs and dinosaurs laid eggs. We see eggs were around way before chickens. The question just gets pushed to "what came first the dinosaur or the egg?" The egg still wins, before the "modern" egg, were soft shelled eggs, eggs with no shells that need to be carried inside and many variations of eggs of all types. We still see all these in nature today. Chickens are relatively recent on the evolutionary scene. Eggs and proto-eggs have been scrambled for a long time.
I'll assume you were just trying to be funny with the statement.
What's up with the dog being able to read? Many people still can't read today, most people didn't read until the last several hundred years and the invention of the printing press, and nobody read for millions of years of evolution. Did we get our morals only after reading and writing were invented?
I found this quote from Noam Chomsky today, which is not entirely irrelevant :
"Why does everyone take for granted that we don't learn to grow arms ?
Similarly, we should conclude that in the case of the development of moral systems, there's a biological endowment which in effect requires us to develop a system of moral judgement and a theory of justice, if you like, that in fact has detailed applicability over an enormous range" - Noam Chomsky
Allen, methinks the pot is calling the kettle black - an Atheist hypothesis is : there is no God, but there is no "evidence/proof" for this, just as a Theist hypothesis is : there is a God, but there is no "evidence/proof" for this either.
Both the Theist & Atheist require FAITH for their implausible, cherished beliefs - and I contend an Atheist needs more FAITH than Theists. Well done.
Richard, the idea that atheism requires faith is an extremely tired misconception. The atheist hypothesis is not "There is no God." In fact, there is no atheist hypothesis; all that the position does is reject the hypothesis of theism. No faith is needed to reject a hypothesis.
Let's say that we are in a soundproof room with no windows. You say, "I think that it's raining outside." This assertion necessarily involves faith as neither you nor I can confirm the rain. In response to your assertion, I now have two options: accept your assertion that it's raining, or reject your assertion. If I reject your assertion, I am not necessarily making a separate claim; by rejecting your claim that it is raining, I am not making any statement that requires faith as a basis. If I were to then boldly assert, "It is not raining," then I would be making a separate claim that would likewise require faith. However, as long as I simply reject your statement, I am not dependent upon faith at all. It does not take faith to reject a statement based in faith.
(Edit: I fully concede that this soundproof windowless room is a rather flawed analogy as the God hypothesis suggests that a personal god actually does interact with humanity. Unlike the occupants of the sealed room who are impervious to any effect of the rain, religion argues that humanity is vulnerable to the effects of a god.)