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Old 02-28-2013, 11:50 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Uh what? I'm not even sure what you were trying to get across with your serial killer hypothetical. If you were trying to say that I was saying we simply mime everything we see, then no. That's a gross simplification of the process.
Well it seems your grossly simplifying the human race. Not everything has to have motive in the World.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:55 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Well, life is hard and unfair, I agree with that. But the nice thing about a naturalistic worldview is that you're operating under the assumption that it's nothing personal, unlike a religious worldview where all the horrible, unfair stuff is being deliberately caused by intelligent agents.
Definitely true, and aside from having to suspend logic to believe in a God in the first place, that was one of the moral qualms I had when I first started questioning religion. Sort of a bleak outlook either way, isn't it?

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Well it seems your grossly simplifying the human race. Not everything has to have motive in the World.
The human race is only so far removed from apes. We're just another link in the chain of evolution, neither of us will live to see the day that a newer dominant species arises, but it will happen.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:56 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I'm not saying that people aren't altruistic. I'm saying that the concept of altruism is something that evolution programmed us into believing in. The reason we do things is pragmatic concern. Our belief in goodness and altruism is just our way to justify this pragmatic concern.
But it is still real and still exists. I realize that taking a peak behind the curtain can kind of take away the magic, sing-songy bit of it. But you can still appreciate that we are often much nicer and caring than we have to be and should be. I mean, I literally have met a man that jumped on a grenade to save his buddies.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:59 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Well it seems your grossly simplifying the human race. Not everything has to have motive in the World.
No that's you. You don't seem to be looking at the reasons why human actions might have evolved like they have over the last few billion years. Do you think altruism just came about for no apparent reason? It would only evolve if it had a pragmatic use for our survival. You didn't give your mother money for no reason. You did it because of millions of years of evolutionary conditioning that decided that helping one's mother is in your best interest.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:00 PM   #35 (permalink)
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No that's you. You don't seem to be looking at the reasons why human actions might have evolved like they have over the last few billion years. Do you think altruism just came about for no apparent reason? It would only evolve if it had a pragmatic use for our survival. You didn't give your mother money for no reason. You did it because of millions of years of evolutionary conditioning that decided that helping one's mother is in your best interest.
No not really I did it because I had extra money in my account and she asked me to borrow it, but if it helps you to think that evolution played a part by all means.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:04 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Definitely true, and aside from having to suspend logic to believe in a God in the first place, that was one of the moral qualms I had when I first started questioning religion. Sort of a bleak outlook either way, isn't it?


The human race is only so far removed from apes. We're just another link in the chain of evolution, neither of us will live to see the day that a newer dominant species arises, but it will happen.
A dominant altruistic species.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:05 PM   #37 (permalink)
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But it is still real and still exists. I realize that taking a peak behind the curtain can kind of take away the magic, sing-songy bit of it.
Yes it does.

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But you can still appreciate that we are often much nicer and caring than we have to be and should be.
People are as nice and caring as evolution says they should be. There's a bell curve of course, but that's not something we should get any credit for.

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I mean, I literally have met a man that jumped on a grenade to save his buddies.
I made a post in the thread about whether or not you would kill someone for $50,000,000. I think it applies.

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So you think we're all sociopaths?
No, but morality is a creation of evolution meant to serve a pragmatic purpose (i.e. allowing us to live in a group to better chances for survival.) It doesn't exist objectively. Just think of slavery. People thought that it was wrong even when the Spanish were considering enslaving the natives in America. They had public debates on the subject. But I'm sure it occurred to them that if they didn't exploit the New World and all that it had to offer, slaves included, that the English or the Dutch would and would come to dominate them. And so morality was altered to suit pragmatism. It wasn't until the industrial revolution and slavery became obsolete that morality was allowed to win out. Obviously for an individual morality is less fluid, since if a single human being isn't willing to die to protect their child or someone isn't willing to put themselves in danger to fight an oppressive government then morality wouldn't have enough power to protect the species as a whole, but the point remains that morality is not an absolute.
Just add "if a soldier wasn't willing to throw himself on a grenade" in there and it applies.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:06 PM   #38 (permalink)
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No not really I did it because I had extra money in my account and she asked me to borrow it, but if it helps you to think that evolution played a part by all means.
Now you're just not even trying to see my point.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:07 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Well, life is hard and unfair, I agree with that. But the nice thing about a naturalistic worldview is that you're operating under the assumption that it's nothing personal, unlike a religious worldview where all the horrible, unfair stuff is being deliberately caused by intelligent agents.
Eh? Isn't a naturalistic worldview at odds with the entire notion of fairness?
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:08 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Definitely true, and aside from having to suspend logic to believe in a God in the first place, that was one of the moral qualms I had when I first started questioning religion. Sort of a bleak outlook either way, isn't it?
I guess, but it's reality.

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The human race is only so far removed from apes. We're just another link in the chain of evolution, neither of us will live to see the day that a newer dominant species arises, but it will happen.
We're not removed from apes at all, we are a type of ape.
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