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Author Topic:   Morality! Thorn in Darwin's side or not?
SammyJean
Member (Idle past 4183 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 8 of 438 (504465)
03-28-2009 11:45 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Cedre
03-28-2009 8:28 AM


mirror mirror in my mind
Morality is defiantly NOT a thorn in Darwin side. Researchers are very far from baffled by human altruism! Please look into the research on the newly discovered mirror neurons, which explains why humans tend to be altruistic.
Just to start, you may want to read here: I feel your pain | Salon.com
It is mirror neurons that are by far the most satisfying answer to this question.
Many agnostics and atheist are compassionate caring people without the need of a god, just as many Christians behave "morally" only to gain favor and/or to avoid punishment from theirs. Which is better; to do good for goodness's sake or to kiss a gods butt to save your own?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Cedre, posted 03-28-2009 8:28 AM Cedre has not replied

  
SammyJean
Member (Idle past 4183 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 30 of 438 (504541)
03-30-2009 4:18 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Cedre
03-30-2009 3:34 AM


Re: Conscious Evolution
Hi Cedre,
You obviously didn't read about mirror neurons or the article that is linked to in my first responds to this tread. Mirror neurons answer your original question as to why humans tend to be altruistic. Also Granny Magda's response is on the right track as well; although The Selfish Gene was published in 1976 long before mirror neurons were discovered. Both provide an excellent scientific explanation to your question. Please read I feel your pain | Salon.com
...and tell me where this fails at answering your original query??? Because I think it does provide the answer but you just don't want learn about it or understand it for fear that you will have to give up on whole "we are good, because god is good and he made us in his image" excuse.
That researchers are baffled by altruism is simply not the truth!

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SammyJean
Member (Idle past 4183 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 32 of 438 (504547)
03-30-2009 5:09 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Cedre
03-30-2009 3:34 AM


Re: Conscious Evolution
Hi Cedre,
Here is an excellent 14 minute video from Nova that explains mirror neurons...
Mirror Neurons | NOVA | PBS
Enjoy!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Cedre, posted 03-30-2009 3:34 AM Cedre has not replied

  
SammyJean
Member (Idle past 4183 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 44 of 438 (504606)
03-31-2009 1:15 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Cedre
03-31-2009 10:10 AM


Waiting...
Hi Cedre,
I'm still waiting for an answer to my question I asked in message 30. Please prove to me that that humans are altruistic because we are made in gods image and god is good and that's why we do good. Please show me how the answer is not because we have evolved with large amounts of mirror neurons that have given humans the ability to mirror others behavior, given us the ability to put ourselves in another persons shoes and given us the ability to feel each others pain, feel empathy because we can imagine how it feels ourselves???
...and I still want to know how you came to the conclusion that researcher are baffled by human altruism???

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Cedre, posted 03-31-2009 10:10 AM Cedre has not replied

  
SammyJean
Member (Idle past 4183 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 64 of 438 (504690)
04-01-2009 5:17 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Cedre
04-01-2009 4:08 AM


Re: Defining Altruism
Cedre,
One of the problems that come with using Wikipedia is that it is often outdated or simply inaccurate. Mirror Neurons have indeed been discovered in humans!!!
Nature Reviews Neurology
Right there in black and white, and from a respectable scientific publication not wikipedia!
You started off this tread by making the claim that researchers are baffled by human altruism, which you have yet to prove to me. You also made the claim that Christianity has the answer to it, the whole we were made in gods image bull-crap! Yet you have provided no scientific evidence that shows we are made in gods image? There's not even any evidence that proves god exist let alone that he made us in his image!
I am a researcher in the biological sciences and work at a cutting edge Bio-tech company in California. If I believed as you believe I would have to just give up working on lifesaving research, because why do it? Who needs it? When all humanity really needs to do is pray to god and he will fix it all. Maybe we shouldn't be spending hard-to-come-by research dollars on finding cures for cancer or aids, we should spend that money hunting down Satan instead! Because it is Satan that's causing all the trouble in the first place, isn't it? or was it that cancers and other diseases are gods way of punishing us for disobeying him? (boy that god guy...what an altruist!) Either way we scientist are just foolishly wasting our time and money!!!....NOT
Edited by SammyJean, : No reason given.
Edited by SammyJean, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Cedre, posted 04-01-2009 4:08 AM Cedre has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by Cedre, posted 04-02-2009 2:27 AM SammyJean has replied

  
SammyJean
Member (Idle past 4183 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 81 of 438 (504753)
04-02-2009 12:53 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by Cedre
04-02-2009 2:27 AM


I'm still waiting for that evidence!!!
Cedre,
In every one of my post I've asked you to prove to me that researchers are baffled by human altruism like you claim at the start of this tread, but you have yet to provide any evidence for your claim. You claim that Christianity provides the most satisfying answer; that we are made in gods image. I ask that you provide scientific evidence of this and none has been forthcoming. Please don't use the "because the bible says so" line. The bible is not a scientific document. I'm a person of science, not of faith! You can never convince me that humans are altruistic because we are made in gods image until you show me that scientific evidence!
So please provide the evidence for both of these claims! Until than you have not convinced me of your claim. It is you that bares the burden of proof. It is only painfully obvious Cedre, that you don't really want to understand the origins of altruism because you have closed your mind to there be any explanation but a Christian one.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by Cedre, posted 04-02-2009 2:27 AM Cedre has not replied

  
SammyJean
Member (Idle past 4183 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


(1)
Message 83 of 438 (504776)
04-02-2009 8:34 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by Granny Magda
04-02-2009 12:33 PM


Re: Avatar
I'm totally with you Granny Magda. I lost a bother to heroin addiction. He was a schizophrenic that self medicated using street drugs. The irony is, I completely place the blame on Christianity for it!
You see my mother is a Jehovah's Witness fanatic and instead of seeking professional help for my brother she remedied the situation with more bible study for him and in turn more confusion. Telling him and herself that the voices were from demonic possession. The behavior was because of Satan's influence. To this day I blame her for letting that religion interfere with both of them finding real help for his disease. Help from medical professionals that don't believe in demonic possession.
So you see Cedre your avatar is especial painful to me; He and my mother tried Christ and it did hurt!!! He was an addict and she is a Christ addict.

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 Message 80 by Granny Magda, posted 04-02-2009 12:33 PM Granny Magda has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by Cedre, posted 04-03-2009 3:26 AM SammyJean has replied
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SammyJean
Member (Idle past 4183 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 93 of 438 (504832)
04-03-2009 10:53 AM
Reply to: Message 83 by SammyJean
04-02-2009 8:34 PM


Re: Avatar
Spoken like a true Christian!!!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by SammyJean, posted 04-02-2009 8:34 PM SammyJean has not replied

  
SammyJean
Member (Idle past 4183 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 97 of 438 (504838)
04-03-2009 12:47 PM
Reply to: Message 84 by Cedre
04-03-2009 3:26 AM


Re: Avatar
Cedre said:
Why should I bother to care about your feelings, there's no guidebook that instructs me to care about your feelings. You're just organized mass of chemicals and advanced animal so then why should I bother myself about your feelings. What makes humans so special that they should be treated any differently than other animals. This is the logic that will arise out of an evolutionary worldview.
Human beings care about each other regardless of whether we see ourselves as an organized mass of chemicals or whether we think we are truly made in gods image. An evolutionary world view does not make us any less human. It doesn't somehow make us not care about other peoples feelings. Atheist and non-religious people are just as capable of being compassionate as religious people.
Do you really believe that only people that have faith in god care about other people? That only self-righteous people like yourself are moral?
People are moral because they have the innate ability to experience empathy. We are good to each other because we know how it feels to be hurt ourselves. We have this ability because our brains are hard-wire by nature for it. Being social animals, as we are, it is necessary for us to be able to see things from another persons point of view, to be able to mirror them, this gives us the ability to understand them. We evolved with large amounts of specialize neurons that give us this ability. These neurons are necessary for us to survive as social creatures. It's not god magic Cedre!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by Cedre, posted 04-03-2009 3:26 AM Cedre has not replied

  
SammyJean
Member (Idle past 4183 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 111 of 438 (505122)
04-07-2009 8:58 PM
Reply to: Message 109 by Cedre
04-07-2009 5:43 AM


Re: Some freindly advice
Cedre writes:
These are the dangers of assuming that morality is subjective, everyone will come up with his or her own definitions of what is good and what is bad, but if we all hold to a single definition a universal norm of what is right and wrong, much of the bloodshed that nations experience will be done away with. If we can all view every human life to be worthy and priceless, a great deal of suffering in the world would be cancelled out.
On this very last sentence and the last sentence alone, I agree with you. It's only if we see all human life as worthy and priceless that we can stop hurting others. In this morality must remain subjective! We all need to start thinking of each other as members of one race, the human race. It's not until we start to seeing things from someone else's point of view and experience a little empathy and sympathy that this will happen. We don't need to follow the rules out of some book we only need to use what comes naturally to us, our ability to empathize. But I know that you are of the mind set that you believe only religion can bring this about, in particular Christianity. Which will never happen because much of the bloodshed that the nations experience has been done in the name of God and the god of the bible in particular.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by Cedre, posted 04-07-2009 5:43 AM Cedre has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by Cedre, posted 04-08-2009 4:26 AM SammyJean has replied

  
SammyJean
Member (Idle past 4183 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 115 of 438 (505170)
04-08-2009 11:55 AM
Reply to: Message 113 by Cedre
04-08-2009 4:26 AM


Re: Human life and worth
Cedre,
You do realize that religion has been at the heart of much bloodshed through the history of humanity? It obviously isn't working!
Do you believe that by forcing your book of bronze age laws down everyone's throat your going to stop all this bloodshed? Who's idea of god do you think is going to save humanity? Your Christian god, the god of Islam, one of the Hindu gods? Trust me, every one thinks that their religion is the right religion and they're willing to kill to keep it. Humanity has been there and done that already. Wake up!!! You have to be an idiot not to realize that religion allows us to kill! It gives us justification for cold blooded murder.
Edited by SammyJean, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by Cedre, posted 04-08-2009 4:26 AM Cedre has not replied

  
SammyJean
Member (Idle past 4183 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 119 of 438 (505194)
04-08-2009 5:57 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by Cedre
04-08-2009 4:26 AM


Re: Human life and worth
Now that I have a little more time to answer you in more detail, I will.
quote:
Now note Sammyjean you want the law without acknowledging the lawmaker or law giver, it’s not going to happen my dear.
Who say I wanted "the law." I never said law, that's you! I said we humans need to use our innate ability to empathize. You do know what empathy is don't you? When you don't experience true empathy you're considered a psychopath. Something tells me you don't experience empathy and that's why you, Cedre, need a book to use as a reference guild on how to behave and how to treat your fellow human beings.
quote:
Human beings can only be priceless if deemed to be created in the image of a God, as it is only God who can give them worth, otherwise they are but like I have said masses of chemicals whose worth is determined by the society they were born in or currently dwell in, and not by an absolute being who has established from the zero our of life that human life should be priceless.
Is that the only reason you find humans priceless? How Cedre, with all your 19 yrs of wisdom, could you explain that I believe that humans have equal worth without need of a god to give them worth? I believe all humans to be a mass of organize chemicals just as I believe myself to be, but I feel empathy and so do most people (well, maybe you don't.) I don't require an absolute being to establish the worth of my fellow humans for me. I've done a fine job establishing that for myself, Thank you!
quote:
However if humans are merely the product of millions of years of evolution and physical and chemical change why should they be regarded as being more special than the other animals that inhabit this earth?
Who said we are more special than the other animals???
quote:
1. Human life has no inherent value or worth other than the value society ascribes it. That is why it wasn’t really difficult for slave owners to establish that blacks were less valuable than whites or for the Boers of the apartheid regime to conclude that black South Africans were simply slightly evolved monkeys and kaffirs (slave/servant). And it is also why Hitler could conclude that Jews were fully ape and that blacks were mostly ape.
People with money and power have always found ways of soothing there conscience and made up excuses for doing things that are for the average person, unconscionable. Nothing new here! Why is it that slavery was abolished? It wasn't Christianity that free the slaves, it happened because there were finally enough people with enough power that had sympathy because they experience empathy, that the political tide was changed and slavery was abolished. Do you think that all of Germany hated Jews and that is why the holocaust happened? Hitler himself may have concluded that the Jews were less than human but he didn't have all of Germany convinced. Their where many Germans that were appalled by what was happening and may more that allowed it because they had been brain-washed into believing what their psychotic leader had been preaching, the reason being that they followed him because had the message that they wanted to hear at the right time.
quote:
People aren’t too concerned with the welfare of animals anyway.
Here we go again! I don't know how they treat animals in Namibia, but here in the USA as well as the rest of the western civilization we have a large number laws that protect the welfare of animals and we have a number of agencies set in place to enforce these laws, not to mention a number of organizations constantly fighting on behalf of animal welfare and animal rights! Why do you think that these people care so deeply about the way animals are treated? Empathy again, wow! People can even empathize with animals. Unlike the bible, that give man dominion over all the creatures of the earth, to use and abuse as we see fit!!! and abuse we sure have.
quote:
Human beings have no meaning/purpose in life. Only created things can have a meaning or a purpose. Nature can never grant or create inherent purpose.
Says you! I give myself and my fellow human beings meaning and purpose in life. Only created thing can have a meaning or a purpose? Yes, things created through the natural process of evolution do have meaning and purpose. Nature grants us the inherent opportunity to find our own purpose and meaning.
quote:
The only time that Humanity can have any worth is when we have been created by God who has endowed us with worth and value.
Once again, I don't believe in god, but I endow myself and my fellow humans with equal worth and value.
Edited by SammyJean, : No reason given.

"Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts." -Albert Einstein

This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by Cedre, posted 04-08-2009 4:26 AM Cedre has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 120 by dwise1, posted 04-09-2009 2:37 AM SammyJean has not replied
 Message 124 by ICANT, posted 04-11-2009 2:30 AM SammyJean has replied

  
SammyJean
Member (Idle past 4183 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 128 of 438 (505432)
04-11-2009 1:08 PM
Reply to: Message 124 by ICANT
04-11-2009 2:30 AM


Re: Human life and worth
Hi ICANT,
I believe this innate ability to empathize is the product of the evolution of the mirror neuron system in the brain.
Mirror neurons are brain cells that fire both when performing an action, and when the brain is observing that same action being performed by someone else. Because of the mirroring properties of these neurons, they have been of intense interest to scientists looking for the neurological roots of things like imitation, empathy, language acquisition and morality.
These brain cells were first discovered accidentally by scientist studying motor neurons in the macaque monkey in 1997. So they are a recent find and much research is still being done and will continue to be done. Their discovery and implication in human brain evolution has been considered one of the most important findings of neuroscience in the last decade.
An excellent 14 min video from Nova explaining these neurons can be found here:
Mirror Neurons | NOVA | PBS
Edited by SammyJean, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
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SammyJean
Member (Idle past 4183 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 134 of 438 (505642)
04-14-2009 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 133 by Cedre
04-14-2009 9:11 AM


Re: Salvaging the true meaning of morality
Cedre writes:
So to reason that an individual ought to be unselfish because it is better for the group, which is better for the species, which is better for him/her, because if the species dies out, then he/she will not survive? But looking at what is better for him/her, boils down to selfishness. And rules of morality are against selfishness. In the words of morality gets reduced to this ludicrous statement: I morally ought to be unselfish so that I can be more thoroughly selfish. That is silly.
As an individual it may appear better to be selfish but we don't live as individuals. Do we? We live in groups and without the group it would be harder for the individual to survive. Right? So, the individuals survival = the group's survival and the group's survival = the survival of the individuals with-in the group. Selfishness is not in the best interest of the group, so selfishness is not in the best interest of the individual either. Is it?
It's not really that hard to understand!

"Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts." -Albert Einstein

This message is a reply to:
 Message 133 by Cedre, posted 04-14-2009 9:11 AM Cedre has not replied

  
SammyJean
Member (Idle past 4183 days)
Posts: 87
From: Fremont, CA, USA
Joined: 03-28-2009


Message 143 of 438 (505944)
04-20-2009 11:37 AM
Reply to: Message 139 by Cedre
04-20-2009 9:05 AM


Re: Awareness
Cedre writes:
There is ample evidence to conclude that a creator exists, Anthony Flew and the bulk of ex-evolutionists/ex-atheist concluded that a creator exists because there is evidence out there enough of it to persuade. Your refusal of the evidence does not equal lack of evidence.
Ample evidence? Where? You say "Anthony Flew and the bulk of ex-evolutionist/ex-atheist concluded that a creator exists because there is evidence" but you don't state the evidence? So Cedre, where's the evidence?

"Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts." -Albert Einstein

This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by Cedre, posted 04-20-2009 9:05 AM Cedre has not replied

  
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