Subjectivity is under pressure from evolution theory

(Mohammad Nur Syamsu) #1

There is a commonly human “head vs heart” struggle. People are naturally tempted to regard what is good and evil as fact. The fact of what is good and evil (head) replaces the opinion on it (heart).

Properly goodness and evil apply to the agency of a decision. The soul which does the choosing is good or evil, and the existence of the soul is a matter of faith and revelation, which is a form of opinion. That the existence of the soul is a matter of opinion, makes good and evil a matter of opinion as well.

Evolution theory acts as a catalyst in the head vs heart struggle, multiplying the pressure on subjectivity, by rejecting any knowledge about how anything is chosen in the universe (creationism / intelligent design), including rejecting knowledge about how people choose (free will). With evolutionary ideas replacing knowledge in terms of how things are chosen, subjectivity is discarded with it, because subjectivity applies solely to the agency of a decision.

This then leads to societal catastrophies, such as nazism and communism in the past, but also in the present day something like the depression epidemic, the culture war, the decline of religion, may be attributed to it.

Schools and universities should teach the different ways of how things are chosen in the universe. Teach the best available theory on it as they see fit. This will maybe advance science about it a little bit, but more importantly it will provide people with a critical confidence in the practical knowledge they already have about making choices in daily life, and most importantly it will safeguard subjectivity, and thereby avert societal catastrophies.

If people accept subjectivity is valid, and then proceed to be subjective in acknowledging what emotions people have in their heart, the emotions with which the behaviour is chosen, then that is a basis for civilized relations.

(Patrick ) #2

I very much agree. We are 7 billion people who live on one planet. Each of us has different backgrounds, cultures, aspirations, and ideas. As humans we have minds that can reason. If we put science and reason ahead of faith and revelation, everyone might enjoy better lives.

(Merv Bitikofer) #3


If we put science and reason ahead of faith and revelation, everyone might enjoy better lives.

That would be more accurately worded: "If we put our faith in science and reason, then everyone " … will observe that those seem to be unable to carry the needed load, and other faith bases will continue to be needed to get through life.

(Patrick ) #4

Why do we to have faith in science and reason? Couldn’t we just go with our current collective scientific understanding at this time and use both our individual and collective human reasoning to figure out what the best way forward is for each individual, for each family, for each organization/city/state/nation?

I was really impressed with what the Pope said this weekend. “Please pray for me, if you are a non-believer, please wish me well.” How can anyone have any disagreements with that?

(Merv Bitikofer) #5

That all sounds good, Patrick. Indeed who are any of us to reject expressions of and exhortations to good will? The details of how to accomplish that are where things get challenging in a hurry.

(Patrick ) #6

I will tell you how to accomplish: Treat everybody you meet with respect. And today, we meet more people virtually than we do in person. The internet has dematerialized people to people interactions. We can be far more abusive and damaging to people (and in greater numbers) in cyberspace than in actual physical contact.

(Merv Bitikofer) #7

Now all we need to do is get everybody from ISIS to Atheists, from extremist Muslims to extremist Christians, from Republican to Democrat, from wealthy to impoverished all to buy into that even regarding their enemies, and we’ll be all set! Simple indeed.

I agree with you that the Pope is putting very good messages out.

(Merv Bitikofer) #8

By the way, Patrick, I admire how you model so well what you are preaching here. In a forum where your views on religion are not usually the ones embraced by most of us, you nevertheless have kept it pretty civil despite many opportunities and provocations (some from me to be sure) to be less than respectful. Thanks for your example.


(Mohammad Nur Syamsu) #9

No that’s not the solution. The solution that is already in place is the freedom of opinion and religion, as found in many democracies. That works pretty well already. That is really the law which most says that subjectivity is valid. It is obviously no good to have the law say freedom of opinion as long as the opinion is respectful of everybody, that would obviously lead to oppression.

What we need is to deal with the head vs heart struggle, and emphasize that subjectivity is valid. To say that subjectivity is valid still leaves it open for people to be murdering rapists, pillaging villages or whatever. It does not say anything at all about what is good or bad, it only says that questions about what the agency of a decision is, can only be answered by choosing the answer.

And that’s the most important thing about subjectivity that it is free, and not forced. If “respect” is forced, then that kills subjectivity, because subjectivity can only work on a free basis.

(system) #10

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