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Author Topic:   Morality without God is impossible
Tangle
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Posts: 7439
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 196 of 237 (873296)
03-13-2020 3:46 AM
Reply to: Message 195 by Stile
03-12-2020 4:45 PM


Re: Morality and dogs
Stile writes:

And continue to contradict yourself.

Alternatively, you don't understand what I'm saying.

Do animals show "moral-like behaviours?" (as you've already said) or do you believe they are not moral agents?"
Or are you going to quibble that having "moral-like behaviours" isn't actually being a "moral agent"

Yes, that's exactly what I am going to do.

The fact that some animals exhibit some low-order moral behaviours that could just as easily be described as instinctual does not make them full moral agents capable of rational choice, conceptual and future thinking. They don't even have the language capability necessary to communicate their 'thinking'. The difference between us and even higher apes is our executive functioning and self-consciousness created by our very large and unique pre-frontal cortex. This is not simply a matter of degree, it's a category difference.

” Very limited in comparison to humans" isn't the same as "has none."

And “has none” is something I have always been careful not to say. That's your very own straw man.

Did you read it at all?

Yes

It doesn't answer the question.

It doesn't answer the question because it's all very grey, complicated and messy. What you're getting from me is my side of the argument that 'real' morality is a human construct that requires a human brain. Which, by-the-way is the majority position.

But none of this has anything to do with the thread - (save that it shows morality is an evolved trait)


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 195 by Stile, posted 03-12-2020 4:45 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 197 by Stile, posted 03-13-2020 10:14 AM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3914
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 197 of 237 (873302)
03-13-2020 10:14 AM
Reply to: Message 196 by Tangle
03-13-2020 3:46 AM


Re: Morality and dogs
Tangle writes:

The fact that some animals exhibit some low-order moral behaviours that could just as easily be described as instinctual does not make them full moral agents capable of rational choice, conceptual and future thinking.

It's only just as easy if you refuse to look at the evidence.

Looking at the evidence, it's highly implied that the "low-order moral behaviour" of animals includes an aspect of moral agency capable of rational choice, conceptual and future thinking (evidence of this is provided in the link I gave you earlier: Do Dogs Think?)

If you're going to define "moral agency" as "full moral agents capable of rational choice, conceptual and future thinking (that only exists in humans.)"
Then - yeah - you've created circular logic in defining animals out of being "moral agents" - against the evidence that they do, in fact, are capable of "rational choice, conceptual and future thinking."

The difference between us and even higher apes is our executive functioning and self-consciousness created by our very large and unique pre-frontal cortex. This is not simply a matter of degree, it's a category difference.

It's a difference that allows us to have (much) more.
It doesn't prevent them from having some.

This line you've drawn doesn't actually exist - as shown by the evidence I provided in my link.

What you're getting from me is my side of the argument that 'real' morality is a human construct that requires a human brain. Which, by-the-way is the majority position.

It's also the majority position to believe in some kind of God/Higher Power.
That position is also against the evidence.

But none of this has anything to do with the thread - (save that it shows morality is an evolved trait)

I agree.
It's your thread.
You can stop talking about it, or create another one for this side topic according to your own preference.
As long as you continue to discuss it here - I'll consider that your acceptance that you're okay talking about it and continue to respond to you here. Regardless of how many times you end your argument by saying otherwise.


This message is a reply to:
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Stile
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Posts: 3914
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.2


(1)
Message 198 of 237 (873303)
03-13-2020 10:36 AM
Reply to: Message 185 by RAZD
03-11-2020 1:31 PM


Re: Morality and apes and whales and dogs and ...
RAZD writes:

We observe several behaviors occurring to different degrees in animals. Self awareness (eg. recognizing yourself in a mirror), for instance: dogs have it, cats do not.

This was bothering me, not really sure why.

But I did some spot-checking. Seems like there's still a lot of unfinished work (and therefore confusion) on this topic.

There is indication that cats are, indeed, self aware: Cats have self-awareness and excellent memories

Here's a list of Animals Recognizing Themselves In The Mirror and it doesn't include cats or dogs.

The defence for cats: "You've never met my cat!"
-I don't know what that's worth, but I would tend to agree (my cats do seem to recognize themselves in mirrors just fine.)
-Is there a flaw in the mirror-test that cats simply don't care to "pass?" (Let's face it, the animals likely don't even know they're being "tested" at all.)
-Were "stupid cats" tested and therefore failed?
-Could it be regional or otherwise selective? Maybe cats-taken-from-shelters are too focused on their own survival to worry about a dot painted on them? Maybe cats kept in good homes for years would be able to pass some-other-developed "self-awareness" test?

I dunno.
It just bothered me, and I looked up some stuff and felt like posting it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 185 by RAZD, posted 03-11-2020 1:31 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
ringo
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Posts: 18019
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 199 of 237 (873306)
03-13-2020 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 193 by Phat
03-12-2020 3:34 PM


Re: A Universal Morality
Phat writes:

... human survival instincts are stronger than our altruistic ones, when we are threatened.


Clearly false.

"I'm Fallen and I can't get up!"

This message is a reply to:
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Dogmafood
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Posts: 1812
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 2.6


(2)
Message 200 of 237 (873319)
03-13-2020 10:52 PM
Reply to: Message 190 by Stile
03-12-2020 9:48 AM


Re: Are the morals of a lion the same as an antelope?
Our top scientists in the leading cognitive behavioural fields studying exactly this sort of thing currently have no idea how to specifically identify "the goal that is served" for any choice we currently make.
Yet - you think you're able to do it for all choices ever?
And you've identified it for all of them to be "to live and/or reproduce?"
How?

If we look back to the beginning stages of life here on the planet and the single celled critters. The eukaryotes in particular as they are near the beginning of our line. Little sacs of chemicals that consume resources and reproduce with variation between generations. No choices and no thinking. Just a chemical process of reproducing with variation going on for a long time. All of this taking place within an environment that culls all of those variants that are not aligned with the conditions of the moment. Evolution in a word.

And so all of those actions for the first couple of billion years are simply a response to stimuli. A response that leads to their surviving long enough to breed. An accumulation of programmed behaviour that has proven to be beneficial to survival and reproduction. Instinct in a word and all behaviour was purely instinctive. Chemical reactions under the rule of an unbreakable law.

Somewhere along the line some ancestor of ours developed the ability to weigh the difference between two courses of action. Not just the ability to choose but the tendency to make the right choice with regard to survival. This is where the ability to choose comes from.

Why should this point of evolution be considered anything other than chemical reactions under the rule of law? I don't see any fundamental difference between the first choice and the latest choice beyond the number of inputs that went into the calculation.

I am not sure if mixing our fabrics is detrimental to survival but I can see how murder is detrimental. I presume that if god wanted a universal law of morality it would be reinforced by the universal laws of physics.

Edited by Dogmafood, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 190 by Stile, posted 03-12-2020 9:48 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 201 by Stile, posted 03-14-2020 9:01 AM Dogmafood has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3914
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 201 of 237 (873321)
03-14-2020 9:01 AM
Reply to: Message 200 by Dogmafood
03-13-2020 10:52 PM


Re: Are the morals of a lion the same as an antelope?
Dogmafood writes:

Somewhere along the line some ancestor of ours developed the ability to weigh the difference between two courses of action. Not just the ability to choose but the tendency to make the right choice with regard to survival. This is where the ability to choose comes from.

Agreed.

Why should this point of evolution be considered anything other than chemical reactions under the rule of law? I don't see any fundamental difference between the first choice and the latest choice beyond the number of inputs that went into the calculation.

I'm not saying that point of evolution should be considered anything else.

I'm saying there are more "points of evolution" beyond that one, before you get to where mammals are now.
And then beyond that, there's more "points of evolution" beyond that one, before you get to where humans are now.

The fundamental difference, though, is that somewhere in all those "points of evolution" we developed enough intelligence to reflect on our survival and our motivations and use forethought and reason to make choices that (seemingly) don't necessarily align with the basic idea of survival or even don't take it into account at all.

This evidence of "people can choose to die" or "people can choose to be destructive" or "people can choose to not reproduce" flies directly in the face of what you're claiming. They are not "outliers" - there are a significant number of them (we can all do it, pretty much and it doesn't require any "deformations.")

And, you still haven't answered the question.

Again:

Our top scientists in the leading cognitive behavioural fields studying exactly this sort of thing currently have no idea how to specifically identify "the goal that is served" for any choice we currently make.
Yet - you think you're able to do it for all choices ever?
And you've identified it for all of them to be "to live and/or reproduce?"
How?

Your response isn't an answer to that question.
It's a "well, it was like this in our ancestors - so why not now?"
And the answer to that is: "well, we can make a hell of a lot more anti-survival choices than our ancestors could."

You don't have any science.
You don't have any brain scans.
You don't have any measurement of "motivation that's based on survival" at all.

Yet - you think you can measure it so well you can definitively say that all our choices are linked to it because at some point our ancestors' were?
At some point our ancestors had no arms.
Now we have arms.
Your argument would imply that we don't really have arms - just the illusion of arms.
It's silly.
[ABE: The whole result of evolution is that's is possible for it to create new abilities that didn't exist before.
Why do you think it's impossible for evolution to create an ability (consciousness) in humans to allow us to decide based on "choice" rather than "the chemical reactions driving survival?"]

Our best scientists are working on the science.
They're trying to get information from brain scans.
They're trying to develop some sort of measurement for "what kind of motivation actually causes this choice?"

So far - they have nothing buy "we don't know - give us more time."
Yet - against this - you think you have the answer?

Edited by Stile, : Added clarity to the idea that evolution's entire history is based on "adding abilities that didn't exist before."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 200 by Dogmafood, posted 03-13-2020 10:52 PM Dogmafood has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 202 by Dogmafood, posted 03-18-2020 7:42 AM Stile has responded

  
Dogmafood
Member
Posts: 1812
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 2.6


(1)
Message 202 of 237 (873647)
03-18-2020 7:42 AM
Reply to: Message 201 by Stile
03-14-2020 9:01 AM


Re: Are the morals of a lion the same as an antelope?
You don't have any science.
You don't have any brain scans.
You don't have any measurement of "motivation that's based on survival" at all.

Consciousness and memory have emerged and been retained across generations because they are qualities that are, on balance, beneficial to our survival. I would challenge you to find a scientist who disagrees. Looking for the actual spot in the brain where those qualities reside and how they physically work is a different thing.

I'm not saying that point of evolution should be considered anything else.
I'm saying there are more "points of evolution" beyond that one, before you get to where mammals are now.

Which one of those later points of evolution was fundamentally different from all of the rest of them? What is it about being consciously aware of making a choice that makes the act of choosing fundamentally different from an instinct?

Why do you think it's impossible for evolution to create an ability (consciousness) in humans to allow us to decide based on "choice" rather than "the chemical reactions driving survival?"

What part of your consciousness is not a chemical reaction? Even though it is all just chemical reactions I am not saying that choice is an illusion. Choice is a chemical reaction and if there is a god then we can be sure that they made us to behave the way that we do.

This evidence of "people can choose to die" or "people can choose to be destructive" or "people can choose to not reproduce" flies directly in the face of what you're claiming.

I don't think so. It's just that same old process of evolution trying new things. Not every choice is successful and not every choice is consequential. Morality is being aware that people can make choices and that those choices can be influenced. In every case the goal of that influence is to increase survival and reproduction.

Yet - against this - you think you have the answer?

I am certainly not claiming to have THE answer. I have a tentative answer that fits with what I feel to be true. Everyone else has to choose their own.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 201 by Stile, posted 03-14-2020 9:01 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 203 by Stile, posted 03-19-2020 11:43 AM Dogmafood has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3914
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 203 of 237 (873776)
03-19-2020 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 202 by Dogmafood
03-18-2020 7:42 AM


Re: Are the morals of a lion the same as an antelope?
Perhaps we're not talking about the same thing anymore?

I'm under the impression that you're claiming that "all choices" are made in order to promote survival/reproduction... etc.
No?

If you're not saying that, then I think we agree and we just have different/conflicting communication skills.

Are you simply saying that "some level of survival/reproduction is considered when anyone makes a decision?"
-I can agree with that
-As long as "the motivation" for the decision is allowed to be "whatever the person decided upon in the end" and not necessarily to promote survival/reproduction.

Dogmafood writes:

Consciousness and memory have emerged and been retained across generations because they are qualities that are, on balance, beneficial to our survival. I would challenge you to find a scientist who disagrees. Looking for the actual spot in the brain where those qualities reside and how they physically work is a different thing.

I'm not claiming that consiousness and memory are not abilities that are beneficial to surival.
I'm claiming that you don't know "where those qualities reside and how they work" to the level of saying that "all choices" are made in order to promote survivalt/reproduction.

You're the one who seems to say you can know "where those qualities reside and how they work."
-again, if you're not actually saying this, then we likely agree.

Which one of those later points of evolution was fundamentally different from all of the rest of them?

The ones that resulted in our ability to make choices instead of having to rely on instints.

What is it about being consciously aware of making a choice that makes the act of choosing fundamentally different from an instinct?

Choice: Use of forethought, reason and past-experience-reflection to weight options and consciously pick one for execution.
Instinct: No use of forethought, reason or past-experience-reflection to weigh options - the reaction is unconsciously executed.

What part of your consciousness is not a chemical reaction?

None, as far as I'm aware.
And this doesn't seem to change the difference between choice/instinct in any way.

Just because two things both "involve nothing more than chemical reactions" doesn't mean one can't be much more complicated and have it's own emergent results ("choice") that doesn't exist in the other ("instinct.")

I don't think so. It's just that same old process of evolution trying new things. Not every choice is successful and not every choice is consequential.

This seems like circular reasoning.
This implies that choices made for "non-survival/reproduction reasons" are actually done for survival reasons... it's just not successful.
It begs the same question - what metric are you using to identify "done for survival reasons" if "the actual reason described by the executer-of-the-action" doesn't count?

I have a tentative answer that fits with what I feel to be true. Everyone else has to choose their own.

Right. You can choose one that fits more with the evidence (like mine - that we can make choices against our innate need for survival) or against the evidence (like yours - that all choices are made attempting to promote survival/reproduction.)

Evidence: The Entertainment Industry.

Entertainment is not required for survival or reproduction.
And there are many other ways to remain "not bored."

The choice to engage in entertainment is therefore not connected to survival or reproduction.
Once that's made... the choice on "what kind of entertainment" to execute is ever further removed from considering survival or reproduction.

Have you ever heard of Maslow's Pyramid?

It is an understood concept in Psychology of how people's needs drive their decision making.
Basic needs (food/water/shelter) are more weighted to promote instinctual responses.
However, once these needs (and other lower-needs) are met and people have the opportunity to make decisions on things like "self-fulfillment" - these decisions are much more "choice-based" as opposed to being instinctual responses.

The effects of Maslow's Pyramid are seen in many animals as well.
Homeless people/stray cats act in a similar manner - with many decisions being made instinctually in the hunt for food/shelter/water.
Comfortable people/house cats act in a similar manner - with many decisions being made 'by choice' with needs like food/shelter/water fulfilled and understood (rightly or wrongly) that they will be fulfilled "in the future" as well.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 202 by Dogmafood, posted 03-18-2020 7:42 AM Dogmafood has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 204 by Dogmafood, posted 03-20-2020 8:28 AM Stile has responded

  
Dogmafood
Member
Posts: 1812
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 204 of 237 (873833)
03-20-2020 8:28 AM
Reply to: Message 203 by Stile
03-19-2020 11:43 AM


Re: Are the morals of a lion the same as an antelope?
I'm under the impression that you're claiming that "all choices" are made in order to promote survival/reproduction... etc.
No?

I originally said

dogmafood writes:

The behaviour of any individual actor is a result of their innate sense of self preservation and every choice made attempts to serve that goal. All judgements of good and bad begin from this reference point which is unique to the individual.

Are you simply saying that "some level of survival/reproduction is considered when anyone makes a decision?"

Those elements are usually not consciously considered but they are the foundation upon which every evaluation of good and bad is built.

As long as "the motivation" for the decision is allowed to be "whatever the person decided upon in the end" and not necessarily to promote survival/reproduction.

We justify our decisions in any number of ways but all of those justifications rest on the evaluation of whether or not the action will benefit the actor. The trolley problem for example. The man at the switch is ultimately concerned with how his decision will impact himself.

Choice: Use of forethought, reason and past-experience-reflection to weight options and consciously pick one for execution.
Instinct: No use of forethought, reason or past-experience-reflection to weigh options - the reaction is unconsciously executed.

I submit that the difference between the two is that we are aware of one and not aware of the other. Consciousness allows us to add recent data points to the decision matrix but the matrix still works in the same way and still seeks personal benefit and which actions help us to survive.

Have you ever heard of Maslow's Pyramid?

You will notice that in a pyramid all of the upper portions are built upon the lower parts and at no time can they be up there all by themselves.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 203 by Stile, posted 03-19-2020 11:43 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 205 by RAZD, posted 03-20-2020 3:18 PM Dogmafood has responded
 Message 227 by Stile, posted 03-24-2020 9:27 AM Dogmafood has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20628
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 205 of 237 (873862)
03-20-2020 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 204 by Dogmafood
03-20-2020 8:28 AM


De Wall: The Bonobo and the Atheist
To toss another stone into this pond to observe the ripples ...

quote:
The Bonobo and the Atheist

In this lively and illuminating discussion of his landmark research, esteemed primatologist Frans de Waal argues that human morality is not imposed from above but instead comes from within. Moral behavior does not begin and end with religion but is in fact a product of evolution.

For many years, de Waal has observed chimpanzees soothe distressed neighbors and bonobos share their food. Now he delivers fascinating fresh evidence for the seeds of ethical behavior in primate societies that further cements the case for the biological origins of human fairness. Interweaving vivid tales from the animal kingdom with thoughtful philosophical analysis, de Waal seeks a bottom-up explanation of morality that emphasizes our connection with animals. In doing so, de Waal explores for the first time the implications of his work for our understanding of modern religion. Whatever the role of religious moral imperatives, he sees it as a “Johnny-come-lately” role that emerged only as an addition to our natural instincts for cooperation and empathy.

But unlike the dogmatic neo-atheist of his book’s title, de Waal does not scorn religion per se. Instead, he draws on the long tradition of humanism exemplified by the painter Hieronymus Bosch and asks reflective readers to consider these issues from a positive perspective: What role, if any, does religion play for a well-functioning society today? And where can believers and nonbelievers alike find the inspiration to lead a good life?

Rich with cultural references and anecdotes of primate behavior, The Bonobo and the Atheist engagingly builds a unique argument grounded in evolutionary biology and moral philosophy. Ever a pioneering thinker, de Waal delivers a heartening and inclusive new perspective on human nature and our struggle to find purpose in our lives.


Also read the comments for further explications.

Curiously I just got this book out of the blue and started reading it. It wasn't long before I saw how it applied to this thread. I'm currently on pg 23 having just started, and already I'd recommend it.

Morals are evolved. Then religion was plastered on it to create an external authority.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel•American•Zen•Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 204 by Dogmafood, posted 03-20-2020 8:28 AM Dogmafood has responded

Replies to this message:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 7439
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


(1)
Message 206 of 237 (873865)
03-20-2020 3:30 PM
Reply to: Message 205 by RAZD
03-20-2020 3:18 PM


Re: De Wall: The Bonobo and the Atheist
RAZD writes:

Morals are evolved. Then religion was plastered on it to create an external authority.

So much, so obvious.

It was GDR that claims otherwise, but he's not saying how he reached that conclusion other than it being what he believes.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 205 by RAZD, posted 03-20-2020 3:18 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 208 by GDR, posted 03-21-2020 1:37 AM Tangle has responded

  
Dogmafood
Member
Posts: 1812
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 2.6


(1)
Message 207 of 237 (873885)
03-20-2020 8:59 PM
Reply to: Message 205 by RAZD
03-20-2020 3:18 PM


Re: De Wall: The Bonobo and the Atheist
Morals are evolved.

Obviously I agree with that but the fact that it's true doesn't really help us decide if we needed a god to get here. Rubs up a bit against the Genesis account but doesn't discount a god.

Then religion was plastered on it to create an external authority.

Perhaps deism is a product of evolution as well and religion is an attempt to leverage that tendency.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 205 by RAZD, posted 03-20-2020 3:18 PM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
GDR
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Posts: 5150
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 208 of 237 (873895)
03-21-2020 1:37 AM
Reply to: Message 206 by Tangle
03-20-2020 3:30 PM


Morality Evolved
Tangle writes:

It was GDR that claims otherwise, but he's not saying how he reached that conclusion other than it being what he believes.

We are evolved creatures and we can see that morality does evolve within cultures. The evolution of cultural traits are the result of cultural replicators which Dawkins cleverly labelled as memes.

For example tastes in music evolve within a cultural as we are subject to the various musical memes that we infect each other with. We do the same with morals. However, we also all have part of us as humans that draw us towards the dark side of selfishness, where we are prepared to affect each other negatively for our own benefit. It is my belief that within that mix there is a God meme that also subconsciously tells us that we should live by the Golden Rule. Like all memes we are free to reject it. It is your belief that no such meme exists. It is all belief.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 209 by Tangle, posted 03-21-2020 4:10 AM GDR has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7439
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 209 of 237 (873899)
03-21-2020 4:10 AM
Reply to: Message 208 by GDR
03-21-2020 1:37 AM


Re: Morality Evolved
GDR writes:

We are evolved creatures and we can see that morality does evolve within cultures. The evolution of cultural traits are the result of cultural replicators which Dawkins cleverly labelled as memes.

I prefer to call this stuff social learning - societies develop over time to create more complex and organised arrangements that govern their activities.

For example tastes in music evolve within a cultural as we are subject to the various musical memes that we infect each other with. We do the same with morals. However, we also all have part of us as humans that draw us towards the dark side of selfishness, where we are prepared to affect each other negatively for our own benefit.

Yes, we know that we are both selfish and caring and the way we behave differs according the circumstances we find ourselves in.

It is my belief that within that mix there is a God meme that also subconsciously tells us that we should live by the Golden Rule. Like all memes we are free to reject it. It is your belief that no such meme exists. It is all belief.

You see, everything comes back to what you believe, regardless of what we actually know.

The god you believe in is not a meme; he's supposed to be very real. *I* believe that your god is a meme - purely an idea spread throughout our cultures.

What we *know* as facts, rather than beliefs, are that morality is an emotion measurable in the human brain and is present in many other advanced social species.

It is therefore an evolved trait like all others. We also know that there is no externally operating 'still small voice' telling us what to do and what not to do. Moral impulses are internal and individual.

We know this because if the parts of the brain responsible for our moral choices get damaged our 'still small voice' is silenced and we behave in grossly immoral ways. I refer you back to Fred. How does your social meme, your God-voice explain this? Can god be silenced?


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 208 by GDR, posted 03-21-2020 1:37 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 212 by GDR, posted 03-21-2020 12:45 PM Tangle has responded

  
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4671
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 210 of 237 (873915)
03-21-2020 10:30 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Tangle
02-28-2020 4:20 AM


Tangle writes:

The difficulty appears to lie in the assertion by believers that we can't know what right and wrong is without there being a god to tell us. The question is why not?

It seems to me that their only reasoning is because they believe it so.

Then thank goodness we don't have to rely on your conclusion that it is merely because we, "believe it so".

It's actually because of a fairly straight forward issue of where you find ultimate morality to begin with, in terms of it always being a relative or subjective matter.

By analogy there is a game called, "Scruples", but the problem is this; where did the makers of "Scruples" get their set of criteria?

Another example is this, there appears to be at least by human standards, various groups of people that are fairly decent by at least our own relative standard as humans, yet they may have a different moral compass.

So that is the problem, if God did not exist then basically if somebody murders you, to see this according to the implications of atheist materialism, it follows that strictly speaking all that happened when someone murdered you was that molecules collided.

You see this is the problem, if you're going to tell people they're ultimately just a material accident, then logically it follows that there really isn't any morality, in that if you die and you were murdered, there is no actual justice after death in a materialist scenario.

Under a strict evolutionary, materialist scenario, it quite literally would not ultimately matter to the universe if you were sliced, diced then thrown on the fire, or lived a life of paradise-like perfection.

Conclusion: These are the logical implications of a strictly materialist universe whether you like it or not. Your destiny under this philosophy, is that you have the same worth as a bowl of spaghetti, which is obviously absurdly false, because the value of a human sentient person, made in God's image, is well, obvious, and it is obvious that therefore the atheist belief is against the facts, because factually a human being has more value than merely it's material. (modo hoc fallacy).

But that is ultimately what you have to accept to be a consistent atheist. Ultimate, objective morality is not available, because like with the, "Scruples" example, who decides who is right?

But when you take THE OBVIOUS TRUTH, that only an all-knowing God can be righteous, and accept people are sinful human beings, you get a much more consistent, realistic picture of reality.

So if you strive in your mind to accept murder is just as lawful as making a cup of coffee, then you yourself in your mind are acknowledging that atheism is inconsistent with reality.

Edited by mike the wiz, : No reason given.

Edited by mike the wiz, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Tangle, posted 02-28-2020 4:20 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 211 by Tangle, posted 03-21-2020 11:55 AM mike the wiz has not yet responded

  
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