Morality? Bullshit!

Penn and Teller: Bullshit! Creation Vs. Evolution

Around the 7:00 minute mark, the biggest proponent of Creationism in this video starts to explain that, without a belief in a “creator,” then human beings won’t feel responsible to anybody, and, if their actions aren’t responsible to a “creator,” then chaos will reign.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a study that shows that atheist or agnostic people are more violent than theists. In fact, I have never heard of a war being started by anti-theists against theists (of course, this is ignoring the group “We can find 1,000,000 people who DO believe in Evolution before June” on Facebook. Not that I am not a proud member; I just note that, at times, the majority of postings in any given day are specifically anti-theism in nature and not, instead, pro-Evolution) as opposed to the countless religious wars that have raged in human history. (In fact, go ahead and go to Google, type in “anti religious wars” and click “I’m Feeling Lucky.” This is nice and misleading, but hilarious nonetheless.)

So then where does morality come from? Is it from a “creator,” or is it something hard-wired into the human brain as an evolutionary adaptation?

From ScienceDaily.com, Revealing The Origins Of Morality — Good And Evil, Liberal And Conservative (May 18, 2007)

Haidt shows how evolutionary, neurological and social-psychological insights are being synthesized in support of three principles:

  1. Intuitive primacy, which says that human emotions and gut feelings generally drive our moral judgments.
  2. Moral thinking if for social doing, which says that we engage in moral reasoning not to figure out the truth, but to persuade other people of our virtue or to influence them to support us.
  3. Morality binds and builds, which says that morality and gossip were crucial for the evolution of human ultrasociality, which allows humans — but no other primates — to live in large and highly cooperative groups.

I am more apt to go with the ideas as given by Evolutionists. After all, this explains to me much better why different people have different sets of morals. (In particular, I like the idea that “Conservatives” and “Liberals” act on different moral sets- is this evolutionary? Was I born a liberal? I can’t help it, Dad!) Also, as Penn and Teller point out, the scientific approach starts with an observation and investigation (isn’t this kind of what I’m trying to do?) and finds a conclusion based on evidence, not based on the original hypothesis. This is in stark contrast to Intelligent Design, which begins with a book that may or may not be true, and ends with deciding that the book is definitely true based on little to no evidence.

Could morality come from a creator? Of course it could. Does it to some people? Yes, those that literally read their religious texts, find the rules, and follow them as closely as they surely can. But could it also be that religion is, in and of itself, a phenomenon that came to be from evolution? Of course it could.

But I need more evidence.

And for more fun:

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