(Don & Joy Veinot – Midwest Christian Outreach) Where do morals come from? Are they objective or subjective? Are their origins from God or are they somehow a result of evolution, a byproduct of Social Darwinism? Our answers to these questions largely determine how we live with and treat other humans and often even define which humans have human rights that should be protected.
About a decade ago, we watched an interesting series by the Dutch public broadcasting system, VPRO. The question of the origin of morality was put to Darwinian paleontologist, the late Steven Jay Gould, in part 6 of their 7-part series, “A Glorious Accident”:
Interviewer: You said morality cannot be taught by nature – if you seek in nature for morality, or free will or rationality, you won’t find it.
Stephen Jay Gould: I said you won’t find morality which is a question of how we ought to behave… Moral questions are questions about oughts. Nature, as science understands it is a factual set of properties. There’s no way you can go from the facts of nature to the oughts of actions. They’re just different things.
Interviewer: Nature is non-moral?
Stephen Jay Gould: Yes.
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