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Can a Darwinian be a Christian? Sociobiological Issues

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Abstract:

This essay looks at the Darwinian sociobiological account of morality, arguing that in major respects this philosophy should prove congenial to theChristian. It is shown how modern-day Darwinism, starting from a ‘selfish gene’ perspective, nevertheless argues that a genuine moral sense is part of our evolutionary heritage. This moral sense yields directives much in tune with Christian prescriptions. It is argued also that Darwinian sociobiology can itself offer no metaethical foundations for morality, but the Christianwanting to appeal to God's will can nicely and smoothly mesh the religious intent with the scientific and philosophical implications of Darwinian moral inquiry.

Keywords: Christian ethics; Darwinism; Edward O. Wilson; metaethics; morality; selfish genes; sociobiology

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0591-2385.00278

Affiliations: Philosophy and Zoology at the University of Guelph,Guelph, Ontario

Publication date: June 1, 2000

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