Apparently Anthony Horvath is having fun with our little discussion, even if there’s a certain element of fantasy involved.
Judging from his last entry, it looks like I’ve stumped him. Always fun to stump an evolutionist and skeptic when you get a chance. :) I almost don’t want to clear things up because I like the idea that he’s been stewing in my arguments. :)
I guess if you’re a Christian apologist, it’s quite a kick to give an unclear presentation of your views and then have a skeptic reserve judgment and ask for a clarification so as not to draw unfair conclusions. That doesn’t really sound like “stumping the skeptic” to me, but I guess when Christianity is all you have to work with you have to settle for what you can get. Even if you have to fantasize about the other guy “stewing.” ;)
He does, at least, kinda sorta deny the idea that racism is justified by evolution.
First, I’ve got to get something out of the way. He says:
Hopefully, Horvath has just argued himself into a corner, and does not really believe the ridiculous notion that intelligence is somehow dependent on skin color.
Now, why would he want me to argue myself into a corner? That doesn’t seem very nice.
Stumped him, eh? :) The reason why it’s nicer to have inadvertently argued yourself into a corner than it is to actually believe that skin color determines your intelligence is because in the former case you’ve merely failed to consider the full implications of your argument, whereas in the latter case you are not thinking at all and are merely being racist.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s move on to the part where he concedes that racism cannot be justified merely by making the observation that the distribution of alleles varies across generations due to environmental influences (i.e. evolution)
Merely making the observation isn’t racist, just like observing that person x has blue eyes and person y has brown eyes isn’t being racist. To get to that point, you actually have to start down the road of assuming the superiority and/or inferiority of one or the other.
Exactly. Thank you Mr. Horvath. An observation is neither an ethical system nor a source of ethical values. The prejudiced assumptions come from outside the observation. The racist assumptions come from outside of the study of evolution.
Sadly, Mr. Horvath’s views on this topic are not self-consistent, as he goes on to point out.
But Darwinism is all about explaining things in terms of reproduction and survival of the fittest. Either we have evolved as Darwinism says or we have not. If we have, than we are perfectly in our rights to discriminate however we please to try to further our own genes.
As I mentioned before, the evidence is so incontrovertible that even die-hard creationists have had to turn to cooked-up versions of “micro-” versus “macro-” evolution, and have switched from species to “kinds” (meaning something that has no definable characteristics except that it allows individual species to evolve while still giving creationists some kind of undocumentable, magical barrier across which no evolution can occur). So it’s not really a question of if evolution happens. New species do arise by descent with modifications from common ancestors, just as Darwin said.
But look at the colossal non sequitur that Horvath derives from this observation. If new species evolve from common ancestors, that means we are perfectly in our rights to discriminate?? What the heck does Christianity do to people’s intellects anyway? Just because the environment has an influence on the distribution of alleles in a population across multiple generations, that means our actions no longer have any desirable or undesirable consequences to provide us with a real-world basis for our moral standards of right and wrong? How exactly does that work? Do the consequences stop happening? Does murder stop killing people? Does rape no longer cause any pain, humiliation, suffering, and possibly pregnancy?
It’s really sad that Christians have worked so hard on creating a dependency on God that they can no longer engage intelligently in even the most trivial exercises in ethical thinking. It’s really not that hard to see the connection between how we perceive the consequences of an action, and whether we see that action as “good” or “bad.” It don’t take no gol-durn pee-aitch-dee. To disagree with a secular basis for morality is one thing. To say you prefer a different system is one thing. But to be completely unable to even perceive the existence of alternatives to one’s ethical system–that’s nasty.
I know, I was a Christian once, and was subject to the same group-think. It’s not really Horvath’s fault, and I’m sure he’d have no problem speaking to this issue honestly and intelligently if he weren’t so motivated to spread the slanderous insinuation that non-Christians have no ethics.