Re: The Freewill vs Materialist determinism debate.
Today I found an interesting scientific study done in New Zealand vindicating skepticism in the fashionable ideas of Evolutionary psychology, which as a ‘Naturalistic Doctrine’ argues that all human morality is determined by Genetics… ie that there is no such thing as freewill moral choice.
This New Otargo research now says Babies lack morals… (Suprise!….not.) This overturns previously Reaserch submitted in 2007 by Yales Kiley Hamlin whom argured that 6-10mth old infants could already make moral choices and that these must be Innate .
We can see that Yales Kiley Hamlin was predisposed to the Evolutionary/ materialist/ genetic/ hypothesis when she presented her research which she argued that Babies are born with an original moral blueprint …
Quote: “… It also reminds us that behavior is not simply nature versus nurture; it is about the interaction of genes and their environments…”
And so we can understand why she now continues to defend her hypothesis against the critisism from New Zealand.
The new New Zealand study undermines these sorts of Evolutionary/ deterministic theories.
To my way of thinking it ought to be Obvious that Both Nature, and Nurture play significant roles in the Morality of individuals, Yet I would add a third and most critical element… an element Naturalist/ materialists are keen to Exorcise from mankind…. The Individual ‘Soul’ or inner spiritual being unique to each individual (The real ‘US’…. indwelling our bodies like a man indwells a house), which has the capacity to make freewill choices which either endorses the amoral desires of our physical being (our lusts), which Licence may or may not be sanctioned by the culture the individual has been nurtured in, or it/we may overcome both these external factors and choose to embrace either a higher’ or ‘lower’ morality than what is ‘the norm’ for his day and age. In my view it is this inner spiritual character which will determine the quality and height of morality any particular individual will aspire to….or settle for. This is why Individuals can appear in complete contrast to the Times and customs of their Peers, and forsaking the accepted norms of the society that surrounds them, and become aliens …. on a pilgrimage of either light or darkness… depending upon the intents of their heart. This Road is steep, yet is a two way street. You can simply stay put with most of your peers… and make camp at the spot you where you feel most comfortable…Why bother going anywhere?
Or you can turn your face to the mountain and labour upwards towards Heavens light…good luck finding faithful company who will not forsake you half way along your arduous journey!
Or you can turn your back and take the direction of least resistance, downward into Darkness…
What this means is that we as individuals are responsible for the sort of human beings we become (or remain). We are not simply slaves to our biology and Environment. We each have an unique inner Being which determines our moral character as individuals. This explains why a child raised in a religious home can choose to forsake the beliefs and values they were taught, and instead choose to become an atheist adult, and why someone raised to accept atheist materialism can later choose to forsake Atheism for God… demonstrating Humanity is in constant Flux… and that Liberty/ freewill and rationality are what matters most in the moral question … not Chemical determinism.
Prior to Darwin, Christians always believed that while Children posess Adams fallen Human Nature, that they are born ‘innocent’, and later develope their moral sence, at which point in time (differeing between individuals) they become morrally responcible for their actions and accountible unto God.
And Our Society also ‘believes’ this to be true in that it does not convict children for crimes.
This rationale also underpins the Doctrine that all innocent little children whom die, Go to heaven… and this doctrine is supported by various scriptures.
I must also point out that even if it was discovered that babies had some ability to make moral choices, that this would not prove that morality stems automatically from Genes.
4 thoughts on “Little Angelic Robots?”
Tim, your view has the unfortunate consequence that we should set about killing as many babies as possible to save them from any chance of eternal damnation and guarantee them eternal life instead. On this score, atheists lead by example. I think you need to check your premises.
Perfect choice of soundtrack! 🙂
Sometimes I worry about you Richard!
It is You whom needs to rethink.
First of all, How do we know which children will reject Christ when they Grow up, and which one will recieve him and become mighty preachers… leading thousands of lost souls to Christ?
We are not God!
In fact we don’t even know if Richard Dawkins himself has already sometime in his life received Christ,…or that he may one day receive Christ in the future!
That is what the implications of what I have said.
Our Job is to testify of Christ so that People have opportunity to contemplate Biblical cosmology and the Story of the Fall, God’s judgment, and salvation.
Ie *Christianity is Libertarian*.
It is Libertarian in the very essential sense that it Respects human individuality and right to make your own moral choices… for better or ill. If we applied your thinking then we would be totalitarians! (force people to do what we believe was in their best interests!)
That’s the Idea that Good ends can justify Evil means.
That is what you have argued here.
Also what this doctrine proves is that though Millions of innocent Children have died via horrible circumstances that all is not in vain! The Christian may take comfort that these little ones go straight to be with God! Ie out of seeming massive despair and ‘injustice’… God reaches out in his grace and mitigates the most trajic of Evils in a mighty way!
(This is why we ought to trust in Gods wisdom and good charater inspite of the many real evils in this world)
Also even if we put all this ‘stuff ‘aside.
The simple empirical truth is that *Children are innocent.*… they have not developed a sense of Moral cause and effect.
This develops with nurturing and experience.
Do you believe Children ougth to be held full morally accountible for their actions… and jailed for thefts, violence, etc?
Do you think Parental guardianship ought to be dropped?
These are plain facts irrespective of the religious aspects…. You can start your murder spree if you like, yet these facts don t motivate me to short circuit Human freewill and self responsibility so as to ‘post’ children to heaven!
Parents are morally responsible to raise their children in the faith, and provide them with valid reasons for believing the Bible and receiving Christ.
People like Richard Dawkins cant be ‘liquidated’ …even though they are Satans Ministers preaching great lies which people choose to believe and will be Damned.
If we started such a progrom surely we would end up working for Satan…. We would prove Dawkins right…. And would turn away far more people from Christ that we could hope to ‘save’ via our deluded progam of baby killing!
That is so far away from the gospel as to be insane. (though I know your reasoning has been used in the past)
In fact if your reasoning was commonly held by Christians… I would not wish to be one myself! Christianity would be Evil and ought to be suppressed.
So My friend Please rethink.
Drop this silly idea that in your mind hinders you from accepting My doctrine.
One of the reasons I am so zealous about sharing my faith is because I know how Damnable are the Teachings of Dawkins and Rationalism are!
God’s judgement will fall heavily upon these wicked Anti-christs.
As God’s servant, I do what I can to hold up the Gospel light that the lost might be saved.
We Christians are locked in a Battle for the souls of Mankind.
Take care which side you bolster!