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I have a question or two about evolutionist ideology

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posted on Jun, 3 2008 @ 12:06 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by Pjotr
 

I don't think morality is learned. Moral precepts are, but morality itself is instinctive, the result of millions of years of evolution as social animals. As I said in an earlier post on this thread, altruism, exchanges of favours and adherence to the golden rule are all evolved traits -- traits we share with other social animals, as a matter of fact.

Empathy, too, is instinctive, indeed hardwired -- we have 'mirror neurons' in our brains which mimic the firing of neurons in the brains of those we see performing a particular action.

Being nice to other members of our own species (but differentially, with those most closely related being treated best, and the most distantly related being treated worse) is entirely natural to us.

Moral precepts adjust instinctive morality to the needs of a given culture. That is why such precepts differ from place to place and from time to time. As humanity has become more numerous and more interdependent, human contacts, especially between very distantly-related individuals, have multiplied. This means that, in order to avoid incessant conflict and preserve society, the kind of behaviour we once reserved for close relatives must now be applied to strangers. Morality must become more inclusive in order for the human race to survive.

And there are signs that it is -- though perhaps not on this thread.


I think we point in the same direction. You talk about morality in general and that is OK, but within that scope and the target of the OP you can differentiate between;

1. a set of rules (as a given by a group or institute or church)
2 a treatise of good or bad, a theoretical framework
3. a godgive ethics (absolute good and evil)

and the main question is, where does it come from. Now you say instinct, and I guess you are partly right, but after that happens the social and ideological parties walk away with it and set the "standards", as you point out correctly with "adjusting" It is a layered subject. So from that perspective is is alway tricky to say that you would know "instinctively", which you are not saying, but that is what drips out off every conversation ont he subject.

Yes , it is instinctive on a certain level, but as soon as it caught in a theory of ethics as in religion happens we learn it, and when your mother says you better wash your hands or don't touch your penis, your learn that even when you do not know any more why you have to wash your hands or why you can't touch your penis. And with "practical lessons" I do not mean something in a classroom, but something more akin to what you are pointing out, instinct, or learing from practicalities, burning your hands on fire "OOhuh FIRE BAD(hell?)" I meant practical as in opposing theory.

Empathy is hardwired as a possibility, I think. Over the years I learned to be more emphatic. As a young lad I was surely not as emphatic as I am now. Some may have happened instinctive, some because I choose to.

I support your conclusion.


[edit on 3-6-2008 by Pjotr]




posted on Jun, 3 2008 @ 12:35 PM
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reply to post by mysterychicken
 


Yes - the list answered a question he asked in response to a question you posed. Therefor you are responsible for that list being put forth in this argument, as it seems to be your intended outcome (judging by your initial questions and subsequent grilling of those who took the time to answer you). I apologise if I'm wrong.



posted on Jun, 3 2008 @ 01:01 PM
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reply to post by dave420
 


Not be combative but could you direct me to the posts where I grilled anyone about their answers? I don't recall asking anybody to clarify their answers much less grill them on the answers.



posted on Jun, 3 2008 @ 02:03 PM
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reply to post by sacerd
 
Thanks for the information. Glad none of those folks are on my most admired list. As long as you steer clear of implicating evolution of being immoral or the cause of immorality, you're fine with me. Let me know if there's anything else I can help you with.



posted on Jun, 3 2008 @ 04:41 PM
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Well Sacerd, how do you think this thread has gone?
I've checked back after a couple of days and skimmed through, I rarely post in this community, I rarely will again no doubt.
Have you found your answers?
Would you, if you please give your evaluation of the answers you recieved, ie: what it all means to you. What do you think of your so called 'evolutionists'.
Has your outlook changed in any way? Furthermore do you intend to read about evolution by reading works by evolutionary biologists, Dawkins for example? But only as an example, there are many more. Try Richard Fortey for a great read, not an evolutionary biologist but a great writer.
I hope you understand that I was not attacking you but just trying to get you to address evolution from an informed position. I did note that I have been attacked in this thread and told that I have been talking nonsense, to respond would have been to derail your thread and I feel no need to defend myself from anything on this thread.
I hope you find motivation to learn about evolution, biology and paleontology, the ancient history of this very, very old planet we live on is fascinating. I wish you well in all you do, never stop asking questions...of anybody.
Nothing is better than an informed question.

[edit on 3-6-2008 by tonyJ]



posted on Jun, 3 2008 @ 11:15 PM
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Originally posted by tonyJ
Well Sacerd, how do you think this thread has gone?


Well I am glad to see people answering the questions asked although it seems that it has been a rough road so far.


I've checked back after a couple of days and skimmed through, I rarely post in this community, I rarely will again no doubt.
Have you found your answers?


Well I am still collecting Data actually but thus far my hypothesis seems to be holding up.


Would you, if you please give your evaluation of the answers you recieved, ie: what it all means to you.


I will do so once I get a few more people to answer my rather unscientific survey.


Has your outlook changed in any way?

Well to be honest not really. As I said my inital suspecion has held up pretty good thus far.


Furthermore do you intend to read about evolution by reading works by evolutionary biologists, Dawkins for example?


Likely not, for a couple of reasons really.

1.) I have heard Dawkins speak and to be honest he seems a little condescending to me, I don't know I guess its his presentation just kind of puts me off. He seems to me like I said to be kinda "prickish" if you catch my meaning.

2.) I will occasionally take a look into the world of biological evolution, as I have been doing for some time now, (I could not avoid it when I was in college) although to be honest I have not found there to be anything "new under the sun" for quite awhile, at least not enough to sway my opinion at any rate.


Try Richard Fortey for a great read, not an evolutionary biologist but a great writer.


I will have to look him up. Thanks for the tip.


I hope you understand that I was not attacking you but just trying to get you to address evolution from an informed position.


No worries and thanks for your concern.


I did note that I have been attacked in this thread and told that I have been talking nonsense, to respond would have been to derail your thread and I feel no need to defend myself from anything on this thread.


I am sorry that you feel attacked, I hope not by me. Thanks for your consideration concerning this thread.


I hope you find motivation to learn about evolution, biology and paleontology, the ancient history of this very, very old planet we live on is fascinating. I wish you well in all you do, never stop asking questions...of anybody.
Nothing is better than an informed question.


Well as I said its kinda hard to avoid the theory of evolution when attending a four year University...Those darn requirements will see to that.

As far as asking questions I will ask as long as people are willing to answer them.

[edit on 3-6-2008 by tonyJ]



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 01:06 AM
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reply to post by Pjotr
 


Yes, it is instinctive on a certain level, but as soon as it caught in a theory of ethics as in religion happens we learn it.

Very well put. And this, sadly, is where things start to go wrong for humanity.

Natural morality gets codified into a set of rules, implanted via indoctrination and enforced through punishment and stigmatization. In its origins, the effort is worthy enough - for thousands of years, it was the only way to protect and police human beings living in social groups larger than the genetically-related tribe. It's called religion.

But protecting communities also means fighting off enemies, both internal and external. So expressions of the various aggressive, defensive and violent instincts get rolled up into doctrine along with what is truly ethical in natural morality. Right and wrong become confused with good and evil and pretty soon murder and genocide are being regarded as moral duties.

Meanwhile, ambitious individuals realize that the doctrine and the moral code it incorporates are useful tools for personal advancement and social control. This further corrupts the doctrine and compromises morality.

The human price - call it the moral price - of using doctrine-based moral precepts to elicit good social behaviour from individuals has, I think, increased over the millennia. There are many reasons for this, too many to recount and explain in a short post. The price is now too high for humanity to afford. If we are not to throw away the unique chance that is now within our grasp - the chance to become the architects of our own destiny and have a hand in that of the universe - we have to replace doctrinaire morality with a theory of ethics based on a clear apprehension of right and wrong, not good and evil (I'm with Kant there, though like you I prefer Hume). This in turn will arise in large measure from natural morality.



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 08:29 AM
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ok, screw going through the thread to see if i'm repeating what someone else said, i'm just answering the questions



1.) Do the Darwinist on this site, tend to also favor the ideas of social Darwinism as well? If not why?


no. in fact, most darwinists don't. social darwinism has absolutely nothing to do with biology and is a callous philosophy perpetuated by the wealthy to justify their wealth



2.) Do the Darwinists or evolutionist on this site tend to favor charity of the physically or mentally disabled? If so why?


yes, it's called compassion, something that is part of our evolutionary psychology



3.) Do the Darwinist or evolutionist on this site tend to favor eugenics? if not why?


no.
eugenics are actually the exact opposite of natural selection...it's artificial selection

there's also the whole problem with selective breeding. you can breed for traits, but who's there to judge which traits you're breeding for?



4.) Do the Darwinist or evolutionist on this site tend to favor forced sterilization or euthanasia, of the less fit specimens of the human race either mentally or physically? If not why?


...no.
again, who's judging who is less fit? the environment is supposed to judge.



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 11:05 AM
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Originally posted by AshleyD
From what I've read there is a difference between evolution (a scientific view held by both many religious and non-religious people) and Darwinism (materialistic philosophical view that incorporates evolution).


Depends whether you prefer demagogy or not.


Loading the Language. The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand. This jargon consists of thought-terminating clichés, which serve to alter members' thought processes to conform to the group's way of thinking.

linky



posted on Jun, 4 2008 @ 10:54 PM
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reply to post by atlasastro
 


originally posted by atlasastro


Why would the OP ask such moral and ethical questions of people who accept a specific scientific model. It is safe to assume from those questions that the OP is questioning the morality and ethics of an individual purely because they accept a scientific theory. The OP obviously assumes that morality and ethics are affected by ToE otherwise he would not pose these questions. This is why it is unfair, as i previously state.


Is it really unfair of the OP to ask these questions? I agree with your observation that the OP is questioning the morality and ethics of an individual purely because they accept a scientific theory. But that is the point. The OP is curious about the possible moral consequences of the ToE and has entrusted the ATS community with these questions. Regardless of the hidden agenda that one may suspect of these questions, if an individual subscribes to the idea that morality and the ToE aren't related, then a civil reply explaining how the two are unrelated is in order. I don't see how the question of fairness comes into play, but if one is willing to clear up any perceived misconceptions with their, again, civil reply, then that is what is expected of them. So again I ask, is it really unfair of the OP to ask these questions?

Originally posted by Bigwhammy


Darwinian thought completely fails to explain morality...Darwinian systems do not explain why people will act against self interest because the feel they "ought" to do something.


In response to both atlasastro and Bigwhammy:

I, however, am not so certain that a relationship between morality and ToE doesn't exist. Several prominent scientists have argued that our sense of right and wrong can be derived from ToE including Robert Hinde, Michael Shermer, Robert Buckman, and Marc Hauser. Richard Dawkins also has a version of this argument which he refers to as the "mistake" or "by-product" idea and is explained as follows.



Natural selection, in ancestral times when we lived in small and stable bands like baboons, programmed into our brains altruistic urges, alongside sexual urges, hunger urges, xenophobic urges and so on. An intelligent couple can read their Darwin and know that the ultimate reason for their sexual urges is procreation. They know that the woman cannot conceive because she is on the pill. Yet they find that their sexual desire is in no way diminished by the knowledge. Sexual desire is sexual desire, and its force, in an individual's psychology, is independent of the ultimate Darwinian pressure that drove it. It is a strong urge which exists independently of its ultimate rationale.

I am suggesting that the same is true of the urge to kindness - to altruism, to generosity, to empathy, to pity. In ancestral times we had the opportunity to be altruistic only towards close kin and potential reciprocators. Nowadays that restriction is no longer there, but the rule of thumb persists. Why would it not? It is just like sexual desire. We can no more help ourselves feeling pity when we see a weeping unfortunate (who is unrelated and unable to reciprocate) than we can help ourselves feeling lust for a member of the opposite sex (who may be infertile or otherwise unable to reproduce). Both are misfirings, Darwinian mistakes: blessed, precious mistakes.

Dawkins, The God Delusion, p. 221


Originally posted by Sacerd


I have heard Dawkins speak and to be honest he seems a little condescending to me, I don't know I guess its his presentation just kind of puts me off.


I understand where you are coming from. His brashness put me off at first; however, he explains why he publicly attacks religion in such an overt manner in his first chapter of The God Delusion. Give him a shot, it's worth it



posted on Jun, 5 2008 @ 04:27 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by Pjotr
 


Yes, it is instinctive on a certain level, but as soon as it caught in a theory of ethics as in religion happens we learn it.

Very well put. And this, sadly, is where things start to go wrong for humanity.

Natural morality gets codified into a set of rules, implanted via indoctrination and enforced through punishment and stigmatization. In its origins, the effort is worthy enough - for thousands of years, it was the only way to protect and police human beings living in social groups larger than the genetically-related tribe. It's called religion.

But protecting communities also means fighting off enemies, both internal and external. So expressions of the various aggressive, defensive and violent instincts get rolled up into doctrine along with what is truly ethical in natural morality. Right and wrong become confused with good and evil and pretty soon murder and genocide are being regarded as moral duties.

Meanwhile, ambitious individuals realize that the doctrine and the moral code it incorporates are useful tools for personal advancement and social control. This further corrupts the doctrine and compromises morality.

The human price - call it the moral price - of using doctrine-based moral precepts to elicit good social behaviour from individuals has, I think, increased over the millennia. There are many reasons for this, too many to recount and explain in a short post. The price is now too high for humanity to afford. If we are not to throw away the unique chance that is now within our grasp - the chance to become the architects of our own destiny and have a hand in that of the universe - we have to replace doctrinaire morality with a theory of ethics based on a clear apprehension of right and wrong, not good and evil (I'm with Kant there, though like you I prefer Hume). This in turn will arise in large measure from natural morality.


I support your enthusiasm to clean the slate, so to speak, but

"If we are not to throw away the unique chance that is now within our grasp - the chance to become the architects of our own destiny and have a hand in that of the universe - we have to replace doctrinaire morality with a theory of ethics based on a clear apprehension of right and wrong, not good and evil "

this will be an imposible task, I fear.
First the replacing factor. You know how people react on that. People regard their "ethics" as personal (which is a mistake IMO) and worse, they are willing to die for it. that means another holy war.

Then the installment factor. There is a big divide between the clear apprehension of right and wrong on the one hand and a theory of ethics on the other, that is the whole problem here. One AND the other can be experienced as absolute personal or social assets by some (or most). The second you touch upon and try to fringe this "natural" process of indentification of morality, you will have a problem.

Sometimes institutes and governments try this by evoking broad national discussions on subjects, people seem to be more open to that in this mediacracy.



posted on Jul, 16 2008 @ 07:06 AM
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reply to post by SlyCM
 


I am terrified of all of you. I am scared you could see me as unfit to live. they tried to kill me prenatally and my mother ran. Did you (society) sterilize me? Did someone have that right over me? Who gave society such power when God saw fit to do otherwise? What right does anyone have to declare a living entity unfit?
area51



posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 09:51 AM
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There is no such thing as "evolutionist ideology." Period. Anyone who says there is or tells you so is either ignorant or deliberately lying.



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