My other responses from the blog

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My other responses from the blog

Post  danielg on Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:20 pm

Here's some more objections to your informative podcast on Darwin and race:

1. You can't say that people distorted science to support racism and fail to make the same excuse for religion.

2. You fail to mention that abolition arose mainly out of the Christian temperance movement, and it was primarily Christians and Christian thought that overturned slavery in England and North America.

3. You claim that Darwin was trying to explain the 'equality' of men by showing their common lineage, but this is not true exactly true - he still considered some races less evolved, as he did other animals. He wasn't trying to prove the equality of races with his theory at all.

4. You fail to mention that the BIBLE specifically says that ALL men are equal, despite those who tried to use it to support their own racist tendencies.

Acts 17:26
And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth,

5. Perhaps Darwin's compassion was due to his only degreed training, in theology (he had no science degree), and his religious upbrining. Why else would he refer to "made in the image of God," as you quoted him. His appeal for compassion on slaves was Christian in origin. So while you prove that Darwin was not a racist (a statement which us anti-Darwinists have no problem with), you prove that his lack of racism was due to his FAITH! Your straw man is on fire!

His sisters and grandfather were abolitionists BECAUSE they were Christian. What about Darwin, his son's, and his cousins membership in the British Eugenics Society? The DARWIN family was DIFFERENT than Darwin specifically because they WERE Bible believers.

6. While Darwin's statement about "the savage races" is not racist, he is not making a mere taxonomy point. He is indeed saying that some of the living 'races' of men *were inferior*, and that the natural process should eliminate them. Not that WE should. I would call this unintentional racism, and your excuse that he also thought the apes would be eliminated does not exonerate him from his *intellectual error*. We are not saying that he is approving of eliminating these races, only that he thought that nature would do it.

Again, this argument is that he was WRONG, not evil (sounds like a good movie Wink. And again, his compassion for the races, as your quote above, was rooted in Darwin's CHRISTIANITY, and in no way exonerates Darwinism from it's intellectual consequences. Darwin was being intellectually inconsistent.

7. Darwin did bestialize human kind, but this is not just an offense to racist thought, but to Chrsitian thought, which values humans above mere animals, seeing them as made in the image of God. You muddied this distinction, and ingore the fact that the devaluing of human life is supported by the Darwinism view, and I think that this view of 'man is no better than animals' is ethically deficient

danielg

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Re: My other responses from the blog

Post  Aught3 on Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:25 pm

1. You can't say that people distorted science to support racism and fail to make the same excuse for religion.
I think this is a fair comment, both science and religion have both been distorted to support racism. As far as I am aware there is nothing in the Christian bible that supports racism - genocide is as close as you get.

2. You fail to mention that abolition arose mainly out of the Christian temperance movement, and it was primarily Christians and Christian thought that overturned slavery in England and North America.
The abolition of slavery was really a much broader movement involving all part of society including Jews and secularists. Finding passages in the bible that supported the idea that all people were equal was a good argument to use against those who used the bible to justify their slave-holding practices but there were other arguments against slavery that didn't rely on 'God exists' as a shaky premise.

3. You claim that Darwin was trying to explain the 'equality' of men by showing their common lineage, but this is not true exactly true - he still considered some races less evolved, as he did other animals. He wasn't trying to prove the equality of races with his theory at all.
I have no idea what Darwin was trying to use his theory for, all that matters to me was that he was right about natural selection.

4. I mostly agree the bible doesn't really support racism.

5. Perhaps Darwin's compassion was due to his only degreed training, in theology (he had no science degree), and his religious upbrining. Why else would he refer to "made in the image of God," as you quoted him. His appeal for compassion on slaves was Christian in origin. So while you prove that Darwin was not a racist (a statement which us anti-Darwinists have no problem with), you prove that his lack of racism was due to his FAITH! Your straw man is on fire!
So the nice bits about Darwin were due to his faith but the nasty bits were due to his science - massive special plead.

Aught3

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reply to DG

Post  Luke on Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:52 pm

DG.
"1. You can't say that people distorted science to support racism and fail to make the same excuse for religion"

Yes we can say that because religions actually do teach barbarous behavior such as:

Leviticus 25:44 "If you need slaves, you may buy them from the nations around you…You may bequeath them to your sons after you to inherit as a possession forever..”
Exodus 21: 7 "If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do."

1 Tim6:1 "All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God's name and our teaching may not be slandered."

These are not distortions of the bible, they are what it actually says. Although many abolitionists were christians, practically the entire population of the South were christians as well and used specifically biblical arguments to support slavery (and anti civil rights for 100 years). If your argument is that they ALL distorted chrisianity and got it wrong, at the very least, one may ask "why is it so easy for so many people to get wrong". The ease with which Darwin can be distorted is substantially less.

Luke

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reply to DG

Post  Luke on Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:53 pm

If Darwin's compassion depended on his faith, why did he maintain it long after he lost whatever faith he had? So if Darwin and Stalin were both trained religiously, and Darwin was a humane man while Stalin was a murderer, you are going to claim that religious training was responsible for Darwin's humanity but not for Stalin's sociopathy? Not allowed.

Luke

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Re: My other responses from the blog

Post  mischief on Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:13 am

danielg wrote:1. You can't say that people distorted science to support racism and fail to make the same excuse for religion.
As far as I recall, that's a misrepresentation of the argument. The podcast is replying to claims that Darwinism leads directly to Hitler, eugenics and the like. In rebutting that claim it's not necessary to rebut that people have twisted religion as well.
2. You fail to mention that abolition arose mainly out of the Christian temperance movement, and it was primarily Christians and Christian thought that overturned slavery in England and North America.
And it was primarily a heavily christian trade, using biblical justification, that set up that massive trade in the first place. People have used the bible to prove their own morality to be the 'true' faith.
<snip>. So while you prove that Darwin was not a racist (a statement which us anti-Darwinists have no problem with), you prove that his lack of racism was due to his FAITH! Your straw man is on fire!
Actually, many anti-Darwinists have said categorically that he was a racist. You may not believe it to be true, and good for you, but that isn't the broader case.

mischief

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