Sunday, May 06, 2007

The American Enteprise (soft neo-facist) Institute

The AEI held a recent circle-jerk on the topic of "Darwinism and Conservatism: Friends or Foes? My partial responcse follows:

As I listened along,

Hayward missed the obvious- evolutionary theory is the nearest thing we have to a “proven” theory. There are no competing propositions which can simultaneously account for the mass of data from all of the historical sciences; astronomy/cosmology, geology, paleontology, biology, anthropology. “Darwinism” has been proclaimed as the source for both “left” and “right” extreme social policies with equal (that is none) validity. (I gave up listening to his BS after about 3 minutes).

Arnhart is particularly absurd: conservatism is “liberty and order, freedom and virtue”

“the left assumes human nature is so malleable, so perfectable that it can be shaped in almost any direction. In responce to that conservatives object that in fact social order arrises not from rational planning but from the spontanious order of instincts and habit.”

“Darwinian biology sustains conservative social thought by showing how spontanious order arrises from social instincts and a moral sense shaped by genetic evolution and
expresed by cultural evolution.”

West's argument reduces to Darwinism=leftist thought=utpoianism=eugenics=racism=Nazi Holocaust

“conservatives see humans as naturally imperfect in their knowledge and their virtue.” ORIGINAL SIN ANYONE? But Intelligent Design isn't creationism- oh no, never that!

“conervatives really do believe that human beings do have a natural moral sense that supports ordered liberty as secured by the social order of family life, the economic order of private property, and the political order of limited government.”

“There really is a universal human nature constituted by at least 20 natural desires that manifest themselves in every human society throughout history because those desires belong to the evolved nature of the human species”

Arnhart claims that “Darwinianism” holds that; “Men and women will marry and form families, mothers will care for their children, young males will compete for mates and status, societies will organize themselves into male dominance hierarchies, competing societies will go to war, and humans will use language and symbols to try to figure out what it all means.” He then argues that these “darwinian desires” plus the remainder of the unstated “at least 20” equate to “conservatism.”

By the time I got to the second of his “Five Propositions” I was too revolted to keep
taking notes.

John West is even worse than Arnhart. I liked reading Kurt Vonnegut but I certainly
know of no reason to care about his rejection (according to West) of human evolution.

Marx and Freud have been “debunked?” About like the majority of Tyco Brahe’s astronomy has been debunked. That is, the parts of Marx’s economic theory that were irrefutable are now core ideas of modern economics. Freud’s concept of psychosocial development, and innate biological drives is still the foundation for modern psychology, and his “talking therapy” is still the standard of non-chemical psychotherapy. These are facts regardless of whether or not one agrees only a little, or not at all with Marxist or Freudians.

West next bloviates that among the secular elite, Darwin is “a secular saint.” He states that Dawinists have, “clothed themselves in the mantel of modern science successfully stigmatizing those who criticize then as bigoted Bible thumpers who are antiscience. The greatest critics of “Darwin” are what creationists like West call Darwinsts. The weak ass criticisms promoted by creationists are merely echoes- typically decades out of date- to criticisms first posed by real scientists. The difference being that scientists correct the errors of current theory they discover while creationists merely sit back and cackle about how “gawddidit.”

About 3 minutes of West and I am in need of a rest- and beer.

West rejects the concepts of theistic evolution, probably the most common concept held by a Christian or Jew, and equates this with "atheism." Then he states that it is perhaps possible that a form of "modest Darwinism" could be rephrased so as not to be "harmful," but, "then it no longer would be Darwinian." West objects to conservatives offering "idiosyncratic deffinitions" of Darwinism and then has nothing to offer but his hideously obsessive formulation of as "science as evil" opposed to moral universals which he extends to the defence of capitalism.

According to West, Darwinism inevitably promotes "relativism and utopian social reforms such as eugenics" West objects that if behavior is subject to selective pressure, Darwinists find "it is hard to see an objectve ground to condemning any particular behavior found in nature." West next links "Darwinism" to infanticide. He claims that "monogamy is natural, but then so are polygamy, adultry and even rape." (insert biblical examples here)!

Biological desires, in support of conservatism, must be "normnative." "If one believes that natural desires have been implanted in human beings by intelligent design or even that the represent irreducible and unchanging truths inherant in the universe (somehthing ala sort of a modern Platoism) it would certainly be rational to accept those desires as a grounding for a universal code of morality."

West waxed wroth that under a Darwinian framework when conditions of survival change human behaviors change (35:32). TURNBULL The Mountain People, the Donner party, the ultimate rebuke of West's absolutist moralizing is the greater propensity for religious fanatics to promote murder and even suicide. The Jones Town massacre had a goodly number of associated homicides, the Heaven's Gate episode show how easily religious mania leads to death. We read every single day about the suicide bombins in Iraq prompted by the religious ferver of the conservative movement's millennialists electing George W. Bush, and the murderus religious mania they unleashed.

I need another break.

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