the moral argument

dreems
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the moral argument

i am not sure of the best forum, but hi.

in my opinion, the best argument for a personal God, ie theism as opposed to deism, is the moral argument. i don't maintain its demonstrative, but the better argument points to theism. because conscience seems like the voice of god, and because i feel confident that various counter arguments wont hold up, i think its better to say that god really does speak through concience, so that the mystery at the heart of the universe is personal.

 

anyone intereted in taking up this discussion?

 

dreems

 


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robj101 wrote:It's sounds

robj101 wrote:

It's sounds like you are attributing empathy to intelligence. Blake also makes it sound as if a trickle of intelligence means a potential flood of empathy, but the dam of low intelligence keeps it from flowing fully.

 

Err.. no, not exactly.  My point was that without intelligence, empathy can be expressed, but have negative consequences.  Empathy can exist without the appropriate sensory perception too- delusion is capable of filling in for sense that doesn't exist (for example, a child having empathy for a doll).

 

Intelligence is only a large factor in the *efficacy* of broadly applied empathy.


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So animals other than humans

So animals other than humans are delusional, even animals that are very low on the intelligence scale? I agree empathy Can exist, but Does it exist when you can't see it.  It seems like you are grabbing at straws.

There are several examples of misguided or "delusional" empathy. But I can't find a single example on video of a reptile doing anything even close to this. Besides the snake that didn't eat the

 

I think the snake here just wasn't hungry, but you can call it empathy if you like.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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robj101 wrote:So animals

robj101 wrote:

So animals other than humans are delusional, even animals that are very low on the intelligence scale?

No... I'm not sure where you got that.  All animals, even humans, are capable of having certain delusions- though perhaps delusion is a bad word, so I'd be happy to have a more precise one.

A human can attend to a doll, believing it to have emotions- I've seen this in adults too- or a lizard could probably attend to a shedding or a stick, believing it to be an infant child or partner; or perhaps not even knowing what it is, or why it has empathy towards it.

My point was that a creature doesn't have to understand what or why it feels something in order to feel it- and it doesn't have to make sense in order for the feeling to still be genuine.

 

Quote:
I agree empathy Can exist, but Does it exist when you can't see it.  It seems like you are grabbing at straws.

 

It may or may not exist when we can't see it (though the fact would stand regardless of our ability to witness it); of course I haven't been asserting that all reptiles have empathy, or a significant degree of it- I can only assert that empathy to which I have been a witness (which is significant).

I can assert within reason that, in a species that does experience empathy, within the millions or billions of years of its existence, one or two of them have inevitably experienced some form of psychosis or delusion- or due to simple genetic factors, many have expressed it slightly stronger than need be.


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What this seems to boil down

What this seems to boil down to is that we have varying idea's of exactly what empathy is and you have witnessed something I have not seen as fitting my definition of it. There is a lot of grey area, nothing like this is ever totally black and white. I think the best course would be to agree to disagree, would you agree?

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robj101 wrote:What this

robj101 wrote:

What this seems to boil down to is that we have varying idea's of exactly what empathy is and you have witnessed something I have not seen as fitting my definition of it.

 

I think the problem is that you don't really know if they have empathy or not, even by your definition- but you assert that you do.

 

Regarding the snake at the Tokyo zoo- I don't know what's going on there, and I wouldn't insist that it *is* empathy (and I imagine it probably isn't-- but it remains possible), but I don't think you have any place insisting that it isn't either, without more information (information neither of us have).

It is well demonstrated (and several of us have explained to you why this does not qualify a fundamentally different thing from *your* definition) that some reptiles certainly have empathy.

 

You have even admitted that this may be a basic kind of empathy- and you can't tell us what the difference is between the two beyond an arbitrary qualification (which isn't going to fly for any objective statement like the one you originally made).

 

Quote:
There is a lot of grey area, nothing like this is ever totally black and white. I think the best course would be to agree to disagree, would you agree?

I disagree- two rational people may not always agree on opinions, but they can come to agree on facts.

 

The fact here remains that, for most reptiles, we just don't have enough information to make any certain statements about their experience of empathy.

An "I'm not sure" would be the best statement on the subject- for most reptiles.

 

For some reptiles, though, there is quite definitive evidence of empathy- it may usually be shorter lived (though at least one example I gave is reoccurring throughout life), and we may not have evidence of its strength (will a gator knowingly sacrifice her life to protect her young?  I don't know), and even its breadth may be limited more tightly to a certain kind of creature upon which they focus this emotion (such as almost exclusively newborn young)-- but regardless of the limitations (which are not fundamental ones, but ones shared to various degrees by all animals), it is not reasonably deniable that this almost certainly qualifies empathy.

 

There's no opinion here to agree to disagree about... your assertion that no reptiles have any empathy at all is flatly incorrect- at least as definitively so as the assertion that the Earth is flat.

You may not think that this level of empathy is "as good as" human empathy, or as strong, or whatever- that's fine, but denying it's there, or calling it something different entirely rather than just recognizing a difference of potency and extent, is irrational.

 

I will agree that the average reptile we will encounter has less broadly applicable empathy than the average bird or mammal, and that the probability of the average reptile experiencing noticeable empathy for a human is smaller on a nearly astronomical scale than that for the average bird of mammal.

I won't agree that they (reptiles) care any less about their own babies, though, than the average mammal- quite a few of which (mammals) will readily eat their young.  That is, I won't agree that they have 'less empathy', but just that the direction of this empathy may be different in application, or less flexible, than that of the average mammal.


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You mentioned a word, "care"

You mentioned a word, "care" no I have seen absolutely no evidence that they care about their young, and it has not been demonstrated that they do. There are a few mammals who do not seem to care much either. As far as reptiles go, from what I have observed they follow a script. If their young die or get eaten or whatever, they carry on as if nothing has happened. A lot of mammals will show signs of loss, possibly very emotionally if their young are killed or die. As far as the reptiles you linked before I didn't note any definitive "care", they seemed to mate with one in a monogamous kind of relationship (and I will give you that it seems odd for an animal with limited intelligence), but this somehow reminds me of how they say elephants are born with some memory of where water is and where to go to die etc. I could be totally off on that but it still reminds me of it. Memory and imprinting somehow in their script. Beats me so I'll just say "I don't know" on that one.

Anyway, I generalized reptiles, you apparently have found one or two thay may show some odd signs of empathy. One or two is not reptiles in general. I speak of common snakes, lizards and things you might see on a daily basis. I don't know anything about say. komodo dragons, I never had one nor have I ever studied them. But I have had many many snakes and lizards and I watch the discovery channel like anyone else lol.

So on some of these points, yes we will continue to disagree apparently, the glass is half empty in my case as far as guessing with no evidence and the idea of intelligence correlating with empathy, altruism and care in general.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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robj101 wrote:You mentioned

robj101 wrote:

You mentioned a word, "care" no I have seen absolutely no evidence that they care about their young, and it has not been demonstrated that they do.

 

Bloody hell, are you dense?  Empathy is care.  Care is empathy.  If you have the memory of a goldfish, you might not care for long, but it's still care insofar as it lasted.

 

Can somebody else please address this?  Butterbattle, please, I think my head is going to explode.  I might say something mean if I try again.

 

 

Quote:
There are a few mammals who do not seem to care much either.

 

Yeah, like you. :P  There's no evidence that you care about anybody or anything in the world.  It's all instinct- automatic, mechanical.  That's right, you're a biological robot, Rob.

 

Quote:
As far as reptiles go, from what I have observed they follow a script.

 

Yeah, just like you... really, an impossibly big script that couldn't ever be encoded into DNA, but what the hell?  It's encoded in there anyway, magically.  Maybe the molecules are storing extra information in violation of quantum physics.

 

 

Quote:
the glass is half empty in my case as far as guessing with no evidence and the idea of intelligence correlating with empathy, altruism and care in general.

 

No, that's not it.  We're not talking about amounts here.

 

There are two different glasses, and they're differently shaped, making it difficult to judge how full they are (this much is obvious). 

They both have orange juice in them, though, regardless of how much is in them (from a drop to a gallon).  I'd be happy to discuss the amount of orange juice in each glass, and try to figure it out, but you still persist in insisting that one of the glasses has apple juice in it instead.

WTF?

 


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yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa whatever lol. Reptiles make judgement calls haha yea sure bub. The pope has judas locked in a closet too.

I offered to agree to disagree, I tried to be nice, but you insist that you want to rub my nose in some nonsense. I'm glad there are people in the world who think like you do, it makes things interesting, if a bit one sided and black and white. But maybe I'm too easily amused.

So, henceforth I will make fun of you and call you out on your claptrap "I fukin' know everything" attitude. I don't post and say things unless I'm pretty sure about it, otherwise I let others do the talking, so there are some threads you don't see me post in. I made the reptile refrence and I stand by it. They don't care or love or anything like that. They just do what they do like an insect or other animal that has very low intelligence. If they didn't have the base instinct to eat they would not be smart enough to even figure that out.

I'm sure I could peruse each of your threads and find some little stupid crap to nit pick and make into a big deal because I disagree.

"The sky is not blue, it is an off shade of grey"

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
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robj101

robj101 wrote:

yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa whatever lol. Reptiles make judgement calls haha yea sure bub.

 

If you are denying that such a basic element of intelligence exists in reptiles, your delusions on the matter run deeper than I suspected.

 

Quote:
I offered to agree to disagree,

 

I do not agree to disagree on matters of fact- that is for opinions (which are personal, and subjective).  Facts have more objective truth value.

 

Quote:
I tried to be nice, but you insist that you want to rub my nose in some nonsense.

 

I'm only rubbing your nose in your nonsense to get you to recognize it, and give you the change to reform and evolve your perspective.  You appear to be too stubborn to do this.

 

Quote:
So, henceforth I will make fun of you and call you out on your claptrap "I fukin' know everything" attitude.

 

If I have at any point asserted something that you believe is incorrect, please point it out- if it is incorrect, I *can* be corrected, and appreciate it.  Unlike some, I like to advance my world view into a more rational one whenever I can- that's what makes me a rational person; I seek out rational perspectives.

 

Quote:
I don't post and say things unless I'm pretty sure about it, otherwise I let others do the talking, so there are some threads you don't see me post in.

 

It is unfortunate, then, that you are so profoundly mistaken on this issue that you can't even see it.

 

Quote:
I made the reptile refrence and I stand by it.

 

That doesn't make it right- it makes you a stubborn idiot.

Several other people have weighed in here, and even you have waffled a little bit- you're sticking to your guns for emotional reasons, not rational ones.  Every one of your objections has been covered several times by multiple parties.

 

Quote:
"The sky is not blue, it is an off shade of grey"

 

Grey is not a hue (a wavelength range), it is a relative measure of lightness (things can only achieve this in context), compounded with a somewhat arbitrary sensory cut-off of saturation.

The colour that the sky is during the day, is usually blue- around 465 nanometers, plus or minus twenty five or thirty- unless another wavelength takes visual prominence, or a mixed colour manifests (such as purple).

 

You can't just pick random things to disagree with.  The trick to winning a debate is that you have to be objectively right, and not just have a different opinion on the matter.


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EXC wrote:D33PPURPLE

EXC wrote:

D33PPURPLE wrote:

On the other hand, if you do something and consider the impact it will have on others, you have acted morally.

 

No, you have acted socially. You decided to follow a strategy to maximize your own happiness by considering the impact it will have on others. Humans desire the approval of others, this produces good feels. So you consider the impact only because it feels better than not. Sociopaths are the way they are because they reverse the correlation between social approval/disapproval and pleasure/pain. They get off on causing pain in others.

My point is that as long as you consider others, you are acting morally. Yes, that ultimately results in your own happiness. So what? You seem to have the idea that acting morally should give you no pleasure whatsoever. That really doesn't make sense at all.

 

D33PPURPLE wrote:

For example, you are extremely angry and want to kill someone. Then you remember that the person that has angered you has relatives and friends who will feel grieve his death.

D33PPURPLE wrote:

So in this case, ultimately I decide not murdering would in the long run feel better than murder. It's all about what I predict will feel better, sometimes it a long term strategy, sometimes short term. But it's all self-serving, I have no ability to decide otherwise.

 

No, empathy also played a role, so it isn't completely self-serving. Of course there has to be something in it for you, otherwise you'd be delusional to do it (or it means you'd have no sense of self and you'd be apathetic to your own needs). However, because, as you yourself noted, we are social animals who benefit from cooperation, considering others is what morality is.

"The Chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. Just no Character."

"He...had gone down in flames...on the seventh day, while God was resting"

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D33PPURPLE wrote:My point is

D33PPURPLE wrote:

My point is that as long as you consider others, you are acting morally. Yes, that ultimately results in your own happiness. So what? You seem to have the idea that acting morally should give you no pleasure whatsoever. That really doesn't make sense at all.

 

I think this is another case where "Religion poisons everything" including the English language. In our society, being 'moral' usually is understood as some type of self-sacrifice where one gives up his own impulses for pleasure and does good for others for religious reasons. If you do get anything pleasure out of it, it must be blessing from god or a later reward in heaven.

Since the concept of morality is meaningless because it has been so totally poisoned by religion, I just say morality is BS, because it's usually used as a tool by pastors to control the flock with fear and guilt in order to take their money. I prefer to use the terms social cooperation which can cause pleasurable feelings, but the motivation for these is entirely self-serving.

 

D33PPURPLE wrote:

No, empathy also played a role, so it isn't completely self-serving. Of course there has to be something in it for you, otherwise you'd be delusional to do it (or it means you'd have no sense of self and you'd be apathetic to your own needs). However, because, as you yourself noted, we are social animals who benefit from cooperation, considering others is what morality is.

But the empathy created warm feeling of approval from others. That was the entire motivation. There are people that have damage in their pleasure/pain/motivation areas in their brain without damage to their cognitive areas. Guess what? They loose all motivation for empathy or anything else. It's all about getting pleasure and avoiding pain, that's all that motivates us.

People that lack empathy lack a correlating good feeling that goes along with being empathetic. Bullies and sociopaths get good feelings from the pain they inflict. But they are both self-serving. You like pizza, I like hamburgers, what is the difference? A rat derives pleasure from eating garbage, humans don't. Where is morality in all this?

We are normally wired to want the approval of others, this is reinforced through social conditioning. We learn that we get this approval by showing concern for other and not being 'selfish'. So it's really a game of give and take, a dog will come up and wag it's tail and act submissive because it want you to treat it well. Humans play the same game.

So since it's all about each person's feelings. So, I'm not sure how morality has any meaning or how this concept serves any purpose except to control naive people with fear and guilt.

 

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Blake wrote:robj101

Blake wrote:

robj101 wrote:

yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa whatever lol. Reptiles make judgement calls haha yea sure bub.

 

If you are denying that such a basic element of intelligence exists in reptiles, your delusions on the matter run deeper than I suspected.

 

Quote:
I offered to agree to disagree,

 

I do not agree to disagree on matters of fact- that is for opinions (which are personal, and subjective).  Facts have more objective truth value.

 

Quote:
I tried to be nice, but you insist that you want to rub my nose in some nonsense.

 

I'm only rubbing your nose in your nonsense to get you to recognize it, and give you the change to reform and evolve your perspective.  You appear to be too stubborn to do this.

 

Quote:
So, henceforth I will make fun of you and call you out on your claptrap "I fukin' know everything" attitude.

 

If I have at any point asserted something that you believe is incorrect, please point it out- if it is incorrect, I *can* be corrected, and appreciate it.  Unlike some, I like to advance my world view into a more rational one whenever I can- that's what makes me a rational person; I seek out rational perspectives.

 

Quote:
I don't post and say things unless I'm pretty sure about it, otherwise I let others do the talking, so there are some threads you don't see me post in.

 

It is unfortunate, then, that you are so profoundly mistaken on this issue that you can't even see it.

 

Quote:
I made the reptile refrence and I stand by it.

 

That doesn't make it right- it makes you a stubborn idiot.

Several other people have weighed in here, and even you have waffled a little bit- you're sticking to your guns for emotional reasons, not rational ones.  Every one of your objections has been covered several times by multiple parties.

 

Quote:
"The sky is not blue, it is an off shade of grey"

 

Grey is not a hue (a wavelength range), it is a relative measure of lightness (things can only achieve this in context), compounded with a somewhat arbitrary sensory cut-off of saturation.

The colour that the sky is during the day, is usually blue- around 465 nanometers, plus or minus twenty five or thirty- unless another wavelength takes visual prominence, or a mixed colour manifests (such as purple).

 

You can't just pick random things to disagree with.  The trick to winning a debate is that you have to be objectively right, and not just have a different opinion on the matter.

I'm also relatively certain that some of the other folks who have managed to keep up with this get what I'm saying, whereas your stubbon ass seems firmly resolved to ignore or deny it. I am not going to take the time to pick apart each individual sentence of your responses, it's not worth the effort. It's funny how a couple of things I said flew right past you, and you give a complete idiosyncratic response, much like a computer hmm. It seems to have turned into a battle of epeens lol. One that you will lose because my suggestion is based on reality yours is based on "fact". If the book says they are intelligent, well perhaps it ignores the times when they do walk off a cliff because they are chasing a bug, or at least ignores the lesser for the greater. Black and white.

I have yet to see a reptile make a concious decision. A decision based on anything other than reflexive survival instincts, and you claim they house empathy, care and altruism? You should go to work for national geographic with all this insane knowledge, perhaps working with them you could stage a demonstration of how a snake "loves" it's young or "feels" anothers pain or some such. You need to look up empathy again. em·pa·thy  audio  (mp-th) KEY 

NOUN:
  1. Identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives. See Synonyms at pity.
  2. The attribution of one's own feelings to an object.

Show me solid evidence that a reptile has this. The ones you posted already are open for interpretation, I want to see a snake save another animal, or even another snake, or to act like it feels pity or something not related to basic survival!

 

 

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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robj101 wrote:Show me solid

robj101 wrote:

Show me solid evidence that a reptile has this. The ones you posted already are open for interpretation, I want to see a snake save another animal, or even another snake, or to act like it feels pity or something not related to basic survival! 

 

I have already explained this to you multiple times.  You are unwilling to comprehend it.  I encourage you to ask another poster to help you with this- you couldn't even restate my argument when you tried.

I have understood everything you have said- you just don't understand my objections.  You *won't* understand my objections.

 

You are being an idiot.  Now please leave these kind gentlemen arguing above to continue.


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EXC wrote:D33PPURPLE

EXC wrote:

D33PPURPLE wrote:

My point is that as long as you consider others, you are acting morally. Yes, that ultimately results in your own happiness. So what? You seem to have the idea that acting morally should give you no pleasure whatsoever. That really doesn't make sense at all.

 

I think this is another case where "Religion poisons everything" including the English language. In our society, being 'moral' usually is understood as some type of self-sacrifice where one gives up his own impulses for pleasure and does good for others for religious reasons. If you do get anything pleasure out of it, it must be blessing from god or a later reward in heaven.

Since the concept of morality is meaningless because it has been so totally poisoned by religion, I just say morality is BS, because it's usually used as a tool by pastors to control the flock with fear and guilt in order to take their money. I prefer to use the terms social cooperation which can cause pleasurable feelings, but the motivation for these is entirely self-serving.

 

 

Oh, if that's what you mean then I couldn't agree  more; that type of "morality" cannot exist unless everyone lacked an identity, had no respect of self, etc. The way I see morality is as a way of optimizing society's performance through cooperation between each other. This results in individual and collective happiness--the best of both worlds, if you will.

 

"The Chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. Just no Character."

"He...had gone down in flames...on the seventh day, while God was resting"

"You have no respect for excessive authority or obsolete traditions. You should be taken outside and shot!"


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Blake wrote:robj101

Blake wrote:

robj101 wrote:

Show me solid evidence that a reptile has this. The ones you posted already are open for interpretation, I want to see a snake save another animal, or even another snake, or to act like it feels pity or something not related to basic survival! 

 

I have already explained this to you multiple times.  You are unwilling to comprehend it.  I encourage you to ask another poster to help you with this- you couldn't even restate my argument when you tried.

I have understood everything you have said- you just don't understand my objections.  You *won't* understand my objections.

 

You are being an idiot.  Now please leave these kind gentlemen arguing above to continue.

 You want to call basic survival instincts "empathy" that's your decision, not mine. It's like saying fear and loathing are the same, when they really only have a little in common, but perhaps there is some in common, it doesn't make it the same by any means. Call me an idiot all day long, it doesn't change a thing, but you seem to relish bashing people.

Awaiting your "last words" lol you will have to respond, I think. Even by my mentioning of it I think there is still a good chance that you will hah!

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


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D33PPURPLE wrote:EXC

D33PPURPLE wrote:

EXC wrote:

[stuff]

 

I just want to say that I'm immensely pleased to see the resolution of this argument- two rational people can figure out common grounds (particularly when there's such a semantic muddle in the way).

 

I did find it strange that you were arguing over the opinion of what morality is though... I mean, could another person not just come along and say "morality is determined by how many people you can kill", seeing as it's all subjective and whatnot?


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