Derivative natural rights theory

Unrepentant_Elitist
Science FreakGold Member
Unrepentant_Elitist's picture
Posts: 105
Joined: 2009-07-15
User is offlineOffline
Derivative natural rights theory

 Having just re-read John Adams' Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law No. I, a problematic aspect returned to the forefront: Adams' well-reasoned thought proceeds from an assertion that individuals possess "natural rights" because of the will of a creator. As an atheist, I obviously find this to be overly anthropic/teleological. My question is: Can the concept of natural rights be treated in an axiomatic manner (necessarily immune from foundational challenge), arguing "divine will" as a non-intrinsic property?


Jean Chauvin
Theistard
Jean Chauvin's picture
Posts: 1211
Joined: 2010-11-19
User is offlineOffline
Opie

Opie,

Thank you. I have attempted to relay this to American Public Schooled victims that the founders understood that our rights come from GOD, not from STATE.

Now it's alright to disagree and disagree you may, but atheists are known for lieing, well because they're atheists.

From an American standard, the Post-modern civil rights movement is absolutely 1000% unconstitutional, and UnBiblical when their rights are begged for by government.

Historically, Rights are given to us by God, and the government is to carry out what has already been given. This was understood. Martin Luther King had this grasp though it was twisted.

This is amazing to say that John Adams understood this point axiomatically despite being a Unitarian heretic. Though he was not a Christian, he was marinated in Christianity so strongly, he at least understood this point along with Jefferson and the rest of the Founders/Framers.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

 

 

A Rational Christian of Intelligence (rare)with a valid and sound justification for my epistemology and a logical refutation for those with logical fallacies and false worldviews upon their normative of thinking in retrospect to objective normative(s). This is only understood via the imago dei in which we all are.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).


Beyond Saving
atheist
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 5402
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
Jean Chauvin

Jean Chauvin wrote:

Opie,

Thank you. I have attempted to relay this to American Public Schooled victims that the founders understood that our rights come from GOD, not from STATE.

Now it's alright to disagree and disagree you may, but atheists are known for lieing, well because they're atheists.

From an American standard, the Post-modern civil rights movement is absolutely 1000% unconstitutional, and UnBiblical when their rights are begged for by government.

Historically, Rights are given to us by God, and the government is to carry out what has already been given. This was understood. Martin Luther King had this grasp though it was twisted.

This is amazing to say that John Adams understood this point axiomatically despite being a Unitarian heretic. Though he was not a Christian, he was marinated in Christianity so strongly, he at least understood this point along with Jefferson and the rest of the Founders/Framers.

Respectfully,

Jean Chauvin (Jude 3).

 

 

Fortunately, many of our founders were not fundamentalist Christians. While some of the philosophers who contemplated the idea of natural laws were Christians (such as Locke and Grotius), the idea was not spread rapidly among fundamentalist Christians. It was deists and those who spent little time focusing on religion that really spread the popularity of the concept. Franklin, Jefferson, Paine and company were hardly fundamentalists and did far more to get the concept included in the political system. 

I think it is quite a stretch for anyone to claim that the concept of god given rights comes from the bible. I certainly don't remember reading about god mentioning that we have any of these rights. The ten commandments was a list of rules humans were being ordered to follow, not a list of rights or freedoms we have from others. I'll take the Bill of Rights over the 10 commandments any day. As usual, we can come up with much better ideas than those made up by the barbarians who wrote the bible. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


Beyond Saving
atheist
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 5402
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
Unrepentant_Elitist

Unrepentant_Elitist wrote:

 Having just re-read John Adams' Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law No. I, a problematic aspect returned to the forefront: Adams' well-reasoned thought proceeds from an assertion that individuals possess "natural rights" because of the will of a creator. As an atheist, I obviously find this to be overly anthropic/teleological. My question is: Can the concept of natural rights be treated in an axiomatic manner (necessarily immune from foundational challenge), arguing "divine will" as a non-intrinsic property?

Murray Rothbard and Hans-Hermann Hoppe both wrote extensively on this topic and I think make a compelling argument for natural rights stemming from human nature, mostly using the non-aggression principle.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard135.html

 

And while he is virtually unknown today, Lysander Spooner was an influential anarchist theorist during his time who made that argument.

http://mises.org/journals/lar/pdfs/3_1/3_1_7.pdf 

 

My personal belief is that there is nothing natural about rights and in many ways, the concept of rights goes against most people's natural tendencies- which is why in a society set up with the idea that we have natural rights, with great effort to protect them, finds those rights disappearing within a few centuries. The desire for freedom is something that is held by relatively few people and only when those people come into power, usually violently, are those rights protected and government restrained for a short time. However, since I am one of those few people who prefer freedom, I'm not going to go out of my way to argue with someone who says that rights are natural or god given. If it gets them on my side, I don't care how they got there. Too few of us give a shit about having freedom.  

 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4190
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
Unrepentant_Elitist

Unrepentant_Elitist wrote:

Can the concept of natural rights be treated in an axiomatic manner (necessarily immune from foundational challenge), arguing "divine will" as a non-intrinsic property?

of course it can.  anything can be taken as axiomatic.  concepts like "natural rights" pretty much have to be taken as axiomatic.  if we all agree that "natural rights" are a good thing, then they basically are, and since this concept causes the majority of people pleasure rather than pain, they're unlikely ever to be considered otherwise (in the long term, anyhow).

we don't have to scientifically justify absolutely everything we take for granted.  number one, that's impossible, and number two, we would spend so much time trying to accomplish this that nothing would ever get done.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 15462
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Unrepentant_Elitist

Unrepentant_Elitist wrote:

 Having just re-read John Adams' Dissertation on the Canon and the Feudal Law No. I, a problematic aspect returned to the forefront: Adams' well-reasoned thought proceeds from an assertion that individuals possess "natural rights" because of the will of a creator. As an atheist, I obviously find this to be overly anthropic/teleological. My question is: Can the concept of natural rights be treated in an axiomatic manner (necessarily immune from foundational challenge), arguing "divine will" as a non-intrinsic property?

 

"Rights" only apply to the nurture part of evolution, but in reality the universe nor all other life on the planet give one rats ass if we survive out of dominance or compassion. It is not to say we can't strive for more compassion knowing better, it is the blunt fact that a win is a win even if we are not the winner. Only compassion is the kinder side of evolution, so we have to appeal to that as a species, and not our divisions.

 

It would be nice if the "rights" of the founders were handed down, but they were not ever. Our "rights" are simply an appeal to the compassionate side of evolution. Our strife comes when "rights" lead humanity to the point of the oppression of all others, which has mostly presented itself as "rights" as a childish honor motif no better than a baby crying for the "rights" of the mother's nipple.

 

"Rights" in reality are a good thing, but not a state or religious thing. All "rights" in my estimation should mean is that we all want food, shelter and love and a means to survive. I defy anyone reading this to say sane people don't want that. "Rights" to mean anything can only be measured by the way the majority treats the minority.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


Atheistextremist
atheist
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5130
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
This is my position, too.

 

iwbiek wrote:

concepts like "natural rights" pretty much have to be taken as axiomatic.  if we all agree that "natural rights" are a good thing, then they basically are

 

I think we'd agree that given there actually is no god, the concept of natural rights can only be considered self evident to human minds and perhaps considered to stem from our inculcated/instinctive feeling of the golden rule, the mirror neurons, or whatever. 

Good to see you again, unrepentant. You make an interesting point. I didn't realise John Adams had hammered that nail into the wall before hanging up his social ethics. Perhaps he was being metaphorical. Or trying to tease Jeano. 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


wakawaka
Posts: 86
Joined: 2011-09-10
User is offlineOffline
// the concept of natural

// the concept of natural rights can only be considered self evident to human minds and perhaps considered to stem from our inculcated/instinctive feeling of the golden rule, the mirror neurons, or whatever. //

 

Are natural rights created in the minds of men or are they self evident and recognized by men?  Could not different minds define natural rights differently?  By what standard are they created?

If the Golden Rule were instinctive that would not comport well with evolution.


Beyond Saving
atheist
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 5402
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
wakawaka wrote:Are natural

wakawaka wrote:

Are natural rights created in the minds of men or are they self evident and recognized by men?  Could not different minds define natural rights differently?  By what standard are they created?

Clearly they can be defined differently as different natural rights philosophers have come up with different and often opposing natural rights. 

 

wakawaka wrote:

If the Golden Rule were instinctive that would not comport well with evolution.

It wouldn't? Why not? 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


wakawaka
Posts: 86
Joined: 2011-09-10
User is offlineOffline
// Clearly they can be

// Clearly they can be defined differently as different natural rights philosophers have come up with different and often opposing natural rights. //

But if they can be defined differently were they ever truly natural rights (universal) to begin with?  My question was not concerned with philosophers debates on the types of natural rights but rather did they choose to recognize the existence of natural rights or did they feel the need to create them?

 

on the Golden Rule

//It wouldn't? Why not? //

Given the idea of evolution, why should someone care to do good unto others?  WHy not do bad unto others and make them do good unto you?


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
wakawaka wrote: // Clearly

wakawaka wrote:

// Clearly they can be defined differently as different natural rights philosophers have come up with different and often opposing natural rights. //

But if they can be defined differently were they ever truly natural rights (universal) to begin with?  My question was not concerned with philosophers debates on the types of natural rights but rather did they choose to recognize the existence of natural rights or did they feel the need to create them?

 

on the Golden Rule

//It wouldn't? Why not? //

Given the idea of evolution, why should someone care to do good unto others?  WHy not do bad unto others and make them do good unto you?

 

The "natural rights" thing is more wishful thinking than anything else.

As for evolution and prosocial behavior, lucky you, I wrote a paper on that subject last term. People are social creatures. We have neurological structures that program us for empathy - the ability to care about what others are feeling; mirroring emotions - the ability to imagine how that emotion the other is feeling feels when we experience that emotion; body and facial recognition - so that we can identify the emotion another is feeling. These structures are consistent in all humans. If they are damaged through injury, disease, or physical trauma, we identify that there is something very wrong with that person. We give names to the disorders - psychopath, sociopath, borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, etc.

There are documented encounters with peoples who still lived as hunter-gatherers (admittedly fewer nowadays) and how they lived. How they SHARED with each other - even though they weren't "christian" at the time. Given enough food available in the environment so that if they shared, there was plenty for everyone - they shared. Equally. Why? Because if you have plenty to share today, later, if you do not have plenty, someone will share with you. It is reciprocal. We do it without the prod of a religion because that was the way we survived.

Prosocial behavior is essential. Think about hunting mega fauna. You are not going to be able to take down a mammoth all by yourself with a stone point spear. You need help. A lot of help. The hunting group will need to coordinate. Someone running off and doing their own thing at the very least means everyone goes hungry - or many hunters might get trampled. The first massive earthworks were irrigation systems, constructed in Egypt and Mesopotamia. While the peoples were still worshiping Osiris and Marduk. Without these systems, the population would likely not have expanded large enough for people to specialize in crafts, arts, architecture, priesthood, government and so on. You have to cooperate to make the extensive systems required to support the large population we know inhabited the region.

A couple of quick references. I have lots more - just ask and I'll hunt them up for you.

Mays, L. W. (n.d.) Irrigation Systems, Ancient. In The water encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Hy-La/Irrigation-Systems-Ancient.html

Lee, R. B., &; Biesele, M. (2008). The hunters: Scarce resources in the Kalahari. In J. Spradley & D. McCurdy (Eds.), Conformity and conflict (p. 15-22). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 12893
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
The truly fun bit is ^ that

The truly fun bit is ^ that just scratches the surface of everything that's wrong with this:

"Given the idea of evolution, why should someone care to do good unto others?  WHy not do bad unto others and make them do good unto you?"

I think an entire book series could be written answering this question definitively.

But the most basic biology has the simplest answer: Reproduction. Every single species on the planet that births vulnerable young in low numbers is a social species that cares for that young. The only species that do not care for their young births huge numbers. It's evolution at work. If you only have 1 or 2 kids at a time, and you invest a lot of energy into those kids, you have to make sure they grow up to have kids themselves. If you don't, the species will die because there's a lot of things that love to eat kids. Even the species at the top of the food chain starts off near the bottom at birth.
The only alternative to protecting young is birthing so many as to guarantee some will survive.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 12893
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
Since humans don't pop out a

Since humans don't pop out a thousand babies at once, we must protect them. And it happens to be advantagous to protect them by grouping together. A single parent is vulnerable, and their death will ensure the death of the children. But if there are others of your species which help you, not only is your vulnerability reduced, but the danger to your young in the event something happens to you is also reduced.
Community is simply the most productive and efficient way of caring for young, and it is necessary to be social and cooperative in order to survive as a species when you don't have hundreds or thousands of kids at a time.
ESPECIALLY so when it takes a minimum of 5 years for your kid to be at all capable of defending itself and caring for itself.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
Vastet wrote:The truly fun

Vastet wrote:
The truly fun bit is ^ that just scratches the surface of everything that's wrong with this: "Given the idea of evolution, why should someone care to do good unto others?  WHy not do bad unto others and make them do good unto you?" I think an entire book series could be written answering this question definitively. But the most basic biology has the simplest answer: Reproduction. Every single species on the planet that births vulnerable young in low numbers is a social species that cares for that young. The only species that do not care for their young births huge numbers. It's evolution at work. If you only have 1 or 2 kids at a time, and you invest a lot of energy into those kids, you have to make sure they grow up to have kids themselves. If you don't, the species will die because there's a lot of things that love to eat kids. Even the species at the top of the food chain starts off near the bottom at birth. The only alternative to protecting young is birthing so many as to guarantee some will survive.

 

Exactly so - and you next post as well. I could - and perhaps may - write a book on the subject. Others have written books about the resources needed to raise human babies, but I don't believe any one book has touched on how many different ways prosocial behavior is welded into our genes.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


wakawaka
Posts: 86
Joined: 2011-09-10
User is offlineOffline
Both of you make points that

Both of you make points that are well taken, but again....why should I care if society survives?  Why should I care if my child survives or dies 2 seconds after he/she is born? That's just one less mouth to feed. One is born, one lives then dies.  Im going to get mine while I can.  Why should I care how long I live?  What does it matter in the grand scheme?  After all we are nothing more than a random collection of atoms.

Every minute of every day people kill people, have abortions, intentionally hurt, cheat, steal, commit suicide and so on.  So, again this is why I say the Golden Rule does not seem to comport well with the theory of evolution.  The Golden Rule comes from a different worldview, not the evolution worldview.  It seems like you are borrowing from theism to bolster atheism/evolution.

Do people help people in order to fill their own bellys, or do they help people without intent of personal gain?  Is pain wrong?  There are many that enjoy despensing it.  And what of the concept of fairness? Shall we afford rights to the individual at the expense of the majority?      Do absolute morals exist?


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
wakawaka wrote:Both of you

wakawaka wrote:

Both of you make points that are well taken, but again....why should I care if society survives?  Why should I care if my child survives or dies 2 seconds after he/she is born? That's just one less mouth to feed. One is born, one lives then dies.  Im going to get mine while I can.  Why should I care how long I live?  What does it matter in the grand scheme?  After all we are nothing more than a random collection of atoms.

Every minute of every day people kill people, have abortions, intentionally hurt, cheat, steal, commit suicide and so on.  So, again this is why I say the Golden Rule does not seem to comport well with the theory of evolution.  The Golden Rule comes from a different worldview, not the evolution worldview.  It seems like you are borrowing from theism to bolster atheism/evolution.

Do people help people in order to fill their own bellys, or do they help people without intent of personal gain?  Is pain wrong?  There are many that enjoy despensing it.  And what of the concept of fairness? Shall we afford rights to the individual at the expense of the majority?      Do absolute morals exist?

 

People - who are also christian, muslim, buddhist, hindu, scientologist, morman, jehovah witness, agnostic, atheist, conservative, liberal, libertarian, communist, socialist, capitalist, etc. - PEOPLE  - lie, hurt, steal, cheat, commit suicide, have abortions, murder, etc., etc. Those who do manage to off themselves before reproducing or off all of their offspring do not replicate their particular genetics in the population.

But genetics is not the entire picture. There are also social and personal factors. Those raised in loving homes usually mature into loving adults - regardless of race, religion, culture or creed. Those raised in abusive homes? 70%!!!!! do NOT abuse their own children. That is pretty amazing. Given that you have no other model for parenting but your own abusive parents, yet you are able to break the pattern and raise your own children in a loving fashion. Predominately christian? "Saved by the blood"? No. Not predominately anything but human.

People help people for many reasons. Sometimes to help themselves. Sometimes to bank up good will so that they will be more likely to receive help from other in the future. Sometimes because their self-image is of a kind, helpful person and so they help others to live up to that self-image. Sometimes they get a good feeling from helping others. Sometimes they see something in the other person that affects them personally and positively. We are in some part slaves to our emotions and the biochemical processes in our brains. We don't slam that screaming infant's head against the cave wall because of the hormones that infant triggers in our brains. Why do you think there are so many cute animal videos on the web? They kick off those hormones that make us feel all warm and fuzzy. Ahhhh.......

People also don't help other people for many reasons. You have to recognize that someone needs help. You have to have the resources to provide that help - time, money, expertise, a cell phone, what ever is required. Not everyone helps, not even christians. My very own sister has told me she will only help those who belong to her church. I try not to judge, knowing I am not on that list.

Fairness and individual vs. majority rights are cultural. The exact balance is highly variable around the world. Try any social psychology class or sociocultural anthropology class for an in depth discussion. I'm already writing a book here.

Absolute morals do not exist. Morals are personal views of what is right and wrong and are highly influenced by your family, neighborhood, culture, society, religion, in-group, etc. Take an adult bible study class at some time and see how differently the people you attend church with view the big 10 for instance. I did as a young woman and it was a real eye opener. When people discuss what the 10 really mean and how it applies to their own lives, not just "yeah, murder is bad", the discussion can take some very interesting twists.

You want to believe that a life without a god/s/dess is bare, without meaning, full of wickedness. I don't have the time or energy to be wicked. I have love, friends, and a life that is meaningful to me. I feel sorry for people who can only find meaning and purpose in a 3000 year old book written by a bunch of late bronze age/early iron age goat herders and farmers.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Atheistextremist
atheist
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5130
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Hi Waka

wakawaka wrote:

Both of you make points that are well taken, but again....why should I care if society survives?  Why should I care if my child survives or dies 2 seconds after he/she is born? That's just one less mouth to feed. One is born, one lives then dies.  Im going to get mine while I can.  Why should I care how long I live?  What does it matter in the grand scheme?  After all we are nothing more than a random collection of atoms.

Every minute of every day people kill people, have abortions, intentionally hurt, cheat, steal, commit suicide and so on.  So, again this is why I say the Golden Rule does not seem to comport well with the theory of evolution.  The Golden Rule comes from a different worldview, not the evolution worldview.  It seems like you are borrowing from theism to bolster atheism/evolution.

Do people help people in order to fill their own bellys, or do they help people without intent of personal gain?  Is pain wrong?  There are many that enjoy despensing it.  And what of the concept of fairness? Shall we afford rights to the individual at the expense of the majority?      Do absolute morals exist?

Are you reading the posts people make? You seem to restate your position without taking on board earlier explanations. Humans are social. We depend on each other. Looking after each other looks after us. Don't you get it? If I saw an old lady begging on the street, I'd give her a few dollars and walk on. If I saw my mother begging on the street, I'd move her into my house and support her for the rest of her life. This is a reflection of in-group morality/bias that drives our best attributes (generosity) and our worst (out-group exclusion and bitter competition for limited resources). 

Further, people feel good when they do good by other people. Numerous studies show this. I know it from experience with myself. Giving feels good. And reciprocity feels even better. It's how human relationships work. You can't seriously ask why should care if your child dies? You have feelings for your child. Bonds. These inform your behaviour. If your child dies you will grieve. But you and I, while we might 'care' about another's child, aren't going to fall apart if we read 25 children died in a mudslide in Nagaland. 

You seem to me to be appealing to consequence - suggesting that without some sort of religious underpinning for morality then there is nothing but abortion, violence, killing, stealing, taking of own lives. Importantly, some of these acts, suicide, abortion and stealing, are not cut and dried. Including them along with violent assault and murder seems disingenuous to me, even if unintended. The fact is that the data shows crime rates are low in most countries want is low. Further, violent crime levels are falling and have been since the early 1990s, particularly in the developed world - since the phasing out of leaded fuel.  

The golden rule is a human label for a set of human behaviours that might otherwise be called mutual back scratching. It's not an objective truth. Nor is morality a set of objective truths. Depending on empathy, oxytocin levels in the brain, mirror neurons, etc, some people are better at behaviours we call 'being nice' than other people but it's always a negotiation between individuals and societies. How quickly would you stop being generous to some one who did not reciprocate your generosity when you were in need, who instead laughed at your suffering? 

People do act generously to strangers but they do so through values of sharing that stem from the nature of the small groups we evolved in. Additionally, and despite my natural cynicism, I tend to think it matters how we treat one another on symbiotic space ship Earth. If we all stop caring none of us will survive long, as the course of future events will shortly teach. 

 

trust

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4190
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
wakawaka wrote:Both of you

wakawaka wrote:

Both of you make points that are well taken, but again....why should I care if society survives?  Why should I care if my child survives or dies 2 seconds after he/she is born? That's just one less mouth to feed. One is born, one lives then dies.  Im going to get mine while I can.  Why should I care how long I live?  What does it matter in the grand scheme?  After all we are nothing more than a random collection of atoms.

Every minute of every day people kill people, have abortions, intentionally hurt, cheat, steal, commit suicide and so on.  So, again this is why I say the Golden Rule does not seem to comport well with the theory of evolution.  The Golden Rule comes from a different worldview, not the evolution worldview.  It seems like you are borrowing from theism to bolster atheism/evolution.

Do people help people in order to fill their own bellys, or do they help people without intent of personal gain?  Is pain wrong?  There are many that enjoy despensing it.  And what of the concept of fairness? Shall we afford rights to the individual at the expense of the majority?      Do absolute morals exist?

no, they don't!  absolutes don't exist period!  christ, and they talk about atheists turning rationality into a god, yet for some people a universal "reason" seems to be the only justification for keeping any kind of rule.

there is NO reason why you "should" give a shit about your child...but you will.  immediately.  i never believed i would, but i did.  why?  because, as so many others have pointed out, a sense of responsibility to others, particularly our children, seems to have evolved in us because, in the long run, it is conducive to our survival.

morality, ethics, etc., do not exist apart from us.  they are artificial constructs...but they're "good" artificial constructs because they promote the survival of the species--not always the individual, mind you, which is also an artfificial construct, but the species.

nobody is "borrowing" from theism because theism doesn't exist apart from our evolutionary experience either.  theism, like it or not, is probably just as hard-wired into us as morality, because it also promotes the survival of the species--again, not the individual, but the species.  why?  because it bolsters morality by turning it into a supernatural mandate.  it's just that, like any evolutionary mechanism, it doesn't work smoothly, and perhaps it's starting to lose its usefulness, like an extra appendage that is shrinking away.

we atheists are the odd ones out.  evolutionarily, we are anomalies.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


wakawaka
Posts: 86
Joined: 2011-09-10
User is offlineOffline
TO CJYou seem to be giving

TO CJ

You seem to be giving me reasons as to why people behave they way they do. Given the evolutionary worldview, why should one care what the reasons are? There is no right and wrong. The point im trying to make is that it doesnt matter. Why care?

you said:

//Absolute morals do not exist. Morals are personal views of what is right and wrong ...// 

So right and wrong do exist absolutely? Again the GR does not comport well with the evolution worldview.


wakawaka
Posts: 86
Joined: 2011-09-10
User is offlineOffline
hi//Humans are social. We

hi

//Humans are social. We depend on each other. Looking after each other looks after us.//

Why should I care if the species survies given the evolutionary world view?  Besides many humans are antisocial, not that that matters either.

//If I saw an old lady begging on the street, I'd give her a few dollars and walk on.//  

Why, its just one less person to you dont have to compete against for resources.  I mean caring for a stranger you dont even know?  Are you sure there arent absolute or at least inate morals?

//Further, people feel good when they do good by other people. //    

Doesnt matter.  They feel good when they do bad to other people too.

//Giving feels good//  Please send all your money to PO BOX 666 Death Valley.  Taking feels pretty good too.

//The golden rule is a human label for a set of human behaviours that might otherwise be called mutual back scratching. It's not an objective truth. Nor is morality a set of objective truths. Depending on empathy, oxytocin levels in the brain, mirror neurons, etc, some people are better at behaviours we call 'being nice' than other people but it's always a negotiation between individuals and societies. How quickly would you stop being generous to some one who did not reciprocate your generosity when you were in need, who instead laughed at your suffering? //

So morals are nothing more than chemical reactions in the brain?  Therefore one man's truths could be completely different than another man's truths.   Are truths absolute?

//If we all stop caring none of us will survive long,...//  What's wrong with that?  We are all doomed anyway.


wakawaka
Posts: 86
Joined: 2011-09-10
User is offlineOffline
to iwbiek//absolutes don't

to iwbiek

//absolutes don't exist period! //       Are you absolutely sure absolutes dont exist??

//seems to have evolved in us because, in the long run, it is conducive to our survival.//      So, we are all going to die anyway.  Who cares if the species doesnt survive?

//morality, ethics, etc., do not exist apart from us.//      I thought you said absolutes dont exist, period? 

//morality, ethics, etc., do not exist apart from us. they are artificial constructs...but they're "good" artificial constructs because they promote the survival of the species--// 

Is the concept of "good" an absolute artificial construct??

//nobody is "borrowing" from theism because theism doesn't exist apart from our evolutionary experience either. //

Are you ABSOLUTELY sure?  Because as you know theism does deal in absolutes.  The very nature of your argument presuposes absolute constructs by using the above statement which is an "absolute" statement.


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 12893
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
"Given the evolutionary

"Given the evolutionary worldview, why should one care what the reasons are? There is no right and wrong. The point im trying to make is that it doesnt matter. Why care?"

Why not care? Imagine for a moment that noone cared. No more cops, doctors, or firefighters. No more telephones or electricity. No more defence against nature, living creatures or non living forces. A cave is the best you can do for a home, and you have to defend it constantly against animals of all kinds, humans included (provided you could conquer it in the first place of course).

How many people do you really think would want to give up everything we've accomplished or will accomplish just so they could be a dick? And just how long do you think they'd last when they piss everyone off?

I will never understand why so many theists think everyone would off each other if not for the threats of an invisible and powerless being.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 12893
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
"Why, its just one less

"Why, its just one less person to you dont have to compete against for resources."

By working together we've eliminated much of the need to compete for resources. Working together more will eliminate it completely. Not working together ensures the competition will never end.

How exactly is it beneficial to work against each other all the time?

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
wakawaka wrote:TO CJYou seem

wakawaka wrote:

TO CJ

You seem to be giving me reasons as to why people behave they way they do. Given the evolutionary worldview, why should one care what the reasons are? There is no right and wrong. The point im trying to make is that it doesnt matter. Why care?

you said:

//Absolute morals do not exist. Morals are personal views of what is right and wrong ...// 

So right and wrong do exist absolutely? Again the GR does not comport well with the evolution worldview.

 

One cares about the reasons people behave the way they do because we are a social species. We need each other. We need to depend on each other. We need to know that our society is stable enough to raise children. We raise children, care for them, nurture them, because those who do not care for and nurture their children do not pass on their genes. Only those who do care and nurture their children manage to raise their children to adulthood. Evolution is not about an individual's survival, it is about grandchildren. If a species can't evolve to raise offspring who are able to raise offspring, that species will die out. Our species has not died out and therefore, we have the genetic makeup for nurturing and caring for our children.

Right and wrong are not absolute except to each individual. Some of my rights and wrongs, my morals, are absolute - for me. Some of my morals are very situational. As long as my morals do not impinge on your morals, nor do I break any laws, it doesn't matter what my morals are or are not. Same goes for everyone. This does comport with evolution - because we are a social species. Those who do not fit into society are ostracized - in various ways depending on that particular culture.

Morals allow us to self-regulate our behavior so that we can participate in the reciprocal nature of human societies. Again, if you take the time to have an in depth conversation with another person who attends your church, synagogue, temple, whatever, about the 10 or any other commandment, you might be surprised how little you have in common. Maybe not. My experience is that people do not agree on specifics. Generalities, sure - murdering is bad, stealing is bad, etc. But what is murder? What is stealing? You might be surprised.

Lastly, in the interest of full disclosure, I really am an old woman, like my avatar. And, I am currently working on getting a degree - in social psychology.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


iwbiek
atheistSuperfan
iwbiek's picture
Posts: 4190
Joined: 2008-03-23
User is offlineOffline
wakawaka wrote:Are you

wakawaka wrote:

Are you absolutely sure absolutes dont exist??

ok, if you're interested in playing semantic games, just tell me right now before you even finish reading this and i'll opt out.

wakawaka wrote:

So, we are all going to die anyway.  Who cares if the species doesnt survive?

we do!  we as humans do, or most of us anyway.  why?  who knows?  who cares?  don't you see, if we're ever to come to a workable global ethic, it has to be descriptive rather than proscriptive.  we need to start with reality.  if we spend all our time justifying each and every starting point, we'll just wind up mired in an infinite regression.  that's why axioms that reflect reality work: axioms like "it's better not to suffer than to suffer," "on the whole, it's better for a human to live than die."  you can ask "why" to these things all you want, but it doesn't change the fact that this is how we feel, this is how we've always felt, and it's highly unlikely that it will change.

wakawaka wrote:

I thought you said absolutes dont exist, period? 

um...yeah.  so...you know...if morals were absolute, their existence wouldn't necessitate our existence.  you do know what an absolute is, right?  it's something that is not conditioned by anything else.  no humans=no morals.  therefore, for this reason among a myriad of others, morals are not absolute.

wakawaka wrote:

Is the concept of "good" an absolute artificial construct??

of course, hence the inverted commas.  i got a hint for you: if you're looking for a substrate to all this mess we call reality, you ain't gonna find it.

wakawaka wrote:

Are you ABSOLUTELY sure?  Because as you know theism does deal in absolutes.  The very nature of your argument presuposes absolute constructs by using the above statement which is an "absolute" statement.

theism deals in imaginary absolutes.  humans conceive of absolutes because the human mind has a horror of infinite regression (just like how medieval scientists used to say the vacuum couldn't possibly exist because nature has a "horror of it" ).

look, i'll give you the benefit of the doubt one more time that you're not just trying to play language games and be a pedantic prick.  yes, in a very basic sense, it is possible to speak in absolutes.  if we say "reality has no ground of being," "there is no workable ontology," "there are no absolutes," yes, these are "absolute" statements because negatives are always absolutely negative.  morality, god, being, etc., however, are positive absolutes, and when humans talk about "absolutes" in philosophy, they're almost always talking about a unit of positively existent, purely true content.  i had assumed i would not need to waste time going down this road.  if you reply, i will assume you are actually willing to move past basic semantics, because any term we use in philosophy is ultimately going to be tentative.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


wakawaka
Posts: 86
Joined: 2011-09-10
User is offlineOffline
//Why not care?//  To much

//Why not care?//  To much work.  Its a pain always helping people.   Better to use them or force them to do your will.

// Imagine for a moment // I can imagine alot of different senarios that work out better than yours.  Not that it matters. 


wakawaka
Posts: 86
Joined: 2011-09-10
User is offlineOffline
//How exactly is it

//How exactly is it beneficial to work against each other all the time? //  Again, why should i care if you or society benefits?  However, if I wanted to IMAGINE a senario, I could say cometition makes us stronger, you know survival of the fittest.


wakawaka
Posts: 86
Joined: 2011-09-10
User is offlineOffline
CJon paragraph 1 & 2Which is

CJ

on paragraph 1 & 2

Which is it CJ?  Are morals relative to each individual (just chemical reactins in the brain), or are they inculcated into society as a whole for the survival of the species?  It seems to me your contradicting yourself.

//We need each other. We need to depend on each other. //  nope

//Evolution is not about an individual's survival, it is about grandchildren.// Really?  Arent Grandchildren individuals?  Isnt evolution about survival of the fittest?

 

// If a species can't evolve to raise offspring who are able to raise offspring, that species will die out. //  This has been repeated many times now.  WHy should one care, given evolution worldview.  If im not going to be around to see the species survive what does it matter?

//Right and wrong are not absolute except to each individual.//  How do you know this?  BY what standard does right and wrong exist?

 


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 12893
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
wakawaka wrote://Why not

wakawaka wrote:

//Why not care?//  To much work.  Its a pain always helping people.   Better to use them or force them to do your will.

// Imagine for a moment // I can imagine alot of different senarios that work out better than yours.  Not that it matters. 

It requires far more effort to force people to do something than it does to offer assistance on occasion. Just ask Hitler.

wakawaka wrote:

//How exactly is it beneficial to work against each other all the time? //  Again, why should i care if you or society benefits?  However, if I wanted to IMAGINE a senario, I could say cometition makes us stronger, you know survival of the fittest.

Antiquated view of evolution. Survival of the fittest doesn't work. It weakens all parties, it does not strengthen any of them.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


wakawaka
Posts: 86
Joined: 2011-09-10
User is offlineOffline
//ok, if you're interested

//ok, if you're interested in playing semantic games, just tell me right now before you even finish reading this and i'll opt out.// 

It's a serious question designed to show you that absolutes do exists.  THey are the fabric of nature.  If a simple statement can be absolute cant other things be absolute, like truth, like the laws of logic, and the preconditions of intelligibilty?  These are not negative statements.  It is an observation in nature.  It permiates our being and is inescapable.

 

//we do! we as humans do, or most of us anyway. why? who knows? who cares? // 

EH???  You dont care that you care you just care?  IM playing word games?

 

// you do know what an absolute is, right? it's something that is not conditioned by anything else.//  Now your giving me a definition of an absolute.  I thought they didnt exist?

 

// if we spend all our time justifying each and every starting point, we'll just wind up mired in an infinite regression.  // 

No, athiests have infinite regressions, theists have absolute ultimate standards.  THis is because atheists are limited to the material world, empiricle evidence as it relates to their senses.  Theists dont have this issue, they have an ultimate standard to which they can appeal.  THis standard is immaterial and absolute ending the regression.  The athiest has a hard time accounting for immaterial absolutes like the "laws of logic" while the theist's worldview comports perfectly with universal immaterial absolutes as it describes the nature of GOD.

 

//theism deals in imaginary absolutes. // Are the laws of logic imaginary absolutes?  If they are imaginary then why do you use them?  If they are not imaginary then how do you account for something that is immaterial and absolute?

//humans conceive of absolutes //  No they observe them.

 

//look, i'll give you the benefit of the doubt one more time that you're not just trying to play language games and be a pedantic prick. yes, in a very basic sense, it is possible to speak in absolutes. if we say "reality has no ground of being," "there is no workable ontology," "there are no absolutes," yes, these are "absolute" statements because negatives are always absolutely negative. morality, god, being, etc., however, are positive absolutes, and when humans talk about "absolutes" in philosophy, they're almost always talking about a unit of positively existent, purely true content. i had assumed i would not need to waste time going down this road. if you reply, i will assume you are actually willing to move past basic semantics, because any term we use in philosophy is ultimately going to be tentative.//  

 Is truth absolute?  Is realty absolute?  is everything you are saying absolutely correct? COuld you be wrong about everything you claim to know?  DO you know everything? This isnt a word game.  THese are serious questions for which I think you have no serious answer.  And, the only way to escape the question is to call it a game.  I dont think you will cede that absolutes exist because of  "the horror of it".

 

 


wakawaka
Posts: 86
Joined: 2011-09-10
User is offlineOffline
 //It requires far more

 

//It requires far more effort to force people to do something than it does to offer assistance on occasion. Just ask Hitler.// 

It requires even less effort to just say no when someone asks for help.

 

//Antiquated view of evolution. Survival of the fittest doesn't work. It weakens all parties, it does not strengthen any of them.//

Again, why should I care to help benefit any party.  That's your premise not necessarily someone elses.


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
wakawaka wrote: CJ on

wakawaka wrote:

CJ

on paragraph 1 & 2

Which is it CJ?  Are morals relative to each individual (just chemical reactins in the brain), or are they inculcated into society as a whole for the survival of the species?  It seems to me your contradicting yourself.

 

Morals are developed when we are young children. We interact with family and friends and discover that certain behaviors are rewarded and others are ignored or punished. We do not develop morals until our brain is mature enough to see the connection between our own behavior and others' responses to that behavior. We then combine what we learn at home and what we learn from friends into something that makes some sort of internal sense.

It is not nature or nurture, brain chemicals or societal influences. It is a combination, an interaction, a synergy. If we had not devised the biochemistry and neurological structures in the brain, we wouldn't make it. If we had not had the brain structures for mirroring others emotions, feeling empathy and so on, we would not have created societies and civilization. We must have these brain structures interacting with our societies and cultures in order to survive.

 

wakawaka wrote:

//We need each other. We need to depend on each other. //  nope

 

Oh yes, we do. Try it sometime. Take nothing and try to survive on your own. I mean nothing. No clothes, no food, no weapons. If you are still alive in a year, get back to me. Stupid reality shows about surviving - right, when there is a camera crew and etc ready to pull you out if you really get in trouble.

 

wakawaka wrote:

//Evolution is not about an individual's survival, it is about grandchildren.// Really?  Arent Grandchildren individuals?  Isnt evolution about survival of the fittest?

 

Survival of the fittest? Dude, that is so last century. Evolution is the change in the frequency of an allele in a population over time. It is not about individuals. It is about populations. I may survive, you may survive, but the species will not survive unless we can reproduce offspring who can reproduce. If I survive long enough to raise one child who then raises one child, I have demonstrated my fitness. It doesn't matter if I die 2 seconds after my child becomes capable of caring for themselves or if I die 80 years later.

 

wakawaka wrote:

// If a species can't evolve to raise offspring who are able to raise offspring, that species will die out. //  This has been repeated many times now.  WHy should one care, given evolution worldview.  If im not going to be around to see the species survive what does it matter?

 

It doesn't have to matter to you. And why should you care? Caring about species survival is not the point. Caring about your own child's survival is the point. If enough of us care about our children, the species will survive. Caring for our childdren has worked for millions of years, caring about species survival is a recent phenomenon.

 

wakawaka wrote:

//Right and wrong are not absolute except to each individual.//  How do you know this?  BY what standard does right and wrong exist?

 

I know this through personal observation, as I have said. More than once. I have also studied a fair amount about different cultures. I am not an advocate for cultural relativism. Just because people of a particular culture believe stoning other people to death is a legal and moral action doesn't mean I have to believe it is moral or just. But I have to acknowledge they believe it is. Stoning someone to death is an absolute immoral action for me. Stoning someone to death is absolutely moral for these other cultures. They, too, have a code that murder is immoral and don't see that stoning someone to death is murder. Like our state executions, the death is justified and not murder. Right and wrong exist because of (unconsciously) agreed upon cultural values. Since cultures differ, right and wrong differ. The concepts are even different between various christian sects. You know this - you seem to be trying to get me to admit that there has to be an external source of morality - as in some (likely your) imaginary friend. Nope. It is a synergy of individual personality, personal history, and societal context.

 

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
wakawaka wrote: //It

wakawaka wrote:

 

//It requires far more effort to force people to do something than it does to offer assistance on occasion. Just ask Hitler.// 

It requires even less effort to just say no when someone asks for help.

 

It requires a great deal of effort to just say no when someone asks for help. If it doesn't for you, then please stay out of my neck of the woods, as I am not interested in dealing with a sociopath.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Beyond Saving
atheist
Beyond Saving's picture
Posts: 5402
Joined: 2007-10-12
User is offlineOffline
wakawaka wrote:// Clearly

wakawaka wrote:

// Clearly they can be defined differently as different natural rights philosophers have come up with different and often opposing natural rights. //

But if they can be defined differently were they ever truly natural rights (universal) to begin with?  My question was not concerned with philosophers debates on the types of natural rights but rather did they choose to recognize the existence of natural rights or did they feel the need to create them?

I think they were created, although Natural Rights philosophers believe they are recognizing something that preexisted. To a certain extent, there are certain feelings that are prevalent throughout humans that are natural and lead to common actions among most humans. For example, most of us experience the release of endorphins when having sex, which is why it is so much fun and for thousands of years has caused humans to procreate even if they didn't want to. Endorphins are also released from being "in love", cuddling babies and helping those in need. It is essentially what gives you that "warm fuzzy" feeling that CJ referred to. It is an uncontrolled biological response that most of us have to certain situations, so in that respect it is natural and we can draw conclusions about how most humans will act in certain situations. Of course, there are certain people who do not have these responses either due to genetic differences or disease/damage to the brain after birth. 

 

 

wakawaka wrote:

//It wouldn't? Why not? //

Given the idea of evolution, why should someone care to do good unto others?  WHy not do bad unto others and make them do good unto you?

Many people have tried that over the years. It tends to not end well for them because most people don't like being around assholes. We have seen time and again throughout history that when one person/group of people attempt to oppress another that the inevitable result is violence and death. Even someone being as obtuse as you are should be able to see that a society where humans are killing each other is less pleasant and less efficient than one where people work together and trade the fruits of their labor. Historically, there has often been benefit to taking resources from other societies, which is probably why most people have a sense of "us vs them" and often apply different moral standards to how they treat people outside of their society than people inside their society. 

 

btw you can create the quote boxes using ["quote=name"] and ["/quote"] commands (with the brackets without the quotation marks). It would make your posts much easier to read. 

If, if a white man puts his arm around me voluntarily, that's brotherhood. But if you - if you hold a gun on him and make him embrace me and pretend to be friendly or brotherly toward me, then that's not brotherhood, that's hypocrisy.- Malcolm X


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 12893
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
wakawaka wrote:It requires

wakawaka wrote:
It requires even less effort to just say no when someone asks for help.

You aren't forcing people to do anything then. So where's your point?

wakawaka wrote:
Again, why should I care to help benefit any party.  That's your premise not necessarily someone elses.

Helping others helps yourself. If you really hate working with people so much why aren't you in the woods living on your own? Why are you taking the assistance of other people right now, and bitching about it at the same time? You are a hypocrite.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Atheistextremist
atheist
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5130
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Hi again Waka

 

wakawaka wrote:

We are all doomed anyway.

 

regardless of your apparent cynicism in this discussion, human genes that code for social behaviour have been more successful than those that code for being a misery guts.  If having some other focus than that of caring for other individuals allowed the next generation to survive better, then these new characteristics would soon spread through human society. This planet is symbiotic. The air we breathe, the process of digestion, even our evolution are bound up with the biosphere. We are part of an inclusive living system right down to the cellular level. The end. 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


wakawaka
Posts: 86
Joined: 2011-09-10
User is offlineOffline
///Morals are developed when

///Morals are developed when we are young children. We interact with family and friends and discover that certain behaviors are rewarded and others are ignored or punished. We do not develop morals until our brain is mature enough to see the connection between our own behavior and others' responses to that behavior. We then combine what we learn at home and what we learn from friends into something that makes some sort of internal sense.

 It is not nature or nurture, brain chemicals or societal influences. It is a combination, an interaction, a synergy. If we had not devised the biochemistry and neurological structures in the brain, we wouldn't make it. If we had not had the brain structures for mirroring others emotions, feeling empathy and so on, we would not have created societies and civilization. We must have these brain structures interacting with our societies and cultures in order to survive.///

 

Perhaps if i ask the question a little differently it might shed light on the point.....In essence you are saying that we develop morals in order for the species to survive correct?  What I am asking is why is it morally right for the species to survive?

 

///Oh yes, we do. Try it sometime. Take nothing and try to survive on your own. I mean nothing. No clothes, no food, no weapons. If you are still alive in a year, get back to me. Stupid reality shows about surviving - right, when there is a camera crew and etc ready to pull you out if you really get in trouble.///

That sounds like an absolute.  Do you believe in the existence of absolutes?  JUst curious.

 

///Survival of the fittest? Dude, that is so last century. Evolution is the change in the frequency of an allele in a population over time. It is not about individuals. It is about populations. I may survive, you may survive, but the species will not survive unless we can reproduce offspring who can reproduce. If I survive long enough to raise one child who then raises one child, I have demonstrated my fitness. It doesn't matter if I die 2 seconds after my child becomes capable of caring for themselves or if I die 80 years later.///

Well there are at least 7 major theories of evolution now and to say its not about individuals strikes me as a little off.  I mean what are populations made out of anyway?

 

///Caring about species survival is not the point. Caring about your own child's survival is the point. ///

Thought you said it was all about the population??  Now we are back to it being about  "your own child"  .......why care about your child?

///If enough of us care about our children, the species will survive. ///  Rinse and repeat.  Why is it moral for the species to survive?

 

///I know this through personal observation, as I have said. More than once. I have also studied a fair amount about different cultures. I am not an advocate for cultural relativism. Just because people of a particular culture believe stoning other people to death is a legal and moral action doesn't mean I have to believe it is moral or just. But I have to acknowledge they believe it is. Stoning someone to death is an absolute immoral action for me. Stoning someone to death is absolutely moral for these other cultures. They, too, have a code that murder is immoral and don't see that stoning someone to death is murder. Like our state executions, the death is justified and not murder.///

Your talking about methods of executing judgement.  I am talking about the idea that moral judgemnts have to be executed in the first place. 

 

 

///Right and wrong exist because of (unconsciously) agreed upon cultural values. ///  Again, which is it?  Is it unconsciously or is it learned through interaction? is it agreed upon with each individual or agreed upon through cultural values? 

 

///Since cultures differ, right and wrong differ./// 

I think you will find that most cultures have the same basic sense of right and wrong (murder, arsen, theft etc...)

/// you seem to be trying to get me to admit that there has to be an external source of morality - as in some (likely your) imaginary friend. Nope. It is a synergy of individual personality, personal history, and societal context.///

The problem I am seeing is that logically this worldview has a difficult time accounting for its own premise regarding what is moral and how is it accounted for.  Does it come from the individual or does it come from the collective? (Back & forth, Back and forth) What started the spiral or primed the pump?  You seem to acknowledge that morallity exists, but fall short of telling me why it exists.  Iknow you will say it exists so that the species will survive, but why is that morally right?  Without an external source or ultimate standard there is no avenue to certainty, or to validate you knowledge claims. You could not account for things like the laws of logic, morallity or even the preconditions to intelligibility. Your argument becomes visciously circular.

 


wakawaka
Posts: 86
Joined: 2011-09-10
User is offlineOffline
HI Vastet///You aren't

HI Vastet

///You aren't forcing people to do anything then. So where's your point?///  The point is it takes alot less effort to just say no than it does to physically help someone.

 

///Helping others helps yourself. // Oh I dont know,  I have helped people before and received nothing but pain and grief.

 

///Why are you taking the assistance of other people right now, and bitching about it at the same time? You are a hypocrite.///  eh???


wakawaka
Posts: 86
Joined: 2011-09-10
User is offlineOffline
Hi AE///regardless of your

Hi AE

///regardless of your apparent cynicism in this discussion, human genes that code for social behaviour have been more successful than those that code for being a misery guts. If having some other focus than that of caring for other individuals allowed the next generation to survive better, then these new characteristics would soon spread through human society. ///

So if i understand you  correctly you are saying in a nutshell that history shows our good coded genes works better than evil coded genes.  It seems to me howver that evil and lack of morality is growing in the world.  Just turn on the TV.  So now that must mean our genes are changing again?  I would say thats pretty convenient.  Assuming of course that when you say "works better" that you are using a moral standard that the species OUGHT to survive in the first place.

 

This planet is symbiotic. The air we breathe, the process of digestion, even our evolution are bound up with the biosphere. We are part of an inclusive living system right down to the cellular level. The end. /// 

I guess we dont have a choice in the matter then.  We are all subject to the sensations of thought caused by the chemical reactions in the brain right down to the cellular level as you say.  But if the thoughts in your brain are nothing more than chemical reactions, how can you even trust your own reasoning to be true?

 

Ahhhh.  so if all that a person is is nothing more than cells, and thought and morallity is nothing more than a sensation caused by chemical reactions in the brain

 


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 12893
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
wakawaka wrote:The point is

wakawaka wrote:
The point is it takes alot less effort to just say no than it does to physically help someone.

Sure, but that's not what we were discussing. We were discussing the difference between aquiring help by offering it Vs aquiring help through force, a point which I'll note you have abandoned.

If you don't want anything from other people, you certainly aren't under any obligation to offer it. But your chances of surviving and having a good life are miniscule compared to someone who does help other people, and gets help in return.

Thus evolution will weed your genes out, and the person who is helpful will propogate their genes, and the following generation will be generally more helpful to others.

wakawaka wrote:
Oh I dont know,  I have helped people before and received nothing but pain and grief.

I bet you stopped helping them. I bet others did too. So their quality of life has suffered as a direct result of their behaviour.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 12893
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
wakawaka

wakawaka wrote:
eh???

Without the efforts of others, computers and the internet would not exist. Neither you nor I did anything to create either, yet we both benefit from them, the work of others. Neither of us invented fire or homes or police or firefighting or medicine or science or a billion other things we both have at our disposal. How are they not beneficial to us? They were ALL the result of people working together. I challenge you to show a reason we should have been fighting each other instead.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 12893
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
"It seems to me howver that

"It seems to me howver that evil and lack of morality is growing in the world.  Just turn on the TV."

This is an illusion. You hear about more bad things because we can communicate faster and more efficiently than at any time in all of history. Couple that with the fact that good news isn't in high demand, and you get the appearance the world is falling apart every night on the 6 o'clock news. But the fact is the world is better off now than ever before, as far as people are concerned.

You just need to stop listening to alarmists.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
wakawaka wrote:Perhaps if i

wakawaka wrote:

Perhaps if i ask the question a little differently it might shed light on the point.....In essence you are saying that we develop morals in order for the species to survive correct?  What I am asking is why is it morally right for the species to survive?

 

The species surviving has nothing to do with morality. Does an amoeba have morals? No. But their species survives and reproduces. There are those people that I have spoken with who believe it is not moral for humans to survive individually or as a species. And I think it is totally a-moral (without morality) whether the species survives or not. We will survive or we won't.

 

wakawaka wrote:

That sounds like an absolute.  Do you believe in the existence of absolutes?  JUst curious.

 

Sure. For convenience's sake. And I really would be amazed if anyone could make it on their own without assistance, starting bare naked and unarmed. You want to run that experiment, fine. I sure don't and I won't. Absolutely. Find another sucker.

 

wakawaka wrote:

Well there are at least 7 major theories of evolution now and to say its not about individuals strikes me as a little off.  I mean what are populations made out of anyway?

 

7???? Where did you come up with that number? There are multiple theories - many of which appear to have some predictive capability, the true test of a theory - about how evolution occurs, but there isn't any question about my definition. All modern definitions of evolution reference populations. Of course they are made of individuals. But let me repeat - Evolution is the change in the frequency of an allele in a population over time. The individual may or may not change through inheriting a mutation, but it isn't necessary for evolution to occur.

As an example, let's pretend there is a new virus. The virus only attacks humans. It has a 30% fatality rate - 30% of all people who come down with the virus die. BUT - if you are brunette, blond or have black hair, you can not develop immunity. That is, you can catch this virus multiple times. Because it is a virus, antibiotics don't kill it. Because you can not develop immunity, vaccinations don't prevent. UNLESS you are a redhead. Then you can still die from it, but you can develop immunity, so you can only get sick once. And vaccinations work for you. Can you see that there will be more redheads in the population of humans in a very short time? That is evolution.

Evolution is about frequencies of the expression of a particular gene. There may be changes such as mutations in individuals and that may cause a shift in the population. There doesn't have to be. A change in the environment may cause some characteristic that wasn't favored before to become favored. And evolution - change in the frequency of an allele within that population - will occur.

If you want to know, humans have a mutation rate of about 100 to 200 mutations about the time we read adulthood, 30 to 40 of which might be transmitted to our children. We are mutants reproducing with mutants. I can refer you to the peer-reviewed genetic papers if you wish.

 

wakawaka wrote:

Thought you said it was all about the population??  Now we are back to it being about  "your own child"  .......why care about your child?

 

Populations - statistics - likelihood of survival. If enough of us care for our children, the species will survive. Again, you are not getting my point. Individuals reproducing create populations. A particular individual surviving is unimportant. What is important is that enough survive for the population to persist. If none of us care for our children, our species will not survive.

 

wakawaka wrote:

Rinse and repeat.  Why is it moral for the species to survive?

 

Repeating again and again - it is neither moral nor immoral for any species to survive. It either does or it doesn't. Is it immoral or moral if you breathe?

 

wakawaka wrote:

Your talking about methods of executing judgement.  I am talking about the idea that moral judgemnts have to be executed in the first place. 

 

Exactly - how we execute justice is a direct reflection of how we perceive and implement our morals. Having morals without implementing them seems an odd concept to me.

 

wakawaka wrote:

Again, which is it?  Is it unconsciously or is it learned through interaction? is it agreed upon with each individual or agreed upon through cultural values? 

 

Again, it is both - not either/or, AND. Interactive, synergistic.

 

wakawaka wrote:

I think you will find that most cultures have the same basic sense of right and wrong (murder, arsen, theft etc...)

 

Nope. They don't. What is murder? What is theft? When is arson not okay? They differ. See this documentary from National Geographic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU2PtEjGm-s

At about 16:35, it examines Albania where vendettas wipe out entire villages. Where an eye for an eye means people kill and kill and kill. It sure looks like murder to my eyes.

 

wakawaka wrote:

The problem I am seeing is that logically this worldview has a difficult time accounting for its own premise regarding what is moral and how is it accounted for.  Does it come from the individual or does it come from the collective? (Back & forth, Back and forth) What started the spiral or primed the pump?  You seem to acknowledge that morallity exists, but fall short of telling me why it exists.  Iknow you will say it exists so that the species will survive, but why is that morally right?  Without an external source or ultimate standard there is no avenue to certainty, or to validate you knowledge claims. You could not account for things like the laws of logic, morallity or even the preconditions to intelligibility. Your argument becomes visciously circular.

 

Holy moly - dude - it is both individual and collective. It is not which came first the chicken or the egg. Those who took more care for their offspring and those of their family group had better success at raising children to sexual maturity. With their larger population, they were better able to compete for scarce resources. The larger family group was better able to fight off predators - other humans and cave bears and dire wolves. So they were able to raise more children. So those who took even better care of their children and those of their family group had even more children.

Gradually, the small variations between humans added up. There is always some variation in how a particular gene is expressed. The chemical makeup may look identical, but in combination with the other genes for that individual, they may express just a little differently. From the early starting to care for one's offspring, to caring for one's family group, to caring for one's village, tribe, city, city-state, and so on we began to develop rules and laws and ethics and morals. As our civilization became more complex, we had to be more and more cooperative. So we had to agree on what worked and what we were going to do about those individuals who did not cooperate. Tah-dah!

Why is any particular set of morals right? Because they allow us to cooperate with each other. That is all. I am a pragmatic realist. They are right because they work.

The laws of logic? They work for certain problems. People developed them so they could manipulate their environment better. Intelligibility? It works to further our cooperative endeavors. How much easier to construct an irrigation system if you can say, "HEY! Toss me that basket!" instead of "um-uh." There isn't any certainty, nothing developed by plan or design, there was no avenue to certainty. People just came up with something that worked. Because, after all, debating morals, philosophy, religion, etc means doodly if you don't have enough to eat.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Atheistextremist
atheist
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5130
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Hi Waka

wakawaka wrote:

Ahhhh.  so if all that a person is is nothing more than cells, and thought and morallity is nothing more than a sensation caused by chemical reactions in the brain

 

Yes, yes, now you're starting to get it. Thought is an abstract noun that encompasses a range of mental processes we dimly understand and morality is a label for a group of human behaviours governed by how pro-social behaviours make us feel. 

Call to mind your conscience, Waka. Does it communicate with you as a booming voice or a burning bush, or does it make you feel sick with shame when you harm another? In truth, now...Is your conscience a rising feeling or an external voice?

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Atheistextremist
atheist
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5130
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Given evolution

 

wakawaka wrote:

human genes that code for social behaviour have been more successful than those that code for being a misery guts. If having some other focus than that of caring for other individuals allowed the next generation to survive better, then these new characteristics would spread through human society.

 

is the indubitable selector, this point made by a few of us now and not yet answered by you, is rubber and road. We are social now because being social contributed to our survival in the past. Feel free to posit an alternate hypothesis at your leisure. 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


wakawaka
Posts: 86
Joined: 2011-09-10
User is offlineOffline
//Many people have tried

//Many people have tried that over the years. //  And they still do.

//We have seen time and again throughout history that when one person/group of people attempt to oppress another that the inevitable result is violence and death.//

No matter, get rid of one oppressive regime and two more try to take its place.  People are power hungry.  They want to rule.  Survival of the fittest man.

// Even someone being as obtuse as you are should be able to see that a society where humans are killing each other is less pleasant and less efficient than one where people work together and trade the fruits of their labor. // 

And yet all you have to do is turn on the tv and you will see increasing violence throughout the world.  Man seeks to rule over man.  He always has and he always will.  Its in our NATURE.  You speak as though its all ancient history.  ITs more efficient to rule than to be ruled.  Its more pleasant and its more rewarding.  Again,  the Golden Rule does not comport well with evolution.


wakawaka
Posts: 86
Joined: 2011-09-10
User is offlineOffline
//Sure, but that's not what

//Sure, but that's not what we were discussing. We were discussing the difference between aquiring help by offering it Vs aquiring help through force, a point which I'll note you have abandoned. //

The point was that since you seem to be so concerned with degrees of effort, then it would be easier still to just say no than it would be to help someone.  As far as offering help vs forcing help: those who hold the power would say its far easier and rewarding to force others to give you what you want.  Sure there will be revolts and the fall of regimes, but for every regime orl dictator that falls there will be two more seeking to take its place.  Dont worry, the Sheeple will always follow, and there will always be mans inhumanity to man.  WHy should I abandon a winning argument?  Again the Golden rule does not comport well with evolution.


wakawaka
Posts: 86
Joined: 2011-09-10
User is offlineOffline
// I challenge you to show a

// I challenge you to show a reason we should have been fighting each other instead.//

As though we dont fight for things already. And, we always have.  There is also benefit in not helping each other.  People and nations fight for gain, hate, money, power.............how many reasons do you want?  Not that any of that matters given an evolutionary world view.  Nothing matters in this world view.  YOur born you live you die.  Niether love nor hate nor good or evil means anything.  If it does then you are borrowing from a theist's ideology.

 

 

 

 


blacklight915
atheist
blacklight915's picture
Posts: 544
Joined: 2011-12-23
User is offlineOffline
wakawaka wrote:People are

wakawaka wrote:

People are power hungry.  They want to rule.

Man seeks to rule over man.

ITs more efficient to rule than to be ruled.  Its more pleasant and its more rewarding.

Is it safe to assume you're speaking in general terms? For example, by "People are power hungry." do you mean something like: "In general, people are power hungry.", "Most people are power hungry.", "People tend to be power hungry.", etc.?

 

EDIT:

wakawaka wrote:

Niether love nor hate nor good or evil means anything.  If it does then you are borrowing from a theist's ideology.

A god is not necessary for words to have meaning.

 


wakawaka
Posts: 86
Joined: 2011-09-10
User is offlineOffline
// And I think it is totally

// And I think it is totally a-moral (without morality) whether the species survives or not. We will survive or we won't. //

Thank you for making my point!!! As i have said in so many posts, given the evolutionary world view morality and the speicies surviving doesnt matter.

 

//What is important is that enough survive for the population to persist. If none of us care for our children, our species will not survive.//

Perthaps I spoke to soon.  We are back to it being important again.

 

// Repeating again and again - it is neither moral nor immoral for any species to survive. It either does or it doesn't. Is it immoral or moral if you breathe?//

Again you make my point. Thanks.

 

//Exactly - how we execute justice is a direct reflection of how we perceive and implement our morals. Having morals without implementing them seems an odd concept to me.//

Since this post is soooo long Let me see if i can sumarize what you are saying in its entirety:   

 [[ Our species has morals to help it survive or persist, but it s not moral for the species to survive or persist.]]   Talk about your odd concepts.......whew!

Can we therefore now conclude that which I have been saying all along- that given the evolutionary worldview morals like the GOlden rule do not comport well in this theory?

 

 


Atheistextremist
atheist
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5130
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Hi Waka

 

wakawaka wrote:

And yet all you have to do is turn on the tv and you will see increasing violence throughout the world.  Man seeks to rule over man.  He always has and he always will.  Its in our NATURE.  You speak as though its all ancient history.  ITs more efficient to rule than to be ruled.  Its more pleasant and its more rewarding.  Again,  the Golden Rule does not comport well with evolution.

 

Yes, humans fight over scarce resources but it's obvious that humans also work together and depend on social bonds for their survival. We share with our in-group who are genetically related. We compete with unrelated out-groups. It's a false dichotomy to suggest that one of 2 opposite human behaviours is the only driver of human evolution, particularly when human evolution is not entirely understood. Do argue pro-social behaviour has never, ever contributed to human survival in the past and present?

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck