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Author Topic:   Is Evolution the Work of Satan?
Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 91 of 104 (591769)
11-15-2010 9:45 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by frako
11-15-2010 8:41 PM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
frako writes:

can you tell me the name of the bloke from the bible that was orderd by god to kill everyone in a city

You are going to have to narrow it down a bit more than that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by frako, posted 11-15-2010 8:41 PM frako has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 92 by frako, posted 11-16-2010 10:41 AM Phage0070 has not yet responded

  
frako
Member
Posts: 2813
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 92 of 104 (591839)
11-16-2010 10:41 AM
Reply to: Message 91 by Phage0070
11-15-2010 9:45 PM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
Damm still cant find it it was a long time ago when i saw it or read it. The guy from the bible starts whit a J i think.

As i remeber it was a survey in a Jewish school, they where asked questions and where given anwsers like,totally morally wrong, morally wrong, morally right, and totally morally right. When the question of the actions from the guy in the bible came most anwsered morally right, and totally morally right, when the chinese guy that did the same thing as the guy in the bible came up, most anwsered morally wrong, or totally morally wrong. It showed that our morals are biast to our comunity. Ill keep looking for it though it is hard cause i do not know either the chinese guys name, or the ones from the bible, i forgot where i saw/read the study or for what i was searching for when i found it the first time. For some reason i also think that i could have seen it on a discovery channel.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Phage0070, posted 11-15-2010 9:45 PM Phage0070 has not yet responded

    
Stephen Push
Member (Idle past 2933 days)
Posts: 140
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 10-08-2010


Message 93 of 104 (591867)
11-16-2010 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by frako
11-15-2010 8:41 PM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
Perhaps it was Joshua.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by frako, posted 11-15-2010 8:41 PM frako has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by frako, posted 11-16-2010 7:10 PM Stephen Push has responded

  
frako
Member
Posts: 2813
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 94 of 104 (591876)
11-16-2010 7:10 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by Stephen Push
11-16-2010 3:18 PM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
In 1966, the Israeli psychologist Georges Tamarin presented, to 1,066 schoolchildren ages 8-14, the Biblical story of Joshua's battle in Jericho:

"Then they utterly destroyed all in the city, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and asses, with the edge of the sword... And they burned the city with fire, and all within it; only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD."

After being presented with the Joshua story, the children were asked:

"Do you think Joshua and the Israelites acted rightly or not?"

66% of the children approved, 8% partially disapproved, and 26% totally disapproved of Joshua's actions.

A control group of 168 children was presented with an isomorphic story about "General Lin" and a "Chinese Kingdom 3,000 years ago". 7% of this group approved, 18% partially disapproved, and 75% completely disapproved of General Lin.

Though i did not initialy find it here

http://lesswrong.com/lw/rr/the_moral_void/

http://books.google.com/books?id=igN6Q9weoYQC&pg=PA39&lpg...

more on the subject


This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by Stephen Push, posted 11-16-2010 3:18 PM Stephen Push has responded

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 Message 99 by Stephen Push, posted 11-20-2010 9:06 AM frako has not yet responded

    
Otto Tellick
Member (Idle past 404 days)
Posts: 288
From: PA, USA
Joined: 02-17-2008


Message 95 of 104 (591915)
11-17-2010 3:56 AM
Reply to: Message 88 by GDR
11-15-2010 8:54 PM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
GDR writes:

Phage0070 writes:

A naturalistic view of the world easily lends itself to the conclusion that there is no objective moral code. In that sense there is no "absolute right and wrong" outside the views of the individual. Our condemnation of genocide is then based on our moral views conflicting with the perpetrator's, as all moral differences are simply differences of opinion and view; if someone is to hold your same moral view they will likely require to hold similar goals.


I agree that is the naturalist view. It does mean though that Hitler was only right or wrong depending on your point of view which might even change day by day according to circumstances.

While I agree with most of what Phage0070 says, I think the part quoted above is incorrect because it ignores an important factor that is readily evident in our cultural evolution:

As a general rule, there is strength and safety in numbers. A larger group of individuals acting collaboratively will generally have better chances of surviving adversity and improving the quality of life when compared to a smaller group. Also, when all individuals within the group are treated with respect and fairness, fostering a sense of self-worth, the group is stronger, more cohesive, and more successful.

It follows naturally that behaviors leading to larger, stronger collaborative groups (wider acceptance of differences among individuals and subgroups, etc) will tend to succeed over those that lead to smaller groups (rejection, exclusion, denial of rights, killing, etc). In effect, natural selection favors the former behaviors, and in fact the history of human cultural evolution shows a general trend toward larger and larger collaborative groups over the ages, correlated with broader acceptance of diversity within these larger groups.

Obviously, there are plenty of exceptions to the trend, and there is no guarantee against reversals of the trend. But I hold that it's wrong to attribute these exceptions and reversals to "lack of religion" (as many theists do), just as you would say it's wrong to blame them on religion (as many atheists do).

The pragmatic truth of the matter is that some religious sects fully accept and practice those "good" (naturally selected) behaviors that lead to larger, stronger and more diverse collaborative groups. But frankly, I don't see this as an attribute of the majority of religions and religious believers, and that's a serious problem.

Meanwhile, secular humanism, being founded on respect for individuals, aimed toward maximizing collaboration, and guided by evidence, has the essential attributes for success built in.

It also means that there is no real moral distinction between the humanitarian aims of Mother Theresa and the totalitarian aims of Hitler if there is no objective moral code.

Curiously, Mother Theresa's actions are not uniformly admired by all. Let me suggest a search on YouTube using the terms "Hitchens Theresa"; you'll find a collection of video snippets where Christopher Hitchens explains his negative assessment of the world's most famous Catholic nun. I personally wouldn't seek to defame her, but he does make some good points...

In any case, my point is that Hitler's methods clearly go the wrong way in evolutionary terms, and this is easily substantiated by evidence and simple logic. It's really appalling -- in fact, insulting -- how often his name is invoked in theistic arguments against secular humanism. The same applies to invoking Stalin and other "godless" dictators. Secular humanism has nothing at all to do with these bastards.


autotelic adj. (of an entity or event) having within itself the purpose of its existence or happening.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by GDR, posted 11-15-2010 8:54 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by GDR, posted 11-18-2010 10:34 PM Otto Tellick has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 96 of 104 (592127)
11-18-2010 10:34 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by Otto Tellick
11-17-2010 3:56 AM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
Otto Tellick writes:

As a general rule, there is strength and safety in numbers. A larger group of individuals acting collaboratively will generally have better chances of surviving adversity and improving the quality of life when compared to a smaller group. Also, when all individuals within the group are treated with respect and fairness, fostering a sense of self-worth, the group is stronger, more cohesive, and more successful.

It follows naturally that behaviors leading to larger, stronger collaborative groups (wider acceptance of differences among individuals and subgroups, etc) will tend to succeed over those that lead to smaller groups (rejection, exclusion, denial of rights, killing, etc). In effect, natural selection favors the former behaviors, and in fact the history of human cultural evolution shows a general trend toward larger and larger collaborative groups over the ages, correlated with broader acceptance of diversity within these larger groups.

Obviously, there are plenty of exceptions to the trend, and there is no guarantee against reversals of the trend. But I hold that it's wrong to attribute these exceptions and reversals to "lack of religion" (as many theists do), just as you would say it's wrong to blame them on religion (as many atheists do).

I was not trying to make the point that it was either the fault of religion or the lack of it. I am just contending that there is an external objective morality that all are called to but that can also be ignored. I suggest that outside of a small minority of humans when they break this code they are aware of it and do it anyway out of self interest.

Otto Tellick writes:

The pragmatic truth of the matter is that some religious sects fully accept and practice those "good" (naturally selected) behaviors that lead to larger, stronger and more diverse collaborative groups. But frankly, I don't see this as an attribute of the majority of religions and religious believers, and that's a serious problem.

I think that I made the point that it is true for the Christian religion which is not to say that it is necessarily true of all of its followers. It is also true of Buddhism.

Otto Tellick writes:

Meanwhile, secular humanism, being founded on respect for individuals, aimed toward maximizing collaboration, and guided by evidence, has the essential attributes for success built in.

But all of its followers dont follow those attributes either. There is still no way to know however whether the attributes you talked about were formed because of an external moral code or not. It is my belief that they are but it cant be proven either way.

Otto Tellick writes:

In any case, my point is that Hitler's methods clearly go the wrong way in evolutionary terms, and this is easily substantiated by evidence and simple logic. It's really appalling -- in fact, insulting -- how often his name is invoked in theistic arguments against secular humanism. The same applies to invoking Stalin and other "godless" dictators. Secular humanism has nothing at all to do with these bastards.

I didnt link Hitler to secular humanism. I was only trying to make the point that if a moral code is strictly the result of evolutionary forces then I cant see where we can objectively say that one moral code is correct and another one isnt. Hitlers moral code led him to believe that Jews should be exterminated and it seems that many agreed with him and no doubt some still do. Most of us see that as abhorrent regardless of our religious views. However, once again if there is only a non-directed evolutionary process that produced our moral code then we cant objectively make the point that we are right and the Nazis were and are wrong.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by Otto Tellick, posted 11-17-2010 3:56 AM Otto Tellick has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 97 by Otto Tellick, posted 11-20-2010 12:22 AM GDR has not yet responded

    
Otto Tellick
Member (Idle past 404 days)
Posts: 288
From: PA, USA
Joined: 02-17-2008


Message 97 of 104 (592367)
11-20-2010 12:22 AM
Reply to: Message 96 by GDR
11-18-2010 10:34 PM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
GDR writes:

I am just contending that there is an external objective morality that all are called to...

This strikes me as a strange and improper use of "objective", especially in view of what your use of "external" is supposed to mean here (i.e. supernatural, external to observable reality, not based on evidence).

The core problem with morality based on religion, whether by "revelation" or exegesis of "sacred text", is that its authority rests solely on people's credulity toward the pronouncers of moral law who proclaim they speak on God's behalf.

In order for a code of morality to be objective, it must be evidence-based, and if I understand your position correctly, you don't really accept observable evidence as the primary determiner of "good" vs. "bad". This in turn would, as I see it, tend to explain your subsequent comments.

There is still no way to know however whether the attributes you talked about were formed because of an external moral code or not. It is my belief that they are but it cant be proven either way.

I'm inclined to accept the evidence that has been presented to show how these attributes (affection, empathy, altruism) arise and spread as a natural consequence of natural processes, just as their perpetual conflict with aloofness, selfishness and greed is also natural. There's no need or compelling reason to appeal to supernatural causation for either side in this conflict -- the matter simply isn't that mysterious on close inspection.

Hitlers moral code led him to believe that Jews should be exterminated and it seems that many agreed with him and no doubt some still do.

If you want to say that selfishness, greed and probably mental illness constitute a "moral code", then the phrase "Hitler's moral code" would make some sort of sense. But I see no point in extending the use of "moral code" in that way, and I would advise against it.

... if there is only a non-directed evolutionary process that produced our moral code then we cant objectively make the point that we are right and the Nazis were and are wrong.

Is it your religious belief that leads you to make this statement? You've expressed a truly pitiable point of view, bordering on pathetic, and you should seriously re-examine the ideas that have taken you in this direction.

If you can't understand how genocide and enslavement (the most extreme forms of win-lose / zero-sum interaction) would ultimately fail in evolutionary competition against incorporation and collaboration (win-win / positive-sum interaction), you just aren't thinking clearly.

In case I really need to connect all the dots for you: natural selection defines "success" as "growth", "diversification", and "robustness in the face of adversity". Discrimination, enslavement and mass murder are not conducive to success in those terms -- quite the contrary.

Meanwhile, the things that your version of Christianity have in common with secular humanism are in fact the things that support that kind of success. I would assert that Christianity's popularity is attributable mostly to its relatively large overlap with a truly (objectively) successful "moral code", despite all its bizarre trappings (original sin, eternal damnation, etc).

Let me recommend a book by Robert Wright, called "Non-Zero" -- it explains the perpetual competition between zero-sum and non-zero-sum behaviors, and demonstrates, with evidence, how and why non-zero-sum behavior is the predominant victor. It's far more objective, and more coherent, than any religion-based account of morality I've ever seen.


autotelic adj. (of an entity or event) having within itself the purpose of its existence or happening.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 96 by GDR, posted 11-18-2010 10:34 PM GDR has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 98 by Stephen Push, posted 11-20-2010 8:59 AM Otto Tellick has not yet responded

  
Stephen Push
Member (Idle past 2933 days)
Posts: 140
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 10-08-2010


Message 98 of 104 (592446)
11-20-2010 8:59 AM
Reply to: Message 97 by Otto Tellick
11-20-2010 12:22 AM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
Otto Tellick writes:

If you can't understand how genocide and enslavement (the most extreme forms of win-lose / zero-sum interaction) would ultimately fail in evolutionary competition against incorporation and collaboration (win-win / positive-sum interaction), you just aren't thinking clearly.

While I can see that within group cooperation is probably an evolutionarily stable strategy, it is not a foregone conclusion that cooperation between groups is. Throughout history, conquerors have often been successful at spreading their genes and their cultures. Chimpanzees show a similar pattern. A recent study documented that a band of chimps that engaged in years of brutal combat with a smaller neighboring group has wiped out that group and taken over its territory.

In case I really need to connect all the dots for you: natural selection defines "success" as "growth", "diversification", and "robustness in the face of adversity". Discrimination, enslavement and mass murder are not conducive to success in those terms -- quite the contrary.

The only standard of "success" in biological evolution is how many of your genes you pass on to the next generation. Aggressive war, mass murder, ensalvement, and rape may be human behaviors that have been favored by natural selection.

Meanwhile, the things that your version of Christianity have in common with secular humanism are in fact the things that support that kind of success.

Religious and secular humanism may have to overcome some genetic predispositions -- while reinforcing others -- to create a more humane future.

Let me recommend a book by Robert Wright, called "Non-Zero" -- it explains the perpetual competition between zero-sum and non-zero-sum behaviors, and demonstrates, with evidence, how and why non-zero-sum behavior is the predominant victor. It's far more objective, and more coherent, than any religion-based account of morality I've ever seen.

I've read Wright's The Moral Animal but not Non-Zero. I'll add it to my reading list.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by Otto Tellick, posted 11-20-2010 12:22 AM Otto Tellick has not yet responded

  
Stephen Push
Member (Idle past 2933 days)
Posts: 140
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 10-08-2010


Message 99 of 104 (592447)
11-20-2010 9:06 AM
Reply to: Message 94 by frako
11-16-2010 7:10 PM


Tamarin's 1966 Study
frako,

Thank you for the reference. I find it very interesting. It seems to confirm my view that in humans natural selection has tended to support cooperation within groups and competition between groups.

Edited by Stephen Push, : No reason given.

Edited by Stephen Push, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by frako, posted 11-16-2010 7:10 PM frako has not yet responded

  
Stephen Push
Member (Idle past 2933 days)
Posts: 140
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 10-08-2010


(2)
Message 100 of 104 (592450)
11-20-2010 9:17 AM
Reply to: Message 89 by GDR
11-15-2010 9:15 PM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
GDR writes:

The question of course is why do we have an innate moral sense and how do we know which moral sense we should listen to.

We have an innate moral sense because it helped our ancestors propagate their genes. There is no external, objective answer to your question about which moral sense we should listen to. But I would submit that in the modern world we will all be better off if we widen our circle of moral concern so that our natural tendency for within-group cooperation applies to the whole human race.

Edited by Stephen Push, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by GDR, posted 11-15-2010 9:15 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by GDR, posted 11-20-2010 2:48 PM Stephen Push has acknowledged this reply

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


(1)
Message 101 of 104 (592506)
11-20-2010 2:48 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by Stephen Push
11-20-2010 9:17 AM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
Stephen Push writes:

But I would submit that in the modern world we will all be better off if we widen our circle of moral concern so that our natural tendency for within-group coopertion applies to the whole human race.

Amen!!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by Stephen Push, posted 11-20-2010 9:17 AM Stephen Push has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 102 by frako, posted 11-20-2010 3:18 PM GDR has not yet responded

    
frako
Member
Posts: 2813
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


(2)
Message 102 of 104 (592521)
11-20-2010 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by GDR
11-20-2010 2:48 PM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
Stephen Push writes:

But I would submit that in the modern world we will all be better off if we widen our circle of moral concern so that our natural tendency for within-group coopertion applies to the whole human race.

Amen!!

Yes it is time to say condoms are not a sin but a tool to stop aids from spreding.

It is time that Abortion whitin the first 3 monts is good if the child that would be borne has no real chance of having a quality life, if the child was spawned by rape, by minors .....

It is time to say gay people are people too let them get married.

It is time to say muslims, christians, scientists, atheists, baphtists... are all people too lets not blow them up

.....

I know it is off topic but it had to be said.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by GDR, posted 11-20-2010 2:48 PM GDR has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 103 by Stephen Push, posted 11-20-2010 6:00 PM frako has not yet responded
 Message 104 by Panda, posted 11-20-2010 9:23 PM frako has not yet responded

    
Stephen Push
Member (Idle past 2933 days)
Posts: 140
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 10-08-2010


Message 103 of 104 (592574)
11-20-2010 6:00 PM
Reply to: Message 102 by frako
11-20-2010 3:18 PM


Where Does Morality Come From?
frako writes:

I know it is off topic but it had to be said.

It did. Don't worry about going off topic. We all did that about 30 posts ago.

Edited by Stephen Push, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 102 by frako, posted 11-20-2010 3:18 PM frako has not yet responded

  
Panda
Member (Idle past 1787 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 104 of 104 (592638)
11-20-2010 9:23 PM
Reply to: Message 102 by frako
11-20-2010 3:18 PM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
frako writes:

I know it is off topic but it had to be said.


It might need to be shouted at the 'hard of hearing' too.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 102 by frako, posted 11-20-2010 3:18 PM frako has not yet responded

  
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