Wednesday, February 23, 2011

FistBump of the Day to "Thinking God's Thoughts"

I really enjoy reading Brennon's blog and his Facebook quote. I really wanted to call attention to a couple of things he posted today.

On the origin of morality
Many atheists, when trying to ground moral values, appeal to something like human well being as a guide for morality. This seems to be patently insufficient of a ground for morals, because it itself is simply a moral judgment. It is good to promote human well being and bad to stifle it is a moral value itself, and therefore can't be the ground of moral values. As I said to one commenter on Sam Harris' attempt to use this as a ground, "Saying that well-being of some sort is good is simply another moral claim, so it hasn't reached any sort of ontological base at all. If this is Harris' base, then he seems to have stopped short of a true ground for morality and settled for a branch. [In other words] you can't say that a moral value is itself the ground of moral value."

This is why most attempts at ethics today are silly little exercises in futility.
On Science and Teleology
So I'm picking on my ethics teacher again, which may turn into quite a habit for the next 12 weeks or so. This statement (the title of this post) was one of the supposed problems with Thomas Aquinas' natural law theory. My teacher really didn't argue for this assertion. How has Science done this?

Is it because it can now explain how things work? What does that have to do with whether they have an end they were designed for?

It seems to me that this is just an assumption that flows from, at least, methodological naturalism. But even if you accept that science can't access the reason for which something was created, but can only tell us how it was created/works, it certainly doesn't follow that it wasn't created for some reason.

Not to mention that this seems to be patently untrue anyway. Certain fields of science seem to make their living on detecting teleology. Archaeologists do this often.
I admit that I don't agree with everything he writes but I really like these posts. Thanks, Brennon! All I can say is "Amen and amen."

Thinking God's Thoughts: Settling for a Branch
Thinking God's Thoughts: Modern Science Rejects Teleology
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