Thought Experiment

What we see in nature is a struggle for survival, nature red in tooth and claw. From your point of view that is how God has set things up. It's just as easy to say Hitler looked at nature and decided God was telling him that might makes right, because that was what he saw in God's creation.
It may be worth noting that the phrase, "nature, red in tooth and claw" comes from Tennyson's poem In Memoriam, which was published in 1850, and probably written a couple of decades earlier; that is, well before Origin of Species saw print (1859).
 
Fraid so. I can quote a speech he made in 1923 if you want me to.
Sure; or give us a reference or keyword so we can find it.

He basically believed might makes right. Which is a possible conclusion if evolution is true.
I already noted a clearly invalid way of deriving "Hitler was influenced by evolution to believe that might makes right" from "If evolution is true, it may be that might makes right." Another argument along those lines, which might seem more promising, would be:

P1 If, and only if evolution is true, does might make right.
P2 Hitler believed that might makes right
C. Therefore Hitler was influenced by his belief in evolution to conclude that might makes right.

But this too is invalid. Even if we grant P1 (and it is a highly dubious premise), it's possible that Hitler believed might made right without understanding that "might makes right" could only be true if evolution were true. He might have believed that it was just a truth of history; he might have just believed it to be a self-evident truth which didn't require any further basis in fact or reasoning; etc.
 
Yes, evolution claims to explain our moral feelings, but if Darwinian evolution is true, then in actuality there is no such thing as morality. There is no set of moral do's and don'ts. That is my point and that is what Hitler believed.

That is not the right syllogism.
P1 Human beings have feelings about morality that evolution claims have an adaptive advantage for us
P2 But no one really knows what adaptive advantage means.
If you mean, "nobody can define 'adaptive advantage'," then the premise is false. We can easily define adaptive advantage as "something which makes it likelier that its possessor survives and has offspring." If you mean "nobody can determine in advance, with certainty, whether or not a particular action will help them survive and have offspring," that's generally true but it's irrelevant to your conclusion.
But who says it is an advantage for humans to survive and have offspring? Some people think that humans are destroying the planet and thereby not allowing other species to survive and therefore humans should not be allowed to reproduce and survive. Can you prove their definition of adaptive advantage wrong?
C Therefore, if Darwinian evolution is true, there is no such thing as morality, therefore you can do whatever you want if you think it is an adaptive advantage for you.
There is no "therefore" here at all. This is not in any way a valid proof, because the conclusion is a complete non sequitur. Your two premises don't add up to any conclusion at all, so far as I can tell.
According to evolution, humans are no more special or valuable than any other species, so where is the adaptive advantage and whose advantage is it?
"If Darwin was right about humans having moral feelings because such feelings are an adaptive advantage, there is no such thing as morality" makes no more sense than "If Darwin was right about humans having depth perception because such perception is an adaptive advantage, there is no such thing as distance." In both cases it is entirely possible that evolution provides us with the mental or visual tools to perceive something that really exists. (In the latter case, obviously, it's certain that this is what has happened.)
Yes, but that only applies to humans and feelings are subjective. What about the feelings of the humans that think that humans should no longer exist on the earth because we are destroying it? Your feelings for humans is just an irrational sentimentality for your own species.
Not believing in an objectively real morality WAS relevant in the development of Hitler and the Nazis.

In Mein Kampf Hitler argues that all ethical and aesthetic ideas - indeed all ideas except those that are purely logical deductions - are dependent on the human mind and have no existence apart from humans, who have not always existed.
If you're talking about the passage beginning "Certain ideas are even confined to certain people," this is not an argument that morality has no real existence, it's an argument that certain political ideals -- the example he gives is pacifism -- are only "carried" by certain races, presumably because they are the only ones with the mental or spiritual capacity to conceive them. And of course at no point does he say or imply anything like "As Darwin proved..."
That doesnt sound like the passage referenced.

kom: So, you still have not offered any reason to believe that anything Darwin said about evolution and natural selection could in any halfway rational way be "translated" into Nazism. If they could be so translated, but only in an entirely perverse way which employed wild leaps of illogic ("Darwin said that all animals compete, so it is right for me to kill my enemies"), that is not the fault of Darwin or Darwin's writing.

El Cid: When animals compete the losers eventually go extinct. HItler just wanted to speed up the process in the Aryan competition with the Jews. What about that is a wild leap of illogic?
 
But who says it is an advantage for humans to survive and have offspring?
This sub-exchange began when you claimed "if Darwinian evolution is true, then in actuality there is no such thing as morality. There is no set of moral do's and don'ts. That is my point and that is what Hitler believed."

I said that you had no valid argument for this conclusion, and you offered the following:

P1 Human beings have feelings about morality that evolution claims have an adaptive advantage for us
P2 But no one really knows what adaptive advantage means.
C Therefore, if Darwinian evolution is true, there is no such thing as morality, therefore you can do whatever you want if you think it is an adaptive advantage for you.


...and I said that was not a valid argument; that in fact, the two premises did not lead to any conclusion at all, let alone the conclusion you assign. You say nothing here which would imply I was wrong to say that; your question "who says it is an advantage for humans to survive and have offspring" certainly does not form part of any argument I can see for concluding "if Darwinian evolution is true, then there is no such thing as morality."

So I think I can say, pretty confidently, that you do not, in fact, have a valid argument for your conclusion that if Darwinian evolution is true, there is no such thing as morality. In fact I think I can say pretty confidently that no such argument exists.

[Continued, if this actually gets posted.]
 
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But who says it is an advantage for humans to survive and have offspring? Some people think that humans are destroying the planet and thereby not allowing other species to survive and therefore humans should not be allowed to reproduce and survive. Can you prove their definition of adaptive advantage wrong?

As I just noted, this doesn't seem to have any relevance to your claim that if Darwinian evolution is true, there is no such thing as morality. In fact I have a hard time guessing what possible claim of yours (about Darwin, or Hitler) it is relevant to. You had been arguing, until now, that Hitler seized on the concept of "survival of the fittest" in Darwin. because Hitler was utterly devoted to the survival of the "Aryan race," and thought nothing else could matter more than that. Now you seem to completely reverse yourself, claiming that if Darwin was right, this whole "survival" business is NBD; some people think it's good to survive, others don't, who can possibly say? How can you possibly argue that Hitler was picking up on this "implication" of Darwin? (And how do you conclude that is the implication of Origin of Species? What's the logic?) Are you saying that the Jews were only the first stop on Hitler's program, that if he had won the war he would have sought the annihilation of the human race in order to preserve other species?

[Continued]
 
According to evolution, humans are no more special or valuable than any other species...
Right.

...so where is the adaptive advantage and whose advantage is it?
Either I don't understand what you're saying, or you don't understand what evolutionary biology is saying, or some combination of the two. An adaptive advantage to a population of humans (more efficient metabolism, resistance to a disease which is fatal to others, etc.) is an adaptive advantage to that population of humans; not to other humans who don't possess that advantage, let alone to other species. Darwin didn't claim that natural selection was advantageous to "Life" as a whole, if that's what you're implying. An advantage to predators is a disadvantage to their prey, and vice versa.

[Continued; I seem to be on a roll of avoiding OOPS!, but I don't want to press my luck, which is why I'm breaking this up.]
 
I made the following claim:

"If Darwin was right about humans having moral feelings because such feelings are an adaptive advantage, there is no such thing as morality" makes no more sense than "If Darwin was right about humans having depth perception because such perception is an adaptive advantage, there is no such thing as distance." In both cases it is entirely possible that evolution provides us with the mental or visual tools to perceive something that really exists. (In the latter case, obviously, it's certain that this is what has happened.)

And this was your answer:

Yes, but that only applies to humans and feelings are subjective. What about the feelings of the humans that think that humans should no longer exist on the earth because we are destroying it? Your feelings for humans is just an irrational sentimentality for your own species.

How does this address my point? I'm not saying that morality is nothing but feelings, and in fact I don't believe that morality is nothing but feelings. Even if I did believe that morality was nothing but feelings, I would not claim that Darwin had proved me right, because he didn't.

Let's try it this way; tell me if you dispute either the validity of this argument, or either of its premises:

P1: it is possible for evolution to cause us to perceive something as true, which is actually, objectively true. (For example, our perception of the three-dimensional arrangement of objects in space)
P2: If it is possible that evolution causes us to perceive something as true, which is actually, objectively true, then it is fallacious to say "if evolution causes us to perceive X to be true, it can't be actually, objectively true."
C: Therefore, it is fallacious to say "if evolution causes us perceive morality to be true, it can't be actually, objectively true."

[Continued]
 
The exchange:

Not believing in an objectively real morality WAS relevant in the development of Hitler and the Nazis.

In Mein Kampf Hitler argues that all ethical and aesthetic ideas - indeed all ideas except those that are purely logical deductions - are dependent on the human mind and have no existence apart from humans, who have not always existed.

ME: If you're talking about the passage beginning "Certain ideas are even confined to certain people," this is not an argument that morality has no real existence, it's an argument that certain political ideals -- the example he gives is pacifism -- are only "carried" by certain races, presumably because they are the only ones with the mental or spiritual capacity to conceive them. And of course at no point does he say or imply anything like "As Darwin proved..."

YOU: That doesn't sound like the passage referenced.

You didn't "reference" any passage, you just said "in Mein Kampf"! So I gave my best guess about which particular passage you had in mind. If that wasn't it, then... how about you tell me which one you had in mind?
 
kom: So, you still have not offered any reason to believe that anything Darwin said about evolution and natural selection could in any halfway rational way be "translated" into Nazism. If they could be so translated, but only in an entirely perverse way which employed wild leaps of illogic ("Darwin said that all animals compete, so it is right for me to kill my enemies"), that is not the fault of Darwin or Darwin's writing.

El Cid: When animals compete the losers eventually go extinct. HItler just wanted to speed up the process in the Aryan competition with the Jews. What about that is a wild leap of illogic?

The fact that you cannot provide anything resembling a logical argument which begins with a distinctive claim of Darwin's and ends in "the Jews must be annihilated" is itself telling. And you aren't providing a logical argument here. There is no logic at all in "Competition sometimes results in extinction, therefore I should drive these particular foes of mine to extinction." It makes not the slightest bit of sense, and to say "I'm speeding up the process" does not endow it with a smidgen of sense. Again, it's comparable to "objects at great heights sometimes fall and are destroyed, therefore I should throw these objects down to their destruction."
 
But who says it is an advantage for humans to survive and have offspring? Some people think that humans are destroying the planet and thereby not allowing other species to survive and therefore humans should not be allowed to reproduce and survive. Can you prove their definition of adaptive advantage wrong?
You are using the word advantage in a different context to the survival advantage meaning. The advantage in evolutionary terms refers to an advantage for the survival of humans, not, it's an advantage to the world in general for humans to survive
 
When animals compete the losers eventually go extinct. HItler just wanted to speed up the process in the Aryan competition with the Jews. What about that is a wild leap of illogic?
This "logic" implicitly assumes that "whatever happens through natural processes would be improved by making it happen faster." But that's crazy. "When animals are born, they eventually succumb to entropy, die and turn to dust; Thanos just wants to speed up the process and make them all turn to dust immediately."
 
You do know that you are responding to my post to Algor right? My point was responding to Algor who was trying to claim that evolution is like all these other scientific fields which have nothing to do with morality, but plainly he was wrong because any theory that claims to explain where humans come from would also be intimately involved with one of our main beliefs, the belief that there are morals that affect our behavior.
I'm not going to comment as I don't know the context.
Well why did you respond to a post not directed to you then?
How do you know that evolution has given us empathy? Empathy is an emotion which could actually hurt our genetic fitness. It causes us to keep alive people who have genetic defects and allow them to reproduce, thereby hurting human survival in the long run.
Because I think empathy is connected to survival. We evolved as a tribal species where our individual survival depended on the strength of the tribe. Empathy helped the tribe members care for each other, increasing their survival chances.
Why is our survival important?
So now you are contradicting yourself, above you said empathy was given to us by evolution but now you are saying that we have risen above the instincts and emotions that evolution has given us.
I was talking generally, there is no contradiction with empathy and what we think about right and wrong working in harmony if we choose to do so.
Why do half the people in America have no empathy for unborn children?
But again, if Darwinian evolution is true, then there is no such thing as morality, fairness, right or wrong. Those are just subjective preferences like your favorite ice cream. Jeffrey Dahmer did nothing objectively wrong.
I disagree and it's as if you haven't understood my main point. Fairness, right and wrong and what constitutes fairness, right and wrong are abstract concepts that will be realised by creatures capable of abstract thought, no matter their origins. The foundations of morality are there whether we evolved or not.
What is the objective foundation of your morality?
Whether what Jeffrey Dahmer did was objectively or subjectively wrong is a moot point. But most of us know he did wrong, including himself. The way you are putting it describes arbitrary morality, not subjective morality.
No, it is a very important point. Most people want to live according to what is real objectively. If morality is subjective then it does not actually exist. So if people believe that, then morality is relative and it begins the slippery slope to moral anarchy which then results in government imposed restrictions on people's behavior thereby resulting in tyranny.
 
Let's say three men approach, each holding an ancient tome. The first says, "God is real! The truth is in The Bible. And I have personally experienced God"

Edit per mod.
I'd believe (and have FAITH in) the one in which the Holy Spirit Convicted me of my SIN.

Simple as that. CONVINCING of the TRUTH is the Holy Spirit's responsibility, not mine.
 
Why is our survival important?
It isn't, but it's what drives evolution and empathy.
Why do half the people in America have no empathy for unborn children?
I'm not getting into the weeds about abortion. Sorry.
What is the objective foundation of your morality?
It's hard to know what you mean by objective morality. I've already given where I think morality, be it objective or subjective, comes from.
No, it is a very important point.
Most people want to live according to what is real objectively. If morality is subjective then it does not actually exist.
Of course it does. If someone subjectively thinks murder is wrong, that's a moral thought.
So if people believe that, then morality is relative and it begins the slippery slope to moral anarchy which then results in government imposed restrictions on people's behavior thereby resulting in tyranny.
People who think morality objective still behave badly.
 
No, that does not follow. See if you can provide a valid argument, with sound premises, beginning "Darwinian evolution is true" and concluding "there is no such thing as morality, etc." I don't think you can.
If Darwinian evolution is true, then we are just animals acting on certain subjective feelings and instincts which of course only exist in our heads. We are not acting according to an existing objective moral standard that exists outside our heads.
 
If Darwinian evolution is true, then we are just animals acting on certain subjective feelings and instincts which of course only exist in our heads.
If Darwinian evolution is true, it is likely that the universality of moral codes among humans is a result of such codes being selected for; but it does not follow that no such code could reflect objective truth about right and wrong. Again, it is similarly likely that the universality of depth perception among humans is a result of such perception being selected for, but it does not follow that no such perception could reflect objective truth about near and far.

We are not acting according to an existing objective moral standard that exists outside our heads.
We would be, if we correctly deduced the truth of such a standard that existed outside our heads; that would be true whether we evolved or were created.
 
According to evolution, humans are no more special or valuable than any other species.
I agreed with that in my initial response, but I think it would be more precise to say, "Evolution does not in itself offer any conclusion about one species being more special or valuable than any other species; it leaves the question of 'value' alone." But that does not mean we could not, on other grounds, regard humans as more special or valuable than other species. Similarly, astronomy does not in itself offer any conclusion about one star or planet being more special or valuable than any other star or planet, but that does not mean we could not reasonably regard the earth as more special and valuable than Pluto.
 
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