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Author Topic:   Did Religion Give Birth to Morals?
Open MInd
Member (Idle past 3769 days)
Posts: 261
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 1 of 68 (383122)
02-06-2007 10:52 PM


Is there any scientifically proven fact called a moral? Is it possible for a moral to exist outside of religion? No animals are moral. They find nothing wrong with killing for food. They would kill another animal over its mate. Why would humans act with morals from a purely evolutionary perspective? Unless one argues that science is a religion, it seems obvious that the birth of morals is the religions of the world and that religion controls every individual human beings life.
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AdminNosy
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Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 68 (383128)
02-06-2007 11:47 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
DrJones*
Member
Posts: 1819
From: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Joined: 08-19-2004
Member Rating: 6.9


Message 3 of 68 (383131)
02-06-2007 11:50 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Open MInd
02-06-2007 10:52 PM


Why would humans act with morals from a purely evolutionary perspective?

Humans, being relatively weak creatures, survive better in groups, for these groups to succeed they need to get along, for them to get along some basic rules of conduct have to develope.


Just a monkey in a long line of kings.
If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist!
*not an actual doctor
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kuresu
Member (Idle past 621 days)
Posts: 2544
From: boulder, colorado
Joined: 03-24-2006


Message 4 of 68 (383132)
02-06-2007 11:57 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Open MInd
02-06-2007 10:52 PM


No animals are moral

Why would humans act with morals

contradiction. humans are animals. thus, by your own argument, we have no morals.

Animalia, Chordata, Mammalia, Primates, Hominidae, Homo, sapiens

that is our, almost complete (leaving out the sub categories), classification. Notice the first one? We are animals.

religion controls every individual human beings life.

really? it doesn't control my life. sure, it influences it, from people like you constantly getting in my way. but that's hardly control.

Dr.Jones* answered the last part of your OP.

i'll counter your argument. religion is the creation of society. or rather, the creation of those who would like to either control society or make it function. thing is, today we don't need organized religion to run society.


Question. Always Question.

" . . .and some nights I just pray to the god of sex and drugs and rock'n'roll"--meatloaf

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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 68 (383135)
02-07-2007 12:11 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Open MInd
02-06-2007 10:52 PM


Why would humans act with morals from a purely evolutionary perspective?

I'm still waiting for the evidence that they do.

Act morally, I mean. If you consider the fact that the optimum solution to the reiterative Prisoner's Dilemma is basically "do unto others as they did unto you" - retributive justice, in other words - it's not hard to see how a system of enforcement of locally-detrimental but globally-beneficial behaviors begins to emerge.

Honestly I don't find anything so magical about so-called "moral" behavior that can't be explained by a little game theory. But the burden on your side, OM, is explain why, if humans have morals that come from divine providence instead of contingency, human beings act so immorally?

They would kill another animal over its mate.

Actually, in most species where there's this sort of competition, the encounters are deliberately not fatal. Think it through - a fight to the death between equally-armed combatants is usually a Pyhrric victory. Usually your opponent can get enough good hits in before he succumbs to leave you seriously debilitated, even mortally wounded yourself, by the end of it.

As a result, in the animal kingdom, competition between males is typically subdued and deliberately restrained, rather than being an all-out melee. For instance, rams charging each other, or hissing cockroaches grappling. It's a lot safer, for everyone, to lock horns or snap off some extraneous limbs than fight to the death. These restrained battles leave the victor in a much better condition to protect his progeny, so you can see the evolutionary advantage to this behavior.


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Taz
Member (Idle past 1399 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 6 of 68 (383136)
02-07-2007 12:11 AM


My question is how the hell did this OP get promoted? I've seen admins ignore far better OP's than this.
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iceage 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4022 days)
Posts: 1024
From: Pacific Northwest
Joined: 09-08-2003


Message 7 of 68 (383139)
02-07-2007 12:26 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Open MInd
02-06-2007 10:52 PM


om writes:

They find nothing wrong with killing for food.

Are you a vegan?

om writes:

Is it possible for a moral to exist outside of religion?

Japan is largely a secular country yet tops charts in behavior that would be classified as moral.

0m writes:

it seems obvious that the birth of morals is the religions of the world

Go to the library and pick up some books on evolutionary social biology. Try reading "The Moral Animal" by Robert Wright.


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Doddy
Member (Idle past 4017 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 8 of 68 (383147)
02-07-2007 2:31 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by iceage
02-07-2007 12:26 AM


Try reading "The Moral Animal" by Robert Wright.

That's a good one!

Also worth reading, in my opinion, are Michael Shermer's The Science of Good and Evil and Daniel Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life.


"Der Mensch kann was er will; er kann aber nicht wollen was er will." (Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills.) - Arthur Schopenhauer
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PaulK
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Posts: 14811
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 9 of 68 (383149)
02-07-2007 3:21 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Open MInd
02-06-2007 10:52 PM


If religion is the source of morality then why are so many religious people so lacking in morals ?
This message is a reply to:
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purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1565 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 10 of 68 (383152)
02-07-2007 6:59 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Open MInd
02-06-2007 10:52 PM


quote:
Is it possible for a moral to exist outside of religion?
The word moral is the name given to accepted standards of behavior. It isn't a thing. As DJ pointed out in Message 3 for a group to succeed they need to get along, to get along they need basic rules of conduct.

quote:
No animals are moral.
IMO, nonhuman animals do have accepted standards of behavior. They aren't neccessarily the same as human standards, but then while humans may share some basic ideas of right behavior; all human standards of right behavior are not necessarily the same in every culture.

quote:
They find nothing wrong with killing for food.
And neither do most people if you are talking about killing an animal for nourishment.

quote:
Unless one argues that science is a religion, it seems obvious that the birth of morals is the religions of the world and that religion controls every individual human beings life.
Why do people keep trying to say that science is a religion. Maybe religion is just an ancient form of science that stopped updating.

IMO, standards of behavior have been around even before humans.


"Peshat is what I say and derash is what you say." --Nehama Leibowitz
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kuresu
Member (Idle past 621 days)
Posts: 2544
From: boulder, colorado
Joined: 03-24-2006


Message 11 of 68 (383161)
02-07-2007 9:01 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Taz
02-07-2007 12:11 AM


continuation
this is basically the continuation thread for "is science a religion". the topic here is what we ended with on the last thread (and was off-topic there). that's my best guess.

but yeah, not exactly the magnum opus of OPs.


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Taz
Member (Idle past 1399 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 12 of 68 (383198)
02-07-2007 1:02 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by iceage
02-07-2007 12:26 AM


I remember reading a book called the naked ape by... god knows who. Can't remember much about it, but do you happen to know who wrote it or if it explained anything about how human morals came about through social interactions?
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jar
Member
Posts: 30935
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 13 of 68 (383226)
02-07-2007 2:20 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Open MInd
02-06-2007 10:52 PM


Can you post anything on Topic?
Is there any scientifically proven fact called a moral?

No, of course not. Morals are simply agreements between individuals in a given milieu.

Is it possible for a moral to exist outside of religion?

Certainly. Morals are totally unrelated to religion and exist only within the confine of a social contract.

No animals are moral.

Humans are just animals.

They find nothing wrong with killing for food.

Humans kill for food.

They would kill another animal over its mate.

Some humans kill another animal for its mate, King David is a good example.

Why would humans act with morals from a purely evolutionary perspective?

Because behaving in such a fashion increases the prospects for cooperation.

Unless one argues that science is a religion, it seems obvious that the birth of morals is the religions of the world and that religion controls every individual human beings life.

It may seem obvious to you, but so far you have posted nothing which would support such an assertion.

Beyond that, not one single thing in your Original Post supports or is even related to the topic.

Do you have ANYTHING to contribute related to the question "Did Religion Give Birth to Morals?"


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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Open MInd
Member (Idle past 3769 days)
Posts: 261
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 14 of 68 (383242)
02-07-2007 2:54 PM


The Origin of Morals.
Many people on this board have tried to correct my statement by saying that human beings are animals. This is a common statement said by nonreligious people. "We all evolved and we can therefore be classified together." However, the idea that religion gave birth to morals comes from a religious perspective. If morals find no place in an evolutionary world than one must look at the world from a religious perspective. The religions are valid and that is the explanation for morality. Many people also claim that the moral world can fit in with the evolutionary world. This opinion is nonsense (in my opinion of course). Morals may be a necessary trait for the human population to survive; however, the feelings in the morals seem to be unexplainable. Do you feel bad after you kill someone? If so why? If you do not get caught, you should think nothing of the incident and even pocket any money that happens to be in the person’s pockets. True stealing is a bad thing for society. However, nobody is thinking of the good of society when they decide not to steal. I pose a question to all of you? Do any of you consider the Nazis to be moral people? They were very polite people and they caused the death of millions of people. Was Hitler a moral person?
Replies to this message:
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Open MInd
Member (Idle past 3769 days)
Posts: 261
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 15 of 68 (383245)
02-07-2007 3:00 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by jar
02-07-2007 2:20 PM


Re: Can you post anything on Topic?
Evolution does not make use of intelligence. The whole idea of evolution is to show how life on earth could evolve with no intervention of a supernatural being (with no intelligence). When you say humans act with morals because they want to preserve their population, you are leaving the theory of evolution because human beings act with intelligence. The theory of evolution does not work with intelligence. Rather, many would claim that evolution is not at work today among humans because of the technology that human intelligence has invented. Even the most unfit human beings survive these days. Therefore, intelligence is a contradiction to evolution.
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