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posted on Jul, 14 2007 @ 10:59 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
Since atheists (and agnostics) don't have a common worldview except as it comes to the existence of a god being, then what do you think of "prophecy"?


OK a "prophecy" could cover a lot ground.
So I certainly don't think that someone who makes say thirty predictions about the future and two of them come true have any special ability's. Statical probability comes into play if you make enough predictions some are bound to come true unless they are simply to far fetched.

As for the likes of psychics I haven't done enough research into the topic to pass judgement. Although I am suspicious of psychic hot lines that have 0900 numbers and charge something like $5.95 a minute.




posted on Jul, 15 2007 @ 06:21 AM
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prophecy? well, it's just a load of malarky. the only way you could predict the future is if you knew the exact position of all atoms in the universe and their velocity... heisenburg had something to say about that.



posted on Jul, 15 2007 @ 08:23 AM
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Originally posted by mrsdudara
Science is the search and discovery of the "how's", religion is the search and discovery of the "why's".


Interesting distinction. In the context of your statement, there is no way we can know the "whys". There are a lot of "whys" I find in science and to me, religious explanations of "whys" are speculation at best. (Why are we here? What happens after we die?)



One with out the other is kind of like eating pizza with out the cheese...


Or pizza without anchovies... (which I can't stomach).



There wouldnt be enough people who would want to learn either to make a difference, and no one would realy care what they had to say.


If I understand what you're saying, I think that's a huge and incorrect assumption. It's a common mistake to judge atheists as cold, uncaring, apathetic, selfish and amoral people. When in truth, some of the most interesting, loving and wonderful people I know are some form of atheists. Those of us who don't follow a prescribed set of religious instruction, who aren't told what to believe, must think it out for ourselves and learn to listen to the voice within, instead of following something external. That makes for some very loving and curious people.



Therefore they would both crumble, and the human species would self distruct.


Wow...



Fortunatly that will never happen because the need to understand the why's, and the how's is as great of a need with the human species as the need for water, and air.


I gave up the need to know many of the "whys" many years ago. It's very freeing. Since we cannot know, I refuse to waste my time speculating. And I'm certainly not going to believe something just because it's written in a book. If I need to know why we're here, I will find out for sure at some point.

Thank you for explaining what you meant by the phrase. I appreciate it. I disagree with it, but now, at least I understand.



posted on Jul, 15 2007 @ 09:00 AM
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Science doesn't care about why. Why is irrelevant. Why is a need of human consciousness. How is all that matters to science (and to nature, by the way).

Human ego is so big, that we have to make everything match up to suit us and our sensibilities. That's the reason for religion -- "man was made in god's image." It makes us important in our own eyes, the way our egos say we should be.

It's time we as a species grew up out of our childhood, complete with magical thinking, and became the adult species we were meant to be. If we can do that, we will probably survive for millions of years. If we can't, the "whys" will end up destroying us, probably via war such as what is going on right now.

Why doesn't matter.

How does.

Ask, why does gravity hold us to the planet? Or, why is there such a thing as evolution? Why do the laws of probability work? These are all things that are irrelevant.

Why questions that science does answer are really how questions -- why is the sky blue? Why does thunder follow lightning?

Why questions that science couldn't care about less: why are we here? Why do people insist on believing in things for which there is no empirical evidence?

And now that I've started answering this, I find that "why" does matter to science, but only why questions having to do with natural law. Why questions having to do with the supernatural are the things that science doesn't care to answer. Why are we here? (It doesn't matter -- how we got here does).

Science doesn't need metaphysical why. Religious people do, and perhaps that's why they don't like science. Because they'd have to give up their need for why and learn to live with the how, just like a three year old grows out of asking why every five minutes.



posted on Jul, 15 2007 @ 10:29 AM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
Why is a need of human consciousness.


And I'd say it's not even a "need", it's a desire. And I totally agree with you that it makes us feel important if we can "write the story" of why. There. I have it all figured out now. I'm so smart and I matter. And I feel good about me.




Why questions that science does answer are really how questions -- why is the sky blue? Why does thunder follow lightning?


And these are the ones I was saying that science answers for me. The natural law ones.

Nice post, MM.


I don't think it hurts to wonder why. However, I think it's meaningless and detrimental to answer the question. Because we don't have these answers and to pretend like we do is only fooling ourselves. It's ok not to have all the answers. It's ok that not everything fits in a nice little labeled box. And it's ok to NOT have the illusion of control.



posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 07:27 AM
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Long, late, rambling contribution

I just discovered this excellent thread. May I play too?

I'm not sure if I am, strictly speaking, an atheist. I find it easy to believe that the universe, or nature or what have you, is in some sense divine. But I do not believe in a creator distinct from his creation, certainly not in an interventionist deity, and still less in the sort of local-authority god that answers prayers and judges human behaviour. And I have a serious problem with all kinds of religion.

I believe I'm enough of an atheist to participate in this thread. If I'm not, sling me off.

Some answers first:


Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
Does residual brainwashing still crop up in your head now and then?

Yes, it does. When I'm feeling extremely anxious or desperate I pray. Who am I praying to? The God I don't believe in. Do I believe praying will have any effect? Yes, a psychological one. Am I embarrassed when I find myself doing it? You bet. I squirm. But I still do it.

I also say things like 'God only knows' or 'Sweet Jesus' all the time, but I don't regard these verbal tics as residual brainwashing, just commonplace ways of expressing myself that everybody understands. Most of it is just swearing out loud.


Does anyone think that this has biological roots, this urge to give in to superstition?

Yes. Richard Dawkins does.

This is from a fairly hostile New York Times review of his recent book, The God Delusion:


Dawkins’s own attempt at a natural history is Darwinian, but not in the way you might expect. He is skeptical that religion has any survival value, contending that its cost in blood and guilt outweighs any conceivable benefits. Instead, he attributes religion to a “misfiring” of something else that is adaptively useful; namely, a child’s evolved tendency to believe its parents. Religious ideas, he thinks, are viruslike “memes” that multiply by infecting the gullible brains of children.

DarkSide seems to be saying something of the same sort here...


In my opinion, it's cultural. Children are "programmed" to respect and learn from the elder, this is how they survived in ancient tribal times. They would learn the dangers of their natural environment. Today we live in a more or less safe society but the ancient instincts are still there. So when a child is told they'll go to hell if they're bad, they take it all in.

...though I fear he (or she) has got instinct and conditioning a little bit mixed up.

Frankly, I think Dawkins's hypothesis is little more than a stopgap. All human cultures evolve religion. Religious behaviour is so nearly universal, and so much the same everywhere, that it must have selective value, and I suspect the value is a lot higher than we atheists would like to believe. But it does not follow from the existence of a 'religion instinct' that a God or gods must exist. Note that every culture has its religion, but every culture has a different religion. And these have a good deal less in common, ethically and dogmatically, than ecumenical sentimentalists like to suppose.


Other than internet conversations such as those we have here, have you "come out" as an atheist in public, and in real life?

Oh, yes. Everyone who knows me knows my views. Down my part of the world, I'm known as a bit of a propagandist for science, logic and all-round Godlessness.

And I offer one of the reasons I make such a big noise about it as an answer to Benevolent Heretic's assertion that


...It's the same when atheists or agnostics tell religious people that they're wrong. I totally understand and agree with stating one's beliefs, but the moment we start saying, "you're wrong" about beliefs, we're as bad as the worst religious proselytizer.

It isn't just that religious folk are wrong in their beliefs. It's that their beliefs do so much damage -- to themselves, to their loved ones and to society. The 'faith instinct' may have had a survival benefit once upon a time but now it's a pathological remnant. If we can cut it away using the scalpels of reason and scepticism, should we not?

Certainly, this is not the way to do it:


Originally posted by xpert11
I find reports of atheists in the US who want religious removed from public places to be disturbing they don't seem to be any better then the Christian fundamentalists.

Yes, this kind of thing just gives faith-heads publicity and makes people feel sorry for them.

Comparative religious education is the way to go, as MM testifies:


I've studied religions and mysticism all my life, and the study has led me here -- knowing a little about a lot of different religions, a considerable amount about Christianity, and buying none of it for a millisecond.

I can corroborate this from my own experience, which was identical.

As a child, I was a victim of this mentality:


"Get them young and raise them up right in the ways of the lord."

though I must admit I prefer the Jesuit version: 'Give me the child, and I will give you the man.' Positively spinechilling, that.


Forcing small children to go to church really offends me.

Dawkins (op. cit.) calls it child abuse. He's right.

But maybe the religious are just doin' like Daddy done:


Maybe God is evil, and made this universe to watch sentient beings form civilisation and exterminate each other.

Gnostics believe this. So do some Hindu sects I know of. There's nothing inherently less 'reasonable' about this than the belief that God is good.

I used to annoy religious folk by asking them the following question:

- Can an omnipotent being also be good?

Interesting little philosophical brainteaser, that.

I know this is an awful ramble of a post, but I do want to add one last point before I close, and that's a point about Buddhism:


Originally posted by Edn
I like Buddhism, no god, logical rules (if you want to call them rules) and they don't mind when science proves them wrong which for the core of Buddhism I don't think it ever has yet.

I was raised and presently live in a country whose population is predominantly Buddhist.

Buddhism is a dismal failure of a religion, even by the low standards set by its competitors. It refuses to grapple with the problem of evil -- the Buddha taught that 'wrongful' thoughts, words and actions were the result of imperfect understanding, and that the tendency to indulge in them would diminish as a being advanced towards enlightenment, finally evaporating at the moment of illumination. Wishful thinking of the highest order, as even a rudimentary understanding of what human beings really are like makes clear. But then, the Buddha never really got a chance to find out what real human beings are like.


The King, ...alarmed at the prospect that his son might become a religious teacher, resolved that [he] would know only the pleasures of the princely life and never encounter anything which might tempt him toward religion. Prince Siddhartha accordingly grew up amid the luxury and pleasures of the palace... A princely education [was given him]. Yet even though kept away from the sorrows of the world, the boy evinced an unusual sensitivity that presaged his future.

This failure to grapple with evil (which, to my mind, helps explain the occasional outbreaks of manic, wholesale violence to which Buddhist countries are prone) is one problem. The lack of anyone or anything to pray to and put faith in is another, which various sects of Buddhism deal with by co-opting Hindu gods to worship, manufacturing bodhisattva cults and the like.

Finally, the doctrine of karma is obviously false unless reincarnation is accepted as true.



posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 08:20 AM
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Astyanax, that was a fantastic post, and of course you're welcome to join us -- even one of our Christian moderators has been in this thread. I'm open to discussion on this subject from anyone, so long as it is productive.

You gave me a lot to think about in your post. I did read The God Delusion, which is one of the reasons I was asking the questions I did about hard-wiring. I'm reading Why Darwin Matters now, which is a bit more challenging because it's full of hard science. It's not that I don't understand it, I do; it's just that absorbing it all so that I can use it in debate is proving difficult because my grounding in the sciences during school was not complete and I'm educating myself later in life about these subjects.

But if I, a layperson with no advanced scientific education can see the truth, I have hope that others will. So far, not much luck, though.


Did you see the "what kind of atheist" quiz on the preceding page? You might find it fun.

Welcome to the thread, and I look forward to more of your POV on this subject.



posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 08:59 AM
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Welcome Astyanax, and what a great "ramble"! More, please!



Originally posted by Astyanax
I do not believe in a creator distinct from his creation, certainly not in an interventionist deity, and still less in the sort of local-authority god that answers prayers and judges human behaviour. And I have a serious problem with all kinds of religion.


This is so beautifully said! I want to make it into a plaque and hang it somewhere important! Thank you!



It isn't just that religious folk are wrong in their beliefs. It's that their beliefs do so much damage -- to themselves, to their loved ones and to society. The 'faith instinct' may have had a survival benefit once upon a time but now it's a pathological remnant. If we can cut it away using the scalpels of reason and scepticism, should we not?


In answer to this, I say that belief, in itself, is benign. A belief does no damage. It's the person or people who force beliefs or have the idea that others' beliefs must be in line with theirs - who do damage in the name of religion.

I know it sounds like semantics, but I think it's an important distinction.

No one should have their beliefs messed with. Education is great. Reason and logic are wonderful. But ultimately, people need the freedom to choose their beliefs. What they do armed with their beliefs is another thing that I think should be addressed. That's where the damage to themselves, their children and society takes place.

And if they do damage to themselves, so be it. People eat at McDonald's and drink alcohol, too. Those do damage to one's self. But the freedom of choice is precious.

And the freedom to raise our children as we see fit is also vital. "Making" them go to church is seen as "for their own good", just like "making" them eat their vegetables. I agree that it's a form of abuse, especially if carried to the extreme that I experienced. But I survived. I not only survived, I flourished! Sometimes, teaching by negative example is just the thing. I learned how crazy religion is by being indoctrinated with it. And many do.

Moreover, many people who didn't have religion as children discover it as adults and embrace it as something that has been missing all their lives. Sometimes they are the "worst" cases, because they feel it was kept from them.

I'm all for losing religion, but since the beginning of time, it has been the nature of the human being to look at the sky and wonder from whence we came (not just physically). I don't think it's practical to snuff out the stories people come up with. In fact, I believe that if the world were to be wiped out and begin again, some people would have the need to make up new stories about their past and new comforts about a future they were unsure of, and it would start all over again.

It's human nature to make up explanations about things we don't understand. It's natural to want to turn toward a larger being or something "out there" for assurance and help. That's why non-religious people sometimes pray. That's where all the gods come from. And I believe that's where religions come from:

The need to search out something more powerful than we feel we are.
The need to control the moral behavior of society.
The need to feel that we have SOME control over our destiny (Heaven and Hell).

These are just my thoughts and opinions, of course.


(Sorry about all the sentences ending in prepositions. That's how I talk)



posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 10:41 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

If I understand what you're saying,


I dont think you did.

The last half of your last post rephrases what I intended to say. I dont think down on athiests at all, and Im sorry if you got that from me it was not what i intended.

My Dad's side of the family is RLDS. My mom was a strict Catholic woman as was my Grandma, so, I was born and raised Catholic. I grew up around Baptists. So, whereas I personally believe in greater things/beings, God, Angels, whatever you want to call them, I have serious issues with Religion. We dont go to church, and my husband and I refuse to raise our kiddos that way. I feel it is wrong on so many levels it is not even funny. Each religion insists they are the only ones going to heaven, they are the only ones who are RIGHT. My mother has serious issues now, because she was kicked out of the church. Dad left her, so now she is a "sinner" who is not allowed this and that from the church and most likely will be going to hell, so says the church people. That happening after being told for 26 years by my dads side of the family that she was going to hell because she was Catholic, and being told by her neighbors that she needed to be saved.......Im surprised she is not in a straight jacket. I'll stop my tantrum there so I can get back to my point....after watching all that happen, and then some, how could I possably think athiests are horrible people?

Major posed the questions a few pages back about if it was possable for someone to see the future or speak to dead people (not quite sure of the exact phrase used). I personally have to believe in it. I really wish there was some way science could prove it. I remember being a little kid and having dreams, watching an event take place detail by detail, only to see it on the news days later. Same people, same everything. Keep in mind I was being raised Catholic with a strict Catholic momma, that kind of thing was considered the devils work. I didnt believe it was even at the time, but I was scared to death what my mom, and the church would do if they found out about it. Luckly I had my Grandma to talk to, she was the same way. Even then though, after I would talk to my Grandma about it she would make sure that I understood that we couldnt tell people about it, because people didnt take that sort of thing well. It never stopped, it just got more intense as I got older. I went through the whole, 'am I going insane' phase, but was reassured by a shrink that I was not. So, then I finaly got the courage up to talk to my priest about it. I was sure he was going to want to dunk me in holy water or something haha, but no he put me in contact with a nun who was in charge of a group of priests and nuns that had been studying and trying to achieve such a thing for the past 30+ years.
SO, i really wish someone would prove it, or find out why, and how. But I can totaly understand how someone could insist that its B.S. I dont understand it either. BUT maybe I would have been able to prove it if I hadnt spent more than 1/2 my life hiding in a closet, afraid of going to hell.



posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 07:29 PM
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Today's topic I'm musing about ...

Is it wrong to gently mock the fundies? I just can't seem to help myself sometimes. I try to do it very gently, but it just seems that they don't hear rational arguments. Should I even bother trying to debate with them?

When you see a post in a thread where they're talking about how god put the dinosaur bones in the fossil record to test our faith, and someone else says that we walked with the dinosaurs, occupying the same time and space, and then someone else talks about the flood 4000 years ago and how a worldwide flood would have been really destructive to any civilizations at the time, what do you do?

I find myself making jokes. I don't know what else to say. It's like these people have such a primitive understanding of science, evolution, paleontology, etc., that it's like trying to describe what an airplane is to a desert-island Stone-Age equivalent tribe.

What's a good atheist to do? Is it OK to mock, so long as it's not meant specifically to injure?



posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 07:38 PM
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I dont really bother with those threads or posts anymore MM, they drive me to distraction.
I try to tell myself that they are just as entitled to their beliefs as i am to mine, while i giggle uncontrolably behind my hand.
I dont think its right to mock though, thats not a shot at you, i just dont think it achieves anything. Patiently and logically explaining your position would be the way i prefer to handle those posters, then when i'm completely ignored or derided or pointed towards Hell i'll just leave well enough alone and go back to lurking and lmao.



posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 08:30 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
Is it wrong to gently mock the fundies?


As "wrong" as it is to mock anyone. I don't mock them, but I don't hold back on my beliefs, either.

And I mock plenty of people in the privacy of my home with my husband. I mock everyone!



Should I even bother trying to debate with them?


I don't. I don't see the purpose. I don't want them telling me I'm wrong and debating my beliefs.



what do you do?


I might state my view and then move on, all the while going...




Is it OK to mock, so long as it's not meant specifically to injure?


What IS it meant to do?



posted on Jul, 16 2007 @ 08:38 PM
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Good question. Maybe shake them up just a little so they see something different. Maybe just make myself feel better. I got in a great zinger about Sleestaks once. LMAO



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 07:45 AM
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This might be considered a rude, or insane, or weird, or insulting question, but since there is this thread here, I thought I might as well ask it. This is in no way a dig at atheists.

Does a person need to be moral? Why does a person need to be moral?



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 08:15 AM
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Originally posted by babloyi
Does a person need to be moral? Why does a person need to be moral?


At least IMO those questions are misdirected. Morality is an sense of what is right and what is wrong . Everyone has an seance of morality its just that not everyone has the same radar telling them what is right and what is wrong. Often people will pit there own version morality against someone else in an debate , conflict or full blown global war.

None of my friends and family's morals stray to far from mine.



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 09:06 AM
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Originally posted by babloyi
This might be considered a rude, or insane, or weird, or insulting question, but since there is this thread here, I thought I might as well ask it. This is in no way a dig at atheists.

Does a person need to be moral? Why does a person need to be moral?


People believe morality stems from religion, but it does not. Religion has usurped the role of being the moral teacher.

Morality comes from our biology. All social animals have a set of rules of conduct for behavior within their family or pack units. It's how these animals know what's "right" and "wrong" behavior with conspecifics higher and lower in the group hierarchy. Wolves, ants, chimpazees, dogs, dolphins, etc., all have a version of what, for lack of a better term, is morality.

A common misconception is that atheists are immoral or amoral. We tend to prefer the word "ethics" because morality has been so coopted by religion. The most ethical people I know are the ones without gods.

{edit} The book Before the Dawn goes into this in some detail. There is an article in the Washington Post about it here.

There is another short article here.

[edit on 17-7-2007 by MajorMalfunction]



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 09:18 AM
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Originally posted by babloyi
Does a person need to be moral? Why does a person need to be moral?


It must be a good question, because it is asked all the time.


And I'm not sure I can answer it, but I do know that I have morals. And they don't come from religion, because I don't practice religion. And they aren't imposed on me by an external source, but come from within, from my thoughts, feelings and opinions around my fellow human beings and the society in which I live. They come from the strong belief I hold that all people are equal. Sympathy, sensitivity, accountability, responsibility, compassion and love are all contributing factors to the standard of morality to which I hold myself.

Does a person NEED to be moral? Well, there are people who aren't, so I guess the answer is no. I think people without morals are usually criminals and psychopaths, though...

Why does a person need to be moral? I think to operate successfully and freely within a structured society is one good reason. To feel good about one's self in another. I think there are many good reasons to be moral. But for me, the answer is simply because I am. It's a human condition.

Oh! I just found this:

Atheism Q & A



Real morality is possible when the sanctions for morality are also tangible and real. Therefore, atheism shifts the basis of morality from faith in god to obligations of social living. Moral conduct is not a passport to heaven; it is social necessity. As we are all humans, belonging to the same species, we should live equal. Any attempt to transgress the obligation should be checked and punished here and now by fellow-humans. The immorality of one injures the happiness of others involved in a social association. Therefore the checks on immorality are also social needs. There is no postponement of the punishment to the imaginary fires of hell or to fanciful faith in divine retribution.

Whether people can be so conscious of social obligations as to check immorality here and now, is a doubt that rises in the minds of people who are accustomed to religious faith. Because morality is a social necessity, the moment faith in god is banished, man's gaze turns from god to man and he becomes socially conscious. Religious belief prevented the growth of a sense of realism. But atheism at once makes man realistic and alive to the needs of morality. Atheism alone is the surest way to morality. Those who oppose atheism in any form betray their vested interests in inequality of some kind of other.


And now that I think about it... Religions DO encourage the INequality of men. Because some will (depending on their behavior) sit at the right hand of God, but the "others" will burn in the fiery pits of HELL! Not exactly equal...



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 12:24 PM
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xpert11, MajorMalfunction, I disagree with the the blatantness of the statement "Everyone has a sense of morality". There is no proof of this, or at least, no logical conjecture or theory that supports it. Even excluding psychotic or disturbed people, there is none. I also would disagree with the idea that all social animals have (in some limited way) a sense of morality.

An ant doesn't continue it's work to build the anthill because it considers it would be immoral because the queen would feel hurt if it didn't. I don't think an ants brain can be that developed. In some complex way (which we can't understand at this point in time), I'd says it's kind of 'hard coded' into it (which is not to say that with considerable breeding and experimentation, a less hard coded version could not be made).

Most animals, as far as seemingly 'altruistic' behaviour goes, would only extend this courtesy to their family and pack. The link MM gave had some experiments with a bonobo, but I don't know what to say about that. The line "A researcher in the compound urged her to release it" seems pretty suspicious (I did not view the video. 8 minutes is a bit too long for my connection. Tell me if I missed anything).
Is this pack/family protection behaviour because of some sort of morality? I wouldn't think so. You have to help out in the pack, because if something goes wrong, you could be in danger. You have to protect your family because it's probably been hard-coded into your genes to protect your genes (natural selection- animals who didn't have this behaviour would have died out).
It's interesting that research shows that contrary to what might be believed, for a social structure like humans have developed (excluding the family unit), those who 'cheat' (ie. have a greater tendency to behaviour that might be considered more 'selfish' than 'altruistic') would have a greater overall chance (from the natural selection point of view).

Benevolent Heretic, why are people equal? Where does this belief come from? Judging from what I said, I'd not be too sure about needing morals to function in a structured society. Anyhow, there is no 'proof' (or at least no logical reason) for it to be a 'human condition'.
That Q&A also has many statements, but no backing for stuff like 'it's a social necessity', or 'because we all belong to the same species, we should live equal'. In fact, going this far, why on earth should I care if my immorality "injures the happiness of others involved in a social association"?

[edit on 17-7-2007 by babloyi]



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 12:49 PM
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Originally posted by babloyi
Benevolent Heretic, why are people equal?


In my opinion, we are equal because we are members of the human species. I'm not sure I understand your question.



Where does this belief come from?


From my observations, experience and education living in this life. It comes from the same 'place' as all my other beliefs come from.




Anyhow, there is no 'proof' (or at least no logical reason) for it to be a 'human condition'.


It makes absolute logical sense to me. We are a social animal and we live together. So for us all to function and grow as a society, we need to be mindful to treat each other with respect.



In fact, going this far, why on earth should I care if my immorality "injures the happiness of others involved in a social association"?


I'm afraid that's a question you'll have to answer for yourself. But if you injure others, there will likely be repercussions, not limited to what "happens" to you as a result. You'll have to live with the knowledge and responsibility that your lack of sympathy with your fellow man causes them pain and suffering.



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 01:12 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
In my opinion, we are equal because we are members of the human species. I'm not sure I understand your question.

I wouldn't think that valid. I mean, you could apply a categorisation to anything, and claim equality in that regard. All animals are equal, because they are all animals. All living things are equal, because they are all living things. All physical matter is equal because it is all physical matter. I doesn't work that way, does it? We eat animals, vegetables and minerals. But not humans (heheh....side note: cultures with cannibalism- lack of morality, or just culture?).
I could very well claim that we are not equal, and I am greater than you, because I am me, and I am not you. And it would be true.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
It makes absolute logical sense to me. We are a social animal and we live together. So for us all to function and grow as a society, we need to be mindful to treat each other with respect.

We are social animals only so far as it benefits us. Why should we go out of the way to follow a set of rules, when (so long as we don't get caught, and it's easy enough to make sure of that), by 'cheating' the rules, we can greatly improve out lot?





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