Primatologist says same thing that Victor Stenger said, and what evolutionary biolgy already proves.

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Primatologist says same thing that Victor Stenger said, and what evolutionary biolgy already proves.

Just about every long time atheist has read The God Delusion By Richard Dawkins. But you may not have heard of Victor Stenger who wrote The New Atheism or God The Failed Hypothesis. Add to these heavyweights yet another author helping put another nail in the coffin of superstition and another step for human progress.

This book explores the truth that morality is a product of evolution and not a god.

http://www.npr.org/books/titles/174917242/the-bonobo-and-the-atheist-in-search-of-humanism-among-the-primates

Bonobo And The Atheist  by Frans de Waal.

 

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 de Waal gave an

 de Waal gave an interesting talk a year or so ago at TED in which I think he discussed the same experiments that this new book covers. 

http://www.ted.com/talks/frans_de_waal_do_animals_have_morals.html

I think he uses the term "morality" pretty loosely, because really what he is studying pro-social emotions like empathy, fairness and basic reciprocity which aid in the construction and operation of a cooperative social group.

In a human context, "morality" is often used in a much stricter sense to define behaviors which are socially required or socially unacceptable. The moral edicts of strict religions really are not comparable to the cooperative behavior he studies. Regardless, he has done a lot of fascinating research. 

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


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not quite

Beyond Saving wrote:

 de Waal gave an interesting talk a year or so ago at TED in which I think he discussed the same experiments that this new book covers. 

http://www.ted.com/talks/frans_de_waal_do_animals_have_morals.html

I think he uses the term "morality" pretty loosely, because really what he is studying pro-social emotions like empathy, fairness and basic reciprocity which aid in the construction and operation of a cooperative social group.

In a human context, "morality" is often used in a much stricter sense to define behaviors which are socially required or socially unacceptable. The moral edicts of strict religions really are not comparable to the cooperative behavior he studies. Regardless, he has done a lot of fascinating research. 

 

At the very end, de Waal says that morality is more than the prosocial behaviors that are motivated by emotions like empathy, etc. 

My own (current) take on morality is that it is nothing more or less than the social norms of your culture.  Unfortunately (again, in MNSHO), the social norm in the US is to tie morality to religion.  Totally unnecessary and obviously false as de Waal's and others' researches have more than adequately demonstrated.

 

And no, I do not believe there are moral constants across cultures.

 

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Stenger also wrote a number

Stenger also wrote a number of articles addressing the first cause and fine tuning arguments theists love to bring up as "unanswerable."  Wiki has a list of Stenger's articles and books.  Worth reading a few.

-- 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.