Sunday, July 02, 2006

Accept No Imitations: The Rivalry of Naturalism and Natural Law

Author: J. Budziszewski, Professor of Government and Philosophy - U.T. Austin

This is the best treatise I have ever encountered that dashes evolutionary ethics against the rocks. As the title suggests, Budziszewski juxtaposes naturalism and natural law and indicates their mutual exclusivity. Not only are they mutually exclusive, however, but naturalistic ethics is a contradiction in terms. There is nothing solid on which to ground any judgment of value or rightness when everything is relative.

Budziszewski divides the evolutionary ethics camp into three teams: those that ground ethics in adaptational mutations or genes, those that ground ethics in utilitarianism, and those that attempt to mix naturalism and natural law. You'll have to read the article to catch the force of his arguments, but all three are hopelessly pointless, especially the third group. The first two are simply groundless in that they ground ethics in the non-ethical, and pull the rug from under themselves by making even their own judgments relative. The third is a glaring paradoxical contradiction and defeats itself from the outset.

This is a highly recommended article.


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