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Skeptical Morality


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#76    Cybele

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:51 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 17 November 2012 - 02:31 AM, said:

However humans have intelligence and self aware purpose; nature does not. It can only "react",  so this is not a ideal analogy. If nature "hurts us" when we run out of food water or arable soil, it wont be the result of nature, but of us and our interference with nature. In a way we are both the slave and the master in this situation.

Nature hurts us and "outsmarts" us all the time when it comes to fighting off infectious disease agents. Even if they aren't intelligent, viruses and bacteria do fight with our bodies, using evolved strategies to trick our immune system. Our intelligence will probably never be enough to eradicate many of them. We can't cure the common cold. Nor can we eliminate influenza infections because the virus mutates so rapidly. We don't have a vaccine for AIDS or malaria, which still decimate third-world populations.

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#77    Mr Walker

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:01 AM

View PostArbenol68, on 17 November 2012 - 02:53 AM, said:

It's a nice idea but, unfortunately, incorrect. Human civilisation has exploited a settled period in Earth's history without major climate or geological changes. 10,000 years may seem a lot but it's a mere blink of an eye. This has provided the illusion of being masters - I suspect we'll be well and truly disabused of this notion before too long. And it really has nothing to do with our own actions. Even if we'd behaved impeccably toward our environment, it will one day eject us from it.
Thats a strange conclusion.  Humans arent like any other creature. We have intelligent self awarenesss and technology.  We create and we adapt to changes.

It is quite possible we will be able to control the worlds climate and even its plate tectonics within a century or two. While the dinosaurs lived for a hundred billion years or so, man has lived on earth for perhaps 100000. Nature wiped out the dinosaurs, but in a few more centuries man will be totally beyond the control of natural forces.

In 1 million years, one percent of the era of dinosaurs, humans not only won't be recognisably, or biologically human anymore, in any way we would recognise. We will be spread throughout the galaxy and have adapted to many forms of worlds.  It actually wont take even a tenth of that time.

Yes, we are vulnerable now, but not to nature, (except as i said to solar flares or a major meteor strike) we are vulnerable to our own actions and use of nature. As we learn wisdom and maturity, we will have both technology and the ability to use it wisely, and well. Or we will kill ourselves off. We are beyond being killed off by nature, now.

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.

#78    Sthenno

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:09 AM

View PostMbyte, on 13 October 2012 - 03:48 PM, said:

While Skeptics see morality as a random something that has developed from evolution completely seperate to spirituality.

I don't see how anyone could draw that conclusion. Morality and spirituality are intrinsically linked. For example, I am not religious, but I cannot claim that my morals aren't influenced by religion. How could they not be? I grew up in a country that has been heavily, heavily influenced by Christian morals - no matter what my personal beliefs are that's bound to have an impact somewhere.


#79    Mr Walker

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:11 AM

View PostCybele, on 17 November 2012 - 05:51 AM, said:

Nature hurts us and "outsmarts" us all the time when it comes to fighting off infectious disease agents. Even if they aren't intelligent, viruses and bacteria do fight with our bodies, using evolved strategies to trick our immune system. Our intelligence will probably never be enough to eradicate many of them. We can't cure the common cold. Nor can we eliminate influenza infections because the virus mutates so rapidly. We don't have a vaccine for AIDS or malaria, which still decimate third-world populations.
We have killed a lot more viruses and bacteria than they have killed humans :innocent:

We are actually controlling aids, although we cant eliminate it yet, and malaria is not far behind. Australia helped develop a highly effective vaccine for  cervical cancer, which is caused by  a virus. Medical science involves nano technologies  and many cutting edge discoveries that most people aren't aware of.

Just in my life time many life threatening diseases  have been eliminated or greatly reduced. In the life span of the next generation physical and mental "immortality" will be achieved based on present day science. In 100 years our food will be created from raw materials using templates, and delivered to  via transmat beam. it is quite feasible that current transport of all things including people will be replaced by matter transmission which is being trialled now and will be in place according to science within 100 years.

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.

#80    Cybele

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:49 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 17 November 2012 - 09:11 AM, said:

We have killed a lot more viruses and bacteria than they have killed humans :innocent:

Don't consider it at the organismal level, take the battle down to the cellular level. I don't think you can legitimately say that more micro-organisms have been killed by us than our cells have by them (or by our own immune in response to those pathogens). Plasmodium falciparum has killed far greater numbers of humans than we've killed of its kind. We are still not winning the battle against disease. Where infectious agents decline, chronic disease emerges.

View PostMr Walker, on 17 November 2012 - 09:11 AM, said:

Just in my life time many life threatening diseases  have been eliminated or greatly reduced. In the life span of the next generation physical and mental "immortality" will be achieved based on present day science.

Immortality is not possible because not only will the universe as we know it likely end, but we will eventually run out of resources, even if we were able to travel to distant star systems in the next hundred years, which I think is highly, highly optimistic. Not only is immortality highly improbable from a scientific standpoint, but I think it is arrogant and ultimately pointless to try to acheive such a thing. You speak of mastery over emotions, but mastery over hubris is something that is equally important, I think.

Edited by Cybele, 17 November 2012 - 09:54 PM.

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#81    Arbenol68

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 01:58 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 17 November 2012 - 09:01 AM, said:

While the dinosaurs lived for a hundred billion years or so, man has lived on earth for perhaps 100000. Nature wiped out the dinosaurs, but in a few more centuries man will be totally beyond the control of natural forces.

You probably meant million, not billion - right? But man is one species. There were many species of dinosaurs and none of them were around for that entire time. Try comparing like with like, (ie dinosaurs with mammals - I think you'll find they've been around for a long time) otherwise your argument is irrelevant.


#82    FlyingAngel

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:53 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 17 November 2012 - 09:01 AM, said:

Nature wiped out the dinosaurs, but in a few more centuries man will be totally beyond the control of natural forces.
There is none force that could counter a volcano eruption. There is none force that could counter an earthquake. All men can do is to run and hide. The inner activity of the Earth is beyond any control. The same for tornadoes.

You are currently living in peace because your ancestors have built up houses and cities in areas where there are practically no natural disaster ie running away from it, not because we have the power to fight or to counter it.


#83    Jinxdom

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:35 AM

I find it hilarious that we have one species of ant who would have the same survivability as us. Argentine ant is on all continents except Antarctica. Why only because they like us spread out that it would take something global to take them out as a species. Not because of technology.

I'd think that playing with things like weather and plate tectonics would be kind of disastrous for us. Playing with things for local effects could be nasty on the whole global scene.


#84    Mr Walker

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:35 AM

View PostArbenol68, on 18 November 2012 - 01:58 AM, said:

You probably meant million, not billion - right? But man is one species. There were many species of dinosaurs and none of them were around for that entire time. Try comparing like with like, (ie dinosaurs with mammals - I think you'll find they've been around for a long time) otherwise your argument is irrelevant.
Yes i meant million. Just trying to establish my evolutionist credentials lol.

I think my point stil stands. Humans have been around about 100000 years or less. At this point we are reaching the abilty not just to transform our environment but also ourseleves wit genetic bionic and nanonic technologies.  Long before we  die out from natural processes we will have diversified in both nature and in spatial distribution, thus eliminating the threat of extinction by natural means.

The dinosaurs never had that ability and despite having a long reign, remained at the mercy of natural forces.I dont know how long individual species of dinosaurs lasted, but i believe from memory that the t rex is recorded over a period of several million years. If they had had our sapience and technological abilities, they would occupy most of our galaxy by now, rather than being extinct.

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.

#85    Mr Walker

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:38 AM

View PostFlyingAngel, on 18 November 2012 - 03:53 PM, said:

There is none force that could counter a volcano eruption. There is none force that could counter an earthquake. All men can do is to run and hide. The inner activity of the Earth is beyond any control. The same for tornadoes.

You are currently living in peace because your ancestors have built up houses and cities in areas where there are practically no natural disaster ie running away from it, not because we have the power to fight or to counter it.
Actually work is being done now, and has been for a while, on controlling/modifying earthquake, volcanic, and other tectonic activities. We won't always be at their mercy. In the meantime we adapt, using knowledge and technology.

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.

#86    FlyingAngel

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:04 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 20 November 2012 - 11:38 AM, said:

Actually work is being done now, and has been for a while, on controlling/modifying earthquake, volcanic, and other tectonic activities. We won't always be at their mercy. In the meantime we adapt, using knowledge and technology.
There are studies, but there are no acceptable solution, yet. In the mean time, human still cannot control the nature force.





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