Monday, September 10, 2007

Absolute Proof God Exists -- Part Two

Second Non-Biblical Proof of God -- "Conscience"

Before we begin, let's define the word "conscience" and take a brief look at its root words:

Conscience: The inner sense of what is right or wrong in one's conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action (from the roots con meaning "together" or "with" and scientia meaning "knowledge").

Supposing that humans are born with an innate sense of right and wrong, we must further assume that , at birth, we have enough information from which to come to "knowledgeable" conclusions. When my daughter was an infant, it became abundantly clear that she was a blank slate and was only ingrained with the most primitive of functions: the ability to drink, breathe, expel waste, sleep and explore her newly-formed vocal chords when she perceived duress or desire. Those are the basics that all human infants are born with; the basic will to survive.
All of my daughter's "knowledge" since her birth has come from her surroundings: interaction with her parents, brother, grandparents, sight, taste, sound, touch, etc. How, then, can fundamentalist evangelicals like Todd Friel claim the knowledge from which you make moral or ethical assessments to be an inborn trait? Nothing happens in a vacuum... certainly not the psychological growth and development of a child! Every factor imposed on a human (man, woman or child) will have some sort of affect on their perceptions and interaction with the world around them.

The human ability to discern between perceived "good" and "bad" decisions start at childbirth and grow through adolescence and into adulthood. When parents raise their children, the majority feel it their obligation to instruct them in a way in which they will grow to be productive, with the ability to make social contributions. It eludes me how theists can extrapolate divine providence from something that is so clearly socially driven.

More than half a century before the gospels of Christ were written, the ethic of reciprocity was first being alliterated. Today, we know this code of ethical conduct as "The Golden Rule", the foundation of humanistic (the only viable) ethical principles.


boxershorts said...

Todd is also fond of saying the concept of morality is counter-evolutionary, which is demonstrably absurd. Morality can be understood in terms of evolutionary principles. We are social creatures, after all; we all do better when we cooperate. In fact, our very survival is dependent on our cooperation within our communities -- Truly self-sufficient human beings are negligibly rare. Thus, our ancestors who were genetically predisposed to help and work with their neighbors were more likely to survive and successfully reproduce than those that weren't. It really comes as no surprise that we evolved a conscience. Unfortunately, we're also genetically hardwired to be aggressive and hostile towards outsider communities -- That was a survival benefit as well for our early ancestors.

Henwli said...

When the bridge went down near their studios, I remember them hammering into people that if you believe in evolution, you should revel in the fact that you've got less competition now.

Evolution does not care about the individual. For all we know, one of the people who died might have carried a mutation that would have later saved him from a pandemic, thus boosting the survival chances of our race.

About Boxershort's comment; I actually disagree on the point that we're genetically hardwired to be aggressive towards outsider communities. How would this make sense? Genetic diversity is what got us here. I can see the early ancestors benefitting from this behaviour though... I've never delved into this subject and will have to do some reading, this was but a gut reaction.

As a survival method for a meme (such as a religion or belief system), though, outward hostility is an excellent vessel and container.