Thursday, October 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Who needs Intelligent Design? Some find moral compass without God.

In response to the comments of Intelligent Design proponents I posted last week, several people wrote in to say they can find inspiration and moral direction without a God.

Who needs Intelligent Design? Some find moral compass without God.

Many readers who accept evolution wrote great counterpoints to our two intelligent design supporters in a previous post.  Here’s one, who takes this quote from one of the ID proponents:

"If God does not exist, then we have no moral accountability to any higher being". 

To which, he answers:

We have moral accountability to ourselves, all other humans, animals, inanimate objects and everything else is the universe.  Apparently, that's not enough for this commentator.  Too bad.

 Here’s another on why we can be moral and ethical beings without religion:

What truly doesn't make sense to me are statements like, "...why would we need a conscience, acting as a moral indicator, if nothing or no one is making any demands on us?"  This kind of reasoning dubiously concludes that there can be no other reason except for the existence of God. There is no scientifically supportable reason to require that ethical judgment requires a divine being.

 And one more comment:

Hi Faye -

   There is no inherent conflict between religion and science.  Religion is based on faith (and hope!), while science is built on empirically proven facts. 

    But I would disagree with the writer who implied God or religion was necessary for morality.  More wars have been fought and more have died over religion and in the name of God than for almost any other reason.  And the immoral behavior of certain perverted priests, pastors, and imams is further proof that religion doesn't necessarily confer right action.

      Re evolution, the scientific evidence for it is overwhelming.  We can even observe evolution in action in our own lifetimes.  The rise of MRSA and other antibiotic resistant bacteria illustrates how organisms can adapt to environmental challenges, i.e antibiotics. 

    The .00001% of the bacteria that have a resistant gene to penicillin or any other drug pass it on, and because they multiply in just days, it only takes a few years for the germs to become nearly 100% resistant to a given drug.  The fact is evolution (survival of the fittest) in bacteria is more potent than our best efforts to eradicate them.  And evolution similarly is responsible for the great diversity we have in nature.

About this blog
Faye Flam - writer
In pursuit of her stories, writer Faye Flam has weathered storms in Greenland, gotten frost nip at the South Pole, and floated weightless aboard NASA’s zero-g plane. She has a degree in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology and started her writing career with the Economist. She later took on the particle physics and cosmology beat at Science Magazine before coming to the Inquirer in 1995. Her previous science column, “Carnal Knowledge,” ran from 2005 to 2008. Her new column and blog, Planet of the Apes, explores the topic of evolution and runs here and in the Inquirer’s health section each Monday. Email Faye at fflam@phillynews.com. Reach Planet of the at fflam@phillynews.com.

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