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Author Topic:   An Evolutionary Basis for Ethics?
jasonlang
Member (Idle past 1691 days)
Posts: 51
From: Australia
Joined: 07-14-2005


Message 46 of 57 (541406)
01-03-2010 9:29 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by ATheist
12-22-2009 1:54 PM


When I say choose, I mean the ability to decide rationally what is best. Horses, chimps, dogs, etc., do not have the ability to decide whether or not to raise their offspring, they do it instinctively. Humans have the ability to decide whether or not they want to care for their child, no matter how strong the intuition is of the mother.

Morality is the basis of Ethics
Emotion is the basis of Morality
Feeling is the basis of Emotion

If you were to kill a child do you choose whether to feel guilt ?
If you save a child do you choose whether to feel happy ?
Do you choose what makes you angry or sad ?
Do you choose when to fall in love, or whom you are attracted to ?

Conscience is the glue which holds society together. Note how sociopaths who lack the mechanisms for guilt, often get away with their crimes for many years because "I can't believe anyone would do such a thing". Rational law is NOT what holds society together, it is primarily guilt and other emotions which are EVOLVED traits which have helped our societies survive.

All emotion is instinct, we just have an ability to act in ways counter to instinct when needed. Most often when we act counter to instinct, it's due to a strong EMOTION. And emotion is not a rational decision.

Animals it would seem are primarily driven not by "instinct" but by emotion. In primates at the very least, it would seem, a very similar set of emotions to ourselves. Cats, dogs and other mammals also seem to have similar a emotional dimension.

Now, you say that humans, unlike animals, make a rational decision to raise their young. What if horses, cats, dogs etc were driven by love, guilt, lonliness, attachment ? These are all instincts. And they're far from the robotic control mechanisms you seem to imply. And they are what drives us. Would you not feel guilt at abandoning a child ? Then you are not rationally making a decision about whether to raise the child, you are acting through instinct (love & guilt) and if you renege the responsibility you suffer : not through external rational ends, but through self-imposed (irrational) guilt - instinct.

If I were a dog, I would survive best by not having other dogs to compete with for food.

No you wouldn't you'd be a dead dog with no offpsring and the defective unsocial dog-genes in you would die out, because by being totally unsocial as a dog you could kill or abandon your own puppies, and wouldn't get a mate. You need to be aware that this form of "survival of the fittest" wouldn't last more than one generation.

You seem to be of the impression that dogs are like bacteria or something and replicate asexually or are immortal, when actually "Survival" == "Have Offpsring (who also survive)".

Ethics based on self-interest, like Machiavelli or Sartre or Nietzsche or Freud, etc, are naturally wrong if we accept that as a species, it is more advantageous to act for the good of the group rather than out of pure self-interest. This is the thesis I wish to prove.

This is tautalogically true to some degree for all replicating organisms. The survival to reproductive maturity of your offspring is the only measure of success. It's especially true for social animals - the good of the group is paramount. It's why animals rarely eat their children, their mates or their siblings - doesn't make survival sense. But the animal has no rational knowledge of this, it only knows emotion.

Edited by jasonlang, : No reason given.

Edited by jasonlang, : No reason given.

Edited by jasonlang, : No reason given.


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jasonlang
Member (Idle past 1691 days)
Posts: 51
From: Australia
Joined: 07-14-2005


Message 47 of 57 (541408)
01-03-2010 10:18 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by MikeDeich
12-22-2009 2:46 PM


Great article, thanks for linking it.

I think the "moral philosophers" mentioned near the end are sounding like they're on the defensive here, orthodoxy defending it's turf against cross-disciplinary invasion (modernization).

Like Jesse Prinz, whom it states, believes "morality developed" after human evolution was "finished". That's the old Humans at the pinnacle of creation, can't get any better, we've beaten natural selection fallacy. He states all morality is cultural, which seems to be like the old fallacy that the only differences between male and female were cultural, not innate. Suffice to say I, wouldn't be buying a book by Jesse Prinz.


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jasonlang
Member (Idle past 1691 days)
Posts: 51
From: Australia
Joined: 07-14-2005


Message 48 of 57 (541410)
01-03-2010 11:06 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by ATheist
12-25-2009 3:15 PM


So, after talking with a few of my professors, they've pretty much garnered the same response to the questions I've brought up.

Occam's Razor could be your friend as well, I have a low opinion of philosphy professors, somehow I think they'd be more impressed by you referencing Occam's Razor than, say a physicist.

And like another poster said - find some Anthropologists they could be helpful.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor


Occam's razor states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory. The principle is often expressed in Latin as the lex parsimoniae (translating to the law of parsimony, law of economy or law of succinctness). When competing hypotheses are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selection of the hypothesis that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities while still sufficiently answering the question. It is in this sense that Occam's razor is usually understood. To quote Isaac Newton, "We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. Therefore, to the same natural effects we must, so far as possible, assign the same causes."

The idea would be take two closely related entities (human and chimp perhaps)

Find a scenario in which the situtation is the same, the action taken is the same, the intent of the action seems the same, and the outcome is the same (even better if the animal repeats the action more than once knowing what the result was last time - repetition of a successful action shows conscious intent).

Now, with the human you'd have no trouble arguing about how intent plays a part in the decision on how to act, and why they did as they did.

Your adversary now has two avenues - he either accepts that the likely motive for the ape to behave exactly as a human does is an analogous intent to the human one.

Or he insists that an otherwise unknown hypothetical mechanism is at work, a fictitious mechanism totally unknown, alien and non-existant in the human, the chimps closest living relative.

Now what's more plausible a known mechanism with an explanation or the hypothetical one, which is just being different for the sake of being different?

------------

Message 1: The basis for ethics I refer to is grounded in our (the Homo Sapiens Sapiens species) ability to stand up and utilize our hands. This was seen as early as Homo Erectus and Homo Hobilis, when they stood up and began to create tools. With the ability to create tools (technology), we gained infinite radiation. This means that as a species, we were no longer confined to a single geographical location. Our ability to make tools allowed us to bypass Darwinian evolutionary theory; instead of our environment changing us, we changed our environment.

Actually, tools lead to the greatest leap in Darwinian evolution ever seen. We didn't "get smart" then make tools and evolution stopped. Tools => brain not brain => tools. If that was the case WHY did the brain develop in the first place.

We coevolved with our environment and our tools. I've heard this called gene-meme coevolution, where memes are like genes of ideas.

My own theory is that the first tools were thrown rocks, and the optimal technique developed was a mass of hominids all throwing rocks at predators or prey, in defense or hunting. This would have evened things up for the small hominids on the African plain against large creatures.

To fully implement this technique you would have needed to develop :

* Situational awareness i.e avoid hitting your friends with rocks, or getting in the way of their rocks, keep track of enemy creatures.

* Coordination of attack, as the technique was only really effective with mass cooperation (you'd need a lot of rocks to dissuade a large plains creature)

* Hand eye coordination and spatial judgement to aim effectively

* Logistical awareness to gather and maintain ammo supply and identify potential ammo supplies on the fly.

All this could have driven brain development and cooperation of the hunters.

Edited by jasonlang, : No reason given.

Edited by jasonlang, : No reason given.

Edited by jasonlang, : No reason given.


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Iblis
Member (Idle past 2183 days)
Posts: 663
Joined: 11-17-2005


Message 49 of 57 (541412)
01-03-2010 11:52 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by jasonlang
01-03-2010 9:09 AM


People and Fairness
Maybe it doesn't make sense in the short term, looking at energy in-energy out, but perhaps a sense of fairness i.e. getting your "fair share" has long term evolutionary benefits for a social animal, i.e. those who've settled for second best have had less offspring overall. In a longer study, though, they might have caved if the cucumber was the only sustenance on offer.

That's an interesting theory. I wouldnt want to be the one to test it, though.

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=...

St. James and LaDonna Davis raised Moe the chimp as their son. That was the word they used to describe him, and that was how they treated him — like a hairy, rambunctious child who was a pampered member of the family.

They taught him to wear clothes, to take showers, to use the toilet and to watch TV in their West Covina home.

On Thursday, the day they marked as Moe's 39th birthday, their love for the chimp nearly cost them their lives.

The Davises were visiting Moe at an animal sanctuary in eastern Kern County — where he had been banished in 1999 after biting a woman — when they were attacked by two other chimps and brutally mauled.

St. James Davis took the brunt of the attack, the ferocity of which stunned paramedics.

"I had no idea a chimpanzee was capable of doing that to a human," said Kern County Fire Capt. Curt Merrell, among the first on the scene. "It looked like a grizzly-bear attack."

Davis, 62, who remained in critical condition yesterday, was badly disfigured. According to his wife, he lost all the fingers from both hands, an eye, part of his nose, cheek and lips, and part of his buttocks. His foot was mutilated, and his heel bone was cracked. Authorities also told The Associated Press that his genitals were severely mauled.

Chimps. Don't. Cave.

Officials said they have no idea why the chimps attacked the Davises. But ape expert Deborah Fouts, director of the Chimp and Human Communication Institute at Central Washington University, said the attack may have been prompted by an emotion that chimps may share with humans: jealousy.

"Chimpanzees have a real sense of right and wrong and fairness and unfairness," Fouts said. "It sounds like people were showering a lot of attention on Moe, birthday cake and the like. ... Perhaps the other chimps were jealous of Moe."


This message is a reply to:
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jasonlang
Member (Idle past 1691 days)
Posts: 51
From: Australia
Joined: 07-14-2005


Message 50 of 57 (541414)
01-03-2010 12:20 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Iblis
01-03-2010 11:52 AM


Re: People and Fairness
Chimps don't cave. Gottit.

I'd never ever have a pet chimp, too many horror stories, way too strong and aggressive. Btw, it baffles me that it's even legal to have pet like that in America, it's certainly not something we have here. Why not have something safer like a giant tank of Pirahnas or a Boa Constrictor ?

I guess that's why they did the sharing research with cute little monkies instead.

Imagine trying to withhold goodies from a Chimp??

>>shudder<<

Edited by jasonlang, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 20156
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 51 of 57 (541415)
01-03-2010 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by ATheist
12-30-2009 12:26 PM


open minded skeptic
Hi again, FightingIrish,

For the sake of form, either reply to specific people or label your post "general reply" in the subtitle panel. If you do the latter, then replies to specific comments should be identified by poster and message to enhance clarity and understanding. Not everybody reads all the replies to a poster, and thus may take your responses to them out of context.

type [qs]FightingIrish, [mid=messageid]: Yeesh![/qs] and it becomes:

FightingIrish, Message 39: Yeesh!

Where the message id number is the gray number after "Message 39 of 47" at the top of your message (540972 for message 39).

Fairly simple, and it adds to the clarity and understanding.

I wasn't aware I'd be so highly criticized for only a few trends I've merely noticed!

This is typical for new people here, especially if you post something that is not a normal argument. There are a lot of skeptical people who will start with the position that you are wrong.

Anyway, Razd, I am familiar with logic. I am also aware of all of the fallacies associated with arguments. I also understand that some of the professors I've spoken with may not have as much scientific knowledge as you may have, which allows you to compartmentalize the crazy Catholics, once again.

Please note that I did not characterize your professors as "crazy Catholics" nor compartmentalized them. All I did was question their authority, the rationale for their dismissal of the concept that animals could have ethics and their a priori commitment to a belief rather than considering the facts. Many people do this, religious and non-religious.

Interestingly, I also think Dr A was spot on for the basis of their reasoning (Message 37). It's not a matter of scientific knowledge, but of knowledge of facts and information. Philosophy is the "love of knowledge" and this means all knowledge, not just cherry-picked bits and pieces.

Ask them what they think about the following concepts:

Worldview

Worldview (Wikipedia, 2009)
A comprehensive world view (or worldview) is a term calqued from the German word Weltanschauung (De-Weltanschauung.ogg ...) Welt is the German word for "world", and Anschauung is the German word for "view" or "outlook." It is a concept fundamental to German philosophy and epistemology and refers to a wide world perception. Additionally, it refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual interprets the world and interacts with it.

A worldview describes a consistent (to a varying degree) and integral sense of existence and provides a framework for generating, sustaining, and applying knowledge.

A worldview can be considered as comprising a number of basic beliefs which are philosophically equivalent to the axioms of the worldview considered as a logical theory. These basic beliefs cannot, by definition, be proven (in the logical sense) within the worldview precisely because they are axioms, and are typically argued from rather than argued for[16]. However their coherence can be explored philosophically and logically, and if two different worldviews have sufficient common beliefs it may be possible to have a constructive dialogue between them[17]

Confirmation Bias (Wikipedia, 2009)
In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias is a tendency to search for or interpret new information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions and avoids information and interpretations which contradict prior beliefs. It is a type of cognitive bias and represents an error of inductive inference, or as a form of selection bias toward confirmation of the hypothesis under study or disconfirmation of an alternative hypothesis.

Confirmation bias is of interest in the teaching of critical thinking, as the skill is misused if rigorous critical scrutiny is applied only to evidence challenging a preconceived idea but not to evidence supporting it.[1]

Cognitive dissonance(Wikipedia, 2009)
Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The "ideas" or "cognitions" in question may include attitudes and beliefs, and also the awareness of one's behavior. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.[1] Cognitive dissonance theory is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.

A powerful cause of dissonance is when an idea conflicts with a fundamental element of the self-concept, such as "I am a good person" or "I made the right decision." This can lead to rationalization when a person is presented with evidence of a bad choice. It can also lead to confirmation bias, the denial of disconfirming evidence, and other ego defense mechanisms.

These are things that shape our view of the world and how we react to new information. Philosophers, if they truly love knowledge (imhysao) should cherish all knowledge, perhaps with a skeptical but open mind, but certainly not discard a concept out of hand, and without have any empirical evidence or observation as justification to do so.

I however, will be speaking with the Microbiology department, who are Atheists in general. They would fall into your nicely categorized Group A, filled with all of the evolutionists, and those who have blindly gone along with the theory behind it.

Curiously, that is not what I said, rather what I said was that:

RAZD, Message 33: Group {A} includes people from religions around the world of every stripe and color, and a common feature is that they understand and accept that evolution is a common everyday fact, happening constantly around them. They have no problem with evolution, and no conflict between evolution and their various faiths.

You seem to have an idée fixe regarding atheists, and are ignoring the multifold examples of other religious types that accept the evidence for evolution in larger numbers than atheists. I suggest you drop this issue, for it will distract you from reality.

i·dée fixe –n (American Heritage Dictionary, 2009)
A fixed idea; an obsession.

Fascinatingly, I am not an atheist, nor have I "blindly gone along with the theory" of evolution, rather I have let the evidence speak for itself before coming to a conclusion. I know many people who take evolution, not on blind faith, but on a factual basis, just from observing the world around them.

Evolution - the process of change in the frequency of hereditary traits in breeding populations from generation to generation - is a fact: it has been observed and documented. It is occurring constantly in every species known to man. If you doubt this we can start a new thread to discuss it.

The theory of evolution is that this process is sufficient to explain the diversity of life as we know it, from the world around us, from history, prehistory, archaeology, paleontology, the fossil record and the genetic record. So far I have seen no evidence that this is not so.

By the way, there are older hominid fossils found than Laetoli (a strange piece of evidence to include none-the-less). For example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ardi was just found not too long ago.

Curiously, I am well aware of this, the ancestry of human development being one of my topics of interest.

The point being made by the footprints, was that there is irrefutable evidence of human ancestors that had already acquired bipedal locomotion while their brains were the same size as modern chimps. The point of Koko and the other apes that have learned various means to communicate with humans, is that they show an intelligence, and understanding, and an ethical awareness that surpasses some humans at the bottom end of the intelligence spectrum - ie there is not a quantitative difference between apes and humans in this regard.

As to Mike, there is a difference between believing in evolution because it's all you know (it becomes a fact rather than a belief), and accepting evolution given a philosophical understanding of evolution (pardon my adjective, if you would like, replace philosophical with profound).

Belief never becomes fact, for it, like opinion, is completely unable to affect reality.

And there is a third option for those not satisfied with your false dichotomy: looking at the actual available evidence and reaching your own conclusion. Again, if you want to discuss the factual basis behind evolution, we can start another thread.

I also agree with your other post, Mike. Most people simply compartmentalize their beliefs: religion has it's own box, evolution another, politics another, etc. But, as you can see, I'm not one for complacency! I want to pile everything into one nice messy box.

See worldview above.

Message 43

Since it's a theory, like gravity (a much stronger theory), it is subject to whatever interpretations we can come up with, right?

Not in the slightest. A theory makes predictions of what you will see if the theory is true, and what you will not see if the theory is true.and there are usually predictions of what you will see if the theory is false. The last two categories lead to falsification tests for the theory: if they occur, then the theory has to be revised or discarded. The first category leads to validation tests: if they occur then the theory is regarded as tentatively true.

One can argue that there are more unknowns to the theory of gravity than there are to the theory of evolution, but that would be another topic.

So, if I wanted to apply my philosophical knowledge which deals in absolutes based in empirical observations, then so be it. If I tried to disprove a fact, like 2+2=4, then you'd have a case for me misusing philosophy,...

Then how do you deal with the fact that mutations (random changes in DNA of seed cells) are an empirically observed fact, that natural selection (operating on the existing variations in breeding populations leads to better adaptation the the ecology) is an empirically observed fact, and that as a result evolution (the change in frequency of hereditary traits in breeding populations from generation to generation) is an observed fact. Indeed 2+2=4, except that we are using logic rather than math.

... but when it comes down to it philosophy is the strongest tool that any scientist can possess if they want to understand an event in the deepest levels of comprehension.

Logic is the strongest tool after science for determining the validity of concepts. Logic is the math of philosophy. Philosophy that ignores reality (in the form of facts known by science and empirical observation and logic) is delusion.

de·lu·sion -noun (American Heritage Dictionary 2009)

  1. ... a. The act or process of deluding.
    ... b. The state of being deluded.
  2. A false belief or opinion: labored under the delusion that success was at hand.
  3. Psychiatry A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence, especially as a symptom of mental illness: delusions of persecution.

In other words, when you hold an idee fixe in spite of contradictory evidence?

You can be deluded by unfounded, unsupported philosophical arguments, where the form of the arguments are valid, but the premises are only assumed to be true. You can be "convinced" by silver tongued snake-oil salesmen, politicians and philosophers, and this was Aristotle's problem. The question comes down to one simple question: how do you test for truth, for reality, in your application of philosophy?

So, if I wanted to apply my philosophical knowledge which deals in absolutes based in empirical observations, then so be it.

There is no absolute knowledge.

Enjoy

Edited by RAZD, : .

Edited by RAZD, : /b


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by ATheist, posted 12-30-2009 12:26 PM ATheist has not yet responded

  
Nuggin
Member (Idle past 780 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 52 of 57 (541421)
01-03-2010 12:56 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by jasonlang
01-03-2010 9:09 AM


Maybe it doesn't make sense in the short term, looking at energy in-energy out, but perhaps a sense of fairness i.e. getting your "fair share" has long term evolutionary benefits for a social animal, i.e. those who've settled for second best have had less offspring overall. In a longer study, though, they might have caved if the cucumber was the only sustenance on offer.

I agree. I'm just pointing out that it really does highlight the idea of "fairness" with in their head.

Without fairness as a concept, it's simple: do task, get food.

With fairness are seeing what other animals are getting, expecting the same, not getting it and realizing that they are getting the short end of the stick


This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by jasonlang, posted 01-03-2010 9:09 AM jasonlang has not yet responded

    
jasonlang
Member (Idle past 1691 days)
Posts: 51
From: Australia
Joined: 07-14-2005


Message 53 of 57 (541426)
01-03-2010 1:35 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by ATheist
12-30-2009 12:26 PM


As to Mike, there is a difference between believing in evolution because it's all you know (it becomes a fact rather than a belief), and accepting evolution given a philosophical understanding of evolution (pardon my adjective, if you would like, replace philosophical with profound).

In support of what RAZD has said I'd just like to point out i'm a programmer and Genetic Algorithms (Aka GAs : a simplistic implementation of natural selection with mutation) are one of the most powerful programming techniques known to man, able to design efficient solutions to problems which completely elude human "Intelligent Designers".

Though they're most often used for software this article is about a group using GAs for engineering super-efficient antennas for actual satellites :

http://ti.arc.nasa.gov/projects/esg/research/antenna.htm

GA's provide a "no brainer" approach to designing simple -> complex solutions to problems, requiring little to no human knowledge of the subject domain they are meant to be exploring, and they are an empirical proof-of-concept that the combination of selection and mutation has a strong ability to design novel solutions. Many of the designs have a WTF? feel to them, purely logical yet alien designs which no human would have intuitively come up with :

Automated Antenna Design

The spectrum of antenna designs for applications in communication, radar, and remote sensing systems is vast, and there is an increasing need for high-performance, customized antennas. Current methods of designing and optimizing antennas by hand are time and labor intensive, limit complexity, increase the time and cost expended, and require that antenna engineers have significant knowledge of the universe of antenna designs.

The use of evolutionary programming techniques to automate the design of antennas has recently garnered much attention. Considerable research has been focused on determining whether evolutionary techniques can be used to automatically design and optimize antennas so that they outperform those designed by expert antenna designers, and even whether evolutionary techniques can be used to design antennas in cases where humans are simply unable to.

In the Evolvable Systems Group, we have been conducting research on automated antenna design. Our approach has been to encode antenna structure into a genome and use a GA to evolve an antenna that best meets the desired antenna performance as defined in a fitness function. Antenna evaluations are performed by first converting a genotype into an antenna structure, and then simulating this antenna using the Numerical Electromagnetic Code (NEC) antenna simulation software.
....
Mars Odyssey UHF Antenna

The Mars Odyssey spacecraft is an orbiter carrying science experiments designed to make global observations of Mars. It carries onboard an UHF antenna, responsible for the primary, full-duplex, data link between the spacecraft and landed assets. The currently deployed antenna is a graphite/epoxy quadrifilar helix antenna (QHA) with a small ground plane.
....
We were able to evolve a quadrifilar helix antenna that was a quarter of the volume of the currently deployed Mars Odyssey antenna yet still achieving the performance characteristics of the latter.

Edited by jasonlang, : No reason given.

Edited by jasonlang, : No reason given.

Edited by jasonlang, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5826
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 54 of 57 (541487)
01-03-2010 9:28 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by ATheist
12-20-2009 1:10 PM


Humans (Homo Erectus/Hobilis, and eventually Sapiens Sapiens), along with their technological advances, had the ability to produce much more than their single survival needs. This is to say, that we gained the ability to choose whether or not to produce more than we need. We have the ability to decide whether or not to care for other humans and provide for them. This is a profound distinction which no other species in history can say they have. It is also the basis for why I believe ethics are requisite for the survival of the species.

Well, there are really only two inferences from which to draw upon. Either ethics was intentionally bestowed upon humans through divine intervention or it all came about through random processes.

While I honestly don't care either way all that much, may I offer a caveat? There is a tendency in academia to draw conclusions far beyond their appropriateness in the form of story-telling, a story-telling which is no different than what could have been written in the annals of the bible or some other sacred text.

People invent storylines about neanderthals and other early man based soley on incomplete evidence. It is a dangerous proposition to inform laymen on their alleged daily rituals. It really irritates me when I watch the Discovery Channel and they have these elaborate storylines about early hominds or dinosaurs, which, by the way, they could not possibly know by looking at fossil remains or by examining arrowheads.

It's ridiculous and, more importantly, hypocritical to scoff at creationist nonsense as being fabrications when the opposite side is doing the same thing without realizing it.

This being the case you could not reasonably draw upon homo habilis to offer any answers about modern ethics. That's my take on it. Now, is it fun to speculate? Sure. But you really aren't going to get anywhere with it, seems to me.

What we do know about ethics, based on credible data from history, is that it has itself gone through a series of evolutions. Where it all began, we do not yet know and may never know.

Edited by Hyroglyphx, : No reason given.


"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." --John Adams

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by Dr Adequate, posted 01-03-2010 10:56 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16107
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 8.0


Message 55 of 57 (541504)
01-03-2010 10:56 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by Hyroglyphx
01-03-2010 9:28 PM


Well, there are really only two inferences from which to draw upon. Either ethics was intentionally bestowed upon humans through divine intervention or it all came about through random processes.

Or it could have evolved.

While I honestly don't care either way all that much, may I offer a caveat? There is a tendency in academia to draw conclusions far beyond their appropriateness in the form of story-telling, a story-telling which is no different than what could have been written in the annals of the bible or some other sacred text.

People invent storylines about neanderthals and other early man based soley on incomplete evidence. It is a dangerous proposition to inform laymen on their alleged daily rituals. It really irritates me when I watch the Discovery Channel and they have these elaborate storylines about early hominds or dinosaurs, which, by the way, they could not possibly know by looking at fossil remains or by examining arrowheads.

It's ridiculous and, more importantly, hypocritical to scoff at creationist nonsense as being fabrications when the opposite side is doing the same thing without realizing it.

You seem to be confusing "academia" with the Discovery Channel.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by Hyroglyphx, posted 01-03-2010 9:28 PM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by Hyroglyphx, posted 01-04-2010 9:31 AM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5826
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 56 of 57 (541525)
01-04-2010 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 55 by Dr Adequate
01-03-2010 10:56 PM


You seem to be confusing "academia" with the Discovery Channel.

Isn't the D.C. or National Geographic inextricably linked to academia?


"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." --John Adams

This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by Dr Adequate, posted 01-03-2010 10:56 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by Huntard, posted 01-04-2010 9:48 AM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

    
Huntard
Member (Idle past 583 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 57 of 57 (541526)
01-04-2010 9:48 AM
Reply to: Message 56 by Hyroglyphx
01-04-2010 9:31 AM


Hyroglyphx writes:

Isn't the D.C. or National Geographic inextricably linked to academia?


Yes, and no.

What I mean is, yes, they base their shows on scientific findings (well, not all shows), however, where the scientist in question in his report probably says. This and this is an indication that Neanderthal could've lived in such and such a manner, D.C. or N.G. turn that into Neanderthal did this and this.


I hunt for the truth

I am the one Orgasmatron, the outstretched grasping hand
My image is of agony, my servants rape the land
Obsequious and arrogant, clandestine and vain
Two thousand years of misery, of torture in my name
Hypocrisy made paramount, paranoia the law
My name is called religion, sadistic, sacred whore.
-Lyrics by Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by Hyroglyphx, posted 01-04-2010 9:31 AM Hyroglyphx has not yet responded

    
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