Atheism and morality
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26-05-2015, 03:49 PM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 03:42 PM)Timber1025 Wrote:  Where did your current cognition of "empathy" come from?

I don't know, it doesn't seem to be merely a product of social or cultural influences. That recognition seems to be rooted in something far more instinctual, innate than this.

Quote:Is this cognition universal to all humans? To other intelligent species on earth?

I don't know, possibly.
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26-05-2015, 03:57 PM
RE: Atheism and morality
I guess it was there, but note it didn't stop societies from acting against it until it was strongerly held in deeper cultures. Spartans didn't care for it when they had week children, they let them go. They understood they were their own children but their society needed strength in numbers to survive at it's functional rate.

Romans honored and revered the Spartans army style, and copied their fighting style and so many ideas of the Greeks but they didn't keep this tradition. It wasn't relevant to them anymore perhaps for various reasons. Maybe the cultural influence being stronger on philosophical moral ideas or by having the ability to grow and expand.

It's not easy for a society that has limited space and ability to expand to keep those they deem weak around. In a Nietzschian way, they can't let the weak drag down the strong if they want to survive. Not that it's ideal but it may be beneficial to society in it's current form to function. The current forms may, always aren't, sustainable for long but it's not something the majority acts against. That's putting their livelihood and known comfort at risk.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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26-05-2015, 04:01 PM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 03:45 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(26-05-2015 03:40 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Yeah i was looking at this list.

http://www.harryhiker.com/chronology.htm

It does seem to have spread around but it came from other spurts all over the place really.

I think the fact that's it's recognized all over the place, is more supportive of the notion the concept is rooted in something far more primordial, instinctive. In fact it seems to be an expression, of our empathy, that by recognizing that I don't want to be ripped off, I can perceive the wrong in ripping off others. No one needs to know of any the variety of iterations of the golden rule to recognize this.

(26-05-2015 03:49 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(26-05-2015 03:42 PM)Timber1025 Wrote:  Where did your current cognition of "empathy" come from?

I don't know, it doesn't seem to be merely a product of social or cultural influences. That recognition seems to be rooted in something far more instinctual, innate than this.

That does seem likely. The Age of Empathy - Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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26-05-2015, 04:15 PM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 03:57 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  I guess it was there, but note it didn't stop societies from acting against it until it was strongerly held in deeper cultures. Spartans didn't care for it when they had week children, they let them go. They understood they were their own children but their society needed strength in numbers to survive at it's functional rate.

Romans honored and revered the Spartans army style, and copied their fighting style and so many ideas of the Greeks but they didn't keep this tradition. It wasn't relevant to them anymore perhaps for various reasons. Maybe the cultural influence being stronger on philosophical moral ideas or by having the ability to grow and expand.

It's not easy for a society that has limited space and ability to expand to keep those they deem weak around. In a Nietzschian way, they can't let the weak drag down the strong if they want to survive. Not that it's ideal but it may be beneficial to society in it's current form to function. The current forms may, always aren't, sustainable for long but it's not something the majority acts against. That's putting their livelihood and known comfort at risk.

I don't think recognizing something is wrong equates to not doing what is wrong. A man may know that cheating on his wife is wrong, yet cheat on his wife, or that stealing is wrong, yet steal. I brought up one the girls involved in the Slender Man stabbing, where she speaks of the good part of her that wanted her victim to live, and the bad part of her wanting her to die. At some level this child committing the stabbing knows she has done something something wrong, though it doesn't particularly stop her from doing it.

I also think that our recognition of the golden rule, is dependent on seeing others like we do ourselves. In the Amazonian tribe that engages in infanticide of handicap children, those children are deemed as cursed, to not even be children. The victims of our transgressions are ones often othered, dehumanized, scapegoated, perceived as weak unlike ourselves, less than human, savages, etc.....
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26-05-2015, 04:48 PM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 01:56 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Yes, the monkey doing the beating are reacting out of habit. Those who refrain from going up the ladder are acting out of a fear of a beating.

That's why i suggested a third monkey, not acting out of fear, or out of habit in this sense, but out empathy. One who refrains from going up the ladder in the original scenario not of fear of a beating, but out of concern for other monkeys who get douses with water, or in other words out of empathy.
Oh, OK. That's the scenario where they are taking a sip from the fountain of ideals and dreams. It's a luxurious position.
But if they get hungry enough, if their children get hungry enough they will realise what is important. They will realise that their own health, the health of their dependent children is more important than the ideal of not contributing to others getting wet and cold.

I think some people in a luxurious positions can afford to take on a position of "I will give up my benefit in order to avoid the detrimental consequences to others". It may make them feel good about themselves, may give them a feeling that they are doing the "right" thing, it becomes a matter of pride. I think it is strange how a person can get warm fuzzies about disadvantaging themselves. But the true test of this self perception of being good is not when in a luxurious position. The true test is to be able to do it when your chips are down. To not take the banana even though your dependents are starving. Resources are limited, you have great need for those resources, do you hold to your idealistic principles and disadvantage your family to the benefit of non family members or do you see your primary responsibility as being to look after yourself and your own dependents? There is often a trade off.

There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself. We are almost always in competition. We compete for a quality education, for relatively preferential grades, for a quality job, for food and other resources. There are always victims, those that miss out on the job, those that miss out on going to the best schools, those that can't afford the food. The amount of money you are willing to spend on food or the quantity of food you buy results in setting the price for that food, this price is too high for some people and you are (in some ways) responsible for that. Most of what you do, benefits yourself and your family and is to the detriment of others. There is nothing wrong in that.
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26-05-2015, 04:55 PM
Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 03:10 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(26-05-2015 03:07 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  So in essence our biological makeup can intuitively push us to perceive the golden rule or some form of it. One could in essence see a wrong in the actions of their own society, based on this seemingly innate perception?

No. Cultures occupy a niche. And as it is with evolutionary adaptations, organisms occupying the same niche converge on similar adaptations to exploit that niche.

Dolphin and tuna occupy the same niche and converge on a similar outward body plan (stream-lined adaptation).

Human cultures (the different "species" in this example) occupy the same niche (civilization is similar to the ocean in my example) and converge upon similar adaptations (morals) while occupying the same niche.

So....about that moral subjectivity...

Including that question on "why would one not reach the same conclusion of morality were subjective?"

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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26-05-2015, 05:04 PM (This post was last modified: 26-05-2015 05:09 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 04:48 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Oh, OK. That's the scenario where they are taking a sip from the fountain of ideals and dreams. It's a luxurious position.
But if they get hungry enough, if their children get hungry enough they will realise what is important. They will realise that their own health, the health of their dependent children is more important than the ideal of not contributing to others getting wet and cold.....

I think some people in a luxurious positions can afford to take on a position of "I will give up my benefit in order to avoid the detrimental consequences to others". It may make them feel good about themselves, may give them a feeling that they are doing the "right" thing, it becomes a matter of pride. I think it is strange how a person can get warm fuzzies about disadvantaging themselves. ...To not take the banana even though your dependents are starving. Resources are limited, you have great need for those resources, do you hold to your idealistic principles and disadvantage your family to the benefit of non family members or do you see your primary responsibility as being to look after yourself and your own dependents? ...There is often a trade off.
Most of what you do, benefits yourself and your family and is to the detriment of others. There is nothing wrong in that.

What's funny is how you put this parameter around concern for others, calling it fuzzy feelings, ideals and dream, while at the same time articulating a concern for your family, lol.

What if we replaced the others in the scenario with your family. And the only person standing to benefit by your selfish act is yourself, and the only people punished for it, is your family. You're not acting selfishly here, but in selfless concern for them, why? If not for those warm fuzzy feelings, ideals and dreams? Particularly when you associate these things with those who act in a similar way to others, as you might your own family?
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26-05-2015, 05:10 PM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 10:03 AM)Chas Wrote:  Neither the article nor you has supported that statement.

You will need to cite their actual words before you can be taken seriously.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bw14Ua93M6k

"Religion is evil because it can make you do evil things, believing they are good"

You could argue that Richard is just using the wrong language, but he for sure makes it sound like he believes that the "evil things" that religion makes people do are really evil.

To suggest that some things are evil, it to suggest either an absolute or objective morality.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Dawkins, and if I were to discuss with him, maybe I would find more agreement, but at the very least I will remain critical of at least the language he chooses when talking about evil.
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26-05-2015, 05:12 PM
Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 05:10 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(26-05-2015 10:03 AM)Chas Wrote:  Neither the article nor you has supported that statement.

You will need to cite their actual words before you can be taken seriously.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bw14Ua93M6k

"Religion is evil because it can make you do evil things, believing they are good"

You could argue that Richard is just using the wrong language, but he for sure makes it sound like he believes that the "evil things" that religion makes people do are really evil.

To suggest that some things are evil, it to suggest either an absolute or objective morality.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Dawkins, and if I were to discuss with him, maybe I would find more agreement, but at the very least I will remain critical of at least the language he chooses when talking about evil.

That's not a stretch, that's decidedly incorrect that by using the word "evil" that Dawkins means "there is objective morality."

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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26-05-2015, 05:12 PM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 04:55 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(26-05-2015 03:10 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  No. Cultures occupy a niche. And as it is with evolutionary adaptations, organisms occupying the same niche converge on similar adaptations to exploit that niche.

Dolphin and tuna occupy the same niche and converge on a similar outward body plan (stream-lined adaptation).

Human cultures (the different "species" in this example) occupy the same niche (civilization is similar to the ocean in my example) and converge upon similar adaptations (morals) while occupying the same niche.

So....about that moral subjectivity...

Including that question on "why would one not reach the same conclusion of morality were subjective?"

What's the subjective part here?
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