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Author Topic:   Morals without God or Darwin, just Empathy
Member (Idle past 1983 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006

Message 4 of 184 (379762)
01-25-2007 12:39 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
01-25-2007 11:28 AM

Stile writes:

Either through God as outlined throughout The Bible, or through evolution-explanations, which also seems to have been dubbed Darwinian-mechanisms.

Indeed, I have pointed out before that if you talk to christians who claimed to derive their morals from the bible, and if you get specific enough, you will very quickly find that there are pieces of their human conscience missing. If you look back through the various threads, you will see that some christians on here actually have no problem with killing 2 year old boys and pregnant women, and a few have even word for word admitted if god commands it or if the 2 year olds can potentially harm Israel in the future than it is right to kill them and their pregnant mothers.

However, I don't think there is a Darwinian based moral outline. Evolution strictly deals with biological matters. There are cross overs, however, like how the theory can explain the most basic "moral" social constructs as beneficiary to the survival of the community. For example, we observe in penguins that sometimes when a baby penguin dies the mother becomes distressed and tries to steal another female's baby penguin, and when this happens all the other penguin mothers intervene and prevent her from stealing another's child.

Stile writes:

I derived the morals in my life in two stages. First, by accepting what I was told by trusted authority figures (parents, priest, teachers...). And secondly moving on to a basic use of Empathy.

Someone once told me that evil is the lack of empathy. Perhaps this explains why christians are experts at oppressing minority groups. Again, while I haven't been able to pin point the reason why this is so christians seem to lack the human intuition to tell what is right and what is wrong. I don't know if being christian has made them this way or if they'd already been this way in the first place and christianity seemed to fill in the holes in their conscience.

-I think Murder is wrong because it ends a person's life and I see no reason why someone should be able to make that decision and remove so many of another's abilities.. basically.. all of them. I would not want someone to Murder me, nor do I think anyone should be able to freely exert such oppression over anyone else.

In short, you don't want to harm another person because you can imagine yourself being the other person. But whatif you know for sure that you could never be the other person? What if you are king and you know your fate could never be that of the man you just condemned to death? Would it still be wrong to murder if you know for sure you could never be murdered?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Stile, posted 01-25-2007 11:28 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by Stile, posted 01-25-2007 1:40 PM Taz has responded

Member (Idle past 1983 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006

Message 9 of 184 (379845)
01-25-2007 3:45 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Stile
01-25-2007 1:40 PM

Re: Some more agreement
Stile writes:

So why are there explanations for morality from an evolutionistic stand-point?

There isn't any explanation from the evo stand point on morals.

What we are saying is that sometimes a survival trait could appear like moral, like the penguin example I provided.

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. Just to be clear.. I do not think that all killing of every type can be classified as "murder". I also think that there are many grey-areas that need to be looked at in a situational-setting. Some killings may actually be justified, or possibly even "good".

That's not what I'm saying.

Say you are king and you know that noone could ever harm you. You decide to start murdering peasants, which nobody really cares for much. Is it still wrong?

I'm not sure I can honestly answer your question since it is impossible for me to enter into a frame of mind where I can never be murdered. But, to provide an answer: Yes. Whether or not I could be murdered would have no bearing on it being right or wrong, so it would still be wrong to murder. To quote from Peter Parker's uncle.. "With great power, comes great responsibility". I would think that one who cannot be murdered, would have an even higher calling to try and prevent anyone else from being murdered.

What I'm trying to get at is where is this sense of murder being wrong coming from? You've just said that even if it doesn't affect you it's still wrong. Why?

Let's look at an episode of the twightlight zone I saw ages ago. You are given an opportunity to be rich. All you have to do is push a button that immediately kills a person. This person, as far as you are concern, is a total stranger. The death of this person has no affect on you whatsoever.

I'm sure we can all agree that the act of pushing this button and killing the person is wrong. The question is why is it wrong? It has no bearing on you whatsoever. It will make you rich. Noone will care if that person is dead. Why is it wrong?

Added by edit.

Well, I guess I should provide a quote as well.

"Is a thing good because the gods say so, or do the gods say so because the thing is good?" - Socrates before his trial for corrupting the minds of youths.

Edited by Tazmanian Devil, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Stile, posted 01-25-2007 1:40 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Stile, posted 01-26-2007 9:36 AM Taz has not yet responded
 Message 24 by Jon, posted 01-29-2007 9:29 AM Taz has not yet responded

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