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Old 03-21-2012, 11:23 AM   #411 (permalink)
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But it also means that morality is merely a survival mechanism and is only relevant so long as it is beneficial to survival. If at any time morality became harmful to our survival as a species, I imagine morality would still dictate that becoming amoral would be wrong, but since morality would now be obsolete, that would be irrelevant. Sorry if that doesn't make any sense. I'm not the best at getting my point across.
Morality is not so much about survival. It's about fitness. A lot of people confuse the two, but they're not the same. Fitness means how much you are able to add to humanity's gene pool in the future. In more plain terms, how many kids you have. Generally speaking, animals evolve to maximize fitness, not survival (which is why some male mantises famously let their partners eat them f.ex).

Morality helps people interact and cooperate peacefully without conflict. Having morale shows you are considerate and caring, traits which are commonly considered good and has helped ensure people get laid. Working together peacefully has been tremendously important to us during our evolutionary history. Besides being smart and walking on two legs, it's really one of our specialties.

Basically, morals are good to humans and so it has a worth. I understand you feel that if the environment was different, perhaps morality would evolve into something else or "disappear" entirely, but how does that devalue what morals do for us here and now?
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:34 AM   #412 (permalink)
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Basically, morals are good to humans and so it has a worth. I understand you feel that if the environment was different, perhaps morality would evolve into something else or "disappear" entirely, but how does that devalue what morals do for us here and now?
No. I guess I'm just a bit depressed at the lack of constants in nihilism. I was raised in a Christian society that made me value those objective constants like god, morality, the after life, and nihilism is just sorta empty by definition. Morality is great, but it's only worth is to humanity, whose worth is only worthwhile to humanity, so I'm left feeling a bit disconnected. Of course that's only one of the many reasons I feel disconnected these days. Ugh.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:50 AM   #413 (permalink)
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Moral humans are more successful in a social environment so it has worth even for selfish interest, but yeah - I don't believe there's anyone judging your moral actions but yourself and other people. The universe doesn't care if you're good or bad or if you eat meat or become a vegetarian.

I guess because it has so much relevance here and now, I feel morals are important, even if its worth is entirely decided by environment and context.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:58 AM   #414 (permalink)
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Moral humans are more successful in a social environment so it has worth even for selfish interest, but yeah - I don't believe there's anyone judging your moral actions but yourself and other people. The universe doesn't care if you're good or bad or if you eat meat or become a vegetarian.

I guess because it has so much relevance here and now, I feel morals are important, even if its worth is entirely decided by environment and context.
Yeah, I just wish I could find a more compelling reason to go on other than, "Well, I don't feel like killing myself, so I might as well keep on keepin' on." That goes for morality as well as surviving in general.
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:29 PM   #415 (permalink)
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Yeah, I just wish I could find a more compelling reason to go on other than, "Well, I don't feel like killing myself, so I might as well keep on keepin' on." That goes for morality as well as surviving in general.
Everytime I've tried to jump into this thread, I ended up writing a fairly detailed paragraph, but then at the end of the paragraph, I realized what I'd written didn't make that much sense so I scrubbed it, not because I didn't have an understanding of the subject matter, but more to the fact that when mixing in morality, environment and religion, we are entering into a complex subject matter that has all types of consequences and subtle meanings, in short we're entering into an area that we as human beings are not meant to fully understand. Hell I've had these conversations with friends or collegues over the years and I'm none the wiser now. I thought the years I was at university studying an undergraduate degree and then doing post-graduate would help to put "why we are here" into a better perspective, all its done is probably left me more confused on why we are here, along with why some of us are so similiar and others so different.
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:26 PM   #416 (permalink)
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I have to admit I've had the pleasure of studying a subject that I feel answered many of the questions I previously had about stuff like this. Generally speaking, I no longer wonder where we came from or why I'm here because I've learned answers to those questions. Today, I feel like I understand the process from which atoms can arrange themselves to eventually give rise to an individual like me. Of course I don't know every step of the way, but I feel confident that if I were to study any of the steps, they would seem logical and make sense to me. The stuff I don't know, like what happened before the Big Bang, is not actually something I consider terribly important. It doesn't really bother me much that we'll probably never know.

All in all, I feel well grounded and spiritually satisfied. My "faith" is strong.

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Yeah, I just wish I could find a more compelling reason to go on other than, "Well, I don't feel like killing myself, so I might as well keep on keepin' on." That goes for morality as well as surviving in general.
When I was younger, before I knew what I was going to study and before I met my wife and so on, I remember how life occasionally felt ultimately pointless. I think each of us just have to define for ourselves what it is we live for. That's a truth I think, although I definitely accept that I come from a line of ancestors stretching back billions of years who kept on birthing the next generation and I'm prepared to do my part like the ones before.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:16 PM   #417 (permalink)
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Yeah, I just wish I could find a more compelling reason to go on other than, "Well, I don't feel like killing myself, so I might as well keep on keepin' on." That goes for morality as well as surviving in general.
How about this: As a living being, it is the most fundamental part of your nature to fight against decay and oblivion. It's what makes us what we are. Why not embrace it?
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:14 AM   #418 (permalink)
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How about this: As a living being, it is the most fundamental part of your nature to fight against decay and oblivion. It's what makes us what we are. Why not embrace it?
Well, it seems rather empty to keep everything going just for the sake of keeping it going. It just seems to say that it's worth tricking ourselves into thinking that we're doing something worthwhile, when all we're doing is perpetuating a system that doesn't matter anyway. In the end it's all just a delusion that has no importance. Why should we? If we pressed a button that ended the world, the universe wouldn't care, and we wouldn't even be around to feel sad that we were gone.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:35 AM   #419 (permalink)
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Well, it seems rather empty to keep everything going just for the sake of keeping it going. It just seems to say that it's worth tricking ourselves into thinking that we're doing something worthwhile, when all we're doing is perpetuating a system that doesn't matter anyway. In the end it's all just a delusion that has no importance. Why should we? If we pressed a button that ended the world, the universe wouldn't care, and we wouldn't even be around to feel sad that we were gone.
As pointless as following a delusion and projecting your own artificial meaning to life is, it's nowhere near as pointless as sitting on this rock pointing out just how pointless our pointless existence really is.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:39 AM   #420 (permalink)
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Well, it seems rather empty to keep everything going just for the sake of keeping it going. It just seems to say that it's worth tricking ourselves into thinking that we're doing something worthwhile, when all we're doing is perpetuating a system that doesn't matter anyway. In the end it's all just a delusion that has no importance. Why should we? If we pressed a button that ended the world, the universe wouldn't care, and we wouldn't even be around to feel sad that we were gone.
Well, then it's not really a question of god anymore. It's asking what the purpose of life is. I feel just the fact that you are asking this question is reason enough to keep going. To me, the purpose of life is to keep learning. Not in an academic sense (though that is a big part of my personal life experience), but in a gaining wisdom kind of way. The reason I say this is because a big part of human nature is curiosity. We are constantly sticking our noses where they don't belong because we just want to know what's going on. This is why reality tv is huge, certain people will always be carrying out scientific research, and why we all watch the news to varying extents. Not knowing something really frustrates people. At the risk of pissing off some religious people, I think that is where religion comes in. You have people who take the unknown and throw themselves into it to learn something and you have people who find the unknown too scary so they come up with a satisfying explanation.

This is why I can easily say my faith is in science. I am patient in my understanding of the world, and I am satisfied in knowing I am doing my part to elucidate even a tiny part of the great mystery of life. This is also why I think it is a waste to just kill yourself. While I can see how life can be overbearing for people (sometimes it feels that way for me), I think everyone has something to contribute to the larger consciousness of the world if they just try to learn.
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