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Author Topic:   Morality without God is impossible
GDR
Member (Idle past 48 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 226 of 306 (874039)
03-23-2020 7:13 PM
Reply to: Message 223 by RAZD
03-23-2020 4:34 PM


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

How?

In the same way that we are influenced by other relationships.
RAZD writes:

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

I don't disagree with that. I said more prevalent in animals influenced by the loving care of humans.
RAZD writes:

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.

Exactly. Fairness appears to be a universal morality.

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 223 by RAZD, posted 03-23-2020 4:34 PM RAZD has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4007
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 227 of 306 (874056)
03-24-2020 9:27 AM
Reply to: Message 204 by Dogmafood
03-20-2020 8:28 AM


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

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

How are you so sure that those elements are used "as a foundation for every evaluation" and not "something that's moved past, and no longer required to be considered?"

Especially when the evidence leans in the latter direction.

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.

This is not true.
There are many evaluations that that are not based on whether or not they will benefit the actor.

The trolley problem for example. The man at the switch is ultimately concerned with how his decision will impact himself.

Your own example isn't even true.

The trolley problem actually supports my side of this issue.

...That there are instinctual decisions (more based on things you're assuming.. but still not 100%).
And intellectual decisions (more based on reasoning/forethought/experience... no longer necessarily based on survival or reproduction.)

Here's the wiki: Trolley Problem

Under the Empirical Research section:

quote:
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, they demonstrated that "personal" dilemmas (like pushing a man off a footbridge) preferentially engage brain regions associated with emotion, whereas "impersonal" dilemmas (like diverting the trolley by flipping a switch) preferentially engaged regions associated with controlled reasoning.

That is, there's brain scans showing that not all decisions use the same areas of the brain.
This would support that some would be more instinctual ("associated with emotion") and others would be more intellectual ("associated with controlled reasoning.")
This would go against the idea that "all decisions use survival considerations as a foundation."

Under the Survey Data section:

quote:
The trolley problem has been the subject of many surveys in which approximately 90% of respondents have chosen to kill the one and save the five. If the situation is modified where the one sacrificed for the five was a relative or romantic partner, respondents are much less likely to be willing to sacrifice their life.

A 2009 survey published in a 2013 paper by David Bourget and David Chalmers shows that 69.9% of professional philosophers would switch (sacrifice the one individual to save five lives) in the case of the trolley problem. 8% would not switch, and the remaining 24% had another view or could not answer.


Which also strongly implies that that instinctual decisions (those with less preparation or study...) will fall back on instinctual/foundational considerations. This would be the survey of general population respondents resulting in a 90/10 split.

While the survey of philosophers (those who would be more inclined to use their reasoning/study/fore-thought for such a decision) was more of a 70/8/24 split. Implying that when using "reason" instead of "instincts" - our decision making is different.

There's even the single "Real Life Incident" where people chose the seemingly-less-likely option to switch the track and put the smaller amount of people in mortal danger.

All of the resulting data from the Trolley problem acts as evidence for my position, and against the idea that "all decisions use the same foundation."

I submit that the difference between the two is that we are aware of one and not aware of the other.

Brain scans (evidence) show that there is more of a difference that this at work.

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.

I don't think you understand Maslow's Pyramid.

The pyramid structure does not imply that all decisions are made using the foundational base.
The pyramid structure implies that the foundational base needs must be met before one is able to "freely" make decisions on the upper levels of the pyramid.

The entire structure/acceptance/tested/verified nature of Maslow's Pyramid is a description on how we have instinctual requirements that need to be met (survival) - but once those are met, we are free to move onto more and more "frivolous" choices that no longer need to consider the lower requirements.


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

Replies to this message:
 Message 228 by Dogmafood, posted 03-28-2020 6:47 PM Stile has responded

  
Dogmafood
Member (Idle past 134 days)
Posts: 1814
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 228 of 306 (874305)
03-28-2020 6:47 PM
Reply to: Message 227 by Stile
03-24-2020 9:27 AM


Re: Are the morals of a lion the same as an antelope?
How are you so sure that those elements are used "as a foundation for every evaluation" and not "something that's moved past, and no longer required to be considered?"

I think that its true because I don't see any other basis that could be used for the evaluation of good and bad. What other basis could there be?

There are many evaluations that that are not based on whether or not they will benefit the actor.

I don't think that there are. Kindness, fairness, altruism, self-sacrifice, charity, mercy, love. All of these things exist because they make the actor feel good or feel the least amount of bad. Why do we feel good? It is a chemical response that reinforces behaviour that helps us to survive. This is what I mean when I say that everyone uses the same equipment and make decisions in the same way. The differences between your decisions and mine exist because our experience is different. Different inputs into the same equation.

All those people at the trolley switch are looking for the choice that makes them feel the most good or the least bad. That's how we make choices.

In the context of this thread, why is it that behaviours like kindness and love etc actually are beneficial to survival? Why is the universe this way and not the opposite where selfishness is the most beneficial? God may be the reason things are this way but how could you tell? God could also be the reason if things were opposite. The only difference would be the nature of our gods.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 227 by Stile, posted 03-24-2020 9:27 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 235 by Stile, posted 03-30-2020 9:21 AM Dogmafood has responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 48 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 229 of 306 (874347)
03-29-2020 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 225 by Tangle
03-23-2020 6:20 PM


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

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.

Tangle writes:

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.

But it is those external causations that we are talking about. Good old Dad may in early life told young Tangle that stealing is wrong. That meme has been there ever since, and now you are years later out with a group that is encouraging you to shop lift. You have a decision to make. What dad said years before is still influencing you but you now have this new influence. What do you do. You can look at your brain functions all you want but that isn't going to tell you which choice you made. It is only your subsequent actions that give the answer.

Also of course, if I am correct, then there is a god meme in there as well that is influencing you not to shoplift. Once again that influence along with dad's influence can be overridden, and again you aren't going to be able to ascertain your decision but observing a brain scan.

GDR writes:

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.

Tangle writes:

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?

That is one way of putting it. The "still small voice of God" is an influencer not a director, just as is parental guidance. I'm not sure what you mean though by directed evolution. I don't see it as being a part of physical evolution but actually much closer to Dawkin's ideas of social evolution.

For example somewhere along the line a parent has learned that honesty is a positive attribute that we should adhere to. That parent influences his/her children with that gene and maybe passes it on to others as well. Hopefully that gene is then passed on exponentially through others around them. I am saying that it is the same for a god meme. None of this can be determined by a brain scan.

The different conclusions that we have come to actually are simply the fact that you hold atheistic beliefs as opposed to my theistic beliefs.

If your atheistic world view is accurate then obviously no deity is needed for morality. If however my theistic views are correct then a deity is required for morality to exist, and even for us to exist at all.

As I said earlier, it all goes back to our basic 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 225 by Tangle, posted 03-23-2020 6:20 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 230 by dwise1, posted 03-29-2020 4:15 PM GDR has responded
 Message 231 by Tangle, posted 03-29-2020 4:34 PM GDR has responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4366
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 230 of 306 (874354)
03-29-2020 4:15 PM
Reply to: Message 229 by GDR
03-29-2020 1:51 PM


Re: Morality Evolved, Religion evolved to emphasize Morality
The different conclusions that we have come to actually are simply the fact that you hold atheistic beliefs as opposed to my theistic beliefs.

If your atheistic world view is accurate then obviously no deity is needed for morality. If however my theistic views are correct then a deity is required for morality to exist, and even for us to exist at all.

But basically your own argument eliminates the need for a deity for something that exists naturally.

To put it in other terms, we have the ID mentality that insists that science to include God in its equations. The problem there is that the natural universe will operate in exactly the same manner with or without that "God Term", so adding God to the equation is the same as adding Zero, therefore God equals Zero (not the result that they had wished for) which changes nothing. Trying that with a "God Factor", then God would equal Unity (1), which also changes nothing. Therefore, either way that ID insistence results in the same outcome: adding or omitting God changes nothing whatsoever.

The only difference that can make is to your own subjective sensitivities, but no difference to objective reality. Plus your own subjective sensitivities about "God" can be and most often are very different from millions/billions of others own subjective sensitivities about "God".

Objective reality is as close to universal as we can get. Billions of different individual subjective sensitivities about some kind of "God idea" seems to be as opposite from universal as I can imagine.

Good old Dad may in early life told young Tangle that stealing is wrong. That meme has been there ever since, and now you are years later out with a group that is encouraging you to shop lift. You have a decision to make. What dad said years before is still influencing you but you now have this new influence. What do you do. You can look at your brain functions all you want but that isn't going to tell you which choice you made. It is only your subsequent actions that give the answer.

Yes, parents teach their children so many things, both right and wrong, but also about right from wrong. That is the traditional mode of transmission of cultural values from one generation to the next. That's how it naturally works; nothing supernatural about it in its implementation.

Through the natural operation of a society, it collectively "learns" which behaviors work and which don't and which promote and strengthen the society and which weaken or even endanger the society. Over the generations, that creates a common wisdom about right and wrong which comes to be known as "morality". Society creates mechanisms to pass that common wisdom, that "morality", from one generation to the next. Most often, it's parents teaching their children well.

Often, those mechanisms become institutionalized and codified as a series of arbitrary rules and then incorporated into religion even though no god ever had anything to do with any of it.

And at that point, we lose all memory of why that rule is even necessary. And it loses all moral authority.

Also of course, if I am correct, then there is a god meme in there as well that is influencing you not to shoplift.

What would any god care about any merchant's profit margin?

But empathy, which is the basis of so much morality, would and should influence us much more.

Again, arbitrary rules don't mean anything outside of a God-driven fear of punishment. Feeling, if not yet understanding, how your behavior would affect others (AKA "empathy") means so much more.

A "god meme" is the promise of long-delayed punishment for wrong-doing. Empathy and morality is the realization of the consequences of all your actions. Which should have more influence?

That is one way of putting it. The "still small voice of God" is an influencer not a director, just as is parental guidance. I'm not sure what you mean though by directed evolution. I don't see it as being a part of physical evolution but actually much closer to Dawkin's ideas of social evolution.

There was an experiment in Finland. First the students were given dog puppies to raise and test. Then they were given wolf cubs to raise and test in the same manner they had learned. The experiences were entirely different. The puppies paid close attention to their humans, while the cubs couldn't care less. Eg, in tests involving treats hidden under bowls, the puppies watched the humans and where they were looking, but the cubs paid the humans no attention whatsoever. Eg, the puppies were very sensitive to the desires of the humans (eg, get off the furniture) whereas the cubs couldn't care less (eg, they'd be on top of the tables and couldn't get scooted off).

That means that you not only have to evolve a social order, but you also have to evolve a biological inclination towards following that kind of social order. That means that cultural evolution can only work if the physical evolution to support it has already evolved. Or more accurately both the cultural and physical evolution have coevolved.

For example somewhere along the line a parent has learned that honesty is a positive attribute that we should adhere to. That parent influences his/her children with that gene and maybe passes it on to others as well. Hopefully that gene is then passed on exponentially through others around them. I am saying that it is the same for a god meme. None of this can be determined by a brain scan.

Uh, no. That is biology. What does any "god meme" have to do with that?

If it makes you feel better, then indulge yourself but do not inflict yourself on others. We already know that any "goddidit" dicta being imposed on natural systems just end up as "God = Zero". So what's your point?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 229 by GDR, posted 03-29-2020 1:51 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 232 by GDR, posted 03-29-2020 5:56 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7996
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 231 of 306 (874355)
03-29-2020 4:34 PM
Reply to: Message 229 by GDR
03-29-2020 1:51 PM


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

But it is those external causations that we are talking about. Good old Dad may in early life told young Tangle that stealing is wrong. That meme has been there ever since, and now you are years later out with a group that is encouraging you to shop lift. You have a decision to make. What dad said years before is still influencing you but you now have this new influence. What do you do.

You do whatever is driving you at the time, balanced by your upbringing, your immediate need - and, very important this - whether anyone is watching. Bad behaviour is as natural as good.

You can look at your brain functions all you want but that isn't going to tell you which choice you made. It is only your subsequent actions that give the answer.

That isn't, of course, the point of trying to explain what neuroscience knows about how the brain processes moral choices. It's the fact that the brain *does* process moral choices that is point I'm trying to make. It's a brain function, part learnt, part instinct and part intellect.

Also of course, if I am correct, then there is a god meme in there as well that is influencing you not to shoplift.

Uh, how, where? If the choice is made to steal, what has happened to the god 'meme'? Does it become a devil meme?

None of this god stuff is necessary.

Once again that influence along with dad's influence can be overridden, and again you aren't going to be able to ascertain your decision but observing a brain scan.

And once again, it doesn't matter. What matters is that the brain is making the choice.

That is one way of putting it. The "still small voice of God" is an influencer not a director, just as is parental guidance.

So we're back to direct interference. I have no idea how you think that works. Can you explain how this voice is heard by people and how - and even why - he speaks to some people and not others?

I'm not sure what you mean though by directed evolution. I don't see it as being a part of physical evolution but actually much closer to Dawkin's ideas of social evolution.

Directed evolution would be that this god of yours makes sure that evolution eventually creates creatures that are required to work together to survive. In order to do that they have to evolve instinctual mechanisms that allows them to live with each other rather than kill and eat each other. And then a brain that can override instinct.

For example somewhere along the line a parent has learned that honesty is a positive attribute that we should adhere to.

Sure, Somewhere along the very long line of primate ancestors co-operative behaviour had a competitive advantage.

That parent influences his/her children with that gene and maybe passes it on to others as well. Hopefully that gene is then passed on exponentially through others around them. I am saying that it is the same for a god meme. None of this can be determined by a brain scan.

You're obsessed with brain scans; all brain scans tell us is that moral choices are made there in different parts of the brain than other things.

The different conclusions that we have come to actually are simply the fact that you hold atheistic beliefs as opposed to my theistic beliefs.

It's got sod all to do with atheism, it's bloody neurology.

If your atheistic world view is accurate then obviously no deity is needed for morality. If however my theistic views are correct then a deity is required for morality to exist, and even for us to exist at all.

You have yet to produce a single reason why a god is necessary and you can not tell us why, if a god is involved, he can’t overcome physical damage to the parts of the brain responsible for processing moral choice.

You can't even explain where bad moral choices originate.

You can't tell us how this intervention happens.

As I said earlier, it all goes back to our basic beliefs.

It really doesn't. If the facts weren't the way they are, I wouldn't be saying this. You however, would believe what you believe come what may. Take refuge in this atheism business if you must, but you need to know that you're hiding.


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 229 by GDR, posted 03-29-2020 1:51 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 233 by GDR, posted 03-29-2020 6:24 PM Tangle has responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 48 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 232 of 306 (874358)
03-29-2020 5:56 PM
Reply to: Message 230 by dwise1
03-29-2020 4:15 PM


Re: Morality Evolved, Religion evolved to emphasize Morality
dwise1 writes:

But basically your own argument eliminates the need for a deity for something that exists naturally.

To put it in other terms, we have the ID mentality that insists that science to include God in its equations. The problem there is that the natural universe will operate in exactly the same manner with or without that "God Term", so adding God to the equation is the same as adding Zero, therefore God equals Zero (not the result that they had wished for) which changes nothing. Trying that with a "God Factor", then God would equal Unity (1), which also changes nothing. Therefore, either way that ID insistence results in the same outcome: adding or omitting God changes nothing whatsoever.

Once again you're confusing process with agency. Yes natural processes exist but you assume that natural processes came about by other natural processes that came from other natural processes and on and on.

Also the question again is whether or not our universe and the processes that have resulted in life, are the result of an intelligent creator or not.
it is all belief

dwise1 writes:

The only difference that can make is to your own subjective sensitivities, but no difference to objective reality. Plus your own subjective sensitivities about "God" can be and most often are very different from millions/billions of others own subjective sensitivities about "God".

Objective reality is as close to universal as we can get. Billions of different individual subjective sensitivities about some kind of "God idea" seems to be as opposite from universal as I can imagine.

However, the concept of empathy or the golden rule is pretty much universal in all religions.

dwise1 writes:

Yes, parents teach their children so many things, both right and wrong, but also about right from wrong. That is the traditional mode of transmission of cultural values from one generation to the next. That's how it naturally works; nothing supernatural about it in its implementation.

Through the natural operation of a society, it collectively "learns" which behaviors work and which don't and which promote and strengthen the society and which weaken or even endanger the society. Over the generations, that creates a common wisdom about right and wrong which comes to be known as "morality". Society creates mechanisms to pass that common wisdom, that "morality", from one generation to the next. Most often, it's parents teaching their children well.

Often, those mechanisms become institutionalized and codified as a series of arbitrary rules and then incorporated into religion even though no god ever had anything to do with any of it.

And at that point, we lose all memory of why that rule is even necessary. And it loses all moral authority.

None of that though has anything to do as to whether or not there is a god meme in the mix of the myriad of other memes in our lives.

dwise1 writes:

What would any god care about any merchant's profit margin?

But empathy, which is the basis of so much morality, would and should influence us much more.

Again, arbitrary rules don't mean anything outside of a God-driven fear of punishment. Feeling, if not yet understanding, how your behavior would affect others (AKA "empathy") means so much more.

A "god meme" is the promise of long-delayed punishment for wrong-doing. Empathy and morality is the realization of the consequences of all your actions. Which should have more influence?

Firstly, it has nothing to do with profit margins. Secondly if serving others is being done for some kind of reward in this life or the next, then it isn't done from a positive sense of morality.

dwise1 writes:

There was an experiment in Finland. First the students were given dog puppies to raise and test. Then they were given wolf cubs to raise and test in the same manner they had learned. The experiences were entirely different. The puppies paid close attention to their humans, while the cubs couldn't care less. Eg, in tests involving treats hidden under bowls, the puppies watched the humans and where they were looking, but the cubs paid the humans no attention whatsoever. Eg, the puppies were very sensitive to the desires of the humans (eg, get off the furniture) whereas the cubs couldn't care less (eg, they'd be on top of the tables and couldn't get scooted off).

That means that you not only have to evolve a social order, but you also have to evolve a biological inclination towards following that kind of social order. That means that cultural evolution can only work if the physical evolution to support it has already evolved. Or more accurately both the cultural and physical evolution have coevolved.

Once more you're calling the process the agency. Yes, the process exists. The question is the what is the cause for its existence.

dwise writes:

If it makes you feel better, then indulge yourself but do not inflict yourself on others. We already know that any "goddidit" dicta being imposed on natural systems just end up as "God = Zero". So what's your point?

How am I inflicting my theistic beliefs on others anymore than you are inflicting your atheistic beliefs on others?

I think I have made my point.


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 230 by dwise1, posted 03-29-2020 4:15 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 48 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 233 of 306 (874359)
03-29-2020 6:24 PM
Reply to: Message 231 by Tangle
03-29-2020 4:34 PM


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

You do whatever is driving you at the time, balanced by your upbringing, your immediate need - and, very important this - whether anyone is watching.

Maybe one of the things that is driving you at the time is the god meme. You wouldn't know.
Tangle writes:

Bad behaviour is as natural as good.

It's a choice and for some good behaviour is more natural than bad and the opposite for others. Whether anyone is watching or not is just another influence.

Tangle writes:

That isn't, of course, the point of trying to explain what neuroscience knows about how the brain processes moral choices. It's the fact that the brain *does* process moral choices that is point I'm trying to make. It's a brain function, part learnt, part instinct and part intellect.

No problem with that. The question is whether or not there is a god meme involved in the "learnt" part.

Tangle writes:

Uh, how, where? If the choice is made to steal, what has happened to the god 'meme'? Does it become a devil meme?

No, the god meme would just have been ignored in the same way that the parental guiding meme was ignored.

Tangle writes:

So we're back to direct interference. I have no idea how you think that works. Can you explain how this voice is heard by people and how - and even why - he speaks to some people and not others?

It is heard in the same way that you hear parental advice years after it has been given. It becomes part of who you are. IMHO it speaks to everyone.

Tangle writes:

Directed evolution would be that this god of yours makes sure that evolution eventually creates creatures that are required to work together to survive. In order to do that they have to evolve instinctual mechanisms that allows them to live with each other rather than kill and eat each other. And then a brain that can override instinct.

People don't have to work co-cooperatively with those in far flung societies. There would actually be more resources for me if those far flung societies ceased to exist. IMHO this god of mine created a process that evolved people capable of loving others even to their own detriment. You have never been able to objectively show why it is that someone in the western world will spend their whole life ministering to someone in the third world. I have a friend who is a doctor and his wife a lawyer, and they have spent the bulk of their adult lives in the third world serving others. He works at healing disease and teaching others to do the same, while she is involved in improving the lot of women in the third world.

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 231 by Tangle, posted 03-29-2020 4:34 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 234 by Tangle, posted 03-30-2020 4:07 AM GDR has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7996
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 234 of 306 (874368)
03-30-2020 4:07 AM
Reply to: Message 233 by GDR
03-29-2020 6:24 PM


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

Maybe one of the things that is driving you at the time is the god meme. You wouldn't know.

We wouldn't know if it was a pink pixie either would we? Sure, you can make up any kind of supernatural interference that you like but it's not only not evidenced, it's not even necessary. The entire thing we call morality works by itself in perfectly natural and explicable ways.

It's a choice and for some good behaviour is more natural than bad and the opposite for others. Whether anyone is watching or not is just another influence.

In your model why would that be so? You're back to your god discriminating about who he communicates with. In particular he seems to communicate least with the most vulnerable - those with poor or no parents, the socially deprived and the addicted. And he can't communicate at all with those people that lack the physical capacity - ie brain function - to 'hear' him. Why?

If bad behaviour is a meme like good, your god must have created it else where does it originate? If not god who?

It is heard in the same way that you hear parental advice years after it has been given. It becomes part of who you are.

Sure, we call it normative behaviour. But it only works in a prosocial way if parents are good at their job.

IMHO it speaks to everyone.

But we know it doesn't! We know this! We know the circumstances where people are incapable of of hearing it and we know where they don't because they have never had the upbringing to learn it.

People don't have to work co-cooperatively with those in far flung societies. There would actually be more resources for me if those far flung societies ceased to exist. IMHO this god of mine created a process that evolved people capable of loving others even to their own detriment. You have never been able to objectively show why it is that someone in the western world will spend their whole life ministering to someone in the third world. I have a friend who is a doctor and his wife a lawyer, and they have spent the bulk of their adult lives in the third world serving others. He works at healing disease and teaching others to do the same, while she is involved in improving the lot of women in the third world.

There are many reasons why people do these things. In the religious world it is mainly an attempt to save souls for the Lord, and therefore their own. It's an instruction from their institution. In my opinion that is corrupt, self-serving, patronising and evil. Ie immoral.

If you remove the religious motive and, for the sake of argument we say your two friends have no beliefs of that kind, why do they do it? Let's even remove the fact that they're paid to do it. Why would Bill Gates give away his fortune attempting to cure (god made) disease in foreign countries?

The answer is because they are human! We have these evolved instincts within us, all of us, but because these emotions are developed in individuals along a spectrum depending on capacity and upbringing and resource you find extremes of behaviour at both ends of it. In percentage terms there is virtually no-one doing what your friends do. Why aren't we all doing it?

It's all natural. There's nothing supernatural anywhere near this situation. The only supernatural position that makes any sort of sense is a creation god that is no longer involved in the process.

There's an easily understood essay in Psychology Today that explains the evolution of altruism. Here's a bit of the article that talks about what is physically happening in the brain when it's choosing actions that are selfish and selfless

quote:
So for the past few million years we’ve been evolving in two ways at once. Group natural selection gave us some pro-social genes that help us work well in groups. At the same time individual natural selection gave us selfish genes that try to get us to the top of the social ladder.

We even see this in the brain networks that control our ability to understand other people (see my last post). In my last post I discussed how we can understand people’s intentions using the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC). The DMPFC is closely tied with the emotional limbic system and helps mediate empathy and other pro-social behaviors. However, there’s another part of the prefrontal cortex, just a little to the side, called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). The DLPFC is unemotional and calculating. It allows us to understand and predict other people actions, without getting wrapped up in all the emotion.

One cool experiment that demonstrates this used magnetic pulses to disrupt the DLPFC (Kalbe 2010). The results showed that disrupting the DLPFC messed up thinking but not feeling about other people. That’s because the DLPFC was disrupted, but the DMPFC wasn’t affected. While the DMPFC helps create empathy and understanding and brings people together, the DLPFC allows for scheming and manipulating your way to the top. These distinct brain systems are the product of the opposing evolutionary forces that shaped us.


The Origin of Altruism

We just don't need your supernatural explanations anymore, they're anachronistic and primitive.

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


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 233 by GDR, posted 03-29-2020 6:24 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 236 by GDR, posted 03-30-2020 10:44 PM Tangle has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4007
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 235 of 306 (874370)
03-30-2020 9:21 AM
Reply to: Message 228 by Dogmafood
03-28-2020 6:47 PM


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

I think that its true because I don't see any other basis that could be used for the evaluation of good and bad. What other basis could there be?

Pretty much anything, really.
A decently working one: "Good = that which helps people; Bad = that which hurts people; with help/hurt defined by the people affected."
A terribly working one: "Good = anything involving apples; Bad = anything that does not involve apples."

Both can be a basis to anyone who chooses to accept/follow them.
As long as they have the intelligence required to make such a decision.

Dogmafood writes:

Kindness, fairness, altruism, self-sacrifice, charity, mercy, love. All of these things exist because they make the actor feel good or feel the least amount of bad.

So what?

Arms exist because they helped us reach food better.
Does that mean arms cannot be used to play tennis?

Kindness, fairness, altruism, self-sacrifice, charity, mercy, love all exist because they helped the actor feel good or the least amount of bad - which developed as a means to help survival.
Does that mean they cannot be used for reasons other than survival?

Why do we feel good? It is a chemical response that reinforces behaviour that helps us to survive.

That's how it started, sure.
That's not how it always works in a being with enough intelligence to make decisions and override their instincts, though.

This is what I mean when I say that everyone uses the same equipment and make decisions in the same way.

Yes, I know, and it's still wrong.
It's like saying "all cars drive the same way because they all have a chassis."

A Ford Focus does not drive the same as an F1 racer - even though they both have a chassis as their foundation.

You're taking "something that's foundationally similar" and trying to say "all resulting possibilities must therefore also be the same!"

It's ridiculous.

The differences between your decisions and mine exist because our experience is different. Different inputs into the same equation.

Different experiences AND different equation.
The only similarity is that we all have "AN" equation and some portion of that equation is based on survival - a portion that has the possibility of being "multiplied by 0" to nullify it's effects in certain people/situations.

All those people at the trolley switch are looking for the choice that makes them feel the most good or the least bad. That's how we make choices.

Fully agreed.

But everyone's equation on what makes them feel the most good or the least bad is different.
Not everyone's equation always uses "survival" as a factor.

If you want to say it does - you have to show this.
Against all the evidence against your position (brain scans, even.)

In the context of this thread, why is it that behaviours like kindness and love etc actually are beneficial to survival?

Kindness and love CAN be beneficial to survival by helping the group. If the group survives - the species survives.
This doesn't mean, though, that all acts of kindness/love must be due to a motivation to help the group survive.
Especially in any species that is intelligent enough to think about and override their instincts due to conscious reflection and decision making.

Why is the universe this way and not the opposite where selfishness is the most beneficial?

Because species develop from instinctual to intelligent as brains have a chance of becoming more complex over time.
While a species' brain is unable to make intelligent decisions, and is almost entirely instinctual - selfishness is more likely to lead to death of the species.

Of course - once a species obtains intelligence and is able to reflect and make conscious decisions that can override the instinctual motivation - this all becomes moot.

Unless you're able to show otherwise? Against the evidence?

God may be the reason things are this way but how could you tell? God could also be the reason if things were opposite. The only difference would be the nature of our gods.

Sure.

Regardless of whether or not intelligence came from natural evolution or God - the result is the same - as long as intelligence exists where one can reflect and make conscious decisions to override their instincts - then this idea of "all decisions are made due to survival (or any other single motivation)" is silly and easily shown to be false by the existence of such things as "entertainment."

It doesn't matter if all decisions "used to" be made to enable survival (otherwise the species would die out while acting instinctively.)
Once the conscious decision making exists - then it exists.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 228 by Dogmafood, posted 03-28-2020 6:47 PM Dogmafood has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 253 by Dogmafood, posted 04-03-2020 7:07 AM Stile has responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 48 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 236 of 306 (874384)
03-30-2020 10:44 PM
Reply to: Message 234 by Tangle
03-30-2020 4:07 AM


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

We wouldn't know if it was a pink pixie either would we? Sure, you can make up any kind of supernatural interference that you like but it's not only not evidenced, it's not even necessary. The entire thing we call morality works by itself in perfectly natural and explicable ways.

Once again, you confuse process with agency. Maybe it does all happen naturally but what is the agency for that natural process to exist at all.

We are all susceptible to a wide variety of influences. Yes, as humans we have a responsibility to raise our kids in a loving manner that hopefully winds up producing an adult that will raise their kids the same way. I agree that the world isn't always fair. However, for those that have brain damage as humans we are called to exhibit sacrificially love in caring for those that need help.

Tangle writes:

Sure, we call it normative behaviour. But it only works in a prosocial way if parents are good at their job.

It can also work in an anti-social way.

Tangle writes:

But we know it doesn't! We know this! We know the circumstances where people are incapable of of hearing it and we know where they don't because they have never had the upbringing to learn it.

There are many that are brought up in loving homes who are essentially selfish and those that are brought up in abusive homes that are essentially altruistic. Just because people don't respond positively to a god meme does not mean that it isn't there.

Tangle writes:

There are many reasons why people do these things. In the religious world it is mainly an attempt to save souls for the Lord, and therefore their own. It's an instruction from their institution. In my opinion that is corrupt, self-serving, patronising and evil. Ie immoral.

That is a stereotypical view that was at least somewhat true decades ago and is only true within certain religious communities today. As I have said before our church along with others have sponsored numerous Islamic refugee families without trying to convert them, and none have to the best of my knowledge. We are just trying to give them a better life in Canada.

Also as you know most of us don't hold to the idea that it isn't about our religious beliefs that get us on the right side of the equation in the next life anyway.

You provide a link to an article in Psychology Today.

quote:
Darwin’s classic theory of evolution, natural selection, paints a bleak picture of life (see The Wire, HBO). Life is simply a struggle to survive and reproduce. The individuals who are best suited to their environment survive and mate and thus pass on their genes and become immortal. Everyone else is just a chump.

It’s easy to see how survival of the fittest can select for selfishness. If I horde food and don’t share with anyone except my immediate family, that’s better for me and my genes. If I’m out hunting in a group and another hunter gets gored by a buffalo, great! More women for me. I should lie, cheat, and steal, anything to get ahead. And we certainly see those features of human behavior. But we also see people helping out their friends with whom they share no genes. We see people helping complete strangers, and giving to charity. Shouldn’t evolution have made us all selfish, just out for ourselves? How does altruism fit in?


He says in that quote that evolution on its own should have made us selfish, which also answers your question about a selfish gene.

He then goes on to say this.

quote:
The evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson offers an explanation in his book The Social Conquest of Earth. He points out that a key change in our evolution happened when we started living in groups. In groups, genes that promote positive social behavior like empathy and communication (i.e. pro-social genes) are more advantageous. Natural selection states that genes that are advantageous tend to propagate throughout a population. So pro-social genes began to spread.

So we are saying that when we started living in groups that it was to our mutual benefit to work cooperatively and behave empathetically for the betterment of the group. If the group does better then so do I. The motive is ultimately selfish.

However humans can and do go much further. They can display empathy and ultimately display sacrificial love for members of other groups including those they haven't met and maybe live on the other side of the world. We also see some sacrificing their own life to save the life of others.

I am not saying that this proves my views, but it is IMHO a very good indication that there is more going on that what is obvious.


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 234 by Tangle, posted 03-30-2020 4:07 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 237 by Tangle, posted 03-31-2020 4:58 AM GDR has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7996
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 237 of 306 (874385)
03-31-2020 4:58 AM
Reply to: Message 236 by GDR
03-30-2020 10:44 PM


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

Once again, you confuse process with agency.

And once again you claim agency where agency is unnecessary for the process. Do you claim agency for feeling angry or embarrassed or happy? Or scratching your bum because it itches?

The only place I could feasibly put agency anywhere in this is the moment of creation. Otherwise you are claiming real-time, discriminating, supernatural interference in our lives. Is that your position?

Maybe it does all happen naturally but what is the agency for that natural process to exist at all.

And we've done this too. The processes are all natural. The only point that you can have an even semi-legitimate argument about agency is at the point of creation. If you say that it becomes a quite different discussion from inferring that your god is still intervening in individual's decisions about right and wrong through his 'still small voice'.

It can also work in an anti-social way.

Exactly.

There are many that are brought up in loving homes who are essentially selfish and those that are brought up in abusive homes that are essentially altruistic. Just because people don't respond positively to a god meme does not mean that it isn't there.

You're making my argument for me. Our behaviour is a combination of our genes, our upbringing, our personality, our environment and immediate circumstances.

That is a stereotypical view that was at least somewhat true decades ago and is only true within certain religious communities today.

You can't sweep the disgusting missionary movement under the carpet with a wave of your hand by calling it history. It's still widespread amongst several very large Christian faiths - Catholics and evangelicals are still very big on it for example.

But I went on to say that people can and do help people we don't know and never meet for purely altruistic reasons and I explain why we do it.

But As I have said before our church along with others have sponsored numerous Islamic refugee families without trying to convert them, and none have to the best of my knowledge. We are just trying to give them a better life in Canada.

I'm not doubting your personal motives. I'm just trying to explain that a god is not necessary for you to feel the need to do these things.

But as you're now making it personal, tell me, when you do these things, does it make you feel good? It certainly makes me feel good when I do the odd charitable thing for someone. It doesn't feel 'sacrificial' to me. Charity is its own reward.

Of course we could get into the extremes of this behaviour, of real sacrifice - running into a burning building to save a baby ... or a dog. But they are all driven by the same instincts and emotions.

So we are saying that when we started living in groups that it was to our mutual benefit to work cooperatively and behave empathetically for the betterment of the group. If the group does better then so do I. The motive is ultimately selfish.

The motivation is survival. The tools we evolved to survive as a group of individuals rather than single organisms helped us survive together. But this was over millions of years. We also evolved a brain capable of future thought and understanding others needs. If we have basic emotions such empathy and compassion plus the knowledge and understanding of what others are suffering, of course we help. This is not a surprising or supernatural thing.

However humans can and do go much further. They can display empathy and ultimately display sacrificial love for members of other groups including those they haven't met and maybe live on the other side of the world. We also see some sacrificing their own life to save the life of others.

Yes, and? We are complex beings; we are not driven simply by our emotions we also have a calculating brain. We are capable of creating both immense suffering and incredible compassion. But somehow only the compassion part was created by god. The nasty part comes from where?

I am not saying that this proves my views, but it is IMHO a very good indication that there is more going on that what is obvious.

There's certainly more going on than is obvious, we've only just begun to understand how our brains work but already we know there is no necessity for supernatural influence.

But after all this time I still don't understand your basic claim.

You seem to accept the biological source for empathy and the affect our upbringing and environment has on us. But somehow you have a god meme floating around doing the nice stuff. You don't want to talk about an equal and opposite devil meme doing all the bad stuff - but why not?

And I can't pin you down on how and when the interventions occur. You seem to have this free floating niceness that some people can hear and some people can't. And bizarrely, the most needy are the least likely to be able to hear it - the exact opposite of what you'd expect given the supposed source.

Is this god acting supernaturally today to directly influence people or was it something he built into our evolutionary development?


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 236 by GDR, posted 03-30-2020 10:44 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 238 by GDR, posted 03-31-2020 1:40 PM Tangle has responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 48 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 238 of 306 (874396)
03-31-2020 1:40 PM
Reply to: Message 237 by Tangle
03-31-2020 4:58 AM


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

And once again you claim agency where agency is unnecessary for the process.

So you claim but you have no way of objectively knowing that. It is simply your subjective belief which IMHO doesn’t make any sense. As I have said before, the idea that the incredible process of the evolution of life could come from mindless chance stretches all credibility.
Tangle writes:

Do you claim agency for feeling angry or embarrassed or happy? Or scratching your bum because it itches?

I claim that agency is responsible for life and the natural occurrences such as you describe, so of course I do.
Tangle writes:

The only place I could feasibly put agency anywhere in this is the moment of creation. Otherwise you are claiming real-time, discriminating, supernatural interference in our lives. Is that your position?

No. I am claiming that agency is responsible for the natural processes that we experience. However, I also contend that this agency has given us as part of our consciousness an innate sense of empathy and the compulsion to act on that sense that we can either repress or respond to.

Tangle writes:

Our behaviour is a combination of our genes, our upbringing, our personality, our environment and immediate circumstances.

That does not preclude in any way that within that mix is the “still small voice of a deity” nudging us to do the loving thing.

Tangle writes:

You can't sweep the disgusting missionary movement under the carpet with a wave of your hand by calling it history. It's still widespread amongst several very large Christian faiths - Catholics and evangelicals are still very big on it for example.

I am defending my beliefs not that of others. There have been terrible things done in the name of Christianity and other religions. There have been terrible things done in the name of atheism.
Tangle writes:

I'm not doubting your personal motives. I'm just trying to explain that a god is not necessary for you to feel the need to do these things.

That is your belief. It isn’t mine.

Tangle writes:

But as you're now making it personal, tell me, when you do these things, does it make you feel good? It certainly makes me feel good when I do the odd charitable thing for someone. It doesn't feel 'sacrificial' to me. Charity is its own reward.

I honestly don’t know how it makes me feel. For me it is just about trying to do the right thing. I suppose it is more the other way around. I feel badly when I don’t do the right thing which happens way too often.

Tangle writes:

Of course we could get into the extremes of this behaviour, of real sacrifice - running into a burning building to save a baby ... or a dog. But they are all driven by the same instincts and emotions.
The motivation is survival. T he tools we evolved to survive as a group of individuals rather than single organisms helped us survive together. But this was over millions of years. We also evolved a brain capable of future thought and understanding others needs. If we have basic emotions such empathy and compassion plus the knowledge and understanding of what others are suffering, of course we help. This is not a surprising or supernatural thing.

I’ll quote again the article that you linked to.

quote:
Darwin’s classic theory of evolution, natural selection, paints a bleak picture of life (see The Wire, HBO). Life is simply a struggle to survive and reproduce. The individuals who are best suited to their environment survive and mate and thus pass on their genes and become immortal. Everyone else is just a chump.
It’s easy to see how survival of the fittest can select for selfishness. If I horde food and don’t share with anyone except my immediate family, that’s better for me and my genes. If I’m out hunting in a group and another hunter gets gored by a buffalo, great! More women for me. I should lie, cheat, and steal, anything to get ahead. And we certainly see those features of human behavior. But we also see people helping out their friends with whom they share no genes. We see people helping complete strangers, and giving to charity. Shouldn’t evolution have made us all selfish, just out for ourselves?

The explanation is that it seemed to be better for us as individuals when we cooperatively worked together within a group. However the things you talk about such as risking one’s life to save a dog does not benefit either the individual or the group. It seems clear to me, though obviously not to you, that there is more than simple evolutionary forces behind such actions.

Tangle writes:

Yes, and? We are complex beings; we are not driven simply by our emotions we also have a calculating brain. We are capable of creating both immense suffering and incr edible compassion. But somehow only the compassion part was created by god. The nasty part comes from where?

They both come from God IMHO but in different ways. The nasty part is the part that is there because of the way the evolutionary process is driven towards looking after number one. The good part comes in the form of the “still small voice of God” that enables us to overcome the evolutionary forces.
Tangle writes:

Is this god acting supernaturally today to directly influence people or was it something he built into our evolutionary development?

I guess the simplest answer is that it is my belief that God is always there nudging us into doing the right thing. However that nudging can easily and usually is ignored, and it can also be bypassed, as can all memes good and bad, by mental illness.

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 237 by Tangle, posted 03-31-2020 4:58 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 239 by Tangle, posted 03-31-2020 4:00 PM GDR has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7996
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 239 of 306 (874400)
03-31-2020 4:00 PM
Reply to: Message 238 by GDR
03-31-2020 1:40 PM


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

So you claim but you have no way of objectively knowing that.

I do know that. I can show that the system works naturally. I can show you the pathways and the physiology. I can show you the evolutionary development and the analogues in other related species. I can show you neuroscience and the way absence of physiological structures prevents normal moral behaviour.

And you have what? A belief? A belief which is based entirely on a 2,000 year old mythology. I'm sorry GDR, but you've got nothing but a faith that has no explanatory power.

As I have said before, the idea that the incredible process of the evolution of life could come from mindless chance stretches all credibility.

Sure, but that's just an argument from incredulity - a basic fallacy.

But even so, if you said that your god created all this with the intent that natural processes evolved that would eventually produce a moral behaviour, I'd just say ok, let's debate big physics and the necessity for a creator. But you won't be pushed that far back, you really need a present, active and personal god even though such a being is simply not necessary nor evidenced.

You see, you say this

No. I am claiming that agency is responsible for the natural processes that we experience. However, I also contend that this agency has given us as part of our consciousness an innate sense of empathy and the compulsion to act on that sense that we can either repress or respond to.

Which almost concedes the evolution of empathy. But then you say

That does not preclude in any way that within that mix is the “still small voice of a deity” nudging us to do the loving thing.

So you have to have it both ways despite the evidence. And then you want the bad stuff to be natural and the good stuff to be supernatural, which is simply irrational

They both come from God IMHO but in different ways. The nasty part is the part that is there because of the way the evolutionary process is driven towards looking after number one. The good part comes in the form of the “still small voice of God” that enables us to overcome the evolutionary forces.

Isn't it obvious that this is just pure wishful thinking? Just a fantasy?

The explanation is that it seemed to be better for us as individuals when we cooperatively worked together within a group.

Yes.

However the things you talk about such as risking one’s life to save a dog does not benefit either the individual or the group. It seems clear to me, though obviously not to you, that there is more than simple evolutionary forces behind such actions.

So why would a human run into a burning building to save a dog?

The first thing to say is that there is no religious reason is there? No Christian requirement. So why would god's 'still small voice' compell you to risk your life for dog, or a kid's hamster?

The answer is because we have two competing drives, empathy and self-preservation. Some individuals create emotional attachments to animals and even inanimate objects so strong that they would risk their life for them. This is a bi-product of evolution - an unintended consequence (not that evolution has intent). I certainly wouldn't run into a burning building for a dog, my rational brain is stronger than my emotional brain, but maybe yours is the other way. Either way, no god is telling me or you what to do.

How does your 'still small voice' explain putting life at risk for an animal. Or a photograph?

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


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 238 by GDR, posted 03-31-2020 1:40 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 240 by GDR, posted 03-31-2020 9:10 PM Tangle has responded

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 48 days)
Posts: 5409
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 240 of 306 (874405)
03-31-2020 9:10 PM
Reply to: Message 239 by Tangle
03-31-2020 4:00 PM


Re: Morality Evolved, Religion evolved to emphasize Morality
We just keep going over the same stuff so I am going to try and present a summary of where we are. First though, I’d just like to quickly respond to this which is actually off subject anyway.
Tangle writes:

The first thing to say is that there is no religious reason is there? No Christian requirement. So why would god's 'still small voice' compell you to risk your life for dog, or a kid's hamster?

I agree that there is no Christian requirement to risk your life for a dog. I would go further and say that there is no such thing as a Christian requirement for anything in particular.

Firstly it begs the question of requirement for what purpose. When you say it is a requirement it strongly implies that you would rescue the dog with the idea of doing it with a purpose beyond just saving the dog’s life. If you mean that it is going to get you in God’s good books and that you will ultimately be rewarded then I suggest that is exactly what the Gospels don’t teach.

The Gospel message is just that we are to love others, presumably including dogs, as we love ourselves. It is simply about doing the loving thing as we perceive it. It might even mean that by putting your own life at risk because of the pain that you might feel with the loss of a beloved dog, while ignoring the pain and suffering that your own death might cause your own family, that you have actually been unloving.

It isn’t about what you do but how you love and your desire to do the right thing. Yes, it is easier for those who grow up in a loving environment then for those brought up in abusive homes. But we are called, IMHO, to do the best we can with the hand we’ve been dealt.

Tangle writes:

Sure, but that's just an argument from incredulity - a basic fallacy.

You do the same thing as you find the idea of a theistic deity unbelievable in the same way that I find your atheistic views unbelievable.

Tangle writes:

But even so, if you said that your god created all this with the intent that natural processes evolved that would eventually produce a moral behaviour, I'd just say ok, let's debate big physics and the necessity for a creator. But you won't be pushed that far back, you really need a present, active and personal god even though such a being is simply not necessary nor evidenced.

This is the crux of it all though. You want me to show scientifically how it is that God works through our consciousness to influence us. I can’t do that. I agree there is no scientific way of demonstrating it.

I contend that there is a great deal that we can learn empirically through the scientific method. I however contend that we can learn about mankind through centuries of philosophy and theology although we can’t come to know things objectively as we can often do with science.

It appears to me that you see the scientific method as the only means by which we can rationally believe something. It sounds like Descarte who is quoted as saying, “I concluded never to accept anything for true which I did not clearly know to be such”.

Yes, I have accepted things as true that I cannot objectively know. I can’t prove them, or even support them, using the scientific method. I am left with having to use the philosophical and theological understandings from over the centuries and try and reason my way through those understandings, and see how they fit within my own life experience and observations.

Personally I very much relate to this quote from C S Lewis.

quote:
I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
I realize that you view that as absolute nonsense, however it does resonate with me. We will never agree as we come from very different starting points and, including our very basic conceptions of the meaning and purpose of life.

Edited by GDR, : Hit submit instead of preview and having to clean it up


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 239 by Tangle, posted 03-31-2020 4:00 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 241 by Tangle, posted 04-01-2020 3:18 AM GDR has responded

  
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