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 :
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.
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.
What is the difference between philosophically obsolete and obsolete in general? If something is carrying through to popular culture, I hardly think that it could qualify as obsolete. Or are you positing a grand division between a small minority of philosophers and the masses? While this may be an effective distinction for certain topics of relevance, it hardly seems appropriate for a discussion concerning morality. That is, unless the topic of morality is only relevant to the small minority of philosophers.
I find the last part of your statement:
in other words, people have 'lost the moral plot', so are unable to discern crap ideas.
particularly derogatory toward the "common" man. No offense, but the statement reeks of academic elitism. Why are the common people so much less equipped to discern crap ideas from brilliant ideas? Let me be clear that I am speaking purely of "ideas" and not evidenced conclusion. Surely, experts are better equipped to evaluate the veracity of purported evidence. But if we are speaking purely of abstract ideas--with which this thread seems to be primarily concerned--I see no reason why the average layperson is less equipped to evaluate a theory on morality than an erudite professor of philosophy. Although the professor may have read more moral opinions, this does not necessarily qualify one as a superior judge of morality.
Morality is a product of social interaction of the human community. As we are all members of the human community, we are all equally equipped to consider our experiences, evaluate the ideas of others, and offer our own opinions. This is not to say that all opinions are equally viable; obviously, some people proffer moralities that are distinctly detrimental to social cohesion. My point is not to condone abhorrent moralities. Instead, my point is to emphasize that every single participant in the moral sphere--regardless of the degree of philosophical study--is equally eligible to form an opinion on the "moral plot." Therefore, if an idea is alive in popular culture, it can hardly be considered obsolete.
Edit: I realize that my last paragraph refers solely to Homo sapiens. As the larger context of the thread is the moral distinction of Homo sapiens amongst other species, no evidence has been offered to establish this distinction. I would amend my final paragraph to include other species as perhaps inactive participants in the "human" community upon which morality is determined, with the degree of inactivity lying relative to a species' capacity for participation.
I can't say I disagree with most of what you have just said Shine.
Perhaps I should re-define the word "obsolete" :
"Obsolete" in the sense that, although certain ideas may be accepted (& prevail) in the popular culture (eg Moral Relativism), they are "obsolete" because other ideas are 'better' for humanity's survival (eg Moral Realism).
Anathema, show me an animal who can read this thread, understand it, and then contribute to it.
By reading the sentence above, and passing judgement on it, I contend we are already exercising our Moral Instinct (through human language) - whether aware of it or not.
This website itself, books, TV, radio etc could never be possible, without this Instinct - which is unique to human beings.
Lucy, our dog on my lap as I (try) to write this, doesn't understand what I've just written - she acts instinctively, not morally.
In proper context..
Considering that the proper context negates your point, your thanks may be premature.
The quote is saying that moral instincts (which is what you are going on about) is innate and the second comes from acquired convictions, such as cultural values (the morals that you are saying do not exist). It's hardly evidence that huamans are the only moral creature to say that our morals shape our language and our language can shape our morals.