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GOD: new evidence

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Can evolution account for right and wrong?

(Beyond Ourselves #25)

Previous: Could our sense of right and wrong have evolved?       Next: Is Evil Real?

'Morality is a collective illusion foisted upon us by our genes.'  - Michael Ruse.

'How can you derive meaning, purpose, or ethics from evolution? You can’t. Evolution is simply a theory about the process and patterns of life’s diversification, not a grand philosophical scheme about the meaning of life. It can’t tell us what to do, or how we should behave.' - Jerry Coyne

Can evolution account for our sense of right and wrong?

Atheists like Michael Ruse say that we have evolved to believe in right and wrong, but they are not real – they are just an illusion.

So evolution might be able to explain why we think there is such a thing as right and wrong, but it cannot explain why there really is such a thing. It cannot show us how there can be facts about right and wrong. It can only show us how we come to believe that there are such facts.

So it cannot explain right and wrong. It can only explain them away. But as we have seen earlier, almost everyone believes that right and wrong are real. If we cannot explain them in terms of atoms and molecules, do they point to a deeper story beyond ourselves?

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