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


Message 211 of 237 (873926)
03-21-2020 11:55 AM
Reply to: Message 210 by mike the wiz
03-21-2020 10:30 AM


MtW writes:

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

People made them up. Probably a committee and they probably changed a bit over time as people got to play it. That's the normal way with rules of games.

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.

It's a really stupid way of putting it but yes, when someone kills someone it causes a change in that person that we call death. And it doesn't matter whether the observer is what you (also stupidly) call an 'atheist materialist', a Tahitan witchdoctor or a wacko American pentecostalist.

How we view that event depends on how our morality has developed. Sometimes some of us regard it as OK - war, state execution - sometime we regard it as bad - murder. Sometimes we just don't know - abortion, euthanasia. And always there are differences of opinion. No absolutes anywhere.

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.

Actually, there's no logic in any of that is there? What has justice after death got to do with anything? Morality is a human concept that doesn't require justice after death - whatever that is.

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.

Well again, it doesn't matter to the universe whatever scenario you chose to take. But it does matter to me, my friends and family and my society which is why we make rules about it.

Conclusion: These are the logical implications of a strictly materialist universe whether you like it or not.

I'm waiting for you to produce a conclusion - if it's just that the universe doesn't care whether we exist or not, I totally agree but am confused about what this has to do with morality?

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).

Apart from the randomly inserted god and atheist non-sequitur, again I agree, to me and a few others I'm more important than the sum of my molecules. The universe - and whatever you think this god thing is - sadly, couldn't give a hoot.

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?

Who but a religious loony would attempt to argue that 'ultimate, objective morality' exists? It obviously and demonstrably doesn't, not even inside your own belief system.

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.

Do you think writing stuff in capitals makes it right or simething? To me it's a sure indication of a lie being told.

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.

And you like to think yourself super-logical, Mr Rational. Just count the fallacies in that sentence.


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 210 by mike the wiz, posted 03-21-2020 10:30 AM mike the wiz has not yet responded

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


Message 212 of 237 (873932)
03-21-2020 12:45 PM
Reply to: Message 209 by Tangle
03-21-2020 4:10 AM


Re: Morality Evolved
Tangle writes:

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

Just as it is about what you believe that is beyond what we actually know.

Tangle writes:

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.

I am simply using the term meme in lieu of the “still small voice of God” or in specifically Christian terms the “Holy Spirit”. It is the medium through which God impacts our lives but that doesn’t mean that God isn’t more than just the meme.
Tangle writes:

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.

Our brain interprets what we see with our eyes and paints a mental picture for us but we can only see the functioning of the brain. We can’t look inside the brain and determine what it is the brain is actually seeing. Can you tell me how it is that we can measure morality in the brain?
Tangle writes:

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

Just as you do with physical evolution you are doing here. You conflate the process with the agency.

Tangle writes:

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?

We can grow up in a loving home and in a loving culture and if our brain gets damaged then we can behave in grossly immoral ways. Just as if we break a leg we can’t walk. It has nothing to do as to whether or not there is an intelligence behind our sense of morality or not.

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:
 Message 209 by Tangle, posted 03-21-2020 4:10 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 213 by Tangle, posted 03-21-2020 1:17 PM GDR has responded

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


Message 213 of 237 (873933)
03-21-2020 1:17 PM
Reply to: Message 212 by GDR
03-21-2020 12:45 PM


Re: Morality Evolved
GDR writes:

Just as it is about what you believe that is beyond what we actually know.

As far as I'm aware, I've been speaking only of what we know and certainly I have not used the word 'believe' in anything I've said.

I am simply using the term meme in lieu of the “still small voice of God” or in specifically Christian terms the “Holy Spirit”. It is the medium through which God impacts our lives but that doesn’t mean that God isn’t more than just the meme.

I know what you're doing. I'm saying I agree with you, 'meme=still small voice=Holy Spirit'=man made, made up ideas. cf our sense of morality which is not just an idea or belief, still less an external intervention by some spook; it's a real and measurable brain function present in all but a few ill people.

Can you tell me how it is that we can measure morality in the brain?

I've told you a thousand times, we present a person with a moral puzzle while in a fRMI scanner and watch which parts of the brain 'switch on'.

Just as you do with physical evolution you are doing here. You conflate the process with the agency.

The process *is* the agency! We can watch it. If you believe that there's some external agency interfering with your brain creating your moral choices you're going to have to show how, where and who.

We can grow up in a loving home and in a loving culture and if our brain gets damaged then we can behave in grossly immoral ways. Just as if we break a leg we can’t walk. It has nothing to do as to whether or not there is an intelligence behind our sense of morality or not.

You don't seem to be able to process this point at all.

If, as I say, our sense of morality is partly learned from our environment and partly intrinsic - an emotion, like all others - then it should be changed if the parts of our brain that are responsible for it are damaged. This is what we see.

If, however, our morality is created by this external Holy Spirit somehow whispering in our ear, not subject to brain function but some magical and undetectable influence, it should not be changed by physical damage. Why can't the Holy Spirit permiate through a damaged brain?


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 212 by GDR, posted 03-21-2020 12:45 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 214 by GDR, posted 03-21-2020 2:51 PM Tangle has responded

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


(1)
Message 214 of 237 (873938)
03-21-2020 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 213 by Tangle
03-21-2020 1:17 PM


Re: Morality Evolved
Tangle writes:

As far as I'm aware, I've been speaking only of what we know and certainly I have not used the word 'believe' in anything I've said.

You don’t use the word belief but for example you say this further down in your post.
Tangle writes:

The process *is* the agency

That is a belief. Essentially just as we have fundamentalist Christians or Muslims you are a fundamentalist atheist. Just as a fundamentalist Christian believes that God brought the world, as we currently know it, into existence ex nihilo you believe that natural processes such as evolution, or even abiogenesis came into existence ex nihilo as a result of natural processes without being able to explain what those pre-existing natural processes are.

Tangle writes:

I've told you a thousand times, we present a person with a moral puzzle while in a fRMI scanner and watch which parts of the brain 'switch on'.

Fine but you can’t see the moral thinking that is going on. All you can see is parts of the brain working. It is the same as the example of eyesight that I used previously. You can see the parts of brain “switch on” but you have no idea what it is that is being seen. There is no screen.

Tangle writes:

If you believe that there's some external agency interfering with your brain creating your moral choices you're going to have to show how, where and who.

We both know that I can’t do that, just as you can’t prove the negative. I’m am quite happy to call it belief but you believe I am wrong.

My only point, which of course you reject, is that we can reasonably conclude that as I had loving parents there is a good chance that I would become a loving parent. The question is why does love exist at all. If my “beliefs” are correct that God is a god of love and that we are to reflect His love then God is necessary for morality. If however, you are correct and that love has evolved out of mindlessness then no deity at all is necessary. It's belief.

Tangle writes:

If, as I say, our sense of morality is partly learned from our environment and partly intrinsic - an emotion, like all others - then it should be changed if the parts of our brain that are responsible for it are damaged. This is what we see.

If, however, our morality is created by this external Holy Spirit somehow whispering in our ear, not subject to brain function but some magical and undetectable influence, it should not be changed by physical damage. Why can't the Holy Spirit permiate through a damaged brain?

If the god meme is like other memes then it behaves like them. I have never suggested that it isn't subject to brain function. Again, we can look at the parent meme. Loving parents should strongly influence their offspring to be loving people. However brain damage can prevent that from happening.

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:
 Message 213 by Tangle, posted 03-21-2020 1:17 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 215 by Tangle, posted 03-21-2020 3:25 PM GDR has responded

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


Message 215 of 237 (873942)
03-21-2020 3:25 PM
Reply to: Message 214 by GDR
03-21-2020 2:51 PM


Re: Morality Evolved
GDR writes:

If the god meme is like other memes then it behaves like them.

Morality *is* a meme. At least in part. It's transmitted through societal norms. There is no doubt about that. We agrre!

I have never suggested that it isn't subject to brain function.

This is what I'm trying to understand about your position and what I'm trying to get you to understand about mine.

If it's a brain function - which you now seem to accept? - then it's as independent of external super-natural interference by the Holy Spirits as any other. Or are you saying that it isn't?

If you are, then why is this Spirit unable to affect brain damaged individuals? It seems like a very limited and pointless form of magic, removing morality from vulnerable people.

Again, we can look at the parent meme. Loving parents should strongly influence their offspring to be loving people. However brain damage can prevent that from happening.

I know that it can, I can explain why - the part of the human brain that processes morality has been destroyed so morality goes with it. That's a purely physical process explained by processes that are purely natural.

But your model has external intervention by super-natural beings; why do they need this physical pathway to communicate this message?

And, when we see the brain processing the moral decision making do you say that it is the Holy Spirit at work in real time. Are we witnessing god in action here?


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 214 by GDR, posted 03-21-2020 2:51 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 216 by GDR, posted 03-21-2020 6:49 PM Tangle has responded

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


Message 216 of 237 (873952)
03-21-2020 6:49 PM
Reply to: Message 215 by Tangle
03-21-2020 3:25 PM


Re: Morality Evolved
Tangle writes:

If it's a brain function - which you now seem to accept? - then it's as independent of external super-natural interference by the Holy Spirits as any other. Or are you saying that it isn't?

Let’s go away from the meme thing for now and refer to it as an influence as maybe it is easier to think of it that way. We are all bombarded with influences in our lives. For example if someone accidentally cuts us off in traffic and we give them a friendly wave instead of the finger then we increase the likelihood that they will respond to someone else the same way in the future. As I said previously loving parents influence their kids to be loving parents.
I am simply saying that there is a god influence in all of us, calling us to love and treat others as we would have them love and treat us.

Tangle writes:

If you are, then why is this Spirit unable to affect brain damaged individuals? It seems like a very limited and pointless form of magic, removing morality from vulnerable people.

That is the same question as why does God allow cancer. As I have said before it is the toughest issue that Christians have to deal with. Also as I have said before, I have to assume that it is a necessary aspect of an existence subject to entropy and decay, but that ultimately God is a god of perfect fairness and justice.

Tangle writes:

I know that it can, I can explain why - the part of the human brain that processes morality has been destroyed so morality goes with it. That's a purely physical process explained by processes that are purely natural.

Fair enough.
Tangle writes:

But your model has external intervention by super-natural beings; why do they need this physical pathway to communicate this message?

The physical pathway is necessary for all that we do. External memes or influences of any sort aren’t physical. A loving or an abusive parent has indirectly effects the physical process, not directly.

Tangle writes:

And, when we see the brain processing the moral decision making do you say that it is the Holy Spirit at work in real time. Are we witnessing god in action here?

I suppose so, in the same way that we can see it processing any other influence in our lives.

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:
 Message 215 by Tangle, posted 03-21-2020 3:25 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 217 by Tangle, posted 03-21-2020 8:03 PM GDR has responded

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


Message 217 of 237 (873953)
03-21-2020 8:03 PM
Reply to: Message 216 by GDR
03-21-2020 6:49 PM


Re: Morality Evolved
GDR writes:

Let’s go away from the meme thing for now and refer to it as an influence as maybe it is easier to think of it that way.

But, but, but, that's exactly what it is! Our upbringing and the society influence our moral behaviour directly. We know this, we both accept this.

For example if someone accidentally cuts us off in traffic and we give them a friendly wave instead of the finger then we increase the likelihood that they will respond to someone else the same way in the future.

Bad example, from my experience that would be interpreted in the opposite way, but never mind, I understand the point you are making. Our behaviour can change other's behaviour.

As I said previously loving parents influence their kids to be loving parents.

And no-one disagrees.

I am simply saying that there is a god influence in all of us, calling us to love and treat others as we would have them love and treat us.

I know what you're simply saying, but what you're saying has no connection to anything. This is a non-sequitur isn't it? You see 'good', you claim Jesus. In fact 'good' and 'bad' are both natural.

That is the same question as why does God allow cancer.

It is not. I've asked why the 'still voice of god' can't be heard by those with brain damage if the brain is not the source of our morality. If morality is not a brain function but an external supernatural influence, why does brain damage affect it?

As I have said before it is the toughest issue that Christians have to deal with. Also as I have said before, I have to assume that it is a necessary aspect of an existence subject to entropy and decay, but that ultimately God is a god of perfect fairness and justice.

Religious waffle.

The physical pathway is necessary for all that we do. External memes or influences of any sort aren’t physical. A loving or an abusive parent has indirectly effects the physical process, not directly.

Look, we all agree that our physical environment influences our moral behaviour. But god is not supposed to be dependent on the purely physical. In fact, the metaphysical is exactly his domain, why are you arguing that god can not overcome the purely physical?

I suppose so, in the same way that we can see it [the Holy Spirit] processing any other influence in our lives.

The point is that we *can't* see that! What we see are purely natural processes influenced by a purely natural environment.


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 216 by GDR, posted 03-21-2020 6:49 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 218 by GDR, posted 03-22-2020 8:39 PM Tangle has responded

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


(1)
Message 218 of 237 (873977)
03-22-2020 8:39 PM
Reply to: Message 217 by Tangle
03-21-2020 8:03 PM


Re: Morality Evolved
Tangle writes:

The point is that we *can't* see that! What we see are purely natural processes influenced by a purely natural environment.

Yes, we can't see it. It is a matter of faith that it is there. From an atheistic position of course it doesn't exist. If one is a theist then it makes it possible and I suggest that it even makes it likely.

It all depends on our starting point or our beliefs.


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:
 Message 217 by Tangle, posted 03-21-2020 8:03 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 219 by Tangle, posted 03-23-2020 4:20 AM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 220 by RAZD, posted 03-23-2020 3:13 PM GDR has responded

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


Message 219 of 237 (873983)
03-23-2020 4:20 AM
Reply to: Message 218 by GDR
03-22-2020 8:39 PM


Re: Morality Evolved
GDR writes:

Yes, we can't see it. It is a matter of faith that it is there.

Can you not see that those two sentences contradict each other? Surely you can? If it's there we can measure it and you can actually show this external influence to me. You can't. All you're saying again is that's it's what you be believe. You are not answering my arguments, you're just ignoring them.

Please at least try to answer these questions. If you can't, just say so but also then stop making claims you can't support.

Tangle writes:

It is not. I've asked why the 'still voice of god' can't be heard by those with brain damage if the brain is not the source of our morality. If morality is not a brain function but an external supernatural influence, why does brain damage affect it? … god is not supposed to be dependent on the purely physical. In fact, the metaphysical is exactly his domain, why are you arguing that god can not overcome the purely physical?


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 218 by GDR, posted 03-22-2020 8:39 PM GDR has not yet responded

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


Message 220 of 237 (874008)
03-23-2020 3:13 PM
Reply to: Message 218 by GDR
03-22-2020 8:39 PM


Morality Evolved, Religion evolved to emphasize Morality
Yes, we can't see it. It is a matter of faith that it is there. From an atheistic position of course it doesn't exist. If one is a theist then it makes it possible and I suggest that it even makes it likely.

"it" ... the finger of god? Is this a Christian finger or a generic finger (and which one? )

As a deist/agnostic one essentially believes in non-communication from deities, IDists (a poor cousin to deism imho) think they can see the finger of god but I remain skeptical. I can't see how any communication can readily occur with god/s that are able to create a universe.

Morality derived from the finger of god pointing the way seems a stretch, imho.

Currently I am reading "The Bonobo and the Atheist" (see Message 205) and it is providing strong evidence of evolution of the basics of morality (emotion, empathy, self awareness, love, altruism, etc.) in other animals, hence it cannot be human centric, but an emergent property of evolution.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel•American•Zen•Deist
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 218 by GDR, posted 03-22-2020 8:39 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 221 by GDR, posted 03-23-2020 3:52 PM RAZD has responded

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


Message 221 of 237 (874018)
03-23-2020 3:52 PM
Reply to: Message 220 by RAZD
03-23-2020 3:13 PM


Re: Morality Evolved, Religion evolved to emphasize Morality
I’ll answer this instead of Tangle’s post as I feel I did what I could to answer his question, although he contends that I haven’t.

RAZD writes:

"it" ... the finger of god? Is this a Christian finger or a generic finger (and which one? )

..or a Muslim finger etc. I’m trying to approach this from a theistic POV and not just from the Christian perspective. I’m not suggesting nor do I believe that this god meme is strictly given to Christians. It is my belief that it is universal.
RAZD writes:

As a deist/agnostic one essentially believes in non-communication from deities, IDists (a poor cousin to deism imho) think they can see the finger of god but I remain skeptical. I can't see how any communication can readily occur with god/s that are able to create a universe.

Just a thought on the ID movement. I see it as being consistent with either deism or theism.
We would agree that we are affected by cultural memes, whether it be family, friends or our specific culture. We also know that all cultures are able to give examples of those who are fundamentally altruistic or fundamentally selfish. In other words we essentially choose which memes that we will have an impact on our lives
RAZD writes:

Morality derived from the finger of god pointing the way seems a stretch, imho.


Our minds are affected by external influences and I don’t see it as such a stretch to believe that a deity able to bring about life as we know it can’t be one of those influences.
RAZD writes:

Currentl y I am reading "The Bonobo and the Atheist" (see Message 205) and it is providing strong evidence of evolution of the basics of morality (emotion, empathy, self awareness, love, altruism, etc.) in other animals, hence it cannot be human centric, but an emergent property of evolution.


I don’t deny that morality does evolve. It also seems to me that morality in other animals is more prevalent among those that are subject to the loving care of humans. If I am correct then it seems to me that the evolution of morality is what we should expect. As it would be one influence among many it would be something that would grow within a culture over generations. I don’t see the evidence that points to it evolving rules out either view.

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:
 Message 220 by RAZD, posted 03-23-2020 3:13 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 222 by Tangle, posted 03-23-2020 4:20 PM GDR has responded
 Message 223 by RAZD, posted 03-23-2020 4:34 PM GDR has responded

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


Message 222 of 237 (874020)
03-23-2020 4:20 PM
Reply to: Message 221 by GDR
03-23-2020 3:52 PM


Re: Morality Evolved, Religion evolved to emphasize Morality
GDR writes:

I’ll answer this instead of Tangle’s post as I feel I did what I could to answer his question, although he contends that I haven’t.

You really haven't answered my question at all.

You're continually obfuscating the adoption of moral traits from our environment - society family etc which we all accept as an obvious fact, with a direct, personal, external influence - the intervention in real time by your 'Holy Spirit'.

The natural answer to the question of morality is that it's an emotion, a brain function that has evolved like all others. The evidence is that we can see and measure it. We can see that brain damage affects it and we can see various forms of morality in other social animals. It all hangs together.

What I'm still confused about is what your actual supernatural claim is. Are or are you not saying that god is intervening directly, in real time with people's moral decision making?


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 221 by GDR, posted 03-23-2020 3:52 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 224 by GDR, posted 03-23-2020 5:32 PM Tangle has responded

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


(1)
Message 223 of 237 (874023)
03-23-2020 4:34 PM
Reply to: Message 221 by GDR
03-23-2020 3:52 PM


Re: Morality Evolved, Religion evolved to emphasize Morality
Just a thought on the ID movement. I see it as being consistent with either deism or theism.

The question is how it is done.

We would agree that we are affected by cultural memes, whether it be family, friends or our specific culture. We also know that all cultures are able to give examples of those who are fundamentally altruistic or fundamentally selfish. In other words we essentially choose which memes that we will have an impact on our lives

Cultures evolve in response to changes in their cultural and natural environment/s.

Our minds are affected by external influences ...

In the world around us. Visible, tangible.

... and I don’t see it as such a stretch to believe that a deity able to bring about life as we know it can’t be one of those influences.

How?

I don’t deny that morality does evolve. It also seems to me that morality in other animals is more prevalent among those that are subject to the loving care of humans. ...

Not necessarily, it's observed in cases devoid of human intervention (other than observation) according to de Waal.

... it would be something that would grow within a culture over generations. I don’t see the evidence that points to it evolving rules out either view.

Why not?

What is good for the group can be selected over behavior not good for the group. The idea of fairness seems prevalent in virtually all primates. That's a rule.

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 221 by GDR, posted 03-23-2020 3:52 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 226 by GDR, posted 03-23-2020 7:13 PM RAZD has not yet responded

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


Message 224 of 237 (874026)
03-23-2020 5:32 PM
Reply to: Message 222 by Tangle
03-23-2020 4:20 PM


Re: Morality Evolved, Religion evolved to emphasize Morality
Tangle writes:

What I'm still confused about is what your actual supernatural claim is. Are or are you not saying that god is intervening directly, in real time with people's moral decision making?

You seem to be claiming that as you can see moral impulses acting on the brain that it explains everything.

Tell me how on reading those impulses on the brain you can tell which impulse is influenced by a parent’s love and which is influenced by some friend influencing him/her to go shoplifting. In the same way how can you tell the difference between a god influence, if it exists, or any other influence. I’m saying that I don’t believe you can.

Parental influence is with us for life and it is my contention that the same is true for divine influence. I suppose in either case it is not intervening directly but indirectly.


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:
 Message 222 by Tangle, posted 03-23-2020 4:20 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 225 by Tangle, posted 03-23-2020 6:20 PM GDR has responded

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


(1)
Message 225 of 237 (874031)
03-23-2020 6:20 PM
Reply to: Message 224 by GDR
03-23-2020 5:32 PM


Re: Morality Evolved, Religion evolved to emphasize Morality
GDR writes:

You seem to be claiming that as you can see moral impulses acting on the brain that it explains everything.

What I'm claiming is that because we can identify brain activity caused by people performing moral choices, that morality is therefore a brain function like many others. This is verified by those people whose brains are injured in specific ways show lack of moral decision making.

Tell me how on reading those impulses on the brain you can tell which impulse is influenced by a parent’s love and which is influenced by some friend influencing him/her to go shoplifting.

That is not necessary, the effect is seen as a brain function regardless of the external causation. We know that the basic empathetic reactions are intrinsic just like our other emotional responses.

In the same way how can you tell the difference between a god influence, if it exists, or any other influence. I’m saying that I don’t believe you can.

We don't need a god influence anywhere near this, it works without intervention. It works in many other animals. It stops working when the brain is damaged, that tells us that it is physical because if it was supernatural it wouldn't stop your god would it?

Parental influence is with us for life and it is my contention that the same is true for divine influence. I suppose in either case it is not intervening directly but indirectly.

Ok, maybe we're getting close, are you now saying that god is *not* intervening directly in real time? Maybe his influence is through directed evolution which inbuilt a moral function?

If so I'm going to say that that is indistinguishable from a purely natural process so I'm slicing this god out of the picture with Occam's stiletto.


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 224 by GDR, posted 03-23-2020 5:32 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 229 by GDR, posted 03-29-2020 1:51 PM Tangle has responded

  
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