Total Pageviews

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Do Darwinists get a worldview?

A worldview is serious attempt to reflectively integrate ones thinking into a coherent, comprehensive, and practical interpretation of all of life in order to situate oneself as an intelligent unified agent within the world. A worldview is necessary to unified agency. Without one, we become morally schizophrenic, having personaes isolated from one another that are engaged according to circumstances rather than reflective choice, A worldview is a life time achievement that is one of the necessary tasks of progressive moral development. Which is puzzling if you are talking about Darwinism.

On the one hand, it seems to be clear that Darwinism is one of the most rigorous worldviews one might have, with a strict methodology and a strict standard of evidence, which is meant to systematically apply to every sphere of life. Darwinism holds to methodological naturalism and scientific evidentialism, with the result that if there is any moral duty at all it must be hedonism.

But on the other hand, if Darwinism is true then there are no unified moral agents whose unity is prior to its properties. If Darwinism is right then its "moral schizophrenia" all the way down. Human beings are not natural agents. At most they are random artifacts with no intrinsic unity so that even hedonism is relativism.

This suggests to me that Darwinism is a view that we cannot take seriously, since it is logically totalizing and fragmentizing at the same time.

2 comments:

Jonathan said...

it seems to be clear that Darwinism is one of the most rigorous worldviews one might have, with a strict methodology and a strict standard of evidence, which is meant to systematically apply to every sphere of life

I'm not sure this is true of every species (pardon the pun) of "Darwinism." Even if Darwinism was formulated only by people insisting on strict naturalism, does that mean that everyone who holds to it as a theory of biological origins must be a strict naturalist?

The Gnu said...

Well, I meant to refer to it as a worldview. An evolutionary account of origins is just one question and several different worldviews can be distinct but still answer this one question the same.

The sort of Darwinism I have in mind is the sort that would say the worst merely possible explanation that postulates only mechanical causes and random events is still better that the most plausible explanation that appeals to purpose. This indicates a value difference that determines what counts as a good explanation.