Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 12501 - 12520 of total 22711 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Feb 9, 2013 - 08:06am PT
ETeRNITY! This APP Just gets you to Heaven!
^^^ vvv


Matthew 9:12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy and not sacrifice,
And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

John 9:39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”
40 Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?”
41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Luke 24:46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.



Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 9, 2013 - 08:31am PT
Go -be, what do you make of this?

How Secular Humanists Develop Ethics
Posted: 02/08/2013 10:13 am
Read more
Cetaceans , Dopamine , Ehtics , Ethical , Humanism , Ethics , Morals , Primates , Reason , Secular Humanism , Theist , Tribalism , Canada News

How do Secular Humanists develop their ethics? This is the most consistently repeated question about Secular Humanism. Theists, in particular, have difficulty with the notion that ethics need not come from a set of rules laid down in an ancient book. Even Secular Humanists, put on the spot, have some difficulty giving a clear and convincing answer. Often they are stuck saying, "Well, we just are moral."

Secular Humanists actually develop ethics using three characteristics of human beings: a kind of ethical tripod, if you will.

The first of these characteristics is a trait that evolved in all vertebrate species, a long time ago. When primates do something positive for fellow primates, their brains get a little charge of dopamine. Apparently, this happens in all vertebrates, but for some reason seems more pronounced in primates. This chemical gives pleasure so ancient human ancestors tended to do positive things for each other because of this reward even though they did not understand it. Modern neurological research supports this idea in both human and non-human primates.

The effect of this trait for human beings is that they are social, preferring to work positively with others and to co-operate in positive social ways.

The second of these characteristics, tribalism, is also an evolved trait. It, too, is present throughout the primate family, although it seems somewhat diminished in bonobos. Tribalism is the tendency to form small groups or sets of primates that co-operate with members of the same tribe, but not so much with other tribes

Tribalism seems to be the result of finite limits to food resources for foragers and hunter-gatherers. Without the science of cultivation to enhance food production, ancient human ancestors needed a minimum area for foraging and, later hunter-gathering. This, combined with relatively limited ability to travel long distances, also tended to isolate social groups geographically. This tribalism continues in modern ape species. Chimpanzees, for example, are very tribal with well establish territories. Their tribes often get into serious conflict along the borders of adjoining territories. Sound familiar?

This trait, then, in its extreme form, is a negative characteristic that can cause real conflict between different tribes. In the modern world, human beings use different terms for tribes-nations, churches, clubs, and so on, but these entities retain most of the characteristics of tribes.

There are, then, two seemingly opposing instincts: dopamine addiction and tribalism. How can Secular Humanists claim to develop ethics or moral codes from that teeter-totter?

Enter the third, predominantly human, characteristic, reason. Human beings have the most highly developed ability to reason on the planet (until cetaceans mount a good lobby group). Sophisticated human language skills, including the tendency to think in word form as well as communicate with each other give human beings considerable control over the first two traits.

This third characteristic allows human beings to balance the two other characteristics. Yes, balance is necessary. One might think that human beings would be better off abandoning tribalism completely.

However, without it, dopamine pursuit would lead to gullibility and make human beings very vulnerable. Pulling a thorn out of a lion's paw is a noble idea, but in a purely dopamine-driven psychology very dangerous without the due caution one would need to pull it off -- sorry out.

Controlled tribalism serves a purpose. It makes human beings sufficiently wary of unknown people and circumstances to reduce their vulnerability. This is the basis of the street smarts that help a child resist helping the stranger to look for the puppy.

When reason fails, either dopamine pursuit or tribalism takes over. The result is that human beings become either victims or predators and ethics go out the window. That is essentially what happens if tribalism is strong enough to give someone a dopamine response from following a dogma without the balance of reason.

Secular Humanists use reason to develop ethical guidelines balancing the dopamine reflex and tribalism to make moral decisions. This isn't necessarily easy and not always successful, but the technique works at least as well as the technique of following a fixed set of rules set down in the past, often with tribalism as the predominant consideration.

Secular Humanists do not rely on a dogma-based answer to an ethical question, but will take time to apply reason to make the best possible decision under the circumstances present.


I think its worth pointing out that many institutional faiths have a history of evolving their belief structure and their ethical code under pressure of societal change and new knowledge, which is directly a result of reason. Certainty is in fact less certain than we are led to believe it seems. However perhaps humanists put a greater degree of "faith" in reason while theists put the least amount of "faith" in reason - in fact avoiding it all together unless forced at a metaphorical or otherwise gun point.

An example is the dumping of polygamy by the Mormons under threat of extermination by the US government. They of course called it devine prophesy not reason, but the timing was strangely fortuitous.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 9, 2013 - 08:41am PT
re: supply-side economics, climate change, national security, everything

Bill Maher to Lawrence Krauss,
"Doc, help me out with the idea... what goes on in people's minds that they will not accept evidence."

Lawrence Krauss to Bill Maher,
"If we just had public policy based on empirical evidence, the world would be a better place."

Maybe even more unified as well.

.....

Of course this statement by Krauss reminded me of a lot here...
"It's really a shame when nonsense can substitute for fact with impunity."

Quack (cough), quack.
WBraun

climber
Feb 9, 2013 - 09:05am PT
LOL hahahah

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 9, 2013 - 09:29am PT
Of course. You're preaching to the choir.

If you could watch the piece, you'd note that this quote by Krauss was given after mention of the Republican side ONCE AGAIN - incredibly - embracing (a) Reagan's supply side economics on faith; and (b) recent policy making denying human caused climate change.

Context is important. Whether it's on Real Time or here on this site.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 9, 2013 - 09:35am PT
That process of seeking broad opinion, done in good faith, means that all voices are heard...

This is fair and ethical, but "hearing" and "ascribing value" are completely different. The only reason to give any weight to an argument that does not withstand an analysis based on reason and our best understanding of reality is pure diplomacy, which makes logic subservient to political power ... which is unethical.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 9, 2013 - 10:03am PT
Oh, regarding Repub efforts (by Brounback, etc.) to resurrect 30 year old policies on non-empirical faith...

Here's Krauss again,
"I think we just don't make enough fun of it - we should ridicule these people."

Looks like he's coming around to the hfcs and Susan Jacoby playbook of strategies, lol!

Imagine that: A physicist being bold, getting involved, acknowledging there are serious battles going on in America in sociopolitical terms, taking up sides (!!) and last but not least giving thought to strategies and then employing them for winning the good fight. Fresh!
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Feb 9, 2013 - 10:17am PT


maybe you have a really good hold on your religion… But really…. there is no reason to.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 9, 2013 - 10:33am PT
re: interest or lack of interest

the lack of interest in pursuing these topics beyond the popular presentations that necessarily gloss over the incompleteness of understanding

This interest (certainly not the lack thereof) has defined my life.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Feb 9, 2013 - 10:41am PT
This interest (certainly not the lack thereof) has defined my life.


 really? I gotta hear more about this….


for me, aside from this thread it plays vary little in my life, though I am all about the strong understanding that there is no god (none of them that have ever been invented my man).
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 9, 2013 - 10:50am PT
No Jingy, you really don't. (It would likely kill this thread.) :)

Suffice it to say there is no royal road, as I'm sure you already know, to an indepth, well-rounded nature investigation by way of the sciences.

It's fair to say spending thousands of hours pursuing something, anything - be it nature investigation or engineering or rock climbing - defines a life. Right?

.....

re: Milk Toast

For the record, I have never "accused" EH of being Milk toast.

I'm just really impressed with how many science types nowadays have decided to get involved, to leave the sidelines and to get in the game on these serious sociopolitical issues. 25 years ago it was so different. Maybe the internet's had something to do with it. :)
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 9, 2013 - 11:10am PT
Proper scientific ideas matter... and if science has anything to offer, it is that the ideas are testable and subject to empirical challenge. Opinions are not.

Ed, I am very glad and appreciative that you continue to engage as one of the sanest participants in this thread. There is a dimension of the sciences driven by a pure desire to know and understand, without preconceived notions or agendas, that is very worthwhile.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Feb 9, 2013 - 11:17am PT
There is a dimension of the sciences driven by a pure desire to know and understand, without preconceived notions or agendas, that is very worthwhile.

Yes.

.....

you may not have known enough at that point to have been aware of it

I think we're pretty much the same age, thereabouts.

.....

Jingy, the word is getting out. Finally at long last. 123 likes for your video, 0 dislikes. This is encouraging. :)
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 9, 2013 - 11:37am PT
The "reason factor" is interesting. It makes me think of managing an investment portfolio. It has been said that todays religion is capitalism / materialism, which I think is too ferociously simplistic to be useful but as usual has plenty of truth to it.

Anyway, in finances reason can be weighted heavily - or not. In my own case I am hardly a scholar so if I want to be successful with it I need to invest some faith in the system and take advantage of expertize. But to wash my hands of decision making means you are an easy mark quickly separated from your money. Some cautious (and reversible) faith is always required but certain faith is like full blast air raid sirens. The only other tools at hand for joe average beyond some basic arithmetic and finance skills is reason and psychology. Both are easily acquired through a life of experience and observation - unless one is prone to ignoring or minimizing one or the other or both.

In realistic terms, 90 percent of us can only hope to grasp the technical complexity of markets and financial products to a very limited degree, even with a concerted attempt at gaining knowledge over time. That leaves an imperative to trust in others. Our only hope for retirement with a good nest egg is to judge and trust in others using our powers of reason and knowledge of psychology. Both may be only "amateur" or maybe even "professional" in quality but either way its all we have ..... because blind faith is clearly stupid.

So that is how we do an investment portfolio. Why are the risks considered differently with religious faith?

If Go-b could ever reply with anything other than cut and paste scripture I'd love to know how he views the difference.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Feb 9, 2013 - 11:37am PT
for me, aside from this thread it plays vary little in my life, though I am all about the strong understanding that there is no god (none of them that have ever been invented my man).

i wish this thread could just get beyond this whole discussion about whether there is a god, as i really don't think that is a worthwhile discussion

those of you who have built your entire world view on some or other god concept and are happy with that and don't want to examine the information upon which that god concept is built...fine, be happy, don't bother the rest of us about it, just leave it at that and don't try to proselytize

and those of you who obsessively disagree with those God concept based religions/philosophies, just leave it alone, as arguing with 'believers' is fruitless and just amounts to one of the many forms of social discrimination

this thread has transcended its title to a much more interesting level of discussion, while the original title is a dead horse; embarrassing to keep beating on it, and a serious distraction to some very interesting analysis and learning experiences

there is more than enough brilliant expertise participating here to support very worthwhile discussions regarding discoveries of the sciences and philosophies relative to the nature of awareness, intelligence, concepts of the existence or nature of spirit, and the underlying structure of the material world in many dimensions

please, please...

Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Feb 9, 2013 - 11:54am PT
this thread has transcended its title to a much more interesting level of discussion,

says you. You really think the mental speculations of Wernerisms lead anywhere? Compared to what is happening right here and now on earth to us it it may be of intellectual interest to ponder on the existence of parallel universes but human behavior, which is what this thread is all about, is of immediate interest.

Anyway, no one is railing against the existence of god, merely the certainty of it with no compelling evidence other than ... well, certainty. If anything compelling ever came up on the radar screen, I'd be as interested as anyone.

Maybe you want to transcend the topic so if you think the two ponderables are mutually exclusive then why don't you and Largo etc start a new thread devoted to it? I don't think you should because i don't think they are mutually exclusive.

Why do you find my line of enquiry annoying exactly?
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Feb 9, 2013 - 12:35pm PT
you think a 15 year old that still believes in Santa isn't going to get razzed?
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Feb 9, 2013 - 01:02pm PT
Go -be, what do you make of this?

John 2:23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. 24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.

Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

Mark 10:17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”

18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”

20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”

21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
jstan

climber
Feb 9, 2013 - 01:13pm PT
i wish this thread could just get beyond this whole discussion about whether there is a god, as i really don't think that is a worthwhile discussion

I would hesitate to describe this thread as a discussion. Nonbelievers and believers are using different languages. A discussion is a conversation where two parties evaluate each others data and the reasons for the opinions that are held.

It has seemed to me the observation non-believers should make is that the standards for behavior advocated in religious works are often in direct opposition to the behavior of the faithful. Indeed those religious texts generated over thousands of years are to an amazing degree - self contradictory. Unfortunately even that is unproductive because that approach requires the use of data. It is the wrong language.

The absence of discussion in this context is global, and very worrisome. In Iraq the Shia and the Sunni are unable to discuss. Murder becomes the natural result. As has so often happened over the millennia.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Feb 9, 2013 - 01:47pm PT
OK. I'm going to posit something. You don't have to believe in climate change to think this problem. Imagine whatever peril you like.

Let's say that our entire species is in dire peril from climate change, but that the real problems take 100 years to hit us.

Is it possible for our tribal society to all join hands, drop our swords or whatever wha wha, and cooperate over something that none of us will ever live to see?

Myself? I don't think so. A problem like this is impossible, because everyone has to agree. As we speak, there is not enough oil to supply everyone person in the world with the same amount of energy as the cleanest of us. I know some of you will say you live in a treehouse, but the problem is species-wide. Imagine profiteers. Imagine how we could ever cooperate on a common goal. I say we are still way too tribal and that we are basically f*#ked. Go buy land in Saskatchewan for your grand kids.

Still, just look at this: 8000 miles across. An atmosphere so thin that you could drive that far on the freeway in an hour in your car. Could we all throw away our slogans and prejudices, totally change the way we function as a species?

Home sweet home.
Home sweet home.
Credit: BASE104
Messages 12501 - 12520 of total 22711 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews