Is there a difference between evolution and materialism?

Oops. I meant anti-social behavior like mass murder, or worse, racial hatred in its extreme form, genocide. This last could be disputed how many of the last several century’s genocides were carried out by strict materialists. But this last century’s record has not been good.

I wish I could do graphs here. The two beliiefs(call them faith and belief in evolution) can have multiple different relationships with each other. And they can coexist from the beginning, They can overlap, they can be sequential with one displacing the other, or they can be one building on the other. Here’s my take. For some people belief in evolution wipes out faith. For other people to continue in faith is an active choice. But there is a reason they choose to continue in faith. In my opinion faith does not flow naturally from evolution. It needs it’s own grounding.

I agree that faith doesn’t flow from acceptance of the evidence for evolution, if that’s what you mean. Thanks for clarifying.

But what is the connection between acceptance of evolution and suicide? Faith doesn’t flow from acceptance of the periodic table either, and you haven’t accused Mendeleevism of promoting suicide.


We come from different world views, with different assumptions and interpretations and even connotations put to words. I was not trying to offend. My apologies if I offended. I did not accuse evolution of anything. In what I have read, what I said is true. But it was not intended as a scientific argument.
Nonetheless, I am trying
to track down references now.

It would be very useful if you would hit the “reply” button attached to whatever you’re replying to. Otherwise, given the vagueness of your responses, it may be impossible to know. It’s hard to tell here what “what I said” means, because I don’t know what it’s responding to. However, it does seem clear that you have accused the current mainstream understanding of evolutionary biology of causing an increase in suicide. If you didn’t intend that accusation, you should have used different words.

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And here I was thinking people are feeling social anxiety and depression because they are spending too much time staring into monitors instead of going out and interacting with each other.

Human beings find meaning in connections and interactions with each other, and unfortunately the culture is changing towards more and more screentime. It has nothing to do with “naturalism”, “physicalism”, or evolution.

It’s not really so much belief that comforts, it’s that it makes you feel like you belong somewhere as part of some group. Hearing another person talk and tell interesting stories that relate to your basic sense of belonging, love, justice, fear and so on has an effect you just can’t get from a rectangular arrangement of pixels. That direct experience of and interaction with another human being really matters even though it normally doesn’t seem obvious.

Imagine going to an empty church without even a preacher.


I agree with @Agauger if we are talking about materialism. If God does not exist, I find it extremely difficult to see how the world could be OBJECTIVELY meaningful, moral and beautiful without playing a type of game one’s entire life where one simply lives AS IF life has meaning. Dostoyevsky, Sartre and the other existentialists were right about this.

But I don’t see how that has anything to do with descent with modification, and mutations that are random with respect to fitness.

What if evolution occured in this manner but it is still a beautiful result and what if there are other reasons to believe in God? I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to a more-or-less modern synthesis view of evolution even though I’m in the EES bandwagon btw.


Extended Evolutionary Synthesis


But if God does exist, is the world any more objectively meaningful, moral, or beautiful? I don’t see it. Regardless of God, we must find our own meaning where we can. Euthyphro!



The euthyphro dillemma is a false dilemma. God IS Plato’s good. William Alston has done work on this. But reading Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite would suit this problem as well.

Yeah, that’s solution by definition. It makes no actual sense.

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Why doesn’t it make sense?

Because it’s solution by definition. What does it actually mean? God ISN’T Plato’s good. Plato’s good is a moral judgment while God is a (supposed) being. There’s no way for us to know that God is (uncapitalized) good without having a standard of goodness. Perhaps you are asking God to devour his own tail?

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Plato’s “the good” is a moral judgment? What?

Plato’s good is the form of the good that exists mind independently from any judgments or actions. See Erik Wielenberg’s debate with Craig on this. I actually think Craig might lose this one. I think it’s possible to believe in objective goodness if one is an atheist platonist but I’m still a theist for other reasons.

Is this off topic? We’re talking about something RELATED to materialism. Not evolution though.

But that isn’t God, is it? Certainly Plato wouldn’t agree. But I see you have disavowed the notion that the world can’t be objectively meaningful without God. So what are we arguing about again?

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I didn’t! Haha. I just said that there could be objective moral values without God. Meaning is another thing altogether.

Wielenberg :+1:t2::+1:t2:

Have you found him helpful?