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09:20 PM on 07/23/12 
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richter915
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Male - 28 Years Old
you're on the right track there. The scientific/biological explanation of morality does relate to an ironic drive for the survival and procreation of oneself and what is most similar to oneself i.e. family/groups. It's an extension of kin selection - the idea that those who surround us most and those who are most like us will increase our chance of mating and our chances of growing the species. The biological basis of that seems to relate to the idea of imprinting - associating and surrounding oneself with those with whom they are first exposed to during a certain infantile "critical period". This critical period is an amount of time in which our brains are extremely plastic and susceptible to change but after this period, the brain is more permanent.

To summarize - after animals are born they biologically will associate best with what's around them and assume that those around them are there for their own safety. Humans will often positively experience humans after birth and develop a sense of safety and eventual superiority about the human species (humans will see other humans kill non-humans for their survival - we are better than non-humans). This leads to a thinking that if I kill my own family, and by extension, other humans, it will hinder my own survival and chances of procreating. Essentially, there is something "wrong" in killing other humans. That is morality.

Be aware that there are hundreds of examples of humans breaching this biological protocol - genocide, racism. In those cases, humans perceive insecurity among those humans who least resemble even themselves (i.e. dark bodies, middle-eastern features). Also be aware that some humans who are racist and prejudice often claim they are holy and obeying god. For example, 19th century racism towards Jews in Western Europe often rooted in the Bible's portrayal of Jews as Jesus's killer (deicide).
11:02 AM on 07/24/12 
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badger52683
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The conscience may have been a biblical concept, but it's not like pre-biblical humans didn't have one (they just might not have had a name for it). You say "we know [murder is] wrong even if nobody told us it is"--my point is that there doesn't need to be a connection to a higher power to know that killing somebody is wrong. I was taught morality from examples by my parents and those around me, but as for the "deep down" innate feeling...I don't definitively know where that comes from originally (I imagine that at some point our brains gained the capacity to understand the concepts of "good" and "bad"), only that it's present and common in all most people. I feel happy when I help somebody because I see their happiness and share in that feeling. I feel guilty when I do wrong because I see the consequences of that action. Psychologically, it's a punishment/reward system.

However, having morality doesn't necessarily separate us from animals. Animals need to have a sense of right and wrong (whether conscious or unconscious) in order to live in families/groups, work together, care for young, etc. Without one there would be chaos.

Right, there doesn't need to be a connection to know it is wrong. I think that's the point of Romans 2. He's saying that old civilizations that did not have scripture still had a sense of right and wrong because the law of morality is written on their heart to an extent, and those people will be held accountable for their actions. It's not perfect though, and the conscience will eventually be continually hardened from sin that is committed in a person's life. Societies as well can become extraordinarily wicked. I believe that we have to rely on scripture to fill in the blanks.

If morality does not come from God, then it must come from man. Our brains must have created it, and if that is the case then it doesn't really have meaning other than some evolutionary process for survival like we see with the animals. I can't accept that.
11:05 AM on 07/24/12 
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The Personist
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No, but seriously, Foucault is awesome. Discipline and Punish was great.

By the way, long time no speak.

I haven't read Discipline and Punish all the way through yet! I suck. But it's on my list of things to read. His lectures are really great and a nice supplement to his published books.

And yeah, I was away from AP for a looooong time. How's it goign?
11:11 AM on 07/24/12 
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caveBEAR
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If morality does not come from God, then it must come from man. Our brains must have created it, and if that is the case then it doesn't really have meaning other than some evolutionary process for survival like we see with the animals. I can't accept that.


Why?
11:22 AM on 07/24/12 
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badger52683
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Because it doesn't make sense to me. Who are you to say what the "biological protocol" should be? How can we say that the Nazis were wrong in what they were doing? Hitler was doing what he thought was right. He wanted a superior race and thought everybody else was holding us (humans) back in the evolutionary process.

Your brain is not my brain, and if my brain says its ok to exterminate a weaker human, how can you tell me that it is wrong?

I just think good and evil is more than physical or biological. It's spiritual, and that makes sense to me.
11:44 AM on 07/24/12 
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richter915
@Richter915
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Because it doesn't make sense to me.
Literature and the internet are great. That's kind of why this discussion exists, there are conflicting explanations and neither party truly "gets" the logic of the other.

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Who are you to say what the "biological protocol" should be?
I am no authority as a person because anything I say is pure opinion but with varying degrees of physical evidence. However, decades of scientific testing tend to favor the physics (but yes, cannot discount god). Be aware that science is never absolute, from hypotheses to laws, nothing is absolute. If that is enough to dissuade you from physical explanations, so be it. Realize, though, that the same logic can be applied to religion and faith.

Quote:
How can we say that the Nazis were wrong in what they were doing? Hitler was doing what he thought was right. He wanted a superior race and thought everybody else was holding us (humans) back in the evolutionary process.
Nazis do not perceive non-Aryans as human and, as such, find their actions are moral. It's akin to killing an animal that is trying to hurt you because you want to ensure your own survival and procreation. Since non-Aryans are in fact human, their actions are detrimental to the species and part of why it can be considered "wrong".

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Your brain is not my brain, and if my brain says its ok to exterminate a weaker human, how can you tell me that it is wrong?
Because the basis of your opinion ultimately harms other humans and potentially puts me in danger. This generates internal fear and distrust and this activates fear responses. Even that simple feeling of discomfort is a biological signal of wrongness.

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I just think good and evil is more than physical or biological. It's spiritual, and that makes sense to me.
But do you acknowledge how "it's spiritual" is simply not enough for others?
11:45 AM on 07/24/12 
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caveBEAR
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Because it doesn't make sense to me. Who are you to say what the "biological protocol" should be? How can we say that the Nazis were wrong in what they were doing? Hitler was doing what he thought was right. He wanted a superior race and thought everybody else was holding us (humans) back in the evolutionary process.

Your brain is not my brain, and if my brain says its ok to exterminate a weaker human, how can you tell me that it is wrong?

I just think good and evil is more than physical or biological. It's spiritual, and that makes sense to me.

This ^^ is all bullshit. I don't believe in god, especially not the 'Christian' god; does this mean I'm exempt from 'biblical' morals?

We know what the Nazis did was wrong because a majority of people say it was. Is stealing wrong? Is stealing music online wrong? Is stealing food to survive wrong?

You want morality to be black and white, nice and simple, when it couldn't be further from that.
11:51 AM on 07/24/12 
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caveBEAR
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Serious question: how do you rectify your gun collection (to 'repel an invasion') with 'turn the other cheek'?
11:52 AM on 07/24/12 
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richter915
@Richter915
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Male - 28 Years Old
This ^^ is all bullshit. I don't believe in god, especially not the 'Christian' god; does this mean I'm exempt from 'biblical' morals?
in the eyes of Christians, one who does not have faith lacks the ability to be good and lacks morality. I disagree with this.

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We know what the Nazis did was wrong because a majority of people say it was. Is stealing wrong? Is stealing music online wrong? Is stealing food to survive wrong?
Not really. Everybody owns a mac device, therefore Apple must make the best computers. Mob rule does not define right and wrong. Realize that prior to the Holocaust, anti-Semitism was accepted in the majority of Western nations. Much different from the world today. I think that through evolution, morality grew out of a necessity to maintain the species. Defining "species" ranges due to the things i mentioned above and leads us down "immoral" paths.
11:54 AM on 07/24/12 
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jawstheme
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in the eyes of Christians, one who does not have faith lacks the ability to be good and lacks morality. I disagree with this.

This is bullshit.
11:55 AM on 07/24/12 
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caveBEAR
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in the eyes of Christians, one who does not have faith lacks the ability to be good and lacks morality. I disagree with this.

You disagree with me or you disagree that people without faith lack morality?
11:57 AM on 07/24/12 
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richter915
@Richter915
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Right, there doesn't need to be a connection to know it is wrong. I think that's the point of Romans 2. He's saying that old civilizations that did not have scripture still had a sense of right and wrong because the law of morality is written on their heart to an extent, and those people will be held accountable for their actions. It's not perfect though, and the conscience will eventually be continually hardened from sin that is committed in a person's life. Societies as well can become extraordinarily wicked. I believe that we have to rely on scripture to fill in the blanks.
This is simply another way of saying "learned from experiences which hurt oneself and others". Those experiences can be done and learned from without scripture and divine intervention.

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If morality does not come from God, then it must come from man. Our brains must have created it, and if that is the case then it doesn't really have meaning other than some evolutionary process for survival like we see with the animals. I can't accept that.
I think you have to be wary of words like "creation" because it implies something from nothing. Mammalian brains do not "create" thoughts and opinions.

Why can you not accept scientific evidence? In all seriousness, I'd like to know your reasoning because upwards of half of this country thinks along those lines.
11:57 AM on 07/24/12 
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richter915
@Richter915
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Male - 28 Years Old
You disagree with me or you disagree that people without faith lack morality?
having faith is a necessity for morality.
12:03 PM on 07/24/12 
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caveBEAR
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having faith is a necessity for morality.

You believe that?
12:04 PM on 07/24/12 
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richter915
@Richter915
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Male - 28 Years Old
lol no i'm saying i disagree with the idea that to be moral one must have faith.



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