The science of morality
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16-12-2011, 02:13 PM
RE: The science of morality
(16-12-2011 02:03 PM)AbdelZ Wrote:  Silly ridiculous ideological materialistic approach that has almost nothing to do with the facts or with reality , concerning humans at least & free will as the foundation of morality ethics regarding man : ideological interpretative prescriptive speculative materialistic monistic ethics imposed to science , monism that goes the whole way back to Spinoza's ethics or monism in the sense :

There is neither good nor evil as such , no free will ....

What has that to do with science or with the material nature of science that is concerned only by material processes ?:

The immaterial nature of the human soul , free will, morality ethics ......are far beyond science's reach = metaphysical matters

If you don't want have a rational discussion, please stop spamming us.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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16-12-2011, 02:44 PM
RE: The science of morality
(16-12-2011 02:13 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(16-12-2011 02:03 PM)AbdelZ Wrote:  Silly ridiculous ideological materialistic approach that has almost nothing to do with the facts or with reality , concerning humans at least & free will as the foundation of morality ethics regarding man : ideological interpretative prescriptive speculative materialistic monistic ethics imposed to science , monism that goes the whole way back to Spinoza's ethics or monism in the sense :

There is neither good nor evil as such , no free will ....

What has that to do with science or with the material nature of science that is concerned only by material processes ?:

The immaterial nature of the human soul , free will, morality ethics ......are far beyond science's reach = metaphysical matters

If you don't want have a rational discussion, please stop spamming us.

That was a rational reply of mine , dude : if you cannot handle it or if you wanna just hear what you wanna hear or believe in what you wanna believe in , that's your own problem, not mine
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16-12-2011, 03:30 PM
RE: The science of morality
(16-12-2011 02:44 PM)AbdelZ Wrote:  
(16-12-2011 02:13 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(16-12-2011 02:03 PM)AbdelZ Wrote:  Silly ridiculous ideological materialistic approach that has almost nothing to do with the facts or with reality , concerning humans at least & free will as the foundation of morality ethics regarding man : ideological interpretative prescriptive speculative materialistic monistic ethics imposed to science , monism that goes the whole way back to Spinoza's ethics or monism in the sense :

There is neither good nor evil as such , no free will ....

What has that to do with science or with the material nature of science that is concerned only by material processes ?:

The immaterial nature of the human soul , free will, morality ethics ......are far beyond science's reach = metaphysical matters

If you don't want have a rational discussion, please stop spamming us.

That was a rational reply of mine , dude : if you cannot handle it or if you wanna just hear what you wanna hear or believe in what you wanna believe in , that's your own problem, not mine

No, actually calling an argument "silly, ridiculous" is not a rational reply, it's an appeal to emotions, specifically the emotions that the argument elicits in you. While I am sure those emotions are important to you, they are irrelevant in the discussion. Do you have actual counterarguments to present?

English is not my first language. If you think I am being mean, ask me. It could be just a wording problem.
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16-12-2011, 03:36 PM
RE: The science of morality
(16-12-2011 03:30 PM)sy2502 Wrote:  
(16-12-2011 02:44 PM)AbdelZ Wrote:  
(16-12-2011 02:13 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(16-12-2011 02:03 PM)AbdelZ Wrote:  Silly ridiculous ideological materialistic approach that has almost nothing to do with the facts or with reality , concerning humans at least & free will as the foundation of morality ethics regarding man : ideological interpretative prescriptive speculative materialistic monistic ethics imposed to science , monism that goes the whole way back to Spinoza's ethics or monism in the sense :

There is neither good nor evil as such , no free will ....

What has that to do with science or with the material nature of science that is concerned only by material processes ?:

The immaterial nature of the human soul , free will, morality ethics ......are far beyond science's reach = metaphysical matters

If you don't want have a rational discussion, please stop spamming us.

That was a rational reply of mine , dude : if you cannot handle it or if you wanna just hear what you wanna hear or believe in what you wanna believe in , that's your own problem, not mine

No, actually calling an argument "silly, ridiculous" is not a rational reply, it's an appeal to emotions, specifically the emotions that the argument elicits in you. While I am sure those emotions are important to you, they are irrelevant in the discussion. Do you have actual counterarguments to present?


Silly, ridiculous : That was just a manner of speaking , meaning : materialistic monistic ethics that go all the way back to Spinoza's ethics or monism ,have nothing to do with the material nature of science or with the scientific facts , science that's concerned only with material processes : isn't this reply rational or just you do not wanna hear it , that's no question ;
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16-12-2011, 03:58 PM
RE: The science of morality
(16-12-2011 03:36 PM)AbdelZ Wrote:  
(16-12-2011 03:30 PM)sy2502 Wrote:  
(16-12-2011 02:44 PM)AbdelZ Wrote:  
(16-12-2011 02:13 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(16-12-2011 02:03 PM)AbdelZ Wrote:  Silly ridiculous ideological materialistic approach that has almost nothing to do with the facts or with reality , concerning humans at least & free will as the foundation of morality ethics regarding man : ideological interpretative prescriptive speculative materialistic monistic ethics imposed to science , monism that goes the whole way back to Spinoza's ethics or monism in the sense :

There is neither good nor evil as such , no free will ....

What has that to do with science or with the material nature of science that is concerned only by material processes ?:

The immaterial nature of the human soul , free will, morality ethics ......are far beyond science's reach = metaphysical matters

If you don't want have a rational discussion, please stop spamming us.

That was a rational reply of mine , dude : if you cannot handle it or if you wanna just hear what you wanna hear or believe in what you wanna believe in , that's your own problem, not mine

No, actually calling an argument "silly, ridiculous" is not a rational reply, it's an appeal to emotions, specifically the emotions that the argument elicits in you. While I am sure those emotions are important to you, they are irrelevant in the discussion. Do you have actual counterarguments to present?


Silly, ridiculous : That was just a manner of speaking , meaning : materialistic monistic ethics that go all the way back to Spinoza's ethics or monism ,have nothing to do with the material nature of science or with the scientific facts , science that's concerned only with material processes : isn't this reply rational or just you do not wanna hear it , that's no question ;

Science and nature have plenty to do with it. I believe I and others have touched on this already in the thread, but I'll repeat it. It is through science that we have discovered centers of the brain dedicated to what we'd call "moral reasoning". Using fMRI we study how moral decisions are taken in the brain (http://www.princeton.edu/pr/news/01/q3/0914-brain.htm). We know that specific types of brain damage will influence a person's "moral compass" (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/21/health...ain.html). Unless you are a dualist, you probably accept that our mind is nothing more than physical processes in the brain. The brain is the product of evolution. Therefore the mind is the product of evolution. Therefore the study of the mind, including morality, is pertinent to science.
Maybe you didn't understand the main concern with the thread, so I'll try to repeat it to you. Morality has been for centuries the domain of philosophy and religion, mainly because we didn't understand the mind, we thought we had a soul, and a god who dictated morality. Now we know we are animals and that our brain produces the mind. Therefore the purpose of my thread is to question the philosophical/religious system of viewing morality on the basis of the fact that it is based on a special pleading, and that it is based on the assumption of free will when in fact, we can't even scientifically prove such a thing exists.
Now do you have anything intelligent to add to this discussion or not?

English is not my first language. If you think I am being mean, ask me. It could be just a wording problem.
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16-12-2011, 08:19 PM
RE: The science of morality
(16-12-2011 03:58 PM)sy2502 Wrote:  Therefore the purpose of my thread is to question the philosophical/religious system of viewing morality on the basis of the fact that it is based on a special pleading, and that it is based on the assumption of free will when in fact, we can't even scientifically prove such a thing exists.

We even have some preliminary evidence that free will may very well not exist. At least not how we are accustomed to understanding it in the conventional sense.

Implications of Libet's Experiments

(16-12-2011 03:58 PM)sy2502 Wrote:  Now do you have anything intelligent to add to this discussion or not?

Dunno, did I?

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
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16-12-2011, 09:06 PM
RE: The science of morality
(16-12-2011 05:46 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Anyhoo - here's what I got. Morality is simple, evolved control structure for individual decision making. I'm thinking some kind of chemical interaction that tells a cell yes/no when the cell questions, do again?

If there is an evolved morality structure in the brain, then it will be a very basic form like a "golden rule" of sorts, or Haidt's 'moral intuitions', rather than any specific moral rules. I'm not really aware of any solid evidence which has been able to tease apart moral rules from learnt rules.

(16-12-2011 08:45 AM)Malleus Wrote:  
(16-12-2011 04:42 AM)Mr.Samsa Wrote:  Except wolf behavior is a good example of what I'm getting at - that we have to be careful when ascribing cooperative behaviors to evolved or learnt principles. Wolves don't actually form a hierarchy in the way traditional dominance or pack theorists originally believed, and members aren't awarded more resources due to being the "alpha", since the "alpha" pair in any group is simply the breeding pair - the mother and father. They don't fight to get to the top, and they can't drop to a lower "rung", since by virtue of being the breeding pair, they are necessarily the parents. This is why wolf researchers these days refrain from using the term "alpha", and use "breeding pair" instead, as it eliminates the connotations of dominance battles.

This does leave the question of how much of the cooperation is learnt and how much is evolved, but I'm not really aware of any studies which have attempted to tease them apart.

Dude, that is simply wrong. The alphas usually eat the liver and other internal organs: tastier, easier to digest, easier to reach, better nutrient content, higher calories. The others eat various parts of the prey based strictly on their rank and each of them protects their established ratio fiercely from the others while the others constantly try to "trespass".

Most of this is consistent with what I've said, but the assumption of dominance is what is leading you a little astray. Firstly, "alphas" are always the breeding pair, and the "rank" of wolves is automatically a result of their natural birth order. So mum and dad are given the most resources, and then the older brothers and sisters, then the young pups. With food relations, any wolf will try to take food from any other wolf, regardless of what 'rank' they are, but all wolves will defend their share.

Alpha Status, Dominance, and Division of Labor in Wolf Packs - David Mech

Quote:The only other general dominance rules I discerned involved scent-marking and food ownership and transfer. With scent-marking, both breeding male and female mark, but subordinates do not unless vying for dominance (Packard 1989; Asa et al. 1990), and I have seen no exceptions. Regarding food ownership and transfer, when the pack contained pups or yearlings, the breeding male I observed either regurgitated or dropped food to his mate or allowed her to snatch it from him or he delivered it directly to his offspring.

Aside from these food deliveries, there appeared to be an ownership zone (Mech 1970) around the mouth of each wolf, and regardless of the rank of a challenger, the owner tried to retain the food it possessed, as Lockwood (1979) also found with captive wolves. Wolves of any rank could try to steal food from another of any rank, but every wolf defended its food (Table 6). Generally, dominant wolves seemed to succeed more at stealing food, but sample size was too small for a definite conclusion to be drawn.

...

The above dominance rules, which involve a natural age-based order with the current breeders at the top and offspring or non-breeders subordinate, are so automatic that they are seldom contested. In that respect, the social interactions among members of natural wolf packs are much calmer and more peaceful than Schenkel (1947) and Zimen (1982) described for captive wolves, as Clark (1971) also noted. Similarly, pups defer to adults and older siblings in the same automatic, peaceful way. When or whether a rank order develops among pups is in dispute (cf. Zimen 1975 and Fox and Andrews 1973; Haber 1977), and I cannot shed any light on that issue. Even among yearlings and 2-year-olds there were few rank displays (Tables 2-5).

(16-12-2011 08:45 AM)Malleus Wrote:  I saw a documentary about a guy who managed to infiltrate himself in a pack of wolves and they all accepted him as just another wolf because he had the proper body language and attitude. He had his own rank in the pack.

His established source of food was the upper thigh of one of the back legs of whatever they hunted and he, just like the rest of the pack had to grit his teeth and grunt and growl and bite when another wolf tried to approach his share. He explained that this moment is critical and even if he is full and he couldn't have another bite or if that animal has been dead for a while and is absolutely disgusting he still needs to guard that portion established as his own to keep his rank and he will leave it as "leftovers" for the lower wolves, but not before defending it and claiming it every single time they hunt or find another animal.

No problem with the idea of a person inserting themselves into a pack, as stray wolves do inevitably join new packs and have to insert themselves and find their place. However, the guy is talking shit when he says that he has to guard his food otherwise he'd lose his "rank". Ranks are automatically assigned based on age, so unless him losing his food caused the pack to confuse a full grown man with a pup, then his rank will remain the same.

As one of the leading researchers (David Mech) points out, in over 20 years of studying various wolf packs, he has never seen a single battle for dominance (i.e. attempt to rise through the ranks).

(16-12-2011 08:45 AM)Malleus Wrote:  They do have constant power struggle and distribution of resources based on rank - just like us. Ranking is more complex that Mom+Dad and children. In fact both the mom and the dad positions are challenged regularly and they are not necessarily the only ones who reproduce.

There's no evidence for that. The idea that packs have strict hierarchies, or that they battle for rank, is based on the mistaken research of Schenkel. The whole idea of the "alpha" and "dominance theory" came from his research on wolves, but unfortunately he based his work on a small group of captive wolves that had been thrown together into a small enclosure. So he noted battles for "dominance" because that it how captive animals behave - the fact that they were wolves (we now know) is irrelevant to the pecking order that developed.

(16-12-2011 08:45 AM)Malleus Wrote:  During those months they injured him pretty badly every once in a while and he went to civilization to get surgery. The wolves disapproved it and they gently removed his stitches and kept his wounds clean and he said he heals faster like that, and it tightens the bonds between him and the pack so he allows the wolves to care for his injuries.

So there: altruism too.

The idea that wounds heal quicker by wolves licking them compared to stitches is of course, again, bullshit (unless his stitching skills were so bad that he constantly introduced infections).

As for it being a demonstration of altruism, that may be true. That doesn't demonstrate it is innate though.

(16-12-2011 11:54 AM)sy2502 Wrote:  Then you won't mind if I ask you to produce references for all the assertions you have made?

Sure.

On wolves: What Happened to the Term Alpha - David Mech.

On domain-general principles being inconsistent with domain-specific claims: Evolutionary Psychology and the Challenge of Adaptive Explanation - Russell Gray et al.

On the argument about applying morality to humans and not animals, it simply relies on the concept of moral agency. I can find a more formal reference for it if you like, but all that's important is the concept of moral agency.

On my skepticism of survival/reproductive/moral/etc instincts, there's no real reference I can provide for this because it is simply me refusing to accept a claim. The burden of proof is on the person claiming such things exist. However, most of the arguments concerning the existence of such things rely on a naive form of drive theory(under the "learning theory" section in that wiki link). Drive theory is an outdated concept in psychology which suggests that our behavior is a product of a natural attempt to satisfy certain innate needs, like thirst, hunger, etc, and survival and reproduction were listed as some of those drives (i.e. survival and sex drive). However, the theory was rejected a while ago as it was unfalsifiable, and highly unparsimonious as it required us to continue creating new drives to explain the data we had, so we'd get things like "money drives" to explain why people work for money. If you can get your hands on Learning and Behavior by James Mazur, then he has a good section which covers the problems with the idea.

On the idea of determinism not affecting the state of morality, I either recommend Skinner's "Beyond Freedom and Dignity", or William Baum's "Understanding Behaviorism".

On Frans de Waal's research and the fact that he doesn't claim the claim of evolved altruism being conclusive (as of yet), then all I can do is present a paper of his where he attempts to support his arguments and provide evidence, noting that he doesn't claim that it is a certainty: Putting the Altruism Back into Altruism: The Evolution of Empathy.

(16-12-2011 03:58 PM)sy2502 Wrote:  Science and nature have plenty to do with it. I believe I and others have touched on this already in the thread, but I'll repeat it. It is through science that we have discovered centers of the brain dedicated to what we'd call "moral reasoning". Using fMRI we study how moral decisions are taken in the brain (http://www.princeton.edu/pr/news/01/q3/0914-brain.htm). We know that specific types of brain damage will influence a person's "moral compass" (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/21/health...ain.html). Unless you are a dualist, you probably accept that our mind is nothing more than physical processes in the brain. The brain is the product of evolution. Therefore the mind is the product of evolution. Therefore the study of the mind, including morality, is pertinent to science.

I just wanted to touch on the bolded section above. Whilst we obviously have no reason to accept dualism, we have to understand that the brain is not purely the product of evolution. This is because our experiences and development also change our brains, and so it is incorrect to claim that our minds are solely the product of evolution.

It's this general belief (that the brain is evolved so the mind is too) which is one of the major obstacles for evolutionary psychology, as demonstrating that the brain is an evolved organ does not lead us to the conclusion that all parts of the brain, our mind, and behaviors are evolved. To put it more simply, to ride a bike we obviously need our brain (for learning, muscle control, coordination, etc), and when we ride a bike a specific part of our brain lights up that we could, if we wished, call the "bike riding module", but it is inaccurate and plain wrong to suggest that riding a bike is an evolved behavior, or that the "bike riding module" is an evolved structure of the brain.

(16-12-2011 03:58 PM)sy2502 Wrote:  Morality has been for centuries the domain of philosophy and religion, mainly because we didn't understand the mind, we thought we had a soul, and a god who dictated morality. Now we know we are animals and that our brain produces the mind. Therefore the purpose of my thread is to question the philosophical/religious system of viewing morality on the basis of the fact that it is based on a special pleading, and that it is based on the assumption of free will when in fact, we can't even scientifically prove such a thing exists.

This summary of ethics is a little unfair. Mainstream ethicists have rejected the introduction of souls and gods into morality for centuries now, and religion has played very little role in the academic field. I think this mistaken understanding of the field largely comes from Sam Harris' horrible book "The Moral Landscape", where he essentially summarises the field of ethics as either being theistic morality, or moral relativism, when in fact both areas have been pretty insignificant areas for centuries.

As for the question of free will - I don't think many have proposed libertarian free will in their theories of morality, and that's the only kind of free will that science could disprove. The modern understanding of free will in philosophy is metaphysical, so is obviously outside the realm of scientific testing (e.g. Dennett's compatabilism). And with that said, I don't think many ethicists in the last century would have believed that free will is necessary for morality.
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17-12-2011, 05:32 AM (This post was last modified: 17-12-2011 05:36 AM by Malleus.)
RE: The science of morality
@ MrSamsa

The study you quoted says this:

Quote:Because wolves have been persecuted for so long (Young and Goldman 1944), they have been difficult to study in the wild (Mech 1974) and therefore information about the social interactions among free-living wolf pack members has accumulated slowly. Little is known about the interactions between breeding males and breeding females under natural conditions, and about the role of each in the pack and how dominance relates to these relationships.

Now let me tell you about the documentary I quoted.

A crew of Romanian investigating reporters tracked down a Russian guy who actually made the choice to live his life as a member of a pack of wolves in the wilderness. (This is pretty much the reason why I can't just link you to it - the documentary cannot be downloaded from the source so I cannot provide subtitles)

The man lived most of his life normally, in civilization, but now he is in his 50's-early 60's, all his children are grown up and, if i remember correctly he is a widower. He had some accidental encounters with the pack of wolves that he later joined and he made some progress approaching them when he was hiking or hunting.

After a while he approached the pack more often and he was able to spend entire days with the wolves, trying to imitate their behavior.

Nowadays, he makes occasional visits to his family, but other than that, he spends his entire time naked in the forest as a wolf. He explained all the ranking inside the pack and he was seen by the wolves as a high-rank, non-alpha wolf. That means that he was able to eat from the carcass at the same time with 3-4 wolves, including the two alphas while the rest of the pack was politely keeping a distance and waiting to be allowed to eat whatever was left. The signal "the rest of you may eat now" was given by the man washing his hands and the high rank wolves wiping the blood off their faces against rocks or trees.

His rank also was strictly related to the role he played during hunting and to the authority he was able to exercise on lower wolves who followed his lead and assisted him during an attack.

Your information is old and the studies are done in captivity where wolves don't travel, don't track, don't properly hunt so there is no real opportunity to exercise leadership and establish proper ranking.

And stop saying that I'm proving your points when my arguments disagree with your position. Your study specifically says that they have little or no idea how ranking and breeding work in wilderness.

The documentary I quote was made in 2010-2011, the pack lives free in the forest and the man who joined the pack established his position in that pack by learning and understanding how things work and by following and exercising leadership. The wolves are not his pets. He became one of the wolves and he only makes decisions according with his rank while the real main decider is the alpha male wolf and he (the man) follows those decisions.

Oh, no Hallucinations 4:11 says the 'gilded sheep should be stewed in rat blood' but Morons 5:16 contradicts it. (Chas)

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17-12-2011, 07:01 AM
RE: The science of morality
(17-12-2011 05:32 AM)Malleus Wrote:  His rank also was strictly related to the role he played during hunting and to the authority he was able to exercise on lower wolves who followed his lead and assisted him during an attack.

Unfortunately, the guy you're referencing is just a random person who decided to live with wolves. What he has to say about his anecdotal experiences with wolves, whilst interesting, is ultimately flawed given that he's obviously failed to account for personal biases in perception and has not scientifically attempted to confirm or disconfirm his beliefs about dominance and alpha roles etc.

It's entirely possible that he went to live with this pack while believing that certain interactions were predicated upon complex hierarchical relations, when in actuality, the wolves were behaving in ways completely unrelated to his beliefs. It's not hard to imagine how this happens - in millions of homes across the world, you will find dog owners who understand their dogs' behavior in terms of battling them for dominance, that they're trying to become the alpha, with the belief that they have to show that they're the "boss", etc, when in actuality we know that dogs certainly don't form packs or hierarchies.

So people can be easily fooled by their preconceptions, and the man you're discussing is no different.

(17-12-2011 05:32 AM)Malleus Wrote:  Your information is old and the studies are done in captivity where wolves don't travel, don't track, don't properly hunt so there is no real opportunity to exercise leadership and establish proper ranking.

Did you read the study or just skim through it?

The quote you provided was a summary of the problems in the field leading up to modern research. That is, people's inability to study wild wolf packs, the lack of research, etc, is the reason why there is a common belief that wolves form dominance hierarchies. Instead, people like Mech went on to study wolves in their natural habitat and disproved the arguments by Schenkel (who, by that time, had already realised that his beliefs of "alphas" etc were mistaken). Mech states:

Quote:This study was conducted during the summers of 1986-1998 on Ellesmere Island, Northwest Territories, Canada (80° N, 86° W). There, wolves prey on arctic hares (Lepus arcticus), muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus), and Peary caribou (Rangifer tarandus pearyi), and live far enough from exploitation and persecution by humans that they are relatively unafraid of people (Mech 1988, 1995a). During 1986, I habituated a pack of wolves there to my presence and reinforced the habituation each summer. The pack frequented the same area each summer and usually used the same den or nearby dens. The habituation allowed me and an assistant to remain with the wolves daily, to recognize them individually, and to watch them regularly from as close as 1 m (Mech 1988, 1995a; National Geographic Society 1988).

I don't think 1998 is "old", considering that it was a substantial 12 year long study, but he has continued his research since then, with other wolf packs, and his observations have been confirmed.

It's important that you realise that no researcher who studies natural wolf packs have observed dominance hierarchies or "alpha" wolves. Those observations have only occurred where the... "information is old and the studies are done in captivity where wolves don't travel, don't track, don't properly hunt...".

(17-12-2011 05:32 AM)Malleus Wrote:  And stop saying that I'm proving your points when my arguments disagree with your position. Your study specifically says that they have little or no idea how ranking and breeding work in wilderness.

The article doesn't say that at all. The whole point of the article is that the old researchers who argued for dominance theories never quantified the concept they were discussing, and they never made notes of observations made in the wild (because such studies were rare and usually poorly done), and so Mech went out to study these wolves in the wild and attempt to figure out how these dominance relations are supposed to work. What he found was that the common belief was wrong, and his work is the reason why no wolf researcher believes in "alpha" or dominance hierarchies any more.

You've completely misunderstood what the paper is about.

(17-12-2011 05:32 AM)Malleus Wrote:  The documentary I quote was made in 2010-2011, the pack lives free in the forest and the man who joined the pack established his position in that pack by learning and understanding how things work and by following and exercising leadership. The wolves are not his pets. He became one of the wolves and he only makes decisions according with his rank while the real main decider is the alpha male wolf and he (the man) follows those decisions.

Again, that's interesting, but at the end of the day it's just his opinion. From what you've said, the man made absolutely no attempt to figure out whether his beliefs about how the wolves operated were valid or not.
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17-12-2011, 12:32 PM
RE: The science of morality
(16-12-2011 03:58 PM)sy2502 Wrote:  
(16-12-2011 03:36 PM)AbdelZ Wrote:  
(16-12-2011 03:30 PM)sy2502 Wrote:  
(16-12-2011 02:44 PM)AbdelZ Wrote:  
(16-12-2011 02:13 PM)Chas Wrote:  If you don't want have a rational discussion, please stop spamming us.

That was a rational reply of mine , dude : if you cannot handle it or if you wanna just hear what you wanna hear or believe in what you wanna believe in , that's your own problem, not mine

No, actually calling an argument "silly, ridiculous" is not a rational reply, it's an appeal to emotions, specifically the emotions that the argument elicits in you. While I am sure those emotions are important to you, they are irrelevant in the discussion. Do you have actual counterarguments to present?


Silly, ridiculous : That was just a manner of speaking , meaning : materialistic monistic ethics that go all the way back to Spinoza's ethics or monism ,have nothing to do with the material nature of science or with the scientific facts , science that's concerned only with material processes : isn't this reply rational or just you do not wanna hear it , that's no question ;

Science and nature have plenty to do with it. I believe I and others have touched on this already in the thread, but I'll repeat it. It is through science that we have discovered centers of the brain dedicated to what we'd call "moral reasoning". Using fMRI we study how moral decisions are taken in the brain (http://www.princeton.edu/pr/news/01/q3/0914-brain.htm). We know that specific types of brain damage will influence a person's "moral compass" (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/21/health...ain.html). Unless you are a dualist, you probably accept that our mind is nothing more than physical processes in the brain. The brain is the product of evolution. Therefore the mind is the product of evolution. Therefore the study of the mind, including morality, is pertinent to science.
Maybe you didn't understand the main concern with the thread, so I'll try to repeat it to you. Morality has been for centuries the domain of philosophy and religion, mainly because we didn't understand the mind, we thought we had a soul, and a god who dictated morality. Now we know we are animals and that our brain produces the mind. Therefore the purpose of my thread is to question the philosophical/religious system of viewing morality on the basis of the fact that it is based on a special pleading, and that it is based on the assumption of free will when in fact, we can't even scientifically prove such a thing exists.
Now do you have anything intelligent to add to this discussion or not?


I am totally aware of your above mentioned stuff more than you could ever imagine , buddy :
Once again : that was just a materialistic reductionistic approach :

We know that both spirit & body have mutual constant influences with each other , so, no wonder that if some ereas of the brain are damaged whose normal function is x , the correspondent erea in the mind gets "blocked " because it loses its material vehicle :

If regions of the brain are damaged whose function is language for example , to make it simple , one cannot talk , but that does not mean that language is only a matter of the material brain or biology

Besides : the intellect or mind or consciousness or whatever you wanna call it cannot be the product of evolution, it can evolve but it cannot be the product of evolution, the latter that's just an abstract apprehending of reality by the first = consciousness cannot be the product of its own abstract apprehending of reality

You, guys , gotta learn to make the difference between materialism as an Euro-centric prescriptive speculative interpretative ideology & between the material nature of science +scientific facts


I can tell you more about the matter from the neo-darwinists ' optics such as those of Dennet , Dawkins & co than you probably can ever imagine , so

Thanks, appreciate indeed
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