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Author Topic:   The difference between a human and a rock
Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 1703 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


Message 1 of 102 (538972)
12-12-2009 1:19 AM


If you are atheist, and you believe in true Darwinian evolution, from the cradle to the grave so to speak, (with possible scenarios of how life began such as Dawkin's precept of silicone sticking together more in some conditions than others, or any other type of rudimentary copying mechanism forming) up to the point of blind mutations creating random mistakes of genetic copying, then what exactly makes any natural form any more valuable than another?

Do things "deserve" to live? Why would smashing apart a rock be any different than smashing out a life, when in fact they are just different versions of the same thing?

Note, if anyone wishes to hedge on the "randomness" aspect of life forming, then be prepared to defend that assertion.

Edited by Admin, : Fix title.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Admin, posted 12-12-2009 7:08 AM Bolder-dash has responded
 Message 5 by Dr Adequate, posted 12-13-2009 5:45 AM Bolder-dash has responded
 Message 22 by Larni, posted 12-13-2009 8:23 AM Bolder-dash has not yet responded
 Message 28 by Modulous, posted 12-13-2009 10:15 AM Bolder-dash has responded
 Message 53 by Dr Adequate, posted 12-13-2009 4:13 PM Bolder-dash has not yet responded
 Message 57 by Coyote, posted 12-14-2009 1:44 AM Bolder-dash has responded
 Message 65 by Jon, posted 12-14-2009 4:47 PM Bolder-dash has not yet responded
 Message 67 by Briterican, posted 12-14-2009 6:21 PM Bolder-dash has responded
 Message 74 by Otto Tellick, posted 12-15-2009 4:00 AM Bolder-dash has not yet responded

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 12578
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 2 of 102 (539002)
12-12-2009 7:08 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Bolder-dash
12-12-2009 1:19 AM


Your original title was "The difference a human and a rock", so I changed it to be "The difference between a human and a rock". If that's still not right you can modify the title of your thread by editing Message 1.

If you really intended a debate only with atheists who accept Darwinian evolution then the opening sentence is fine, but if you also wish to include theists and agnostics who accept Darwinian evolution then you should modify it so it doesn't seem so exclusive.

I think your question might be more clearly formulated without any reference to evolution like this: If all things in the universe, including life, are just a result of natural unguided processes, then what makes any one thing more valuable than any other thing? In this view, isn't a human life no more valuable than a rock?

Whether or not you decide to edit Message 1, post a short note here when you're ready for me to take another look.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Bolder-dash, posted 12-12-2009 1:19 AM Bolder-dash has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Bolder-dash, posted 12-12-2009 9:11 AM Admin has acknowledged this reply

    
Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 1703 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


Message 3 of 102 (539022)
12-12-2009 9:11 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by Admin
12-12-2009 7:08 AM


Your editing of my title is most appropriate; as would be better reading glasses for myself.

I think the debate must necessarily be directed at atheists who believe in Darwinian evolution, and still hold a belief of morality or value to life. I think I can already understand where a theistic evolutionist gets their moral beliefs. I suppose agnostics are free to comment as they see fit.

I guess I am saying I prefer to stick to the original spirit of the post, as I also have a preference for the more visceral implications of smashing a rock.

Edited by Bolder-dash, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by Admin, posted 12-12-2009 7:08 AM Admin has acknowledged this reply

  
Admin
Director
Posts: 12578
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 4 of 102 (539100)
12-13-2009 4:49 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the The difference between a human and a rock thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16085
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 10.0


(3)
Message 5 of 102 (539105)
12-13-2009 5:45 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Bolder-dash
12-12-2009 1:19 AM


Well, it's fairly obvious, isn't it? People don't want to be "smashed", whereas rocks don't have any opinion one way or the other.

You seem to be suggesting that atheists should treat humans and rocks the same way, since in the broadest terms atheists attribute the existence of both to the same cause, namely the laws of nature.

But, after all, theists also attribute the existence of humans and rocks to the same cause, namely God doing magic. Does that mean that theists should treat humans and rocks the same?

And, if it comes to that, we both attribute the existence of beef and of bullshit to the same sort of cause, namely the biological processes of cattle. Does it follow from this that whoever eats beef ought to eat bullshit?

---

Finally, let's turn it around.

Fundies believe that rocks and humans have the same primary cause, namely God doing magic. Yet fundies believe that humans who don't follow the fundie faith should burn forever in hell; yet they do not believe that equally un-Christian rocks should burn forever in hell. They attribute the existence of atheists and the existence of rocks to the same cause, namely God doing magic --- on what grounds, then, do they hate their fellow human beings so much more than they hate rocks?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Bolder-dash, posted 12-12-2009 1:19 AM Bolder-dash has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Bolder-dash, posted 12-13-2009 6:05 AM Dr Adequate has responded

  
Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 1703 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


Message 6 of 102 (539112)
12-13-2009 6:05 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Dr Adequate
12-13-2009 5:45 AM


Yes, but the only reason that people and birds, and butterflies don't want to be smashed is because it is a convenient survival mindset.

And besides, they don't want to be smashed, but what is the importance of satisfying the wishes of what any particular things want. Gazelles don't want to be eaten by Tigers, but what does the Tiger care?

As to your second point, I don't believe any 'fundies" as you say, believe that people "should" burn in hell, they probably believe that they will burn in hell. It is not their choice. Plus any fundamentalists extreme views about what religion might wrath is not really pertinent to why an atheist believes a life contains value beyond the fact that it just exists.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Dr Adequate, posted 12-13-2009 5:45 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by cavediver, posted 12-13-2009 6:19 AM Bolder-dash has responded
 Message 10 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 12-13-2009 6:52 AM Bolder-dash has responded
 Message 34 by Dr Adequate, posted 12-13-2009 11:54 AM Bolder-dash has not yet responded

  
cavediver
Member (Idle past 1716 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 7 of 102 (539113)
12-13-2009 6:19 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Bolder-dash
12-13-2009 6:05 AM


Yes, but the only reason that people and birds, and butterflies don't want to be smashed is because it is a convenient survival mindset.

And?

And besides, they don't want to be smashed, but what is the importance of satisfying the wishes of what any particular things want.

Because, in the long run, it can help prevent me from being smashed...

This is all very simple


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Bolder-dash, posted 12-13-2009 6:05 AM Bolder-dash has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Bolder-dash, posted 12-13-2009 6:29 AM cavediver has responded

  
Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 1703 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


Message 8 of 102 (539115)
12-13-2009 6:29 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by cavediver
12-13-2009 6:19 AM


Ok, so for you, the only reason not to smash someone or otherwise harm them is simply to keep yourself safer. That's one point of view.

Any reason not to hurt someone other than this? What if you knew you could do it secretly with no one knowing it was you?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by cavediver, posted 12-13-2009 6:19 AM cavediver has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by cavediver, posted 12-13-2009 6:42 AM Bolder-dash has responded
 Message 11 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 12-13-2009 6:56 AM Bolder-dash has responded

  
cavediver
Member (Idle past 1716 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 9 of 102 (539117)
12-13-2009 6:42 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Bolder-dash
12-13-2009 6:29 AM


Ok, so for you, the only reason not to smash someone or otherwise harm them is simply to keep yourself safer.

No, not for *me*. Animal behaviour has evolved through pack mentality, tribe mentality, etc, bringing with it altruism and other socially benevolent features - all in the name of survival. *I* simply feel compassion, empathy, love, etc. Knowing where these feelings come from does not make them any less real, nor any less worth acting upon.

Edited by cavediver, : Nor, not or


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Bolder-dash, posted 12-13-2009 6:29 AM Bolder-dash has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Bolder-dash, posted 12-13-2009 7:01 AM cavediver has responded

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 1174 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 10 of 102 (539119)
12-13-2009 6:52 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Bolder-dash
12-13-2009 6:05 AM


Yes, but the only reason that people and birds, and butterflies don't want to be smashed is because it is a convenient survival mindset.

So the Christian philosophy of repent or you will burn in hell aka grovel at some mysterious supernatural being's feet or you will be tortured for eternity in a lake of fire, is not a survival mindset? I would beg to differ.

As to your second point, I don't believe any 'fundies" as you say, believe that people "should" burn in hell, they probably believe that they will burn in hell.

Actually according to fundies and the Bible itself, they do believe that everyone deserve (which by definition is synonymous with the word "should" by the perspective of God) to burn in hell? If you want me to pull out scriptures defending this position I can i.e. John 3:36, John 10:28, Romans 3:23-24, Romans 6:23.

It is not their choice.

The question is a little more complex than this. I think the question from a Christians perspective is do most people conscienciously choose to go to hell. The answer to this even from even a somewhat rational fundamentalist Christian's perspective is "no". However they do from this Christians perspective indirectly choose to go to hell by disobeying God and not turning to Jesus for their salvation. Would you agree on this?

Plus any fundamentalists extreme views about what religion might wrath is not really pertinent to why an atheist believes a life contains value beyond the fact that it just exists.

I think Dr. Adequates point here is that an atheists defence on the sanctity of life is not any more ungrounded than that of a religious persons. It is just substantiated for different (though some may be the same) reasons.

Edited by DevilsAdvocate, : No reason given.


One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge -- even to ourselves -- that we've been so credulous. - Carl Sagan, The Fine Art of Baloney Detection

"You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe." - Carl Sagan

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Bolder-dash, posted 12-13-2009 6:05 AM Bolder-dash has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Bolder-dash, posted 12-13-2009 6:57 AM DevilsAdvocate has responded

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 1174 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 11 of 102 (539120)
12-13-2009 6:56 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Bolder-dash
12-13-2009 6:29 AM


Any reason not to hurt someone other than this? What if you knew you could do it secretly with no one knowing it was you?

Because in the big picture of social dynamics indiscriminate killing or hurting of other humans or even animals is ultimately destructive to the human race both physically and psychologically.


One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge -- even to ourselves -- that we've been so credulous. - Carl Sagan, The Fine Art of Baloney Detection

"You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe." - Carl Sagan

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Bolder-dash, posted 12-13-2009 6:29 AM Bolder-dash has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Bolder-dash, posted 12-13-2009 7:05 AM DevilsAdvocate has responded

  
Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 1703 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


Message 12 of 102 (539121)
12-13-2009 6:57 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by DevilsAdvocate
12-13-2009 6:52 AM


I really wasn't asking you (or anyone) to explain or justify what beliefs a Christian fundamentalist might or might not have-I think let them speak for themselves.

I was asking atheists why they believe a human deserves more compassion than a rock.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 12-13-2009 6:52 AM DevilsAdvocate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 12-13-2009 7:00 AM Bolder-dash has not yet responded
 Message 16 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 12-13-2009 7:09 AM Bolder-dash has not yet responded
 Message 18 by Percy, posted 12-13-2009 7:20 AM Bolder-dash has responded
 Message 25 by Straggler, posted 12-13-2009 9:24 AM Bolder-dash has responded

  
DevilsAdvocate
Member (Idle past 1174 days)
Posts: 1548
Joined: 06-05-2008


Message 13 of 102 (539122)
12-13-2009 7:00 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Bolder-dash
12-13-2009 6:57 AM


Bold-dash writes:

I really wasn't asking you (or anyone) to explain or justify what beliefs a Christian fundamentalist might or might not have-I think let them speak for themselves.

I was just addressing your rebuttals with Cavediver and Dr. A. If you rebutt our posts, we have an equal right to rebut your rebuttals.


One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge -- even to ourselves -- that we've been so credulous. - Carl Sagan, The Fine Art of Baloney Detection

"You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe." - Carl Sagan

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Bolder-dash, posted 12-13-2009 6:57 AM Bolder-dash has not yet responded

  
Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 1703 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


Message 14 of 102 (539123)
12-13-2009 7:01 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by cavediver
12-13-2009 6:42 AM


So do you think there is a specific mutation for empathy or for love? Do you think we can one day find where that point mutation, or DNA insertion or deletion for the love gene first appeared?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by cavediver, posted 12-13-2009 6:42 AM cavediver has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by cavediver, posted 12-13-2009 7:11 AM Bolder-dash has not yet responded

  
Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 1703 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


Message 15 of 102 (539124)
12-13-2009 7:05 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by DevilsAdvocate
12-13-2009 6:56 AM


Why do you care what's good for the human race? Rocks don't care what's good for other rocks, and Tigers don't care what is good for giraffes.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 12-13-2009 6:56 AM DevilsAdvocate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by DevilsAdvocate, posted 12-13-2009 7:20 AM Bolder-dash has responded

  
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