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Re: [creation_evolution_debate] How does a moral code derive from atheism? Leon, let's continue! And Neil!

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  • Leon Albert, Prof. of Anthropology, ret.
    ... From: Rick Ross To: creation_evolution_debate@yahoogroups.com Sent: Saturday, November 20, 2004 12:22 PM Subject: [creation_evolution_debate] How does a
    Message 1 of 349 , Dec 1, 2004
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Rick Ross
      Sent: Saturday, November 20, 2004 12:22 PM
      Subject: [creation_evolution_debate] How does a moral code derive from atheism? Leon, let's continue! And Neil!


      --- drvr2hrdwr <drvr2hrdwr@...> wrote:

      >
      >   ----- Original Message -----
      >   From: Rick Ross
      >   > Leon: Virtually all known culturally
      >   > institutionalized forms of cannibalism
      >   > known to cultural anthropology are viewed by
      > their
      >   > practioners as highly
      >   > moral RELIGIOUS actions. The same holds for the
      >   > "survival strategies" of
      >   > obtaining food.
      >
      >   Rick: That's exactly my point.And are you saying
      > moral
      >   values differ from group to group, and from
      > species to
      >   species? If so, I again challenge you by saying
      >   morality is no more then an elaborate illusion
      >   constructed by Homo sapiens to keep Homo sapiens
      > from
      >   expressing parts of their true nature.
      > Neil5:  Rick, this is perhaps like saying that our
      > written laws are an illusion that we have
      > constructed to prevent citizens from expressing
      > their true nature, which is to rape, pillage, and
      > plunder.

        Rick: That's exactly correct. If those things we
      idenify as immoral behavior was not widely intrinsic,
      but rather rare, we wouldn't require so many laws on
      the books, nor would we require large police forces tp
      protect.
       
      Leon: "Laws" and "police forces" LONG predated their "formulation" in so-called "civilizations!" They are built into our very human nature in ALL known cultures. BOTH "immoral" and "moral" behavior are "widely intrinsic," as you appear to recognize ONLY for "immoral" behavor, Rick. You evidently have no problem as all in seeing humans as innately "immoral." Why all the difficulty with recognizing the corresponding innateness of "morality?" 
       
      >And under given conditions what you consider
      the moral model of a person, we all know in the
      condition can behave in an immoral way.

      If an animal is able to steal a piece of food from one
      of it's own species, is that immoral behavior, or
      simply survival behavior?
       
      Leon: It's simply survival behavior, UNTIL one sees it occuring in the IN-GROUPS of humans and chimps. THERE, we see "begging" behavior by the "have nots."
       
      >If a human steals food from
      another human - given the previous example - is it
      immoral. I hope you're getting my point!
       
      Leon: Ah, but it's NOT immoral IF the human steals the food from a member of an OUT-GROUP! I hope your getting MY point, Rick!


      > Codes of behavior are quite real, I'm don't quite
      > see how you find them to be illusions.  Altruistic
      > behavior is observed in social species from insects
      > to us.  Selfish behavior is also observed in those
      > same species.

        Rick: Codes of behavior are quite real; we agree!
      What we don't agree on is the illusionary value
      society has put on them - called morality. The only
      reason what you call morality is even in play is we
      don't annilate each. Nothing to do with "good" or
      "bad", only "survival", so we can procreate!
       
      Leon: May we then take it that you DON'T take mere human "survival" as a "good" thing, Rick, but as being ALSO an "illusionary value?" Do you consider ALL things characterized as "good" to be ipso facto "illusionary social values?" If not, please give us an example of something that is "good" that is NOT such an "illusionary social value?"  

      Rick: Altruistic," interesting word." Okay Neil, lets
      see if you can give an example of the word that does
      not utimately does serve survival.
       
      Leon: WHOSE or WHAT'S "survival," Rick? If I sacrifice my self for my group, am I not contributing to the groups' survival? And, may the group not thereby probably pass on the "memes" that *I* valued, or may have even created? 

      > I don't understand why you consider altruistic
      > behavior to be an illusion.

      Rick:  Because in reality, the genes which is
      reponsible for this, and all behavior, selfishly uses
      it for  one purpose only, survival and procreation.
      Again, give your examples of altruistic behavior
       
      Leon: Surely you are not "reifying" Dawkins' "selfish gene concept, Rick, and picturing genes as being CONSCIOUSLY "selfish" agents?

      >
      >     Rick: Again, that's my point, the use the illusion
      >   of morality is nothing less then a tool to justify and
      >   control our behavior.
       
      Leon: Exactly WHO IS USING this alleged "tool," to "justify and control our behavior,"  Rick?

      > Neil5:  Cultural adaptation has become the dominate
      > adaptive mechanism in our species.  Other species
      > must adapt genetically or become extinct in the face
      > of an environment becoming hostile.  We have the
      > ability to adapt culturally to enhance survivability
      > under changing conditions.
      >
      > Since it is human behavior that most greatly
      > threatens human survival it is necessary to use
      > cultural adaptation to control self destructive
      > human behavior.  If we wait for our DNA to catch up
      > to world conditions it will be to late for most of
      > us to survive.
      >
      > I prefer the cultural adaptation of laws and
      > behavioral codes to the genetic method whereby we
      > would just kill each other off until only a very few
      > of the strongest individuals were left standing.
      >

        Rick: As long as you're frasing it as above, I have
      no objections; we agree!

      Rick:My objections are, when moral, immoral, good and
      bad are fed into the equation. That when I have a
      problem!
      >   >
      >   > Leon: This is not true for humans especially.
      > Humans
      >   > not uncommonly actually
      >   > die rather than behave immorally.
      >
      >
      >   Rick: Not uncommonly, I want examples!
      > Neil5:  Suicide pilots of WWII and Suicide bombers
      > of today consider themselves to be acting out of the
      > highly moral code of struggling for the survival of
      > their own people and at the behest of their own
      > Gods.

        Rick: I'll give you the same answer I gave Leon.
      Survival and procreation take priority over
      everything. If these indivduals have a higher
      priotriy,selection takes care of them, in what you
      described above. It's a good bet there were not too
      many japanese General that performed this act.
       
      Leon: Actually, Japanese PRIZED and PRAISED suicide, ESPECIALLY in failed leaders. They EXPECTED to perform hari kari! So much for genetic survival being over-ridden by learned cultural values!


      >   And sorry Leon, the mechanics of evolution say
      > you're
      >   wrong! Survival and procreation takes precedence
      > over
      >   everything.
      > Neil5:  This was true for individuals until certain
      > species evolved instinctive (genetic) altruism.
      > This has become even less true for individuals as
      > advanced species developed cultural altruism as a
      > net species survival strategy.

        Rick: The problem is, in todays world, currently,
      your example does not hold up. My example for why it
      does not hold: The middle east! Us, them, same
      species! 

      Leon: With reference to morality, Rick, it is your example that does not hold up. This is because morality only makes sense with reference to cultural in-groups, and there are no cultures that take the entire species as the in-group. In fact, the common pattern is to treat members of other cultures as not even being really human!
       
    • J ROONEY
      Dear Randy C. Thank you for your acknowledgement. Yours, monk. P.S. I have the utmost respect for your high intelligence quotient .
      Message 349 of 349 , Nov 10, 2008
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        Dear Randy C.

        Thank you for your acknowledgement.

        Yours,

        monk.

        P.S. I have the utmost respect for your high 'intelligence quotient'.

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