Monday, July 28, 2003

More on Dawkin's Naturalism

Several people have emailed defenses of Dawkins.

Some have claimed that Dawkins is arguing for personal, not universal, ethical systems. Though I doubt Dawkins accepts this (his column on brights attempts to persuade others by general appeals) it's immaterial to my initial criticism. No ethic of any stripe can be derived from the naturalistic world view. Whatever his personal ethical system is, it was not derived from naturalism.

Two other respondents have tried to justify naturalistic ethics because "moral sentiments are a feature of the natural world," as one of them put it. But this can't be Dawkins' standard, either, because he denies the validity of superstition and mysticism despite the fact that superstitious and mystic sentiments are features of the natural world of the same order as moral sentiments. Being a "feature of the natural world," in this loose sense of "feature" (observable phenomena), is insufficient in Dawkin's eyes.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home