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Skeptical Morality


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#31    Amalthe

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:18 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 05 November 2012 - 08:17 AM, said:


Personally, Ii think people who demonstrate an inabilty to control emotional responses in such cases are a danger to others and should be locked up until they demonstrate they have learned to control their responses.

Ask WHY your brain doesnt "automatically" say, "Anger is wrong, dangerous and counter productive." and then ensure that it does.

Of course if you know he is a real pervert then stronger action is required, but there are still safer ways of dealing with such a situation. People need to think such things through BEFORE finding themselves in such a scenario, and plan alternative and better  responses. Otherwise you might end up in prison for years, when it was totally avoidable, and someone else will get your girl anyway.


Such thinking is more attribute of computer program, and less of human. For instance you can make program in a way to predict what ever possible things user will input, and if you cover it all, your program will not fail when user inputs text into numerical field. But humans and events that go in our lives are much more complex and unpredictable. I would really be amazed if anyone could develop  scenario for every possible situation that we might get into. I don't say planning is bad, because it makes you more prepared for things, but you will always have situations where you have to make decision at the spot, and then it's all up to strenght of your character and your emotions.


#32    Mr Walker

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 12:22 PM

View PostAmalthe, on 05 November 2012 - 09:18 AM, said:

Such thinking is more attribute of computer program, and less of human. For instance you can make program in a way to predict what ever possible things user will input, and if you cover it all, your program will not fail when user inputs text into numerical field. But humans and events that go in our lives are much more complex and unpredictable. I would really be amazed if anyone could develop  scenario for every possible situation that we might get into. I don't say planning is bad, because it makes you more prepared for things, but you will always have situations where you have to make decision at the spot, and then it's all up to strenght of your character and your emotions.
Computer programmes are based on human logic and intellect, Humans are quite capable of logical and rational thought Of course humans are not perfect or infallible but they are a hell of a lot more capable in potential than most of them ever exercise,

And thats my point. We teach each child to speak read and write and to think and devlop a modicum of self control. These are all learned atributes based on innate potentials. So is emotional discipline. In a modern urbanised and densely packed society we MUST teach children how to respond with logic and intelligence rather than emotion.

  Emotions are good when they are cathartic, productive or creative, but they can lead to destructive and tragic outcomes if left unchecked. Modern people, society, and laws, do much better in this than they once did. For example it was once a legal defence to kill another  person in a crime of passion. It no longer is. The law expects us to maintain control even when emotionally provoked. ANd most jurisdictions no longer allow a defence based on being too drunk or drug affected to act rationally, because it is assumed the person had responsibilty for becoming incapacitated while still sober, and is thus also responsible for actions taken while inebriated.

If you have contriol of your emotions it doesnt really matter what scenario develops. because you won't lose control, but visualisation of alternative options is a very useful strategy in every aspect of ones life. It makes one constanlty aware that we always have many potential options from which to chose, rather  than just one path, which we are lead  by the nose to inevitably fulfil.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#33    Magicjax

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 06:21 AM

I think we do have an instinct to kill for the same reasons other species do on our planet (animals). Humans would kill an intruder of their territory just like animals do. Humans will and do kill for food. We'd kill to protect member of our packs/family's.

The difference is we've developed the ability to build societies with built in methods to prevent the need to kill like animals do in the wild. Instead of just killing any animal (or even other humans) for food. We farm it. Instead of automatically thinking to kill an intruder of our territory. We have weapons, technology and police which usually gives us a level of safe guards and other options besides just killing to resolve the situation.

Just my take. We're moral because we have the intelligence to perceive the pain we could inflict in others. And a society that usually not only allows us to be moral. It encourages it because we can perceive that society works better when we get along.

Edited by Magicjax, 06 November 2012 - 06:23 AM.

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#34    Jinxdom

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 06:32 AM

Hardly we are immoral because we have intelligence. Humans are the only animal who will actually do nothing in some situations.

I'll use pacifists for instance. How exactly is letting yourself get pounded in to oblivion being good without fighting back? Pacifism leaves you only one option in the end and that is to be dominated.

Animals kill to survive. If you threaten an animal it will warn you to back off first. It will give you that choice. If you do not it will fight you. If it has to it will kill you. That is morality in its purest form.

Edited by Jinxdom, 06 November 2012 - 06:38 AM.


#35    Mr Walker

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 09:26 AM

View PostJinxdom, on 06 November 2012 - 06:32 AM, said:

Hardly we are immoral because we have intelligence. Humans are the only animal who will actually do nothing in some situations.

I'll use pacifists for instance. How exactly is letting yourself get pounded in to oblivion being good without fighting back? Pacifism leaves you only one option in the end and that is to be dominated.

Animals kill to survive. If you threaten an animal it will warn you to back off first. It will give you that choice. If you do not it will fight you. If it has to it will kill you. That is morality in its purest form.
We are moral and immoral because we can be. Animals are neither moral or immoral. they have no choices in their responses, because they are driven by biologic and genetic imperatives of which they are not even aware, let alone capable of understanding and controlling.

Not all animals are as you describe. Certain primates kill not only any rival males, but all the young male offspring of the females, and then ensure that their own progeny is created and  survives in as many of the fertile females as there are in the group .

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#36    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 03:15 PM

View PostJinxdom, on 06 November 2012 - 06:32 AM, said:

Hardly we are immoral because we have intelligence. Humans are the only animal who will actually do nothing in some situations.

I'll use pacifists for instance. How exactly is letting yourself get pounded in to oblivion being good without fighting back? Pacifism leaves you only one option in the end and that is to be dominated.

Animals kill to survive. If you threaten an animal it will warn you to back off first. It will give you that choice. If you do not it will fight you. If it has to it will kill you. That is morality in its purest form.

I believe you are correct - To add ..There are some animals that show love to their young and their owners too..  I call that moral..

If you read this...http://www.dailymail...ome-safety.html

If a human does that, they are considered doing a good moral act.. so I say same goes for the dog  and any other animals that value and show love and protection for their young

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#37    redhen

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 06:37 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 06 November 2012 - 09:26 AM, said:

We are moral and immoral because we can be. Animals are neither moral or immoral. they have no choices in their responses, because they are driven by biologic and genetic imperatives of which they are not even aware, let alone capable of understanding and controlling.

Not so. From page 1 of this thread;


http://www.ted.com/t...ave_morals.html


#38    Jinxdom

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:27 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 06 November 2012 - 09:26 AM, said:

We are moral and immoral because we can be. Animals are neither moral or immoral. they have no choices in their responses, because they are driven by biologic and genetic imperatives of which they are not even aware, let alone capable of understanding and controlling.

Not all animals are as you describe. Certain primates kill not only any rival males, but all the young male offspring of the females, and then ensure that their own progeny is created and  survives in as many of the fertile females as there are in the group .

You speak as if I meant to say my generalization as an absolute. Then try to use that as proof that I am wrong then do the same exact thing. The only thing that will ever be 100% is death. No word or title or phrase can cover the entire base of what something is 100% of the time.

I see the exact behavior every time a new generation of cats is brought in to my parents home. If the male cats wins the babies die if the mother wins the male cat is driven off or killed. I literally seen this about 15 times over 15 generations. Some male cats understand that the young will eventually more in control then the older so they do something completely different to make sure they can still stay in the house they take care of all the kittens so when they get older the kittens do the same to them. This is hilarious by the way the new Alpha here the most successful His name is Buddy learned this instead of beating an up and comer  in to leaving he holds them down and starts cleaning them. Which is why he has been the most dominate cat in the household for over 10 generations. (He's 12 btw)

Like in everything some parents are good, some parents are bad... (well damn isn't that morality) even in animals


How are primates any different then us Humans besides being a little more hairy? Lack of art Money, Art, society, government?

http://www.zmescienc...onkey-appeared/  Money
http://www.dailymail...-worth-250.html Art

Do I really need to prove society and government to you? I mean they do live in groups and follow somebody some sort of leader alpha or themselves.

Looks almost human if they weren't so furry and cute when they don't fling poo around(In it's base form flinging poo is just called politics).

People put too much power in to things they cannot control. Life and death are two things that you cannot control. Life is created randomly(Sex doesn't always lead to conception which doesn't always lead to being born alive If I need to explain it any further then that there is no hope for you) and death is inevitable. The only reason why people try to put morality on that base is to control people in to doing what they want by guilt.


You notice how I didn't say you were wrong completely? It's from simple morality knowing that nothing is completely absolute.


#39    Mr Walker

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:23 AM

View Postredhen, on 06 November 2012 - 06:37 PM, said:

Not so. From page 1 of this thread;


http://www.ted.com/t...ave_morals.html
No those  behaviours demonstrated on the film are also biological imperatives or learned responses which have evolved. This includes forms of social behaviour particulalrly those demonstrated by other primates.. If animals had human type understandings they would first have to have human type linguistic skils because the concpetual understandings require  quite complex language and second, they would demonstrate the other indicators of such awareness like spirituality religion etc., which animals do not.  As humans, who have such self awareness and understandings, we tend to attribute them to  other animals which are acting not from intellectual intent or conscious thought, but from inbuilt and learned drivers. Otherwise a chimp who killed could be charged with murder.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#40    Mr Walker

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:33 AM

View PostJinxdom, on 07 November 2012 - 07:27 AM, said:

You speak as if I meant to say my generalization as an absolute. Then try to use that as proof that I am wrong then do the same exact thing. The only thing that will ever be 100% is death. No word or title or phrase can cover the entire base of what something is 100% of the time.

I see the exact behavior every time a new generation of cats is brought in to my parents home. If the male cats wins the babies die if the mother wins the male cat is driven off or killed. I literally seen this about 15 times over 15 generations. Some male cats understand that the young will eventually more in control then the older so they do something completely different to make sure they can still stay in the house they take care of all the kittens so when they get older the kittens do the same to them. This is hilarious by the way the new Alpha here the most successful His name is Buddy learned this instead of beating an up and comer  in to leaving he holds them down and starts cleaning them. Which is why he has been the most dominate cat in the household for over 10 generations. (He's 12 btw)

Like in everything some parents are good, some parents are bad... (well damn isn't that morality) even in animals


How are primates any different then us Humans besides being a little more hairy? Lack of art Money, Art, society, government?

http://www.zmescienc...onkey-appeared/  Money
http://www.dailymail...-worth-250.html Art

Do I really need to prove society and government to you? I mean they do live in groups and follow somebody some sort of leader alpha or themselves.

Looks almost human if they weren't so furry and cute when they don't fling poo around(In it's base form flinging poo is just called politics).

People put too much power in to things they cannot control. Life and death are two things that you cannot control. Life is created randomly(Sex doesn't always lead to conception which doesn't always lead to being born alive If I need to explain it any further then that there is no hope for you) and death is inevitable. The only reason why people try to put morality on that base is to control people in to doing what they want by guilt.


You notice how I didn't say you were wrong completely? It's from simple morality knowing that nothing is completely absolute.

Other animals do not have the capacity for speech. Human level thought and all it entails is co- dependent on quite sophisticated speech which constructs conceptual and theoretical images symbols and concpets. Human level thought is directly and inherently tied to our ability to speak. All our inner dialogues thoughts etc are in speech form.

Animals which can;t speak cant think like humans . Humans who lack the mental capacity (through circumstances or even education through observation and mimicry) to learn to speak in an internal monologue (not natural mutes or those with physical difficulties in speaking) also cannot think beyond a very basic level. That is one reason why  some animals have superior ability to very young humans, but as humans learn speech and consequently sophisticated thought forms, they always outperform animals. This happens betwen the ages of 2 and 4, depending on the developmental progress of the child. This is  precisely when  more sophisticated speech, reasoning, self awareness, and many sophisticated human abilities are emerging.

Edited by Mr Walker, 07 November 2012 - 10:36 AM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#41    Jinxdom

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:02 AM

Speech is overrated. Communication is a concept known to every animal. Animals think differently then us. They are not gullible as us. They know what truly matters. Just because they cannot actually talk doesn't mean they are  not capable of the things we are. Only humans will fall in line and tolerate behavior that we do not like by nothing more then words.

When things become more complex it is far easier to watch it slowly break and not work properly. Animals use a system that works. We humans complicated that system then screwed it up by being gullible.

The same things I can use to make a child understand and behave, I can use to make an animal understand and behave.
If and when I screw up the can use the same exact methods to make me understand and behave. (It must be super powers I knew it I'm a the beast master!! -sarcasm btw )

One is not superior then another they are only different only in appearance.

How do you even prove self-awareness in something if they don't even have the same values? I've seen the experiments for it and what they did is completely idiotic and I could find a few humans that would fail the tests.
Not all animals are smart not all animals are stupid... wow just like us.

It's different not superior. A superiority complex in any form is silly, daft and from what I've seen never leads to anything good.


#42    redhen

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 04:38 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 07 November 2012 - 10:23 AM, said:

No those  behaviours demonstrated on the film are also biological imperatives or learned responses which have evolved.

Yes, this is how empathy, sense of fairness and morality evolved. Evolution is a continuum, there is no clear cut divide between humans and other apes. We are not different in kind, only be degrees.

If you disagree, please explain where our morality came from. Did Neanderthal have morals, how about homo erectus? Where do you draw the line exactly?

Quote

As humans, who have such self awareness and understandings, we tend to attribute them to  other animals which are acting not from intellectual intent or conscious thought, but from inbuilt and learned drivers. Otherwise a chimp who killed could be charged with murder.

So only humans have volition, is that what you're claiming?

p.s. many philosophers and neruo scientists deny free will, and they make cogent arguments. But of course our entire legal system is predicated on the assumption of free will.


#43    Mr Walker

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:22 AM

View PostJinxdom, on 07 November 2012 - 11:02 AM, said:

Speech is overrated. Communication is a concept known to every animal. Animals think differently then us. They are not gullible as us. They know what truly matters. Just because they cannot actually talk doesn't mean they are  not capable of the things we are. Only humans will fall in line and tolerate behavior that we do not like by nothing more then words.

When things become more complex it is far easier to watch it slowly break and not work properly. Animals use a system that works. We humans complicated that system then screwed it up by being gullible.

The same things I can use to make a child understand and behave, I can use to make an animal understand and behave.
If and when I screw up the can use the same exact methods to make me understand and behave. (It must be super powers I knew it I'm a the beast master!! -sarcasm btw )

One is not superior then another they are only different only in appearance.

How do you even prove self-awareness in something if they don't even have the same values? I've seen the experiments for it and what they did is completely idiotic and I could find a few humans that would fail the tests.
Not all animals are smart not all animals are stupid... wow just like us.

It's different not superior. A superiority complex in any form is silly, daft and from what I've seen never leads to anything good.
i dont question your right to believe any/ all of this but it is scientifically incorrect.The danger then is it leads us to act wrongly because our beliefs are wrong

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#44    Mr Walker

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:30 AM

View Postredhen, on 07 November 2012 - 04:38 PM, said:

Yes, this is how empathy, sense of fairness and morality evolved. Evolution is a continuum, there is no clear cut divide between humans and other apes. We are not different in kind, only be degrees.

If you disagree, please explain where our morality came from. Did Neanderthal have morals, how about homo erectus? Where do you draw the line exactly?



So only humans have volition, is that what you're claiming?

p.s. many philosophers and neruo scientists deny free will, and they make cogent arguments. But of course our entire legal system is predicated on the assumption of free will.
"Empathy"  only exists as a human, intellectual, conceptual construct. It cannot exist without that construct and to construct it requires a high degree of linguistic and conceptual ability. So no; animals other than man are not moral or ethical.tthe dont" love" as humans are capable of loving or feel empathy.tThey arent even aware those words or concepts exist.They may give the appearnce of such attributes through evolved behaviours but humans tend to anthropomorhise animal behaviour and see it it termd of hiow we understand our own  There are a few singular exceptions to this, maybe, in some animals which have spent a lot of time with humans but it is more probable that they just learn imitative behaviours.  Some species show signs of approaching a orm of self awareness close to that of humans 50000- 100000 years ago but it wil require the same linguistic breakthrough that humans achieved, for them to attain it. there is for example no physical evidence for a sense of spiritual awareness in  other animals, whereas such evidences were certainly available in humans and neandertals 50000 plus years ago. Neandertals and cromagmom  left evidences of their  capacities Homo erectus did not so no one knows. Austrlaopithecines were probably toolmakers  with very little if any language and thus no similar self aawreness moralities etc.
Morality is a product of semantic /language skills, whch allow for human level thought processes.

In brief; love, ethics, moralities, and emapthy, are not artefacts of evolved  behaviours but deliberate "artifica"l and self aware constructs of a mind capable of sophisticated thought/speech.

Edited by Mr Walker, 08 November 2012 - 04:39 AM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#45    Amy the Mighty

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:28 AM

I don't think that morality is an entity of itself. It's a lens through which we examine our thoughts and actions, and a framework for us to choose our actions. It is not a separate agent from us, and to place it on a pedestal, misses the point.

I think the term "morality," is very loaded with religious overtones, and I don't normally hear non-religious people using it. Non-religious people are often pressed to justify their decisions and actions against a standard of "What God Approves Of." Especially if the decision/action differs from what is traditionally the norm, and especially when the decision/action relates to issues of conception and mortality. I understand that non-religious people are working against centuries of religious monopoly on what is Right Behaviour, and I understand that they are subjected more often to demands to justify themselves, which the religious are usually exempt from. When you feel judged, you often feel it necessary to justify yourself.

Morality is an externally-imposed framework to guide our behaviour and decisions. It works best when everyone agrees about the rules. When non-religious people make decisions, there is often a sense that they must prove the worthiness of their decisions/actions by substantiating them with an externally-imposed framework, even when no externally imposed framework is necessary. I don't think that non-religious people hold onto morality as some kind of separate, sacred entity. It is a tool to be used, not an object to be worshipped.





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