It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Monkeys have a sense of morality, say scientists

page: 5
16
<< 2  3  4    6 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 11:04 PM
link   

Originally posted by The All Seeing I

“Biologists argue that these and other social behaviors are the precursors of human morality,” Wade writes. “They further believe that if morality grew out of behavioral rules shaped by evolution, it is for biologists, not philosophers or theologians, to say what these rules are.”



Well, that I wont entirely disagree with, considering what passes for a philosopher in modern academic settings now days.

But I do get a tad annoyed when "scientists" want to discard all philosophy and philosophers. After all, philosophy is the birthplace, (and philosophers the parents,) of huge quantities of our science, maths, etc.

I agree with Plato when he said, in the Republic,

www.mdx.ac.uk...


For these reasons, and among men like these, philosophy, the noblest pursuit of all, is not likely to be much esteemed by those of the opposite faction; not that the greatest and most lasting injury is done to her by her opponents, but by her own professing followers, the same of whom you suppose the accuser to say that the greater number of them are arrant rogues, and the best are useless; in which opinion I agreed.


When Plato says even the best philosophers are useless, there is argument that precedes it that explains that that is because most men refuse to make use of them. Not because the best philosophers have nothing of value to offer.

[edit on 22-2-2009 by Illusionsaregrander]




posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 08:06 AM
link   
Without a doubt morals are a necessary/essential philosophical pursuit, but in application focused on regulating industry not science. See the documentaries Sweet Misery & Blue Vinyl for two prime examples of how the "love of money" has put profit before people/environment.

Where moral philosophers have no right to intervene is in the affairs of scientific inquiry. Now when it comes to science used for military purposes, again moral regulation must be imposed on the Military Industrial Complex by the government, unfortunately here in the U.S. our government and MIC are in bed together, manufacturing conflict around the world to justify our presence.

Bringing this back to what we have in common with monkeys with regard to morals, i can see how our "advancement" in standard of living has come at a cost. We have created monsters that represent our darkest desires. Corporations that have no conscience or moral compass other then to make a profit for their share holders.

Thanks to moral philosophers putting the breaks on scientific inquiry instead of on business, our collective evolution in understanding ourselves and the universe are direly delayed.



[edit on 23-2-2009 by The All Seeing I]



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 02:55 PM
link   

Originally posted by The All Seeing I
Without a doubt morals are a necessary/essential philosophical pursuit, but in application focused on regulating industry not science.


I have a few questions. One, on what grounds do you advocate morals being applicable in many areas of life, but not science? If morality is hardwired into humans by nature, and it has provided us with evolutionary advantages, including those (cooperation) that have led to culture and language development without which science could not even exist on what grounds would you have it held separate from the sciences?



Originally posted by The All Seeing I
Where moral philosophers have no right to intervene is in the affairs of scientific inquiry.


Here, and in other parts of your post, I am not clear on how you are using the term "moral philosopher." It sounds as if you are including theologians into the mix? All true philosophers, to some degree, are concerned with moral issues. (Though not all make a career boring students to death with comparing and contrasting labels for different moral theories) Philosophy at its purest is the "Love of wisdom." And to be wise, one has to consider all things considerable. Both nature aside from humans, and human nature itself. (Which includes morality, religion, and social studies.)



Originally posted by The All Seeing I
Thanks to moral philosophers putting the breaks on scientific inquiry instead of on business, our collective evolution in understanding ourselves and the universe are direly delayed.


Philosophers have not put the brakes on scientific inquiry. They invented it, and have been many of the worlds best scientists. Again I am not certain how you are using the term moral philosopher. Religion has at times definitely put the brakes on scientific inquiry, but many of the religious who are in a position to do so, are not philosophers. They are dogmatists. (as are some who self identify as scientists, I might add) Dogmatism is as far from philosophy itself as one can get. It is also as far from science itself as it is possible to get. Which is not surprising since science is the offspring of philosophy.

Those who wear the label "philosopher" are often more sophist than true philosopher. As Plato noted in the Republic, that has long been the case. However there have been scores of crappy scientists as well. We dont judge "science" by all who take up and wear the term "scientist." We also should not judge "philosophy" by all who take up and wear the title "philosopher." It is easier to weed out the crappy scientists than it is to weed out the crappy philosophers, I will give you that. But difficulty in drawing that distinction alone is no justification for throwing all philosophy down the drain because of those who disabuse the title.

Philosophy IS the pursuit of understanding ourselves and the universe. But a philosophical scientist would not think we could pursue, "benefits to humanity" in terms of technology, or medicine, unless we were also looking at "what humanity is." And clearly, even before these chimp studies, what humanity is has included morality. How can you know what will benefit a thing if you dont understand the thing you wish to benefit? Or how that thing fits into the whole scheme of life here on Earth?

Better technology is NOT always in our best interests. How it is applied is enormously important. The same things used to help can also end up harming, if used without wisdom. Technology has provided great benefits to us, but it may also very well lead to our extinction. The savior of humanity is not increasing our understanding of science alone, it will be in understanding humanity and nature well enough to utilize that technology wisely. We cant just ignore one of the facts of humanity, morality, and the enormous evolutionary benefit is has provided us, (allowing us to become social, pass down knowledge, create language, cooperate so we have the resources to fund research rather than forage all day) and be practicing good science. Good science doesnt leave out details it finds bothersome. It wrestles with those details until a better understanding and greater wisdom is had.



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 03:05 PM
link   
Obviously we have a greater sense of morality since we as an evolved species deem it favorable to go out and destroy with as much pain whatever other species we choose..... those silly monkies, they'll catch up one day.



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 03:10 PM
link   
reply to post by spitefulgod
 


O NOS!!!!111one

If life, conciousness, and morality are all biproducts of the division of infinity what are we.... but dust in the wind.... all we are is dust in the wind.

Your my boy blue!

[edit on 23-2-2009 by Wertdagf]



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 03:10 PM
link   
reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


I agree, technology seems to break social communities further apart than ever, to the poster who stated that morals have no rights in scientific pursuit I hope one day they decide to test new neurotoxins on you, it's all for progress so you'll be OK.

For those who actually believe that animals should have the same rights to live a painless existence you can join the SHAC animal demo in london this friday.

shac.net...



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 04:39 PM
link   
reply to post by The All Seeing I
 
The scientists are kicking themselves in the butt by claiming that monkeys have a sense of morality. If so, then the theory of human evolution doesn't work at all.



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 09:46 PM
link   
reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
I stand corrected, i made the brush stroke too broad. As you put it dogmatists/theologians are the true culprits to arresting progress.

reply to post by spitefulgod
True that there are basic moral standards in which scientific inquiry should be conducted by but these are matters of ethical guidelines, not measures that obstruct the pursuit/purpose of science.



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 10:34 PM
link   
Found a google book preview of Baboon Metaphysics - The Evolution of a Social Mind A very interesting read covering a lot of the terrain me have explored here and then some... and as mentioned in the sleeve and in part sums up our findings:


In 1838 Charles Darwin jotted in a notebook,
“He who understands baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.”



posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 07:44 PM
link   
Two months have gone by and i have gone through a complete transformation. In retrospect, i feel very ashamed of starting this thread. I think i may have done a great disservice to the one and only Truth, as i have come to know him. For when i was blessed to receive this sermon by Father Gervis, it change my heart from the inside out. How could i have embraced the likes of a monkey-worshiper like Darwin? Damn Lucifer! I hope God can forgive me. May you all be blessed in finding The Truth... for it shall set you free! Please forgive my ignorance... and open your souls to receive The Light!





[edit on 22-4-2009 by The All Seeing I]



posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 08:03 PM
link   
reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 



I have a few questions. One, on what grounds do you advocate morals being applicable in many areas of life, but not science?


Science should be governed by secular humane guidelines that include animal rights. As for religious morals being imposed on scientific inquiry, i see more harm here then good. Stem cell research and advancements in birth control are two prime examples of where science has been delayed by the good/righteous will of bible-thumpers.



posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 11:49 PM
link   
reply to post by The All Seeing I
 


What is needed is a lesson... a conseqence for action to be learned from. Many advancements in technology remove these conseqences. This negitively affects our growth in understanding reality. Save a life and distroy a lesson, heal a scar and retard a mind. A history of pain guides a life in many directions, without it there would be no direction and no desire. A skilled mason can do alot with few bricks.



posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 08:03 PM
link   
reply to post by Wertdagf
 


As the old proverbial goes "no pain, no gain". Science puts evolution on a fast track and in the process may involve some destructive consequences but the gain always out weighs the pain.

For science is open to change/adapt/adjust to best serve humanity. Where as religion forces society to change/adapt/adjust to it's version of humanity

If i could boil this premise down to it's essence ... i think it's fair to say that religion embraces the past, where as science embraces the future.


[edit on 23-4-2009 by The All Seeing I]



posted on Apr, 27 2009 @ 10:56 AM
link   
...and i must add... through Science we truly know our past vs through Religion we have more speculation then provable facts.

Case in point... we have no qualms with dressing up our babies as monkeys. We find it cute and funny... in part because we know how similar monkeys and babies/toddlers are in a mental, physical and behavioral sense.



Now when it comes to pointing out the similarities between adult monkeys and humans, these same parents who dressed up their kids as monkeys will go out of their way to point out every little difference... because the bible tells them that we are superior and can't possibly be relatives. If we were to acknowledge that we are more similar then different and shed the labels of "monkey" and "human" ... you could call this biblical position racist. No wonder the bible has been used so freely to support racism and sexism in our not too distant past.

[edit on 27-4-2009 by The All Seeing I]



posted on Apr, 27 2009 @ 11:07 AM
link   

Originally posted by The All Seeing I
Slayer... i do stand corrected.

We have also been known to eat those we conquer. Though now we consume those we conquer in symbolic ways, ie financially, emotionally, politically etc.

So there you go, we aren't any different then our ancestors, we just have the mental capacity to retain and process more information in an effort to more effectively and efficiently manipulate our environment, for both selfish and selfless gains.


It's called Assimilation & Modification... those two words describe about 98% of all existence.



posted on Apr, 27 2009 @ 11:09 AM
link   
Personally I don't believe in the existence of absolute morality, hence I don't think that anything can be unequivocally immoral. Anyway, within your sense of right and wrong:

"Immorality" stems from intellectual capacity. Monkeys band together for the collective good of their species. So what? Drone bees will often kill themselves in defense of the colony and the queen- does that mean they are highly altruistic? No... it means they have a hardwired genome that makes them behave in that manner.

First of all, is communalism more moral than individualism? Image there is a group of monkeys. Within this group, only one monkey goes around to collect berries. The rest sit there and do nothing. The working money comes back and shares the berries with the rest of the monkies, because his DNA is hardwired to do so for the greater good of the species. Is this monkey moral? Now imagine another monkey, who is more intelligent. He realises that he is doing all the work, yet the others are just exploiting him. He refuses to share. Is this monkey immoral?

Within that limited sense of "right" and "wrong" which is created under moral absolutism, the more intelligent monkey is immoral beause he appears sociopathic- uncaring for the other elements of his society. That's much the same with humans in my opinion. There's a reason why people with high IQs are much more likely to be libertarians (individualists), even though libertarianism is actually fairly sociopathic.

Throughout history we find that the most "evil" men always had above average intelligence. Their minds caused them to think, and to act out their beliefs (which may have been wrong). You'll never find a stupid tyrant or dictator... the simplest members of society are always happy to work hard, yet share their effort around because they don't question the relationship between effort and reward. Whether the simpletons are more moral or not is up to you!



posted on Apr, 27 2009 @ 12:11 PM
link   
reply to post by 44soulslayer
 


if they only see life from one point of veiw and refuse to understand the vast variation in social interactions that produce problems then im sure they would agree with you.

everyone makes mistakes. Rich and poor. People do what they bleive is right at the time. Those who allow their blindness to damage themselves and others are to be pittied. We are all victums of our social conditioning.


[edit on 27-4-2009 by Wertdagf]



posted on Apr, 27 2009 @ 01:01 PM
link   
reply to post by 44soulslayer
 


Very interesting points.

You would think that intelligence and morals would be the key ingredients for survival, but only favor the possessor of such characteristics depending on the circumstances and/or situation. Also important to note the type of intelligence that would increase one's chances for survival... a lot rides on whether the game is competitive, cooperative or both ...and i think the operative word/analogy is "game" (governing rules of exchange)... and what is most valued in that exchange. What we label as morals, monkeys are just expressing behaviors that favor their survival in that particular geographical locale that they belong, other behaviors that we would consider immoral, again are not any different.

Just like we have seen in our differing governing theories. Some appear to be more then others, but then again it depends on the circumstances and/or situation... though the constant never changes... survival is the goal... whether it be to live to a ripe old age, keep a company afloat or maintain a social position of prestige.

Intelligence and morals... let them be either high or low... survival is still the name of the game. The tv series "survivor" comes to mind, as well as all the copy cats. There is a common theme/process that takes place... every team starts off with intergroup cooperation fueling competition against the other team, but as they approach the final show, cooperation turns to a fierce competition... and as we have seen intelligence and morals flex to the requirements of each challenge. We're not any different then the monkeys in this respect.

[edit on 27-4-2009 by The All Seeing I]



posted on Apr, 27 2009 @ 01:18 PM
link   
I always thought people of science and/or religion were very short-sighted in saying only humans had this trait or that trait when evolution would really have to mean that all animals have varying amounts of whatever trait is being discussed. Plotted on a graph, animals would be all over the spectrum depending on whether a particular trait helped them or hurt them in the battle for survival.

Anyone that has owned a dog or a cat knows they know right from wrong, so it doesn't even have to be an ape.



posted on Apr, 27 2009 @ 01:20 PM
link   
I dunno, i think they have glimmers of morality now and again in individuals, but not generally, IMO. Monkeys and apes do some pretty gnarly crap to each other and other animals, i know we do too, but why don't the rest of them ever step in when a monkey goes nuts and starts ripping baby monkeys apart? They seem to tolerate it alot more than humans do in society...



new topics

top topics



 
16
<< 2  3  4    6 >>

log in

join