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do morals evolve or...

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by waitasec, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Advocate of letting go of theism. Buddhist with an emphasis on personal understanding.
    That is not quite correct. We militant unbelievers sometimes conclude that moral subjectivity is a circunstantial, albeit persistent, fact.

    You may want to read a bit about Utilitarianism and particularly Peter Singer's ethical proposals sometime. He is a very solid, very serious, very insightful author on the matter - and quite frankly, he's way ahead of most organized religions when it comes to this field.
     
  2. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    But who knows what sins our progeny will commit by our standards today? If we look into the future, we could see a world where our every act is
    monitored by the authorities. They could believe that security is the ultimate goal, & prehaps not value liberty as we do. Over the coming millennia,
    there will be many different moral standards, which might appear to go forward or backward....if there even is a forward or backward.
     
  3. waitasec

    waitasec Veteran Member

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    200 yrs from now a future generation would probably see us less barbaric then we see our history form 200 yrs ago. human rights have made the scene after the enlightenment and will continue to grow and spread, now with the new age of information.
    i do believe good will conquer evil because i believe we are all fundamentally good but of course capable of doing evil...
    i wonder if that would be the standard of which i am thinking about.
    that we are all good fundamentally...i'm just throwing ideas out there to see other peoples point of veiw...thanx for you input ;) btw...
     
  4. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I don't, but I'm willing to bet that includes gay marriage and (unfortunately) widespread use of recreational drugs. Probably some sort of devaluing of "national sovereignity" as well.

    I doubt it, personally. If there is an emerging trend, it is that we will eventually need to negotiate more widespread and more flexible moral standards.
     
  5. tumbleweed41

    tumbleweed41 Resident Liberal Hippie

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    Exactly.
     
  6. tigrers99

    tigrers99 Member

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  7. Falvlun

    Falvlun Earthbending Lemur
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    I don't quite follow your reasoning: Because animals display behaviors we consider moral, we therefore will have to infer a Creator to account for our morality. Huh?

    The fact that animals do display behavior we consider moral simply goes to show how these behaviors could have evolved and become prevalant. The addition of greater cognitive faculties (the ability to think about morality) and the ability to transmit cultural norms from generation to generation (language) can account for the more complex form of morality displayed by humans.
     
  8. Midnight Pete

    Midnight Pete Well-Known Member

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    When animals display behaviours we consider to be moral or immoral, are we not simply projecting our ideas onto them? For example, an open-mouthed smile is friendly and affectionate to us, but to primates it means the opposite. How many humans have misread the body-language of animals and paid for it with their life?
     
  9. Falvlun

    Falvlun Earthbending Lemur
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    When we say animals display "moral" behavior, we are talking about much more specific thing than a "smile". For example, dogs have been shown to have a concept of fairness, bats display recipricol altruism (they'll share the blood they got with bats who were unsuccesful, with the expectation that if they come back emptyhanded, they'll be helped out next time), and chimps will comfort the "losers" in fights, displaying rudimentary empathy.

    Now, we have no idea whether the chimp thinks "Hey, I should give him a hug because that's a nice thing to do". All we know is that they do give the hug. It also shows that these behaviors are not unique to humans, and gives us reason to believe that these behaviors have evolutionary benefits, and thus were passed on.
     
  10. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    You're entitled to your opinion, of course.

    But it must be noted that the biological concept of evolution is completely unrelated to any other use of that word. It is not at all a philosophical concept and it would be a stretch to relate it even to anthropology. In fact, it is often at odds with even the everyday meaning of the word, since it lacks even a clear direction.
     
  11. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Not really. Most of morals are logically inferred from basic self-preservation instincts.
     
  12. waitasec

    waitasec Veteran Member

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    you might find this interesting...

    Experiments with rhesus monkeys would prove that the evolution of empathy is a very long one. These little monkeys were given the option of doubling their food source while simultaneously shocking their fellow monkeys, or eating half as much and letting their friends live an electricity-free existence. Using a system of chains, batteries, and automatic food dispensers, the experimenters found that two-thirds of the monkeys preferred the empathetic less-food option. In a few cases, these monkeys were even starving themselves to avoid hurting their little buddies. They were also less likely to shock another monkey if they had experienced a shock themselves, and were less likely to shock any monkey they knew, although they might not be so kind if one of the scientists were thrown into the cage.

    Conservative Left Brain, Liberal Right Brain
     
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