It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

How Did Our Conscience Evolve ?

page: 1
2
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 09:58 AM
link   
In these discussions we are always so focused on the biological aspect we forget about some aspects of humanity, that are outside the scope of the biological.


Conscience is an aptitude, faculty, intuition or judgment that assists in distinguishing right from wrong. Moral judgment may derive from values or norms (principles and rules).


Animals don't have this, but even atheists have this, and if they do something very wrong the conscience bothers them, since they don't subscribe to biblical principals and rules, why does their conscience still bother them. If we repeatedly do something wrong we can scar our conscience to that activity, but it might still bother us for something else we do wrong.

So if animals don't have it, and humans are born with it, the question is how did it evolve ?




posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:03 AM
link   
Why does my dog know right from wrong?



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:07 AM
link   
a reply to: Grimpachi

Does your dog have a conscience, or did you train him ?
And he now knows what is acceptable to you and what isn't, for example taking a dump on your couch is not acceptable, there would be consequences for doing that, dogs aren't stupid.
edit on 2-9-2015 by Blue_Jay33 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:10 AM
link   
I asked you. Why does my dog know right from wrong?

In every sense of the word I would say my dog has a conscience.


If my dog can have a conscience why wouldn't people?



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:10 AM
link   
a very interesting question, OP. there isnt a definitive answer yet, but there are theories...


Many scientists agree that self-awareness evolved because of the benefits it contributes understanding others and social situations, implying that self-awareness is intrinsically connected to other-awareness. This suggests that there was an advantage for the individual in understanding others, and therefore that competition and cooperation played a pivotal role in how human evolution progressed. Consciousness, then, is an experience, and our capacity for mental construction and time travel allows us to compare current situations with past and future ones. Mental trial and error is much more efficient than actual trial and error, so this part of the decision making process greatly reduces the chance of failure. This extends to our interactions with others – we use our own experiences in order to predict the behavior of others. Mirror neuron experiments in humans and monkeys favor this view.


bsj.berkeley.edu...



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:13 AM
link   
a reply to: Blue_Jay33

The reason is because being evil eventually(usually) comes back to bite you in the ass and makes life more difficult.

Why is it that humans are able to slaughter and eat cows yet doing the same to humans is a bad thing?

Because killing the cow doesn't diminish your social or economic positions in the long term.

There is actually a field of study that looks at cooperative behavior and the most interesting part of it involves a computer game competition. Here is an article on it...a little dated but if you want to find more just google "Tit for tat computer game competition". Honestly it would make a great separate topic.

www.gametheory.net...



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:37 AM
link   
a reply to: Blue_Jay33


Animals don't have this, but even atheists have this, and if they do something very wrong the conscience bothers them, since they don't subscribe to biblical principals and rules, why does their conscience still bother them.


Wow. Loaded statement. So - atheists are just a smidge more evolved than animals in the conscience department?

"Since they don't subscribe to biblical principals" (it's PRINCIPLES) and rules, why does their conscience bother them."

FYI, dogs have consciences, too, and anyone who has spent time with them (really spent time, like living with them 24/7) knows this.

But - on to your topic.

Here is a book that can answer your question:

The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology

Robert Wright, Author



[one reviewer's favorite] quote is: "...humans are a species splendid in their array of moral equipment, tragic in their propensity to misuse it, and pathetic in their constitutional ignorance of the misuse."

Science journalist Robert Wright compiled these findings of evolutionary psychology (EP) for the lay reader in 1994 and "Moral Animal" is still a timely treatise. Matt Ridley introduced his excellent "Red Queen" about the same topic around the same year. Wright writes in an engaging manner, intertwining his pearls with biographical sketches of Charles Darwin.

Disclaimer: For those who are offended by the very suggestion that our behavior evolved from apes - and that our behavior is an elaborate, sophisticated manifestation of language and socialization which evolved by natural selection along with a huge brain - you won't like this book.


But you should read it anyway. You'll have your answer then. If your head doesn't explode, that is.



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:39 AM
link   
a reply to: Blue_Jay33
Conscience varies depending on societal and cultural norms. Some norms are relatively common across the globe, while others are not. For instance, I don't have a problem eating pork. Feed pork to a Jew or a Muslim, and they will probably throw up. Nevertheless, murder is wrong in most cultures, and therefore, your conscience will eat you alive, and make you sick. Ask anyone who has had to kill someone the first time. Conscience does not need to come from god.



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:51 AM
link   
a reply to: Blue_Jay33

I am going to ignore "animals don't have this" because that is obviously not true.

But to answer your question: how did conscience evolve? (why did it evolve):

It is because recognition of truth is good. And it is not a did, but a does. As in, we have not finished evolving - we are still evolving towards full recognition of truth...

Life is conception (of the truth.)

And this subject can get very complex very fast so to skip through all that and just get to the end: truth must be just and it is not just to condemn pre-crime, so that is why we are allowed this bondage - why Jesus had to give himself to the unjust in order to be justified.

Wish I could show you all the hours and hours of meditation I have spent on this.

Maybe what would help the most is to recognize that there is no black and white, there is no duality - there is only infinity, and the qualities of infinity, the truth of infinity comes through like a spectrum, where there are not infinite colors but 1 color and infinite shades, there is 1 sound and infinite tone and pitch, etc. And the truth is to conceive the infinite justly. (Like I said, it gets complex very fast, like the continuum hypothesis or the set of all sets within set theory -- it is God's image: Truth... that is the will being done / the forces that are at work.)
edit on 9/2/2015 by Bleeeeep because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 11:04 AM
link   
my apologies, i misread the title. but it is still a very interesting question and there are ideas, although the definitive answer appears to elude us still.

www.smithsonianmag.com...

here is another question: what is the nature of empathy?



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 11:18 AM
link   
a reply to: Blue_Jay33


Animals don't have this, but even atheists have this


Do Animals Know Right from Wrong? New Clues Point to 'Yes'


Canids (animals in the dog family) learn social codes of conduct at a young age through play. They first invite one another to roughhouse using a "play bow": They lie down on their forelimbs while standing on their hind legs. Even when this is followed by aggressive actions such as growling and snarling, the bow makes their playful intentions clear. During play, dominant members of the pack will engage in role reversal with weaker ones, rolling over on their backs to give low-status playmates a chance at "winning," as well as lessening the force of their bites to prevent injury. If one playmate accidentally bites another too hard, it "apologizes," play-bowing again to show that it is still playing, despite the slip-up.

Breaking these rules of engagement — or other rules, such as taking more than one's fair share of food — is serious business among wolves and coyotes. "There is a consequence of being labeled a cheater," Bekoff said. Others stop bonding with the "immoral" pack member, and eventually it wanders away from the group, usually resulting in an early death because it no longer receives the benefits of pack living. Bekoff believes the rules governing pack behavior offer a glimpse of the moral code that allowed early human societies to function and flourish.

Dogs evolved from wolves, and seem to have maintained a wolfish sense of fairness. "They do have a sense of right and wrong. You see it when they play at the dog park, for example; when a dog asks another dog to play — even if it is larger and may be dominant — it's going to be honest about it. It knows it would be unfair to ask a dog to play and then beat it up or try to mate with it," he said.

Furthermore, experiments at the University of Vienna have also found that dogs become upset by unfair treatment by humans. When asked to shake hands, the dogs in the study were happy to oblige at first regardless of whether they were given treats or not. But the dogs' enthusiasm for the trick waned when they saw other dogs being rewarded with food after a handshake, but received nothing themselves. The ignored dogs also started showing signs of distress, such as licking or scratching. The researchers argued that these stress signifiers proved the dogs were upset about being treated unfairly — not just sad about missing out on a treat.


You know, if you are going to present an OP, it helps if you'd actually research the topic a bit to make sure you aren't making any unfounded or false claims.
edit on 2-9-2015 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 11:22 AM
link   
a reply to: Klassified




Ask anyone who has had to kill someone the first time. Conscience does not need to come from god.


I agree, a person could be trained from very young not to believe in God, let's say both parents are atheists, but they train their child that breaking the law is bad; stealing, murder, rape and so on. If they were then do it anyway there conscience would bother them.

But if God created the conscience it is in every human born, the same as a they have a physical brain and heart, and just as you can abuse your brain with drugs and your heart with a bad diet, and they don't function like they were intended later in life. You can abuse your conscience as well and it will cease to function as intended or at least it will cause a mental and emotional struggle. Is this not at least a 50% component to soldiers that have killed multiple people when they suffer from PTSD when they return home.

As to the point about animals
Does a wolf( I am using that because of there relation to dogs) feel bad when it kills for the first time ?

Does a loin feel bad when it kills another lion ?

Animals killing other animals doesn't make them feel bad. It's instinct, we don't kill another alpha human just because they threaten us within or social circle, but Gorilla's and Lions can and do.
Also I have had dogs as pets before, they display emotions such as happiness and sadness, I am not talking about that, a conscience is different than just feeling happy or sad about something, it is much more complex than that.
edit on 2-9-2015 by Blue_Jay33 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 11:35 AM
link   
a reply to: Blue_Jay33




Animals killing other animals doesn't make them feel bad. It's instinct, we don't kill another alpha human just because they threaten us within or social circle, but Gorilla's and Lions can and do.


Yes, we do kill those who threaten us. We kill for food, just like animals do, without remorse, for the most part. We hunt animals for sport. Animals don't do that. They kill for territory, food and self defense, no other reason.

Animals mourn the loss of the their fellows.




posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 11:44 AM
link   
a reply to: Blue_Jay33

Just because animals may have a different idea of what is moral and what isn't, doesn't mean that they don't have morals as well.



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 11:44 AM
link   
a reply to: Blue_Jay33

Think of instincts or the "nature" of a life form as muscle memory. The soul, psyche, or awareness of a life form conceives the will/spirit/forces/instinct/nature of itself - that is what awareness is - conception of forces, so if their will/spirit is something their soul perceives as harmful or bad, if that is what they conceive it as, that is what they feel (as a way of self-correction). So think of feelings as the force of your sight as you self-reflect (self-reflection as a way of self-correction).

But then don't forget the spectrum and how this will is not conceived by all so strongly.

i.e. You make yourself feel bad by conceiving your will/forces as bad. That initial conception is self-reflected as emotions. Think positive and negative reinforcement.

So for someone who has ptsd, or anxiety, or any similar mental disorder, what they need to do to overcome is justify the memory of their will (their muscle memory) and as a result, it will cause them to stop suffering emotional turmoil. To justify it, they have to forgive themselves or the person responsible for the will or "muscle" of the memory. e.g. It is okay because I didn't know better. Release the negative spirit, or demon, so to speak.
edit on 9/2/2015 by Bleeeeep because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 11:49 AM
link   
a reply to: Blue_Jay33

Humans are no different. It is simply cooperative behavior.

Plants don't want to die yet humans feel no remorse when we eat them.

As humans we feel no remorse when we kill insects(at least I don't). Do you somehow feel those organisms want to be destroyed? Does a plant that struggles toward the light not want to live just as much as a dog?

The reason we feel remorse and affection toward dogs is because those living organisms are closer to us in behavior than cockroaches and seaweed. It is also because those creatures can develop symbiotic social relationships with humans. I would guess it's the same reason dogs probably act the same way toward humans yet feel no qualms about devouring hoards of June bugs on a hot summer night.

Why do some men in developing countries feel it's okay and a man's right to rape year old "wives"? Yet another man in the U.S. would lay down his life to protect another eight year old in the same situation?

Social development and context. The man in the developing country has been raised to see only benefits in raping eight year old girls. Just like the man in the other country has developed empathy toward the same girl to understand the great amount of torture and pain the girl would be feeling. In this social context the game of tit for tat means that hurting other organisms is only bad if those in your social circle see it as such because it would have long term repercussions.

The eight year old girl in that developing country has no social value beyond being an incubator and slave, therefore her pain and torture does not trump the man's "social right" to her body. It is not "immoral" to those people. No more than it is "immoral" to eat cows in the U.S.A.

All of the "good" in people is based on social consequences. If there are no negative social consequences then humans continue harmful behaviors toward other living organisms.



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 11:55 AM
link   
a reply to: Blue_Jay33

doesnt the creation of conscience interfere with that whole "free will" thing?



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 11:55 AM
link   
a reply to: BuzzyWigs

Too bad i can only give one star



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 11:57 AM
link   

originally posted by: Grimpachi
Why does my dog know right from wrong?


Good question! Instinct is what? It is intelligence from where?
edit on 2-9-2015 by SeaWorthy because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 12:00 PM
link   

originally posted by: SeaWorthy

originally posted by: Grimpachi
Why does my dog know right from wrong?


Good question! instinct is what? it is intelligence from where?


can instinct be considered intelligent? its very definition belies the process of cognition.



new topics

top topics



 
2
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join