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Author Topic:   Morality! Thorn in Darwin's side or not?
ringo
Member (Idle past 520 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


(2)
Message 210 of 438 (737938)
10-02-2014 12:06 PM
Reply to: Message 202 by Wyrdly
10-02-2014 4:50 AM


Wyrdly writes:
The ultimate moral authority is always a God or an earthly representative of deity such as divine emperor or pharaoh. In the absence of religion a society derives its morality from another source (the only eg. i can think of is the state in communist countries)
I don't think that's true. I'd say the ultimate source of morality is the individual. As St. Paul said in Romans 2:14, the Gentiles instictively obey "God's law" because of their consciences. When living in a society there is an additional social layer, the "collective conscience".
Individuals and groups project their own morality on gods in an attempt to give some authority to it.

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ringo
Member (Idle past 520 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


(3)
Message 226 of 438 (739852)
10-28-2014 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 220 by mike the wiz
10-28-2014 5:55 AM


mike the wiz writes:
Evolution doesn't explain the human condition, and never did. They can give excuses, but we don't have to buy them.
Religion doesn't explain the human condition, and never did. They can give excuses, but we don't have to buy them.
Well, that was easy.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 220 by mike the wiz, posted 10-28-2014 5:55 AM mike the wiz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 228 by mike the wiz, posted 10-28-2014 3:45 PM ringo has replied

  
ringo
Member (Idle past 520 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


(1)
Message 231 of 438 (739924)
10-29-2014 11:44 AM
Reply to: Message 228 by mike the wiz
10-28-2014 3:45 PM


mike the wiz writes:
I mean that when you say, "religion", you are referring to a wide and diverse spectrum of differing beliefs, but when I refer to evolution, I am referring to one specific theory.
It makes no difference. No religion "explains the human condition" more so than science does. Giving gods the credit for everything good and blaming humans for everything bad is not an explanation. "God moves in mysterious ways" is not an explamation. If anything, trusting God is incompatible with explanation.

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ringo
Member (Idle past 520 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


(1)
Message 246 of 438 (740254)
11-03-2014 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 238 by Dogmafood
11-01-2014 8:30 AM


Re: Good and Bad
ProtoTypical writes:
Sure there is a wide variety of thought but the proof is in the pudding. We can see if life benefits from our actions or not.
There's also a wide variety of thought on what constitutes a "benefit". Many people seem to agree that life would "benefit" from a lower population - but few people agree on how to remove the surplus.
Edited by ringo, : Spellin.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 238 by Dogmafood, posted 11-01-2014 8:30 AM Dogmafood has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 248 by Dogmafood, posted 11-04-2014 5:35 PM ringo has replied

  
ringo
Member (Idle past 520 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


Message 250 of 438 (740470)
11-05-2014 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 248 by Dogmafood
11-04-2014 5:35 PM


Re: Good and Bad
ProtoTypical writes:
Don't confuse our ability to know what the best course of action is with the idea that there is a best course of action.
Why not? How can we know something "is" if there's no what of testing for it?
ProtoTypical writes:
Once you have a goal then you can have a best course of action. Nature has uniformly provided us with that goal and morality involves recognizing the goal and having the intent to move toward it.
And yet we're continually trying to thwart that goal. (I presume you mean the goal of survival.) We're forever doing silly, counter-productive things like climbing mountains and building dangerous airplanes just so we can jump out of them. Some people seem to derive a "benefit" from trying to throw the benefit away.
Is there an evolutionary advantage to risking our lives for "fun"?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 248 by Dogmafood, posted 11-04-2014 5:35 PM Dogmafood has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 251 by Modulous, posted 11-05-2014 2:09 PM ringo has replied
 Message 255 by Dogmafood, posted 11-05-2014 9:27 PM ringo has replied

  
ringo
Member (Idle past 520 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


Message 252 of 438 (740514)
11-05-2014 2:21 PM
Reply to: Message 251 by Modulous
11-05-2014 2:09 PM


Re: Good and Bad
Modulous writes:
If you survive, you get laid.
But who's more likely to get laid? The guy who climbs Mount Everest or the guy with a big roll of cash? I would suggest that the "best course of action" would be to stay home, play it safe and make a lot of money to show your ability to take care of the children.
Modulous writes:
... dissuading enemies....
That makes some sense. "Primitive" tribesmen often do war dances to demonstrate their ability to protect the children. On the other hand, when soldiers go off to war to protect the children, it's the guys who stay home who get the chicks and make more children. (On the other other hand, the soldiers who do survive can cause a Baby Boom when they do return.)

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 Message 251 by Modulous, posted 11-05-2014 2:09 PM Modulous has replied

Replies to this message:
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ringo
Member (Idle past 520 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


Message 257 of 438 (740607)
11-06-2014 10:56 AM
Reply to: Message 255 by Dogmafood
11-05-2014 9:27 PM


Re: Good and Bad
ProtoTypical writes:
It matters more that we are trying to be right than that we actually are right.
That's what I say. So since morality is relative (what we think and hope is right at the moment), it doesn't matter whether there really "is" an absolute right.
ProtoTypical writes:
No we don't climb mountains for fun until we are thoroughly surviving and even then we are not trying to thwart the goal but rather leveraging it for excitement and excitement is practice for survival.
Good point. The cost-benefit equation for evolution can get pretty complicated.

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ringo
Member (Idle past 520 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


(2)
Message 306 of 438 (742642)
11-22-2014 3:00 PM
Reply to: Message 301 by Colbard
11-22-2014 12:25 PM


Colbard writes:
Can you see morals?
Sure we can. We can distinguish between moral behaviour and immoral behaviour, can't we? We might not agree on whether the behaviour is moral or immoral, but we can still see the morality or lack of morality.
Colbard writes:
If morals don't exist how come they are the only thing that can properly guard the physical and spiritual values of a society?
Well, they do exist (see above). Morals evolved. Behaviour that "works" for our species - e.g. helping each other - is generally considered moral. Behaviour that endangers our species - e.g. killing each other - is generally considered immoral.
We have learned what morals work and what morals don't work - and as situations change, we have to change our morals to suit the situation, to keep them working for us.
Calbard writes:
Ten simple laws with tremendous results.
That's a cute idea for a story. Somebody should write a book about it.
But reality isn't simple. Sometimes we "need" to kill members of our own species to protect other members of our species. Even the craziest fundamentalists interpret the Ten Commandments pretty loosely, because you have to. Evolution is practical, not dogmatic.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 301 by Colbard, posted 11-22-2014 12:25 PM Colbard has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 310 by Dogmafood, posted 11-22-2014 9:41 PM ringo has replied
 Message 314 by Colbard, posted 11-22-2014 10:16 PM ringo has replied

  
ringo
Member (Idle past 520 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


Message 331 of 438 (742728)
11-23-2014 1:47 PM
Reply to: Message 310 by Dogmafood
11-22-2014 9:41 PM


ProtoTypical writes:
Is this not an objective base for morality? What 'works' can be seen in hindsight.
I personally wouldn't call it objective if it can only be observed in hindsight. That's like saying Columbus was objectively searching for America.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 310 by Dogmafood, posted 11-22-2014 9:41 PM Dogmafood has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 378 by Dogmafood, posted 12-02-2014 6:21 PM ringo has replied

  
ringo
Member (Idle past 520 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


Message 332 of 438 (742729)
11-23-2014 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 314 by Colbard
11-22-2014 10:16 PM


Colbard writes:
The intelligent species has developed a means of enforcing its ideals onto others by rules, and the one with the most power makes the rules, right?
I'm not talking about rules at all. I'm talking about individual morals. Our society teaches us moral values which we internalize. As Paul put it:
quote:
Romans 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;
Evolution explains quite nicely how morals are "written on our hearts" - i.e. in our consciences.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 314 by Colbard, posted 11-22-2014 10:16 PM Colbard has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 335 by Colbard, posted 11-24-2014 6:38 AM ringo has replied

  
ringo
Member (Idle past 520 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


(1)
Message 346 of 438 (742872)
11-25-2014 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 335 by Colbard
11-24-2014 6:38 AM


Colbard writes:
I would like to know more about the last sentence - how those morals came in through evolution.
I touched on it in Message 306:
quote:
Behaviour that "works" for our species - e.g. helping each other - is generally considered moral. Behaviour that endangers our species - e.g. killing each other - is generally considered immoral.
We have learned what morals work and what morals don't work - and as situations change, we have to change our morals to suit the situation, to keep them working for us.
Even religionists who claim that their morals were "imparted" by some god keep changing their morals to fit the times.
Colbard writes:
The question speaks for itself, but I was just wondering, when, at which stage of evolution did it became evident?
Morals are a natural offshoot of social behaviour, so they most likely go back at least as far as the early mammals.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 335 by Colbard, posted 11-24-2014 6:38 AM Colbard has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 347 by Colbard, posted 11-25-2014 11:58 PM ringo has replied

  
ringo
Member (Idle past 520 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


Message 349 of 438 (743010)
11-26-2014 11:09 AM
Reply to: Message 347 by Colbard
11-25-2014 11:58 PM


Colbard writes:
I have a lot to think about, because I have never heard this approach on the development of morals before.
I'm glad the fuse is lit because I've told you about all I know. There are people on this board who can certainly tell you more.

This message is a reply to:
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ringo
Member (Idle past 520 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


Message 362 of 438 (743299)
11-29-2014 11:22 AM
Reply to: Message 356 by Colbard
11-28-2014 10:16 PM


Colbard writes:
"Rising higher and higher on the moral pedestal, evolution carries mankind to a point of perfection, where he is god."."
- Satan
In evolution, there is no "higher"; there is no "perfection". There is only fitness for the current conditions.
Apparently Satan has been giving you bad information.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 356 by Colbard, posted 11-28-2014 10:16 PM Colbard has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 365 by Colbard, posted 11-29-2014 11:58 PM ringo has seen this message but not replied

  
ringo
Member (Idle past 520 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


Message 388 of 438 (743691)
12-03-2014 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 378 by Dogmafood
12-02-2014 6:21 PM


ProtoTypical writes:
In relation to morality, we behave a certain way and then we can see if that behaviour actually helps more people to survive and or thrive.
Morality based on body count? I don't think so. I'd say it's the opposite. Much of our morality is based on doing what's best for an individual, even if it puts larger numbers at risk.
ProtoTypical writes:
Like gun laws or prohibition. We can make the law and then see in hindsight if it was a good idea.
I don't think either gun laws or prohibition have much to do with morality. They're just practical matters, like food and shelter.
ProtoTypical writes:
The objective objective of the most good for the most people remains.
But what's "good" is highly subjective.
ProtoTypical writes:
Being able to survive in many environments is 'higher' up than being able to survive in only one environment.
Crocodiles can only survive in a fairly restricted environment, compared to humans, for example - but they've been doing it for a lot longer than we have. Should we measure "higher" in terms of more environments or more "survival/extinction incidents"?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 378 by Dogmafood, posted 12-02-2014 6:21 PM Dogmafood has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 392 by Dogmafood, posted 12-04-2014 5:21 AM ringo has replied

  
ringo
Member (Idle past 520 days)
Posts: 20940
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005


Message 396 of 438 (743773)
12-04-2014 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 392 by Dogmafood
12-04-2014 5:21 AM


ProtoTypical writes:
Consider the Catholic church's position on the use of condoms. Clearly this an example of a failed moral policy that has caused death and disease for millions.
That's an attempt to dictate morality by fairly arbitrary means. They might as well say you'll be more moral if you wear green socks. I don't see what it has to do with actual morality.
ProtoTypical writes:
Prohibition of alcohol is the quintessential example of a moral policy.
Again, it's an attempt to dictate morality. Real morality comes from within; it's a willingness to conform to society (although it doesn't sound very attractive when put that way).
ProtoTypical writes:
After trying it we can see that it is a bad idea that fails because the cost to the individual is too high.
Forced morality doesn't fail because of "cost to the individual". It fails because the internal pressure to "conform" is greater than the external pressure. The carrot is more effective than the stick.
ProtoTypical writes:
Being able to survive across a range of environments will, on average, equate to more surviving and less going extinct.
So being more "highly evolved" depends on being average?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 392 by Dogmafood, posted 12-04-2014 5:21 AM Dogmafood has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 399 by Dogmafood, posted 12-05-2014 4:43 AM ringo has replied

  
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