Monday, January 29, 2007

Steven Pinker, Consciousness, and a "New Morality"

I think I'm going to start posting links to articles of interest here, maybe everyday. Sometimes I'll include commentary, other times I'll just let you read and comment yourself. Today's link is to a Times article article written by Steven Pinker, esteemed professor of Evolutionary Psychology at Harvard and good friend/co-conspirator with Dawkins, in which he argues for a "New Morality" based on the existence of consciousness. His argument could be summarized thus:
All humans are conscious,
Conscious people can suffer,
therefore it is morally right to keep all people from suffering.

You'll notice that there is a significant logical step missing here: Suffering is absolutely bad. And of course, based on a purely evolutionary/materialistic worldview he is simply unable to make this claim, which is why he leaves the premise out. Nevertheless, it is a good read, easy, short, and it is important because it presents a worldview which Christians are being forced more and more often to confront:
The Mystery of Consciousness

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