The science of morality
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17-12-2011, 12:41 PM
RE: The science of morality
OK, I may be wrong. The documentary I saw is certainly not scientific and I can't find equally documented articles to support my position. The reason why I was so convinced by it is that they actually went to the forest with the cameras and they illustrated each allegation with footage and it really looked like the wolves did what they were describing. I still believe there is some truth in what I saw, but until science will verify the guy's observations and give a verdict, I am wrong to try to push it in a debate.

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

I would never shake a baby unless the recipe requires it.
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17-12-2011, 12:55 PM (This post was last modified: 17-12-2011 01:18 PM by AbdelZ.)
RE: The science of morality
(17-12-2011 12:41 PM)Malleus Wrote:  OK, I may be wrong. The documentary I saw is certainly not scientific and I can't find equally documented articles to support my position. The reason why I was so convinced by it is that they actually went to the forest with the cameras and they illustrated each allegation with footage and it really looked like the wolves did what they were describing. I still believe there is some truth in what I saw, but until science will verify the guy's observations and give a verdict, I am wrong to try to push it in a debate.

Wait a sec ....your above mentioned thread represents the mainstream view in science under domination of materialism as an ideology : so, you are not wrong about that : you just displayed that materialistic dominant approach in science on the matter at hand :

I do not question the pure descriptive scientific facts , i just reject the reductionistic materialistic interpretative speculative ideological prescriptive domination in science , materialism as an ideology that cannot be confused with neither the material nature of science nor with the pure descriptive scientific facts

Worse than that domination of materialism in science is the fact that many materialistic prescriptive speculative interpretative ideological materialistic assumptions are imposed to science as scientific facts , unfortunately enough

For example : materialism as an Eurocentric historic product of the medieval conflict with the medieval church = spiritual fanatism of the church had produced its opposite : materialistic fanatism

So , materialism had imposed its own approach of life for example as a scientific fact like the "fact " that life is just a matter of "material processes " while science is all about material processes = so , the material science & materialism seem to be one , but they are not

Meaning : science is only concerned with material processes but man cannot be reduced to just that like materialism does , so



My friend , i have been interested in evolution all my life (evolution that was discovered by muslims for the first time ever centuries before Darwin was even born , muslims that discovered & practiced the scientific method itself & much more ) , i have been interested in materialism that has been dominating in exact sciences as well as in human sciences , excluding all non-materialistic paradigms in the process , so

Regarding ethics or morality as the subject of this thread , here also you have materialistic monism that dominates in science , materialistic monism that can be traced back to Spinoza's ethics or monism , as the materialistic approach of life can be traced back to the 18th century at least : that's why one has even a so-called science of spirituality , the latter that considers spirituality as just a matter or product of evolution : spirituality "located " in the brain only , as God supposedly is = located in the brain = "The God's delusion " as one of Richard Dawkins' book is titled = reductionistic materialistic unnuanced bullshit

No wonder that materialism reduces the human spirit to a matter or product of evolution = a matter or product of the material neuronal activity = a product of the evolutionary complexity of the brain = emergent property theory

If consciousness is really the product of evolution through the evolved brain , evolution that's just an abstract approach of reality by our consciousness = just a survival strategy , then is consciousness just a survival strategy = an illusion ,idem ditto for all our apprehending of reality , including all our knowledge , ethics , morality, emotions, feelings , freedom, justice , democracy , values ...& even love are just survival strategies = just abstract approach of reality = illusions = even our own existence is thus an ...illusion = makes no sense = paradoxical contradictory stuff


When i said earlier about your current thread : silly ridiculous materialistic approach : i meant silly ridiculous materialistic ethics in science = a judgement of value in relation to those materialistic ethics , not in relation to the pure scientific facts no one can deny as such
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17-12-2011, 01:30 PM
RE: The science of morality
I don't know what to say. Materialism still makes a lot of sense to me, because I have read some materials making a pretty convincing case for it. However, none of my opinions are cast in stone and I'm open to different theories.

However, if you wish to present a different opinion, for example to propose a different source for "spirituality", other than the brain, please pretend that I'm stupid. Use less big words and try to make everything as clear and as simple as possible and I promise we'll make some progress one way of another. It's not that I am unable to deal with high-brow terminology, but I value efficient communication far more.

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

I would never shake a baby unless the recipe requires it.
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17-12-2011, 04:21 PM
RE: The science of morality
(17-12-2011 12:32 PM)AbdelZ Wrote:  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
The evidence quite strongly indicates that the processes are brain-based, and give no evidence in favor of 'spirit'.
Quote: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
This is your opinion, since you don't provide any support. Science has found no evidence of a spirit, no dualism. If you would like a cogent theory of mind as an emergent property of the brain, please read The Mind's I, by Douglas Hofstadter, Daniel C. Dennett.
Quote: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
And you, sir, need to reduce the confrontational tone and wording.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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17-12-2011, 09:05 PM
RE: The science of morality
(17-12-2011 12:41 PM)Malleus Wrote:  OK, I may be wrong. The documentary I saw is certainly not scientific and I can't find equally documented articles to support my position. The reason why I was so convinced by it is that they actually went to the forest with the cameras and they illustrated each allegation with footage and it really looked like the wolves did what they were describing. I still believe there is some truth in what I saw, but until science will verify the guy's observations and give a verdict, I am wrong to try to push it in a debate.

No problem, I can understand how you reached that conclusion - a mass of professional scientists who made a living studying wolves reached the same conclusion. The problem is that our observations can deceive us, this is why we invented science. We test our ideas, and see how well they hold up to scrutiny, and when scientists applied this to the idea of dominance hierarchies and alphas we found that our initial observations were flawed. In other words, the behavior we were observing was not controlled by the principles we thought they were.

(17-12-2011 01:30 PM)Malleus Wrote:  I don't know what to say. Materialism still makes a lot of sense to me, because I have read some materials making a pretty convincing case for it. However, none of my opinions are cast in stone and I'm open to different theories.

However, if you wish to present a different opinion, for example to propose a different source for "spirituality", other than the brain, please pretend that I'm stupid. Use less big words and try to make everything as clear and as simple as possible and I promise we'll make some progress one way of another. It's not that I am unable to deal with high-brow terminology, but I value efficient communication far more.

If it helps, you don't need to accept materialism to accept science as science does not assume materialism (as AbdelZ asserts). Science relies on 'naturalism', which essentially means that things can be observed, studied, measured, etc. Specifically, it assumes "methodological" naturalism, rather than "metaphysical" naturalism, which means that it only assumes the world to be natural in order to create scientific theories, it makes no claims about whether the world (or "reality") really is naturalistic.

We can still argue that materialism is true, if that's what we want to believe, but our arguments will necessarily be philosophical rather than scientific, as it's impossible to demonstrate a metaphysical position using a tool which is explicitly metaphysically neutral (i.e. science ignores the possibility of supernatural entities because they cannot be studied. Importantly, it doesn't say they don't exist, just that science cannot provide evidence in support, or against, them).

(17-12-2011 04:21 PM)Chas Wrote:  The evidence quite strongly indicates that the processes are brain-based, and give no evidence in favor of 'spirit'.

As I touched on above, even if a spirit or soul existed (i.e. if dualism were true), science would never be able to find evidence to support it. It's true, but slightly misleading, to say that there is no 'evidence' for dualism because this is trivially true.

(17-12-2011 04:21 PM)Chas Wrote:  
Quote: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
This is your opinion, since you don't provide any support. Science has found no evidence of a spirit, no dualism.

Again, there cannot ever be any scientific evidence of dualism - equally so, it cannot support materialism, idealism, solipsism, or any other metaphysical position. This obviously doesn't mean all are equally likely, or that it's reasonable to accept any of them, just that we need to be careful that our reasons for rejecting certain metaphysical positions are valid. In other words, our position will be based on philosophical 'evidence'.

Not that I accept the claims of AbdelZ at all - he seems to have a fundamental misunderstanding of what science is, and this results in a confused understanding of the metaphysical issues surrounding the topic, but I just think that our arguments against him need to be valid.
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17-12-2011, 09:13 PM
RE: The science of morality
(17-12-2011 09:05 PM)Mr.Samsa Wrote:  Again, there cannot ever be any scientific evidence of dualism - equally so, it cannot support materialism, idealism, solipsism, or any other metaphysical position. This obviously doesn't mean all are equally likely, or that it's reasonable to accept any of them, just that we need to be careful that our reasons for rejecting certain metaphysical positions are valid. In other words, our position will be based on philosophical 'evidence'.

I can't agree with the statement that science has nothing to say about dualism. It is conceivable that we can create a brain/mind experiment that will largely prove either dualism of brain and mind or mind as an emergent property of the brain.

So far, the results of brain experiments show no evidence of dualism.

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17-12-2011, 11:55 PM
RE: The science of morality
(17-12-2011 09:13 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(17-12-2011 09:05 PM)Mr.Samsa Wrote:  Again, there cannot ever be any scientific evidence of dualism - equally so, it cannot support materialism, idealism, solipsism, or any other metaphysical position. This obviously doesn't mean all are equally likely, or that it's reasonable to accept any of them, just that we need to be careful that our reasons for rejecting certain metaphysical positions are valid. In other words, our position will be based on philosophical 'evidence'.

I can't agree with the statement that science has nothing to say about dualism. It is conceivable that we can create a brain/mind experiment that will largely prove either dualism of brain and mind or mind as an emergent property of the brain.

So far, the results of brain experiments show no evidence of dualism.

I'm not sure how that would be possible, given that dualism makes no scientific predictions that could separate it from materialism. If the dualist argues that the brain is necessary, but not sufficient, for consciousness or a mind then all of the scientific results that demonstrate the 'emergence' of mind from brain processes would be entirely consistent with the dualist position (i.e. the "brain as a radio" argument).

The difference between the two is that the dualist makes the extra assumption that there is something as well as the brain causing consciousness - but there's no way to test this, because they aren't positing natural processes.

In other words, suppose that the dualist was arguing that there was an extra element needed to understand the forces of gravity. They argue that invisible, intangible gremlins grab a hold of objects and pull them down to the earth, and they choose to behave in ways that are entirely consistent with Newton's laws of gravity (ignoring Einstein's corrections for now). How could we test this? We can't. What we end up with is two theories which are entirely identical in every way (predictions, data accounted for, etc) except that the 'dualist' argument here posits an extra parameter.

Science will therefore reject the 'dualist' theory here because it is unparsimonious. But it's important that we don't interpret this as saying that dualism is wrong, because it doesn't say that (that is, we regularly reject unparsimonious theories in science which could be "true" just because the alternate theory is more useful to us). It's saying that it's not a useful scientific theory. We can try to extend this and claim that "science approximates reality" or "we should only accept claims that have scientific evidence", but these are not scientific arguments and cannot be supported by scientific evidence - they can only be supported by philosophical arguments.
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18-12-2011, 04:46 AM
RE: The science of morality
@Mr.Samsa

I needed a while to ponder on what you said because years ago your explanation would have probably convinced me.

The problem I see now is that there is no difference whatsoever between supernatural explanations and making shit up. For example, I take your gremlin explanation. Those gremlins are really there and they are invisible and intangible, but if you're not careful and you step through one of them, you become more allergic to pollen. Please prove me wrong.

Before I accept any supernatural explanation I need a justified source for such information before I can accept it. Just imagining such an explanation is not enough to make it valid simply because we can come up with an infinity of imaginary supernatural conflicting explanations for the same phenomenon, none of which can be disproved.

That is not a good way to knowledge. In fact it inhibits knowledge and offers mental pacifiers for our curiosity. If people accepted the "Helios and his fire chariot running daily across the sky" explanation without ever questioning it, our knowledge about space would be extremely limited and pretty much wrong. What you're saying is that Helios is still riding his chariot, but he does so very close to the sun and he emanates an energy identical to the sun's energy and that's why he is virtually invisible to our telescopes.

It's OK to let old fairy tales go once we discovered better explanations.

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

I would never shake a baby unless the recipe requires it.
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18-12-2011, 06:43 AM
RE: The science of morality
(18-12-2011 04:46 AM)Malleus Wrote:  @Mr.Samsa

I needed a while to ponder on what you said because years ago your explanation would have probably convinced me.

The problem I see now is that there is no difference whatsoever between supernatural explanations and making shit up. For example, I take your gremlin explanation. Those gremlins are really there and they are invisible and intangible, but if you're not careful and you step through one of them, you become more allergic to pollen. Please prove me wrong.

Agreed, there is no functional difference between the two.

(18-12-2011 04:46 AM)Malleus Wrote:  Before I accept any supernatural explanation I need a justified source for such information before I can accept it. Just imagining such an explanation is not enough to make it valid simply because we can come up with an infinity of imaginary supernatural conflicting explanations for the same phenomenon, none of which can be disproved.

Agreed, being able to imagine an explanation is not a reason to accept it as valid. (As I stated above: "This obviously doesn't mean all are equally likely, or that it's reasonable to accept any of them, just that we need to be careful that our reasons for rejecting certain metaphysical positions are valid.").

(18-12-2011 04:46 AM)Malleus Wrote:  That is not a good way to knowledge. In fact it inhibits knowledge and offers mental pacifiers for our curiosity. If people accepted the "Helios and his fire chariot running daily across the sky" explanation without ever questioning it, our knowledge about space would be extremely limited and pretty much wrong. What you're saying is that Helios is still riding his chariot, but he does so very close to the sun and he emanates an energy identical to the sun's energy and that's why he is virtually invisible to our telescopes.

It's OK to let old fairy tales go once we discovered better explanations.

My point is not that we should accept these ideas as true simply because we can conceive of them, but rather we cannot attempt to use a tool designed for one job to attempt to handle another job - that is, science is a tool for making claims about the natural world, to apply it to supernatural claims is mistaken. It's not different from using a hammer to saw a piece of wood.

The important part of my gremlins example was in understanding that theories in science that are rejected on the basis of being unparsimonious are done so for practical reasons (simpler theories are easier for us to quantify, study and apply to the world), and not because we believe they better represent reality. The gremlins example is obviously far fetched, but it's only there to illustrate a point about the function of parsimony, not to suggest that we should actually believe in gremlins.

To bring this back to the dualism debate, modern science rejects dualism not because there is evidence against it, or because it's likely to be untrue, but rather it is rejected because it's impractical and unnecessary for us when doing science to assume dualism.

And again, just because science cannot disprove dualism, this does not mean that it is a valid concept or that we must accept it or even treat it with respect. It just means that we need to find a tool that is designed to deal with it.
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18-12-2011, 08:07 AM
RE: The science of morality
Well, in many cases, lack of evidence counts as evidence.

Back to your gremlin example, apparently they exist on every significant space object, both the ones which are populated and non-populated. In fact, to fit the story, the same gremlins or other invisible intangible beings need to be doing something all over the universe to keep every planet in its orbit, to keep all the galaxies working and everything. The gremlins on the moon are fewer and/or weaker, because there is lower gravity there. On Saturn and Jupiter, they are stronger/more of them. And the more we think about it, the more complicated the gremlin story needs to get while the science needs only extrapolations of the same rules for the same explanations.

Since we're talking imaginary creatures here, I'm sure you can come up with an explanation for the lack of proportion between the complexity required by two theories that you claim are equally valid and should be working hand in hand and should be explaining the same things at the same time.

However, I disagree that science rejects the supernatural *only* because they can come up with a simpler explanation. The more science advances, the old supernatural tales have less and less explanatory power and they need to increase in size and complexity until they reach religion-size and sooner or later you are forced to come up with all-powerful, omnipresent, all-knowing gremlins. (I believe I just made a point for the possibility of religion to evolve as a by-product of our curiosity)

Most of the time the supernatural is unbelievable. Literally. It's almost impossible to make yourself believe it enough to try to study it. I'm not lazy, but give me a good excuse to start looking in that direction.

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

I would never shake a baby unless the recipe requires it.
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