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Why Is Evolution So Unpopular?


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I think many people find discomfort with the idea that our ancestors of millions of years ago were primates, or single-cell microorganisms billions of years ago. And I think many theists are used to believing that their religion holds a monopoly as a source of moral behavior and values.

 

I disagree.

 

I don’t think we have a moral mandate because God said so. I think we have a moral mandate because our actions, nevertheless what we think, make a difference. We affect the people around us in material and emotional terms, and our actions set an example for others to follow.

 

We have a moral mandate to take responsibility because we are in the rare position among life forms on earth to think, reflect, and take consideration of consequence.

I think to fail to
excogitate
on our actions with our unique mental capabilities is tragic. And we see the problems that arise out of this failure, both in problems of hurt emotions and damaged relationships, and in problems of brutal violence and conflict.

 

Our ancestry from millions of years ago doesn’t limit our intellectual capability to find solutions to these problems today. It doesn’t impede our moral imperative to heal ourselves. And ... it doesn't remove purpose from our lives.

 

For the complete transcript from of this video, click here.

 

To monitor comments posted to this topic, use comment-ful.gif.

 

http://exchristian.net/exchristian/2007/06...-unpopular.html

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I myself do not accept every last detail of evolution, I do find the idea of being descended from a monkey filled with much more dignity than saying we are dirt.

Correction: We're not descendent from the monkeys, but monkeys and man have a common ancestor, we're more like "cousins".

 

 

Regarding the morality question, I'd like to add we also have a moral obligation to a higher entity in our lives. No, I'm not talking about God or a supernatural being, but ourselves, or even more accurately our future selves. I see myself as a person in the future, with more knowledge and more wisdom (hopefully) than today, and this person wants a better life and some success, he also wants a happy family with kids that still want to come home to old dad. That person, which is me in the future, is depending on my decisions and actions now. That person is a higher being who I have a responsibility to, and luckily, I'm the one who will reap the benefits of pleasing that person. What it all comes down to, is that even if I don't believe in a higher being, and I don't have a god that I need to please with moral actions, I do have a higher being that I need to please with the right decisions, right here and now, and that person is my future self.

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Regarding the morality question, I'd like to add we also have a moral obligation to a higher entity in our lives. No, I'm not talking about God or a supernatural being, but ourselves, or even more accurately our future selves. I see myself as a person in the future, with more knowledge and more wisdom (hopefully) than today, and this person wants a better life and some success, he also wants a happy family with kids that still want to come home to old dad. That person, which is me in the future, is depending on my decisions and actions now. That person is a higher being who I have a responsibility to, and luckily, I'm the one who will reap the benefits of pleasing that person. What it all comes down to, is that even if I don't believe in a higher being, and I don't have a god that I need to please with moral actions, I do have a higher being that I need to please with the right decisions, right here and now, and that person is my future self.

Nice Hans! I like that!

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I myself do not accept every last detail of evolution, I do find the idea of being descended from a monkey filled with much more dignity than saying we are dirt.

 

This is one of my pet peeves. A monkey isn't an ape anymore than a dog is a cat. We are not from monkies. We are a type of ape, the super ape if you will, but an ape none-the-less. We share DNA with apes, not monkies. They are not the same thing.

 

I think evolution is unpopular because

1. People don't want to learn.

2. A lot of the information is in scientific language that is difficult to understand if you are not familiar with it.

3. A lot of people are not smart enough to do their own research, but would rather get their information second hand from people who don't know what the hell they are talking about.

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Regarding the morality question, I'd like to add we also have a moral obligation to a higher entity in our lives. No, I'm not talking about God or a supernatural being, but ourselves, or even more accurately our future selves. I see myself as a person in the future, with more knowledge and more wisdom (hopefully) than today, and this person wants a better life and some success, he also wants a happy family with kids that still want to come home to old dad. That person, which is me in the future, is depending on my decisions and actions now. That person is a higher being who I have a responsibility to, and luckily, I'm the one who will reap the benefits of pleasing that person. What it all comes down to, is that even if I don't believe in a higher being, and I don't have a god that I need to please with moral actions, I do have a higher being that I need to please with the right decisions, right here and now, and that person is my future self.

Nice Hans! I like that!

It also applies to the question of the meaning of life. Consider "meaning of life" as the same as "a life goal", then it fits into "purpose" too. You plan your future, and do work for it, that is the meaning of life, to reach the goal and end that you want for yourself.

 

I've had these idea for some time, and I did promise to share it a while ago, but I never saw the right opportunity where I could make it short and sweet. I don't like to write to long posts about a subject since I tend to repeat myself. Short, sweet and to the point is best, and for this subject it just needed the right topic.

 

Evolution gave us a fundamental and rudimentary form of "moral" that supports basic survival. But with intelligence and reason, we have to find new arguments for the higher levels of moral and ethics, and I do think the idea of a "future self" solves quite a bunch of problems or questions, but maybe not all of them. It resolves quite a bit of altruism too, but it doesn't solve the problem if you have someone that want to end his life in prison as a serial killer. But then the moral and ethics is derived from the survival and safety of the general population instead.

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It also applies to the question of the meaning of life. Consider "meaning of life" as the same as "a life goal", then it fits into "purpose" too. You plan your future, and do work for it, that is the meaning of life, to reach the goal and end that you want for yourself.

“Thought allied fearlessly with purpose becomes creative force: he who knows this is ready to become something higher and stronger than a mere bundle of wavering thoughts and sensations; he who does this has become the conscious and intelligent wielder of his mental powers.” -James Allen

 

I've had these idea for some time, and I did promise to share it a while ago, but I never saw the right opportunity where I could make it short and sweet. I don't like to write to long posts about a subject since I tend to repeat myself. Short, sweet and to the point is best, and for this subject it just needed the right topic.

It might be worthy of its own thread Hans. I think we are brushing against derailing this thread. Oh, and I know what you mean about trying to be brief. I try to do the same thing.

 

Evolution gave us a fundamental and rudimentary form of "moral" that supports basic survival. But with intelligence and reason, we have to find new arguments for the higher levels of moral and ethics, and I do think the idea of a "future self" solves quite a bunch of problems or questions, but maybe not all of them. It resolves quite a bit of altruism too, but it doesn't solve the problem if you have someone that want to end his life in prison as a serial killer. But then the moral and ethics is derived from the survival and safety of the general population instead.

I really like the idea of the "future self". It seems to fit right in with notion of living systems being anticipatory rather than merely reactive.

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I agree, I think because people find it distasteful that we share an ancestor with the animals (and most don't understand what evolution is anyway). Also, to many fundies, believing in evolution means you cannot believe in the Bible. (I don't disagree, but there are a great many moderates who believe in both.) Anyway, I digress. It threatens their little tiny cramped minds and their beliefs that they are special and will be saved and live forever in paradise while the "EvIL111!! Evolutionists" are being tortured forever in hell. It threatens the fairy tale, so they refuse to believe in it.

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I agree, I think because people find it distasteful that we share an ancestor with the animals (and most don't understand what evolution is anyway). Also, to many fundies, believing in evolution means you cannot believe in the Bible. (I don't disagree, but there are a great many moderates who believe in both.) Anyway, I digress. It threatens their little tiny cramped minds and their beliefs that they are special and will be saved and live forever in paradise while the "EvIL111!! Evolutionists" are being tortured forever in hell. It threatens the fairy tale, so they refuse to believe in it.

This is pretty much my take on it too Amethyst. I suspect that by acknowledging evolution one necessarily must discard any notion of a literal translation of the Bible. And in addition accepting evolution relegates us to being just organisms amongst organisms and not necessarily special, above, or set apart.

 

I am also under the impression that it is largely American Christians that have a hard time accepting evolution.

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I am also under the impression that it is largely American Christians that have a hard time accepting evolution

 

Ozzies, including Christians, don't have a problem accepting evolution. Evolution is taught in school and there are numerous documentaries each week or so about evolution on TV. The Japanese also accept and understand evolution.

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