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Author Topic:   How do we tell right from wrong?
SHEKINAH
Junior Member (Idle past 3214 days)
Posts: 8
Joined: 09-22-2008


Message 1 of 25 (483547)
09-23-2008 3:20 AM


If evolution is true, how do we tell right from wrong?

Edited by Admin, : Correct spelling.


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Admin
Director
Posts: 12579
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 2 of 25 (483571)
09-23-2008 9:25 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 3 of 25 (483575)
09-23-2008 9:32 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by SHEKINAH
09-23-2008 3:20 AM


Some suggestions
Welcome to EvC, Shekinah! There is lots to learn here and maybe a bit of fun too.

We use the Proposed New Topic procedure to get discussions off on the right foot.

Generally an OP (opening post) has to make the scope of the debate clear and get it started by stating the authors point of view.
I would not have promoted this but it's done now.

I don't see how any one can discuss this until you show how evolution if connected to right and wrong. Then why it being true would make it hard to tell right from wrong. This is going to be asked by someone very soon now so you should start working on your answer.

Also there are some thread discussing morality that are active right now. You could read this over and see what has been said already.

The moral implications of evolution, and their discontents.


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Huntard
Member (Idle past 370 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 4 of 25 (483576)
09-23-2008 9:32 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by SHEKINAH
09-23-2008 3:20 AM


SHEKINAH writes:

If evolution is true, how do we tell right from wrong?


Well, since evolution IS true, and we seem to be able to tell right from wrong, I don't think your question is logical.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by SHEKINAH, posted 09-23-2008 3:20 AM SHEKINAH has not yet responded

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Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5377
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 5 of 25 (483578)
09-23-2008 10:02 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Huntard
09-23-2008 9:32 AM


And, Shekina, if you are contrasting evolution to religion, let me ask you one: If there are, say, 5000 different religions and 5000 different varieties of just one of those, each with different details of exactly what is right and what is wrong, how do we tell right from wrong?

Welcome to EvC!!!


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16085
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


Message 6 of 25 (483585)
09-23-2008 10:31 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by SHEKINAH
09-23-2008 3:20 AM


If evolution is true, how do we tell right from wrong?

That varies from person to person. Presumably, for example, you have some way of distinguishing between the two. A little introspection would therefore seem to be in order --- how do you do it?


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Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1261 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 7 of 25 (483586)
09-23-2008 10:41 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by SHEKINAH
09-23-2008 3:20 AM



If evolution is true, how do we tell right from wrong?

Evolution is not a moral guide - it's a scientific theory. It makes no statements regarding right and wrong, it's simply a model describing the continued and past diversification of life on Earth.

Let me as you this:

"If gravity is true, how do we tell right from wrong?"

"If general relativity is true, how do we tell right from wrong?"

The answer of course is that scientific theories are not moral guides at all. Evolution, gravity, and general relativity are all irrelevant to human morality.

You can continue to derive your moral code from wherever you have been getting it thus far, be that a secular, nonreligious code of ethics, the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, or whatever your parents told you when you were growing up.

Of course, if you're concerned that evolution disproves your religious beliefs, and that's the current source of your moral compass, don't worry - you aren't likely to become a hedonist or nihilist. Most people's religious faith survives acceptance of evolution, and even for those who lose their faith, there are sources of morality outside of religion, After all, do Atheists in general go on homicidal rampages? Certainly not, so clearly they must have a functioning moral compass without religion dictating it to them.

So to answer your question:


If evolution is true, how do we tell right from wrong?

The same way you have been all this time. Evolution's veracity is irrelevant to morality.


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bluescat48
Member (Idle past 2264 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 8 of 25 (483601)
09-23-2008 12:56 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by SHEKINAH
09-23-2008 3:20 AM



If evolution is true, how do we tell right from wrong?

It is simple, think of anything you wouldn't want done to you, your family, your friends or your possessions, and that is what is wrong.


There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other WT Young, 2002

Who gave anyone the authority to call me an authority on anything. WT Young, 1969


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Chiroptera
Member (Idle past 10 days)
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 9 of 25 (483607)
09-23-2008 1:41 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by SHEKINAH
09-23-2008 3:20 AM


If evolution is true, how do we tell right from wrong?

If evolution isn't true, how do we tell right from wrong?

The answer is the same in both cases. It is basically the same answer as how we tell green from red. Our brains are wired in such a way that when our sensory apparatus brings us information about another person's actions, we get a reaction of "that is right" or "that is wrong".

The evolution part is pretty easy to figure out. Going back to our distant ancestors, those whose brains had a better tendency to determine "right" from "wrong" were better able to live together in social groups, and those who lived in social groups were better able to leave behind surviving offspring.

Hope this helps!


Speaking personally, I find few things more awesome than contemplating this vast and majestic process of evolution, the ebb and flow of successive biotas through geological time. Creationists and others who cannot for ideological or religious reasons accept the fact of evolution miss out a great deal, and are left with a claustrophobic little universe in which nothing happens and nothing changes.
-- M. Alan Kazlev
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onifre
Member (Idle past 1025 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 10 of 25 (483613)
09-23-2008 2:09 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by SHEKINAH
09-23-2008 3:20 AM


Welcome to EvC Shekinah,

Shekinah writes:

If evolution is true, how do we tell right from wrong?

First, I would bet that none of the answers we will give you will satisfy because you are coming into the discussion not with an open mind but to prove your point about right and wrong.

So perhaps you can tell us where you feel right and wrong comes from so we can know how to argue our position.

You said,

quote:
If evolution is true...

With that statement alone I can tell your angle is not to understand the true nature of right and wrong, you are going to try and show how we can't know right from wrong without spiritual guidance, so, just tell us that and don't load a statement with "If evolution is right...". It is right, period.

Here's an article out of Science Daily that deals with morality,

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070517142545.htm

quote:
In a review to be published in the May 18 issue of the journal Science, Jonathan Haidt, associate professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, discusses a new consensus scientists are reaching on the origins and mechanisms of morality. Haidt shows how evolutionary, neurological and social-psychological insights are being synthesized in support of three principles:

Intuitive primacy, which says that human emotions and gut feelings generally drive our moral judgments.

Moral thinking if for social doing, which says that we engage in moral reasoning not to figure out the truth, but to persuade other people of our virtue or to influence them to support us.
Morality binds and builds, which says that morality and gossip were crucial for the evolution of human ultrasociality, which allows humans -- but no other primates -- to live in large and highly cooperative groups.

"Putting these three principles together forces us to re-evaluate many of our most cherished notions about ourselves," says Haidt, whose own research demonstrates that people generally follow their gut feelings and make up moral reasons afterwards. "Since the time of the Enlightenment," Haidt says, "many philosophers have celebrated the power and virtue of cool, dispassionate reasoning. Unfortunately, few people other than philosophers can engage in such cool, honest reasoning when moral issues are at stake. The rest of us behave more like lawyers, using any arguments we can find to make our case, rather than like judges or scientists searching for the truth. This doesn't mean we are doomed to be immoral; it just means that we should look for the roots of our considerable virtue elsewhere -- in the emotions and intuitions that make us so generally decent and cooperative, yet also sometimes willing to hurt or kill in defense of a principle, a person or a place."

Haidt argues that human morality is a cultural construction built on top of -- and constrained by -- a small set of evolved psychological systems. He presents evidence that political liberals rely primarily on two of these systems, involving emotional sensitivities to harm and fairness. Conservatives, however, construct their moral understandings on those two systems plus three others, which involve emotional sensitivities to in-group boundaries, authority and spiritual purity. "We all start off with the same evolved moral capacities," says Haidt, "but then we each learn only a subset of the available human virtues and values. We often end up demonizing people with different political ideologies because of our inability to appreciate the moral motives operating on the other side of a conflict. We are surrounded by moral conflicts, on the personal level, the national level and the international level. The recent scientific advances in moral psychology can help explain why these conflicts are so passionate and so intractable. An understanding of moral psychology can also point to some new ways to bridge these divides, to appeal to hearts and minds on both sides of a conflict."

Adapted from materials provided by University of Virginia, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.


I hope you enjoy the article, perhaps you can focus more on what you feel is necessary for morality/knowing right from wrong/ good & bad etc, etc...

Science has an extensive amount of research done on the subject so if one is taking a scientific stance then there are tons of papers to cite from, however, if you are presenting a spiritual angle then you'll have to show how the spiritual perspective is more plausable.

--Oni

Edited by onifre, : No reason given.


"All great truths begin as blasphemies"

"I smoke pot. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your mouth."--Bill Hicks

"I never knew there was another option other than to question everything"--Noam Chomsky


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Deftil
Member (Idle past 2530 days)
Posts: 128
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 04-19-2008


Message 11 of 25 (483620)
09-23-2008 2:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by SHEKINAH
09-23-2008 3:20 AM


We make judgements based on the values we feel are important. That's pretty much how everyone does it, regardless of their acceptance of evolution.
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Agobot
Member (Idle past 3604 days)
Posts: 786
Joined: 12-16-2007


Message 12 of 25 (483683)
09-23-2008 6:34 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Huntard
09-23-2008 9:32 AM


Huntard writes:

Well, since evolution IS true, and we seem to be able to tell right from wrong, I don't think your question is logical.

So what is right and what is wrong? Is Osama Bin Laden right or wrong, considering he has supporters in the muslim world?


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Agobot
Member (Idle past 3604 days)
Posts: 786
Joined: 12-16-2007


Message 13 of 25 (483684)
09-23-2008 6:38 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Chiroptera
09-23-2008 1:41 PM


If evolution is true, how do we tell right from wrong?

chiropitera writes:

If evolution isn't true, how do we tell right from wrong?

The 10 commandments, but that still leaves a lot to be desired as there are a thousand interpretations of the Bible.


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Agobot
Member (Idle past 3604 days)
Posts: 786
Joined: 12-16-2007


Message 14 of 25 (483685)
09-23-2008 6:41 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by SHEKINAH
09-23-2008 3:20 AM


SHEKINAH writes:

If evolution is true, how do we tell right from wrong?

We can't in the absolute sense. Only subjectively and relatively can we say something is right or wrong. There is no God and we are free, without guidance. It's your calling what you'd consider right and good


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onifre
Member (Idle past 1025 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 15 of 25 (483687)
09-23-2008 6:45 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Agobot
09-23-2008 6:34 PM


Abogot writes:

So what is right and what is wrong?

Im right, you're wrong...try to argue against that sir. :D


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