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Author Topic:   Atheism Cannot Rationally Explain Morals.
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1512 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(1)
Message 39 of 1006 (798543)
02-03-2017 9:49 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dawn Bertot
02-02-2017 3:56 PM


enlightened self-interest
Simply put I would say the Atheist has no rational or logical way to formulate an actual moral or ethic, from a reality standpoint.
Simply put the basis of all morality is enlightened self-interest. This is where the "golden-rule" comes from, and why you can find variations on that theme in every religion and every culture.
In the first place, this is not a moral it's an Instinct, any animal can avoid pain or misery. It takes no thinking process.
There is an evolved component to human morality, because game theory shows evolutionary benefit for social animals to behave in a manner conducive to the survival of the social group, and that includes morals, as the video of the capucin monkeys shows. Humans have built on that basis via memes -- inherited behavior and cultural traditions that have survived and spread because they offer survival and reproductive advantages. These memes can cross-fertilize other social groups (rather than a nested hierarchy pattern) and thus we see a lot of similarities across groups that come from different origins and religious backgrounds.
Thirdly, since I can get very different responses from human minds as to what constitutes a moral or immoral act, it should be immediately evident that there is no way to establish OBJECTIVELY, from a Naturalistic standpoint, what is in REALITY morally real.
Morality is essentially social convention, a program to survive and reproduce within a culture, and thus it would be surprising if it didn't differ from social group to social group, from culture to culture, from nation to nation.
Therefore, it is logically impossible for an actual ethic or moral to exist from the Atheistic standpoint, in Reality.
It is logically preposterous to think there would be one and only one moral code for all of mankind (and animal kind), but it is not logically impossible for many to exist, often with overlaps and similarities, such as Christian and Muslim, AND it is why morality evolves and changes over time, as more things become accepted behavior because they don't harm the social group.
No matter what your religious viewpoint happens to be.
Enjoy

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-02-2017 3:56 PM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-03-2017 1:00 PM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1512 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(1)
Message 50 of 1006 (798574)
02-03-2017 2:23 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Dawn Bertot
02-03-2017 1:00 PM


Re: enlightened self-interest
... I have waited to this point to interject God's actions in this or that context or what he does or not does as evil, because I wanted it firmly established by at least a few here what your actual position consists of.
Do you think that would have changed anyone's reply? That we don't already suspect your position from past dialogues? Fascinating.
Fortunately, our position has nothing to do with religious belief, at least fundamentally. ...
Which is basically what I said at the end.
It should be Clear to even the simplest of readers that your position is as subjective as any position could possibly be. ...
Except that they are not random, but embedded within the culture\social group, which gives them consistency across beliefs. People interact within the culture\social group and not randomly.
... Morals are nothing more than changing ideas between humans and animals and nature. Nothing is truly right , wrong, good bad or otherwise. What may or may not serve the good of the species. Etc, etc, etc.
A simple reading of your and Venesy's post demonstrate this point.
Possibly because that is what the evidence shows. Take an example from the Bible - adulterers are supposed to be stoned to death, but this no longer occurs in at least 99% of Christian sects -- they have evolved to a more accepting morality, perhaps because laws about adultery can be used instead, resulting in lesser punishments than death.
We don't attack the Atheists concept of morals because we have nothing better to do. We are simply amazed that a group of people that reduces morality to the most subjective nonsense, have the audacity to attack a God infinite in wisdom, of his actions. These same SFH can't even be consistent in reason and application of thier ALLEDGED morals
You seem to think that because morality is subjective that it would be wildly inconsistent, when it is based on the society mores instead of the individual's beliefs.
This is rather obvious when we review crimes against others, as we find the same basic proportions of atheist and various theist people as in the general population. That would argue for a rather consistent moral code across society.
It's now the time to demonstrate that any action by an infinite God would be as meaningless, FROM YOUR STANDPOINT ,as any action of yours. ...
Show me an example of this infinite God action and we can discuss the ramifications.
... Or that the same group ofpeople, involve themselves in the same autrocites, with lesser or thierarchy own species.
Please reword in english.
How would you justify condemning any action of God, if you can find no evil or Good in your own actions.
Or, instead, if I cannot find "any action of God" (other than the creation of the universe ) how can I condemn it (and who says creation of the universe would be condemned)?
If you don't believe this, provide me with an example of human conduct that would be truly evil. ...
Treating other humans as lesser beings.
... But remember, let's not just talk about the human species. That kind of logic doesn't work
Again, rewrite this in english please.
If slavery is wrong then why is a zoo not slavery. From the SFH position, Morals are nothing more than to justify your actions
Well I do believe that zoos are wrong. Animals so contained are sad shadows of their wild counterparts. But we also have the mass incarceration of Blacks, Latinos and other non-whites, that are the new slave labor. And we have a biased judicial system that puts non-proportional numbers of Blacks, Latinos and other non-whites into those jails and deprive them of their citizenship rights. Do you think that is moral? Is the death penalty moral?
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-03-2017 1:00 PM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-04-2017 12:37 AM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1512 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(2)
Message 51 of 1006 (798575)
02-03-2017 2:25 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by Faith
02-03-2017 2:22 PM


Has anybody mentioned the well known very vociferous atheist from some years ago, I can't think of his name, who became a theist ...
Or ALL the people that became atheists because they found fundamentalism was a lie.
Enjoy

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Faith, posted 02-03-2017 2:22 PM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by Faith, posted 02-03-2017 2:39 PM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1512 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 61 of 1006 (798602)
02-03-2017 5:43 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by Faith
02-03-2017 2:39 PM


That's apples and oranges, RAZD. The decision of the atheist who became a theist had to be based on some pretty complicated analysis of possibilities in the natural world, not like determining that a theological statement is true or false.
Nope it's two ends of the same process.
And in reference to morality ... the changes in theistic beliefs likely meant the lapsed religious people had a more open view than before, more inclusive. No longer repressed by their previous beliefs.
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by Faith, posted 02-03-2017 2:39 PM Faith has not replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1512 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 73 of 1006 (798643)
02-04-2017 8:32 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by Dawn Bertot
02-04-2017 12:37 AM


Re: enlightened self-interest
That's perfectly fine if we are going to use an example from the Bible, but we have to remember the being issuing this command is according to the same source, infinte in knowledge. You are not, I assume
Being a deist I have no need to assume any "command is according to the same source, infinte in knowledge" as they would be unknown, so no I do not accept your assumption, you have to demonstrate it. Your non-response on the issue of stoning shows that you are not accepting a "command is according to the same source, infinte in knowledge" but a position that is more socially acceptable.
So you admit that it's inconsistent, just not wildly, correct.. so how can a MILDLY inconsistent moral code be consistent? Hmmmm?
To start with I said "rather consistent" not absolutely consistent. Would you not agree that 99% consistent would be "rather consistent" yes? That this predominant consistency could be different in different cultures and still be an operating moral system withing that culture? That different cultures could differ more between cultures than is seen within a culture?
"For when gentiles which have not the (written) law, do by nature the things contained in the (written) law, these having not the the (written) law, are a law unto themselves, which show the written law written on thier hearts (by an infinte God), there conscience also bearing witness AND THIER CONFLICTING THOUGHTS WILL ACCUSE OR PERHAPS EXCUSE THEM.............." emphasis mine
Romans 2:14-16New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)
14 When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves. 15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.
Here is your example, here is where you know right from, wrong. Your conscience will accuse or excuse you based on infinte wisdom written on your heart or conscience.
Sadly this is not an example in reality, it is a quote from a book, and you have not yet demonstrated the veracity of the book. You could just as well quote Shakespeare or the Bhagavad Gita. Truly sad.
Now before you say this is a quote out of a book, I can see this in reality can't i? An intrinsic law in operation with freewill. I can obey it or ignore it can't i? What I can't see is consistency when a finite being tries to be something more than finte
And yet I don't see it, so you are just using more words to deflect the issue that you do not have an real example. Belief is not evidence.
So your finite and he's infinte, guess who I'm going pick everytime. What I mean is at least the theistic position doesn't involve logical contradiction anywhere in it process, especially in its beginning. Sorry
Curiously I will choose a known finite over an unknown and unknowable infinite, and point you back to the example of the stoning issue to show you that you do not pick your infinite over the finite.
Enjoy
Edited by RAZD, : engls

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-04-2017 12:37 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-04-2017 11:19 PM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1512 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 106 of 1006 (798784)
02-05-2017 2:04 PM
Reply to: Message 88 by Dawn Bertot
02-04-2017 11:19 PM


Re: enlightened self-interest
I'm assuming your using the Bible for your source that God told them to stone someone correct, if not what what source are using. So the same source tells us that this same God is infinte in knowledge, omniscience. If this is not the case, then there is also no need for me to believe, YOU BELIEVE, that God actually asked someone to stone someone else ...
Since you referenced the bible in your argument, I can use it's writings to show examples of what it considers moral, no?
... So the same source tells us that this same God is infinte in knowledge, omniscience. ...
So you claim, but I find no reason to accept that argument. Do you know what a Deist is?
... If this is not the case, then there is also no need for me to believe, YOU BELIEVE, that God actually asked someone to stone someone else ...
This is nonsense. Your book commands you to stone people in certain situations, so all I ask is whether or not you still think this is a moral command from what you believe your god to say. Do you think stoning is moral behavior today? Why the change if your morality is absolute written on your heart?
Try to atleast be legitimate and rational. Double talk is not necessary,, if you cant handle the argument.
The irony ... it burnssssssssssss.
Well no I was just trying to be kind In relationship to the fact that no matter how much consistency you think you have, that If it is less than perfect knowledge it's subjective nonsense. ...
Being subjective does not make it nonsense, especially when there is no "perfect knowledge". What you leave out is that it is not entirely individual but irrevocably tied into and through the culture, it is a consensus of views with family and friends and acquaintances, with what you learn and what you know, and it grows with you as you grow and learn. What you consider moral behavior at 5 is different from what you consider moral now.
The word Moral implies by its very nature a standard, ...
Indeed, and that standard is the social consensus of the culture where you live. The headhunters of New Zealand used to think it was moral to kill and eat their enemies, they no longer do because their culture has changed, necessarily changed to fit into the global society we have. This is no different that changing views on stoning people or on capital punishment.
... if there is no standard then there is no reason to call anything evil, bad or wrong. Now you could call it correct or incorrect, but that would only be if it conformed to some known fact in reality. But not right or wrong.
Well that is kind of how the words are defined so that is circular reasoning, yes?
Good:
possessing or displaying moral virtue:
"I've met many good people who made me feel ashamed of my own shortcomings" [more]
synonyms: virtuous righteous upright upstanding moral
Evil:
profoundly immoral and malevolent:
Wrong:
unjust, dishonest, or immoral:
The moment an Atheist opens his mouth and starts claiming someone is moral or immoral, he involves him or herself in the worst form of contradiction.
Only if you can show that atheists cannot have any morality, and you have not done that.
As I said earlier it comes down to enlightened self-interest, something that is not limited to any one group of people. This is basically what "the golden rule" states. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you is an expression of enlightened self-interest -- don't kill your family, friends and neighbors in their sleep and so they will not kill you in your sleep.
This also means it can grow and evolve over time, now including transgender people for instance, when they did not exist in biblical times.
Well this is proof positive you have no intention of being objective. You ask for an example from something God did besides create the universe, then I give you a clear cut example, by demonstrating the visible morality In man, his sense of right and wrong, sense of ought and these kinds of things. That's PHYSICAL RIGHT?. ...
Nope, it is your subjective opinion.
... But Because I was able to provide an answer, your best response Is I don't like it
Nope, I don't "like" it because it is not an actual example of anything but your opinion. It is not what I asked for.
Doesn't matter that it's out of a book, I can see it in reality. Do you have any other questions you'd like me to answer?
How do you know it is not only in your head subjective? If you can see it in reality then can you show it to me? If you cannot show it to me, then is it reality or just in your head?
Not surprisingly, again you miss the point. It's not a matter of what you choose, it's a matter of what the implications are if such an infinite, all knowing being does not exist. That being that you are involved in the worst form of contradiction, NOT Just BECAUSE he may not exist, but because subjective can never be objective, which means morality, if you want to call it that, is nothing of the sort
Nope. It is very much a matter of choosing to behave within a cultures consensus moral standards, because that is enlightened self interest -- when in Rome do as the Romans.
You could not provide me with an example that would not involve itself in the worst form of contradiction
The prime directive in star trek comes to mind (as I remember you are fond of star trek).
Also I would say that it is immoral to behave contrary to the moral consensus standard of a society not your own.
On the other hand, there would not be anything objectively wrong with a dog chasing down a rabbit to kill it, than one human killing another in the octagon, correct? Not in your reality. How long do u think it will be before it will be acceptable to fight and kill one another for sport in the ring.. Hmmmmm? I believe they were called gladiators. Is that murder, evil, moral or immoral, right wrong. You fellas tell using this massively subjective "Morality" you possess
As society changes and evolves so to does the moral consensus standard. The Romans felt is was moral to feed Christians to the lions. That we evolved away from that early morality does not mean it cannot return, especially with demagogue leaders like Trump/Bannon. Will we see drone strikes on American citizens protesting in the US? Will those drone strikes be celebrated by some people? Will they consider it moral?
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-04-2017 11:19 PM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 111 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-06-2017 1:01 AM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1512 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 124 of 1006 (798914)
02-06-2017 1:06 PM
Reply to: Message 111 by Dawn Bertot
02-06-2017 1:01 AM


Re: enlightened self-interest -- three laws
Yes someone as unsure about how to establish morals, as he is unsure how to establish whether God exists
Except that my arguments here show how to establish morals, it is your denial, not my insecurity in the process.
And any rational person should be unsure whether god/s exist or not, because they need to be open to the idea but skeptical of the evidences, which are fairly poor, subjective, and anecdotal.
Well you see RAZD, that's the difference between what you believe answer what I believe. Your morality makes no rational sense, ...
When you start with enlightened self-interest, that generates the golden rule, and then you can generate further moral values: don't kill your family, friends or neighbors, don't covet your neighbors spouse and material objects, don't take from others, etc.
If you don't see the rational sense this makes it is not a failure of the logic but your perception. This falls under cognitive dissonance when you fail and try to discredit information contrary to a firmly held belief. Classic symptoms.
... but ours does. No I don't know why God commanded some people to stone people, but then it makes no sense to another human being to ask them to love thier enemy.. ...
So you admit it doesn't make rational sense. Do you still think stoning people is moral behavior?
... So I know that while those things may seem incompatible on the surface, I have an objective standard, in the form of infinte wisdom. That's assuming we are going to allow the definition of God by the same source, that issues his commands
No, it is a subjective standard. It is an assumed standard. It is an assumed definition. Blind faith yes? But I am not blind, that would be neither open minded nor skeptical.
An being infinte in knowledge, could also have freewill, indeed you would expect him to. I think it is much easier to establish the existence of God, than it would be to show how a person could have actual right or wrong from biological process. ...
You're moving the goalposts there. Right or wrong are terms related to facts not morality. But we've shown how biologically behavior that is beneficial to the group is selected and used, whether genes or memes. That our morals have social values because we are a social species. Tiger morality would be different. Whale morality would be different. That's why different species act in different manners.
Different societies with different memes would be different, because human society has evolved to pass information and knowledge and experience (memes) from generation to generation, and those memes would differ in different societies.
... My position is atleast evidential. ...
But without objective empirical evidence that it contains anything more than the social morals of the groups that wrote it.
Would you not agree that Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics is an objectively evidenced moral code written in a book about imaginary robots?
quote:
  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.[1]

Was this code rationally developed or did it come from some divine source? Can it be used by humans?
Isaac Asimov "was an atheist, a humanist, and a rationalist.[130]"
... Yours involves the worst form of contradiction. ...
And yet you fail to show any contradictions. The only evidence of contradictions so far is stoning being moral by your source but no longer practiced.
... From your position, even your thoughts, concepts and ideas are nothing more than biological processes. ...
How else does a brain function except by biological processes? Inquiring minds want to know.
... No different than a tree falling on a squirrel paying by.
And that contradicts moral values derived from enlightened self-interest how? That's nothing but a non-sequitur.
I know you like to believe otherwise, but reality won't allow it at all. Hence a ilogical mpossibility. That's unless you can show me how it's more than natural processes.
Reality won't allow one to believe in reality? Amusing. Again you fail to demonstrate the logical impossibility you claim.
Well again nothing more than biological processes, because we do not have anything to compare it with, other than other biological processes. That's unless you can provide me with another source
So? Do you deny that morals change over time? That stoning was moral in early Christianity but is not moral now?
Here's your problem. The same source that started your process will end the same way, in natural processes. And the fact that it will end, is revealing also.
An emotional response to these realities such as yours, do not change the realty of only natural processes, anymore than me being a tree if I think I'm one, is reality
Conclusions based on a false premise are invalid. You're spinning.
Because I can I can see humans acting thing differently than animals. Pretty sure that's a reality
So your 'evidence' that your morals etc are not all in your head is that all life does not behave in an identical manner? Fascinating.
So if the moral consensus was to stone people or do what the Nazis did, you would then say that was ok, right wrong, moral, good bad or what?
The people in those societies thought it was moral to do those actions. That doesn't make it moral in other societies and it certainly does not make it a universal absolute morality.
Funny side note: the Nazis based their morals on what they believed the bible told them.
So if I'm reading you correctly, we may assume that at any point in this Naturalistic timeline, any autrocites ... , could be multiplied and surpassed, as long as everyone agrees it's ok
That is what history shows, certainly among ignorant people that cling to false ideas. Terrorists (including Christian ones) believe what they are doing is moral, suicide bombers believe they will go to heaven for what they have done. Because those beliefs are not absolute moral codes but subjective ones.
... now attibuted to God, ...
So what would be the point of charging God with anything
Ummm, you tell me, I don't attribute or charge god/s with the behaviors of people or natural disasters.
But maybe you should be asking the terrorists that attribute their behavior to their god/s.
Enjoy
Edited by RAZD, : .
Edited by RAZD, : .

we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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to share.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-06-2017 1:01 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 130 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-07-2017 12:35 AM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1512 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 137 of 1006 (799089)
02-07-2017 10:48 AM
Reply to: Message 130 by Dawn Bertot
02-07-2017 12:35 AM


Re: enlightened self-interest -- three laws unanswered
Curiously I am more interested in what you did not reply to in your post, so I want to highlight what you did not cover from my previous post, Message 124 as, without counter argument I feel free to take these to be arguments you accept:
RAZD writes:
And any rational person should be unsure whether god/s exist or not, because they need to be open to the idea but skeptical of the evidences, which are fairly poor, subjective, and anecdotal.
The alternative is to be irrational about it. Blind faith is necessarily irrational and not based on objective evidence as it is purely subjective.
RAZD writes:
You're moving the goalposts there. Right or wrong are terms related to facts not morality. But we've shown how biologically behavior that is beneficial to the group is selected and used, whether genes or memes. That our morals have social values because we are a social species. Tiger morality would be different. Whale morality would be different. That's why different species act in different manners.
Different societies with different memes would be different, because human society has evolved to pass information and knowledge and experience (memes) from generation to generation, and those memes would differ in different societies.
So, with no counter argument, you must be in agreement that morality in different species would be different, and likewise in different cultures.
RAZD writes:
... My position is atleast evidential. ...
But without objective empirical evidence that it contains anything more than the social morals of the groups that wrote it.
So you are still without actual objective empirical evidence to support your assumed absolute code.
RAZD writes:
Would you not agree that Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics is an objectively evidenced moral code written in a book about imaginary robots?
quote:
  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.[1]

Was this code rationally developed or did it come from some divine source? Can it be used by humans?
Isaac Asimov "was an atheist, a humanist, and a rationalist.[130]"
Curiously, I find your absence of response here most telling. Here we have the evidence in a book of a moral code that is rationally developed by an atheist for imaginary robots to follow blindly ... this example alone refutes your base premise for this thread.
What is the source and reason for these 3 laws? So that the company can sell robots without people being afraid of them going all "Frankenstein monster" on them. OR, in other words, enlightened self-interest.
There are many books built around these robots and robot laws -- does that make them more real?
Can these laws be used by humans? The first shows enlightened self-interest: it is not much different from the medical Hippocratic Oath known popularly as "First do no harm" ... with an addendum "or through inaction allow harm to occur" ... do you agree?
The second relates to following orders, so that should appeal to authoritarians, and the third deals with self-preservation after the preservation of others. It seems to me that these would be more applicable to slaves than to free people, that the orders and lives of the masters are more important than the lives of the slaves. Or that the robots should think people are god/s to be followed and obeyed without question. Blind faith again?
But was that type of behavior not considered moral in the south before the Civil War (and in the histories of many countries around the world) before emancipation became the rule rather than the exception?
RAZD writes:
... Yours involves the worst form of contradiction. ...
And yet you fail to show any contradictions. The only evidence of contradictions so far is stoning being moral by your source but no longer practiced.
... From your position, even your thoughts, concepts and ideas are nothing more than biological processes. ...
How else does a brain function except by biological processes? Inquiring minds want to know.
and Inquiring minds are still waiting.
RAZD writes:
Reality won't allow one to believe in reality? Amusing. Again you fail to demonstrate the logical impossibility you claim
So? Do you deny that morals change over time? That stoning was moral in early Christianity but is not moral now?
Conclusions based on a false premise are invalid. You're spinning.
So your 'evidence' that your morals etc are not all in your head is that all life does not behave in an identical manner? Fascinating.
Still waiting.
RAZD writes:
That is what history shows, certainly among ignorant people that cling to false ideas. Terrorist (including Christian ones) believe what they are doing is moral, suicide bombers believe they will go to heaven for what they have done. Because those beliefs are not absolute moral codes but subjective ones.
and no counter argument again.
Now I realize that you have a lot of work you have made for yourself with all the replies to your assertions, but perhaps you should consider actually thinking about the replies instead of continuing to try and bluff your way through.
Enjoy

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 130 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-07-2017 12:35 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 145 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-07-2017 8:27 PM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1512 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 140 of 1006 (799103)
02-07-2017 11:39 AM
Reply to: Message 130 by Dawn Bertot
02-07-2017 12:35 AM


Re: enlightened self-interest -- take two
Except that my arguments here show how to establish morals, it is your denial, not my insecurity in the process.
Well I know your not paying close attention and you'll get tired of hearing this but, you have failed to show how anything just functioning in a biological fashion is anything but matter in motion. ...
Rather it would seem that you are not paying close attention, the answer (from several people as well, as you attempt to use this argument often) is ... so?
It is based in biology, yes, but there is a point where synergy happens and self consciousness arises. We can observe self consciousness in apes and some other animals, but not in slugs and bugs.
We also see, as we would expect if this were a natural development, that there is a spectrum of self consciousness. Sense of self. Sense of consequences to actions.
And there is a point where synergy happens and the ability to communicate one individual to another arises. We can also observe communication in apes and some other animals, but are hard pressed to find it in slugs and bugs (unless you consider chemical trails communication). Ability to develop and pass on memes in addition to genes. Memes about behavior.
These are all I need to see moral codes develop and be passed from generation to generation, codes of behavior that benefit the survival and reproduction of the group.
... If that's the case and it seems to be , then you can call your morality a turnstile or a flag pole, but it doesn't make it that. I could point to any other physical or biological process, in or out of the animal kingdom and say it's morality, it wouldn't make it so
Sorry, but that doesn't follow at all. Calling it a different name would not change the fact of the moral code being developed over time and within a cultural context.
Calling a skunk cabbage a rose does not make it smell like one.
Calling it subjective by myself, is only one of your problems, not the first one. For something to be strictly ethical or moral it must involve more than just a physical process. ...
Well that is part of your problem, there is no "strictly ethical or moral" codes - they are pluralistic, more so the larger the social context. For example you can have general moral beliefs that apply in all Christian sects and you can have some that apply only to certain sects (eg fundamentalists and YECs)
... Because if we compare physical processes with eachother, then we only get the samething. Hence I gave you the example of a tree falling on a passing rabbit and you caping a round in arse. Neither would mean or have meaning, just processes. ...
Curiously I've already shown you how enlightened self-interest generates some basic morals:
quote:
When you start with enlightened self-interest, that generates the golden rule, and then you can generate further moral values: don't kill your family, friends or neighbors, don't covet your neighbors spouse and material objects, don't take from others, etc.
That provides an observed rational difference between "a tree falling on a passing rabbit and you caping a round in arse" because rabbits are not included but harming others is.
Yes it they are just processes, but they are viewed through our self-consciousness and learned (communicated) behavior, including enlightened self-interest. The tree falling on the rabbit does not affect me, harming someone else does.
... There's nothing to compare these two things against, there both the same. If not why not..
We compare them on how they affect us, just as we compare actions of other people on how they affect us -- because we have self-consciousness and because we can communicate with other people to reach a consensus agreement on what behavior is acceptable and what is not. We can't do that with the rabbit or the tree.
... it won't help to,point out what humans think or eachother or how they treat eachother
Except that this is the basis of morals, so you are saying I can't talk about morals while talking about morals? Fascinating.
But if there is an infinte standard then we can
Show me. All you have done so far is assert it.
Xcept for porky the pig and cluckie the chicken. If you came accross a pig with a hundred dollar bill in his mouth and he seemed to be enjoying it, would it be stealing if you took it from him. That's assuming you don't already own the pig through slavery
Curiously I don't consider pigs or chickens to be part of my social group. Like the tree and the rabbit they fail the membership test. The only reason to treat pigs or chickens differently is based on whether someone else owns them. It would not be stealing to take the bill from the pig, because the pig is not a person in the social context of the moral code. What would be moral would be to contact the owner of the pig and see if they knew where the bill came from so you could return it to them.
Enlightened self-intrest, indeed. Where did you pull that one from
Start here: Enlightened self-interest, fits well with Deism.
I suppose if I was infinte in wisdom, I could answer that question. But we know under your system you have no right to ask the question, NO WAY TO ANSWER THE QUESTION, therefore no reason to ask the question. See what matter in motion only does for you? It leaves you speechless, powerless. But,it could be the case that your WRONG about being RIGHT, we just don't know, or do we.? Nobody knows under your methodology
What a curious rambling delusion. So the answer is no.
See this is where your wrong. I know that for your assumed morality to be correct, we would need to have a standard that was absolute. ...
Nope, I just need to assume it is of practical use.
... If it doesn't it's just verbiage. Even if I don't mention infinite wisdom, we are left with MINDLESS matter in motion. Now,that's reality, not assumed anything, correct?
Still wrong, no matter how many times you make this assertion.
You have no hope of demonstrating how moral values derived from self-intrest, enlightened or otherwise, IT isn't anything, but word salad. Youve just changed the words of matter in motion. Enlightened self-intrest, is like the the word sourcrout, it tells you right in the name it sucks
Except that I already have. Your rabid denial is almost entertaining.
See folks, here is an example of enlightened self-interest. Read it a few times and try not to laugh. Remember he's talking about the Nazis . ...
Appeal to popularity logical fallacy Dawn, for starters. Not a real argument though is it?
... So if the Nazis thought it was right, we're they right RAZD?
Why don't you ask the Germans? Remember that the majority of the population was involved.
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1512 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 165 of 1006 (799232)
02-08-2017 10:21 AM
Reply to: Message 164 by Tangle
02-08-2017 3:55 AM


Re: nazis
Very interesting. So all psychopaths should be tested for brain damage ...
And what if you are the fat man? Do you jump to save lives? Not much different than soldiers jumping on a grenade to spare their mates (although the equation is a little different, all or one). So many variables.
Obviously the morality of the decision is subjective and relative.
Thanks.

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 164 by Tangle, posted 02-08-2017 3:55 AM Tangle has replied

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1512 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 167 of 1006 (799256)
02-08-2017 1:46 PM
Reply to: Message 145 by Dawn Bertot
02-07-2017 8:27 PM


enlightened self-interest -- three laws reviewed
... So the answer to your observation is I agree.
Well that's a start.
Different sure, morality no. Matter in motion
Well I understand you define morality differently than I do.
quote:
Morality
Morality (from the Latin moralis "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are distinguished as proper and those that are improper.[1] Morality can be a body of standards or principles derived from a code of conduct from a particular philosophy, religion, or culture, or it can derive from a standard that a person believes should be universal.[2] Morality may also be specifically synonymous with "goodness" or "rightness".
We saw in the Capuchin monkey experiment that "Monkeys Show Sense Of Fairness", which is a basis of morality (can a moral code be unfair? Is the golden rule unfair?). That fairness is monitored and enforced by older members -- isn't that morality?
No I'm not without actual objective empirical evidence. I'm sorry did you do away with all the evidence for God's existence and the scriptures as his Word, while I was away from the website.
No Dawn, if I cannot see it or test for its existence it is not objective by definition. What you have is a strongly held subjective opinion that your evidence is objective, but that doesn't pass the smell test. A book with words is not evidence that the words are true.
Why would i. I was trying to be kind. But as has been indicated by you and others here, this moral code could change in an instance. The reason it could change is that it is based on biological and mental functions, which are biological in natrue. It's a vicious circle of nonsense
And you keep spinning in it. The three laws are visibly no different empirically than the 10 commandments, a list of behaviors.
... But as has been indicated by you and others here, this moral code could change in an instance. ...
Really. Have you ever witnessed such a rapid change in morality? What I see is that it takes generations.
You haven't even got started. You cant
Started and not refuted. The onus is on you to demonstrate your argument is valid and you have failed to date.
RAZD. I could provide any example of mental processes across the animal kingdom, they would be nothing more than matter in motion. It's sad that you and Asimov's can develope moral codes for imaginary robots, but can't apply the same rules to the animal kingdom. I bet Asimov's had some murdered animals, the same month he was developing these imaginary robots. Mmmmmmm, murdered chicken.
Again you try this invalidated argument. Sad. Repetition does not make it any more valid or worth discussing. You're just dodging the question posed by the three laws.
I'm not saying men can't develope ideas biologically by mental processes. I'm just saying there just processes, that can't be consistent in reality. ...
Who says they need to be consistent? Within any one group I would expect relative consistency but not absolute consistency, nor would I expect consistency with a different group. That's the reality.
... Besides, this a simple brain tumor or something else can shut down these processes. But then that is a biological processes as well
Why would we NOT expect brain damage to affect brain function? That this affects perceptions of moral behavior is proof that it is not an absolute code from an infinite source, as that would not be damaged.
But if you think I've missed something please present it. Please , but not with one of your disortations, maybe just a question or a simple point
Actually no. I see no bluffs on my part. But disortations are hard to engage maybe you could simplify a bit. This will make it easier and a little easier for readers that may not understand what we are tying to say
Ummm, that morality is subjective, not objective. It's not so much that you "missed" it but you are dealing with cognitive dissonance in accepting this truth. That's not necessarily a bad thing, if you have an open mind. I could say that the whole reason you have for posting this thread is to try and reduce your dissonance between your belief and social morality.
I don't think I've failed to respond to this, you just don't like the answer or are unable, as far as I can see to answer the objection. That being, that what ever word salad you put on it, a it's nothing more than biological process.
A biological and sociological process. Biology alone does not account for memes, they come from sharing ideas.
quote:
A meme (/ˈmiːm/ MEEM)[1] is "an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture".[2] A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures.[3]
bold for emphasis.
If all thought is just a biological process and not some synergetic mind process, then does a meme from one person infect the other people and change their biology? Is the Noosphere greater than the sum of its parts?
Morality is a meme.
The obvious contradiction should be aware especially to you RAZD. You claim that consciences is a product of evolution and processes, but don't know how to demonstrate that in a biological way. Shouldn't we be able to demonstrate a simple process.
Shouldn't the CAUSALITY between brain function and consciouness be simple enough to track.
You keep saying "contradiction," but I don't think you know what it means ...
That something is difficult or has not been fully demonstrated does not mean that the process is not partially understood nor does it contradict the process being biological and sociological.
I think we need another explanation for consciouness and morality, one that biological processes won't allow you. But hats only your first problem. ...
No, you think we need another explanation because the one everyone on this thread is talking about is dissonant with your personal opinion\belief. Nobody else here - as far as I can see - has a need for a different explanation.
... Besides this, only an outside standard, absolute in nature will ever make Morality consistent in any rational way
If absolute consistency is even required. Curiously subjective morals seem to operate quite well. The sky isn't always blue.
I appreciate your above elaborate explanation and even if it were true, wouldn't solve any problems in any rational way
Real problems, or ones in your head?
No I'm only telling you what reality will allow you
Which is talking about realities, such as morality being a subjective social construct that operates to normalize behavior within the social group. Observable, testable, real.
I've demonstrated it rationally. ...
Asserting it repeatedly is not demonstrating it.
P1: morals are absolute
P2: ?
C: ?
... Since consciouness exists, reasoning exists, ethics exist, ...
Agreed
... they could only rationally come from a source outside themself. ...
Does not follow, you are guilty of hidden premise fallacy at a minimum, one you take as a given? and leaping to a conclusion that is unevidenced and unsupported. This is araional.
... If not they would make no sense. An ethic would make no sense, if there were no standard, by which it could be judged, evaluated or measured. ...
Sense to whom? If it needs to make sense to the individual with the ethic, then job done. If it needs to make sense to you, then perhaps you are the problem?
Can we evaluate, measure, quantify and judge a moral code? Of course we can. We can compare it to our own codes (ie consistency between codes), and we can see if they produce the desired (by the code) behavior (ie consistency with social behavior).
Of course in the first instance we would be judging the other code by our own (see how Faith judges the Islamic codes against hers for example). You are doing it here by comparing the morals developed by atheists and others with your own. This has been a time-tested approach to demonize other cultures and beliefs, but it doesn't have to be adversarial -- we can also look to see how we could improve our moral code from how well the others work and taking the best to use ourselves. This is a learning process.
The second way is to look for internal consistency, such as the belief that pre-marital sex and adultery are wrong (sins) with the number of cases of pre-marital sex and adultery that come to light. Or that abortion is killing/murder with the number of fundamental Christians that have abortions. High numbers indicate that the code is not working\useful.
Going back to the first method, It is instructive to look at fundamental Christian dominated areas and compare rates of divorce, teenage pregnancy, adultery and sex crimes with more liberal areas. The numbers indicate that these areas do worse than other parts of America.
If it's just your present thinking and it could change in a moment, as your cohorts have asserted, then it's just someone postulating...
Not without cause and deliberation and study of the pros and cons to any proposed changes. Look at the way gay marriage has become acceptable when it wasn't even discussed in the '50's. This change occurs because there is no harm to other people.
Then it's complicated by the fact that EVERY SINGLE PERSON could have a different idea about a single thing, making it further confused nonsense. I see no way around and you have presented no evidence to the contrary, to this AGE OLD PROBLEM.
Possible but highly unlikely. You develop your personal morals as you grow from toddler to adult (over 20 years when the areas of the brain that are involved in moral decision making are completed). That means you have 20 years of interactions and discussions with others in your social group, 20 years of education in what the social moral code is in your group. You inherit the memes of your social group by absorbing them. This is why it is a biological and a sociological system.
Let's say your next immediate step in helping us , would be to show the causality between the brain and consciouness. In the meantime, I'll keep looking for the answer as to why this all came about by Natural processes and I don't mean just the process I'm mean everything. Can you help us with that one.
It seems you have your work cut out for you as well
Sure, since you keep moving the goalposts
You see Zen Deist, your conscience which God gave you will not let answer this, because you are violating your conscince, in favor of your error. This is you exercising your free will, even in light of that which you know to be wrong absolutely
Except I have answered it. People (most, not all) within a social group tend to think that the general behavior of their social group is moral and justified behavior. Whether it is Maori eating their enemies or Nazis killing Jews, or more immediately and local, that it was moral and justified to kill slaves by hanging and burning, or that it is moral and justified to bomb and burn mosques, to murder Muslims and to keep them out of America because of a mistaken belief that all Muslims are secret terrorists. It isn't widespread, it doesn't have to dominate a culture, but you would have to agree that it exists and that is all that is needed to make my point.
Enjoy.
Edited by RAZD, : .

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 145 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-07-2017 8:27 PM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 173 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-08-2017 10:46 PM RAZD has replied
 Message 174 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-08-2017 11:00 PM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1512 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 177 of 1006 (799322)
02-09-2017 8:48 AM
Reply to: Message 174 by Dawn Bertot
02-08-2017 11:00 PM


enlightened self-interest -- morals are memes
A biological and sociological process. Biology alone does not account for memes, they come from sharing ideas.
Sharing ideas is nothing more than natural processes, unless you can demonstrate otherwise
Indeed, but the differences are in the details.
You can reduce all of the universe into quarks in random motion, and explain atoms with them, but chemistry explains molecules and organic chemistry explains the combinations of organic molecules and the formation of objects, pre-biotic molecules explain self-replicating molecules that explain life that explains biology.
This all occurs by natural processes but the details of those processes are different at different levels. There is a synergy that occurs at each stage as well, where the sum is greater than the parts, the atom is not just quarks, molecules aren't just atoms, life is not just pre-biotic molecules. Self-consciousness is not just biology and thought is not just electrical activity in a brain, it is more than the sum of the parts, it is synergy. Now you can choose to point your finger at the synergies and say "that is god/s working" but you don't have to and it adds no information of value to the process, it would only make you comfortable, and assuage your dissonance perhaps.
Microevolution alone is not enough to explain macroevolution, because you need to have diversity in different ecologies to change daughter populations in different ways.
Biology is not enough to explain memes because the sociological processes of communication and interaction of ideas is a group activity not an individual one. Isolated single individuals do not have memes by definition. So this again is a synergy from interaction and communication that creates something greater than the sum of the parts, the individuals in the group.
Morals are memes. Memes are shared concepts, but moral codes are not just any concepts lumped together, they are ones that benefit the social group to survive and reproduce as a group.
Sharing ideas is nothing more than natural processes, unless you can demonstrate otherwise
quote:
What Is Cognitive Dissonance
People tend to seek consistency in their beliefs and perceptions. So what happens when one of our beliefs conflicts with another previously held belief?
The term cognitive dissonance is used to describe the feelings of discomfort that result from holding two conflicting beliefs. When there is a discrepancy between beliefs and behaviors, something must change in order to eliminate or reduce the dissonance.
How to Reduce Cognitive Dissonance
According to Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance, people try to seek consistency in their thoughts, beliefs, and opinions. So when there are conflicts between cognitions, people will take steps to reduce the dissonance and feelings of discomfort. They can go about doing this a few different ways.There are three key strategies to reduce or minimize cognitive dissonance:
  1. Reduce the importance of conflicting belief.
    For example, a man who cares about his health might be disturbed to learn that sitting for long periods of time during the day are linked to a shortened lifespan. Since he has to work all day in an office and spends a great deal of time sitting, it is difficult to change his behavior in order to reduce his feelings of dissonance. In order to deal with the feelings of discomfort, he might instead find some way to justify his behavior by believing that his other healthy behaviors make up for his largely sedentary lifestyle.

Note the "feelings of discomfort" are when you find it difficult to think about the conflicting information rationally.
By reducing the arguments on this thread that moral codes are subjective consensus within a social group to "just natural processes" you are trying to make them seem inconsequential, but this only works for you.
Evolution has no purpose, so why would something like sharing ideas in that same context, be anything more or better
There you go again, cognitive dissonance, to attempt to reduce the actual importance of information in conflict with your beliefs.
Evolution has no purpose or goal, agreed. It is a synergy process that allows life to ... live. Which individual lives and which dies before reproducing is a matter of selection for fitness to survive and breed. Likewise, which species live and which species die (go extinct) is a matter of fitness of the species to survive and breed.
And again we have a synergy where the shared ideas that develops in a group that becomes more than the sum of ideas of single individuals, there is an interaction, and the whole group benefits from those concepts that improve the survival and reproduction of the group, possibly at the loss of an individual (streetcar).
The rest of your post is just more cognitive dissonance dismissal of what is really happening in the world in spite of your beliefs. Sorry, they are not worth further comment.
Enjoy
Edited by RAZD, : .
Edited by RAZD, : No reason given.

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This message is a reply to:
 Message 174 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-08-2017 11:00 PM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 186 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-09-2017 9:08 PM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1512 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 178 of 1006 (799324)
02-09-2017 9:22 AM
Reply to: Message 173 by Dawn Bertot
02-08-2017 10:46 PM


Re: enlightened self-interest -- fairness and morals
Do you realize how ignorant this sounds. You can't just start with a perception or random idea that fairness is the basis of morality, when you find it exhibited in one species, let alone in nature itself, which is suppose to be the creator of the entire process.
Do you have a clue how unfair nature is itself. If the entire primate or animal kingdom, we're to go,extinct, would this alleged morality still exist. Then answer is no.
A TREE SHARES THE SUNLIGHT WITH YOU BUT THAT DOESN'T MAKERS IT MORAL
But it wouldn't matter would it, because in reality, atleast according to the cold hard facts of your position, Morals don't exist now
See What Is Cognitive Dissonance in Message 177 regarding your attempts to reduce your cognitive dissonance by diminishing your perception of the arguments made that are in conflict with your beliefs. This is just more of same and thus irrelevant to the discussion of how morals are actually developed in societies.
That's the point Zen Deist. Is the sky Moral or just what you call blue, a thing?
Your actions and perceptions, as asapecies re just another thing, the have no value in your system, except that which ascribe to them. Is blue a value
Could not show otherwise if you wanted to
That you find it difficult to understand how it works is evidence of your dissonance, and it doesn't actually show that it doesn't work.
Not only do we see fairness in Capuchin monkeys we also observe shared memes in bears, elephants, whales and macaques:
quote:
Japanese Macaque
Common Names: Snow Monkey, Nihon zaru
Genus: Macaca
Species: fuscata
Scientists have begun to rethink their ideas on culture within monkey society in a large part because of the Japanese macaques. It has been observed that the macaques invent new behaviors and pass them on by immitation. In 1963 a young female named Mukubili waded into a hot spring in the Nagano Mountains to retrieve some soybeans that had been thrown in by the keepers. She liked the warmth and soon other young monkeys joined her. At first the behavior caught on only with the young macaques and their mothers. Over the years the rest of the troop took up the behavior, which now finds shelter in the 109 F (43 C) hot springs to escape the winter cold. Young monkeys have also learned how to roll snowballs, which doesn't have any survival purpose, but with which they have a lot of fun, much like human children.
Potato washing by a troop in Koshima was first started by a one and a half year old female named Imo. Researchers would put sweet potatoes along the beach to bring the monkeys out in the open. Imo found that she could get the sand off the potato better by dipping it into the river water, rather than brushing it off with her hands, like the other monkeys were doing. Her brothers and sisters imitated her first and then their mother. Over time the entire troop took to washing sand off potatoes with river water. At first they simply washed the sand off, but Imo soon found that the potatoes tasted better if seasoned with salt water from the ocean. They began to bite into the potato then dip it into the sea water to season it and bite again. Imo was a bit of a genius for a monkey because she also discovered wheat washing. She would make a ball of wheat and sand and throw it into the water. The wheat would float up to the top where she could pick it up and eat it without the sand.
Any animal that teaches their young how to get food or hunt is passing memes from generation to generation.
And, of course, morals are a subset of memes, as discussed in Message 177.
The experiment on fairness in Capuchin monkeys was done with females, because they were the ones that enforced behavior within the troop.
quote:
Only female capuchins were tested because they most closely monitor equity, or fair treatment, among their peers, Brosnan said.
They enforced Capuchin morality. Enforcement of certain behaviors is observed in many primates when misbehavior is punished.
Enjoy
Edited by RAZD, : .

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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1512 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 196 of 1006 (799441)
02-10-2017 11:25 AM
Reply to: Message 186 by Dawn Bertot
02-09-2017 9:08 PM


Summary of my argument so far
Taking the opportunity of this double post to convert it into a summary of my argument to this point.
  1. The basis of all morality is enlightened self-interest. This is where the "golden-rule" comes from, and why you can find variations on that theme in every religion and every culture. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is an expression of enlightened self-interest -- don't kill your family, friends and neighbors in their sleep and so they will not kill you in your sleep.
  2. Morality is essentially social convention, a program to survive and reproduce within a culture, and thus it would be surprising if it didn't differ from social group to social group, from culture to culture, from nation to nation.
  3. Morality is subjective, it is based on the society mores instead of the individual's beliefs, and because it is subjective it can change over time.
    • It doesn't need to be 100% absolutely consistent in a social group, it only needs to be predominantly consistent.
    • It is tied to culture, it is a consensus of views with family and friends and acquaintances, with what you learn and what you know, and it grows with you as you grow and learn.
    • The moral standard is the social consensus of the culture where you live. The headhunters of New Zealand used to think it was moral to kill and eat their enemies, they no longer do because their culture has changed, necessarily changed to fit into the global society we have.
    • As society changes and evolves so to does the moral consensus standard. The Romans felt is was moral to feed Christians to the lions.
  4. An example of an objectively evidenced moral code written by an atheist is Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics
  5. There is an evolved component to human morality, because game theory shows evolutionary benefit for social animals to behave in a manner conducive to the survival of the social group, and that includes morals.
    • It is based in biology, but there is a point where synergy happens and self consciousness arises.
    • We can observe self consciousness in apes and some other animals, but not in slugs and bugs.
    • Morality is a meme: moral codes develop and get passed from generation to generation, codes of behavior that benefit the survival and reproduction of the group are preserved.
  6. It is developed by natural processes.
    • You can reduce all of the universe into quarks in random motion, and explain atoms with them, but chemistry explains molecules and organic chemistry explains the combinations of organic molecules and the formation of objects, pre-biotic molecules explain self-replicating molecules that explain life that explains biology.
    • This all occurs by natural processes but the details of those processes are different at different levels. There is a synergy that occurs at each stage as well, where the sum is greater than the parts, the atom is not just quarks, molecules aren't just atoms, life is not just pre-biotic molecules. Self-consciousness is not just biology and thought is not just electrical activity in a brain, it is more than the sum of the parts, it is synergy.
    • Microevolution alone is not enough to explain macroevolution, because you need to have diversity in different ecologies to change daughter populations in different ways.
    • Biology is not enough to explain memes because the sociological processes of communication and interaction of ideas is a group activity not an individual one. This is a synergy from interaction and communication that creates something greater than the sum of the parts (individuals in the group).
    • Morals are a subset of memes. Memes are shared evolved concepts, but moral codes are not just any concepts lumped together, they are ones that benefit the social group to survive and reproduce as a group by conditioning behavior for reducing conflicts.
    Morals are subjective, they are a type of memes that have evolved over time as a consensus control on social behavior, to reduce conflicts between individual members of a social group, and thus benefit the survival and continuous revitalization of the social group from generation to generation.
Enjoy

Below are the posts that detail these points.
Message 39: Simply put the basis of all morality is enlightened self-interest. This is where the "golden-rule" comes from, and why you can find variations on that theme in every religion and every culture.
There is an evolved component to human morality, because game theory shows evolutionary benefit for social animals to behave in a manner conducive to the survival of the social group, and that includes morals, as the video of the capucin monkeys shows. Humans have built on that basis via memes -- inherited behavior and cultural traditions that have survived and spread because they offer survival and reproductive advantages. These memes can cross-fertilize other social groups (rather than a nested hierarchy pattern) and thus we see a lot of similarities across groups that come from different origins and religious backgrounds.
Morality is essentially social convention, a program to survive and reproduce within a culture, and thus it would be surprising if it didn't differ from social group to social group, from culture to culture, from nation to nation.
It is logically preposterous to think there would be one and only one moral code for all of mankind (and animal kind), but it is not logically impossible for many to exist, often with overlaps and similarities, such as Christian and Muslim, AND it is why morality evolves and changes over time, as more things become accepted behavior because they don't harm the social group.
Message 50: You seem to think that because morality is subjective that it would be wildly inconsistent, when it is based on the society mores instead of the individual's beliefs.
This is rather obvious when we review crimes against others, as we find the same basic proportions of atheist and various theist people as in the general population. That would argue for a rather consistent moral code across society.
Message 73: To start with I said "rather consistent" not absolutely consistent. Would you not agree that 99% consistent would be "rather consistent" yes? That this predominant consistency could be different in different cultures and still be an operating moral system withing that culture? That different cultures could differ more between cultures than is seen within a culture?
Message 106: Being subjective does not make it nonsense, especially when there is no "perfect knowledge". What you leave out is that it is not entirely individual but irrevocably tied into and through the culture, it is a consensus of views with family and friends and acquaintances, with what you learn and what you know, and it grows with you as you grow and learn. What you consider moral behavior at 5 is different from what you consider moral now.
Indeed, and that standard is the social consensus of the culture where you live. The headhunters of New Zealand used to think it was moral to kill and eat their enemies, they no longer do because their culture has changed, necessarily changed to fit into the global society we have. This is no different that changing views on stoning people or on capital punishment.
As I said earlier it comes down to enlightened self-interest, something that is not limited to any one group of people. This is basically what "the golden rule" states. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you is an expression of enlightened self-interest -- don't kill your family, friends and neighbors in their sleep and so they will not kill you in your sleep.
This also means it can grow and evolve over time, now including transgender people for instance, when they did not exist in biblical times.
As society changes and evolves so to does the moral consensus standard. The Romans felt is was moral to feed Christians to the lions. That we evolved away from that early morality does not mean it cannot return, especially with demagogue leaders like Trump/Bannon. Will we see drone strikes on American citizens protesting in the US? Will those drone strikes be celebrated by some people? Will they consider it moral?
Message 124: When you start with enlightened self-interest, that generates the golden rule, and then you can generate further moral values: don't kill your family, friends or neighbors, don't covet your neighbors spouse and material objects, don't take from others, etc.
Would you not agree that Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics is an objectively evidenced moral code written in a book about imaginary robots?
quote:
  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.[1]

Was this code rationally developed or did it come from some divine source? Can it be used by humans?
Isaac Asimov "was an atheist, a humanist, and a rationalist.[130]"
The people in those societies thought it was moral to do those actions. That doesn't make it moral in other societies and it certainly does not make it a universal absolute morality.
Message 137: What is the source and reason for these 3 laws? So that the company can sell robots without people being afraid of them going all "Frankenstein monster" on them. OR, in other words, enlightened self-interest.
There are many books built around these robots and robot laws -- does that make them more real?
Can these laws be used by humans? The first shows enlightened self-interest: it is not much different from the medical Hippocratic Oath known popularly as "First do no harm" ... with an addendum "or through inaction allow harm to occur" ... do you agree?
The second relates to following orders, so that should appeal to authoritarians, and the third deals with self-preservation after the preservation of others. It seems to me that these would be more applicable to slaves than to free people, that the orders and lives of the masters are more important than the lives of the slaves. Or that the robots should think people are god/s to be followed and obeyed without question. Blind faith again?
But was that type of behavior not considered moral in the south before the Civil War (and in the histories of many countries around the world) before emancipation became the rule rather than the exception?
Message 140: It is based in biology, yes, but there is a point where synergy happens and self consciousness arises. We can observe self consciousness in apes and some other animals, but not in slugs and bugs.
We also see, as we would expect if this were a natural development, that there is a spectrum of self consciousness. Sense of self. Sense of consequences to actions.
And there is a point where synergy happens and the ability to communicate one individual to another arises. We can also observe communication in apes and some other animals, but are hard pressed to find it in slugs and bugs (unless you consider chemical trails communication). Ability to develop and pass on memes in addition to genes. Memes about behavior.
These are all I need to see moral codes develop and be passed from generation to generation, codes of behavior that benefit the survival and reproduction of the group.
Message 167: We saw in the Capuchin monkey experiment that "Monkeys Show Sense Of Fairness", which is a basis of morality (can a moral code be unfair? Is the golden rule unfair?).
A biological and sociological process. Biology alone does not account for memes, they come from sharing ideas.
quote:
A meme (/ˈmiːm/ MEEM)[1] is "an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture".[2] A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures.[3]
Morality is a meme.
Message 177: You can reduce all of the universe into quarks in random motion, and explain atoms with them, but chemistry explains molecules and organic chemistry explains the combinations of organic molecules and the formation of objects, pre-biotic molecules explain self-replicating molecules that explain life that explains biology.
This all occurs by natural processes but the details of those processes are different at different levels. There is a synergy that occurs at each stage as well, where the sum is greater than the parts, the atom is not just quarks, molecules aren't just atoms, life is not just pre-biotic molecules. Self-consciousness is not just biology and thought is not just electrical activity in a brain, it is more than the sum of the parts, it is synergy. Now you can choose to point your finger at the synergies and say "that is god/s working" but you don't have to and it adds no information of value to the process, it would only make you comfortable, and assuage your dissonance perhaps.
Microevolution alone is not enough to explain macroevolution, because you need to have diversity in different ecologies to change daughter populations in different ways.
Biology is not enough to explain memes because the sociological processes of communication and interaction of ideas is a group activity not an individual one. Isolated single individuals do not have memes by definition. So this again is a synergy from interaction and communication that creates something greater than the sum of the parts, the individuals in the group.
Morals are memes. Memes are shared concepts, but moral codes are not just any concepts lumped together, they are ones that benefit the social group to survive and reproduce as a group.
Message 178: Not only do we see fairness in Capuchin monkeys we also observe shared memes in bears, elephants, whales and macaques
Any animal that teaches their young how to get food or hunt is passing memes from generation to generation.
And, of course, morals are a subset of memes, as discussed in Message 177.
The experiment on fairness in Capuchin monkeys was done with females, because they were the ones that enforced behavior within the troop.
quote:
Only female capuchins were tested because they most closely monitor equity, or fair treatment, among their peers, Brosnan said.
They enforced Capuchin morality. Enforcement of certain behaviors is observed in many primates when misbehavior is punished.

Edited by RAZD, : .
Edited by RAZD, : re-purposed double post
Edited by RAZD, : .

This message is a reply to:
 Message 186 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-09-2017 9:08 PM Dawn Bertot has not replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1512 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(1)
Message 197 of 1006 (799445)
02-10-2017 11:49 AM
Reply to: Message 186 by Dawn Bertot
02-09-2017 9:08 PM


Re: enlightened self-interest -- morals are memes
Atheist Dawkins said something like "It is safe to say that anyone that doesn't accept evolution is stupid, ignorant or insane (or wicked ... )" ... to which I would add deluded, where someone has been mislead (by someone who is stupid, ignorant, insane or wicked) into believing something that is not true. Such delusion and ignorance can be cured by education ... but the "victim" must be willing to learn.
This is where cognitive dissonance comes into play. The more firmly a belief (any belief) is held the more difficult it is for the "victim" to accept contrary evidence, often resulting in several types of avoidance behavior and deflection.
Let's start here first, with the definition of something you think I am experiencing. As I have demonstrated to many times to mention, I dont have two conflicting views. ...
You have your view and you have the evidence that it is wrong, you see the arguments, but you refuse to accept them. This is conflict and avoidance. It is not possible for you to not consider these views exist, but you deny them and deflect the argument to avoid accepting them.
You don't like this argument either, but that's a different case.
... My position would not need to be true for yours to be false. ...
Agreed, but if our positions are true, then that does means yours is false. We have shown that our positions are evidenced and valid.
... Your inconsistencies are actually with reality itself, not any of my views of morality
Also a false statement, as has been demonstrated in several posts, not just mine. This is just more deflection and avoidance.
Simply put you would need to show how the evidence i can easily see for the existence of God and the scriptures as the Word of God , to be false, ...
Nope, all we need to do is note that there is no objective empirical evidence to support your position and that the onus is on you to demonstrate the validity of your claim. What you have provided instead is your subjective belief of what is evidence. At best this shows you do not know what objective empirical evidence IS.
Now you are free to believe anything you want, what you are not free to do is to impose that on others without objective rational independently observable cause.
Your presumed evidence of existing god/s, scriptures, etc is not substantially different from the books with the Three laws of Robotics written by atheist Isaac Asimov.
... to show how I have two conflicting views with myself . I dont. ...
Curiously your whole argument on every post in this thread is about the conflict you have between your belief and the observation that others hold different views. You are dealing with two conflicting views, one internal and one (as yet) external. You think the external one should go away and not bother you, and the brunt of your arguments is to make that happen.
Sadly reality does not adjust to match belief or opinion, it remains unaffected.
What you have is a worldview that is made up of your myriad beliefs, knowledge, opinion, etc. contained in a mental bubble. Anything from outside that bubble is either accepted (if it matches or is consistent with your beliefs etc. -- confirmation bias), or rejected (anything that does not match, or is inconsistent with, your beliefs etc -- cognitive dissonance and denial). It's like holding up a template: if it fits the template it passes, if it doesn't fit the template it is blocked.
You know it is there, you just refuse to accept it because of your internal conflict with it.
... Your assuming up front that I hold some false idea that conflicts with the innumerable facts you present. They don't conflict. If you wish to discuss that evidence at some point I'm happy to do so.
Another way to reduce dissonance is to alter beliefs so that the conflict goes away.
... They don't conflict. ...
Then why are you arguing about them?
We are presently discussing the contradictions that exist with you having an actual morality in reality. ...
No, you are discussion purported conflicts that you have made up in your head.
That people have "an actual morality in reality" is - and has been - readily demonstrated
... So it is easy to see if am not experiencing anything in your definition.
And the fact that you keep arguing against the evidence and objective observation of morality being subjective demonstrates that you are conflicted by it. Your arguments demonstrate your continued denial of them, as does your attempts to deflect the argument down rabbit holes to avoid dealing with them. Classic symptoms.
Question this definition you gave, is it relatively true or absolutely true. Would it be an absolute truth
Curiously, I believe I've stated before that there are no absolute truths. What we have is reality, and the best we can do is approximate how it works with concepts that we can test, and invalidate ones that don't fit with reality. The more we know about how something works, and the more erroneous concepts are discarded, the better that approximation becomes, it is asymptotic to reality.
And what we know about cognitive dissonance comes from the results of many tests that all show it is a valid theory. And it is objectively valid because those tests can be (and have been) repeated. It is not subjective if that is what you are getting at.
Let's try this again. I'm not trying to do anything, i dont need to,...
Which doesn't explain your continued attempts to discredit the concept of morality being subjective. Such as
... reality does what I cannot do. Showing how natural processes can be more involved in one instance verses another, does not assign them value. This is a product of your imagination, which is a bio process. The words Better, more important, purpose, can logically have no value, other than that imagined, morality produced by your biological brain.
And yet people use them because we agree on what the words mean and how they are used. We give them value by agreement for the purpose of communication. That is also how morals work: we agree on them in a social context and use them to minimize social conflicts.
But to be consistent, if that is possible, given your doctrine, it may also be the truth or not true, that anything or nothing I'm saying presently, is correct or has any value, given the valuessness of reality itself.
Don't you see that this argument you are making to reduce the concept of subjective morality to meaninglessness is classic cognitive dissonance behavior?
quote:
Message 177 - What Is Cognitive Dissonance
  1. Reduce the importance of conflicting belief.
    For example, a man who cares about his health might be disturbed to learn that sitting for long periods of time during the day are linked to a shortened lifespan. Since he has to work all day in an office and spends a great deal of time sitting, it is difficult to change his behavior in order to reduce his feelings of dissonance. In order to deal with the feelings of discomfort, he might instead find some way to justify his behavior by believing that his other healthy behaviors make up for his largely sedentary lifestyle.

The funny part is that it also makes your argument meaningless.
But ok, let's take a look at what you have to say.
You can reduce all of the universe into quarks in random motion, and explain atoms with them, but chemistry explains molecules and organic chemistry explains the combinations of organic molecules and the formation of objects, pre-biotic molecules explain self-replicating molecules that explain life that explains biology.
Nice and I would call this design, but ok
This all occurs by natural processes but the details of those processes are different at different levels.
Well, they would need to be, for us, to call it anything happening
So you agree that reducing everything to the interaction of quarks does not refute or counter the argument that morals are subjective memes developed over time to augment survival and reproduction.
Biology is not enough to explain memes because the sociological processes of communication and interaction of ideas is a group activity not an individual one. Isolated single individuals do not have memes by definition. So this again is a synergy from interaction and communication that creates something greater than the sum of the parts, the individuals in the group.
This is a particularly odd statement and admission by yourself. Biology is not enough to explain morals? I would think that you would atleast want to show some connection or causality,, since hehavior, is related to thoughts and thoughts are a product of brain activity. If you could show how thoughts are or are not a product of brain activity, I might be able to accept that communication and interaction are evidence or morals
Another attempt to deflect the argument down some rabbit hole. We know thoughts exist because we experience them directly, their existence is an objective fact. We can also see different brain activity associated with different thoughts, so this is objective empirical evidence.
Again, your attempt to discredit the argument has reached a bizarre level for what you would accept at this point. Curiously, I • don't • care what you accept, because that does not affect the argument nor change reality.
If thoughts are disconnected from biological processes and are not actually a physical process, you might have a point
More deflection and avoidance of the actual argument.
I think you are trying to replace the word, thoughts with synergy. Am I correct?
Nope. I am using the words to mean what their definitions say they mean.
You said bio can't explain memes, but why would you make a distinction between natural processes, social and biological processes. If thoughts are a product of the brain, and behavior a product of thoughts, wouldn't it just be natural processes
Or are you saying you can show an break in the link between natural processes and the brain
Well, it could be due to the fact that I made no such distinction, it could be that I actually wrote what I actually meant. What I listed were all natural processes.
RAZD writes:
And again we have a synergy where the shared ideas that develops in a group that becomes more than the sum of ideas of single individuals, there is an interaction, and the whole group benefits from those concepts that improve the survival and reproduction of the group, possibly at the loss of an individual (streetcar).
You forgot to put this in quotes.
So a whole bunch of monkeys doing something verses one monkey constitutes a moral. So a whole bunch of Nazis deciding collectively that it's right to kill a bunch of other humans,to advance thier ethnicity, is not only moral, but synergy.
That would be the gist of it. Works doesn't it? Why would so many million Germans follow and fight for the Nazis if they thought it was morally evil?
Did they think they had absolute moral justification from an infinite (god/s) source?
Inquiring minds want to know.
YOU GO EVOLUTION, show us the way.
Every day.
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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to share.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 186 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-09-2017 9:08 PM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 201 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-11-2017 9:13 AM RAZD has replied

  
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