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Author Topic:   Morals without God or Darwin, just Empathy
Larni
Member (Idle past 38 days)
Posts: 3998
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 11 of 184 (380057)
01-26-2007 8:42 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Stile
01-25-2007 1:20 PM


Re: Ability and Usage are two different things
stile writes:

I suppose I could even say that I consider myself a moral person simply because I choose to be moral. Not because of evolution, or God, but simply because I have the capacity to make that choice.

Sounds about right.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Stile, posted 01-25-2007 1:20 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

  
Larni
Member (Idle past 38 days)
Posts: 3998
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 13 of 184 (380236)
01-26-2007 7:25 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Stile
01-26-2007 9:36 AM


Re: Some more agreement
Stile writes:

Because my decision that killing is wrong doesn't have anything to do with whether or not it's actually affecting me.

Incorrect.

If you had no empathy, a psychotic personality or you were taught from a young age that killing was an appropriate way of solving problems, it would not effect you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Stile, posted 01-26-2007 9:36 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Stile, posted 01-29-2007 8:55 AM Larni has responded

  
Larni
Member (Idle past 38 days)
Posts: 3998
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 18 of 184 (380696)
01-28-2007 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by anastasia
01-27-2007 3:00 PM


Re: Ability and Usage are two different things
ana writes:

to see people struggling to explain without God.

You see struggling even when this very subject has been explained to you pretty simply on another thread?

Your belief in a god based morality is what blinds you to the avilable information.

Edited by Larni, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by anastasia, posted 01-27-2007 3:00 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by anastasia, posted 01-28-2007 2:11 PM Larni has responded

  
Larni
Member (Idle past 38 days)
Posts: 3998
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 20 of 184 (380859)
01-29-2007 8:52 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by anastasia
01-28-2007 2:11 PM


Re: Ability and Usage are two different things
ana writes:

If it is natural to act selfish, we would see no wrong in it.

Some people DO see no wrong in it. People who do see wrong, do so because of socialization (with a few exceptions).

What we think about our actions is a science close to my heart (cognitive behavioural psychology) and I see this as being a paramount importance when we look at perception of right and wrong.
Don't forget what people believe is just another style of thinking....

If you have any specific questions I wuld be happy to field them for you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by anastasia, posted 01-28-2007 2:11 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by anastasia, posted 01-29-2007 12:34 PM Larni has responded

  
Larni
Member (Idle past 38 days)
Posts: 3998
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 34 of 184 (380915)
01-29-2007 11:54 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by Stile
01-29-2007 8:55 AM


Re: Some more agreement
stile writes:

Because my decision that killing is wrong doesn't have anything to do with whether or not it's actually physically affecting me

Still incorrect.

Your perception of the consquences of your action will induce biochemical changes within you.

As long as your brain works well enough to give you voluntary control of you actions, your choices will have a very real effect on your biology.

This is the physical effect of which you speak.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Stile, posted 01-29-2007 8:55 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by Stile, posted 01-29-2007 12:59 PM Larni has responded

  
Larni
Member (Idle past 38 days)
Posts: 3998
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 44 of 184 (381050)
01-29-2007 5:11 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by anastasia
01-29-2007 12:34 PM


Re: Ability and Usage are two different things
ana writes:

Some DO see wrong in the action, and therefore admit that they have no trust in their emotions and brains. They are trusting in something unseen,

My bolding.

People see wrong after the action. At this point the drivers for behaviour have changed.

When we are angry we think angry thoughts, we do angry things. We later re-appraise our actions and conclude:

"I should not have acted that way (because of the internal external repercussions), I feel (insert socialized emotion here)"

ana writes:

What is the world around us, into which we have been socialized, trust in?

What does this mean?

ana writes:

with repeated ignoring of our brain and all of its bio-chemicals, can we cause our brain to stop putting out these chemicals? Can we make ourselves stop feeling selfish?

Yes.

Welcome to cognitive behavioural psychology.;)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by anastasia, posted 01-29-2007 12:34 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by anastasia, posted 01-29-2007 10:10 PM Larni has responded

  
Larni
Member (Idle past 38 days)
Posts: 3998
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 45 of 184 (381064)
01-29-2007 5:29 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by Stile
01-29-2007 12:59 PM


Re: Any more semantics?
Stile writes:

But just because I used a word that does not mean what I wanted it to mean, can you say what it is that I'm trying to talk about.

Dude, is this a question? If so, I can't honestly say I know what you are trying to say.

Stile writes:

"Because my decision that killing is wrong doesn't have anything to do with whether or not I could be killed".

We have covered this already.

Through your socialization vis a vis the use of murder as an effective behaviour (for attaining your personal goals) you will feel a negative emotion (which you can predict) if you commit such an act.

Just as you would not put your hand into a fire because of the future consequence to your physical and emotional well being you would not commit murder because of the future consequence to your physical and emotional well being.

You have learnt that murder is bad for you and react accordingly.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by Stile, posted 01-29-2007 12:59 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by Stile, posted 01-29-2007 6:47 PM Larni has responded

  
Larni
Member (Idle past 38 days)
Posts: 3998
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 54 of 184 (381171)
01-30-2007 4:04 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by Stile
01-29-2007 6:47 PM


Re: Any more semantics?
stile writes:

I also don't think I follow evolution-explanations for my morals. I find these explanations very strange, and sometimes even ridiculous.

Has this position changed? I would say that psychology offers a better explanation than Dawinian Evolution(or the Modern Synthesis) can.

However, don't forget that both branches of science use the scientific method.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by Stile, posted 01-29-2007 6:47 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by Stile, posted 01-30-2007 8:53 AM Larni has responded

  
Larni
Member (Idle past 38 days)
Posts: 3998
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 55 of 184 (381173)
01-30-2007 4:27 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by anastasia
01-29-2007 10:10 PM


Re: Ability and Usage are two different things
ana writes:

Bull-donkey-donks, Larni. I think angry thoughts and I do nothing about them. That is what makes me moral, not this trivial giving in to bad behavior because I can't help it stuff.

You do nothing about your angry thoughts because you have been socialized into a perception that angry actions cause negative consequences to you. Don't forget; that is cognitive as well as physical consequences.

If you are reaaly sad you will cry. This is because you have been socialized into crying as a form of communication about your state of mind to others.

Blokes bought up in very macho culture can sometimes be unable to cry or even express sadness.

Acting in the way an emotion drives you is mediated by your cognitions which is driven (very simply here, I could right essays on cognitions) by what are called 'core beliefs'.

Note that this is not to be confused with religious beliefs.

These core beliefs are also called 'schema' (try googling Aaron Beck) and are our lense for assessing the perceptual information we recieve.

They form in childhood (but also later in life) and are change resistant (my career is based aound teaching people to alter their core beliefs for the better).

Part of your core beliefs include what you are labling morals. These are formed during your life.

They are learnt.

There is no absolute set of morals we all ascribe to, although it can seem that way because for a society to work, it must have created a certain type of culture. The societies that could not manage this are long extinct.

ana writes:

What do our social skille give us? They are but a revalidation of our choice to do something right.

Incorrect. It is our social skill to recognise what our society conciders 'right' and do 'right' so as to increase our (or our associates) standing in the group which gives us meaning, such as society.

ana writes:

Where did we get the ability to know what is right for us? Once again, socialization is not an answer.

Socialization is the answer! Our ability to tell right from wrong is like almost every aspect of human psychology; leant! We have so few hard wired aspects to our brain (language aquisition springs to mind as an exception here) that we cannot even walk when we are babies. We have to learn to do almost everything. Something as complex as right from wrong must be learnt.

Why do reject this position?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by anastasia, posted 01-29-2007 10:10 PM anastasia has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by Doddy, posted 01-30-2007 6:23 AM Larni has responded

  
Larni
Member (Idle past 38 days)
Posts: 3998
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 56 of 184 (381174)
01-30-2007 4:33 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by anastasia
01-29-2007 10:23 PM


Re: The same but different?
ana writes:

They have not even reached an age where they know wrong and right.

Bingo! You conceed that a child has to learn right from wrong.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by anastasia, posted 01-29-2007 10:23 PM anastasia has not yet responded

  
Larni
Member (Idle past 38 days)
Posts: 3998
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 58 of 184 (381187)
01-30-2007 6:53 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by Doddy
01-30-2007 6:23 AM


Re: Ability and Usage are two different things
DC writes:

Why else would most past societies around the world tend to have similarities in morality?

It is adaptive to behave in a 'moral' way. Behaving in a generally moral way allows a co-operative society to prosper.

Cultures that are full of 'social cheaters' cannot develope the societal bonds required for larger civilization to form.

If you compare the relative brain size of primates, you can predict the general size of community they live in. Bigger brains (which are needed to dectect 'social cheaters' and so weed out cheaters anr reward co-operative behaviour) means beiiger communities.

Our big brains and in a large way put to use in coping with life in a community. It is geared towards detecting and sanctioning social cheaters.

The 'innate' sense is learnt. Humans are just very predisposed towards learning social lessons, just like we are very predisposed towards learning language.

My contention is that there is no mystery, no 'god sense' of right and wrong.

We learn it and it varies with culture.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by Doddy, posted 01-30-2007 6:23 AM Doddy has not yet responded

  
Larni
Member (Idle past 38 days)
Posts: 3998
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 63 of 184 (381219)
01-30-2007 9:09 AM
Reply to: Message 62 by Stile
01-30-2007 8:53 AM


Re: I don't like my wording
The 'surviaval chance' mechansim is pretty cold and clinical but you can look at it like the 'bare bones' of behaviour.

Our massive brains with it bias towards cognition allows us to develope these bare bones into psychological reasons for doing good that 'feel' more acceptable to us.

Either way you cut it, it points to a non-divine driver for morality.

What exactly is it that make either of these explanations unfulfilling for you?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 62 by Stile, posted 01-30-2007 8:53 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by Stile, posted 01-30-2007 11:02 AM Larni has responded

  
Larni
Member (Idle past 38 days)
Posts: 3998
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 65 of 184 (381251)
01-30-2007 11:52 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by Stile
01-30-2007 11:02 AM


Re: Mundane? Yes. Survival-driven? Not convinced.
Stile writes:

I think killing is wrong because I would not want to be killed.

*cough* survival instinct *cough*

Stile writes:

I think it is wrong because I believe, as people, we are equal.

Mate, either way (and at risk of sounding like a broken record) you believe what you believe because of your learning that has taken place throughout your life.

Again: socialization.

If you were bought up to has no respect for life (for example) your predisposition towards empathy would be so stunted and you would have been so concistantly rewarded for behaviour that to our eyes is abhorent that you would concidered murder part of the natural order of things.

Stile writes:

I think rape is wrong because I would not want to be raped.

This is simply you wanting to protect your self....hmmm where might that drive come from?

Stile writes:

I judge that this particular removal of another's status of being equal is wrong.

It's interesting to note that this sense of another's status does not develope untill we develope 'Theory of Mind' at about 4-5 years old. Bofore that time the brain does not have the capacity to see the world through someone elses eyes.

Stile writes:

My judgement that the action is wrong has nothing to do with anything regarding survival chances.

So you keep saying, but remember that the psychological drives we have include the survival drive, but are not limited to it.

Stile writes:

My judgement was made on an intellectual level, weighing empathic factors, how I would want to be treated, and my assumption that all humans should be treated equally.

As I said the survival drive is the bare bones....note how you have reworded my statement from:

Larni writes:

Our massive brains with it bias towards cognition allows us to develope these bare bones into psychological reasons for doing good that 'feel' more acceptable to us.

to:

Stile writes:

Our massive brains with it bias towards cognition allows us to develope psychological reasons for doing good that 'feel' more acceptable to us

What you have done is simplified a tiered construct of morality. You ignore the interplay of evolved wiring and evolved psychology.

The 'evolved psychology' is the intellectual bit you imply I ignore. You empathic weighting stems from (as I said) evolution's hitorical path for humans

I don't ignore it at all.

Stile writes:

I would just have to accept that I would die at that point. So how would my moral decision be based on survival chances if I'm willing to die to uphold certain moral decisions?

Because the action of rape would go against your perception of right and wrong that you have learnt. This is self sacrifice that is very important to a society.

But again, you get all hung up on survival and miss the importance of what you have learnt!

My whole point is that you learn these notions of right and wrong!

Stile writes:

This I whole-heartedly agree with. I think I'm just arguring that "survival chances" doesn't necessarily have to be a part of morality either, even though morality is still strictly mundane in nature. Although I do concede that an increase in "survival chances" may be a side-effect at certain points.

Again. To reiterate. Survival drive (of individual + society) + learnt responses to stimulus (see classical or operant conditioning) = expressed reaction (psychologically, behviourally and physically).

Take out survival drive and you have not reason for the organism to do anything, we (humans) would not have evolved from emotional existance to a cognitive existance were it not for this drive.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Stile, posted 01-30-2007 11:02 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by Stile, posted 01-30-2007 1:01 PM Larni has responded
 Message 69 by anastasia, posted 01-30-2007 1:32 PM Larni has responded

  
Larni
Member (Idle past 38 days)
Posts: 3998
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 78 of 184 (381335)
01-30-2007 4:45 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by Stile
01-30-2007 1:01 PM


Re: We've relied on our survival drive all this time, is it still used?
Stiles writes:

Trust me, if anyone ever asks me "but why do you believe that?" I will go into the same explanation you keep telling me I'm forgetting. I'm not forgetting about it, I'm just condensing it to more-understandable language.

Sorry, mate. My pedantry chip was in overdrive. Message recieved and understood. :)

Stiles writes:

BUT, we are here now. We are now in a cognitive existance. And I no longer need my survival drive (as far as I can tell, anyway). In fact, I can use my cognitive existance to completely ignore and over-come my survival drive. I DO have reasons to do things without my survival drive, and that is my entire point.

Can't argue with that if you mean 'you' are at a point in life where you no longer need hard wired drives to act as behaviour drivers.

I think we have reached an accord.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by Stile, posted 01-30-2007 1:01 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by Stile, posted 01-30-2007 7:41 PM Larni has not yet responded

  
Larni
Member (Idle past 38 days)
Posts: 3998
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 79 of 184 (381338)
01-30-2007 4:51 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by anastasia
01-30-2007 1:32 PM


Re: Mundane? Yes. Survival-driven? Not convinced.
Ana writes:

Matter of fact, I don't think we have learned a thing since Biblical times.

Substantiate this, please.

Ana writes:

Rapists have not learned, have a brain mal-function which causes them not to feel empathy, and have only survival drive.

Would it suprise you to learn that more rapes are carried through to completion when the victim displays submisive reactions that goad the rapist on? This indicates that the brain function is normal and the rapist makes a choice to inflict their self on another?

It's in no way as cut and dried as you indicate.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by anastasia, posted 01-30-2007 1:32 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by anastasia, posted 01-30-2007 6:23 PM Larni has responded
 Message 88 by Jon, posted 01-31-2007 3:11 PM Larni has responded

  
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