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Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   327
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 1"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 12, 2002
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0830826661  
EAN  9780830826667  

Availability  3 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 21, 2016 02:44.
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Item Description...
A fresh look at the Darwin dilemma! Digging deep into the soil of the past, Wiker exposes the roots of our moral decline---the ethical theories and atheistic cosmology of Greek philosopher Epicurus. Wiker's analysis demonstrates how Epicurus's materialistic thought continues to influence modern science and culture---and challenges Christians to live out their moral convictions. 316 pages, softcover from InterVarsity.

Publishers Description
Abortion. Euthanasia. Infanticide. Sexual promiscuity. Ideas and actions once unthinkable have become commonplace. We seem to live in a different moral universe than we occupied just a few decades ago. Consent and noncoercion seem to be the last vestiges of a morality long left behind. Christian moral tenets are now easily dismissed and have been replaced with what is curiously presented as a superior, more magnanimous, respectful and even humble morality. How did we end up so far away from where we began? Can the decline be stopped? Ben Wiker, in this provocative and insightful book, traces the amazing story that explains our present cultural situation. Wiker finds the roots of our moral slide reaching all the way back to the ethical theory and atheistic cosmology of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus. Christian teaching had been in contention with this worldview long before it reached its pinnacle with the rise and acceptance of Darwinism. But it was Darwinism, Wiker contends, that provided this ancient teaching with the seemingly modern and scientific basis that captured twentieth-century minds. Wiker demonstrates that this ancient atomistic and materialistic philosophy supplies the guiding force behind Darwinism and powerfully propels the hedonistic bent of our society while promoting itself under the guise of pure science. This book is a challenge not only to those who believe Darwinism to be purely scientific fact but to Christian who have at times inconsistently lived out their Christian moral convictions and so have failed to recognize and address the ancient corrosive underpinnings of our present moral and intellectual crisis.

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More About Benjamin Wiker, Ph.D.

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Dr. Benjamin Wiker took his undergraduate degree in Political Philosophy from Furman University and holds a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics from Vanderbilt University. He is the author of nine books, including 10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn t Help (Regnery Publishing, 2008). He is co-author with Scott Hahn of Answering the New Atheism: Dismantling Dawkins Case Against God (Emmaus Road, 2008) and co-author with Jonathan Witt of A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature (IVP Academic, 2006). Professor Wiker is a Senior Fellow with Envoy Institute, St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, and Discovery Institute.

Benjamin Wiker was born in 1960.

Benjamin Wiker has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Herder & Herder Books

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General   [8607  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Overview of the Decline of Western Culture  Dec 13, 2007
There is so much information in this book, it takes a while to comprehend. However, it is a good overview of how Western society has been in decline and how it started with the ancient Romans. Some little known facts about Darwin: he, himself was troubled by the Cambrian explosion, the complexity of the eye and admitted that "if it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numberous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." We never hear about this Darwin quote at all. Silence.

Recent scientists write in their books "appears to have been designed" due to the mapping of the gene and the lack of discovery of any fossil links. However, they still hold their faith in Darwinism, thinking that any time now, they will find what they are looking for. Instead, they find evidence to the contrary.

This book goes hand in hand with the books written by the intelligent design movement and exposes Darwinism as a moral movement, rather than a scientific one. In order to rewrite morality, Darwinists had to deny God so that they themselves could take on a god-like quality. Since man is now god, they can themselves determine right from wrong, decide who lives and who dies and when (abortion, euthanasia, cloning, stem cell research etc.) In order to soothe the message, beautiful poems and songs were written (we now have books, movies, songs to get the same message across).

I couldn't put this book down! It portrays how various philosophers, scientists, athiests KNOWINGLY deceived the public in order to push their own agenda. I will not look at our current culture the same way again!
This is it, Baby!!  Aug 7, 2007
I've read many books that have made similar points as this one, but the difference is that this book IS the point. Benjamin Wiker clearly and logically boils the culture wars down to the two primary foes: Christianity and Materialism. Once the reader understands this perspective, the reasons why we have experienced such disastrous upheavals in our culture become crystal clear.

For several hundred years, the Materialists thought that they had all of science to back them up. This is why the very word "science" has become synonymous with Materialism. But more recently, science is beginning to undue some of the most cherished and foundational assumptions of Materialist philosophy. For example:

Materialists thought science had proved the universe was eternal and infinite. (...wrong).

Materialists thought science had proved that atoms and cells were very simplistic building blocks of life. (...wrong).

Materialists thought science would very soon discover that the universe was teeming with life. (...wrong).

Materialists thought science would very soon discover an over abundant fossil record to fill in the gaps between species. (...wrong).

Materialists thought science would very soon discover a fossil record to explain away the Cambrian explosion of life. (...wrong).

The list goes on, but my point is this: Science, the very tool which Materialists claimed exclusively for themselves, and with which they bludgeoned Christianity for centuries, has now turned against them. It seems like almost every day, the closer we look in our microscopes, and the further we look in our telescopes, the more evidence we find showing that the Materialists philosophical world view is not accurate.

But these guys aren't going to give up without a fight. You don't think they're going to let a little thing like scientific discovery get in the way of their agenda, do you? To give you an idea of the ridiculous lengths these guys will go to in order to avoid the truth, I'd like to relate the following true story:

You all remember Jane Goodall, the woman who discovered and filmed chimps in the jungle sticking sticks into an ant hill. This, as we were all told in grade school and on PBS, was "proof" that chimps were almost exactly like humans because, after all, they were making tools. Wow. Well, not too long ago, it was discovered that crows (who have bird brains and no thumbs) could actually fashion fish hooks out of metal wire and catch worms in a long, thin beaker. In one fell swoop, the crows out did the chimps, making even more sophisticated tools, and utterly destroyed Jane Goodall's old assumptions. So what was the Materialists' reaction to this new, earth shattering, scientific discovery? They gave Jane Goodall yet another award for her outdated work (...I kid you not).

Take heart, these guys can't keep up this charade forever.
Moral Moronic Nonsense From Yet Another Fundamentalist Protestant Christian Who Loves America  May 21, 2007
Philip Johnson's "Darwin on Trial" should be regarded as the quintessential example of a nonfiction genre in which Christians complain bitterly of modern America's moral ambiguity, lost to the sins of Godless evolutionism, liberal sexual mores, and liberal moral relativity. Indeed, for most Fundamentalist Protestant Christians, Johnson's book could be regarded as its philosophical "Mein Kampf"; a veritable "Bible" which has set forth the main objectives of those seeking to inject their narrow, intolerant religious values onto all facets of contemporary American society and culture. Benjamin Wicker has continued along the same dismal path, writing a somewhat less vitriolic book than any written by Johnson. However, "Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists" is yet another sloppy example of extremist Fundamentalist Christian doctrine which has cleverly disguised its origins via superb Madison Ave-style advertising. Appropriately enough, William Dembski, whom I perceive as this movement's Josef Goebbels, has written yet another eloquent defense of his sanctimonious moral and religious beliefs, sounding quite righteous and convincing to those unwilling to look deeply at the underlying dark, devious motives of Johnson, Dembski, Wilker and others who wish to change American society into one more reminiscient of Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. In plain English, these religious zealots would prefer living in a theocratic fascist state which incorporated their bizarre notion of Christianity as the state-authorized faith, than in the still enduring, successful experiment in puralistic, yet ecumenical, democratic republicanism that is the United States of America.

Anyone who has read critically the superb histories of such eminent American historians as Gordon Wood - one of my college professors - Bernard Bailyn and others, should realize that the United States in its early Federalist Period was a state rampant with ample moral decay. Indeed, most of Wiker's criticisms could have been made back then, without having to trot out the dubious bogeyman of "Moral Darwinism". In many respects, contemporary America is a more vibrant, democratic state than the one established by the Founding Fathers over two centuries ago. It has enriched itself by extending the democratic franchise to women and racial minorities such as Blacks and Asians. If one wishes some thoughtful criticism of Liberal politics in the United States, then I can think of other, more profound commentators like journalists George Will and Charles Krauthammer, and eminent economist Thomas Sowell (Incidentally he is among the most distinguished alumni of my prestigious New York City public high school.). Unfortunately, all you will get from the likes of both Wilker and Dembski is sanctimonious moral moronic nonsense; if you insist on paying heed to their nonsense, then I strongly advise buying instead a superb book on Klingon Cosmology.
The Sexual Revolution is Over-- and Sex Lost  Jun 30, 2006
This is a bombshell of a book, not because it unveils radical new ideas or a shocking revolutionary viewpoint, but simply because it inconveniently unearths long-buried and decently dead history. In that sense it's less like a grenade than a ticking time bomb.

It's about a dirty little secret called Eugenics or social engineering, widely promoted at the turn of the century in America and reaching its culmination in world war II. It's heyday was the '20s in America when immigration was restricted by race, Germans being the most desirable immigrants. Margaret Sanger originally started Planned Parenthood to limit the number of blacks, Jews and Irish Catholics--considered undesirables. Later she travelled to Nazi Germany and gave their eugenics program her stamp of approval.

Fast forward to the '60s and an example of lying with statistics called the Kinsey Report. The so-called poll came from convicts jailed for sexual crimes and was extrapolated to provide a survey of the sexual proclivities of Americans. Kinsey decisevely divided sex from marriage and procreation, saying there were only six types of sex and including in that sensual activities which previously wouldn't have been considered sex. In doing so he led the way for pornography to separate sex from the person. Kinsey's many "findings" and statistics are still quoted today by both friends and foes to inflate the numbers of sexual adventurers when, if anything, the trend is the other way, with a rediscovery of marriage and a return to stable families.

It's not that you can't read the facts that Wiker has compiled elsewhere, it's just that you won't, if the so-called "progressive" media has its way. As Wiker shows, it's all been done before. Desperate Housewives-- that's so last Tuesday.
Epicurus set in motion an intellectual movement that Charles Darwin brought to completion  Jun 21, 2006
According to John Maynard Keynes, great intellectual and cultural movements frequently trace back to thinkers who worked in obscurity and are now long forgotten. But some thinkers are both famous and influential. This book focuses on two such thinkers, one largely forgotten, the other a household name. The largely forgotten thinker is Epicurus. The household name is Charles Darwin. The two are related: Epicurus set in motion an intellectual movement that Charles Darwin brought to completion.

Believers in God often scratch their heads about Western culture's continual moral decline. What was unacceptable just a few years ago is today's alternative lifestyle and tomorrow's preferred lifestyle. Abortion, euthanasia, divorce, sexual preferences and drug abuse are just a few of the moral issues that have undergone massive changes in public perception. Too often believers in God take a reactive approach to the culture war and throw their energy into combating what they perceive as the most compelling evil of the moment. In the back of their minds, however, is an awareness that something deeper and more fundamental is amiss and that the evils they are combating are but symptoms of a more underlying and pervasive evil.

Benjamin Wiker has done a brilliant job of tracing the roots of that evil in this book. Insofar as traditional theists sense an underlying cause for the moral decline of Western culture, all roads lead to Epicurus and the train of thought he set in motion. For Epicurus, pleasure consisted in freedom from disturbance. For Epicurus, to allow that God might intervene in the natural world and to take seriously the possibility of an afterlife, (with the moral accountability and judgment it implies) were incompatible with the good life.

To short circuit belief in such a God, Epicurus proposed a mechanistic understanding of nature. Accordingly, Epicurus conceived of nature as an aggregate of material entities operating by blind, unbroken, natural laws. God or the gods might exist, but they took no interest in the world, played no role in human affairs and indeed could play no role in human affairs, since a material world operating according to mechanistic principles leaves no place for meaningful divine action. Moreover, since humans belonged to nature and consisted entirely of material entities, death amounted to a dissolution of a material state and thus precluded any sort of ongoing conscious existence.

Epicurus' most prominent disciple is without question Charles Darwin. Darwinism is not only the most recent incarnation of Epicurean philosophy but also the most potent formulation of that philosophy to date. Darwinism's significance consists in the purported scientific justification it brings to the Epicurean philosophy. But the science itself is weak and ad hoc. As Wiker shows, Darwinism is essentially a moral and metaphysical crusade that fuels our contemporary moral debates. Further, Wiker argues that the motivation behind Darwinism today is its alternative moral and metaphysical vision rather than the promotion of science.

Is reality at its base purposive and intelligent or mindless and material? Wiker brilliantly traces this divide to its metaphysical foundations. In so doing, he shows how the challenge of intelligent design to evolutionary naturalism is not the latest flash in the pan of the culture war but in fact constitutes ground zero of the culture war. If you really want to understand why our culture is in its current state, you must read this book.

(Adapted from the Foreword by William A. Dembski.)

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