This article is really a jumble of logical fallacies, but I’m going to try to cut to the heart of the author’s point nonetheless. Wish me luck; I’m going in.
It means that the human brain is the highest moral authority in the universe. Whether it is an evolving paradigm or an inherited thing given to us by evolution, “morality” is a product of the human brain
If Atheism is correct, let’s ask an interesting question:
“If everyone – you, me, and even the Jews – EVERYONE – agreed that what the Nazis did in WWII was moral, would it be “moral”?
This is such a gotcha question. Really. The author is so smug in his presentation and decision of what either answer (yes or no) would mean to the atheist world view. Frankly, I know that my response would mean little in helping the author actually understand the atheist world view, because he’s not genuinely interested in understanding it; he just wants to dismiss it.
I’m still going to try.
The answer to the question is, “Well, yeah.” No, no – I can hear your gasps of horror and your ‘I-told-you-so’s. Just cool your jets there, little buddy. Remember that listening thing we talked about? Yeah, I’m gonna ask you to try it out now.
The thing is, you argue that atheists believe “‘morality’ is a product of the human brain.” Which is nearly true (in my case – remember, I don’t speak for all atheists, and they can agree or disagree as they like). Morality is the product of a collection of human brains. For the most part, we don’t individually decide what is moral. If that were true, religions across the world and across history wouldn’t have so many central tenets in common.
Ultimately, humanity determines morality based on what propagates the species in the best way. Clearly, deciding to slaughter a huge swath of said species does not accomplish this, so it would be evolutionarily counter-productive to determine this as moral behavior. I know, I know – this sounds unbelievably clinical and harsh. We’re talking about people’s lives here! Exactly – that empathy, that hollow pit in the stomach when you think of the Holocaust – that’s evolution at work. That’s one of our mechanisms for fighting for our species’ survival.
Under Atheim, all Hitler really did “wrong” in WWII was to lose the war.
This is such a disgusting interpretation of the atheist world view, I’m floored. I don’t have the words for it. We’re not discussing whether an atheist living in this world, in this society, believes that Hitler’s actions were moral. You’re taken a response to a hypothetical situation and carried it well outside that hypothetical’s scope. This is not logic and reason, with which you claim you’ll “analyze the implications of atheism.” That is poisoning the well.
Anyhow, back to the author’s point about this subjective morality (and his feelings about responses like min):
Does this sound sane? Actually, it isn’t. Below is the legal definition of “insanity”, according to Nolo Press, the legal self-help publishing center:
“A mental defect or disease that makes it impossible for a person to understand the wrongfulness of his acts or, even if he understands them, to distinguish right from wrong.”
The author doesn’t seem to grasp that his argument is rather circular in reasoning. You see, in your “hypothetical” world, EVERYBODY accepts Hitler’s actions as moral. Which would mean that the assessment that it is moral would indeed be accurate, because morality is a human construct, generally meant, at its core, to protect the species. So it’s not insane by that definition. You’re trying to hold the inhabitants of your hypothetical world up to the fire of established morality in this world. They’re not parallel. They’re two different worlds.
I get that it’s a horrendous thing to even suggest that there’s a place or time where the Nazi regime didn’t commit acts of atrocity, but rather acted to an accepted moral code. It makes me feel creepy just doing it. But that doesn’t make my answer wrong. It doesn’t make my world view insane.
This author’s reasoning and logic are so convoluted and fold back on themselves so many times, I know my response must feel convoluted and circular as well. I’ve tried to lay it out as linearly as possible, but please comment if it doesn’t make sense, you have questions, or if you’ve anything at all to add.
I won’t be continuing to address each of the author’s series on atheism. I’m sure this will be taken as a sign that his/her logic has overwhelmed me. Well, I suppose in a sense, it has. It’s the same old rhetoric. The first couple of articles seemed like someone who was actually thinking on their own (albeit poorly), but the later articles are just spouting the same old myths and faulty views we’ve all heard before. They’ve been refuted so many times before, all I would be contributing to is a clog in the blogosphere.
If you want to read the rest of the series, click this link.