Rape and Evolution – AiG

Posted: July 6, 2013 by Dillon in Apologetics
Tags: , , , , ,

The following is a selection of an interview between John Lofton and Craig Palmer. Lofton is asking questions based on views that  Palmer, an anthropologist and agnostic, proposes in a book Palmer co-authored,  A Natural History Of Rape: Biological Bases Of Sexual Coercion (MIT Press).  It’s in interesting insight into some flaws associated with Naturalism.  


[CP]: I think there are aspects of religious teaching that have wonderful social consequences and particularly the encouragement of morality and self-restraint that does come with religion and—

[JL]: Again, please, forget ‘religion’. I’m not a religionist. I’m defending Christianity.

[CP]: Sure. OK, this all comes certainly with Christianity. I’ve written a paper but never published it arguing that all types of sexual crimes increase when religion and moral traditions in general deteriorate.

[JL]: You mean Christianity since there are no ‘moral traditions in general’. The reason I’m so touchy on this matter is because God, the Lord Jesus Christ, is to be given the glory for all good things that happen. And He is robbed of this glory when one speaks of ‘moral traditions in general’.

[CP]: OK. I would agree that there is a correlation between powerful Christian traditions and the lowering of all kinds of crimes, maybe particularly sexual crimes. And I would agree that in our society we have seen Christian traditions weakened.

[JL]: You’re a master of the under-statement.

[CP]: And that (the weakening of Christianity) is a factor responsible for the increase in rape and sexual crimes and violence, murder in our schools, which you’ve mentioned. So, there is maybe a small point of agreement here.

[JL]: But, where does this leave you and what you believe? If the secular humanist order is collapsing all over the world—and it is—where does this leave you when you admit this view has bad consequences when taught? And what are these bad consequences of teaching naturalistic evolution?

[CP]: The question is whether the benefit of teaching this outweighs the cost. My view can increase knowledge, generate predictions which can be tested and you discard the ones that aren’t met and keep the ones that can increase knowledge. The downside is that my view tends to—you would say it has to—is that it diminishes the role of religion. And I think that religion does make people more co-operative, more self-restrained, nicer, altruistic . . .

[JL]: But, we’re back to ‘religion’.

[CP]: OK, Christianity, sorry. I’m an anthropologist and am used to talking in those terms. I’ll try to stick to Christianity. [My view] turns people away from Christianity. Christians are nicer, more altruistic, more willing to sacrifice for someone else, more willing to restrain themselves for someone else than from someone who does not practise—I would say any religion—than in evolution. So, you have to choose and I’ve had to choose. What are the benefits of increased knowledge versus the cost of this loss of say Christian behaviour?

It’s interesting that I actually started a dissertation in graduate school on religion. And what I found was that it was too close of a call for me to make. Yes, I thought I could increase knowledge about religious behaviour, its causes, etc. But in doing so it tended to have the effect on people I convinced of [this that they] would no longer practice their Christianity. I was not at all sure that was a good thing. In fact, I sensed that it was making them more selfish and less cooperative.

[JL]: But, when you—as an unbeliever—worry about people falling away from their Christianity, when you are not a Christian, [it] makes you a hypocrite! Seriously, how can you do this when you, too, reject Christianity?

[CP]: I understand perfectly. I would try to behave in a nice, caring, non-selfish, restrained way . . .

[JL]: A Christ-like way, you mean. The Christ in whom you do not believe!

[CP]: Yes. Exactly. Perfectly put.

[JL]: Your problem is that you want Christianity without Christ.

[CP]: Yes, the behaviour without having to. . .

[JL]: But, you’re not going to get it! You will not get Christianity without Christ! You will not get the fruit without the tree! See?

[CP]: Uh-huh.

via Rape and evolution – Answers in Genesis.


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