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posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by babloyi
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.


Sure, you could claim that. But that wouldn't make it true. As regards humanity, we are all equal. This is my belief. People have argued for ages over whether this is actually true or not, whether equality is qualitative or quantitative, whether we are born equal but grow to be unequal or whether we are born unequal and the law equalizes us. They even argue as to the meaning of the word.

And I'm I'm not interested in arguing about it.
It's what I believe.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
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?


As I said before, you'll have to answer that for yourself. Clearly many people don't go out of their way to follow the rules. For me, I don't want to hurt other people or myself. Whether I get caught or not. I think too highly of myself to be a cheater. I have a great deal of integrity and I won't say one thing while doing another. "Improving my lot" is far less important to me than acting with integrity and respecting and honoring my fellow man, who I feel deserves to be treated with equality.




posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 02:03 PM
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Now this thread is really cooking


Originally posted by babloyi
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.

Would you agree with the statement 'most people have a moral sense'? If we agree to exclude not only 'psychotic or disturbed people' (whatever that means) but also infants and other imperfectly socialized people?


I also would disagree with the idea that all social animals have (in some limited way) a sense of morality.

Yes, a moral sense presupposes self-consciousness, which is something we cannot with confidence ascribe to any non-human being.


An ant doesn't continue it's work to build the anthill because it considers it would be immoral... 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.

Yes. Now please follow carefully.

There was a time when I was a great believer in the psychology of Carl Jung. I have since come to regard analytical psychology as scientifically invalid, though I still believe it can be of great value to individual human beings in understanding themselves and others -- if it is understood to be no more than a metaphor for biological functions that are still imperfectly -- indeed, barely -- understood.

One of the key elements in Jungian psychology is the archetype. The archetype concept is incredibly insightful and useful as a means towards self-knowledge, but very, very hard to relate to anything biological. The best explanation I ever came across went something like this:

Humans, like other animals, are instinctive beings. Most (I am tempted to say all) of our behaviour is prompted, not by conscious choice and rational decision, but by the goad of instinct.

However, we are also, in some degree uniquely among species, self-conscious. So our instinctive drives (the 'hard coding' you refer to above) must also be apprehended consciously -- in some dim, Protean way. The shapeshifting apprehension of an unconscious drive -- instinct, hard coding, what have you -- is what Jung called an archetype.

In my view, moral sense is, somewhat similarly, the archetypal projection of our altruistic instincts.

Now then:


Most animals, as far as seemingly 'altruistic' behaviour goes, would only extend this courtesy to their family and pack...

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...

(etc.)

This is an argument from sociobiology, which is somewhat out of fashion these days. Nowadays most evolutionary biologists would agree that selection takes place at the level of the gene, not the phenotype and still less the social grouping. If social behaviour evolves in the interest of genes, then altruism does so as well. There is no need to invoke group selection to further the argument. Explaining this in detail would take far more space than the ATS 8,000-character limit allows; see Dawkins, The Selfish Gene and a considerable body of peer-reviewed literature for the details.


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).

Interesting indeed. Could you provide some references? I'm interested in this sort of thing and I must say I haven't come across any conclusive research of this kind.


Why are people equal?

They are not.


Where does this belief come from?

Enlightenment humanism, augmented by common sentimentalism. It is false.


Judging from what I said, I'd not be too sure about needing morals to function in a structured society.

'Morals' are another word for 'the structure of society'. Morality is what stops your peers from rounding on you and tearing you limb from limb. Or rather, it is the phenotypic extension of the self-preserving instincts of a social animal whose phenotype has extended to accommodate the planetary biosphere.

[edit on 17-7-2007 by Astyanax]



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 02:11 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax

Why are people equal?

They are not.


Define "equal".
That will go a long way in answering this question.

Are we all of equal intelligence? Of course not.
Are we all physically equal? No.
Are we all equal in the eyes of the law?
Are we all equally virtuous?

But is the essence of one person more valuable than another? Isn't the answer to that a matter of opinion? Because IN MY EYES, one person has the same intrinsic value as the next.


Originally posted by babloyi
Benevolent Heretic, why are people equal? Where does this belief come from?


I was just browsing around in other threads and found this...


Originally posted by babloyi
I thought your original purpose was to show that all people are NOT equal. Something I strongly disagree with.


So, you DO think people are equal, you agree with me, you're just messing with me?



[edit on 17-7-2007 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 02:19 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Are we all of equal intelligence? Of course not.
Are we all physically equal? No.
Are we all equal in the eyes of the law?
Are we all equally virtuous?

But is the essence of one person more valuable than another?

Apples and oranges, BH, apples and oranges. Should we be comparing bank balances then?



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 02:27 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
Would you agree with the statement 'most people have a moral sense'? If we agree to exclude not only 'psychotic or disturbed people' (whatever that means) but also infants and other imperfectly socialized people?

I just picked up 'psychotic or disturbed people' from BHs 'criminals and psychopaths'. Anyhow, 'imperfectly socialised people' can be a very broad category, so I don't know.


Originally posted by Astyanax
Yes, a moral sense presupposes self-consciousness, which is something we cannot with confidence ascribe to any non-human being.

Hahahahhaha....self-consciousness is not something I can ascribe with confidence to ANY being except myself. A little solipsistic, but for the sake of the argument, furthers my point.


Originally posted by Astyanax
This is an argument from sociobiology, which is somewhat out of fashion these days. Nowadays most evolutionary biologists would agree that selection takes place at the level of the gene, not the phenotype and still less the social grouping. If social behaviour evolves in the interest of genes, then altruism does so as well. There is no need to invoke group selection to further the argument. Explaining this in detail would take far more space than the ATS 8,000-character limit allows; see Dawkins, The Selfish Gene and a considerable body of peer-reviewed literature for the details.

*babloyi shrugs*
I am not an expert in the subject by any stretch, so I wouldn't know. Out of curiosity though (and perhaps off-topic), didn't the news of that research on the taming of foxes (that was started in the USSR) show that selective breeding with the most human friendly foxes could almost change them to be even physically more dog-like within the space of a relatively small number of generations? Seems far from being out of fashion.

About cheaters having a greater chance with natural selection, I read that up from Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything".

Benevolent Heritic, I'm deep into a game of the devil's advocate here, so perhaps I am just messing. Considering your response, I respect your beliefs, and I suppose my post is not really directed at you.

[edit on 17-7-2007 by babloyi]



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 02:33 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
Apples and oranges, BH, apples and oranges.


What does that mean? I'm asking for your definition of the word "equal" when you claim that people aren't equal.

Of course our bank balances and earning potential aren't equal. But I think it's important to define the word. You say we aren't equal and I say we are. I gave my definition (the essential value of a human life) and I'm asking for yours.

What's with the apples and oranges?

I hear you babloyi, and I'm not into playing "angel's advocate" so have fun.




[edit on 17-7-2007 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 03:32 PM
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Bablyoi, did you even read the links I posted? Morality stems from emotion.

Are you saying higher animals have no emotion? That BH's dogs don't really love her?



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 05:39 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
That BH's dogs don't really love her?


Oh, come on! That's a low blow!







posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 06:08 PM
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I'm arguing for the fact higher animals have emotions and morality. Sorry BH.

I think this is another instance of a creationist being unable or unwilling to accept that humans are just another species of animal. that are bound by the same exact biological laws as all other animals. We are not "other" or "above." We are animals. And what applies to us can be applied to others. Some animals are self-aware, dolphins, chimpanzees and other great apes. Some are not self-aware the way we are, but still have rich emotional lives. All of these types of animals -- including us -- have morality that stems from having emotions.

And who is to say that ants do not have emotions? Just because we wouldn't recognize what they may feel or experience does not negate the possibility that they also feel a type of "love" for their nest mates. I think that all living things feel on some level or another, even if we have no way of measuring or quantifying what or how much. Perhaps even plants.

But to say that morality comes from god is primitive superstition.

And now, I would prefer this thread not degenerate into an atheist vs. creationist slug-fest, so please let's return to the subject of living with disbelief in a world of believers, self-seeking without religion, and other topics of the sort.



posted on Jul, 17 2007 @ 11:39 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I'm asking for your definition of the word "equal" when you claim that people aren't equal.

What's with the apples and oranges?

You're attempting a comparative valuation of characteristics that have little in common with each other. You're comparing apples and oranges. How can you possibly average them out and insist that they add up to equality?

I know you, BH, only in terms of your participation in Above Top Secret. The same goes for every other ATS member; I have no personal knowledge of, or contact with, any of them apart from this.

From your posts, I know you as intelligent, articulate, tough-minded, compassionate and feisty. I place a high value on your posts and read them carefully. Not all other members, I blush to confess, get the same treatment from me. There are many posts I skim or skip, knowing from my reading of previous contributions by those members that I will find little or nothing of value to me in them.

To reiterate an important point: ATS members are people, whom I know only through their participation on the board. In terms of that knowledge (which is all I have), I value ATS members differently: some more highly than others.

By my valuation at least, ATS members are far from equal.

So what, you'll ask. What's so important about your valuation?

Well, this is 'Atheist Chat', remember? Shibboleths like 'God is no respecter of persons' and 'we are all equal in His sight' won't fly here. If we're going to find an absolute valuation according to which all men and women are judged as equal, we'll have to look for it on Earth, not in Heaven.

Where on Earth shall we find it?

I doubt whether anybody is completely egalitarian in his views and treatment of others. Most of us treat some folk better and others worse. Don't you? Are you as happy to see the village gossip, the office pain, as you are to see your best friend? Can you testify that you behave the same way towards all of them? The very concept 'best friend' implies that we value some people more highly than others.

Moreover, it clear at a glance at our fellows that discrimination (at the level of the individual) is both natural and wise; people who fail so to discriminate may suffer loss (including loss of opportunity, which rightly or wrongly must form an important part of this argument), injury or even death as a result.

At any rate, we shan't find any evidence for human equality in people's behaviour towards others.

Where else shall we look? Would a hypothetical group of intelligent extraterrestrials value us all equally (perhaps as vermin)? Possibly, as long as they stayed in orbit and fumigated Earth from above. But if they were to get into any kind of real interaction with human beings, I am sure they would soon change their tune.

The fact is, there is no objective support for the idea that people are all equal, and any amount of day-to-day evidence that shows that they are not.

However...

Since no intelligent entity is uniquely qualified to value other intelligent entities, and since the actual valuations made by such entities differ so much, it is often safer, wiser and more humane, especially when dealing with strangers, to act as though no valuation has been made at all.

Which is equivalent to saying that it behooves us to act as if everyone is equal.

This is particularly important with respect to the authorities we have empowered to act for us -- governments, armies, bureaucrats and so on. That is why all civilized nations respect the principle of equality before the law. This, by the way, is the only form of human equality I recognize.

To put my position in a nutshell, people are far from equal, but -- until they present us with good evidence for acting otherwise -- we should pretend that they are, and treat them accordingly.

Thus the second line of the US Declaration of Independence:


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...

When a statement about the human condition has to be given the force of law make it stick, you can be pretty sure it is false.

[edit on 17-7-2007 by Astyanax]



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 12:17 AM
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Excellent post Astyanax, i wont even try to respond to it for fear of getting a new one torn for me.

The subject of morals interests me. Earlier in the thread criminals and pyschopaths were eliminated from the discussion of morals. Why. Surely they have morals, just that they are different from ours, in a fairly obvious way you would think, but not in all cases.
I dont have the links to back up my argument yet but i'm sure i've read somewhere that some serial killers, though dispassionate regarding certain things (like hacking people into tiny pieces) are extremely moralistic when it comes to certain social dynamics.
And how can we decide what is moral and what is not, surely it is subjective, what is morally right for some religions is abhorrent to others.
I'm sure atheists have different moral values, i can think of a few that i have that would probably rub some of you the wrong way. ( i have fairly liberal views regarding natural drugs).
Sometimes instinct and morals overlap, at other times one may rule the other when it comes to making decisions, i think there so closely intertwined now as to be barely indistinguishable.
Some great thought provoking posts from all of you guy's though, thanks.

mojo



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 01:31 AM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
Bablyoi, did you even read the links I posted? Morality stems from emotion.

Then where do our emotions stem from?



Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
Are you saying higher animals have no emotion? That BH's dogs don't really love her?

Sadly, its true. I recommend reading this book:

One of its most memorable quotes is

"That special bond you think you have with your pet is imaginary. As long as it has food and water, you could get hit by a train tomorrow, and your pet wouldn't think anything of it."


Sorry BenevolentHeretic!



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 02:02 AM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
I'm arguing for the fact higher animals have emotions and morality.

Animals have morality? Name some of the smartest animals you know. Dolphins, chimpanzees, canines.... all of which have been observed preying on their own offspring shortly after birth. All of which hunt their own species purely for sport.

Packs of chimpanzees are known to hunt down lone chimps or chimps from other packs and mutilate their bodies, tearing off their genitals, breaking their hands, and killing them but never devouring any of the chimp's meat. In other words, senseless killing.

Dolphins are notorious for hunting younger dolphins and battering them with their noses and tails until they die from blunt trauma, leaving their bodies for scavengers.

The wild dog, or wolf is a particularly cruel animal. If a wolf ever wanders from the wolf pack or decides to leave and join a different pack, it is immediately hunted down and killed by its own pack. Now, name for me a single instance in which an animal has displayed an act of good morality.




Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
Some animals are self-aware, dolphins, chimpanzees and other great apes. Some are not self-aware the way we are, but still have rich emotional lives.

Self-aware? There is so much more to self awareness than just being able to tell what a mirror is.

Begin Here



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 02:12 AM
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Instinct, morality and religion


Originally posted by mojo4sale
Excellent post...

Thank you for your kind words, mojo4sale. As for the operation you mentioned in passing, I wouldn't be able to do it even if I wanted to.

Instead, allow me to address the questions you asked in your post.


Earlier in the thread criminals and pyschopaths were eliminated from the discussion of morals. Why...

I can't speak for the others, but it seems to me (being irreligious and all) that morality is a social phenomenon. We acquire morality through socialization -- that's why I wanted to eliminate infants as well as psychopaths. Now before you protest that I'm contradicting myself, note that I draw a distinction between moral sense and morality. The way I look at it is:

1. Instinctive altruism presents itself to our conscious minds as moral sense.

2. Moral sense iimplies the capacity for developing morality.

3. Morality is developed through socialization (which, lest we forget, is also instinctive to us; we're social animals).

Psychopaths and those of unsound mind may not lack moral sense altogether; it may simply be damaged or defective. So they, too, will develop a morality, but one that by normal standards is crippled, warped and full of holes. I understand that sociopaths (criminals) and psychopaths tend to nurse a strong sense of grievance; they believe the world has treated them unfairly and that they have a right to respond in kind. To feel that way, you probably need a moral sense of some sort, however perverted.


And how can we decide what is moral and what is not, surely it is subjective, what is morally right for some religions is abhorrent to others.

An error into which the religious commonly fall is to assume that morality is derived from religious belief. It is not. It is derived from the social instincts of Homo sapiens, in particular the altruistic ones in which babloyi so stubbornly refuses to believe. Religion doesn't originate morality: it co-opts and suborns it.

Here's Christopher Hitchens on the subject of pre-Mosaic Hebrew morality:


However... one thinks of the Jewish tradition, it is surely insulting to the people of Moses to imagine that they had come this far under the impression that murder, adultery, theft, and perjury were permissible.

-- Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great



(I) think (instinct and morals are) so closely intertwined now as to be barely indistinguishable.

Correct, except for the 'now'. 'Twas always thus.

You sound like a very smart person. How long do you think you'll be able to go on believing in the God hypothesis?



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 03:25 AM
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Originally posted by babloyi
Hahahahhaha....self-consciousness is not something I can ascribe with confidence to ANY being except myself.

You mean you can ascribe it to yourself with confidence? Hahaha indeed.

What you imagine to be yourself -- i.e. that part of you which is brought to consciousness -- is a vanishingly tiny part of what you are.

And it has very little to do with your actions, as this essay by an information theorist explains in very clear and simple terms, following Dennett and others.

The Cartesian Theatre simply does not exist. At the neural level, free will is an illusion.

If you are not already familiar with the work of the philosopher Daniel Dennett, which is informed by the latest neuroscientific research, I urge you to become so. Your confidence in the reality of the self will never be the same again.

As for your adventures in evolutionary biology...


Research on the taming of foxes (that was started in the USSR) show that selective breeding with the most human friendly foxes could almost change them to be even physically more dog-like within the space of a relatively small number of generations?

I read about this. What on earth does it have to do with sociobiology, or indeed anything else we were talking about?


About cheaters having a greater chance with natural selection, I read that up from Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything".

Perhaps you should pursue your research among more authoritative sources. There is plenty of evidence from ethology, evolutionary biology and game theory to show that cheats don't prosper all, or even most of the time. This syllabus handout from the Psychology Department of the University of Leicester in England will direct you to the most relevant sources, many of which you will find mentioned in Sections 4.4 and 4.5.

You may also find this article helpful.


I'm deep into a game of the devil's advocate here.

Advocates should study their briefs carefully before speaking up in court.

[edit on 18-7-2007 by Astyanax]



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 07:41 AM
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I am disappointed, MM. Here we were, having a nice little discussion, and then you charge in, guns ablaze, throwing about words like "creationist", "slugfest", etc., talking snootily about 'those silly creationists'. You accuse me of not visiting your links, but if you read through my response, you'll notice that I did. I just don't see why 'Dr. Waal' is correct just because he believes that morality stems from emotion, with just 1 example of a very suspect experiment with a chimp. I did not say that animals have no emotion.

I also see absolutely no proof that anybody's dogs get their loves (those were some very beautiful alsations, BH, I have 2 of my own). My own dogs, when approached by me and someone else, even if they are as familiar with the other person as they are with me, they will head for me, nuzzle my knees, rub against me (heh, almost like a cat, weird, no?), etc., but if the other person is carrying their food bowl, they'd gets their full attention. While I wont go as far as TheB1ueSoldier (I've seen pets mope around if their masters disappear for a few days, but I'll put that down to attachment, or having 'gotten used' to the person. When the same person returns in a few months, they bark at them almost like they were strangers).


Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
I think this is another instance of a creationist being unable or unwilling to accept that humans are just another species of animal. that are bound by the same exact biological laws as all other animals. We are not "other" or "above." We are animals. And what applies to us can be applied to others. Some animals are self-aware, dolphins, chimpanzees and other great apes. Some are not self-aware the way we are, but still have rich emotional lives. All of these types of animals -- including us -- have morality that stems from having emotions.
And who is to say that ants do not have emotions? Just because we wouldn't recognize what they may feel or experience does not negate the possibility that they also feel a type of "love" for their nest mates. I think that all living things feel on some level or another, even if we have no way of measuring or quantifying what or how much. Perhaps even plants

I am sad, MM. Are those thinly veiled insults swiming in there? Look over my posts in this thread. WHERE am espousing ANY notion that could be considered 'creationism'? Although, since you bring up the point, in your opinion, what is the difference between a human and another animal? To a human, humans would obviously be more important. BTW, ants don't have nest mates. They have a queen, who mates with drones of ants (who die after that), and reproduces a generation full of kids (sterile females and fertile males).

I have no objection to the idea that almost all living things feel. if I, God-forbid (oops, sorry
), smack my dog, I'm certain she'll feel hurt, not only physically, but also due to the trust she had in me. Most living things have a feedback. They respond to attacks. That's what being living is about. That's all out of the way of the discussion of morality in animals, though, which was a branch of the main thing I wanted to talk about, morality in humans.


Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
But to say that morality comes from god is primitive superstition.

*babloyi looks around*
Did I said that? Did you say that? Who said that?



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 07:55 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax

How long do you think you'll be able to go on believing in the God hypothesis?


I dont, Ive never been a believer, in fact the only time ive ever set foot in a church has been for weddings and funerals. I just like discussion for the sake of discussion, or perhaps just to hear myself talk.

Thanks for your reply's, i think were pretty much on the same page.



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 08:01 AM
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Originally posted by TheB1ueSoldier

Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
I'm arguing for the fact higher animals have emotions and morality.

Animals have morality? Name some of the smartest animals you know. Dolphins, chimpanzees, canines.... all of which have been observed preying on their own offspring shortly after birth. All of which hunt their own species purely for sport.


so do we. Infanticide. Child abductions. Serial killers. Even humans get pack mentality.

Religion is NOT the source of morality. It just says it is, so that people will believe in it.



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 08:08 AM
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Originally posted by babloyi
I am disappointed, MM. Here we were, having a nice little discussion, and then you charge in, guns ablaze, throwing about words like "creationist", "slugfest", etc., talking snootily about 'those silly creationists'. You accuse me of not visiting your links, but if you read through my response, you'll notice that I did. I just don't see why 'Dr. Waal' is correct just because he believes that morality stems from emotion, with just 1 example of a very suspect experiment with a chimp. I did not say that animals have no emotion.



As I requested above, let's take this sort of dynamic over to this thread:

www.belowtopsecret.com...

THIS thread here is for nonbelievers to discuss their nonbelief.

Thanks.



posted on Jul, 18 2007 @ 08:29 AM
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Originally posted by TheB1ueSoldier


Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
I'm arguing for the fact higher animals have emotions and morality.

Animals have morality? Name some of the smartest animals you know. Dolphins, chimpanzees, canines.... all of which have been observed preying on their own offspring shortly after birth. All of which hunt their own species purely for sport.

Perhaps you two aren't as opposed in your views as you think.

TheB1ueSoldier, is it appropriate call dolphins (who are notorious gang-rapists as well as killers), chimps and wolves immoral beings because their actions contravene common human morality? If they have morals, maybe their morals are different from ours.

But do they have morals at all?

MajorMalfunction, I wonder if you are determined to hold fast to the position that they do. In an earlier post you said this:


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.

It is true that all social animals have these rules, but do they constitute morality? Do 'right' and 'wrong' in animal terms have the same meaning as they do for humans? Do animals feel guilt? Remorse? Conscientious disquiet? Unless we can confidently assert they do feel these things, we cannot say that animals are moral creatures. Far more likely, they are exhibiting instinctive behaviour modulated by learned experience and a healthy desire for self-preservation. That is not morality.

I think we can all agree to something like this:

1. Social animals exhibit cooperative and altruistic behaviour. This is largely instinctive, but in the so-called 'higher' animals it is modulated more or less extensively by experience; there's an element of learning involved.

2. Human beings are social animals, and everything I said of other social animals in (1) above can also be said of them.

3. However, human beings are also self-conscious to a degree other animals are not. Their instinctive (and experientially modulated) social behaviour therefore gives rise to certain emotions, which we term moral sense, and concepts, which we call morality. These are specific traits; it would be naive to project our particular brand of moral sense on other animals, and vain to expect them to conform to our moral codes.

And MM, I agree, let's drop this now and get back to the main topic. Also, I notice my posts on this thread have been getting ever more turgid and contentious. Time for me to give my typing fingers a bit of a rest.

[edit on 18-7-2007 by Astyanax]





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