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 :
Allen, call it what you like - hypothesis, model, theory, conjecture, or whatever - what's your problem ? That's how we learn - someone puts forward a idea (without sufficient evidence), someone comes along and pulls it apart (because of insufficient evidence). The someone who put forward the ideas collects more evidence, and so on & so on.
It's called 'trial & error', very Darwinian - and Popperian.
But I agree, many 'Theists' stop collecting more evidence to their ideas, stop thinking, stop asking themselves uncomfortable questions, and become ossified by dogmatism - but many 'Non-Theists (eg Atheistic Evolutionary Psychologists) are guilty of exactly the same thing - in my book.
My problem is that you haven't provided any evidence at all.
Another problem is that you call this a theory. A theory is an explanation that fits all the current evidence. You don't have a theory until you have evidence. So what you have here is a guess.
That may be the street slang definition of the word theory, but the definition of the the word theory, when used by scientists, refers to an explanation of reality that has been thoroughly tested so that most scientists agree on it. It can be changed if new information is found. Theory is different from a working hypothesis (or guess), which is a theory that hasn't been fully tested; that is, a hypothesis (or guess) is an unproven theory.
Psychology came out of Philosophy - like moons in the universe.
CEM Joad set up the Dept of Philosophy & Psychology at Birkbeck in 1930. Psychology later broke away from Philosophy as a discipline. Philosophy itself broke away from its religious origins too.
Shine, what I mean by "obsolete" is philosophically obsolete - but such dead-end ideas carry through into popular culture long after, and the false-thinking which results creates vulnerability to totalitarian thought - in other words, people have 'lost the moral plot', so are unable to discern crap ideas.
For example, Wittgenstein's/Vienna Circle's 'Relativism' & Logical Positivism spawned 'Moral Relativism', which spawned Skinner's Behaviourism, which spawned Scientific Management, which spawned Weapons which could destroy this planet three times over. Technologically clever, morally monstrous - how did we ever allow it to get so bad ?
Read Orwell's Last Statement (1949)- he puts it far, far better than myself.
Strange, I wasn't aware that Skinner's behavioral experiments involved nuclear physics. Or that they occurred before the Manhattan project.
You're just engaging in meaningless hyperbole, Richard.
Yes, Richard. The moral concerns of several of the scientists involved with the Manhattan Project are well documented.
Besides, you said, and I quote "which spawned Skinner's Behaviourism, which spawned Scientific Management, which spawned Weapons which could destroy this planet three times over."
You stated, falsely, that Skinner (his operant conditioning research was performed while at Harvard, from 1948 on) spawned Scientific Management (which was a method of workflow management developed in the 1880s-1890s), which then spawned nuclear weapons (The Manhattan Project was during the 40s).
You didn't say that there was a connection, you said that one led to the next. This is patently false and if you are willing to present false information to make your (hyperbolic) point, the trustworthiness of your presented information falls dramatically.