Analyzing the essay Evolution and Ethics by Steven Pinker
Ethics is an important issue in the evolution and creation debate and this essay attempts to describe an alternative for their existence. But his arguments fail.
#1. They believe that the theory of evolution corrodes the foundations of ethics. (pg. 143)
If secular science is any example it is an example for this fear. I do not know how many times I have been told ‘all science is good science’ but we can see that the removal of ethical behavior, right and wrong, morality does not lead to good science.
If it did Dr. Mengele of Nazi fame would not have spent his life in hiding but would have been heralded as a hero in the scientific world. It is an extreme example but let’s face it, his work pales in comparison to some scientific work that has been executed over the decades since the second world war.
The evolutionists I have talked to, or most of them, believe that all restrictions should be removed from scientific work. They do not like ethical or moral rules placed upon their or other scientists’ research.
It is pointless to say that without real rules, being responsible for one’s actions or some authoritative oversight, then anything goes and that is never a smart thing to do. Yet some people believe in science so much that they think that field should have no oversight, no accountability, no punishment if the scientists do wrong.
Of course, as in the case of Dr. Mengele that freedom is to be granted only to those scientists who are on the accepted side. You will not see that freedom extended to creationists who are working in the scientific field.
#2. These beliefs, they argue, are all that stands between us and a life of moral callousness and hedonistic nihilism. As the slogan goes, if you teach children that they are animals they will act like animals. (pg. 142)
It is very obvious that Dr. Pinker has never taught in public school. You remove right and wrong then you remove the authority of the teachers and administration and soon anarchy reigns. You also need certain punishments to help deter bad behavior.
Unfortunately, too many liberals have removed those certain punishments and teachers have lost control of their classrooms because they are powerless to stop bad behavior. In fact, a lot of teachers have been attacked by their students because the teacher has had their authority undermined by others who think the above quoted slogan is nonsense.
#3. It’s true that science cannot provide us with moral principles. But nether can religion. An understanding of morality is to be found through secular moral reasoning. (pg. 143)
That idealistic thinking is misguided because there is no source for morality in the secular world. The devil runs those people and he is the father of lies thus secular moral reasoning has no real outside force to found any moral principle. Their foundation is sin and we have seen how sin handles real world problems–with more sin.
The problem for Dr. Pinker and evolutionists is that morality and secular are opposites not partners in life. Plus with no real source for morality, the secular world has to borrow their idea of morality from God and then tweak it in order to make morality fit their way of thought.
There is no morality in the secular world. Almost all of the secular world’s laws and judicial ethical conduct are based on the laws of God found in the Bible. There is no alternative source even though they may point to the Hammurabi code as a source. That code was based upon the righteous laws passed down from Noah and his family after the flood.
Those would be the same laws given to Adam and Eve and found in the Bible. I can say that God gave a law code to Adam and Eve for if he didn’t he would not have been able to punish Cain for his evil act. Biblical law has been around since the beginning and did not begin when Moses went up Mt. Sinai.
If biblical law began with Moses and the Exodus, how then could Noah be labeled as a righteous man?
There is no source for morality, right or wrong or ethics outside of God.No matter how much reasoning the evolutionist applies to the topic.
#4. It is surprising that so many people take seriously an association between religion and morality in the first place. A glance at history and current affairs suggests the opposite…(pg. 143)
This is the old evolutionary argument where God is a mass murderer etc. What the secular world continues to ignore is that even those who claim to follow God have free choice to obey God’s rules or not.
The quoted attitude also ignores the difference between punishment and criminal activity. Of course, the evolutionist credits secular government in knowing and implementing the difference yet refuse to grant God that ability.
They take this position because they do not believe in sin and only look upon the surface and not the whole picture. They do not see where, although many individuals in the nations destroyed by God did not commit crimes humans think are wrong, they were still guilty of sinful crimes and were being punished for those acts.
The evolutionist in judgment of these acts of God use their own standard of right and wrong and do not include God’s nor allow God to have his own standard. They feel for God to be right, he must follow the evolutionist ideas of moral behavior. They do not care if the evolutionists standard is subjective and that its authority lasts only for as long as those in power agree with that chosen standard.
The evolutionist likes to accuse religious people of immoral acts yet they do not consider the fact that; one, those people may not be religious at all but use religion for their own desires; two, that the people accused have disobeyed their own religion and have chosen to follow evil over God.
The evolutionist doesn’t think that they are evil or following evil thus this distortion on religious people’s behavior throughout history. They do not believe or accept that the devil exists so they put sin onto God and blame him for life’s ills and the misdeeds of those disobedient religious people.
The evolutionist makes God out to be worse than the devil thus they do not accept the idea that morality could come from God or religion.
#5. What should you do if God commands you to carry out an act that is patently evil, such as stabbing a child to death. (pg. 144)
This scenario is important to the evolutionist because they do not now or accept the fact that evil disguises themselves as angels of light in order to do their dirty work. Such commands are not of God and God would not tell his people to sin.
Those people who say God told them to do it are deceived by evil. In the case of Abraham, it was not a command to kill Isaac. The order was a test pure and simple; but the evolutionist will not accept that explanation because it stops them from accusing God of commanding, doing or authorizing evil.
Dr. Pinker goes on to say:
If, in contrast, you have good reason for not doing it means that God’s commandments are not the source of morality. (pg. 144)
That is a wild leap and that leap depends upon the idea that humans have a greater sense of morality than God. That type of thinking also depends upon the fact that God could be wrong and that humans are more holy than God is. Such logic also depends upon the non-existence of evil and that it plays no role in human decisions or supernatural commands.
It is a very limited point of view meant to attack God and his morality but does nothing to spur the human to think that they may have misjudged what they read in the bible. It also does not address the fact that secular humans are deceived and do not know the truth.
But Dr. Pinker doesn’t stop there:
From the genocides in Canaan sanctioned in the Bile to the Islamic suicide bombers today, we find numerous examples of God’s commanding people to do patently evil acts. (pg. 144)
The problem with this accusation is that Dr. Pinker does not have any evidence to support that charge. He assumes God told people to do patently evil acts and takes as his evidence the claims of the suicide bombers who are or were in fact deceived people acting out their warped beliefs.
In the case of the biblical accounts he alludes to, he rejects God’s reasoning for such acts and imports his own. That act allows him to stand in judgment of God, though his judgment is faulty. He also ignores the fact that God commands all to not kill, not steal, not lust, and so on so he needs to choose which command is actually issued by God– the one everyone can read or the ones spoken by the offender as his justification for doing evil.
His limited application of God’s commands ruin his position because he is cherry picking what events he will use to support his contention that morality could not come from God.
#6. The reoccurrence of atrocities committed in the name of God shows that they are not random perversions. (pg. 145)
The evolutionists’ limited perspective renders them blind to the truth. They ignore the verses that state man loves darkness rather than light thus the immoral choices they make are not influenced by God but by some other supernatural force.
This limited view also blinds them to the problem of what about all the unbelievers who kill, rape, and do other patently evil acts. Are they following God’s commands when they do not even believe in him or that he even exists?
The evolutionist view is very one-sided and wrong.
#7. If morality doesn’t come from religion, where does it come from? (pg. 145)
I will agree that morality does not come from religion. Morality comes from God only. There are too many religions that have imported human ideas to make them pure enough to be the source of morality. Besides religious morality is founded upon what God wrote n the Bible. Religion is supposed to be the messenger bringing the message of morality to the people. It is not the source of right and wrong, morality or ethics.
Morality cannot come from evolution or its two supposed process simply because evolution has no lawgiver. No where in its supposed history is their any being supplying the species with any standard of morality, right or wrong and ethics. Evolution has none of those characteristics contained anywhere in its ‘existence’.
We must ask, is it moral, ethical or right to have countless species die over billions of years for no reason other than to develop then into the creatures we see today? Then, how is that more moral than God and his punishing sinful people? Plus how is it moral, ethical or even right for evolution to allow its creatures to have religious hope when no hope may exist at all?
It seems that the evolutionary alternative is more immoral, more unethical and more wrong than the evolutionist claims God ever was.
What evolution tries to do is make man the ultimate source for ethics, right and wrong or morality. In other words, evolutionists are trying to remove God from any involvement in life and also keep him from being the source for anything. Everything is man’s invention because evolution is basically Satan’s sin wrapped up in a convenient deceptive scientific concept.
#8. …the theory of natural selection has no trouble of explaining the evolution of a moral sense… (pg. 146)
How? Evolutionists describe natural selection as a non-knowing entity that possesses no information to pass on to anything. So how can it help develop what it has no knowledge of? Also, if moral sense came millions or billions of years after countless species and human forms lived and died, how is that fair or just to those who lived without knowing those moral rules?
Such an explanation makes natural selection more immoral and more genocidal than the evolutionist accuse God of being. Without a moral sense being known from the beginning then there is no justice, fairness or even ethical behavior in the whole evolutionary plan. For the supposed natural selection to develop morality,etc., such information has to be present from the very beginning, when that original life form came into existence or evolution has no moral code to develop or and is more immoral than God.
If anyone has studied the theory of evolution, they will see that there is no ultimate lawgiver, no ultimate ethical or moral rule giver and no being presenting what is right or wrong upon any life form until well after the supposed human species came into existence and only then, according to the theory of evolution, such attributes were of human origin.
Morality, ethics, right and wrong could not come from evolutionary development because there is no source and no reason for those characteristics to exist at all.
#9. So not only is Darwinism compatible with our having a moral sense, it can explain why we evolved to have one. (pg. 148)
Not true. Darwinism is not compatible with moral sense for it possesses nothing that is moral. It used very immoral means and methods to supposedly develop life forms on this planet so we must ask, where did the conversion take place that made Darwinism see the error of its ways and change to being moral?
Then we must ask, why would supposedly intelligent people still accept and follow a theory that has its roots in immorality and obeyed no rule of right and wrong? They do not do it for God, even though he is falsely accused of being immoral, so why would they do it for evolution?
At best the theory is hypocritical as it develops a moral sense for its species yet follows no moral code itself. An explanation is not enough to justify or cover the sins of the supposed evolutionary process.
If the evolutionary process is true, then it has killed more men, women and children than the evolutionist claims God has. Why do they not self-righteously judge their own theory as harshly as they judge God? Why do they give this theory a pass on its genocidal tendencies?
The evolutionist is not just, consistent or even honorable in their assessment of God or their own theory. They have no claims to any moral high ground for themselves or their theory.
#10. Customs that were common throughout history and prehistory– slavery, punishment by mutilation, executions by torture, genocide for convenience, endless blood feuds, the summary killing of strangers, rape as the spoils of war, infanticides as a form of birth control and the legal ownership of women–have vanished from large parts of the world. (pg. 148)
I do not know what books and newspapers he has been reading but he is very mistaken and misinformed. He seems to think that sex slavery is not slavery or the ownership of women yet it takes place in just about every country of the world. as does abortion which is infanticide as it is used for birth control and the disposal of unwanted babies.
Evolution certainly does not teach truth or honesty to its advocates. But this isn’t the only unrealistic thing he says:
As people in more parts of the planet become economically independent, the hatred between them decreases for the simple reason you can’t kill someone and trade with him too. (pg. 149)
He really doesn’t pay attention to the news and he certainly doesn’t know people. The sin nature and evil do not stop tempting, influencing or manipulating people once they become rich. If being rich was the end of the problems of the world, why are the oil suppliers not spreading the wealth around? Why are the billionaires of the world sharing with the poorest of people?
This is another reason we know that morality, ethics, right and wrong do not come from evolution. The problems of the world are not solved but enhanced by those with evil desires. The evolutionist could say that these people have free choice and can do what they want, but then they must grant that argument to the religious and stop accusing them and God from being immoral.
Evolution and the evolutionist has no answer to the sin problem and their failure is their denial of the existence of sin and the devil . Without finding the real source for the world’s ills, evolutionists cannot claim to have developed the answer. There is no reason for the answer to exist in their theory.
The evolutionary theory has no reason to develop a moral sense because immorality, unethical behavior, and sin does not exist. There is nothing right or wrong, ethical or unethical, moral or immoral in the evolutionary theory and no reason to develop either. According to the theory everything people do is okay because it is all a part of change and change is evolution.
Without laws, morality or even ethics being taught in the beginning, there is nothing ethical, moral or even right about evolution which leads us back to that slogan Dr. Pinker detests but quoted anyways–you teach people they are animals they will act like animals.
There is no authority in evolution to be accountable to so anything goes which means students will act like animals because you are taking away their reason to be moral, ethical and evolution is taking away right and wrong.