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 :
Language is not unique to humans. Even birds have been shown to use grammar.
I stand corrected Adriana - thanks. Dawkins is an Evolutionary Biologist (not Psychologist).
Chomsky, like Dawkins (although a very different atheist), believes our language - and moral language - is ONLY biologically-rooted.
Mega Theory contends that this Moral Instinct is both IMMANENT WITHIN (eg biologically-rooted) and TRANSCENDENT OF our other Instincts.
Blimey Adriana, that's a big one. I'll have to climb on the shoulders of giants here :
1. IRIS MURDOCH (1919-1999)
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_Mur ... ected=true
"It is important to remember that language itself is a moral medium, almost all uses of language convey value.
This is one reason why we are almost always morally active.
"Life is soaked in the moral, literature is soaked in the moral.
If we attempted to describe this room, our descriptions would naturally carry all sorts of values.
"Value is only artificially, and with difficulty, expelled from language for scientific purposes".
Iris Murdoch (1919-1999). Novelist & Oxford Tutor in Philosophy
(Source : "Men of Ideas" by Bryan Magee - 'Philosophy and Literature' - BBC 1978)
2. NOAM CHOMSKY (1928-PRESENT)
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noam_Cho ... ected=true
“We are after all biological organisms not angels . . . If humans are part of the natural world, not supernatural beings, then human intelligence has its scope and limits, determined by initial design. We can thus anticipate certain questions will not fall within
[our] cognitive reach, just as rats are unable to run mazes with numerical properties, lacking the appropriate concepts. Such questions, we might call ‘mysteries-for-humans’ just
as some questions pose ‘mysteries-for-rats.’ Among these mysteries may be questions we raise, and others we do not know how to formulate properly or at all...
We will discover what we can about the nature of the world, and, among the truths about it, I believe we will find that part of our genetic capacity, which evolved over millennia, is that CERTAIN MORAL PRINCIPLES ARE ASCRIBED IN IT; probably genetically determined.
To try to discover them is, of course, a big task."
3. PIERRE TEILHARD DE CHARDIN (1881-1955)
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_T ... ected=true
"We are Spiritual Beings having a Human Experience, not Human Beings having a Spiritual Experience"
You are funny too Adriana - you say :
"the origins of our morality are in
something that transcends biology...(whatever that means).."
....Ummmmmm, that means Religion, Metaphysical, Non-Natural etc.
Why not just say it's 'Non biological' ...
'Religion' , 'Metaphysical' , 'Non-Natural' are all very vague words.
As for Metaphysical and Non - Natural ... Well they don't exist because once we witness them or can prove the exist - They become Natural and Physical.
The 'Meta' and 'Non' parts of those words are meaningless. Just say you personally don't know where morality comes from - Because you are ignorant towards the evolutionary process of altruism and language among other species.
"Why not just say it's 'Non biological' ..."
Probably because I don't want to be confused with washing
powder, Dustin ;)
Seriously though, "biological" (immanent within nature
eg human nature) and
"non-biological" (transcendent of nature eg human nature)
are good terms to use - thanks.
Side note: Polygamy usually results in more than 2 adults (multiple wives) working together to raise their humans and could be considered advantageous to the human female reproductive fitness strategy. But since polygamy leads to certain males going without mates it also leads to greater social disorder and violence among underprivileged males.
Here is an interesting article that touches on this topic: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/inconvenient-truths-about...
"Some scholars feel morality did develop roots as a result
of our evolution and survival as a species"
Yeah Jean Marie, and I don't agree with them -
nor do many others.
Richard - You don't really need to agree or disagree.
You can still be flat wrong , even if your 'opinion' is different ;)
Have you ever actually studied the effects of natural selection and kinship relations?
To summarize it: It is advantageous to the propagation of one species to work together.
It is disadvantageous to the propagation of one species to fight amongst themselves continually.
If anything can be said about humans ... is that we are the only animal that actually has the cognitive ability to go AGAINST this basic rule of thumb. For whatever reasons that may be.