Atheism and morality
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26-05-2015, 08:20 PM
Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 08:13 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(26-05-2015 05:35 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  You don't think culture is a behavior?

It is an extra-genetic behavior. You mother might have liked the Cars, that doesn't mean you have a taste for power pop built into your biology.

Human behavior is so complex that ascribing any one cause to any one behavior is not really cogent.

And not "extra-genetic" as this seems to imply it's in addition to genetics.

More like epigenetic behavior. Where behavior is an emergent property/adaptation/action.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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26-05-2015, 08:22 PM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 05:48 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  In order to preserve your view, you reject the notion that culture is a behavior and that behaviors are inherited traits?

You can call it pseudo-science if you want, but you are completely incorrect. Unless you've got something to back up your assertions? Because I've got...evolutionary biology.

No, you don't. His example is apt: you can have American parents raise an adopted Chinese infant to adulthood in Denver or Mobile, and the child would have no Chinese cultural construct, even though in terms of genetics, the child is Chinese.

Culture is not passed on genetically. If it were, why can we learn foreign languages, understand foreign art, enjoy foreign foods, and so on?

If you wish to support this claim that culture is passed on genetically, you'll need to provide some peer-reviewed information.
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26-05-2015, 08:27 PM
Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 08:22 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(26-05-2015 05:48 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  In order to preserve your view, you reject the notion that culture is a behavior and that behaviors are inherited traits?

You can call it pseudo-science if you want, but you are completely incorrect. Unless you've got something to back up your assertions? Because I've got...evolutionary biology.

No, you don't. His example is apt: you can have American parents raise an adopted Chinese infant to adulthood in Denver or Mobile, and the child would have no Chinese cultural construct, even though in terms of genetics, the child is Chinese.

Culture is not passed on genetically. If it were, why can we learn foreign languages, understand foreign art, enjoy foreign foods, and so on?

If you wish to support this claim that culture is passed on genetically, you'll need to provide some peer-reviewed information.

I didn't say it is inherited through genetics. This is what Dawkins refers to as memes. Behaviors are not genetic, or at least not all and certainly not in the same way as a trait like hair color.

But because they aren't genetic, doesn't mean they aren't heritable. Like in my example with nest building. This isn't a genetic response, it's a learned behavior passed down (inherited) from ones parents (or from the community or society, etc).

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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26-05-2015, 08:28 PM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 06:09 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I see a lot of people suggesting that society has something to do with morality. That seems so silly to me. Saying that society decides what is moral seems even sillier than suggesting that god decides. We all know that society is fucked up... at least the theist is claiming that a perfect and all powerful god decides it.

Without even a reason offered in support, this sort of bald pontification is useless.

As far as "We all know that society is fucked up", on what basis do you make that point, if not a moral basis? Explicate your judgement.
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26-05-2015, 08:33 PM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 08:22 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(26-05-2015 05:48 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  In order to preserve your view, you reject the notion that culture is a behavior and that behaviors are inherited traits?

You can call it pseudo-science if you want, but you are completely incorrect. Unless you've got something to back up your assertions? Because I've got...evolutionary biology.

No, you don't. His example is apt: you can have American parents raise an adopted Chinese infant to adulthood in Denver or Mobile, and the child would have no Chinese cultural construct, even though in terms of genetics, the child is Chinese.

Culture is not passed on genetically. If it were, why can we learn foreign languages, understand foreign art, enjoy foreign foods, and so on?

If you wish to support this claim that culture is passed on genetically, you'll need to provide some peer-reviewed information.

The example may be apt, but I don't know that it's quite applicable. You are talking about nature vs. nurture, and the bearded one's examples of nesting and other taught behaviors will apply here.

You can raise a Chinese infant in another culture and achieve one result, but if you take a Chinese teenager and try to assimilate him/her into another culture you would find the results to be different.

I don't know, I haven't thought it through enough yet.

Thoughts on the semantics of biological vs. genetical? Culture is achieved biologically, whereas genetics is strictly physical.

A Chinese infant will remain genetically Chinese, even if raised in western culture, but the cultures, Chinese and western, still arise biologically. Does that make sense?

edit: damn with the nesting reference, BD. We're on the same page. Cool

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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26-05-2015, 08:34 PM
Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 08:27 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(26-05-2015 08:22 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  No, you don't. His example is apt: you can have American parents raise an adopted Chinese infant to adulthood in Denver or Mobile, and the child would have no Chinese cultural construct, even though in terms of genetics, the child is Chinese.

Culture is not passed on genetically. If it were, why can we learn foreign languages, understand foreign art, enjoy foreign foods, and so on?

If you wish to support this claim that culture is passed on genetically, you'll need to provide some peer-reviewed information.

I didn't say it is inherited through genetics. This is what Dawkins refers to as memes. Behaviors are not genetic, or at least not all and certainly not in the same way as a trait like hair color.

But because they aren't genetic, doesn't mean they aren't heritable. Like in my example with nest building. This isn't a genetic response, it's a learned behavior passed down (inherited) from ones parents (or from the community or society, etc).

Now, perhaps there are certain behaviors where genetics may predispose someone to learn or not learn them. Such that one's genetics may predispose you to being unable to recognize social cues and interact normally in social situations. Like Asbergers or autism in general, etc.

Or when a genetic predisposition may result in the development of sociopathic or psychopathic tendencies?

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
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26-05-2015, 08:36 PM
Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 08:33 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  
(26-05-2015 08:22 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  No, you don't. His example is apt: you can have American parents raise an adopted Chinese infant to adulthood in Denver or Mobile, and the child would have no Chinese cultural construct, even though in terms of genetics, the child is Chinese.

Culture is not passed on genetically. If it were, why can we learn foreign languages, understand foreign art, enjoy foreign foods, and so on?

If you wish to support this claim that culture is passed on genetically, you'll need to provide some peer-reviewed information.

The example may be apt, but I don't know that it's quite applicable. You are talking about nature vs. nurture, and the bearded one's examples of nesting and other taught behaviors will apply here.

You can raise a Chinese infant in another culture and achieve one result, but if you take a Chinese teenager and try to assimilate him/her into another culture you would find the results to be different.

I don't know, I haven't thought it through enough yet.

Thoughts on the semantics of biological vs. genetical? Culture is achieved biologically, whereas genetics is strictly physical.

A Chinese infant will remain genetically Chinese, even if raised in western culture, but the cultures, Chinese and western, still arise biologically. Does that make sense?

edit: damn with the nesting reference, BD. We're on the same page. Cool

Yes. Culture arises from biology. Genetics arise from chemistry, which arises from physical particles.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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26-05-2015, 08:45 PM
RE: Atheism and morality
My delegates are soon going to do their Governance exam which includes questions on culture, ethics and behaviour.

I sincerely hope they haven't been reading this thread.

Big Grin

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26-05-2015, 09:14 PM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 08:16 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(26-05-2015 08:13 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  It is an extra-genetic behavior. You mother might have liked the Cars, that doesn't mean you have a taste for power pop built into your biology.

Human behavior is so complex that ascribing any one cause to any one behavior is not really cogent.

Behavior in general is complex. No need to limit it to humans.

You haven't addressed my point, instead preferring to niggle upon a sideline.

(26-05-2015 08:20 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  And not "extra-genetic" as this seems to imply it's in addition to genetics.

More like epigenetic behavior. Where behavior is an emergent property/adaptation/action.

... which is just another way of saying that it is extra-genetic, i.e., beyond genetics.

(26-05-2015 08:27 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I didn't say it is inherited through genetics. This is what Dawkins refers to as memes. Behaviors are not genetic, or at least not all and certainly not in the same way as a trait like hair color.

But because they aren't genetic, doesn't mean they aren't heritable. Like in my example with nest building. This isn't a genetic response, it's a learned behavior passed down (inherited) from ones parents (or from the community or society, etc).

Then you should simply say that you were arguing through analogy and the analogy is imperfect. Is it really that difficult?
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26-05-2015, 09:26 PM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 08:33 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  The example may be apt, but I don't know that it's quite applicable. You are talking about nature vs. nurture, and the bearded one's examples of nesting and other taught behaviors will apply here.

You can raise a Chinese infant in another culture and achieve one result, but if you take a Chinese teenager and try to assimilate him/her into another culture you would find the results to be different.

I don't know, I haven't thought it through enough yet.

Thoughts on the semantics of biological vs. genetical? Culture is achieved biologically, whereas genetics is strictly physical.

A Chinese infant will remain genetically Chinese, even if raised in western culture, but the cultures, Chinese and western, still arise biologically. Does that make sense?

edit: damn with the nesting reference, BD. We're on the same page. Cool

Of course culture is biological. It requires life to happen; that is no surprise to anyone whose IQ is above room temperature ... and I think I qualify for that Smile. But the fact remains that cultural mores are not genetically heritable, which is what TBD was strongly implying earlier in the thread, unless one wants to argue that morality si an ex post facto rationalization for genetic imperatives to not murder or steal.

The fact that teenagers are harder to assimilate is testament to the learning patterns of humans, which, yes, are genetic -- the patterns. I agree that culture itself is a genetic artifact, but that doesn't mean that what is passed down using the tool of culture is genetically informed.
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