Many atheists have blind faith in good & evil.

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posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 04:56 PM
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God/Causality shows what is good and evil. The goal in life is understanding.. in that all things are possible. Therefore anything that retards or inhibits growth in understanding is EVIL... and anything that allows or increses growth in understanding is GOOD.

PWNED! that is the one true meaning. Remember that this is from the perspective of ALL life.

[edit on 23-1-2009 by Wertdagf]




posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 05:00 PM
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\Yeah atheists do believe in good and evil. My mom for example thinks the middle class are all good people and the upper classmen are all "evil" or bad people. She is an athiest and whether she realizes it or not she has created a polarity of good versus evil. \

Well, your mom just repeats what is a universal observation based on human experience: the fish always starts rotting from the head.



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 05:18 PM
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Originally posted by Russi
\Yeah atheists do believe in good and evil. My mom for example thinks the middle class are all good people and the upper classmen are all "evil" or bad people. She is an athiest and whether she realizes it or not she has created a polarity of good versus evil. \

Well, your mom just repeats what is a universal observation based on human experience: the fish always starts rotting from the head.




Are you saying that because you do not agree with her view or because you think it is impossible for someone to come to their own conclusions without a god telling them what to think? Just asking.



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 06:33 PM
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Originally posted by The Cyfre
stealing a purse from a poor elderly woman in Miami (?) for ANY reason is evil, wrong and immoral on the basis that it is perceived as such by said elderly woman.

The above reasoning is based purely on science and perception. It has nothing to do with the womans faith, and nothing to do with mine.

I guess what offends me here is the insinuation that, because I am not a religious faithful, I may have no concept of right and wrong which makes me feel like you think i'm somehow less than you. By you, i don't so much mean YOU as I mean all of the other religious people who seem to think atheists are somehow worth less because we do not believe in a supreme being.
[edit on 1/23/2009 by The Cyfre]


Based on your argument, your belief that "stealing a purse from a poor elderly old woman is evil", is based on faith:

Imagine I offer the statement:
"Not only do I believe that God exists I can offer good reason for it."
"My reasoning is that God exists due to the fact I perceive God to exist."

The above reasoning is not based on science and perception. It is based on emotion and feelings. There is very little science about morality. I've read a few scientific articles about morality and found them profoundly interesting. Yet at the same time I can confidently say I never learned any specific moral values from them. From which science did you learn that stealing purses from poor elderly women is wrong? Perhaps you believe it is wrong and don't have the science backing yet? I'm not asking you to look up an article you have not seen yet. I'm asking you to tell me in general terms about how you have already scientifically discovered that the purse-snatching is evil.

And again, I cannot possibly be trying to insult any one because I'm of the opinion there is nothing wrong with faith-based reasoning. I'm of the opinion that logic is actually a great tool of reasoning and it is "powered by faith".

[edit on 23-1-2009 by truthquest]



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 06:38 PM
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Morality is scientific. Its all based on reason every bit of every moral has a reason. you dont need a divin entity to understand good and evil.



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 07:07 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax

Why a sign a contract you don't have to?

The contract is not voluntary. You signed it when you were born - born a member of a social species.





How does stealing the purse from an old woman effect the gene
pool of a group?

Like so:

  1. Truthquest, a fit young male, bashes an old lady on head, steals her purse and runs away. The old lady dies.
  2. Bystanders observe the incident and give an accurate description of Truthquest to the police.
  3. Using the description, the police find and arrest Truthquest. He is tried for manslaughter and jailed for twenty years.
  4. When he is free it last, he discovers that nobody wants to marry a middle-aged jailbird.
  5. Truthquest never fathers a child.
  6. The human gene pool is affected - for better or worse - by the lack of a contribution to it from Truthquest.

You may say this is an exaggerated, literal case. Of course it is. But it is a case that human beings recognize instinctively as paradigmatic. That is why we punish people for beating old grannies over the head - because we can't afford to let people see that they can break the contract and get away with it. Now there's a compelling reason for obeying the terms of the contract: because if you don't, society's enforcers will be after you, and they'll make you...

The real reason for obeying the contract is, of course, the advantages it provides.


So, it seems like the general idea you are saying is that there is a social contract written into our genes and that the process of evolution provides a hypothesis on why such a contract should exist. Is that what you are saying?

Taking the purse-snatching discussed is evil because the social contract written on our genes states is evil?

And furthermore, the primary reason which we obey that social contract is because of the personal advantage it provides us all?

I think that is what you are saying but before I respond I want to make sure that is what you are saying.

[edit on 23-1-2009 by truthquest]



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 07:13 PM
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I'm an atheist and I don't believe in good and evil. I believe in perspective.
That's all. Nothing more complex than that.



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 07:21 PM
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Originally posted by Wertdagf
Morality is scientific. Its all based on reason every bit of every moral has a reason. you dont need a divin entity to understand good and evil.


I believe all of what you say is entirely true. But is it not also true that morality is mostly our gut instinct just like people's belief in God is mostly gut instinct?



posted on Jan, 23 2009 @ 11:31 PM
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Originally posted by truthquest


So, it seems like the general idea you are saying is that there is a social contract written into our genes and that the process of evolution provides a hypothesis on why such a contract should exist. Is that what you are saying?

Taking the purse-snatching discussed is evil because the social contract written on our genes states is evil?

And furthermore, the primary reason which we obey that social contract is because of the personal advantage it provides us all?

I think that is what you are saying but before I respond I want to make sure that is what you are saying.

[edit on 23-1-2009 by truthquest]


I am not sure I would even bother with him on this. It is a lovely idea and would make me feel better at night if I did not work in prisons and see regularly the women who crawl across broken glass to be impregnated by these men while they are still in jail. You should see how many managed to father before they got caught as well. What we really have is a bunch of kids growing up to a single mom who is stupid enough to not move on from a criminal lover and gets to visit daddy in jail. We have a broken system that pretty much negates everything in his theory but it is still a nice one.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 12:23 AM
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reply to post by truthquest
 


No i dont think morality is an instinct. its a direct result of what you see when others suffer and when you suffer.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 02:36 AM
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reply to post by truthquest
 


The problem, as usual, is with semantics. "Good" and "Bad" are subjective terms that have as many meanings as people stating them. It's all relative and conceptual.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 02:53 AM
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reply to post by truthquest
 


So, it seems like the general idea you are saying is that there is a social contract written into our genes...

Let's be clear about what I mean when I say 'social contract'. It is a phrase with a well-established meaning in philosophy and politics. The man who coined it, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, defined it thus:


The heart of the idea of the social contract may be stated simply: Each of us places his person and authority under the supreme direction of the general will, and the group receives each individual as an indivisible part of the whole...

So it is essentially a contract between the individual and society. That contract has a biological foundation because we are a social species. It isn't written into our genes, but it has evolved because of what is written there.

But morality goes beyond the social contract. What I have been saying all along in this thread is that our instincts provide the ultimate basis of our judgements of right and wrong. It is the bases of morality that are written into our genes.

Here's an article on The Biological Basis of Morality by E.O. Wilson, the father of sociobiology, in The Atlantic Monthly. I think you will find it interesting, and hope it will make things clearer.


...and that the process of evolution provides a hypothesis on why such a contract should exist.

Evelution must provide an explanation for every human attribute. It explains how we came to be social animals, and explains why we create the social structures we do. Similarly, it explains the process by which a moral sense evolved in us.


Taking the purse-snatching discussed is evil because the social contract written on our genes states is evil?

Now that's just silly. Intellectually, we can explain why assaulting someone and robbing them is wrong in terms of the social contract, in terms of individual human rights and so on, but in the end no explanation is required. We know it is wrong because the thought of it, or the sight of it, appals and frightens us. We know it is wrong instinctively. This is not because we have 'a social contract written into our genes' but because we have moral understanding built into us.


And furthermore, the primary reason which we obey that social contract is because of the personal advantage it provides us all?

No. We obey the terms of the social contract because (i) we have an instinct to do what our group demands of us, to 'fit in', (ii) because that instinct is strongly reinforced by conditioning, or education if you prefer, and finally (iii) because if you don't, those in authority will lock you up.

Didn't I explain all this before?



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 03:10 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


I think that all leads us to the idea - are we still engaged in that contract? Are we still evolving? When we reached the point where we could alter everything around us to suit our needs, did we stop needing to evolve ourselves? I agree with the entire premise but I do not think it is in effect anymore. I offer my previous post. Go visit a prison sometime a look at how many kids are there to visit a parent. Going to jail is not stopping criminals from breeding criminals. If anything, it is going the other way.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 05:40 AM
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reply to post by Luciferdescending
 

Yes, I read your previous post, and of course you're right. I think I've already indicated that our instincts are often in conflict with each other and the good guys don't always win. Managing that conflict is what human morality is all about: keeping our selfish impulses in the right balance with our social ones.

You suggest that we have stopped evolving because we can control our environment. I disagree. In the first place, we don't control our environment. Look at what is happening to the planet. Are we in control of it? Have we ever been? And anyway, hasn't the environment changed many times over since Homo Sapiens first evolved?

Besides, consider this: whatever environment we create for ourselves, some people will thrive in it while others wither. We cannot equalize the selective pressures of an environment on each individual - or rather, on its genes - because all are different. So in any environment, natural or artificial*, some people will survive and reproduce preferentially to others. This alters the human genotype and causes us to evolve.

Evolution, like rust, never sleeps.
 
*Now there's an artificial distinction if ever there was one.

[edit on 24-1-2009 by Astyanax]



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 05:49 AM
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Originally posted by Wertdagf
reply to post by truthquest
 


No i dont think morality is an instinct. its a direct result of what you see when others suffer and when you suffer.


So it sounds like you are saying that morality is the product of our up-bringing/environment and is something that is learned as a result of seeing others suffering.

So in the case of the purse-snatcher, the snatcher should not steal because in your experience you have seen suffering in connection with purse-snatching. Is the purse-snatcher committing an act of evil when taking the purse? If so, is the suffering you have seen in connection with purse-snatching the core reason behind that belief?



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 07:26 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by Luciferdescending
 

Yes, I read your previous post, and of course you're right. I think I've already indicated that our instincts are often in conflict with each other and the good guys don't always win. Managing that conflict is what human morality is all about: keeping our selfish impulses in the right balance with our social ones.

You suggest that we have stopped evolving because we can control our environment.



We have far more control over our environment than any other thing on the planet. If it is cold, we put on clothing and turn up heat. If it is hot, we turn on AC. In those controls, some thrive and some perish. Who thrives? The more evolved among us or the ones with more control over their environment? I am not sure where you live but in the U.S. people who have less control over their environment die off and those with more control thrive. This is the idea I put forth, not the statement I made. I offered it as an idea to discuss - outside of this thread.

You are clearly bent on making your original point stick no matter how little data supports it and refuse to even think of mine no matter how much data supports it so never mind I even brought it up, ok.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 09:59 AM
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reply to post by Luciferdescending
 




We have far more control over our environment than any other thing on the planet. If it is cold, we put on clothing and turn up heat. If it is hot, we turn on AC. In those controls, some thrive and some perish. Who thrives? The more evolved among us or the ones with more control over their environment? I am not sure where you live but in the U.S. people who have less control over their environment die off and those with more control thrive.


we do have that kind of control - but not as individuals - only as a group

our instincts have evolved to benefit the group - not the individual

regardless of what we can or cannot change - our mutual needs override our individual needs

this is why we often say - the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few

it's why it's easy to see evil in the desires or actions of an individual or smaller group that goes against the larger group

no matter how much our environment changes - and how much we adapt - our survival is always going to be tied to working with and coexisting with each other

our concepts of morality do evolve - you can see that in many areas - religion, race, gender, sexuality - the way the planet looks at war and peace and the environment

but all those changes are superficial

our basic instinct to survive is always going to be tied to our need for the group to survive - and this is why we care about each other

this is why it bothers us when an old lady gets conked in the head and has her purse stolen - not because we were told it was wrong - not because we learned it was wrong - not because we believe it's wrong

it's because we know it's wrong

[edit on 1/24/2009 by Spiramirabilis]



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 10:11 AM
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reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 


I cannot find anything there to argue with.

not a one line post.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 11:15 AM
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reply to post by Luciferdescending
 




I cannot find anything there to argue with.


really? nothing?

where's the fun in that?

:-)

just want to add - I meant to say it earlier on

sounds like you work in an an environment where you get to see the least amount of our best qualities

meaning - the ratio of good to "evil" in your world is bound to be different for you than it is for other people

for your own sake - pull back often and see the rest of us - yourself included

I'll admit that this may be just my opinion - but people aren't bad so much as they are broken

I'm not telling you anything you don't know - I'm sure

I knew a woman who worked as - well, I'm not sure what she did - she was a therapist or a counselor of some sort in a prison

it was very hard on her - and she almost didn't recover - because after a while it was all she could see



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 11:34 AM
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reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 


I appreciate that and I see how it could seem that way. Do not fret, I see criminals and death all the time. I also see life and goodness all the time too. My problem is that I see a harsh reality that belies the premise put forth. This social evolution is not happening. It seems nice to think that criminals go to jail and become less attractive for mating and therefor die off but...are our prisons getting less or more full with each new generation? Are prisoners getting women pregnant before, during, and after incarceration on a VERY regular basis?

I like the idea, I just know it is not in practice. Do not worry though, honestly I see a very nice world in which I am quite grateful to be given the opportunity to exist, however ephemeral a gift it is. The world is full of good people and amazingly wonderful things. This social contract is BS though.





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