Atheism and morality
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26-05-2015, 09:30 PM
Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 09:26 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(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.

Incorrect. I never said or suggested that behavior itself is heritable in the same way genes are.

As for analogies and being imperfect, that is something I'd assume is a given.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
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26-05-2015, 09:31 PM
Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 09:14 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(26-05-2015 08:16 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  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?

And I'd have thought my analogies were straightforward. But Tomasia either did not or would not understand them.

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26-05-2015, 09:41 PM
Atheism and morality
The ultimate point that I was making is that behaviors (be it nest building, predation strategies, or morals) evolve in the same way that morphological adaptations do, through natural selection. And (like morphological traits) different populations can evolve the same adaptation (morals) independent of one another if they occupy similar niches. Such as societies developing independent of one another and these societies are new niches with similar selection pressures, regardless of the population or geography, etc. Resulting in a convergent evolution of moral behaviors that are similar, despite there being no migration from one culture to another for direct sharing of these morals.

So, a South American culture could develop a set of moral behaviors that are similar to Chinese cultures or African cultures or any other other population occupying a similar niche.

Tomasia seemed to be insisting that cultures (and by extension, morals) were not inherently biological, but that they somehow were separate from biology. This is the special pleading where some behaviors are accepted as being biologic, but not this one that seems unique to humans. The reason seemed pretty transparent that by rejecting the premise that behaviors (like morals) can evolve, he could argue that they exist objectively and independent of biology.

I've never known a rock or an atom with morals though Consider

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26-05-2015, 09:51 PM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 09:26 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  
(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.

Yeah, sorry. Sometimes I'll start a post and then start thinking through the whole idea while I'm writing, and the whole thing is just my inner monologue on the thing while I think it through. Blush I'm usually slightly self-medicated when I'm on the forum so that'll happen. Yes

re: "but that doesn't mean that what is passed down using the tool of culture is genetically informed."

No, that's correct as I understand it as well. I'm not sure where the point is exactly that it seems we're talking past eachother, but it seems as though we all are.

Maybe it's just my bedtime... Yes

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.

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27-05-2015, 12:54 AM (This post was last modified: 27-05-2015 12:58 AM by Stevil.)
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 07:43 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  I'm not sure why you use family to be exclusive to your six year old children, and strangers to be exclusively adults? Your family could just as well be all independent adults and the strangers could just as well be all 6 year children.
OK, let's flip it then.
The wrath of my wife quite frankly scares me. If I grab a banana and as a consequence she gets wet and cold then she will put all the blame onto me. I will then get the cold shoulder from her and no sex for longer than I would like.

If I start concerning myself with the goings on of other people's children, I'm quite sure before long their parents will tell me to piss off. But regardless, I'd rather myself or my wife to get to eat the banana than a stranger child and I'd rather eat a banana and that stranger child get wet than to go hungry and have that stranger child be dry.
However, not being Chuck Norris or Ronda Roussey I'd rather not eat the banana than have a mob of angry people looking to take bloody revenge out on my body.
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27-05-2015, 05:16 AM (This post was last modified: 27-05-2015 05:33 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Atheism and morality
(27-05-2015 12:54 AM)Stevil Wrote:  OK, let's flip it then.
The wrath of my wife quite frankly scares me. If I grab a banana and as a consequence she gets wet and cold then she will put all the blame onto me. I will then get the cold shoulder from her and no sex for longer than I would like.

Have fear work in your favor, punch her in the face a few times, and threaten her with more violence if she withholds sex from you. No?

What I find interesting about you, is that you incapsulate all your actions and inactions to stem from dread. You're the monkey afraid to grab the banana out of fear of getting beat up, fear of retaliation. You avoid grabbing the banana, because your wife would refuse to put out. What if you wife was acting out of dread as well, having sex with you out fear that if she didn't she would lose financial support from you. Or that your children only tolerated you because they fear that they would be cutoff from their inheritance if they didn't.

You always want to articulate dread, and in my view to proactively avoid articulating empathy or love. To do things out of love, is quite different than doing things out of fear. If I love cooking for my family, it means that I do it out of enjoyment. Unlike a cook who hates his job, but continues cooking because he fears being unemployed. If I were to give the last piece of cake to my little niece, rather than eat it myself, it wouldn't be out of fear that she'd throw a tantrum, but out of a sort of love for her, her having the cake is more satisfying than eating the cake myself.

What's interesting is that you seek to consider acts born out of love or empathy, as seemingly childish, while acts borne out of dread are what it means to be an adult. Which perhaps reveals more about the sorry state of adulthood, how disenchanting, and bewildered it must be, than childhood.
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27-05-2015, 05:17 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 06:11 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Talking about how societies have implications on moral values is in the same realm as thinking in moral nihilism... what do you think moral nihilism means?

Moral nihilism means there are no moral truths. You could never say that a person "should" do one thing vs. another, without having other conditions (or goals), and have it be a true statement.

Society ONLY decides what is socially acceptable. To insert the word morality is misleading because for most people, morality and socially acceptable are not the same thing. Morality implies a rightness and wrongness. For the religious, moral and immoral are synonyms for good and evil. Perhaps my only gripe is the wording that we choose, but the wording is of utmost importance when debating things like the existence of god.
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27-05-2015, 05:18 AM
Atheism and morality
Altruism, Tomasia. Altruism.

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27-05-2015, 05:29 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 07:11 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  You missed the point. It makes the two equally subjective. The murder is required for both examples to have the same relevancy to the discussion.

An honor killing is in no way comparable to one's taste in shoes. The motive behind the killing is what should be discussed, and does not related to fashion unless the end action is comparable.

Murder is not required in both examples. Anymore so than yelp reviews are required to make fashion faux pax, and restaurant faux pax equivalent. Murder is just another way of writing a one star yelp review. A means of expressing our anger and frustration with a particular business or person.

When Charlie Hebdo drew offensive pictures of Muhammed as form of creative expression, the attackers expressed themselves creatively as well, in act of performance art. Their rifles serving as paint brushes, and the blood of their victims as their paint.

The only reason you said murder is a requirement, is because murder produces a far more visceral feeling in you, than a mere fashion faux pax. But they're all just a matter of discomforting feelings, some more intense than others, and some less intense.
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27-05-2015, 05:36 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 07:19 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Nesting isn't genetic. It's a learned trait.

False.

http://longtail.hubpages.com/hub/how-do-...heir-nests
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