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The Atheists Moral Pledge

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posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 10:11 PM
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Bleeeeep

Why do you not see the concepts?!!!


Do you understand a lack of empathy to mean no empathy at all? No emotional regard whatsoever?

Earlier, within the context of your usage, of the word psychopath, it appears to be a derogatory word for you, is that correct? Not in definition, but in usage, does it express bad? Can we say that you believe psychopaths are bad?


Psychopathy, schizophrenia, autism....etc. exist as ways a mind can work, whether one judges them desireable or undesireable, good or bad.




posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 10:24 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 


Don't you mean 'morality is inimical to survival'?

'Survivalism' is a kind of hobby indulged in by apocalyptic crackpots.


Its just the truth.

From the point of view of the individual organism, yes it is. But organisms only exist to protect and propagate genes. From the point of view of a gene, self-sacrifice for kin may be an acceptable trade-off, since the beneficiary of the sacrifice shares genes with the one that sacrifices itself.

That's what Haldane (see my first post in this thread) meant when he said he would lay down his life for two brothers or eight first cousins. Each of my brothers shares half my genes with me (my sisters would too, if I had any). And each of my first cousins shares 1/8 of my genome.

Morality is the intellectual, human expression of this biological fact.



posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 10:49 PM
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reply to post by puzzlesphere
 


Think of it like relational operators

If (condition==true) then just statement
else == unjust statement


or equal statements are good and unequal statements are bad.

-4 + 5 = 1 (good)
-4 * 5 ≠ 1 (bad)

The bad statement appears good but it is bad because it doesn't equal 1 or just.

Good is potentially limitless but it is always just.
Bad is potentially limitless but it is always unjust.

The immutability of good is that it is always just.



posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 11:00 PM
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Astyanax
From the point of view of a gene


Gene's have points of view?

They have concepts?

You're expressing the same idea I did, but you made me into a villain for doing so. Funny the webs we weave on the interwebs, aint it?



posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 11:18 PM
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reply to post by Bleeeeep
 


No that's why I picked it. I wasn't arguing at all I was trying to provide you with information that would help you understand. There are about 5 other articles I have read on the same subject this was the least abrasive or argumentative.



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 12:09 AM
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reply to post by Bleeeeep
 



Bleeeeep
or equal statements are good and unequal statements are bad.

-4 + 5 = 1 (good)
-4 * 5 ≠ 1 (bad)

Okayyy... From a particular perspective... but putting on the hat of a contrarian for a moment gives us:

Contrarian
-4 + 5 = 1 (bad)
-4 * 5 ≠ 1 (good)
(Contrarians are often douche-bags... ;-j so most people don't usually take such a contrary moral standpoint).


Bleeeeep
Good is potentially limitless but it is always just.
Bad is potentially limitless but it is always unjust.

The immutability of good is that it is always just.

Yes... when taken from a particular perspective, and within context of each other... and regardless of divinity or not, that is true.

No need for a god to be able to conceive the idea of immutable good.
edit on 17-10-2013 by puzzlesphere because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 08:36 AM
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reply to post by Bleeeeep
 


Gene's have points of view? They have concepts?

Only metaphorically, just like information 'wants to be free'.


You're expressing the same idea I did, but you made me into a villain for doing so.

I did not make you a villain, and I an not expressing the same idea you did. Not by a long chalk.



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 09:28 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



Don't you mean 'morality is inimical to survival'?


Clearly, you understand what I meant then.


'Survivalism' is a kind of hobby indulged in by apocalyptic crackpots.


That is beside the point. Survivalism is a very real concept which reflects the linchpin urge to ensure one's own needs are met, frequently at the cost of someone else's.


From the point of view of the individual organism, yes it is. But organisms only exist to protect and propagate genes. From the point of view of a gene, self-sacrifice for kin may be an acceptable trade-off, since the beneficiary of the sacrifice shares genes with the one that sacrifices itself.


That's kind of a backwards way of looking at it, and rather impractical, given the point.


Morality is the intellectual, human expression of this biological fact.


Not really. Morality is the philosophy of sacrificing your temporary gain now for a substantially greater gain later. It is intended to guarantee all involved organisms a stability in which to provide for themselves, a system that only works in a higher functioning society that is able to grasp and respect such a concept. This touches on the crux of the matter: the inclination of societal members to abide by those principles. More and more, we are seeing people cast such philosophies to the wind and expend their energy pursuing the well-being of themselves and their family, and to hell with the rest of the world.

Then you have the extremists who believe that certain characters or qualities are inimical to the practices they themselves believe are destined to be instated, as opposed to those I just described. These are the extremists of animalism and theism - which, I believe, is simple a midway between animalism and metacognition, or the basic primal functions and the awareness of what it is to be higher functioning and all entailed therein.

While engaged in such a midway, it is our duty to establish a thorough and well-examined understanding of what it is to be an animal and what it is to not be an animal. This helps us to grasp what we are leaving behind and what we are taking with, which helps us to not only understand how to balance it with our higher functioning capacities, but also helps us to understand what those higher functioning capacities are.

And that's why I advocate the Golden Rule. It is, as far as I'm aware, the surest means of maintaining the well-being of society without sacrificing our own needs and desires.
edit on 17-10-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 01:19 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 



Clearly, you understand what I meant...

Your generally express your thoughts quite lucidly on ATS.


Survivalism is a very real concept...

Okay. I won't quibble over words. My idea of a survivalist is someone who hoards guns, ammunition, baked beans and corned beef, uses the acronym WTSHTF a lot and knows all there is to know about chemical toilets. Your understanding of the term may well differ from mine.

*



That's kind of a backwards way of looking at it, and rather impractical, given the point.

At first blush, quite possibly. What I'm articulating here is the gene-centred view of evolution, which has been pretty mainstream in biology for the last quarter-century or so. It makes compelling sense to me, and a lot of other people, because, in our opinion,


it permits understanding of diverse phenomena such as altruism and intragenomic conflict that are otherwise difficult to explain from an organism-focused perspective.


*


You said:


Morality is the philosophy of sacrificing your temporary gain now for a substantially greater gain later.

From my second post on this thread:


Good and evil come into existence when beings who are driven by instinct evolve reason and the concept of a future, and begin to think about what they do and what they are.

I wouldn't call it a philosophy (sorry; quibbling over words again), but aside from that I'm in agreement with what you say. But think what it means when we look to 'a substantially greater gain later': it means weighing the chances of losing your life or saving it, losing or protecting your genetic investment (your offspring), making friends or enemies, losing status or becoming rich and famous, and so on. Weighing, in a phrase, the odds of your genes prevailing in the great game of long-term, multigenerational survival. For social animals, the dice are loaded in favour of social cooperation and status within the kin group. That's where the instincts come from that give birth to what thinking animals conceive of as morality.

You have already grasped this, though perhaps you haven't thought (or been taught) it all the way through yet. How else could you reach the following insight?


the system that only works in a higher functioning society that is able to grasp and respect such a concept. This touches on the crux of the matter: the inclination of societal members to abide by those principles.

You clearly understand that morality is a social phenomenon. This is even true of purely religious morals, actually; cleaving to them gives you respectability in society, at least nominally.

But when you speak of a 'higher-functioning society', how high are you setting the bar? Any fairly complex organism that has evolved to live in groups has evolved to live by rules that enable that group to cohere and survive. I'm not saying vampire bats and shoals of tuna are capable of forming concepts; they don't have to. The rules are hardwired into them. They're hardwired into us, too, but with us it doesn't end there, it ain't so simple: we are capable of complex concept formation, so we have to make sense of these drives that compel us in opposite directions, more or less against our will — the instincts of self-preservation, dominance and self-gratification versus the instincts of altruism, cooperation and desire for social acceptance. The way we try to get a handle on this is by conceiving abstractions of these instinctual drives, which we then compile into moral and — still more abstract — ethical systems that we then attempt to live by, and by which we judge others.

My dog has it easier; she knows when she's done right and done wrong without having to think about it. Instinct, modified by conditioning, gives her that knowledge without the labour of reflection.


edit on 17/10/13 by Astyanax because: I wanted to put a few stars into my post.



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 02:03 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



Okay. I won't quibble over words. My idea of a survivalist is someone who hoards guns, ammunition, baked beans and corned beef, uses the acronym WTSHTF a lot and knows all there is to know about chemical toilets. Your understanding of the term may well differ from mine.


So yours is an extremist perception. If it exists, it exists as precisely that and nothing else. Or such is the impression I am given in reading your posts.


At first blush, quite possibly. What I'm articulating here is the gene-centred view of evolution, which has been pretty mainstream in biology for the last quarter-century or so. It makes compelling sense to me, and a lot of other people, because, in our opinion,


Hmm. Yes, that would be a more advanced form of survivalism, in that numerous members of a certain party cooperate to ensure the proliferation of their own party. In fact, that falls in line with what I've been saying about morality. It's a device that could well have been developed to further gene-centric evolution. But the genetic information concerned is only that which humans believe to be conducive to the future of our species.

I agree with the rest of your post. A very eloquent reflection of the points I was trying to make.

edit on 17-10-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 02:21 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 



So yours is an extremist perception.

Mine is a jocular position.


A very eloquent reflection of the points I was trying to make.


Thanks. But wouldn't that suggest that we share the same 'extremist' position?

I don't mean to imply that morality (actually moralities, because every culture has its own more or lesss idiosyncratic one) maps instinct exactly. Morality is all about finding reasons why, and those who style themselves the architects of morality rarely appeal to reproductive success as the reason why one should be good. They do sometimes — recall the story of how Abraham being incentivised with the promise of his progeny outnumbering the stars in the sky and the sands of the seashore or some such — but moralists mostly tend to derive things in terms of God, the Ideal Good, the people, hallowed tradition, the ancestors or some such abstract entity.

Morality doesn't create the impulses we feel; it simply explains them (incorrectly) and attempts to rank them on a scale ranging from 'good' to 'evil'. Extremists are people who gravitate to one of those poles, or who deny the existence of them altogether. I am no extremist or radical, and neither are you.

edit on 17/10/13 by Astyanax because: you mustn't take this stuff too seriously, y'know.



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 02:31 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



Thanks. But wouldn't that suggest that we share the same 'extremist' position?


Does 'the rest of your post' not count as a qualifier? I believe it does. It effectively excludes the portions preceding it - which, incidentally, I also replied to separately. Again, contextually reaffirming the qualifier.

As to THE REST OF YOUR POST: Morality doesn't mold instinct. Morality is just another instance of regulating social protocol for the benefit of all components in order to eliminate the primal behavior that causes discomfort to our refined cognitive processes.

It's just a suit on a monkey. Provides an illusion that may hopefully - eventually - reprogram our basic nature in the same way that Pavlov reprogrammed his dog's saliva glands.



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 02:36 PM
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This is a video made by Sam Harris which discusses the foundations of a secular morality.

Facts are the foundation of morality, and as such science has a great deal to say about what is moral.

An old book that filled with horrible and disgusting fables shouldn't be any ones foundation for morality.
edit on 17-10-2013 by Wertdagf because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 10:03 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 



Does 'the rest of your post' not count as a qualifier?

Not when the ideas in it are derived from the propositions you rejected.


Morality doesn't mold instinct.

Of course it doesn't. It is a way of rationalising and controlling instinctual drives.


Morality is just another instance of regulating social protocol for the benefit of all components in order to eliminate the primal behavior that causes discomfort to our refined cognitive processes.

'Just another instance'? Don't moralists hold that moral values are fundamental and that laws, religious commandments, forms of courtesy, etc., all derive from them?

More pertinently, this way of looking at morality implies either that morality is totally artificial (which you have already said you do not believe) or else that evolution proceeds by the differential survival of social groups rather than that of individuals or alleles.

As I've already mentioned twice in this thread, the ideas I'm offering here are pretty mainstream in biology today.


It's just a suit on a monkey. Provides an illusion that may hopefully - eventually - reprogram our basic nature in the same way that Pavlov reprogrammed his dog's saliva glands.

That's a bit cynical. While I agree with you that human nature is unlikely ever to change — the result, if it did, would not be human any longer — human behaviour is extraordinarily malleable, and this fact holds out hope for a better world. Indeed, I should say that hope was already being realised, though perhaps the changes will not be complete soon enough to save the human race.

Pavlov, after all, was not out to change his dogs' nature: only their behaviour.





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