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Author Topic:   Morality without God is impossible
Tangle
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Posts: 8576
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 152 of 306 (873060)
03-09-2020 11:10 AM
Reply to: Message 148 by RAZD
03-09-2020 9:32 AM


Re: Are the morals of a lion the same as an antelope?
RAZD writes:

Empathy and compassion have been observed in many animals, from dogs to horses to camels to whales, as well as in chimps, especially where deaths of offspring are mourned

We've also seen experiments with Capuchin monkeys have a sense of morality

We also see whales and dolphins protecting/helping swimmers

Sure. Or at lest we see behaviours that look to us like empathetic behaviour. That's ok by me, but it's not moral behaviour. Moral behaviour requires both the instincts to act empathetically in certain situations and the capacity to choice whether to obey them or not. It may be that higher apes may have some limited capacity to intellectually choose, but I doubt it goes too deep.

So it should be rather obvious that "morality" is relative to the specific species and society and that it is an evolved behavior/trait.

I think that what we call morality is human specific and it is both an evolved instinct and a socially learnt trait. Being so it will be both universal and vary between societies based on their history and level of development.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 148 by RAZD, posted 03-09-2020 9:32 AM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 153 by Faith, posted 03-09-2020 11:18 AM Tangle has not replied
 Message 156 by RAZD, posted 03-09-2020 11:35 AM Tangle has not replied
 Message 165 by frako, posted 03-10-2020 6:47 AM Tangle has not replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8576
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 159 of 306 (873078)
03-09-2020 12:32 PM
Reply to: Message 154 by RAZD
03-09-2020 11:20 AM


Re: Are the morals of a lion the same as an antelope?
RAZD writes:

Yet you say…

Yes, I say that some animals exhibit what we think of as moral behaviour and the apes seem to do it more than others. It's limited by their intelligence and concept of agency though.

and empathy and compassion can be observed in the behavior of many animals. Thus they have at least the basis for morality.

Yes, as I said.

so unless an individual is capable of "understanding the difference between good behaviour and bad" they cannot have morals?

Pretty much, yes. Morality is the ability/intelligence to make independent rational decisions, know the difference between right and wrong and deliberately choose between them.

Certainly many animals are capable of making decisions, and who are we to decide that they are or are not good/bad decisions? ... is this grass good to eat? or should we just smoke it?

I doubt you'll find many people agreeing with you that choosing between good and bad things to eat is a moral decision.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 154 by RAZD, posted 03-09-2020 11:20 AM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 169 by RAZD, posted 03-10-2020 12:08 PM Tangle has replied
 Message 170 by ringo, posted 03-10-2020 12:22 PM Tangle has not replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8576
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 172 of 306 (873131)
03-10-2020 12:42 PM
Reply to: Message 169 by RAZD
03-10-2020 12:08 PM


Re: Are the morals of a lion the same as an antelope?
RAZD writes:

What is that?(Agency)

In social science, agency is defined as the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices.
Agency - Wikipedia(sociology)

Don't expect a fully formed highly developed and nuanced moral concept to leap into existence.

Why would I expect that?

It's a choice between what is good to eat and what is bad to eat, consider it the first stage in determining what is good for the individual and what is bad for the individual.

No. That's simply instinct and training. Morality has nothing to do with it.

I don't think anyone will be able to point to one behavior/"agent"/etc and say that is where moral behavior starts ... and be able to justify it as anything other than opinion.

That doesn't matter; we know what moral behaviour is in humans and that's what we're discussing. There's no debate that morality is an evolved trait like any other and those that say that it's god given and for us only need to watch chimpanzees for a while. But our morality is light years away from the behaviours of the highest apes - if morality is on a spectrum spectrum we're so far to the right that it would need a log scale for H. sapiens to appear on it.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 169 by RAZD, posted 03-10-2020 12:08 PM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 175 by Stile, posted 03-10-2020 1:14 PM Tangle has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8576
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 176 of 306 (873138)
03-10-2020 1:44 PM
Reply to: Message 175 by Stile
03-10-2020 1:14 PM


Re: Are the morals of a lion the same as an antelope?
Stile writes:

Therefore - any conclusion of "it must be instinct/training!" or even "it must be intelligent-level decisions!" would be equally wrong - we can't possibly know either.

Sure we can. Animals are adapted to their food; stomachs, gut, teeth, even their shape, size and muscular structure. A horse will never attempt to hunt a wilder beast and a lion will never graze for its food. I've watched a mother meerkat train her baby to eat scorpions and crows copy each other with tools and so on.

This is not morality or anything even close to it; it's animals naturally doing what they've been 'designed' to do. If they didn't they'd die.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 175 by Stile, posted 03-10-2020 1:14 PM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 177 by Stile, posted 03-10-2020 2:42 PM Tangle has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8576
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 178 of 306 (873147)
03-10-2020 2:59 PM
Reply to: Message 177 by Stile
03-10-2020 2:42 PM


Re: Are the morals of a lion the same as an antelope?
Stile writes:

All I have to do is to show one decision by one animal that could have gone a few different ways - and the animal wouldn't "die" if it did it slightly differently - and your premise is shown to be false.

Well of course that wasn't my point or anything like it. A horse would die if it 'decided' to eat only lion - or mice. A horse eats only what it's evolved to eat, otherwise it dies because its digestive system works that way.

But I'm afraid I've lost the plot here, what has any of this got to do with human moral choices and god's involvement in them?


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 177 by Stile, posted 03-10-2020 2:42 PM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 179 by Stile, posted 03-10-2020 3:07 PM Tangle has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8576
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 180 of 306 (873156)
03-10-2020 3:35 PM
Reply to: Message 179 by Stile
03-10-2020 3:07 PM


Re: Are the morals of a lion the same as an antelope?
Stile writes:

If humans do not actually make decisions - if we only do what we're naturally 'designed' to do without any intellectual decision making - then all decisions/choices are nothing but the illusion of decision/choice and we're all robots. And robots don't have morality.

Humans make complex, intelligent decisions - deliberate rational choices that don't depend on prior knowledge of a situation. They have knowledge of the future and the effect a decision has beyond the present. Was that worth saying?

This idea you're promoting, that animals are not capable of making intelligent decisions - and how it seems to equally apply to humans, has the consequence of turning humans into robots who do not have morality at all.

Almost all of animal behaviour is autonomous and instinctual - even ours. We are differentiated from all other animals by having evolved a pre-frontal cortex capable of executive functioning. Morality depends on this high-level ability to make reasoned choices. Only humans have that capability.

If you want to say humans have morality

I foolishly thought that that was not in doubt?

and then argue if it can exist without God or not - you need to show a clear delineation between animals and humans

I need do no such thing. We are discussing human morality, we can point to some indications of moral-like behaviour in some higher apes which is a nice bit of evidence that morality is at least partly an evolved trait but that's as useful as it gets.

for this idea of "only naturally doing what they're 'designed' to do" (instincts - why animals cannot avoid them yet human can) or accept that animals don't always act on instincts and are quite capable of making (some/limited..) intelligent decisions.

There's no argument that some animals can show some signs of intelligence, but what that has to do with human morality and god still defeats me. When an ape can comment here on the trolley problem it might get relevant but until then, let's stick to the point.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 179 by Stile, posted 03-10-2020 3:07 PM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 181 by Stile, posted 03-10-2020 3:59 PM Tangle has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8576
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 182 of 306 (873165)
03-10-2020 4:30 PM
Reply to: Message 181 by Stile
03-10-2020 3:59 PM


Re: Are the morals of a lion the same as an antelope?
Stile writes:

Can't the same be said for the dogs in the previous link I gave you? If so - again - what's the difference between animals and humans other than one of degree?

And what's the difference between a dog and an amoeba except one of degree? The extent of the degree matters and the difference in intelligence and rational decision making is vast.

When you can bring a dog here and get it to discuss anything here, you'll have a point, until then let's stick to the title of the thread.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 181 by Stile, posted 03-10-2020 3:59 PM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 183 by Stile, posted 03-11-2020 8:37 AM Tangle has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8576
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 184 of 306 (873195)
03-11-2020 9:45 AM
Reply to: Message 183 by Stile
03-11-2020 8:37 AM


Re: Morality and dogs
It's accepted that some higher animals show moral-like behaviours and degrees of intelligence. It's an indication that our own advanced forms of morality are based in systems and functions that have evolved.

That's as far as it goes.

I think you have accepted that human morality is many orders of magnitude more advanced. Here we are (trying) to discuss whether a god is required for human morality as GDR claims it is.

If you'd like to discuss the extent of moral behaviour in animals, please start a new thread.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 183 by Stile, posted 03-11-2020 8:37 AM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 188 by Stile, posted 03-12-2020 8:50 AM Tangle has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8576
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 191 of 306 (873267)
03-12-2020 10:28 AM
Reply to: Message 188 by Stile
03-12-2020 8:50 AM


Re: Morality and dogs
Stile writes:

Thank-you, that's all you ever had to say.

And it's what I've said many times now.

The only thing I didn't accept was any implication that animals had "no morality" simply because humans' is much more advanced - it doesn't even make sense.

I do not believe that animals are moral agents; morality is a human construct. Some animals can exhibit what we call moral behaviour but their ability to foresee the future and make complex, rational decisions about harms and wrongs is very limited in comparison to ours.

But it's highly messy because we evolved from the same tree and therefore share many things with them - some more developed that others. If you're interested, this is useful

The Moral Status of Animals (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 188 by Stile, posted 03-12-2020 8:50 AM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 195 by Stile, posted 03-12-2020 4:45 PM Tangle has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8576
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 196 of 306 (873296)
03-13-2020 3:46 AM
Reply to: Message 195 by Stile
03-12-2020 4:45 PM


Re: Morality and dogs
Stile writes:

And continue to contradict yourself.

Alternatively, you don't understand what I'm saying.

Do animals show "moral-like behaviours?" (as you've already said) or do you believe they are not moral agents?"
Or are you going to quibble that having "moral-like behaviours" isn't actually being a "moral agent"

Yes, that's exactly what I am going to do.

The fact that some animals exhibit some low-order moral behaviours that could just as easily be described as instinctual does not make them full moral agents capable of rational choice, conceptual and future thinking. They don't even have the language capability necessary to communicate their 'thinking'. The difference between us and even higher apes is our executive functioning and self-consciousness created by our very large and unique pre-frontal cortex. This is not simply a matter of degree, it's a category difference.

” Very limited in comparison to humans" isn't the same as "has none."

And “has none” is something I have always been careful not to say. That's your very own straw man.

Did you read it at all?

Yes

It doesn't answer the question.

It doesn't answer the question because it's all very grey, complicated and messy. What you're getting from me is my side of the argument that 'real' morality is a human construct that requires a human brain. Which, by-the-way is the majority position.

But none of this has anything to do with the thread - (save that it shows morality is an evolved trait)


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 195 by Stile, posted 03-12-2020 4:45 PM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 197 by Stile, posted 03-13-2020 10:14 AM Tangle has not replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8576
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


(1)
Message 206 of 306 (873865)
03-20-2020 3:30 PM
Reply to: Message 205 by RAZD
03-20-2020 3:18 PM


Re: De Wall: The Bonobo and the Atheist
RAZD writes:

Morals are evolved. Then religion was plastered on it to create an external authority.

So much, so obvious.

It was GDR that claims otherwise, but he's not saying how he reached that conclusion other than it being what he believes.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 205 by RAZD, posted 03-20-2020 3:18 PM RAZD has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 208 by GDR, posted 03-21-2020 1:37 AM Tangle has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8576
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 209 of 306 (873899)
03-21-2020 4:10 AM
Reply to: Message 208 by GDR
03-21-2020 1:37 AM


Re: Morality Evolved
GDR writes:

We are evolved creatures and we can see that morality does evolve within cultures. The evolution of cultural traits are the result of cultural replicators which Dawkins cleverly labelled as memes.

I prefer to call this stuff social learning - societies develop over time to create more complex and organised arrangements that govern their activities.

For example tastes in music evolve within a cultural as we are subject to the various musical memes that we infect each other with. We do the same with morals. However, we also all have part of us as humans that draw us towards the dark side of selfishness, where we are prepared to affect each other negatively for our own benefit.

Yes, we know that we are both selfish and caring and the way we behave differs according the circumstances we find ourselves in.

It is my belief that within that mix there is a God meme that also subconsciously tells us that we should live by the Golden Rule. Like all memes we are free to reject it. It is your belief that no such meme exists. It is all belief.

You see, everything comes back to what you believe, regardless of what we actually know.

The god you believe in is not a meme; he's supposed to be very real. *I* believe that your god is a meme - purely an idea spread throughout our cultures.

What we *know* as facts, rather than beliefs, are that morality is an emotion measurable in the human brain and is present in many other advanced social species.

It is therefore an evolved trait like all others. We also know that there is no externally operating 'still small voice' telling us what to do and what not to do. Moral impulses are internal and individual.

We know this because if the parts of the brain responsible for our moral choices get damaged our 'still small voice' is silenced and we behave in grossly immoral ways. I refer you back to Fred. How does your social meme, your God-voice explain this? Can god be silenced?


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 208 by GDR, posted 03-21-2020 1:37 AM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 212 by GDR, posted 03-21-2020 12:45 PM Tangle has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8576
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 211 of 306 (873926)
03-21-2020 11:55 AM
Reply to: Message 210 by mike the wiz
03-21-2020 10:30 AM


MtW writes:

By analogy there is a game called, "Scruples", but the problem is this; where did the makers of "Scruples" get their set of criteria?

People made them up. Probably a committee and they probably changed a bit over time as people got to play it. That's the normal way with rules of games.

So that is the problem, if God did not exist then basically if somebody murders you, to see this according to the implications of atheist materialism, it follows that strictly speaking all that happened when someone murdered you was that molecules collided.

It's a really stupid way of putting it but yes, when someone kills someone it causes a change in that person that we call death. And it doesn't matter whether the observer is what you (also stupidly) call an 'atheist materialist', a Tahitan witchdoctor or a wacko American pentecostalist.

How we view that event depends on how our morality has developed. Sometimes some of us regard it as OK - war, state execution - sometime we regard it as bad - murder. Sometimes we just don't know - abortion, euthanasia. And always there are differences of opinion. No absolutes anywhere.

You see this is the problem, if you're going to tell people they're ultimately just a material accident, then logically it follows that there really isn't any morality, in that if you die and you were murdered, there is no actual justice after death in a materialist scenario.

Actually, there's no logic in any of that is there? What has justice after death got to do with anything? Morality is a human concept that doesn't require justice after death - whatever that is.

Under a strict evolutionary, materialist scenario, it quite literally would not ultimately matter to the universe if you were sliced, diced then thrown on the fire, or lived a life of paradise-like perfection.

Well again, it doesn't matter to the universe whatever scenario you chose to take. But it does matter to me, my friends and family and my society which is why we make rules about it.

Conclusion: These are the logical implications of a strictly materialist universe whether you like it or not.

I'm waiting for you to produce a conclusion - if it's just that the universe doesn't care whether we exist or not, I totally agree but am confused about what this has to do with morality?

Your destiny under this philosophy, is that you have the same worth as a bowl of spaghetti, which is obviously absurdly false, because the value of a human sentient person, made in God's image, is well, obvious, and it is obvious that therefore the atheist belief is against the facts, because factually a human being has more value than merely it's material. (modo hoc fallacy).

Apart from the randomly inserted god and atheist non-sequitur, again I agree, to me and a few others I'm more important than the sum of my molecules. The universe - and whatever you think this god thing is - sadly, couldn't give a hoot.

But that is ultimately what you have to accept to be a consistent atheist. Ultimate, objective morality is not available, because like with the, "Scruples" example, who decides who is right?

Who but a religious loony would attempt to argue that 'ultimate, objective morality' exists? It obviously and demonstrably doesn't, not even inside your own belief system.

But when you take THE OBVIOUS TRUTH, that only an all-knowing God can be righteous, and accept people are sinful human beings, you get a much more consistent, realistic picture of reality.

Do you think writing stuff in capitals makes it right or simething? To me it's a sure indication of a lie being told.

So if you strive in your mind to accept murder is just as lawful as making a cup of coffee, then you yourself in your mind are acknowledging that atheism is inconsistent with reality.

And you like to think yourself super-logical, Mr Rational. Just count the fallacies in that sentence.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 210 by mike the wiz, posted 03-21-2020 10:30 AM mike the wiz has not replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8576
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 213 of 306 (873933)
03-21-2020 1:17 PM
Reply to: Message 212 by GDR
03-21-2020 12:45 PM


Re: Morality Evolved
GDR writes:

Just as it is about what you believe that is beyond what we actually know.

As far as I'm aware, I've been speaking only of what we know and certainly I have not used the word 'believe' in anything I've said.

I am simply using the term meme in lieu of the “still small voice of God” or in specifically Christian terms the “Holy Spirit”. It is the medium through which God impacts our lives but that doesn’t mean that God isn’t more than just the meme.

I know what you're doing. I'm saying I agree with you, 'meme=still small voice=Holy Spirit'=man made, made up ideas. cf our sense of morality which is not just an idea or belief, still less an external intervention by some spook; it's a real and measurable brain function present in all but a few ill people.

Can you tell me how it is that we can measure morality in the brain?

I've told you a thousand times, we present a person with a moral puzzle while in a fRMI scanner and watch which parts of the brain 'switch on'.

Just as you do with physical evolution you are doing here. You conflate the process with the agency.

The process *is* the agency! We can watch it. If you believe that there's some external agency interfering with your brain creating your moral choices you're going to have to show how, where and who.

We can grow up in a loving home and in a loving culture and if our brain gets damaged then we can behave in grossly immoral ways. Just as if we break a leg we can’t walk. It has nothing to do as to whether or not there is an intelligence behind our sense of morality or not.

You don't seem to be able to process this point at all.

If, as I say, our sense of morality is partly learned from our environment and partly intrinsic - an emotion, like all others - then it should be changed if the parts of our brain that are responsible for it are damaged. This is what we see.

If, however, our morality is created by this external Holy Spirit somehow whispering in our ear, not subject to brain function but some magical and undetectable influence, it should not be changed by physical damage. Why can't the Holy Spirit permiate through a damaged brain?


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 212 by GDR, posted 03-21-2020 12:45 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 214 by GDR, posted 03-21-2020 2:51 PM Tangle has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8576
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 215 of 306 (873942)
03-21-2020 3:25 PM
Reply to: Message 214 by GDR
03-21-2020 2:51 PM


Re: Morality Evolved
GDR writes:

If the god meme is like other memes then it behaves like them.

Morality *is* a meme. At least in part. It's transmitted through societal norms. There is no doubt about that. We agrre!

I have never suggested that it isn't subject to brain function.

This is what I'm trying to understand about your position and what I'm trying to get you to understand about mine.

If it's a brain function - which you now seem to accept? - then it's as independent of external super-natural interference by the Holy Spirits as any other. Or are you saying that it isn't?

If you are, then why is this Spirit unable to affect brain damaged individuals? It seems like a very limited and pointless form of magic, removing morality from vulnerable people.

Again, we can look at the parent meme. Loving parents should strongly influence their offspring to be loving people. However brain damage can prevent that from happening.

I know that it can, I can explain why - the part of the human brain that processes morality has been destroyed so morality goes with it. That's a purely physical process explained by processes that are purely natural.

But your model has external intervention by super-natural beings; why do they need this physical pathway to communicate this message?

And, when we see the brain processing the moral decision making do you say that it is the Holy Spirit at work in real time. Are we witnessing god in action here?


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 214 by GDR, posted 03-21-2020 2:51 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 216 by GDR, posted 03-21-2020 6:49 PM Tangle has replied

  
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