Darwinians: “Lie to the Stupid People”

Philip Kitcher, a philosopher of biology and a supporter of natural selection, chastises Darwin for “appeasing his critics,” writing that “If the presence of particular goals can interfere with the epistemic evaluation of a novel proposal, then it is epistemically desirable for the proposer to respond to those goals, even if it requires deception.”

In other words, you may have to lie to the stupid people to get them to take Darwinism as seriously as we smart people do.

A more elaborate argument in favor of deception is offered by philosopher Phillip L. Quinn, who says that sometimes, in public debate over Darwinism, the only arguments that have a chance of convincing policymakers are bad ones. He argues that presenting arguments one knows to be faulty is morally permissible, but only “provided we continue to have qualms of conscience about getting our hands soiled.” He does worry that after presenting effective but bad arguments has become easy and second nature, one’s hands “become dirty beyond all cleansing and one suffers from a thoroughgoing corruption of mind.” But perhaps scholars could “divide up the labor so that no one among us has to resort to the bad effective argument too frequently.” That way, “we can succeed in resisting effectively without paying too high a price in terms of moral corruption.”

In others words, if you feel bad about lying to the stupid people, that makes it okay, so long as you take turns with other liars so that the habit doesn’t become so well-entrenched that it spills over into the rest of your life. (Why, you might then begin lying to us smart people too.)

J. Budziszewski, “I’m with stupid” at MercatorNet

Hat tip to Uncommon Descent, where the writer continues:

Budziszewski is onto something here. In a Darwinian universe, there is no reason not to lie to achieve a survival goal. In the traditional universe, classically assumed to exist by most human civilizations, morality is intrinsic to the nature of the conscious entities of the universe. That is, whether one believes in God or in karma, lying separates one from reality. And the universe keeps score and it eventually catches up with you, as surely as physics will.

Not so in a Darwinian frame where consciousness is an evolved illusion and free will does not exist. And morality is an evolved illusion too so … happy are those who know nothing of morality.

Uncommon Descent, New: Another philosopher openly dumps Darwinism, cites its acceptance of deception

To the astonishment and fury of Our Betters, God defends the moral value and worth of stupid people. Killing them is wrong, stealing from them is wrong, lying to them is wrong.

And such demonic wickedness will be partly punished in this life, as well as fully paid for in the next.

(This gets really expensive when such evils are extended to children – born or preborn – the poor, and the weak.)

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