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← God vs. Science - A debate between Richard Dawkins and Francis Collins

Mark Smith's Avatar Jump to comment 573 by Mark Smith


If we, along with Richard Dawkins, truly believe his materialist statements, then this is what has just happened:

-- a collection of elementary particles, some of which are arranged as a bunch of neurones, some as arms and legs, etc [...snip ...]

Yes, to a reasonable approximation that is indeed what happened.

You then tried to say that is not an adequate explanation because we will want to ascribe some moral meaning to what you did and to readers' responses, and to do that we need to have some additional element, something 'more than just molecules'.

The obvious question is why? We can account for morality and for moral meaning on the basis that we are social animals. We feel anger because we have evolved to do so in certain situations. We ascribe moral meaning to certain actions because that enables our social constructs to operate more effectively. There is no need to add in some immaterial substance to explain them.

Sun, 28 Mar 2010 15:26:00 UTC | #453354