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Author Topic:   Morals without God or Darwin, just Empathy
NosyNed
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Posts: 8863
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 181 of 184 (390894)
03-22-2007 1:55 PM


Biological Morals from New Scientist Podcast
Is there a biological basis for our sense of right and wrong? Author and cognitive evolution researcher Marc Hauser believes the answer is "yes".

download podcast here:
http://www.newscientist.com/podcast.ns?DCMP=NLC-nletter&nsref=podcast


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 Message 182 by Stile, posted 03-23-2007 4:36 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3847
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 182 of 184 (391131)
03-23-2007 4:36 PM
Reply to: Message 181 by NosyNed
03-22-2007 1:55 PM


Re: Biological Morals from New Scientist Podcast
Thanks Ned, that was interesting to listen to in either case. I can't say he really said anything difinitive, though. He did talk about a few different things I'd like to point out:

--------------------
1-2 min. in
-An introduction talks about two moral scenario's.

The first, a surgeon has 5 men in need of organ transplants. In walks a healthy man. Is it moral for the surgeon to harvest the healthy organs, sacrificing the 1 man, to save the 5 men? Most would say that no, this isn't moral.

The second, a train will run into and kill 5 men. However, you can switch the tracks and the train will only kill 1 man. Most would say yes, this is moral to do.

Then he goes on to talk about how we seem to instinctively understand the differences in these situations. I think the difference is obvious. With the surgeon, he must choose to kill the 1 man. If he chooses otherwise, that 1 man will remain alive. With the train, either path is going to kill either 1 man or 5 men. Here, it is a "lesser of two evils" which says we should switch the tracks to kill the 1 man.

--------------------
8.5-9 min. mark
-Talking about how most people see Action leading to harm as worse than Non-action leading to harm. I'm not sold on this concept. Yet I'm having a hard time describing why. I think it has to do with how difficult it is to judge/deduce motive when one is acting or not-acting. Motives are what drive morals, and without being able to prove them, understanding if it is moral or not is very difficult.

--------------------
Last 6 min.
-Talks about how some people think religion is required for morality.
-I just wanted to point this part out in case anyone else was interested in what he has to say. Of course, he's scientifically biased and attempts to show how these two are not intrinsically intertwined.


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 Message 181 by NosyNed, posted 03-22-2007 1:55 PM NosyNed has not yet responded

    
bgmark2
Member (Idle past 4447 days)
Posts: 18
Joined: 05-04-2007


Message 183 of 184 (401322)
05-19-2007 7:29 AM


Yes it was eating the fruit from that tree in the garden of eden...perhaps it had special chemicals or biological compunds in it or something...


What about coconuts?

Replies to this message:
 Message 184 by Stile, posted 05-22-2007 10:00 AM bgmark2 has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3847
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 184 of 184 (401813)
05-22-2007 10:00 AM
Reply to: Message 183 by bgmark2
05-19-2007 7:29 AM


Fruit of Eden
bgmark2 writes:

Yes it was eating the fruit from that tree in the garden of eden...perhaps it had special chemicals or biological compunds in it or something...

No, I don't think that eating the fruit in the garden of Eden is what gave us our ability to think about good and evil. Perhaps there is a "biological basis for our sense of right and wrong" as the guy talks about in Nosy's post. Yet, such a claim in and of itself is rather general.

I think the "biological basis" is more just an ability we have because we're able to think abstractly and have such intelligence. Almost a side-effect, even.

I don't really know of any concrete evidence either way for exactly how we're capable of our moral thinking. Yet, the reasoning why we're able to have moral thoughts doesn't really matter. We are able to have them, and they are a part of our lives. It's how we use these abilities we're capable of that makes any difference.


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 Message 183 by bgmark2, posted 05-19-2007 7:29 AM bgmark2 has not yet responded

    
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