Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
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19-08-2012, 09:45 PM (This post was last modified: 19-08-2012 10:12 PM by ghostexorcist.)
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
(19-08-2012 10:56 AM)MACGRUBER7693 Wrote:  Has anyone struggled with questions like this in the past? How did you put your mind at ease?

The more I learn about the interrelatedness of all life on earth (i.e., common descent) and animal intelligence, the more I have problems with eating meat. I'm a pussy when it comes to animals; when I see a cat or dog, I feel the need to give it a hug. Hell, even cows can be cute. That's why, sometimes, when eating beef, pork, or chicken, I think that I shouldn’t because I share genes with these animals. We share 80% of our genes with cows (that’s only 19% less than chimpanzees). Furthermore, having grown up around all sorts of animals, I know that everything from rabbits to iguanas have their own individual personalities just like humans do. This means I am essentially eating a person when I eat a steak or hamburger. But then I snap out of it and enjoy my meal. How do I do it you may ask?

I think back over the thousands of years that man has eaten meat. Then I think back to all the stuff I’ve read about how meat protein fueled the growth of our brains as we transitioned to hairless bipedal apes. Then I think back to our meat-eating proto-ape ancestors who lived millions of years ago. Chimpanzees, who are our closest genetic cousins and serve as good models for our proto-ape ancestor, also eat meat. In fact, one of their favorite delicacies is colobus monkey. Unlike humans who slit the throat of livestock, chimps literally tear their meals to pieces and eat them while their hearts are still beating. So what I’m trying to say is that humans are predators. We are literally built for eating meat. Humans would not exist without eating meat. (There is a reason why prey animals that eat vegetation aren’t standing in our shoes right now.) That’s how I “calm my worries.”

If someone came up with a “better than real” replacement for meat that was tasty, cheap, and readily available in every grocery store and restaurant, I would stop eating meat cold turkey. I doubt that day will come anytime soon, though. I’ve tried veggie burgers and current meat replacements, but they all tasted horrible. I’ll continue to eat meat, especially BACON (!), until a realistic-tasting synthetic stand-in hits the market. I just don’t want any part in killing my meal. Oh, did I mention that I’m a pussy when it comes to animals?
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20-08-2012, 06:35 AM
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
When I was in Nairobi I ate at the Carnivore restaurant and had crocodile, which was very tasty. They're such nasty animals that perhaps it could be the new guilt-free meat.
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20-08-2012, 08:21 AM
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
To me.... Morals, much like good/bad, truth/lies dont actually exist unless you add your own parameters.

Your free from a lot of bullshit parameters (religion) ..... have fun replacing them with ones that suit you 100%

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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20-08-2012, 08:35 AM
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
(20-08-2012 08:21 AM)bemore Wrote:  Your free from a lot of bullshit parameters (religion) ..... have fun replacing them with ones that suit you 100%

Just a wee addition to this. The Marquis de Sade had morals that suited him 100%. The key (as a social animal) is to have morals that suit others, too.
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20-08-2012, 08:51 AM
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
There is no morality outside the human mind. There is only process, governed by physical law, and interaction, governed by the requirements of survival. The first never changes, the second is widely variable - and that's where our idea of morality comes from. Nature has no such concept; other species need no such concept. We make it up as we adapt to conditions and organize our societies. A moral code is nothing more than the expression of value hierarchy that a society has chosen; put another way, the priority of its loyalties.

You get your morality from the community that raised you, then add and subtract and adjust according to your personal experience and reflection. So that's what you need to do now. You no longer feel that your first loyalty should be to your fellow man, but rather to the larger containing system which that fellow man is set to destroy. That's a perfectly rational and appropriate judgment. It's not in conflict with your old morality; it's just a change in perspective.
There are several possible ways to act on this decision, both as an isolated individual and as a member of the species. A whole lot of people have already come to the same conclusion. Find them, join them; do what you can.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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20-08-2012, 09:07 AM (This post was last modified: 20-08-2012 09:17 AM by Red Celt.)
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
(20-08-2012 08:51 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  Nature has no such concept; other species need no such concept.

Very untrue. Social animals require morality.

[Image: moral_amoral-1.jpg]
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20-08-2012, 04:38 PM
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
I have read, Red, what you wrote before about social(osity) = moral(ity) and I agree.
So just as a point of definition, an anti-social person (e.g. psychopath) would have no morality or a negative morality or just a different i.e. unsociable morality? And if the latter, would that not also apply to the shark?

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20-08-2012, 05:06 PM
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
(20-08-2012 09:07 AM)Red Celt Wrote:  
(20-08-2012 08:51 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  Nature has no such concept; other species need no such concept.

Very untrue. Social animals require morality.

[Image: moral_amoral-1.jpg]

Other social animals have standards of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, which is passed largely unchanged* from generation to generation. I don't deny that all self-aware species have a sense of right and wrong action. All i'm saying is that they have no need to codify this network of obligations and prerogatives, and they are unaware of such a concept.

(*It gets changed by humans when we domesticate and subjugate other animals.)

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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20-08-2012, 11:25 PM
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
(20-08-2012 04:38 PM)DLJ Wrote:  I have read, Red, what you wrote before about social(osity) = moral(ity) and I agree.
So just as a point of definition, an anti-social person (e.g. psychopath) would have no morality or a negative morality or just a different i.e. unsociable morality? And if the latter, would that not also apply to the shark?

DLJ, I think that you're being a little unfair on the shark. It is amoral, not immoral. Even though a solitary glance at one of them makes every part of our ape-brain scream in terror, it's just an animal doing what it's meant to do... surviving and recreating.

Sociopaths lack empathy. They can't empathise with other humans and are therefore isolated from the concept of social animals. In that regard, then yes... they are amoral at their core, but they can learn to adapt their behaviour and (sometimes surprisingly) do perfectly well in society. That's sociopaths. Psychopaths actually take that process to another level, inflicting harm on others for pleasure. Which isn't what sharks do.

(20-08-2012 05:06 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  Other social animals have standards of acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, which is passed largely unchanged* from generation to generation.

Just like humans, then.

Reading some of the texts of Ancient Greece (Plato's Republic is a good example), it is rather incredible to see how unchanged we are from back then. There have been obvious advances in knowledge/technology, but humanity has changed so very little over those 2500 years.

(20-08-2012 05:06 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  I don't deny that all self-aware species have a sense of right and wrong action.

I was going to auto-correct you here, highlighting your use of "self-aware" rather than "social"... but self-awareness is a partial-factor in a well-developed social animal. However, it seems unfair (as an example) to describe amoral creatures (such as a cheetah) as self-unaware and moral creatures (such as a lion) as self-aware. I would say that it is safe to say that amorality and self-awareness can co-exist.

(20-08-2012 05:06 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  All i'm saying is that they have no need to codify this network of obligations and prerogatives, and they are unaware of such a concept.

Watch some chimpanzees or bonobos interact with each other and then try and tell me that they're unaware.
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21-08-2012, 08:17 AM
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
I changed the wording, because i disagree with the classification of moral and amoral animals. I doubt there is a wide range of intelligence or self-awareness among the big cats, while a shark doesn't compare to a dolphin in either. Cheetahs have a standard of acceptable behaviour, even if their social circle is limited to close family; dolphins have no discernible empathy for fish, and certainly not for sharks; lions are rather unkeen on other lions' whelp.
And bonobos, bright as they are, don't go writing up great sententious tomes on what's to be rendered onto gods and emperors, what constitutes purity of heart, how women shall dress and what sexual mores are fine in this regime but punishable by the death in the next.

For possible extra light on the original question, look here

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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