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Which came first? Civilization or Religion?

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posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 09:51 PM
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a reply to: Lucid Lunacy

I watched the whole video. Though I could tell the argument wasn't going to amount to much when he made the presupposition that human florishing and cooperation were Good things. He also states that everything is experienced in the brain(even thoughts and feelings) so on a scientific basis thoughts are simply chemical reactions. One chemical reaction cannot be more good than another chemical reaction....

Basically what he did was try and appeal to the moral sense in humans and hide it behind the word well being. The question is not whether or not we are moral creature. The question is about the ontological existence of moral laws. He says moral rights come from what causes human florishing and cooperation to peak. That as I said early is a moral presupposition in itself. Ultimately he is using his variables and his definition of moral rights to define what is good to begin with. In his words his argument for objective morals without a god "is an illusion."




posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 09:55 PM
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a reply to: Lucid Lunacy

You must understand, I will listen to a point where I have a problem with the premise. If one cannot stick one's hand up and address that problem, the remainder becomes tainted.

The fundamental flaw with the science dictating/deciding morals via facts- there is validity to the fact aspect-and one doesn't have to study a whole subject to come to a valid conclusion to that subject, is science is incapable of evaluating anything. It's back to the individual to evaluate the science and those 'facts'.

How those facts are viewed and the importances given to them. The global warming crowd is a case in point. There is much variation on the interpretation of those arguable 'facts' and much variation on how much importance is placed on one body or the other. Yes, insufficient facts...so far. Yet, that has led to the "can we afford to take the chance" mentality.

Next and more damning is his positioning of heaven and hell, good and evil as "religious morals". That is disingenuous. Those are enforcement mechanisms NOT morals.

Don't lie. Don't steal. Don't cheat on your spouse. So on. Those are morals. Not "heaven and hell".

That was enough evidence for me to "trash bin" it....



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 10:10 PM
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a reply to: Lucid Lunacy

My conclusions are empirical. They trump selected data from a questionable source. For example, Canada, England have pretty much always had better education than the U.S.. at least at the non-elite levels.

The recent drop of those levels are well documented and my daughter home schools her two children to avoid the systemic rot that is U.S. education. She went to private school- the equivalent of 'public school in the U.K- I don't require a foreign study to tell me I'm being hit on the head with a stick, it hurts all by itself...


That empirical evidence also points to a correlation to the drop in overall morals, in general. I neither need nor require your agreement to my observations.

As an added comment, I will cede the possibility at some point in the future where morals can be evaluated and enacted outside the traditional sources. So far. It's been a downhill experience from what I can see. I would even go as far as to bet a general collapse of this current civilization before any viable alternative is found...back to square one...



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 10:16 PM
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a reply to: roth1

A valid point. Let me play devil's advocate. What makes you assume there were no problems before 'civilization'?

To wit, a cave dwelling society, at a guess. Fighting both within that group and with outside groups not unlikely, rules develop before the advent of civilization? Hence a rudimentary moral code before the "hand-shake"?



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 10:19 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

Though I could tell the argument wasn't going to amount to much when he made the presupposition that human florishing and cooperation were Good things.

He’s suggesting it’s morally correct to value human flourishing and cooperation and to honestly asses the factual things that do or do not contribute to them.

I’m not sure I understand what you’re disagreeing with. Unless you disagree with the whole underlying premise of his speech.


He also states that everything is experienced in the brain(even thoughts and feelings)

Which is what the science is in support of. He’s got a Ph.D in neuroscience so he’s using that knowledge.


so on a scientific basis thoughts are simply chemical reactions. One chemical reaction cannot be more good than another chemical reaction….

If you think he reduced the argument to that then you should watch it again. He clearly was not. You’re introducing a familiar counter argument to reductionism but it’s not really applicable here.


Basically what he did was try and appeal to the moral sense in humans and hide it behind the word well being.

You make it sound so nefarious! lol

Yes he was trying to appeal to our moral sense! That was crucial to his argument!

I don’t understand what you mean by hiding.


The question is about the ontological existence of moral laws.

That’s your question, yes. Not the only one relevant to the discussion of objective morality. As shown in this talk. You want to make it exclusively about this because ultimately you want to make the case objective morality is wholly dependent on god.

Or do you just mean whether they have existence in an objective sense? That was his whole speech. Saying that we can look at factual truths [a scientific thing to do] of the World and our experience of the World as it relates to well-being and flourishing as a society.



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 10:31 PM
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a reply to: Lucid Lunacy

Why is it you assume those that believe the moral codes of religion are a benefit also believe they are "god based"?



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 10:35 PM
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Sure there were problems. No rules yet. Systems develop over time, out a need for it. If no problem ever presents itself, no rules. Must have problem to fix. Before you look for a fix for it. a reply to: nwtrucker



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 10:36 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

Next and more damning is his positioning of heaven and hell, good and evil as "religious morals". That is disingenuous. Those are enforcement mechanisms NOT morals.

Don't lie. Don't steal. Don't cheat on your spouse. So on. Those are morals. Not "heaven and hell".

That was enough evidence for me to "trash bin" it....


I just watched the first 5 mins again so I would know what you heard, and everything you missed.

Your true colors are showing.

This is what he said verbatim:

"Even if you get your values from religion. Even if you think good and evil ultimately relate to conditions after death. Either to an eternity of happiness with god, or an eternity of suffering in Hell. You are still concerned about consciousness and its changes. And to say that such changes can persist after death is itself a factual claim."



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 10:38 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker
There is a very high probability that if someone evokes religious morality it's because they also believe in the theological underpinnings of that religion. That said I have ATS history with this member and know he believes them to be 'god based'.
edit on 22-2-2015 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 10:41 PM
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a reply to: Lucid Lunacy




I’m not sure I understand what you’re disagreeing with. Unless you disagree with the whole underlying premise of his speech.


I am not disagreeing necessarily but I am saying the premise is not logically valid as it stands. He begging the question.



He’s suggesting it’s morally correct to value human flourishing and cooperation


This is a philosophical presupposition and makes a moral claim in itself. This is where he begs the question. What standard is he appealing to to say it is good to value human flourishing and cooperation?




Which is what the science is in support of. He’s got a Ph.D in neuroscience so he’s using that knowledge.


I wasn't disagreeing with those, but he believes the mind is a product of time and chance not intelligent design. Therefore on a scientific basis one can't assign anything more than mere chemical reaction to the idea of thought. As you said this is a normal rebuttal for reductionism which he clearly defined as his belief in the video. That view of the world effects your view of ethics no way around it philosophically speaking.




Or do you just mean whether they have existence in an objective sense?


Thats exactly what I mean. He done nothing to show there is an objective standard that say human flourishing should be valued to begin with. In a scientific view of things, humans are just evolved bags of star dust fizzing chemically. They don't suffer or feel pain. They simply fizz . Its my personal opinion that if God doesn't exist in order to remain rationally coherent one must ultimately conclude that there are no morals, but rather an illusion brought about by chemicals and there fore no scientific basis on which on could conclude which chemical reaction was better or not.




Saying that we can look at factual truths [a scientific thing to do] of the World and our experience of the World as it relates to well-being and flourishing as a society.


Again you must presuppose well being and flourishing to have some set standard outside of humans.



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 10:52 PM
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a reply to: Lucid Lunacy

So you claim you don't see his positioning of heaven and hell with the subject of morals as being out of whack?

Your true colours are showing.....



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 11:00 PM
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a reply to: Lucid Lunacy

So that I understand, you feel the Ten Commandments are invalid due to the claim they are 'God-Sourced'.

That you do not espouse to not killing, not stealing, et al merely because they weren't science-based?

Of course not! Then kindly don't use that rhetoric with me merely because I paraphrased his statement which surely positioned Heaven and Hell with morals. he did in fact do that. Else why even mention them in the same subject??

Is it a fair guess on my part that in the remaining 15 minutes of his lecture there was no mention of the ten commandments as the moral code of Christianity-of which I am NOT a member.

Thought not. Slick, but not my cup of tea....



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 11:03 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

What standard is he appealing to to say it is good to value human flourishing and cooperation?

This was very much addressed. He said much on the matter. I don't think it begs the question as that 'moral presupposition' was given a rational basis. I feel. I can transcribe what he said if you desire.


Therefore on a scientific basis one can't assign anything more than mere chemical reaction to the idea of thought.

That ultimately there is underlying neurobiology that can be studied and used to verify certain truths about cognition and emotion. Yes. It's not scientific to say it then has to be limited to the most extreme of reductionist views as to undermine the complexity or importance of thoughts and emotions and subsequently how they relate to human well-being.


He done nothing to show there is an objective standard that say human flourishing should be valued to begin with.

On second thought I'm just going to find a transcription online of this lecture. Take me too long to do it manually with pauses. So I'll get back to you there.


In a scientific view of things, humans are just evolved bags of star dust fizzing chemically.

That's absolutely disingenuous to reality. Not intellectually honest at all. Nothing I haven't heard before ad nauseum though. This is typically followed with saying atheists are void of meaning and purpose in their lives, a secular society void of religion would fall apart as they would lack morality, and blah blah blah. Not that those are connected per se, just that they are usually presented together.

You realize the field of psychology is a scientific field, yes? Do you think it's the overwhelming consensus of this field all we are is bags of star dust?? You're projecting your thoughts into us because you feel we are necessarily defunct of certain qualities in life without religion. It's simply not the case. One can be a secularist...a secularist that believes in science...hell a secular scientist, and view the human experience as much fuller in meaning and enriching than you're insinuating.

Understanding scientific truths on how our chemical brains relate to thought and emotion doesn't reduce them. To you maybe. Sam's points for evoking that component into his argument was the same as all the others he was making. That factual truths can and are pertinent to a discussion of morality. He was not in any way isolating the topic to neuroscience, nor did his argument need it to demonstrate his points.
edit on 22-2-2015 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 11:08 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

So that I understand, you feel the Ten Commandments are invalid due to the claim they are 'God-Sourced'.

My very first post addresses the Ten Commandments via those quotes. They are inline with my thoughts. It's why I posted them. You did read my first post in your thread, correct?

Additionally my thoughts towards the Ten Commandments is that there is vastly superior moral thought coming from other people and other religious and philosophical systems and that makes me more than curious why that is so since the Ten Commandments allegedly came from an omniscient and omnibenevolent god.

Before you demand answers to all these questions can you go back and address my post about the morality of Yahweh you chose not to really address? As it now seems quite pertinent since you're drawing my attention to the Old Testament.
edit on 22-2-2015 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2015 @ 11:25 PM
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a reply to: Lucid Lunacy

Actually, I apologize. I've been off work and under the weather the last few days. That would be the reason I missed the obvious.

At no point has Lucid Lunacy ever addressed the topic of the thread.

He has been proselytizing almost from the start. Not having dealt with him that I recall prior to today, I allowed this to go off topic. My bad. As objective morality wasn't around at the period I address-then again, perhaps objective morality was , in fact, the order of the day...
, it's not really germane to the topic.

Again, I apologize


edit on 22-2-2015 by nwtrucker because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 01:11 AM
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originally posted by: nwtrucker
a reply to: Lucid Lunacy

It's not a premise, per say, more of a question.

I took a smoke break and thought this out a bit more.

As Religion has diminished in the west, I have also observed a definite drop in morals at all levels of society.

This is empirical and the correlation is hard to argue. Secularism and it's rise is also part of this observation. That's where this question comes up.

In general, moral codes seem to have their genus in religion. I care not which came first the chicken or the egg.



I guess that depends on how you define morals. If you're comparing this time in history in the west with the Industrial Age, for example, would morals, as you define them, be lower or higher now? Certainly, there is vastly more concern now about the well-being of the young, the elderly, and the infirm. There is much more concern about the environment. Would you care to comment on that?



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 01:25 AM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

At no point has Lucid Lunacy ever addressed the topic of the thread.

Oh really?

The OP is about religious morality, and also its implications towards the development of society.

Fairly sure the bulk of my posts have been related to that.



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 02:43 AM
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a reply to: Tangerine

Hmm. I have to think on that one. Off the top that seems a valid point.

Perhaps I've over-generalized?

You stress a time when things were particularly bad. I was thinking more short term-within my lifetime which is my empirical framework- that's where I see the drop-off. I also use the North American example having no personal experience elsewhere.

The list is long and I won't bore you with the usual lamenting of short-term thinking, self-indulgence and outright criminality that exists on almost all levels of our society.

Goodwill was a major consideration in business. Today? Not even a factor. All trumped by bottom line. The list is long...within the framework of my lifetime.

In general, gov't intervention occurs when people abrogate their responsibilities. The expansion of social programs reflects the drop in society covering those issues.

yes, economics is a factor. Yet those very economics reflect the morality of the day, not 'yesterday's'.

Safe streets, kids playing baseball in the public parks, neighbors watching over the kids in the area....on and on. Gone, or almost gone.

Back to the environment, sure, awareness has increased. That area has shown improvement. An exception that proves the rule. methinks. For some, it seems to trump all other considerations, balance gone.....

The common denominator? I see it as the morals of the people. In the west's case, the Judeo-Christian moral code...yes imperfect, yes, laden with hypocrisy-which is far more preferable than the 'no moral code' code we seem to be saddled with now.

There is no question, in my mind, that the loss of peer pressure from that code has diminished to the point of near non-existence in our present life-style.

Back to the point of the thread, religion with their moral codes seem to be part and parcel a vital ingredient to a civilization's success.

Again, this is my think and I'm not really sure I'm right. LOL.



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 02:47 AM
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a reply to: Lucid Lunacy

Oh really? Then answer the original question which was first? Civilization or Religion?

Please elaborate....



posted on Feb, 23 2015 @ 03:25 AM
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a reply to: nwtrucker
I guess you're not familiar with OP. It's an acronym for Original Poster and Original Post. Here I meant it as Original Post. You're referring to the Thread Title. Typically to be 'on topic' the OP is taken into account.

Now to answer your question anyways.

I'm sure Humankind invented beliefs they shared that were metaphysical and even religious in nature prior to civilization. So I'll just give the short answer of: religion.

From there I would not agree it's evidence that morality springs from, or is dependent on religion. Or that civilization needs religion to function well.

I agree with Christopher Hitchens in regards to religion being the first attempt:

“[R]eligion was the race's first (and worst) attempt to make sense of reality. It was the best the species could do at a time when we had no concept of physics, chemistry, biology or medicine. We did not know that we lived on a round planet, let alone that the said planet was in orbit in a minor and obscure solar system, which was also on the edge of an unimaginably vast cosmos that was exploding away from its original source of energy. We did not know that micro-organisms were so powerful and lived in our digestive systems in order to enable us to live, as well as mounting lethal attacks on us as parasites. We did not know of our close kinship with other animals. We believed that sprites, imps, demons, and djinns were hovering in the air about us. We imagined that thunder and lightning were portentous. It has taken us a long time to shrug off this heavy coat of ignorance and fear, and every time we do there are self-interested forces who want to compel us to put it back on again.”
edit on 23-2-2015 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)




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