Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
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21-08-2012, 04:54 PM
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
(21-08-2012 04:36 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  Human morality is philosophy, and it requires philosophy.
I beg to differ.

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21-08-2012, 05:55 PM
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
(21-08-2012 04:36 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  Human morality is philosophy, and it requires philosophy.

No, it is evolutionary.

(21-08-2012 04:54 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(21-08-2012 04:36 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  Human morality is philosophy, and it requires philosophy.
I beg to differ.

Why does everyone keep beating me to the punch. -_-

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21-08-2012, 07:48 PM (This post was last modified: 21-08-2012 11:22 PM by ghostexorcist.)
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
(21-08-2012 04:36 PM)TrulyX Wrote:  Human morality is philosophy, and it requires philosophy […]

Show me paleolithic evidence of humans using philosophy to define their morality and I might believe you. You’ve got about 3 million years to work with, so you shouldn’t have any problems. Hell, I’ll even give you until the appearance of the genus Homo. That’s just shy of 7 million years. Get crackin’.

Quote:Saying animals have morality without showing that they do philosophy, or pointing out that human morality and animal morality are completely and fundamentally referring to different things (which I think Red Celt was doing), could be chalked up as incorrectly labeling animal behaviors with a human concept.

Ethologists and primatologists are taught to not anthropomorphize the subjects of their studies. I feel this is indeed very important as attributing human emotions and behaviors to an animal totally disregards its own social behavior and cognitive abilities. However, there is a point when crying “anthropomorphism” leaves the realm of science and enters the realm of anthropocentrism. Descartes would consider a human risking their life to save the life of another noble. Yet, he would consider a chimp doing the same thing simply a mindless animal responding to environmental stimuli. The problem I have with this false dichotomy is that a chimp would have no reason to save an unrelated individual. If they failed, dying in the process would in no way increase their fitness. What is important to remember is that chimps are more closely related to humans (we share nearly 99% of our DNA) than they are to the other great apes. Combine this with their empathic social nature, tool and medicine use, and great intelligence and it becomes hard not to attribute “human concepts” to them. Related species tend to have similar behavior.

Quote:At the very least, because human morality is philosophy/metaphysics, you have to distinguish by saying human morality vs. animal morality. But, in the core discussion you have to realize that, unless the animals are doing philosophy, their actions and behaviors are just customary actions and behavior to be viewed strictly in terms of evolution/natural selection, and these behaviors are not technically morality.

Your mistake in this discussion is trying to separate humans and animals into different categories, as well as trying to separate humans from the evolutionary process. Our morality is derived from our proto-ape ancestors. Philosophy is a recent cultural development in human history. It's not like anatomically modern humans waited almost 200,000 years for Greek, Indian, and Chinese philosophy to bestow our morals on us.
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21-08-2012, 08:04 PM
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
(21-08-2012 07:48 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  ... and Chinese philosophy to bestow our morals on us.

the tao that can be criticized is not the eternal tao. Tongue

Self-awareness is a function of future simulation. One that simulates future simulates one's own demise, and becomes fearful. Imagines the void as the taking away, forgets the void which is the potential for all. Angel

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22-08-2012, 09:37 AM (This post was last modified: 22-08-2012 11:24 AM by TrulyX.)
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
Vosur and Logica Humano ignored my argument...thanks for the consideration...and pointed to an article that not only didn't refute my argument, but was reliant upon the same assumptions that I was refuting i.e. what I believe to be a mischaracterization of what human morality actually is and the equating of that with animals. The article actually even went a little bit further than that even, by explaining that the main idea of the article was one that was based on an assumption by a specific group of people and wasn't at all substantiated by said group.

(21-08-2012 04:45 PM)Red Celt Wrote:  Utter nonsense. Define morality and define philosophy. When did humans become moral? When the first philosophers appeared? When schools of philosophy were created? When writing was created?

Okay, I'll answer a little bit of that, and it will answer everyone else's questions regarding this.

Philosophy is a posing and answering of questions through the use of reason/rationality, usually governed by logic, and used in gaining understanding of ones surroundings, circumstances, existence, etc.

Broad example is: What is ______? What is _______ like? Does ________ exist?

Epistemological example: What is knowledge? Is knowledge possible? If so can I obtain knowledge, to what extent?

In regards to morality human beings pose and answer questions like: What is good/good will? What is bad? What is right and wrong? What does a person have to do, or not to do, to be considered moral? ETC.

That philosophy, specifically moral philosophy, is the basis and core of human morality, and that is regardless of the fail attempts at doing moral philosophy, like religion, cultural traditions, manners, etc., which are not morality. Those things could be what some people base there morality off of, but those things are baseless and unsubstantiated claims at what is moral/immoral. Those things are attempts at philosophy/morality, however, which would be important in understanding that, especially when you see things like religion, you are seeing philosophy being attempted.

Morality doesn't inherently exist, it is a construct, but, it is a construct based fundamentally and innately off of the essence of rationality and the human mind. Regardless of how evolution, natural selection, survival, self-interest, preserving our species, etc. work into the process of developing morality, the basis of morality is rationality and philosophy. Human beings develop an understanding of moral value, right, wrong, good, bad, correct courses of action, through the questioning, analyzing and defining of what those things mean and how they apply.

That's the difference and what has to be shown to be the case in animals, at least to say they are doing the same thing as humans, in regards to morality. Like I said you can call it human morality, animal morality, you can use even use terms like evolutionary morality, biological morality, etc, but there is still that fundamental difference there requiring that it be shown that other animals are doing philosophy in order to show that what you are referring to as morality is actually morality, at least that it is what human beings are doing in regards to morality.

To address the other question: as far as I know it is still a huge mystery as to when in the evolutionary process human beings developed the level of rationality required to do the things that make us uniquely human and would be required to do philosophy. I, also, can't say I know at what point some of the things I mentioned in my previous posts, and Peterkin mentioned, as I quoted, that would show that human beings were doing philosophy, were being done. If I did know these thing, I would probably get some sort of prize for excellence and achievement in a field of science, history and/or philosophy, and I would be rich. At the very least, I'd have a job.

Just to add lastly, the first people to have the level of rationality required to do so would have been the ones doing philosophy; It would be immediate. It should be known by everyone here that what we have on record, what we are taught in school based off that record, and all of the groups of people who popularized certain ideas, are not the be all end all. I doubt anyone would believe that Aristotle's was the first human attempt at developing and understanding logic, that Descartes was the first human to say "Cogito ergo sum", Kant was the first transcendental idealist, Einstein was the first to question space and time, Newton was the first to use Calculus, etc. All of those things go back in history well past the point in which they were made popular and kept on record. The same applies to human beings philosophical approach to morality. The first of what we would consider human beings were partaking in moral philosophy, both successfully and unsuccessfully, well before guys like Kant, Bentham, Mill, Epictetus, Aristotle, and the like.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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22-08-2012, 10:00 AM
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
Then every human being is a philosopher and the phrase "philosophy" can be rendered as meaningless, empty and redundant.

Have you ever spent time with children? They don't philosophise over what is right and wrong. They learn from experience (and what their parents tell them). So do other social animals.

Humans are better at it than other social animals, but divorcing humanity from the rest of the Animal Kingdom is an error that has existed for a very long (theological) time. If you are an atheist who is clinging onto that separation, then I urge you to take that extra little step, leaving that awful snobbery behind you.
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22-08-2012, 10:49 AM
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
(22-08-2012 09:37 AM)TrulyX Wrote:  biological morality

...is chemical intelligence. To define is to confine, chemical intelligence is more like "do again?" than "good or evil." I'd bet all biology has it; uses it as a primitive form of memory. Perhaps a weighted dose of dopamine? Huh

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22-08-2012, 12:18 PM
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
(22-08-2012 10:00 AM)Red Celt Wrote:  Then every human being is a philosopher and the phrase "philosophy" can be rendered as meaningless, empty and redundant.

That's like saying the term singer is empty and meaningless. Undecided There are people who do things, and then there are people that do things specifically and seriously, either for a career, or it makes up a good part of their lives. Big difference between Sam Cooke vs. the kids getting laughed off of American Idol, or my sister in the shower. The same type of difference would apply to Immanuel Kant or David Hume vs. every other human being that has the capacity to think rationally.

Also, I find the idea funny given that it was a response to a post in which I described what philosophy was. I not only gave you the meaning, I also described a couple of ways that philosophy is applied. English has redundancies within the vocabulary of the language, in general, and you wouldn't be the first person to say that philosophy is meaningless, but in the context of the overall discussion and your reply, I don't get what you're saying.

Quote:Have you ever spent time with children? They don't philosophise over what is right and wrong. They learn from experience (and what their parents tell them). So do other social animals.

Again...uhhhhhhhh Unsure

Human beings are not at all void of their natural instincts, those things would take place in part(s) of the brain that are responsible for those types of things, but that is aside from the point, there also part(s) of the brain are responsible for what we call our 'mind' or gives us the ability to use reason. I don't know where I suggested that it was not the case that humans have the ability to learn from experience and be taught by parents like other social animals.

I just suggested that our view of morality comes from what we view and believe to be right, wrong, good, bad, moral, etc, done through asking those questions and developing the ideas through reason. You can respectfully disagree with that, but it is the case, at the very least, that we have the capabilities of doing that as a species. If that wasn't the case, we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

Also, I have spent time with children, and it would be wrong to say they don't question what is right and wrong. They may not be good at it, but they do it.

Quote:Humans are better at it than other social animals, but divorcing humanity from the rest of the Animal Kingdom is an error that has existed for a very long (theological) time. If you are an atheist who is clinging onto that separation, then I urge you to take that extra little step, leaving that awful snobbery behind you.

This seems more like a rant than anything else.

I pointed out a fact about human beings, and that was it. You could use it to draw a separation from other animals, or you could not. I didn't in anyway suggest that humans are better; you did that one yourself. If you or any other person would like to study, document and report on, in an objective scientific way, the similarities between us and other animals, specifically, but not limited to neuroscience, the way animals think as compared to humans and how that affects their behaviors, or the beauty of nature and evolution in general, or express their views of the human's role in the "Animal Kingdom", I'm on your team. I am for all those things being studied, I love the fields, and I get extremely excited about the discoveries and advancements.

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
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22-08-2012, 12:26 PM
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
You have said that morality requires philosophy. It is that claim that I'm disputing because (clearly) that would exclude all non-human animals from morality. The codification of moral considerations didn't take place until the very late stages of human evolution.

The claim that all of those generations lacked morality is (I believe) a ridiculous one.

It is a claim that requires a division between amoral and moral humans and (importantly) a clear distinction between us and every other non-human animal.
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22-08-2012, 01:14 PM
RE: Need advice on the morality of humans and nature.
(19-08-2012 10:56 AM)MACGRUBER7693 Wrote:  I've been really struggling with some moral issues the last couple of days and could use some advice. In the past I was pretty confident in my morality.To me being a moral person was simply treating my fellow human beings with love and kindness but now I'm starting to doubt that previous belief. I've started questioning if that really makes sense. Why should I help my fellow human beings yet ignore all the other inhabitants of the earth? Human society dominates nature and negatively impacts it. We've destroyed numerous eco systems and have driven numerous species to extinction. We slaughter billions of animals every year directly for meat and we kill nearly as many indirectly for other products i.e. wood, agriculture, oil.
I've been asking myself what the point of helping my fellow human beings is if we are just a plague on this earth? Me being an atheist compounds this problem. I have no absolute moral truth to fall back on and calm my worries. Has anyone struggled with questions like this in the past? How did you put your mind at ease?

Survival of the strong.. destruction of the weak..

It's sad but it's true....

I feel that as a species, we've already proven we are the most dominate, we can only hope that our evolutional morals prove to restrain ourselves from our own self destruction. We are smart enough to know the difference between what is right and wrong, our survival instincts dictate the perpetuation of our species no matter the cost.. So what wins in the end? Hrmm? Our morals or our instincts...

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
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