Alright, not sure if you've heard this one before.

RhadTheGizmo
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Alright, not sure if you've heard this one before.

Here's an argument for the existence of God that I've heard before.

Let me know what you guys think:

"If we all evolved from other the same point of chaos, why is it that man is distinctly different in one respect: morality. I do not speak of morality as in "the existence of non-universal, yet implied, code of conduct from which people choose to live by," but the word itself. It would seem that in all of existence things only do what they do. There exists not "should" and "should not". A rock never does what it "should not" do, even as an animal does what it "should not" do. Planets circle the stars, stars circle around galactic centers of gravities.. and so on. So how is it, that man, does what he "should not" do? It doesn't matter what the "should not" is defined as, merely that it is stated as an meaningful, applicable concept towards eachother."

Anyways. Let me know what you guys thing. I'll try not to let me replying get out of hand. Smiling I sense that there is a fault in this argument, I just can't clearly formulate it-- so perhaps you all will help clear up the issue.

Muchos gracias.


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The idea one says nothing

The idea one says nothing about a god even if I accept everything else.

Two, morality isn't what defines a human. Morality itself isn't a constant absolute no matter how badly we my want it to be. Because of that they can not compare that to natural working of the universe.

Three, other animals do form a code of conduct, however lose it might be.

Really the biggest point is that even if they could prove their idea about morality correct it doesn't mean god is a part of it.

To answer his question: That man does not agree with your idea of should not or does not care.


Now I highly doubt this last point is the idea but I'll say it anyway.

When they said, "I do not speak of morality as in [defined] but the word itself," my first thought was that langue somehow works into this. However there are animals with methods of communication and communication being doesn't prove god did it. Plus communication can be so poor sometimes I wouldn't like having to argue with the man who'd suggest a perfect being made it. Again this only applies if that was apart of his point.


RhadTheGizmo
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Voiderest wrote:

Voiderest wrote:
The idea one says nothing about a god even if I accept everything else.

True. I think its more meant to describe an anomaly.. as well as, ask the question of those who are not theist.

Quote:
Two, morality isn't what defines a human. Morality itself isn't a constant absolute no matter how badly we my want it to be. Because of that they can not compare that to natural working of the universe.

Any particular form of morality is not a constant absolute, morality itself seems to be. Unless you can think of an example of a community that claims, or is, amoral.

What I mean is: A culture can say that eating humans is right and letting humans live is wrong (I'm not saying there is one, just, suggesting); this is a code of morality, even though it does not fit into western thinking, it still claims a right and a wrong, a "should do" and a "should not do".

Quote:
Three, other animals do form a code of conduct, however lose it might be.

I realize that we perceive animals to have a code of conduct-- for instance, if an animal steals food (for whatever reason), it might be kicked out of the community; however, our perception of animals is not that an animal did what he "should not have done", merely that his own needs to protect itself as well as its family, superseded all other factors. The main goal of an inanimate object thing is nothing (merely be), the main goal of an individual animal would be to pass on its genetic code.

Tis true that animals develop communities that aid in that goal, and communities create codes from which maximize the efficiency of that community for everyone; however, the main goal seems to remain the same. All the individuals are doing just as they should. In otherwords, it may give an appearance of a community, but is merely many individuals looking out for their one interest by being a part of it-- just as they should be doing.

I don't think man comes under this same idea. Perhaps everything is the sames, but yet that anomaly pops up once again.

Individuals do not only look out for their, what should be their most basic interest, of self preservation/propogation of one's own genetic code.

History seems to give many examples, or at least ancedotal evidence, where one individual gives up his/her life for another non-related individual, or at least puts himself, and only himself, in the way of clear harm for another.

This is surely an anomaly.

True.. I think there might be some validity to this counterargument. I think it might be its weakness in that.. it only works if one accepts that animals only "do as they should" and that their most basic interest is "self preservation/own genetic code."

Quote:
Really the biggest point is that even if they could prove their idea about morality correct it doesn't mean god is a part of it.

Yup. Like I said however, I think it's more just looking for answers to an apparent anomaly.

Quote:
To answer his question: That man does not agree with your idea of should not or does not care.

Perhaps.

Quote:
Now I highly doubt this last point is the idea but I'll say it anyway.

When they said, "I do not speak of morality as in [defined] but the word itself," my first thought was that langue somehow works into this. However there are animals with methods of communication and communication being doesn't prove god did it. Plus communication can be so poor sometimes I wouldn't like having to argue with the man who'd suggest a perfect being made it. Again this only applies if that was apart of his point.

Granted.

Like I said. Just an anomaly used as an argumentative strategy. Thanks for your response.


Hambydammit
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Actually, people "do what

Actually, people "do what they do" in the same way that animals do, so the premise is false.

While our morality is much more complex than other animals (owing to the complexity of our society) it is not different in kind.

If you consider "morality" from the point of a superorganism, the primary goals of any species are

1 Survival of the group

2 Betterment of the individuals within the group (which leads back to 1.

In other words, when faced with an external challenge to survival, the group becomes more important.  This is evident in the universality of war.  

Why do you suppose we send the women and children onto the life rafts first?  It's not because of some mysterious, counter-intuitive programming that sky-daddy arbitrarily put into us.  It's because the group demands survival of the females for reproduction, and the young for strength and longevity.

Ever notice that ALL societies divide themselves into pecking orders?  No matter how much we try to institute things like communism, socialism, or any other utopian-style "ism," there are always people who rise to power... Alphas, and usually males.  Ever notice that really powerful men get to mate with pretty much any females of their choice?  Think god did that?  Nope.  It's evolution.

Ever notice that no matter how much we try to impose artificial morality systems on people, they always end up doing what they want anyway?  Remember that in any society as complex as ours, you will have deviance, so individuals who defy the norms are actually normal.

In ants, there are slackers -- workers who never manage to carry any of the big loads, and just tag along, trying to look busy.  The funny thing?  If you take the slackers out of the group, new ants become slackers, in the same percentages as before.  Deviance is a misnomer!  It's normal.

For recommended reading, you should try The Lucifer Principle, by Howard Blum.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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RhadTheGizmo
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Quote:

Quote:
For recommended reading, you should try The Lucifer Principle, by Howard Blum.

I may check up on some reading online.

 I don't like buying books unless it's for school or some small piece of classic literature.

---

As for your point, good one, definitely. I have considered this a possibility. We are not dogs, therefore we do not know what sort of motives or not motives they have-- just theories based off their actions.

Just the same as out own actions.

---

On another note Hammy-- your cat is holding a machine gun and hissing as he blasts someone away.

 

You might want to consider some anger management sessions for him.


Hambydammit
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heh... You should see the

heh...

You should see the animated gif I took that from. Much more impressive.

I'm not sure why that icon appeals to me as much as it does. I am a cat lover, so the cat part is easy...

When I was a kid, Eddie Murphy was on Saturday Night Live, and often did a parody on Gumby. During the skit, he'd say, "I'm Gumby Dammit!" With the name Hamby, it was inevitable that kids would start saying, "He's Hamby Dammit!" After decades of having my name spelled Handy, Hambry, Handily, Handry, Hemby, Hendy, and at least seventy two other variations, I admit to some frustration, and the desire to shoot people with at least a super-soaker and shout, "It's HAMBYDAMMIT!"

Anyway, if you don't like my icon, you'll have to suffer the wrath of the Rambo-Kitty.

peace.

 

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I would like to note that

I would like to note that studies have shown that many animals share behavioral and moral traits with humans.  The major distinction between our moral faculty and that of animals is that ours is more generalized as a result of the fact that our brain has developed to be a general processing machine.  That is, it has a plasticity that other animals' brains do not have.

Thus, while many animals have the ability to bahave in the same mora ways that we do, in some situations, they don't have the genral capability to abstract the information from the world in such a way to be more complete moral animals.  

With these more plastic abilities, we can construct moral principles, rules, and systematic philosophies.  The problem is taht there is not one simgle system that works in all situations, nor do we actually practice or agree with any one system's priniples and conclusions.

I agree, further, tha tthis has nothing, necessarily, to do with any gods.

Shaun 

I'll fight for a person's right to speak so long as that person will, in return, fight to allow me to challenge their opinions and ridicule them as the content of their ideas merit.


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RhadTheGizmo wrote: Here's

RhadTheGizmo wrote:

Here's an argument for the existence of God that I've heard before.

Let me know what you guys think:

"If we all evolved from other the same point of chaos, why is it that man is distinctly different in one respect: morality. I do not speak of morality as in "the existence of non-universal, yet implied, code of conduct from which people choose to live by," but the word itself. It would seem that in all of existence things only do what they do. There exists not "should" and "should not". A rock never does what it "should not" do, even as an animal does what it "should not" do. Planets circle the stars, stars circle around galactic centers of gravities.. and so on. So how is it, that man, does what he "should not" do? It doesn't matter what the "should not" is defined as, merely that it is stated as an meaningful, applicable concept towards eachother."

Anyways. Let me know what you guys thing. I'll try not to let me replying get out of hand. Smiling I sense that there is a fault in this argument, I just can't clearly formulate it-- so perhaps you all will help clear up the issue. Muchos gracias.

Well, this seems to me like trying to prove God using the opposite of opposing to the morality argument.

There is one BIG flaw in the argument, and it resides in the implicit assumption that there actually is an absolute "should not do" for man.

However, this absolute "should not do" doesn't much care about circumstantial or relative arguments (Rhad, if you say you study law, then think of what I'm referring to as personal circumstantiation, which results in a different penalty than the normal one).

Example: X is dying of hunger. He has no place to stay, therefore he sleeps on a bench in the park ("should not do", but he hasn't a different choice), he begs for food or steals it ("should not do", but he hasn't got a choice), washes himself in the river/lake, even when it's forbidden ("should not do", but he doesn't have a different choice), etc.

Any human being will do what is firstly best for himself. Then, he will do what's best for the group. For some people, whatever "should nots" is the only valid choice.

This "should not" is just as relative to man, as, in the example given, the alpha male chooses his female to mate. Or why a female sometimes betrays the alpha male and mates, in secrecy, with another male.

Conclusion: the implicite premise set by the argument is invalid and is not respected in the argument itself. That's the fault you're looking for.

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RhadTheGizmo
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I think the argument is

I think the argument is more based on the concept of morality itself than any inherent assertion of an 'absolute code.' In fact, I would think that the concept of an 'unabsolute code' of morality would do more for the argument then anything else. For.. we don't find animals of the same species with different 'moral codes'.. or 'community guildlines'.. or whatever you might call them. They seem to be the same within a species of animal-- an exception for humans, as you rightly point out, who may not have an "absolute moral code", in the sense that its the same everywhere, but yet every community does have its own "morality."

Granted.. I can see how the idea of "should" and "should not" may just be a function of our elevated consciousness, or perhaps are inability to see clearly enough to understand that animals are in fact making 'moral choices'.

However, as things seem now, we are unique in that we are 'self aware'. We question our own existence, we set up moral code, we do all these things that seem to be uniquely human traits. It would seem that animals do not 'fight for ideals' or the such. One could make the argument that humans do.

Risking terrible harm to oneself and their community, communities have time and again fought against the system for what they thought to be 'right' or 'a right'. In the 'class system' of animals, a matriach or patriach would only seem to be challenged when the challenger believes himself to be capable of winning. You don't see the youngin' challenging the alpha male.

Granted.. as someone said above, we may just be a superorganism, living as we "should" in everything we do.. just don't realize it, or can't prove it, since we are our inside of the organism, not on the out.


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It's an interesting idea,

It's an interesting idea, Rhad, that the existence of a relative moral code could be used as an argument FOR god, but the downfall is that animals DO in fact have a relative moral code.

The higher up you get, the more clearly you can see it.  Depending on the relative strength and prosperity of social groups, the lesser members of a group are treated better or worse.  In other words, if the troupe is starving, and only the alpha gets to eat, so be it.  But if the troupe is doing great and everyone has plenty, even the low end of the pecking order gets relatively well fed.  It can even mean life or death.  So it is with infanticide.  Apes routinely commit infanticide based on parentage, but sometimes they don't even though previous evidence says they "should."

If animals had an absolute code, the lowest animals would always get a set portion or percentage, and the alpha would always kill rival babies.

 

 

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RhadTheGizmo
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Quote: Apes routinely

Quote:
Apes routinely commit infanticide based on parentage, but sometimes they don't even though previous evidence says they "should."

Fascinating.  Very interesting. Thank Hamb. 


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RhadTheGizmo

RhadTheGizmo wrote:
However, as things seem now, we are unique in that we are 'self aware'. We question our own existence, we set up moral code, we do all these things that seem to be uniquely human traits. It would seem that animals do not 'fight for ideals' or the such. One could make the argument that humans do.

Risking terrible harm to oneself and their community, communities have time and again fought against the system for what they thought to be 'right' or 'a right'. In the 'class system' of animals, a matriach or patriach would only seem to be challenged when the challenger believes himself to be capable of winning. You don't see the youngin' challenging the alpha male.

Self-awareness is an interesting topic. Right now, we're not exactly sure whether or not we are the only self-aware being on this planet.

And just how do we know something is self-aware? Do we conclude that something that recognizez itself in the mirror can be self-aware (perhaps at a primitive level)? Should we say that, it means that a dog isn't self-aware, but, for instance, an octopus does recognize itself in the mirror.

It's not a topic I'd personally go into, since I admit to not having many details.

As for the second part... I don't know what to say. In the animal world, there's a clear indication on whether or not you are worthy enough to challenge an alpha male, but, in the human world, there isn't. It's not because humans have suppressed natural instincts, it's not because humans are stupid, it's simply because humanity has already developed far too much for their own computing power.

Take, for instance, the head of an organized crime society. When can a rival claim the throne? He's got supporters, he's got the "balls" for it, he's got the money and the respect, but he might not succeed because of reasons he might not even expect to encounter (secret pacts, interests of the superior, etc.).

It's just too many factors to consider. If people would have had the interest to observe and to note every stage of human development and the known factors, facts, events, perhaps we would be able to prove that humanity has practically done nothing but follow a natural course, but to extend it farther and farther.

As Ham pointed out, within a "clan" of animals lies the same "moral code" (out of a lack of better term), but they are different between clans. Same as with humans, thing which you cannot deny. It's just that humanity is slowly evolving to a "big happy clan" itself, due to development in technology, communication, etc. We are not completely "separate clans" anymore.

Quote:
Granted.. as someone said above, we may just be a superorganism, living as we "should" in everything we do.. just don't realize it, or can't prove it, since we are our inside of the organism, not on the out.

Considering what I said above in the last paragraph, this might be actually very close to the truth.

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Hambydammit wrote: The

Hambydammit wrote:
The higher up you get, the more clearly you can see it.  Depending on the relative strength and prosperity of social groups, the lesser members of a group are treated better or worse.  In other words, if the troupe is starving, and only the alpha gets to eat, so be it.  But if the troupe is doing great and everyone has plenty, even the low end of the pecking order gets relatively well fed.  It can even mean life or death.  So it is with infanticide.  Apes routinely commit infanticide based on parentage, but sometimes they don't even though previous evidence says they "should."

As an addition to what you said. Animal groups (some) do sometimes "avoid" these rules, such as an alpha male getting the best and not caring about the rest. Some seem to have a human-like way of organizing themselves. Imagine: an alpha male/female can't bring down an elephant all by itself. Therefore it needs the rest of the pack, even if, from a natural selection point of view, they aren't the best. It's like humans: top performers need the others in order to achieve their goals: for food, for protection, for doing some of the work, as one cannot do everything. We don't consider animals as doing what they "shouldn't do".

About infanticide: I believe the most obvious example, not only to infanticide, but to a kind of "self-genocide" is with the lemmings (you know, large masses jumping off cliffs because they are simply too many for the ammount of food).

As I stated in the above post, humanity has developed a lot in a very short time, and, possibly, this resemblance to the animal kingdom might not be so obvious anymore.

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
http://rigoromortis.blogspot.com/