Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi, all! I'm trying to keep melodramatic intros to a minimum....I just always feel like I need to give this long drawn out reason for why I wrestle with things lol.

 

So, I've been enjoying various debates between believing vs. non-believing "greats." There have been a couple debates featuring Frank Turek (he wrote "I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist) and I'm aware of some of the deceptive tactics he uses. Regardless of my distaste for the man, I find the question he posed personally troubling. He basically pointed out that our moral objections to the bible have no grounds outside the bible or a higher being. In an "evolutionary worldview" (lol) it is survival of the fittest, so why we would take issue with the behaviors of god in the bible, etc. I recognize that this is an off-shoot of the "well, where do you get your morality from" argument, but it still struck me as different. He's not saying "Where do you get your morality from," like we're used to hearing, he's saying our moral high ground has no grounds or relevance in a system that celebrates survival of the fittest. Why should I find rape intolerable if it happens in the animal kingdom without the issue of "morals." There are plenty of species where the male forcibly reproduces with the female, it does not appear to be an issue of sentient morality but of animal instinct. I personally hold the view that our morality is socially constructed paired with basic empathy and not wanting to do to others what we would not want to have done to us. Please keep in mind that my education on evolution has been a very slow-going one and is still pretty limited as I work through all the information available in this world. I guess it feels like a bit of cognitive dissonance all over again, I find the behaviors of god reprehensible and yet I feel like I can also acknowledge where Turek is coming from objectively. Do my personal objections simply boil down to the rules we've made for ourselves in Western Civilization? Am I missing something here?

 

I would really appreciate feedback on this, it's bugging me a lot. Thanks for your time!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, for anyone who cares to hear Turek articulate his argument better than me, I've included the URL time stamped where he makes his assertion. Thank you!

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

That part of biological evolution is more accurately described as "survival of the gene pool", which takes into account passing genes more likely to cope with life to the next generation.

 

There are aspects of gene pool survival which Turek is not considering, probably intentionally.  Kin selection, cooperation and altruism often involve behaviors which have nothing to do with "survival of the fittest".  For example, within some species who live in social groups, an elderly female takes care of the young offspring of her sister so the breeding female can search for food.  This elderly female is given extra food by the group to help her survive.

 

Leaving biological evolution, Turek fails to address memetic evolution of species who live in groups and who pass on group knowledge to succeeding generations.  In the human species, memetic evolution is robust and can have a bigger influence than biological evolution (mostly because it happens so fast).  Examples include (i) equal rights for women, (ii) improved rights for the disabled, (iii) assistance for the poor, among many others.  It is from human culture that many of our current morals originate.

 

Short version:  Human morals are not solely sourced from a disingenuous caricature of "survival of the fittest".  Turey is using a strawman fallacy with a side salad of cherry picking to apologize for his sky fairy's immoral actions.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, Frank Turek is wrong.  For humans, survival of the fittest means survival of the tribe.  Humans live and survive as a team.  That team is mother, father, brothers, sisters, grandparents, babies and so on.  That is where we get our love for family.  Our survival depended on it.  And this is where we derive our sense of morality from.  Long before any Bible passage had ever been dreamed up, humans lived in tribes and cherished families.  Actions that helped the family and tribe survive were deemed moral while those that harmed the tribe were deemed immoral.  Religion copied and claimed the morality that flowed from our socialization.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I wanted to get into the argument Turek makes at the timestamp in the video.

 

To paraphrase him:

There is no way to say if a given act is moral or immoral unless there is a standard beyond humanity.  There is a standard beyond everybody that defines what is right.  That standard is God's very nature.  Since objective moral laws exist then there must be an objective moral law giver.

 

Would you agree that this is his argument?

 

I would call the whole thing propaganda.  He ignores the facts and asserts his wishes.  Perhaps Turek is assuming that the US is a Christian nation.  It isn't.  The US is a secular nation.  Most nations are secular.  Laws were created by people rather than some invisible power beyond.  And cultures that evolved in different parts of the world often develop different cultural views on morality.  Some nations were influenced by religion but God is not standard.  Believers all over the world have all kinds of different ideas on who God is, how many Gods there are and what these Gods want.  God is clearly subjective rather than objective.  Religious rules are equally subjective.  Believers from different religions can't agree on a wide range of issues.  It's the opposite of standard.  Finally, if there was an objective moral law giver then we wouldn't be debating his existence.  We could all see the photographs with our own eyes and hear God's voice with our own ears.  Turek's argument is a Christian fantasy.

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

Do my personal objections simply boil down to the rules we've made for ourselves in Western Civilization? Am I missing something here?

 

The previous answers are solid, in my view.

 

My perspective on the part I quoted above is to say "yes". You are objecting on the basis of your personal moral system, which is based on our societal moral system. I can explore this more if you want. Here's a thread that you may find relevant.

 

Also, I really like that debate. It has some of my favourite Hitchens moments.  His closing (around 1:56 mark) is fantastic, as was his response to the question posed at the 1:33 mark. Pure gold.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, sdelsolray said:

That part of biological evolution is more accurately described as "survival of the gene pool", which takes into account passing genes more likely to cope with life to the next generation.

 

There are aspects of gene pool survival which Turek is not considering, probably intentionally.  Kin selection, cooperation and altruism often involve behaviors which have nothing to do with "survival of the fittest".  For example, within some species who live in social groups, an elderly female takes care of the young offspring of her sister so the breeding female can search for food.  This elderly female is given extra food by the group to help her survive.

 

Leaving biological evolution, Turek fails to address memetic evolution of species who live in groups and who pass on group knowledge to succeeding generations.  In the human species, memetic evolution is robust and can have a bigger influence than biological evolution (mostly because it happens so fast).  Examples include (i) equal rights for women, (ii) improved rights for the disabled, (iii) assistance for the poor, among many others.  It is from human culture that many of our current morals originate.

 

Short version:  Human morals are not solely sourced from a disingenuous caricature of "survival of the fittest".  Turey is using a strawman fallacy with a side salad of cherry picking apologize for his sky fairy's fictional immoral actions.

 

I just looked up the term "memetics" and (not only did it blow my mind a bit) but it helped explain to my own brain why I find the social element of morality so compelling. Thanks for this, really, I'll check this out in more detail!

 

3 hours ago, mymistake said:

Yeah, Frank Turek is wrong.  For humans, survival of the fittest means survival of the tribe.  Humans live and survive as a team.  That team is mother, father, brothers, sisters, grandparents, babies and so on.  That is where we get our love for family.  Our survival depended on it.  And this is where we derive our sense of morality from.  Long before any Bible passage had ever been dreamed up, humans lived in tribes and cherished families.  Actions that helped the family and tribe survive were deemed moral while those that harmed the tribe were deemed immoral.  Religion copied and claimed the morality that flowed from our socialization.

 

I can almost hear every apologist I've ever met clucking their tongues and saying to you, "but GAWD wrote it awn yer hawrt."

 

21 minutes ago, mymistake said:

I wanted to get into the argument Turek makes at the timestamp in the video.

 

To paraphrase him:

There is no way to say if a given act is moral or immoral unless there is a standard beyond humanity.  There is a standard beyond everybody that defines what is right.  That standard is God's very nature.  Since objective moral laws exist then there must be an objective moral law giver.

 

Would you agree that this is his argument?

 

I would call the whole thing propaganda.  He ignores the facts and asserts his wishes.  Perhaps Turek is assuming that the US is a Christian nation.  It isn't.  The US is a secular nation.  Most nations are secular.  Laws were created by people rather than some invisible power beyond.  And cultures that evolved in different parts of the world often develop different cultural views on morality.  Some nations were influenced by religion but God is not standard.  Believers all over the world have all kinds of different ideas on who God is, how many Gods there are and what these Gods want.  God is clearly subjective rather than objective.  Religious rules are equally subjective.  Believers from different religions can't agree on a wide range of issues.  It's the opposite of standard.  Finally, if there was an objective moral law giver then we wouldn't be debating his existence.  We could all see the photographs with our own eyes and hear God's voice with our own ears.  Turek's argument is a Christian fantasy.

 

 

Yes, for the record, I think you summarized his argument succinctly. @sdelsolray did a great job providing me with a term to study and now you've also really helped capture the heart of what convinced me about social morality. Even the most basic study of different cultures, to me, showed that morality can in no way be objective. I actually would really like to see a debate where someone puts the burden of proof on the concept of morality's objectivity.

 

18 minutes ago, disillusioned said:

 

The previous answers are solid, in my view.

 

My perspective on the part I quoted above is to say "yes". You are objecting on the basis of your personal moral system, which is based on our societal moral system. I can explore this more if you want. Here's a thread that you may find relevant.

 

Also, I really like that debate. It has some of my favourite Hitchens moments.  His closing (around 1:56 mark) is fantastic, as was his response to the question posed at the 1:33 mark. Pure gold.

 

Thank you for that "yes" hahaha, sometimes that really just helps. That's the direction I was heading in my mental responses to Turek. I'll also check out that thread, I love more reading and exploration of these concepts. I wish everyone in the world could take a cross-cultural class of some kind, it destroys that "West is Best" idea we have of our own morals being objective.....had you seen that debate today or was it new for you? I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I first watched that debate a few years ago, but I re watched it this past summer.

 

Like I said, I'm happy to explore these issues more if you want, here or elsewhere.

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

 

I just looked up the term "memetics" and (not only did it blow my mind a bit) but it helped explain to my own brain why I find the social element of morality so compelling. Thanks for this, really, I'll check this out in more detail!

...

 

 

It also helps to explain why the morals attributed to various historical gods differ.  The morals of the society which invents the god are projected into the god's character.  Many different societies have created gods.  These different societies often had/have different moral rules, which is why the gods are somewhat different.

 

It also explain why many in other societies find immoral behavior in certain gods.  I find some immoral behavior and character traits in the Abrahamic gods.  Examples include (i) punishing offspring for their parents' and earlier ancestors' behavior, (ii) lack of use of democratic principles, (iii) discrimination against women, (iv) intolerance for religious freedom, among many other things.  These behaviors were moral behaviors in the societies who created the various Abrahamic deities.  They are immoral behaviors to most in many modern cultures. 

 

Of course, many of these gods have moral behavior and character traits as well, e.g., prohibition against murder, theft, or lying, helping the unfortunate, raising offspring, among others.  These behaviors are simply more common in human societies, past and present.  There are few who would call those behaviors immoral because they are successful behaviors.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderator

That video was the first ever Atheist/Theist debate I ever watched.

 

I remember thinking That Turek got his arse handed to him. It was also my first into to the great Christopher Hitchens and the almighty Hitchslap.

 

1 hour ago, mymistake said:

To paraphrase him:

There is no way to say if a given act is moral or immoral unless there is a standard beyond humanity.  There is a standard beyond everybody that defines what is right.  That standard is God's very nature.  Since objective moral laws exist then there must be an objective moral law giver.

 

Would you agree that this is his argument?

 

No this is entirely wrong. There is no indication that any morality is objective thus Turek fails in his assertion. He does not demonstrate his claim.  What's more it depends on how he defines morality. What is morality? These best definitions I've heard come from Harris et al who state that at its most basic morality is about human wellbeing and flourishing. When you break it down, anything that is referred to as moral, the person means its good for humans, if its immoral then its bad for humans.

 

1 hour ago, disillusioned said:

My perspective on the part I quoted above is to say "yes". You are objecting on the basis of your personal moral system, which is based on our societal moral system. I can explore this more if you want. Here's a thread that you may find relevant.

 

I would add that a persons morality derives from the same sort place as a persons religion. As disillusioned points out, this is our societal norms. If you are born in western culture, you grow up with western moral norms. If you grow up in Saudi Arabia you'll have different, and what we'd say, at times harmful moral norms.

 

 

1 hour ago, disillusioned said:

 

Also, I really like that debate. It has some of my favourite Hitchens moments.  His closing (around 1:56 mark) is fantastic, as was his response to the question posed at the 1:33 mark. Pure gold.

 

Me too, like I said above, it was my first ever debate I watched.

 

 

By the way, there is a young up and coming atheist on youtube called Cosmic Skeptic (Alex O'Connor). Hi actually did a radio debate with Turek on this subject. Well worth a look.

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

Hi, all! I'm trying to keep melodramatic intros to a minimum....I just always feel like I need to give this long drawn out reason for why I wrestle with things lol.

 

So, I've been enjoying various debates between believing vs. non-believing "greats." There have been a couple debates featuring Frank Turek (he wrote "I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist) and I'm aware of some of the deceptive tactics he uses. Regardless of my distaste for the man, I find the question he posed personally troubling. He basically pointed out that our moral objections to the bible have no grounds outside the bible or a higher being. In an "evolutionary worldview" (lol) it is survival of the fittest, so why we would take issue with the behaviors of god in the bible, etc. I recognize that this is an off-shoot of the "well, where do you get your morality from" argument, but it still struck me as different. He's not saying "Where do you get your morality from," like we're used to hearing, he's saying our moral high ground has no grounds or relevance in a system that celebrates survival of the fittest. Why should I find rape intolerable if it happens in the animal kingdom without the issue of "morals." There are plenty of species where the male forcibly reproduces with the female, it does not appear to be an issue of sentient morality but of animal instinct. I personally hold the view that our morality is socially constructed paired with basic empathy and not wanting to do to others what we would not want to have done to us. Please keep in mind that my education on evolution has been a very slow-going one and is still pretty limited as I work through all the information available in this world. I guess it feels like a bit of cognitive dissonance all over again, I find the behaviors of god reprehensible and yet I feel like I can also acknowledge where Turek is coming from objectively. Do my personal objections simply boil down to the rules we've made for ourselves in Western Civilization? Am I missing something here?

 

I would really appreciate feedback on this, it's bugging me a lot. Thanks for your time!

 

There are more than 2 choices, not just bible morality or evolutionary worldview. And, well evolution is not my worldview, it's a scientific theory about how life evolved.

 

My moral high ground isn't  really survival of the fittest. Like you mentioned, morality is socially constructed and tries to pick and choose from a variety of good ideas in order to make a better life for us all. Evolution is not a system of morality, if that is what Turek is hinting at. Morality here in 2018 is substantially better than the book of Leviticus.

 

Does morality have to come from God or the bible to be legit? Or is Western Civilization morality good enough? Turek and you and I all live the Western Civilization morality anyway.

 

I'd ask for Jesus' take on all this ... but, well  ... he never says anything :)

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, this is the way I see it.  Imagine an ancestral hominid roaming the savanna some 2 million years ago.  It would require the collective senses and intelligence of a group to survive in such an environment.  The benefits of cooperation and caring for the well being of your fellow group member outweighed that of aggression.  Hence, in this scenario what we could call altruism or even "morality" would have evolved.  Overly aggressive individuals and groups would have eliminated themselves from the gene pool.  This is as far as I can probably simplify it.

In fact, I see no reason to complicated further than this.  We have a sense of morality because it's an aggregation of behaviors that were beneficial to our survival for millions of years.

  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

The author you refer to in the OP seems incredibly obtuse. You don't need a book to tell you that harm (such as rape) is wrong. Morality doesn't need a higher authority. We make choices if we choose to live as a society and no society can survive if there aren't rules against harming members of society. 

 

There is a vast body of work on this in the field of philosophy that doesn't rely on anything but basic logic to support concepts of morality. Rousseau argued that morality is based on the general will of society (or that which members generally agree upon, whether subconsciously or overtly). Kant essentially argued that no one would want to live in a world based on theft, murder, etc...  Locke argued that humans are basically decent and that we naturally don't want to live in a society where it's ok to steal my neighbor's chickens and rape his daughters simply because we don't want the neighbor to return the favor. 

 

If you're looking for moral absolutes, then, yeah, you'll need a religious voice of authority. But moral absolutes are kind of stupid and end up leading to great atrocities. The concept of morality, however, is not that complex and humans arrive at it in the same way we learn not to stick forks in wall sockets.  

 

BTW, evolution isn't merely survival of the fittest. There are large numbers of observations in nature where animals cooperate in order to survive. Cooperation is key to morality. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just for fun, the television series The Good Place entertains the question of morality and even explores many of the philosophical greats in an entertaining and simple way. This is basically the foundation of the entire series. It's really a fun watch IMO. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, sdelsolray said:

 

It also helps to explain why the morals attributed to various historical gods differ.  The morals of the society which invents the god are projected into the god's character.  Many different societies have created gods.  These different societies often had/have different moral rules, which is why the gods are somewhat different.

 

It also explain why many in other societies find immoral behavior in certain gods.  I find some immoral behavior and character traits in the Abrahamic gods.  Examples include (i) punishing offspring for their parents' and earlier ancestors' behavior, (ii) lack of use of democratic principles, (iii) discrimination against women, (iv) intolerance for religious freedom, among many other things.  This behaviors were moral behaviors in the societies which created the various Abrahamic deities.  They are immoral behaviors to most in many modern cultures. 

 

Of course, many of these gods have moral behavior and character traits as well, e.g., prohibition against murder, theft, or lying, helping the unfortunate, raising offspring, among others.  These behaviors are simply more common in human societies, past and present.  There are few who would call those behaviors immoral because they are successful behaviors.

 

This is absolutely fascinating. It also, as I was reading, didn't surprise me that much. Like what you're saying makes common sense, even though you worded it in a different way. It just.....makes sense. Not sure why Christians wouldn't be able to see that this explains why the OT God and the NT God (which reflects our current values) and that they are almost completely different characters.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

That video was the first ever Atheist/Theist debate I ever watched.

 

I remember thinking That Turek got his arse handed to him. It was also my first into to the great Christopher Hitchens and the almighty Hitchslap.

 

 

No this is entirely wrong. There is no indication that any morality is objective thus Turek fails in his assertion. He does not demonstrate his claim.  What's more it depends on how he defines morality. What is morality? These best definitions I've heard come from Harris et al who state that at its most basic morality is about human wellbeing and flourishing. When you break it down, anything that is referred to as moral, the person means its good for humans, if its immoral then its bad for humans.

 

 

I would add that a persons morality derives from the same sort place as a persons religion. As disillusioned points out, this is our societal norms. If you are born in western culture, you grow up with western moral norms. If you grow up in Saudi Arabia you'll have different, and what we'd say, at times harmful moral norms.

 

 

 

Me too, like I said above, it was my first ever debate I watched.

 

 

By the way, there is a young up and coming atheist on youtube called Cosmic Skeptic (Alex O'Connor). Hi actually did a radio debate with Turek on this subject. Well worth a look.

 

 

 

Thanks, LF, I'll check it out! I have already watched half of this and I think I got interrupted or something, I don't remember finishing it. As I watched the debate with Hitch and Turek, all I could think to myself was "No, Turek is wrong and it feels like he's misrepresenting things" but I couldn't but my finger on it. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by Turek because he throws so much info at you and presents what he says as just common sense fact. It's easy to completely miss how deceptive he can be. All I could think was "There is objective morality" sounds like an assertion with no basis and I am not convinced of it's existence. If I'd been in that debate, that is likely the approach I would have taken.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, midniterider said:

 

There are more than 2 choices, not just bible morality or evolutionary worldview. And, well evolution is not my worldview, it's a scientific theory about how life evolved.

 

My moral high ground isn't  really survival of the fittest. Like you mentioned, morality is socially constructed and tries to pick and choose from a variety of good ideas in order to make a better life for us all. Evolution is not a system of morality, if that is what Turek is hinting at. Morality here in 2018 is substantially better than the book of Leviticus.

 

Does morality have to come from God or the bible to be legit? Or is Western Civilization morality good enough? Turek and you and I all live the Western Civilization morality anyway.

 

I'd ask for Jesus' take on all this ... but, well  ... he never says anything :)

 

I see where you're coming from, his leap from objective morality is not convincing to me in the slightest. But I was troubled, as someone who tends to stay pretty true to "agnostic" where I just don't think we can know either way, I wasn't sure what I thought about a deity in general. "Turek and you and I all live the Western Civilization morality" is exactly what I was thinking. Which brings me back to its objectivity. It makes me feel better that you were picking up on that too.

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, RealityCheck said:

Hmm, this is the way I see it.  Imagine an ancestral hominid roaming the savanna some 2 million years ago.  It would require the collective senses and intelligence of a group to survive in such an environment.  The benefits of cooperation and caring for the well being of your fellow group member outweighed that of aggression.  Hence, in this scenario what we could call altruism or even "morality" would have evolved.  Overly aggressive individuals and groups would have eliminated themselves from the gene pool.  This is as far as I can probably simplify it.

In fact, I see no reason to complicated further than this.  We have a sense of morality because it's an aggregation of behaviors that were beneficial to our survival for millions of years.

 

This makes complete sense to me. I'm still learning about evolution, but this was "well-simplified" for me lol. I tend to be a "complicator of things" so I appreciate the reminder to stick to Occam's Razor lol.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Vigile said:

The author you refer to in the OP seems incredibly obtuse. You don't need a book to tell you that harm (such as rape) is wrong. Morality doesn't need a higher authority. We make choices if we choose to live as a society and no society can survive if there aren't rules against harming members of society. 

 

There is a vast body of work on this in the field of philosophy that doesn't rely on anything but basic logic to support concepts of morality. Rousseau argued that morality is based on the general will of society (or that which members generally agree upon, whether subconsciously or overtly). Kant essentially argued that no one would want to live in a world based on theft, murder, etc...  Locke argued that humans are basically decent and that we naturally don't want to live in a society where it's ok to steal my neighbor's chickens and rape his daughters simply because we don't want the neighbor to return the favor. 

 

If you're looking for moral absolutes, then, yeah, you'll need a religious voice of authority. But moral absolutes are kind of stupid and end up leading to great atrocities. The concept of morality, however, is not that complex and humans arrive at it in the same way we learn not to stick forks in wall sockets.  

 

BTW, evolution isn't merely survival of the fittest. There are large numbers of observations in nature where animals cooperate in order to survive. Cooperation is key to morality. 

 

I think what confuses me most about your argument, though I still find it compelling, is that the latent apologist in me (though I am slowly suffocating it) wants to question why humans seem so different than other mammals. I've been trained from birth to not accept evolution as an acceptable answer for this even though the better part of me is happy to accept that evolution explains it even if I don't understand it. I just don't see why there seems to be a deep "moral" objection in me as opposed to "acceptance of the rules as part of the society." Does this make sense? I completely agree with your summary of Kant's argument though, that makes sense. My extremely limited understanding of atoms and how we've evolved and how life came to be does not satisfactorily explain our sentience in the pool of seemingly non-sentient animals. 

 

7 hours ago, Vigile said:

Just for fun, the television series The Good Place entertains the question of morality and even explores many of the philosophical greats in an entertaining and simple way. This is basically the foundation of the entire series. It's really a fun watch IMO. 

 

I'll have to check this out! I like shows like that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ag_NO_stic said:

 

I think what confuses me most about your argument, though I still find it compelling, is that the latent apologist in me (though I am slowly suffocating it) wants to question why humans seem so different than other mammals. I've been trained from birth to not accept evolution as an acceptable answer for this even though the better part of me is happy to accept that evolution explains it even if I don't understand it. I just don't see why there seems to be a deep "moral" objection in me as opposed to "acceptance of the rules as part of the society." Does this make sense? I completely agree with your summary of Kant's argument though, that makes sense. My extremely limited understanding of atoms and how we've evolved and how life came to be does not satisfactorily explain our sentience in the pool of seemingly non-sentient animals. 

 

 

I'll have to check this out! I like shows like that.

 

I am a bit confused. I'm not so sure humans are all that different from other animals. Different species of animals behave in different ways. We are a different species. We share many characteristics and then have many that are also unique, just like virtually all other species so our differences make us the same if that makes sense. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you. 

Anyway, it stands to reason that with a more highly developed intellectual ability would come more complex rules and rituals. I personally think Rousseau is the one that best nailed human morality. We're social creatures and we develop a common system of rules within our groups. This doesn't mean the rules are arbitrary or without intrinsic value. Very much the opposite. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Vigile said:

 

I am a bit confused. I'm not so sure humans are all that different from other animals. Different species of animals behave in different ways. We are a different species. We share many characteristics and then have many that are also unique, just like virtually all other species so our differences make us the same if that makes sense. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you. 

Anyway, it stands to reason that with a more highly developed intellectual ability would come more complex rules and rituals. I personally think Rousseau is the one that best nailed human morality. We're social creatures and we develop a common system of rules within our groups. This doesn't mean the rules are arbitrary or without intrinsic value. Very much the opposite. 

 

Hopefully this point does not come across as sarcasm or being a jerk. I guess I just don't see many elephants dressing up in their Sunday best for elephant church to worship an elephant savior. Or dressing in in little elephant suits and going to their little elephant justice system and standing in front of an elephant judge to determine if an elephant criminal will go elephant prison. Or elephants inventing televisions and then marketing to other elephants for capitalistic gain or whatever. If we're super advanced and I'm just stupid, I can accept that. I am referring to the sentience that seems to mark so much of our social behavior as opposed to just instinct. I really am ignorant about evolution, for the record, I'm not trying to be an asshole.

 

I am following what you're saying for the record. In all seriousness, for all I know elephants (and other animals for that matter) have their own social behaviors that make no sense to us since we're not in that social group. Our social behaviors don't really affect other animals that much, they have their own systems.

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, ag_NO_stic said:

 

Hopefully this point does not come across as sarcasm or being a jerk. I guess I just don't see many elephants dressing up in their Sunday best for elephant church to worship an elephant savior. Or dressing in in little elephant suits and going to their little elephant justice system and standing in front of an elephant judge to determine if an elephant criminal will go elephant prison. Or elephants inventing televisions and then marketing to other elephants for capitalistic gain or whatever. If we're super advanced and I'm just stupid, I can accept that. I am referring to the sentience that seems to mark so much of our social behavior as opposed to just instinct. I really am ignorant about evolution, for the record, I'm not trying to be an asshole.

 

I am following what you're saying for the record. In all seriousness, for all I know elephants (and other animals for that matter) have their own social behaviors that make no sense to us since we're not in that social group. Our social behaviors don't really affect other animals that much, they have their own systems.

 

Humans have the highest developed mental capacity, for sure, and as I mentioned, this is reflected by the fact that we have more complex rituals and rules as well. Other animals are better adapted to their environments than we are in different ways. What I'm trying to stress here is that just because we have a more developed intellectual capacity does not mean that we are necessarily designed or that we are very special, except for perhaps just in our own eyes. It just means we developed a different survival mechanism than, say bears or sharks have. We branched out in a different direction. Time will tell if that's a long term advantage or disadvantage. Right now, it's looking like a big disadvantage. Sharks have been around for millions of years in virtually the same form. Humans have been around for a few hundred thousand and we're already at risk of destroying our eco system, and as such, ourselves. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Vigile said:

 

Humans have the highest developed mental capacity, for sure, and as I mentioned, this is reflected by the fact that we have more complex rituals and rules as well. Other animals are better adapted to their environments than we are in different ways. What I'm trying to stress here is that just because we have a more developed intellectual capacity does not mean that we are necessarily designed or that we are very special, except for perhaps just in our own eyes. It just means we developed a different survival mechanism than, say bears or sharks have. We branched out in a different direction. Time will tell if that's a long term advantage or disadvantage. Right now, it's looking like a big disadvantage. Sharks have been around for millions of years in virtually the same form. Humans have been around for a few hundred thousand and we're already at risk of destroying our eco system, and as such, ourselves. 

 

How fascinating, I love learning all this. Thanks for your patience, I readily accept my ignorance on this topic lol.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.