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How Did Our Conscience Evolve ?

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posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 01:25 PM
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a reply to: masqua




Yes, religion has always played a role in the development of our conscience, but it goes back to when we first learned how to 'subdue' each other with rocks (a benefit of social structure... killing the unwanted or feared).



I'll concede your point but stand by what I said in this the modern era.
You do have a point but it runs far deeper and less superficial by my estimates.
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posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 01:26 PM
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a reply to: masqua

The conscience is about self-reflection.

It is your thoughts on your perception/feelings. First you perceive your will/the forces within you/your spirit/a force "outside you" or "another's force", which results in thoughts and feelings. Then, as a method of self-correction, as a way of producing good thoughts/feelings, you reflect on how to properly exert will/forces that will be conceived as good.

That is the conscience.

What you are talking about is more like sympathy, but sympathy is still about producing good awareness for yourself by way of what will to conceive.



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 01:30 PM
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a reply to: randyvs

I do not consider religion to be 'superficial' in any way or time. It has been with us since long before the Stone Age and has been indicated in artworks that survived from those very early days and in every pre-historic culture on the planet.

What I'd like to put forward is the notion that our conscience produced religion rather than the other way around.



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 01:33 PM
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a reply to: masqua





What I'd like to put forward is the notion that our conscience produced religion rather than the other way around.


Of course that would be hard to argue against, even tho it may be completely false.
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posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 01:33 PM
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a reply to: Bleeeeep

That sounds like a great way to approach the issue of corporal punishment.

But it does not indicate how we, as humans, developed that conscience in the first place.



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 01:38 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: BELIEVERpriest

We aren't even sure souls exist yet. How can we determine if they are able to evolve or not until we do that?


It is true, we still don't have a way to measure the existence of a soul, but personally, I don't believe multiple lifetimes are needed for spiritual maturity. Adversity has potential to accelerate spiritual growth, while prosperity tests its weaknesses. Until we can prove otherwise, its all a matter of theory.



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 01:42 PM
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posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 01:43 PM
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originally posted by: randyvs

Of course that would be hard to argue against, even tho it may be completely false.


True enough... it is almost impossible to suss out.

Consider, once again, the animal kingdom and why there is a tendency to ostracize those who the herd considers unworthy for reproduction. It is instinctual, but obvious in nature.

Now think about our earliest hominids acting in the same manner.

The instinct is a precursor to conscientious thought processes. As we grew larger brains and became reflective with self-awareness in a societal milieu, we decide on leaders to make wise decisions for us. The better decision makers become shaman or priests and live happily as leaders until they start screwing up and are replaced by one who doesn't seem to.

That is how religion first started with the advent of language and symbols (the precursor to writing).



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 01:47 PM
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a reply to: masqua

Because it ends in being "successful" more often than not. The rules of morality go like this and are entirely based on social consequences and relationships:

Rules for tit-for-tat
1. Never be the first to defect
2. Retaliate only after your partner has defected
3. Be prepared to forgive after carrying out just one act of retaliation
4. Adopt this strategy only if the probability of meeting the same player again exceeds 2/3.

or

Tit-for-Tat cooperates in the first round, and then does the same thing as the other player did in the previous round. If the opponent cooperated, Tit-for-Tat cooperated in the next move. If the opponent was trying to win, so did Tit-for-Tat in the next move. We have much to learn from Tit-for-Tat.

pernor.wordpress.com...

Now, edit each of those a little and you can apply it to various social contexts and situations. Obviously a Cicada isn't going to be a player worthy of consideration in the game of life. A best friend however....



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 01:54 PM
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a reply to: BELIEVERpriest

I didn't say anything about multiple lifetimes. Multiple lifetimes assumes that a soul exists. I'm still talking about existence. That needs to be proven first before we can talk about any other attributes of the object.



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 02:05 PM
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a reply to: masqua

I don't believe that "how" has never been the question. The question is "why".

You want to know how the soul can determine its will? How awareness alters forces?

I have no idea... and I don't think anyone does...

but why it does it, that I just explained to you: so it can see good forces/good will/good conception.

Why are you on these forums? You are trying to reproduce good awareness byway of your will. That is what all language and actions are about. Good conception/good concept reproduction. Even mating is about reproducing good awareness or conception.

Also, why did your mind leap to corporal punishment? What the heck have you been thinking about?

Physical is the forces, the light/form you see is just a reflection of how you perceive the forces. Like Jesus being the image of Father. Jesus is the body to the translator/soul that is Father. My words are the image of my awareness, and my awareness is of my will to tell you this...and what is this? Good conception. How to conceive the spirit/will properly. Just like the conscience does for the soul. I am your conscience, that is what social is.

Science has long since acknowledged that the forces are what we perceive as "physicality". Physical is as the nonphysical is perceived. The body are just words or tools used to achieve good forces - so the soul can see and translate more properly.

You have to snap out of that old world physicality approach if you want to see what I am saying. There is no such thing as physical as you believe. "corporal punishment"



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 02:05 PM
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a reply to: masqua




Now think about our earliest hominids acting in the same manner.



"OUR" earliest hominids? I tend to believe " our "
earliest hominids were more intelligent then us
just to survive, not less. T he evidence supports this
in many ways.



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 02:09 PM
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Conscience isn't a physical thing. It is a byproduct of intelligence. The higher an organism's intelligence, the greater the ability to think things out and rationalize situations.

Also, I could name a few animals off the top of my head that have demonstrated the ability to think things through or experience emotion. Obviously not as complicated as human thought, but that doesn't mean they simply don't have it, they just aren't as capable as humans.

Also, survival outweighs conscience. A species survival is more important than weighing out the consequences of how killing for food affects the organism that is the food. If it was any other way, many species would go extinct. Even humans will do WHATEVER it takes to survive. If our species was endangered, I guarantee conscience goes out the window the moment they are starving for food. Look at cannibalism and other travesties committed to other humans by humans while trying to survive. Do you think it's a coincidence that the majority of crimes are committed out of poverty?

So to answer the question. Conscience didn't evolve. Our intellectual capacity evolved, slowly increasing as demonstrated by the skull cranial capacity of homo sapiens and their 20+ known ancestors. The deeper we think, the more we try to emotionally understand our decisions and how they affect others. People like to personify the word "conscience" (ie Jiminy Cricket), but it's not some external force or being, it's our intellectual ability to think deeply about the consequences of our actions.
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posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 02:12 PM
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a reply to: Blue_Jay33




Animals don't have this


Oh I'm sorry, I was confused. I thought you were talking about CONSCIOUSNESS at first, which is a somewhat mysterious topic. No, you're talking about CONSCIENCE, something not at all mysterious or unexplained that has perfectly reasonable biological origins. Animals do have morals of a sort, mainly in the form of instinctual patterns of behavior such as maternal instincts and even altruistic behaviors are often observed in nature. Human beings like to assume we're special because we've used language to codify rules that help bind large societies together. Those rules, however, often correspond very closely to the array of behaviors that we, as a social species, have evolved to exhibit.

For example we generally have empathy for other human beings and even some animals but sometimes that empathy only extends to those within our immediate group. As a species we didn't evolve to care about seven billion people we evolved to care about those in our group, we evolved to care about small groups or individuals within our family unit. This is why on those "Feed the Children" ads on your TV they hold up one or two whimpering children to evoke an emotional reaction rather than showing you statistics on the multitude of children who are in dire straits.

The psychology of group empathy, which has limitations, can be shown in events like the Holocaust. By demonizing Jews and turning them into undesirables the Nazis branded them a group that was threatening the very fabric of German society. If you reinforce such prejudices strong enough for long enough you build up an us vs. them mentality where the members of the other group are seen as inhuman or evil monsters. These are the severe limitations of human morality, hardly a hallmark of divine inspiration... in fact...

We can see the same thing in the Bible, when the Israelites are sent out to wage wholesale genocide they are told a few things 1) The enemy have usually done something horrible against God or against the Israelites and 2) God has decreed the slaughter should commence. So you have the weight of divine authority PLUS the attitude that the enemies in question are all depraved (sometimes they are accused of child sacrifice for example). Even to this day in discussions with apologists I get told that it's okay to slaughter a whole bunch of people as long as 1) God says so and 2) They're in some way or another evil or bad.

So obviously this supposedly supernatural morality has egregious limitations that seem to fit perfectly with the idea that it evolved naturally and was later augmented by human beings. And indeed this is exactly what we see when we study history in any depth, most civilizations come up with similar core laws (don't murder members of the group, don't steal, etc) that are then vastly different when they get into areas of culture and superstition.

At base though we have a framework of empathy which includes something called mirror neurons, we can look at someone's expressions and emotional state and the mirror neurons will fire and cause us to imagine what they are feeling. This is, obviously, crucial to a species like us that survives and thrives in groups and evolved to do just that. It wouldn't be any good to us if we all lived as lone wolf hunter-gatherers and indeed something as complex as human language could only have evolved through the communication of a social species that needs to communicate to survive.

For me it all comes back to the phrase "it takes a village to raise a child" and this can speak to your "atheists have morals too" statement because of course we do, we're members of the same species, a species that gives birth to helpless innocent children that take years to develop the skills they would need to survive and help the group. In a sense we traded the feral and primal defensive strategies of earlier animals (laying armored eggs, having claws or armored skin, etc) for a group survival approach and please don't mistake me as saying that evolution is a conscious process that consciously made the decision to evolve MERELY that natural selection favors strategies and traits that work.

We are the product of fit survivors and with seven billion people on the planet it's easy to see how morality has helped humanity... and it's hard to see why anyone would think a supernatural explanation necessary for something so simple.
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posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 02:13 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t



I believe in reincarnation, but it is a belief formed by a personal event in my life, not on anyone else's notions. (no, I don't wish to discuss the event)



I also believe in what is called the 'Collective Unconscious’.


The collective unconscious is an universal datum, that is, every human being is endowed with this psychic archetype-layer since his/her birth. One can not acquire this strata by education or other conscious effort because it is innate.

www.carl-jung.net...




posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 02:23 PM
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a reply to: masqua

you even mention some of that evidence here.




That is how religion first started with the advent of language and symbols (the precursor to writing).


Think of the intellect involved in putting together a written language.
GRANTED MY EDUCATION IS LIMITED BUT I CAN"T EVEN FATHOM SUCH A THING>
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posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 02:41 PM
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See we are not talking about emotions or intellect here, there are some very smart animals/creatures, the octopus is one example of intelligence. Dogs are examples for emotions. Even though a dog can look guilty and even act guilty that is a result of it's emotions.

A Conscience is different than those.



posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 02:42 PM
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I'd like to start by pointing out the humans DO have morality without belief in a god/overlord.
Humans sense of morality can and DOES exist without a godhead.

Certain animal groups like Chimps have whats called "proto" conscience. They display shame and anger individually or by the group.

This leads us to think that social groups is what has developed the conscience, for conscience is governed by social rules of acceptability and then the individual is able the "internalize" these rules.

The conscience is subjective to the rules of that culture or society. For example human sacrifice is murder, but some were taught that it is within "acceptable" moral parameters of their society.

In some Islamic groups women are brutally circumcised, which our western social group finds abhorrent but that social group she is in has allowed the practice to fall under an acceptable category of conscience.

Humans in fact are responsible for placing the rules / parameters of conscience within their own collectives, This is not given by a god, as why there be so many varying degrees of conscience depending on group? God is not responsible for what we have created as our moral conscience that varied from society to society.

The placing of a god in the mix is simply a groups way to give a divine dispensation to the rules formed within that society. A good control.

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posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 03:30 PM
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a reply to: Blue_Jay33




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.


Unless they are biological they do not evolve. No one "has conscience" in any ontological manner. All they have is their biology. Our biology is different than a dog's, and this is why they do not posses human qualities.

I agree with the theory that disgust is the precursor to morality.
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posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 05:47 PM
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originally posted by: Blue_Jay33
See we are not talking about emotions or intellect here, there are some very smart animals/creatures, the octopus is one example of intelligence. Dogs are examples for emotions. Even though a dog can look guilty and even act guilty that is a result of it's emotions.

A Conscience is different than those.


Please explain the difference and precisely how it is separate from intelligence. I could not tell you how an external force that may not even exist could evolve. I could only explain how brain capacity and complexity has increased over the past 3 million years, giving humans enough brain power to rationalize things like this. But again, it's on you to back that claim up.

It's not just a moral compass, it's the ability to understand consequences. This combined with emotions (guilt for doing something that causes harm to others), creates conscience. There is no Jiminy cricket telling you what not to do. Many others have said it as well, we are a product of our environment.

By intelligence, I'm not talking simply how smart a person is (ie IQ), I'm talking about their entire psyche. To put it simply, conscience is a product of various functions of the brain. We feel pain. We know it is unpleasant. We see people inflict pain on others or inflict pain ourselves. We feel bad about it because we know how it feels, and emotional guilt kicks in. That's empathy in a nutshell, something that society took thousands upon thousands of years to even begin to understand, and IMO we still haven't.
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