Thought Experiment

Yes, but why would an atheist think it is immoral since there is no real reason to consider it immoral if there is no God?
You seem to be saying that there is nothing wrong with slavery in itself, and it's only wrong because God says so? Is that right?

If there is something wrong with slavery in itself then God isn't needed for it to be wrong.
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No, it is wrong because it goes against the nature and moral laws of the universe as designed by God.
 
No, it is wrong because it goes against the nature and moral laws of the universe as designed by God.
So in your worldview it's arbitrary that slavery is wrong, as God could have designed things differently.

What you're saying is that there's nothing wrong with slavery in itself. In world without God, would you be ok with slavery?
 
I've read Kershaw's biography of Hitler, and I don't remember anything in it about how belief in Darwinian evolution was a motive for the Holocaust. Of course I might just have forgotten it, in which case can you say where this discussion appears?
On page 208 "After lunch Hitler spoke again for over an hour....the sentiments were brutally Social-Darwinist. It was a life and death struggle". Referring to the coming war against Poland. And I could provide quotes from Mein Kampf as well plainly implying that evolution was inevitable.
 
On page 208 "After lunch Hitler spoke again for over an hour....the sentiments were brutally Social-Darwinist. It was a life and death struggle". Referring to the coming war against Poland. And I could provide quotes from Mein Kampf as well plainly implying that evolution was inevitable.
This is Social Darwinism. This isn't at ALL the same thing as Darwinian evolution. Holy cow.
 
On page 208 "After lunch Hitler spoke again for over an hour....the sentiments were brutally Social-Darwinist. It was a life and death struggle". Referring to the coming war against Poland. And I could provide quotes from Mein Kampf as well plainly implying that evolution was inevitable.

I have a Kindle edition, so pagination apparently doesn't match. There are a couple of hits for "Social Darwinism," in one of which we're told that Hitler's "crude Social Darwinism" prevented him from considering what economics said because, to Hitler, the "struggle" was the only thing that mattered.

This is not remotely what Darwin says about evolution. As @Algor said, "Social Darwinism" is not something contained or implied in Origin of Species or Descent of Man. Social Darwinism basically claims that since "the weak" are an impediment to "progress," they need to be abandoned (or "encouraged" to disappear). Darwin explicitly renounced that reasoning. Even if that weren't the case, Hitler didn't say European Jews needed to be destroyed because they were weak or inferior, he said they had to be destroyed because they were conspiring against Germany and "Aryans" generally.

And the basic concept that might makes right is of course much, much older than Darwin.
 
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On page 208 "After lunch Hitler spoke again for over an hour....the sentiments were brutally Social-Darwinist. It was a life and death struggle". Referring to the coming war against Poland. And I could provide quotes from Mein Kampf as well plainly implying that evolution was inevitable.

If you want to say that Darwin was a significant influence on Nazism and Nazi crimes against humanity, it might help if you could:

1) Identify some claim which was distinctly "Darwinian": i.e., not only did Darwin state it or strongly imply it, it was not just some commonplace like "life is full of struggle," it was either first proposed by Darwin or it became well-known because of Darwin;

2) Show where Hitler adopted that claim, and;

3) Make the case that if one believes that claim to be true, it makes sense to seek the elimination of Jews.
 
On page 208 "After lunch Hitler spoke again for over an hour....the sentiments were brutally Social-Darwinist. It was a life and death struggle". Referring to the coming war against Poland. And I could provide quotes from Mein Kampf as well plainly implying that evolution was inevitable.

By the way, are you quoting from the one-volume Kershaw biography of Hitler, or the two-volume version?
 
On page 208 "After lunch Hitler spoke again for over an hour....the sentiments were brutally Social-Darwinist. It was a life and death struggle".
Who are you quoting, the author of the book, or is the author quoting someone else? If someone else, who.
And I could provide quotes from Mein Kampf as well plainly implying that evolution was inevitable.
I don't know what you mean by this.
 
I have already admitted that I was wrong about him being a polygenist but some of the leading early Darwinists were. Haeckel and Wallace to name two. And Darwin was definitely a racist.
OK. So were many Christians racist. This has no bearing on evolution. I mean, if you really want to go there South African Apartheid was basically justified by the racist doctrines of the Dutch reform church. What this says about the historicity of Christian doctrine in my opinion is very little, but if you want to go well-poisoning, let's have at it.
I am not saying that the fact that Darwinism justified racism for many nations especially Nazi Germany, means evolution is not true. But there is nothing in Darwinism or evolution that would mitigate racism. But Christians can demonstrate using correct Christian doctrine from the Bible that the Dutch Reformed Church was wrong justifying racism.
Fraid not. Read Weikert's "From Darwin to Hitler", "Darwin and the Vampire: Evolution's Contribution to the Holocaust" by E. Michael Jones, and the award winning biography Hitler by Ian Kershaw. Among many others.

'Fraid so. By the middle of the 19th century, the Biblical literalist doctrines of the worldwide flood, and the Biblically justified biological theory of the fixity of the species had already been discarded, PRIOR to Darwin. It had become clear that there were ages before man, inhabited by animals and plants different than those extant. EVERY biologist was an evolutionist of one sort or another, and the major question was how the changes in flora and fauna came about, not whether they came about. Darwinian evolution supplied a powerful explanation, but even in the early 20th century, not all biologists, even on scientific grounds, embraced Darwinian natural selection. Various forms of Lamarckism and vitalism were still major viable theories, and the debates in the literature were fierce. German scientists in particular were 'antidarwinian": the rise of modern evolutionary biology was largely (though hardly completely) an American and British affair. As I have noted before: Hitlerism condemned Darwinian biology as too reductionistic and mechanical, and Darwin's books were burned.
I am primarily referring to macroevolution advocated by Darwin by natural selection and applying to both animals and humans. Most of the predarwinian evolutionists did not believe that humans evolved. Weikert's book gives a pretty large list of German Darwinian evolutionists so your claim otherwise is questionable. And I have already provided evidence that HItler believed in social Darwinism, the application of Darwinian and evolutionary principles on to human behavior and control thereof.
 
I am primarily referring to macroevolution advocated by Darwin by natural selection and applying to both animals and humans. Most of the predarwinian evolutionists did not believe that humans evolved. Weikert's book gives a pretty large list of German Darwinian evolutionists so your claim otherwise is questionable. And I have already provided evidence that HItler believed in social Darwinism, the application of Darwinian and evolutionary principles on to human behavior and control thereof.

"The academic community has been widely critical of the book. Regarding the thesis of Weikart's book, University of Chicago historian and Darwin scholar Robert Richards wrote that Hitler was not a Darwinian and criticized Weikart for trying to undermine evolution."

Found here.
 
I am not saying that the fact that Darwinism justified racism for many nations especially Nazi Germany, means evolution is not true. But there is nothing in Darwinism or evolution that would mitigate racism.
There is nothing in fisheries biology, immunology or forestry or bricklaying or even bee keeping to mitigate Hitlerian racism either, so saying there is nothing in Darwinian evolution to mitigate Hitlerian racism might be true, but is also irrelevant: Darwinian biology is not a social or political ethos. Are you going to jump around saying there is nothing in high pressure physics to mitigate racism too? No. That would be a clear category error. That said, Darwin himself is plain in The Descent:

As man advances in civilisation, and small tribes are united into larger communities, the simplest reason would tell each individual that he ought to extend his social instincts and sympathies to all the members of the same nation, though personally unknown to him. This point being once reached, there is only an artificial barrier to prevent his sympathies extending to the men of all nations and races. If, indeed, such men are separated from him by great differences in appearance or habits, experience unfortunately shews us how long it is, before we look at them as our fellow-creatures. Sympathy beyond the confines of man, that is, humanity to the lower animals, seems to be one of the latest moral acquisitions. It is apparently unfelt by savages, except towards their pets. How little the old Romans knew of it is shewn by their abhorrent gladiatorial exhibitions. The very idea of humanity, as far as I could observe, was new to most of the Gauchos of the Pampas. This virtue, one of the noblest with which man is endowed, seems to arise incidentally from our sympathies becoming more tender and more widely diffused, until they are extended to all sentient beings. As soon as this virtue is honoured and practised by some few men, it spreads through instruction and example to the young, and eventually becomes incorporated in public opinion.

How much further from social doctrines advocating racial purity and conflict do you want?

But Christians can demonstrate using correct Christian doctrine from the Bible that the Dutch Reformed Church was wrong justifying racism.
Oddly, the Dutch Reformed Church argued that correct Christian doctrine from the bible justifies racism, and argued it successfully enough to run a country. So it appears to be a matter of opinion, from my POV, and which opinion you or I personally favor is irrelevant to the endeavor of poisoning the well. If one is going to argue that all applications of an idea point to a corrupt or invidious aspect of the idea, then in for a penny in for a pound, and you realise that anyone can go on and on and on about the various things justified by Christianity, right? So let's not go down that road: people will use any idea to justify just about anything.
The point here is that Darwinian biology was a successful scientific theory, and successful scientific theories are cultural artefacts, aspects of which can be found in many other contemporary cultural artefacts. It is reductive to say that therefore the other cultural artefacts required this or that theory to arise, or that this or that cultural artefact (e.g. apartheid, Hitlerism) is somehow ineluctably linked to another cultural artefact (e.g.Christianity, Darwinian biology) simply because they are contemporaneous in the same person or school of thought. One must do more than that: one be able to show that one idea is somehow historically at the heart of another, that they are linked together at the foundations by the creators or proponents of the later idea. You cannot do that with Hitler and Darwin. Moreover,"scientific" racism long antedated Darwin, and one of the most distinctly racist eminent scientists (Cuvier) in Europe explicitly repudiated ideas of common descent.
I am primarily referring to macroevolution advocated by Darwin by natural selection and applying to both animals and humans.Most of the predarwinian evolutionists did not believe that humans evolved.
That's nice. But by the 20th century, most non-creationists thought they did, by virtue of the weight of comparative biology, which emphasised the structural unity of the natural world, especially in embryology and anatomy, and by virtue of geology, which noted the ages before man, and the changes in the fossil fauna. Darwinian evolution was only one kind of evolution, and the other kinds kept rolling along. When I was a child there were still some Bergsonian vitalists wandering around in academia, and in undergraduate I encountered a bona fide Romantic Idealist in systematics.

Weikert's book gives a pretty large list of German Darwinian evolutionists so your claim otherwise is questionable.
Which claim exactly is refuted by there being a large number of German Darwinian evolutionists? Germany was the most advanced scientific nation in the world, but Darwinian biology was nowhere near as dominant there as it was in England. von Baer, for instance, was a genuine giant of continental biology. Like I say,there were various kinds of evolution: see the case of Kammerer, who was essentially a Lamarckist, although he called himself a Darwinian, and Eimer (who championed orthogenesis).
And I have already provided evidence that HItler believed in social Darwinism, the application of Darwinian and evolutionary principles on to human behavior and control thereof.
Social Darwinism was a selective appropriation of scientific ideas for political ends: you are essentially arguing that physics is somehow suspect because "Social Newtonism" is used to kill people with artillery, or "Social Pasteurism" in weaponizing anthrax.
 
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(Cont'd ): If you doubt my above I suggest you read something like Nordenskiold's History of Biology from the 40's: prior to the discovery of DNA and the molecular basis of evolution, these debates were quite fierce. It is basically a bait and switch: to say that because Hitler was influenced by Goethe's ideas of evolution (which were promoted by anti-Darwinians) , Darwinian biology bears at it's heart a moral corruption is just weird, and has nothing to do with how contemporary Germans viewed the issue.

If you want a better insight into the minds of 19th century scientists, try Martin Rudwicks pair of books: Bursting the Limits of Time and Worlds Before Adam. You might also explore some of the pre-Darwinian Christian polygenists. Here's one look:




Blaming racism and atrocity on science or religion is reductive, and if you are looking for historical truth you will find that it generally doesn't fit a neat narrative.
I am not saying that evolution was the only cause of Nazi racism but it was a significant contributing factor especially with the more educated Nazis including doctors and scientists like Joseph Mengele and Konrad Lorenz. Orthodox Christianity plainly teaches monogenism. Very few well respected Christian theologians and scientists accepted polygenists. The few mentioned in your article are outliers.
 
You do know that all those things are made of chemicals right? Try again.
No. Spatial architecture is not reducible to the chemicals themselves: I pointed this out above, as did Nouveau. Please. Time to give up on this one: there is no physical law that the mind violates. Indeed, deprive the brain of the appropriate chemical materials and a mind will vanish, never to be seen again.
Even the cellular architecture is made up of chemicals. But you have not provided any evidence that the brain architecture is what produces the mind. There are NDEs that have never been explained that plainly point to a mind operating outside the brain.
Many scientists like Noam Chomsky believe that the basic framework of logic and language IS built in. Of course, it helps to learn how to use it and you can be taught to be better at it than others that have not been.
Developmental scientists all agree that if language is not taught, children do not achieve it. Similarly with logic: rudiments and learning rules seem to be innate, but without experience and teaching children do not develop the abstract capacity.
I am not saying that they dont need to be taught but the entire framework for language is already built in. Such as syntax and rules of grammar. This points to a single ancestral language confirming Biblical teaching.
 
Even the cellular architecture is made up of chemicals.
That does not mean it is just chemicals, any more than the circulation of blood is just chemicals.
But you have not provided any evidence that the brain architecture is what produces the mind.
If you alter the structure or function of the brain, you alter the capacities of the mind, in an anatomically soecific way.
There are NDEs that have never been explained that plainly point to a mind operating outside the brain.
It isn't clear to me how hallucinations which can be produced by stimulation of vestibular cortex plainly point to anything.
I am not saying that they dont need to be taught but the entire framework for language is already built in. Such as syntax and rules of grammar.
No, the capacity to learn syntax and grammatical rules is built in., No Ur-grammar has been detected.
 
How exactly are computers 'overcoming' the laws of physics? My point is that they are not. Regardless of how they came to be made or programmed, it is possible for mere matter operating purely in accordance with the laws of physics to perform calculations which also reliably follow the laws of mathematics and logic. Do you accept this much?
Only by following a programmed flow chart and unlike a human brain a computer could not go outside the flow chart. So it is actually just appears to freely perform math and logic and can do so faster than humans and can incorporate more information but they never actually go outside the flow chart even if the laws of logic demand a different path.
Your claim that computers can only do this because they are created by other minds would at best show that purely physical human minds could only reason reliably without violating physics if they were in turn designed by another intelligent being. I would dispute this point too, but please note that this is a very different claim from the one I was addressing, which was that purely physical human minds could not reason at all without violating the laws of physics. (IOW, could we please return the goalposts to where they started?)
Theoretically we could reason that way but our reasoning would be limited to predetermined pathways like a computer as I demonstrated above. Only humans have a true free will that follow reasoning to endless conclusions because our minds are not limited by the laws of physics but rather reason according to the laws of logic.
 
Only by following a programmed flow chart and unlike a human brain a computer could not go outside the flow chart. So it is actually just appears to freely perform math and logic and can do so faster than humans and can incorporate more information but they never actually go outside the flow chart even if the laws of logic demand a different path.

Theoretically we could reason that way but our reasoning would be limited to predetermined pathways like a computer as I demonstrated above. Only humans have a true free will that follow reasoning to endless conclusions because our minds are not limited by the laws of physics but rather reason according to the laws of logic.
You're moving the goalposts again. Logical reasoning does not require contra-causal free will or the ability to go beyond whatever flowcharts define logically sound reasoning. If a computer can be wired-up to calculate correctly or to make logically valid inferences without violating physics or chemistry, then clearly so can the human brain. But it seems your real objection here was not that we can't reason without breaking the laws of physics, but that free will requires us to violate physics (perhaps you think that reasoning requires free will, but that would be a further confusion). In that case I would recommend reading up on compatibilist theories of free will. Materialism clearly does not entail that human brains couldn't reason logically, and under compatibilism the human brain has no problem freely deliberating either.
 
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