Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism

Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism By James Rachels, Created from Animals The Moral Implications of Darwinism From Bishop Wilberforce in the s to the advocates of creation science today defenders of traditional s have condemned Darwin s theory of evolution as a threat to society s values Darwin s defende
  • Title: Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism
  • Author: James Rachels
  • ISBN: 9780192177759
  • Page: 434
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism By James Rachels, From Bishop Wilberforce in the 1860s to the advocates of creation science today, defenders of traditional s have condemned Darwin s theory of evolution as a threat to society s values Darwin s defenders, like Stephen Jay Gould, have usually replied that there is no conflict between science and religion that values and biological facts occupy separate realms But asFrom Bishop Wilberforce in the 1860s to the advocates of creation science today, defenders of traditional s have condemned Darwin s theory of evolution as a threat to society s values Darwin s defenders, like Stephen Jay Gould, have usually replied that there is no conflict between science and religion that values and biological facts occupy separate realms But as James Rachels points out in this thought provoking study, Darwin himself would disagree with Gould Darwin, who had once planned on being a clergyman, was convinced that natural selection overthrew our age old religious beliefs Created from Animals offers a provocative look at how Darwinian evolution undermines many tenets of traditional philosophy and religion James Rachels begins by examining Darwin s own life and work, presenting an astonishingly vivid and compressed biography We see Darwin s studies of the psychological links in evolution such as emotions in dogs, and the mental powers of worms , and how he addressed the moral implications of his work, especially in his concern for the welfare of animals Rachels goes on to present a lively and accessible survey of the controversies that followed in Darwin s wake, ranging from Herbert Spencer s Social Darwinism to Edward O Wilson s sociobiology, and discusses how the work of such influential intellects as Descartes, Hume, Kant, T.H Huxley, Henri Bergson, B.F Skinner, and Stephen Jay Gould has contributed to or been overthrown by evolutionary science Western philosophy and religion, Rachels argues, have been shaken by the implications of Darwin s work, most notably the controversial idea that humans are simply a complex kind of animal Rachels assesses a number of studies that suggest how closely humans are linked to other primates in behavior, and then goes on to show how this idea undercuts the work of many prominent philosophers Kant s famous argument that suicide reduces one to the level of an animal, for instance, is meaningless if humans are, in fact, animals Indeed, humanity s membership in the animal kingdom calls into question the classic notions of human dignity and the sacredness of human life What we need now, Rachels contends, is a philosophy that does not discriminate between different species, one that addresses each being on an individual basis With this sweeping survey of the arguments, the philosophers, and the deep implications surrounding Darwinism, Rachels lays the foundations for a new view of morality Vibrantly written and provocatively argued, Created from Animals offers a new perspective on issues ranging from suicide to euthanasia to animal rights.
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    About "James Rachels"

    1. James Rachels

      James Rachels, the distinguished American moral philosopher, was born in Columbus, Georgia, and graduated from nearby Mercer University in 1962 He received his Ph.D in 1967 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, studying under Professors W D Falk and E M Adams He taught at the University of Richmond, New York University, the University of Miami, Duke University, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he spent the last twenty six years of his career 1971 saw the publication of his groundbreaking anthology Moral Problems, which helped ignite the movement from teaching metaethics in American colleges to teaching concrete practical issues Moral Problems sold 100,000 copies over three editions In 1975, Rachels wrote Active and Passive Euthanasia, arguing that the distinction so important in the law between killing and letting die has no rational basis Originally appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine, this essay has been reprinted 300 times and is a staple of undergraduate education The End of Life 1986 broadened and deepened these ideas Created from Animals 1990 argued that a Darwinian world view has widespread philosophical implications, including drastic implications for our treatment of nonhuman animals Can Ethics Provide Answers 1997 was Rachels first collection of papers The Legacy of Socrates 2007 was his second Rachels textbook, The Elements of Moral Philosophy, is currently the best selling book in philosophy Shortly before being diagnosed with cancer, Rachels finished Problems from Philosophy, an introduction to his subject, published posthumously.Over his career, Rachels wrote 6 books and 86 essays, edited 7 books and gave about 275 professional lectures His work has been translated into Dutch, Korean, Norwegian, Italian, Japanese, Indonesian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Serbo Croatian He is widely admired as a stylist his essays and books are remarkably free of jargon and clutter A major theme in his work is that reason can resolve difficult moral issues He has argued for moral vegetarianism and animal rights, for affirmative action including quotas , for the humanitarian use of euthanasia, and for the idea that parents owe as much moral consideration to other people s children as to their own.

    522 thoughts on “Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism”

    1. Wait a moment I need to add an update here I missed a rather significant point I was interested in the whole evolution Christianity entanglement It turns out it s very entangled indeed First some Christians say evolution is completely incompatible with Christianity But others say no, evolution, like other scientific discoveries, only reveals in greater detail how God has chosen to order his creation So it s no surprise to find some evolutionists are firm atheists and some are devout Christians s [...]


    2. Well, here is one man who understands the implications of Darwinism, without fear So also Peter Singer Rachels rightly understands that Darwinism leads to the rejection of theism as a basis for moral values In the same way, it leads to a rejection of human dignity and a rights basis for morality.So, now that we have dispensed with God, we definitely suffer a de valuing of human significance Since Darwin, we now see that man is just a sophisticated development of the animal kingdom, albeit diffe [...]


    3. Collection of essays I picked up in college during an environmental ethics course I have generally found essays somewhat dry but this book is fascinating in it s arguments For example, the section on the differences between humans and animals yields this How could anyone seriously believe that animals do not feel pain After all, we have virtually the same evidence for animal pain that we have for human painSo, on what grounds could anyone possible say animals are insensitive to pain Some areas a [...]


    4. What can I say Nearly sums up my world view and the natural conclusions one draws when recognizing our progenitors are in fact close at hand and all around us Reminds us also of the great humaneness of Darwin and just how strikingly beautiful his temperament was to those he knew and even the non humans he encountered his trigger happy youth notwithstanding Whether Rachels thoughts on moral individualism were articulated perfectly or likely to be adopted any time in my lifetime will remain a myst [...]


    5. One of the best books I ve read in a while, Created From Animals goes where few philosophers dare to go the intersection of science and ethics.


    6. If you have a regular lifestyle and feel good about yourself, I bet that if you read this book, something will change either your lifestyle, or the good feeling about yourself.


    7. I m usually rather reluctant about the whole animal rights literature because I think that beyond compassion for other creatures there isn t really a case to be made Now this book s about animal rights or precisely about the moarl view of animals the author prefers non humans and humans against the background of Darwin s theory of natural selection and hence the emerging continuum of all life as opposed to some seperate existence of humans that was reflected in the notion of a special human dig [...]


    8. I ll just note that although it may raise problems for some, if you re not willing to accept the doctrine of special human dignity, whether it be based on the Image of God or some of its secular versions, you re left with no other solution but to grant absolute rights to all sentient beings, as Wright noted in his NYT review of the book Rachels recongnized this, but proposed us no third solution What I liked was his clarity of presentation.


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