Something always puzzled me about a number of learned evolutionists and their followers:  They tend to be leftist in their politics.  Why?  I wondered why they hadn’t thought through
the ramifications of evolutionary theory, the spontaneity of it, the lack of
planning, its anti-teleological aspect, and the possibility of progress without
a mastermind.  I also wondered why they
never considered the strong implications offered by evolutionary theory for the
nature of human beings and their societies, and the resulting implications for
political philosophy and ideology.


I’m not the only one with such thoughts.  A philosopher named Larry Arnhart has devoted his scholarly career to the carefully thought out linkages
between biological evolution and cultural evolution.  By so doing, he has determined that conservative
thought naturally flows out of biological evolutionary thought. 


Leftism, by contrast, more closely resembles religious thought.  Not by assuming the existence of God or gods or the supernatural, but by assuming
that if things exist and persist in the human realm, they must be carefully
planned by some sort of central authority.


Is it possible for non-believers to develop a strong, consilient, conservative evolutionary philosophy?  I believe so.  We can start here at Atheist Nexus, building
it with a great deal of help from Arnhart.


Larry Arnhart writes one of the best blogs in the observable universe, IMHO.


Here is his summary of his beliefs:


“The Left has traditionally assumed that human nature is so malleable, so perfectible, that it can be shaped in almost any direction. Conservatives object, arguing that
social order arises not from rational planning but from the spontaneous order
of instincts and habits. Darwinian biology sustains conservative social thought
by showing how the human capacity for spontaneous order arises from social
instincts and a moral sense shaped by natural selection in human evolutionary


He is the author of a book with the same name, “Darwinian Conservatism,” published in 2005.  Here are the names of the chapters:


Chapter 1: Three Sources of Ordered Liberty 
Chapter 2: The Moral Sense 
Chapter 3: Men, Women, and Children 
Chapter 4: Property 
Chapter 5: Limited Government 
Chapter 6: Religion 
Chapter 7: Intelligent Design 
Chapter 8: Emergence 
Chapter 9: Social Darwinism 
Chapter 10: Biotechnology 


He uses his blog as a means of publishing a number of learned essays on evolutionary theory and political conservatism (in the American sense of the word, not in the European
sense of conserving aristocracy and clericism). 
Here is a portion of one:


“Most people assume that one big problem with Darwinian science is that it denies that life has any meaning or purpose. After all, to find
meaning--to see our lives as part of some enchanting cosmic drama--don't we
have to look to some religious or transcendent vision of the world that goes
beyond the materialism of Darwinian science? If we are just animals produced by
a natural evolutionary process that doesn't care for or about us, and if like
all other animals, we live for only a moment and then die, how can human
life--how can
 my life--matter? Unlike
other animals, it's not enough for us that we exist, we need some reason for
our existence. Otherwise, what's the point? (That's the question raised in a
good scene in the new George Clooney movie
 Up in the Air, where a
bridegroom gets cold feet just before his marriage because he foresees his
whole future life played out without there being any point to it all.)

Owen Flanagan thinks we can find meaning in a
Darwinian world. In his book
Really Hard Problem: Meaning in a Material World
Press, 2007), Flanagan argues that Darwinian naturalism--with its fundamental
conclusion that we are animals in a purely material world--allows us to find a
natural meaning to our lives without any resort to supernatural mystification.

Views: 465

Replies to This Discussion

Learning, by definition is the act or process of acquiring knowledge or skill. The second law of Stupidynamics states - The only thing you can learn is something you don't know. The ratio of what home schooling advocates don't know over the sum of what is known is 1 - ε. Conversely, what they know over what is known is ε. This is all just to confuse Sally. In practical terms, the chances of you having an education via home schooling that is even remotely usable in the real world is practically zero. It is a great thing if you want to churn out an army of brownshirts. Not so good if you want to make any kind of progress as a species.

This fear of liberals and the indistinct miasmic "left" is a red herring. The real soul devouring terror that chews away at Sally and her fellow bombasts is of cosmopolitanism. The other. Nothing can fuck up a rigidly defined, compartmentalised, black and white binary existence where right and wrong have no ambiguities, is exposure to anything alien. Hence home schooling is the much desired preferred option.

Of course what throws a spanner in the works of the gibberish that comprises the original posts is that the hotbeds of civilisation and progress have always been port cities where cosmopolitanism was a forced and unavoidable reality.

Whenever I think about Beck or Limbaugh or Coulter, and now Sally, I have a mental image of cloistered monks sealing themselves away from a world that is confusing beyond comprehension, babbling about an impending millennialist armageddon, all "feverishly jacked off in frenzies of panicked narcissism". [Tip of the hat to Matt Taibbi]
Felch:... the hotbeds of civilisation and progress have always been port cities where cosmopolitanism was a forced and unavoidable reality.

So true. And probably also why the xenophobes  all  mostly come from the heartlands of wherever.
YEEEESSSSS!!!!! Thank you Felch! Iv have read through this entire thread knowing I was going to post a comment but wanting to make sure I wouldn't be repeating someone else's words. As usual Felch nailed it!!
Anecdotally ,

The real soul devouring terror that chews away at Sally and her fellow bombasts is of cosmopolitanism. The other.

this is what I have also found. I was raised by hard line conservatives. They were on the wrong side of history....still are on the wrong side. And it all boils down to the above quote. With it comes the loathing of intellectualism, of the ambiguities of life, and the fear of real freedom. I would qoute "Easy Rider" but I would mangle it, so paraphrasing..
they aint free they'll beeat the hell out of you to show you how free they are, but if you show them real freedom they get scared, that makes them dangerous."
Civil Rights, free speech, womens rights, gay rights, long hair....the list goes on! Every major social step forward conservatives have been on the wrong side. The great witch hunts of the 20th century for commies, and for child molesters ( who must now hide behind every tree). The enacting of ridiculous drug laws, and giving enormous power to Federal Agencies, law enforcement Agencies that is.
The new strand of conservative firebrand also suffers from the strange hypocrisy of praising the US military,of which they never spent a moment wearing the uniform!
It is odd that conservatives continue to exist, having seen centuries of progress made by people who weren't afraid of trying something new.
So we should limit the government in all ways because they hold the power of violence over all of us...except for the military. In that respect, the government can never have too many weapons.

Because the evil government would never use the military against its own citizens
And don't forget the criminal justice system. Conservatives are so eager to dispense with due process, ignoring the fact that they'd be screaming for it if they were ever in the government's crosshairs. Weird that they think government can't do anything right until it comes to accusing and prosecuting criminals.



Update Your Membership :




Nexus on Social Media:


© 2017   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service