Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Letters to the Editor

Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Letters to the Editor

Article excerpt

Creationists, Go Back to the Beginning

In response to Georgia Purdom and Jason Lisle's "Morality and the Irrationality of an Evolutionary Worldview" in the spring 2009 Forum, it is an ethnocentric, hegemonic, and perhaps racist view to believe that a JudeoChristian morality system is the only viable system of morality. Vast numbers of humans had and have moral codes that do not find their genesis from Genesis...

I would agree that from an evolutionary standpoint right and wrong is irrational. Evolution is an explanation of the development of species - rather than an attempt to discuss how, as humans, we should live. Just as irrational, though, is the assertion that without the Middle Eastern monotheistic tradition there is no morality.

Wallace Tatara, adventure education trainer and facilitator, Kalamazoo, Mich.

Alleging that morality is based solely on a document produced some 2,000 years ago posits that humans from the earliest days to those in pre -Bible days had no basis formoral behavior. Purdom and Lisle and fellow creationists may have no confidence in the ability of human beings to define a moral code, but the fact that human beings survived and multiplied in very hostile environments, long before Biblical times and more than 6,000 years ago, is proof in itself that "rules" were devised that promoted individual and group strength. Anthropology provides ample evidence of societies that have endured without Biblical guidance.

Margaret B. Brown, Ph.D., retired youth and family development specialist, Holtwood, Pa.

We geologists have shown that the earth is a rather unique place. The conditions for life and evolution result from a happy combination of rare events . . . (and) complex life took billions of years to appear. ... Given this, our stewardship of this planet takes on a compelling moral imperative.

This includes respecting and honoring the precious nature of individual humans.... One is more likely to receive such treatment if one treats others the same way. This is the basis for most of the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule. . . .

Application of these principles makes the basis for a mature functioning civilization. You can add a creator to this scenario or not; your choice. I find this reasoning alone an inspiring basis for moral behavior. This certainly appeals to me more than a religion which requires me to accept Adam and Eve on faith, and which has been involved in an enormous amount of murder, mayhem and intolerance during its history.

William S. Cordua, Professor of Geology, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Although the authors dismiss Utilitarianism in a single phrase, it is a stable, logically determined source for morality which concludes that mutually beneficial behavior is moral behavior. Thus, the "Golden Rule" is a good general moral value. However, specific moral precepts and enforcement mechanisms are culturally determined. In addition, there are times when moral values are in conflict, and the individual has to decide which value is to take precedence. For instance, should I kill in order to protect my family? Such questions cannot be answered by a general principle alone. The individual who is in the situation must answer them.

Patricia Scott, Licensed Psychologist, Brainerd, Minn.

The article never evolved into something more than a simplistic expression of religious dogma, squandering the chance to express a thoughtful theist orientation. A coherent and meaningful case for a creator God was not provided. That failure too easily allows serious thought about God and creation to be dismissed as the ravings of weaker minds incapable of rational argument. …

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