This is a blog to discuss philosophy, chess, politics,
C. S. Lewis, or whatever it is that I'm in the mood to discuss.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Naturalistic Evolution and Human Rights
Let's take the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Now, if you're an atheist, we weren't created at all, we were the products of evolution. So, we would have to rewrite this statement as follows:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are evolved equal, that they are endowed by evolution with certain unalienable Rights, that among these rights are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
But this, of course,makes no sense. In evolution, our goal is to survive and pass on our genes, and whatever advantage can help us do that can and should be used. That being the case, all the arguments against slavery and exploitation go down the drain.
The idea that we have rights that exist even when governments eliminate them go by the boards. It's a dog eat dog world, survival of the fittest, so why shouldn't I use whatever advantages I have? You may not want to go there, but how would you answer someone who does?
It's not a coincidence that the idea of human rights arose in a Christian culture. When people have power advantages, what reason can be given to stop them from taking advantage of it.
If we were all decide that are simply and merely products of evolution, and were not created by a God who shows no favoritism, what reason do we have for not taking advantage of a favorable power balance?