Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Moral Case Against Darwinism

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D.

A Moral Argument Against Darwinism

1.      If Darwinism is an adequate account of the biosphere, then human beings have no essential nature, since they evolved without design into their present forms.

2.      If (1), then various races of humans may be more adaptively fit than other races. Darwin himself states this in The Descent of Man.

3.      If (2), there is nothing intrinsically valuable about the human race as a whole. That is, some races may prevail upon other races given their selective advantages due to their unique evolutionary path.

4.      If (3), then there is no philosophical basis for the claim that humans qua humans have objective and universal human rights.

5.      But (4) is false. Our moral intuitions and the history of Western law treat every human being, irrespective of race, as possessing intrinsic human dignity and must be treated as such. The United Nation’s statement on human rights affirms this, for example, as does The United States Declaration of Independence: “All men are created equal.”

6.      Further, if (4) is true, then we have no objective basis to morally condemn the enslavement or even eradication of the “less favored races” (Darwin’s term)—that is, less favored by the impersonal processes of macro-evolution.

7.      But (4) is false, because of (5).

8.      Therefore (6) is false because of (5)

9.      Therefore, (1)—Darwinism—is false. This is by modus tollens, which in this case is a reductio ad absurdum (reduce the claim to absurdity).

Note: modus tollens (or denying the consequent):

a.       If p, then q.
b.      Not-q.

c.       Therefore, not-P.

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