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Author Topic:   Morality! Thorn in Darwin's side or not?
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1513 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 204 of 438 (737913)
10-02-2014 8:04 AM
Reply to: Message 202 by Wyrdly
10-02-2014 4:50 AM


Welcome to the fray Wyrdly,
fyi - i believe in evolution and creation (not the biblical version).
Fair enough. You are not alone in that.
Morality is determined by the authority of the traditions from which they emerge,
Actually it appears to be more derived from the culture/s, as it changes and becomes modified as the culture changes. While people may profess their morality is due to their religious views, when questioned in detail they will admit to moral beliefs that differ from the religious dogma.
... In the absence of a god what reason do i have to behave according to anyone's so called morality?
To add to what vimesey said, enlightened self-interest: it is moral to treat your neighbor as a friend so that he treats you as a friend rather than an enemy you are always fighting (which is a waste of time and resources) and then you can share tasks and resources.
We are a social animal and so our basic (evolved) moral behavior is derived from what benefits the social group you live in. As conscious beings we have expanded our social group from family to larger and larger groups -- cities, nations, species, life ...
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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1513 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 216 of 438 (739782)
10-27-2014 7:33 PM
Reply to: Message 211 by Wyrdly
10-27-2014 12:15 PM


My point is that empathy not make good. altruism does not = good. To think these things is a very post-enlightenment western perspective.
We see behavior in studies on monkeys that show a sense\understanding of morality in their behavior ...
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/...17_monkeyfairness.html
... morality that we recognize because it is similar to the way we would feel (oops there's that empathy thing again). We should expect different moral behavior in non-social animals, yes? Different values for predatory animals vs herbivorous, yes?
Message 204:
... In the absence of a god what reason do i have to behave according to anyone's so called morality?
To add to what vimesey said, enlightened self-interest: it is moral to treat your neighbor as a friend so that he treats you as a friend rather than an enemy you are always fighting (which is a waste of time and resources) and then you can share tasks and resources.
We are a social animal and so our basic (evolved) moral behavior is derived from what benefits the social group you live in. As conscious beings we have expanded our social group from family to larger and larger groups -- cities, nations, species, life ...
bold and italic added.
Furthermore, you could define enlightened self-interest behavior to be what lessens group tension in social animals, behavior that reduces fights and conflicts.
Enlightened self-interest - Wikipedia
quote:
Enlightened self-interest is a philosophy in ethics which states that persons who act to further the interests of others (or the interests of the group or groups to which they belong), ultimately serve their own self-interest.[1][2][3]
It has often been simply expressed by the belief that an individual, group, or even a commercial entity will "do well by doing good".[4][5][6]
In contrast to enlightened self-interest is simple greed or the concept of "unenlightened self-interest," in which it is argued that when most or all persons act according to their own myopic selfishness, that the group suffers loss as a result of conflict, decreased efficiency and productivity because of lack of cooperation, and the increased expense each individual pays for the protection of their own interests.
Which explains why the behavior of greedy bankers is seen as immoral by the general population.
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1513 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 218 of 438 (739788)
10-27-2014 8:25 PM
Reply to: Message 217 by Dogmafood
10-27-2014 7:51 PM


Re: Good and Bad
... does this mean that for something to be objectively good that it would have to be good for everybody? I can think of a few things that are good for everybody like health or prosperity.
It means it would have to be "good" regardless of whether people were involved or not.
Enjoy

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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1513 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 230 of 438 (739880)
10-28-2014 4:56 PM
Reply to: Message 219 by Dogmafood
10-27-2014 9:50 PM


Re: Good and Bad
Don't you need people to have morality?
Not if you are going to have an objective standard. If it is subjective then it involves the people with the subjective opinions.
Now you can look at other species of apes and see some behavior that we recognize as morally based and this would expand the {group subject to our moral view} from tribe to species to genus to family ... but I still would not expect tigers for instance to consider themselves subject to it.
If you want to define moral behavior as beneficial to the species then we could consider natural selected behavior - memes - as moral behavior for each species and then compare what is similar and what is not. And I would be astounded to find much in common with all species. But this is still a human perception of the behavior being moral - most animals would not even think about it.
Even if you want to define moral behavior as beneficial to life in general it would still be a human perception.
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 219 by Dogmafood, posted 10-27-2014 9:50 PM Dogmafood has replied

Replies to this message:
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1513 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 240 of 438 (740105)
11-01-2014 9:16 AM
Reply to: Message 235 by Stile
10-31-2014 9:15 AM


Re: Good and Bad
Good can be measured by an entities success within any given environment.
It doesn't have to be measured that way.
If we are going to measure good that way, then we have to agree upon such a thing.
Natural selection is 'good' ...?
Selfish greed is 'good' ... ?
Person A stealing from person B means person A is 'good' and person B is 'bad' ... ?
IF we do agree... then we now have a basis for morality. From this agreed-upon-basis, we can objectively judge things against it.
This is how we can create a meaningful, objective moral system.
A logical structure based on a priori assumptions doesn't make it objective.
I wouldn't say that we invented the concept of good. Our notions of good are driven completely by our nature and we certainly didn't invent our nature.
I can agree with this. It's quite possible that our basic good/bad concept evolved within us before we were "humans."
But, it doesn't really matter.
Our nature is derived from being a social animal. We see behavior we recognize as similar to what we feel is moral behavior in other social animals.
1. I think it is good to help people and bad to hurt people. (Fairly basic).
2. I think that the only person who can be the ultimate judge on whether or not they were helped or hurt is the person who is affected by the action. (Because people are different and like/dislike different things).
3. Therefore, what is "good" and "bad" is different for each and every person you run into. (Evidenced by the confusion of morality that differs completely between cultures and time and even friends)
I see it as more of a relationship between the individual and the social group. This allows an act to be 'good' even if the particular recipient doesn't like it, when the group approves. The relative 'good' is measured by the relative approval of the group.
A kind of "you can please some of the people some of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time" - a mellowing from an absolute standard to a relativistic one: you can try to please most of the people most of the time.
You do this because if everybody behaves this way then you benefit.
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 235 by Stile, posted 10-31-2014 9:15 AM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 245 by Stile, posted 11-03-2014 9:16 AM RAZD has replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 1513 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 241 of 438 (740106)
11-01-2014 9:33 AM
Reply to: Message 239 by Dogmafood
11-01-2014 8:57 AM


Re: Good and Bad
The idea that has been coalescing for me is that certain behaviour for any given entity is more beneficial to that entity than some other behaviour. ...
Enlightened self interest. Treating others with respect and being fair-handed in dealings with others means you are more likely to be treated with respect and fair-handedness.
... Whether or not the behaviour is beneficial to that entity is determined by the environment in a completely objective manner. ...
IF the person takes from the group or from individuals in the group there may well be a short term benefit to the individual -- better fed for less work, for instance.
If instead we measure the behavior by how it benefits the group, then such selfish greed is seen as 'bad' for the (majority of the) group.
A man kills another man to mate with his wife and steal his belongings. It benefits the man, but not the group. The group would see this as 'bad' behavior. Someone preventing this would be seen as doing 'good' ... and likely be offered mating opportunities and other rewards.
For example, the universe has shown us that cooperation is a successful tactic and therefore cooperation is both objectively and morally good.
Within the context of being a social animal.
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1513 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 260 of 438 (742167)
11-17-2014 4:42 PM
Reply to: Message 245 by Stile
11-03-2014 9:16 AM


Re: Good and Bad
I don't understand the point you're trying to make with these questions. It went over my head, so I can't comment, sorry.
If 'good' is measured by survival, prosperity, reproduction, then these can be considered 'good' behavior. I don't think they are.
I did not imply that the basis for the morality became objective.
I said that we can objectively judge things against that basis.
For example:
I subjectively choose that things closer-to-the-colour-green are good and red is bad.
Once this is in place, we can make objective measurements against the system... we can use a spectrometer to see exactly how good something is by seeing how close it is to the colour green.
This doesn't make the basis for the system objective in any way.
But the measurements... the judgements against the system... are still objective. That's all I was saying.
The problem with this is that it is still relativistic -- one person can set up his own personal basis, but to interact with other people they need to agree on them.
If I say red is good and green is bad, then we have a problem. Or I can say blue is good and red is bad and we agree on part of the basis.
It is not so straightforward. Our intelligence allows us to have a large scope.
We can do this.
But many people do not.
Therefore... there is no deeper "ultimate" meaning hidden in here anywhere.
You do this because if everybody behaves this way then you benefit.
It's possible to do it for that reason.
But this is not my motivation.
I do it because I want to help people and not hurt them.
Yet if you are arguing an evolved morality it would be subconscious (conscious would mean learned\chosen). Many generations have been used to "solve" the problem of interpersonal interactions is social group organisms, and thus (not surprisingly) we have evolved the solution that game theory says provides the best benefit to the players in a group.
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
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This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1513 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 354 of 438 (743169)
11-27-2014 4:18 PM
Reply to: Message 351 by Colbard
11-27-2014 7:23 AM


The conditions needed for life demand, altruism which is apparent on any level of life. Let's not call it altruism but mutuality, or mutually beneficial relationships.
Every relation in nature has pay offs and prices.
So if morals were developed then, they would be derived or enhanced or refined, mutual benefits.
They would evolve. This is well established within biology and by game theory for interactions between animals in a social group.
It seems that such a move would leave a population open to disaster, yet how many animal types practice this with great success?
Enough to know that your hypothesis is faulty. Perhaps it is based on a false premise ...
This is so different and contrary to earlier teachings on evolution and science, which hammered n the ideas of fight, flight reproduce only scenarios.
Yep that would be a false (incomplete) premise -- that this was the only elements of evolution that should be considered.
What evolution requires is that enough individuals survive to reproduce to carry the group through another generation. And "mutually beneficial relationships" would help ensure that happens.
So if morals were developed then, they would be derived or enhanced or refined, mutual benefits.
These concepts have always been the essence of true religion, because they are in harmony with nature ...
Because they evolved ... and because we are a social animal that learned to interact with other groups of humans as a larger social connection.
Enjoy

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


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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1513 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(1)
Message 421 of 438 (744188)
12-08-2014 5:17 PM
Reply to: Message 420 by Dogmafood
12-08-2014 5:00 PM


So, armed with an objectively established goal, as individuals we can promote a rational morality.
and make a declaration?
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are endowed with certain Basic Human Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, Equality, Justice, and the pursuit of Happiness, -- That to secure and protect these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their powers from the consent and willing participation of the governed, -- And that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect, secure and protect their Rights.
Something like that?
or Universal Declaration of Human Rights | United Nations?
Enjoy
Edited by RAZD, : ..

we are limited in our ability to understand
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RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
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This message is a reply to:
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RAZD
Member (Idle past 1513 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


Message 432 of 438 (744526)
12-11-2014 8:49 PM
Reply to: Message 431 by ringo
12-11-2014 11:02 AM


The human race is self-educated in terms of morality. If morality was "imparted" by some omniscient, omnipotent, omnivorous alien overlord, it ought to work better than it does.
Power does not grant a love response.
How is that a response to what I said? Please ty to make a clear point.
Because we all live in a yellow submarine.

we are limited in our ability to understand
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