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Right from wrong, learned or natural?

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posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 03:02 AM
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reply to post by XxRagingxPandaxX
 


Raging Panda forgive me please - It looks like I was replying to a quote by you and yet I wasn't, it was the person speaking to you. I'm pretty new here and working out who's name shows up when you hit 'Reply to' or quote and it hasn't fully been grasped by me yet. Apologies.

Oz




posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 03:21 AM
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Originally posted by XxRagingxPandaxX
reply to post by Neo_Serf
 
wow, very well written, i'm impressed



However could one not argue that everyone has an inner voice of what is right and wrong but some choose to ignore it? Not saying this is my opinion just saying is not a legit argument?


I dont know if its a legit argument, lets take it for a spin shall we?

If one is doing wrong it must be to their percieved benefit in some way. GWB2 orders the deaths of thousands of Afganis and clearly is not persuaded by an inner voice not to kill expontents of Iraqis. In fact, he defends his actions to this day, even going as far as to publicly endorse his own villianous orders to use torture, a most evil act by any good persons judgement.

Now if he has no internal, biological moral compass, this might be behaviour we would expect, considering his upbrining. But if he does have some latent, inborn capacity to know, somehow, that murder, rape, torture and slaughter are wrong, we might expect to see some correction in his evil behaviour somewhere along the way. If indeed his innate 'goodness' were to exist and hold any power over his behaviour, we might expect him to *not* invade Iraq, as his inner guide provides enought negative feedback to correct his evil behaviour. If he once again ignored his inborn goodness by sheer will and invaded Iraq anyways, causing the death of over a million, might, as observers, question if he possesed any goodness to him at all. And when, years later, he publically stood by his actions and reafirmed his certainty of the rightness of his evil deeds, we might wonder if he was ever conflicted at all when he signed the papers that unleshed death onto countless innocent souls.

I cant answer if goodness is innate, as our example psycho could indeed be accumulating the 'karma' of millions of lost souls, but never becoming concious of it. He would only be concious of the net gain, the net gain in our example being the status and prestige of power and wealth. Clearly GWB2s potential innate goodness was not enough to stop him from committing and endorsing evil. Perhaps there is an innate human ability to know right from wrong. But all 'maybes' aside, we do know that if this universal, inborn compass does exist, it certainly is not powerful or meaningful enough to a human that it might override what he might percieve, through learning and not instinct, what it is to be 'right'. Millions of germans supported Nazism and millions more Communism without being disuaded by an all knowing barometer of evil. In fact, what was in time shown to be heniously evil was thought as good at the time by the participants. If morality were inborn, would Nazism not have been thrown off involuntarily, like a dog scratching a flea?

In short, maybe we all, deep down actually do recognize right from wrong, but that dim awareness is not enough to override our negative behaviour that is learned and taught by others - and what is learned and taught cannot be innate as it is derived through our experience with the outside world and not inherited via our genetics.

So if biology isnt enough for us to achive a reasonable moral standard in society; a society where thugs like GWB2 are punished and exiled instead of rewarded and protected - what is the standard by which we can act upon? I think the above 'Universally Preferable Behaviour' is a good starting place.

The scientific method is not inborn either, but this does not make it subjective or invalid. It is simply a valid and true method that can be taught to others to their great benefit. But it was arrived upon through thought and learning, and not innate. Morality, I think, is the same.



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 03:25 AM
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Every creature, including animals, all learn from thier mistakes, it is what allows nature to grow. Humans are just so diverse, that many of our instincts are becoming obsolete when faced with a rapidly changing environment.
edit on 5-3-2011 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 04:25 AM
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reply to post by Ozscot
 

You argue well, but I believe you are wrong.

At their roots, our concepts of right and wrong are innate.

They are based on our natural instincts as members of a social species.

We instinctively form social hierarchies in which low-status individuals defer to high-status ones. Respect for authority is natural to us.

We instinctively practise reciprocity and exchange of gifts, favours and acts of grooming. Without a sense of fairness this is impossible. A sense of fairness is natural to us.

We instinctively protect and nurture our young. We also instinctively come to the aid of other humans in trouble or pain. Altruism and kindness are natural to us.

We instinctively cooperate with one another – for example, in group singing and dancing, in hunting and gathering, and in warfare. Cooperation with others is natural to us.

We instinctively bond in mating pairs, reserving our sexual favours for our chosen mates (for some time, but not necessarily for a lifetime). Love and fidelity are natural to us.

We all know from experience what guilt and shame feel like. Having a conscience is natural to us.

We have selfish needs and desires, also instinctive, that often come into conflict with these social and nurturing instincts. Some training is required to manage such conflicts, and that is what moral instruction is for. But moral codes and moral instruction only build on the natural morality that is already programmed into us by evolution. They are also easily warped or perverted to control people, to act against their own best interests and make them do evil for the benefit of others; we call this perversion of natural morality 'religion'.


edit on 5/3/11 by Astyanax because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 05:00 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by Ozscot
 

You argue well, but I believe you are wrong.

At their roots, our concepts of right and wrong are innate./quote

Firstly, I must say that I have a hard time taking seriously a talk on ethics by someone who has the image of Mao in his sig, aka the greatest mass murdered in all of human history. It would be a little like taking diet advice from the single fattest man who ever existed. We all understand what a joke that would be to hear lardy mclard ass speak to us about the virtue of healthy eating. So youll have to understand that everything you say that follows on the topic of good and evil will be taken with not just a grain of salt, but indeed a whole friggin saltlick. Unless Im missing some hilarious inside sarcastic joke, that is.

/quote They are based on our natural instincts as members of a social species. /quote

Would you say then that a man who grew up ferrel with the wolves would have the ability to know right from wrong? Would this wolf boy (ferrel humans is actually well documented) have some innate moral knowlege that he would act on in contradiction to his pack? Would his follow mindlessly and without feedback of any kind, if say, his pack attacked and ate a small child?

/quote We instinctively form social hierarchies in which low-status individuals defer to high-status ones. Respect for authority is natural to us. /quote

Of course, but authority is completely independant of morality. The authority of the christian chuch caused endless and horrific religious wars, the authority of hitler resulted in the slaughter of millions, ect ect. Authority >/ morality.

/quote We instinctively practise reciprocity and exchange of gifts, favours and acts of grooming. Without a sense of fairness this is impossible. A sense of fairness is natural to us. /quote

You use this word 'us' a lot but it certainly does not apply to all. Was Stalin *at all* interested in 'fairness' when he sent millions to horrific deaths? How about your buddy Mao? How did his innate preference to 'fairness' manifest?

/quote We instinctively protect and nurture our young. We also instinctively come to the aid of other humans in trouble or pain. Altruism and kindness are natural to us. /quote

Theres that pesky 'us' word again. CLEARLY every mass murdering dictator in history does not display altruism or kindness in any real terms, infact quite the opposite. *some* of us display this charactersitic, but since it is only some of us, how can we say that morality is innate to all of us?

/quote We instinctively cooperate with one another – for example, in group singing and dancing, in hunting and gathering, and in warfare. Cooperation with others is natural to us. /quote

Your own example of warfare destroys the notion that we all instinctively cooperate. Killing our fellow man can hardly be called cooperating, even if we team up to do so. The man with my knife in his chest can hardly be 'cooperating' with me.

/quote We instinctively bond in mating pairs, reserving our sexual favours for our chosen mates (for some time, but not necessarily for a lifetime). Love and fidelity are natural to us. /quote

for every example you site of what is 'natural' to us, a counter example can also be said to be true. I could just as easily say 'we murder eachother by the billions, thus mass murder is natural to us.' If both are true, we cannot be said to be naturally moral, as every moral action that is called 'natural' has an immoral counterpart which also can be said to be 'natural'.



We all know from personal experience what guilt and shame feel like. Having a conscience is natural to us.

We have selfish needs and desires, also instinctive, that often come into conflict with these social and nurturing instincts. Some training is required to manage such conflicts, and that is what moral instruction is for. But moral codes and moral instruction only build on the natural morality that is already programmed into us by evolution.


If this is true then why are there such things as competing moral codes? I find your even casual support of Mao, a mege murderer who eclipses hitler exponentially, to be morally degenerate on a scale propoprtional to the deaths they inflicted on the world. Since hilter can be blamed for 10 mill tops, and Mao is the title holder with at least 60 mill, i find your sig to be at least 6x more disgusting than if you had ol adolf himself in there.

So given that we both have access to an absolute moral compass, and i am north and you are south, how do we square the difference?



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 05:51 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by Ozscot
 

You argue well, but I believe you are wrong.

At their roots, our concepts of right and wrong are innate.

They are based on our natural instincts as members of a social species.

We instinctively form social hierarchies in which low-status individuals defer to high-status ones. Respect for authority is natural to us.

We instinctively practise reciprocity and exchange of gifts, favours and acts of grooming. Without a sense of fairness this is impossible. A sense of fairness is natural to us.

We instinctively protect and nurture our young. We also instinctively come to the aid of other humans in trouble or pain. Altruism and kindness are natural to us.

We instinctively cooperate with one another – for example, in group singing and dancing, in hunting and gathering, and in warfare. Cooperation with others is natural to us.

We instinctively bond in mating pairs, reserving our sexual favours for our chosen mates (for some time, but not necessarily for a lifetime). Love and fidelity are natural to us.

We all know from experience what guilt and shame feel like. Having a conscience is natural to us.

We have selfish needs and desires, also instinctive, that often come into conflict with these social and nurturing instincts. Some training is required to manage such conflicts, and that is what moral instruction is for. But moral codes and moral instruction only build on the natural morality that is already programmed into us by evolution. They are also easily warped or perverted to control people, to act against their own best interests and make them do evil for the benefit of others; we call this perversion of natural morality 'religion'.


edit on 5/3/11 by Astyanax because: (no reason given)


We instinctively protect and nurture our young? I grant you it seems that we do, but that is to overlook the mass murder of children which was part and parcel of EVERYDAY life in pre-industrial and Industrial revolution English Society for example. It's not something we shout loud about today because influencing or entertaining thoughts of infanticide opens up a can of worms we would rather remained closed. Did you know that in many boroughs throughout England in the 1800's local Councils employed men to check the water-butts everyday and remove dead children from them?

Need I point out how many female children are murdered in China solely because of disappointment in their gender?

We learn to look after our children - that learning of course is supplemented by an 'innate' sense of the right thing to do - but we can only possibly weigh the right and wrongs by asking and answering the questions which our society and culture demands of us at that historical moment.

It wasn't wrong as late as the 1960's to send women who had children out of wedlock to asylums in Britain because they had 'moral issues' - and of course their children were removed and transported to Australia to families who couldn't have children. Looking at it now it was morally reprehensible but it was not so then. Where was the innate sense of right and wrong when nothing short of the bond, love and affection between a mother and child was at stake? Google 'The Lost Children' for a complete history of how unbearably cruel we were.

Need I remind you of just how many children of Jewish extraction were murdered in the most horrific manner by the Nazi's? Where was the innate sense of care and protection for children then? We measure our morals by referencing what is expected and required of us in any given society, at any given period, in any given culture - we know nothing else.

It's why a Muslim can happily gun down a Christian in Pakistan for attempting to entertain Christians in State Policy and why Christians can go about killing Muslims in Afghanistan for what they perceive as 'backwards and dangerous beliefs'. Our cultural and societal demands, pressure any innate sense of 'right or wrong' right out of the equation. It's why the Nazi's could do what they did. It's why Western Leaders can do what they are doing today. It's why Corporation Chief Executives can rape and plunder the planet's resources. Within our culture it's all acceptable and there is no dissonance in the minds of any of those responsible when they lay their heads down at night. If there really were such a thing as a universal code of morals which prevailed across all timespans - then we are the generation which is wholly, totally, completely morally bankrupt. And this I don't believe. I simply believe we have allowed the wrong people to steer our moral ship - time for new values, new mores, new norms of behaviour and the sense of 'right and wrong' will once more be redefined (as it is in every generation).

Oz
edit on 5-3-2011 by Ozscot because: Crappy punctuation



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 11:38 AM
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reply to post by XxRagingxPandaxX
 


Are you dumb or something?

The precepts themselves fine.

The problem is the religious institutions; ie, the church of Rome.



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 11:52 AM
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reply to post by dontreally
 
Nope, not dumb, and I agree that the Roman Church is a problem, but the bible in general is filled with contradictions and just plain silly concepts.



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 06:06 PM
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reply to post by XxRagingxPandaxX
 


Religon was only the founding father, so to speak, of our civilization's views on "right and wrong". In this day and age, right and wrong are no longer defined by relgion. These concepts are defined by the morals and ethics of the majority of the populace. They are views held by people of all races and religons, and they have been so intergal in our society that they have become common-place.

But no, I don't think that the conception of what is right and wrong is inborn. When we come into this world, we are essentially a blank slate. Our brain has the potential to learn, and that is exactly what we do. We are essentially living sponges for information. And whatever we see in the world around us defines who we are, and who we are going to be. And, since right and wrong are (essentially) human inventions, they must be taught to us. Which is what our parents (supposedly) do. They teach was what is right and wrong, what is acceptable in modern civilization. They teach us to "behave" ourselves.

After all, right and wrong are constantly changing and evolving subjects. What is considered morally wrong by todays standards might have been considered morally right or nessecary by the standards of a thousand years ago. And, in another thousand years, it might all be different again. It's all based on the when and where of the situation.


GtkP



posted on Mar, 5 2011 @ 11:16 PM
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reply to post by Ozscot
 


We instinctively protect and nurture our young? I grant you it seems that we do, but that is to overlook the mass murder of children which was part and parcel of EVERYDAY life in pre-industrial and Industrial revolution English Society for example. It's not something we shout loud about today because influencing or entertaining thoughts of infanticide opens up a can of worms we would rather remained closed. Did you know that in many boroughs throughout England in the 1800's local Councils employed men to check the water-butts everyday and remove dead children from them?

Infanticide is a human universal; always has been. The hillsides round classical Athens and imperial Rome echoed to the cries of exposed, unwanted newborns. The other objections you mention are also granted.

It makes no difference. Those ‘moral’ instincts – more accurately social instincts – I spoke of most certainly do exist, and they are the ultimate basis of all human morality. Even you state in your post that humans have an innate sense of right and wrong. Indeed we do.

Unfortunately, the social instincts are in conflict with other instincts: survival, procreation, self-gratification, the instinct to compete for status and mates, etc. I thought I made it fairly clear in my earlier post that human behaviour is driven not only by social instincts but by selfish ones. This conflict is what makes us moral beings. It also explains the multitudinous examples of man's inhumanity to man, including all those mentioned in your post.

*


reply to post by Neo_Serf
 


Firstly, I must say that I have a hard time taking seriously a talk on ethics by someone who has the image of Mao in his sig, aka the greatest mass murdered in all of human history.

It's Kim Jon Il, actually.


Unless Im missing some hilarious inside sarcastic joke...

I urge you to seriously consider this possibility.


Would you say then that a man who grew up ferrel with the wolves would have the ability to know right from wrong? Would this wolf boy (ferrel humans is actually well documented) have some innate moral knowlege that he would act on in contradiction to his pack?

He would, presumably, follow the morality of the wolf-pack to the degree that he was capable, just as other humans cleave to the morality of the human pack. It is from our social instincts that our morality is derived.


Would his follow mindlessly and without feedback of any kind, if say, his pack attacked and ate a small child?

Not being an expert on the behaviour of feral children, I couldn't say for sure. But if he did, he would only be doing what is perfectly normal and right – for a wolf.


Of course, but authority is completely independant of morality.

You are mistaken, I fear. An important component of moral behaviour is obedience to authority. I'm not saying necessarily that it's good or bad; that depends on the moral character and validity of the authority. But it is instinctive, and it is correct behaviour for a social primate of our species.


Was Stalin *at all* interested in 'fairness' when he sent millions to horrific deaths? How about your buddy Mao? How did his innate preference to 'fairness' manifest?

In a sense of injustice against themselves and those they held to be part of their 'pack' – as it always does.


For every example you site of what is 'natural' to us, a counter example can also be said to be true.

Yes. Perhaps you are beginning to understand at last. Do you not recall these words from my earlier post?


Originally posted by Astyanax:
We have selfish needs and desires, also instinctive, that often come into conflict with these social and nurturing instincts. Some training is required to manage such conflicts, and that is what moral instruction is for. But moral codes and moral instruction only build on the natural morality that is already programmed into us by evolution.

You asked, ‘If this is true then why are there such things as competing moral codes?’ The answer is already contained in the words I have re-quoted above. Please think a little harder about what I have written, and try not to jump to conclusions based on some perception you have derived from looking at my avatar.



posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 02:46 AM
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It is both learned and natural. Human brain is an amalgamation of genetic factors influenced by our past as a social species, and learned behaviours.



posted on Mar, 6 2011 @ 08:02 PM
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reply to post by Ozscot
 





You said the Ten Commandments were clear and unambiguous and then immediately 'interpreted' the word 'sleep' to imply 'have sex with'.


First, lets keep in mind that English is not like Hebrew. The word in Hebrew translated into English as "do not commit adultery" is Lo TiRNaF. This word implies various acts of sexual misconduct. It is also from the root "to corrupt" נִאוּף or "to adulterate". So, I didnt contradict myself. For someone who knows Hebrew and appreciates the nuances of each word, than the additional meanings which are concealed in a English translation do not pose a logical problem. English words are conventional, whereas Hebrew is completely archetypal.



You also said earlier that our 'Jealous' God could be interpreted as Zealous. Hardly clear and unambiguous when the interpretations have to commence within your opening statement is it?


I dont see what is so confusing. Someone who is 'jealous' is also zealous. Jealousy is an extension of the concept of Zealousness. As in, when someone is zealous, he is zealous towards a particular thing or subject. He is therefore "jealous" for "it".




Then you twist on interpretations of 'Jealousy' to indicate that it can be a good thing - tell that to the MILLIONS of women who are beaten every night by a jealous husband.


You have taken what i wrote complete out of context. When both partners see jealous as a GOOD, that is, they have prior knowledge of the spiritual value jealousy can have in their marriage, than it isnt looked at as bad, and therefore doesnt cause problems. The jealousy is also within healthy means. Im not saying if a woman wants to divorce her husband he has a right and a responsibility to be jealous for her, even though she doesnt want it. That would be insane. I see jealousy as being a glue that helps keep each partner focused on the other, which initself inspires a deeper spiritual and sexual relationship between the two.




Sure there might be a Joe Bloggs or Josephine Bloggs who finds that a tiny wee touch of jealousy strengthens their longing and desire but when weighed against the destruction and human suffering jealousy causes I would hardly be rushing to make it compulsory. So which is it? Jealousy = good or Jealousy = bad?


NOTHING, in Jewish or kabbalistic thought (which are one and the same) considers anything as being good or evil. Human Beings make something good or evil. Love, in too great a proportion can be evil. For instance, mercy towards those who are unmerciful, would be cruel towards those who show mercy. Because, those who are cruel would oppress the merciful, and therefore render the concept of mercy intiself pointless. Those with a Niezchean or Macchiavellian "will to power" philosophy are cruel people, therefore, to show mercy to such a cruel person be cruel initself.

Jealousy can be good, but it can also be bad. Anger, can be good, but can also be bad. Everything has its "tikkun". Its proper proportion. Too much can become a vice, whereas too little, or not at all, or applied at a wrong time, or for purely selfish ends.




I'm fairly well versed in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic and I can assure you the The Torah or the Pentateuch as well as the Old Testament can indeed be translated with a good degree of accuracy


Aye.. Youre one of those, i can read Hebrew so i know everything about it, people. Ive been studying Hebrew daily for 5 years and I can barely claim to know its in and outs. To say any word can be translated with accuracy, however, is absolutely absurd.

Take the very first verse of the Bible. It can translated,

"with the Beginning, G-d created the Heaven and the Earth"
"IN the Beginning, G-d created Heaven and Earth"
"With Wisdom, G-d created heaven and Earth"
"In the Beginning of G-ds creating he Sign of Heaven and the sign of Earth"

Let me break down for you, simply, why Hebrew cannot be understood by anyone without recourse to the Rabbinic sages. The Torah was passed down through the ages with only Letters, and not vowels. Imagine the letters B-R-D. These 3 consonants can form the words Bard, Bared, Bird, Braid, Broad, Brood, Board, Bread, Beard, Buried, Brad, Bred, Breed, Bored, Bride, Aboard, Abroad. Hebrew roots only provide a general, archetypal dynamic, but the actual meaning and application to a given reality is provided only by the Vowel signs. These vowel signs were deliberately left out of the Torah scroll, thereby making it unintelligible to those who lacked the code. This was a way to conceal the tradition from outsiders (from pagans, in other words). In the 3rd Century BCE when Ptolemy forced the Rabbis to translate the bible, they produced the septuagint. A Midrash from this period says "When the Rabbis translated the Torah into Greek, the world went dark for 3 days". The "world" referred to is the 3 higher levels of meaning: ReMeZ, DeRuSh, And SoD, that was lost in translation. These 3 levels cannot be conveyed into another language. Of all the ideas conveyed by a word, only one can be selected. The others are lost. The additional levels are gone. Only Childlike understandings are transmitted, and in many cases, incorrectly.




Throw a uniform on a soldier and tell him he's fighting the 'right' fight in Iraq or Afghanistan, and off he'll go to kill as many of the guys in the 'wrong' as he possibly can.


Ok. This doesnt twist right and wrong. It only shows that mankind can be MADE into thinking differently, from what is naturally understood as right and wrong. The people who launch these wars are sorcerers. Its they who arrogate the power to reshape the human condition. It is they who want to extirpate from the human condition, brave new world style, higher emotions like conscience. Just because THEY can believe they have the power to do such a thing, doesnt make it true, or right. It just shows that we have free will, and the most powerful amongst us - those millenia long ruling aristocrats, absolutely take advantage of this condition believing that dissent is the way forward. Breaking down boundaries, especially moral boundaries, laws we feel inside, is a message to destroy them. The only thing they know, or believe in, is the power to act. To make man into his own idol, and worship it.




We execute murderers in cold blood - so the idea that there is an innate, universally agreed sense of justice or right and wrong just doesn't stand up to scrutiny as all of the above behaviours are contested by many, many people.


There is always a way to adjudicate. The entirety of Jewish law (which even the father of International Law, Hugo Grotus, said was incredibly evolved) is derived from the Torah, and is in many ways profoundly just.

Just because there are dissenters doesnt make them right. It makes them egocentric. The verdict should make sense reasonably, and in many cases they can be. There will be harder examples, but they are rare.

The problem with Law is the contradiction between Democracy and Tradition, or Relativism and Traditional values. These are value differences. For instance, when the Supreme court of Israel upholds a Palestinian MKs right to commend terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, as a democratic right, than this is an example of a gross misuse of judicial powers. This is a confrontation between normal, rational law, and a law based on a relativism. Paul Eidelberg righys diagnoses this attitude as schizophrenic, quoting the psychologist Ignacio Matte-Blanco

"(1) The central directly meaningful impetus is avoided, apparently because it is disturbing; instead the peripheral is endowed with meaning (2) A Casual attitude appears in which [only] part of the field is accepted as the stimulus. (3) The subject has a fixed idea and resorts to it without regard for the [central and contradictory] stimulus (4) The peripheral is...selectively attended to, captures attention, and is adhered to"




He allowed his soldiers to 'lie' with children (Numbers 31: 17,18)


It says no such thing. In verse 17, it says those who have not lied with a man, you shall slay. PERIOD. Next verse, "but spare every young woman who has not had carnal relations with a man"

Where does it say, lay with a little girl? You might want to learn Hebrew, or the Bible first, before you start quoting it.

Heres the verse in Hebrew right here
kodesh.snunit.k12.il...




There was nothing sexual about this - it was their practical way of dealing with a wailing baby - at the time and within the culture it was 'right' - It's not right today


I dont think there is anything particularly wrong about that action either. As long as it is done to calm the baby, its fine.

Maybe peoples problems nowadays is their relativism and lack of faith in the good of man. They suspect that people are sick and demented, and so project there own inner issues on others. If we as a culture sought to cultivate whats good and right - which the leaders that be have deformed - than we wouldnt look so cynically on things. In that context, if i saw a mother trying to relax her baby, i would think anything of it. Likewise, in the ceremony of Brit Millah, the Mohel after circumsizing the infant sucks the penis to minimize the potential for postoperative complications. The reasons for doing this are rational, and the oral suction does the job. Nowadays our sick and overly sexualized culture will look at this act as perverted and not being a practical method to minimize complications.




Society moves, it does not stand still, it develops, hell sometimes it even falls back a bit but it is never static - the sense of right and wrong has to move with it - and is defined by what is learned, understood and expected within the boundaries of any given time and culture


That is such nonsense. Do the laws of gravity change? Laws of motion? Thermodynamics? So if these physical laws are stagnant - which the relativists acknowledge, than why would moral laws be any different? Why would, or how could, murder, theft, etc be thought of anything other than wrong? How can a culture "evolve" a different understanding of this very simple, and constant situation.

I think morals are as fixed as day and night.



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 12:53 AM
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reply to post by Maslo
 


It is both learned and natural. Human brain is an amalgamation of genetic factors influenced by our past as a social species, and learned behaviours.

Agreed. This explains why descriptive ethical systems (‘moral codes’) vary between different social and cultural groups. However, the instinctive roots of morality, which I described roughly in my first post on this thread, are the same for every human being no matter what moral code prevails in his or her society.

But it seems to me your position on this is evolving, Maslo. You said as much in your own thread, in which you promote the idea that a science of morality is possible and that different moral codes can be evaluated according to how effectively they promote social welfare and individual well-being in the societies that subscribe to them.

While not necessarily granting your thesis, it's worth considering what those two criteria imply. The first – social welfare – shows a clear relation to my thesis, namely that morality is derived from our social instincts. In turn, these instincts have evolved to help us derive optimum benefit from our nature as social animals. Thus moral codes that harmonize best with our social instincts are perhaps likeliest to produce optimal social benefits.

As for the second critierion, it is legitimate to suggest that individual well-being is maximized by a combination of physical welfare and harmonious relations between the individual and others. Again, this brings us back to our instinctive, social nature. It seems to me indisputable that our nature as social primates is what makes morality necessary; if we were loners, like eagles or orangutans, we wouldn't need it.

Earlier, I said that the manipulation of moral codes to maintain social control and make people act in perversion of their instincts was called religion. I was only half -right, of course; it is also called philosophy, and a third name for it is political ideology. My apologies for the omission.


edit on 7/3/11 by Astyanax because: of waffle.



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 12:18 PM
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Do apes have religion?



posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 07:51 PM
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reply to post by XxRagingxPandaxX
 


I'm not religious.. I have extremely high morals.



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