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seer
05-08-2014, 04:54 AM
This came up in another thread but was off topic, I thought I would ask the question here: The Europeans come to North America, pretty much decimate the native population, and in the process create, arguably, one of the most powerful countries in history. From the evolutionary stand point this was a very successful strategy, and in the end, isn't that the most important consideration? So in the evolutionary sense - it was "good." Correct?

HMS_Beagle
05-08-2014, 05:03 AM
This came up in another thread but was off topic, I thought I would ask the question here: The Europeans come to North America, pretty much decimate the native population, and in the process create, arguably, one of the most powerful countries in history. From the evolutionary stand point this was a very successful strategy, and in the end, isn't that the most important consideration? So in the evolutionary sense - it was "good." Correct?

It wasn't very good for the Native Americans. "Good" is a relative and very subjective term.

It was also a cultural clash, nothing to do with biological evolution.

seer
05-08-2014, 05:33 AM
It wasn't very good for the Native Americans. "Good" is a relative and very subjective term.

It was also a cultural clash, nothing to do with biological evolution.

What else is there besides biological evolution? And no, it was not good for the the Native Americans. If a predatory bacteria comes in and destroys another species of bacteria that is bad for that particular species but good for the predatory species - and? Survival it always the main consideration - correct?

HMS_Beagle
05-08-2014, 05:42 AM
What else is there besides biological evolution?

In this case it was the same species with two very different cultures coming into conflict. Nothing to do with biological evolution.


And no, it was not good for the the Native Americans. If a predatory bacteria comes in and destroys another species of bacteria that is bad for that particular species but good for the predatory species - and? Survival it always the main consideration - correct?

Europeans and Native American are the same species. :ahem:

seer
05-08-2014, 05:47 AM
In this case it was the same species with two very different cultures coming into conflict. Nothing to do with biological evolution.

You mean like this, this has nothing to do with biological evolution:

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_evolution/2012/10/chimpanzee_wars_can_primate_aggression_teach_us_ab out_human_aggression.html


In 1974, Jane Goodall witnessed a disturbing scene in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. A gang of male chimpanzees invaded their neighbors’ territory and attacked a male chimp sitting by himself in a tree. The intruders dragged the chimpanzee to the ground, pinned him down, and bit and hit him all over his body. The attack ended when one member of the gang threw a rock at the bleeding victim. The battered chimp was never seen again and presumably died from his injuries.

The murderous chimpanzees weren’t attacking a stranger: They had recently all belonged to the same group. When the group split in two, one community took over the northern half of the range and the other the southern half. From 1974 to 1977, during the “four-year war,” the northern males obliterated the southern community, hunting down and killing all of its adult males. The northerners took over their enemies’ territory and females.

This was the first time scientists had documented “warfare” among chimpanzees. It wasn’t the last.




Europeans and Native American are the same species. :ahem:

So were the chimpanzees above. But obviously one tribe survived to pass on their genes, the other didn't.

firstfloor
05-08-2014, 05:47 AM
What else is there besides biological evolution? And no, it was not good for the the Native Americans. If a predatory bacteria comes in and destroys another species of bacteria that is bad for that particular species but good for the predatory species - and? Survival it always the main consideration - correct?Sociocultural evolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociocultural_evolution

The decimation of the native population has nothing to do with biology. Biological evolution by natural selection is not a morally directed process. It is partly about adaptation to niche environments in competition with other similar animals – a slow process. Sociocultural evolution is very much faster but it does not work at the biological level except that the relative abundance and purity of distinct races of the same species (us) is affected over time.

seer
05-08-2014, 05:50 AM
Sociocultural evolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociocultural_evolution

The decimation of the native population has nothing to do with biology. Biological evolution by natural selection is not a morally directed process. It is partly about adaptation to niche environments in competition with other similar animals – a slow process. Sociocultural evolution is very much faster but it does not work at the biological level except that the relative abundance and purity of distinct races of the same species (us) is affected over time.

Nonsense, see my example of the chimpanzees above. It is biological evolution that created us to do such things. Besides I did not use the term biological evolution, I just said it was a good evolutionary strategy, sociocultural or otherwise. And if it is a good evolutionary strategy then how can it be ethically wrong?

firstfloor
05-08-2014, 06:23 AM
Nonsense, see my example of the chimpanzees above. It is biological evolution that created us to do such things. Besides I did not use the term biological evolution, I just said it was a good evolutionary strategy, sociocultural or otherwise. And if it is a good evolutionary strategy then how can it be ethically wrong?All higher animals are aggressive in certain circumstances; in the competition for food and mates for example. But for a species to survive it must also nurture its young. Good/bad is not a factor. Survival is.

When the natural and essential behaviour is directed in a political fashion – decimation of native populations – I think it is unfair to blame the biology. We can overcome our own nature if we want to.

seer
05-08-2014, 06:31 AM
All higher animals are aggressive in certain circumstances; in the competition for food and mates for example. But for a species to survive it must also nurture its young. Good/bad is not a factor. Survival is.

When the natural and essential behaviour is directed in a political fashion – decimation of native populations – I think it is unfair to blame the biology. We can overcome our own nature if we want to.

But biology is what makes us what we are, dictates how we act. There is no overcoming our nature, because nature is all there is. So you agree that good/bad is not a factor in what the Europeans did?

Carrikature
05-08-2014, 06:57 AM
From the evolutionary stand point this was a very successful strategy, and in the end, isn't that the most important consideration?

You grant evolution too much in the way of anthropomorphic traits. Evolution has no consideration. It can't, because it doesn't think or plan or reason. There can't be a 'most important consideration'. Even reproductive success, while essential for another generation to arise, is not a goal. Evolution has no goals. It's merely a description of interacting effects. Natural Selection plus Random Mutation. That's it.

firstfloor
05-08-2014, 07:00 AM
But biology is what makes us what we are, dictates how we act. There is no overcoming our nature, because nature is all there is. So you agree that good/bad is not a factor in what the Europeans did?If that were true we would not have words like ‘good’ and ‘bad’. At our best, we are able to overcome our base nature. But without it you would not be here to debate the point – you would more likely be some other creature’s staple diet.

klaus54
05-08-2014, 07:00 AM
What else is there besides biological evolution? And no, it was not good for the the Native Americans. If a predatory bacteria comes in and destroys another species of bacteria that is bad for that particular species but good for the predatory species - and? Survival it always the main consideration - correct?

If you're try to establish that evolution is scientifically flawed because of possible evil cultural applications, you're as wrong as wrong can be.

Abus non tollit usum.

Hiroshima and Nagaski were a consequence of nuclear physics. What happened there was BAAADDD, ergo nuclear physics is BAAAADDD and therefore WRONG.

So then, what IS your point?

K54

Carrikature
05-08-2014, 07:13 AM
If you're try to establish that evolution is scientifically flawed because of possible evil cultural applications, you're as wrong as wrong can be.

Abus non tollit usum.

Hiroshima and Nagaski were a consequence of nuclear physics. What happened there was BAAADDD, ergo nuclear physics is BAAAADDD and therefore WRONG.

So then, what IS your point?

K54

That's not his goal. His real goal is to find out how atheists consider morality in light of there being nothing more than biology at work. In his estimation, the only basis an atheist can have is evolution, and therefore whatever counts as evolutionary success must also count as a moral act.

klaus54
05-08-2014, 07:26 AM
That's not his goal. His real goal is to find out how atheists consider morality in light of there being nothing more than biology at work. In his estimation, the only basis an atheist can have is evolution, and therefore whatever counts as evolutionary success must also count as a moral act.

OK, then this thread doesn't belong in Natural Science.

BTW, our evolutionary history, and it's consequent influence on modern human behavior, smacks a lot of "Original Sin".

K54

Carrikature
05-08-2014, 07:40 AM
OK, then this thread doesn't belong in Natural Science.

BTW, our evolutionary history, and it's consequent influence on modern human behavior, smacks a lot of "Original Sin".

K54

To be fair, I think it's ok in Nat. Sci. if it can be kept to how/if evolution gives rise to morality from a scientific perspective (if that's even possible). My intent was to correct what you assumed he was trying to establish. :shrug:

I maintain that evolution is amoral, and that biology (science, really) is also amoral. To me, the entire question of evolutionary ethics relies on a false premise.

seer
05-08-2014, 07:55 AM
You grant evolution too much in the way of anthropomorphic traits. Evolution has no consideration. It can't, because it doesn't think or plan or reason. There can't be a 'most important consideration'. Even reproductive success, while essential for another generation to arise, is not a goal. Evolution has no goals. It's merely a description of interacting effects. Natural Selection plus Random Mutation. That's it.


No I'm not. I'm saying that the only this that matters, in the end, is survival.

Carrikature
05-08-2014, 07:57 AM
No I'm not. I'm saying that the only this that matters, in the end, is survival.

On what basis do you claim this? How does anything matter to an unthinking description of interactions?

seer
05-08-2014, 08:08 AM
On what basis do you claim this? How does anything matter to an unthinking description of interactions?

It matters to creatures who survive or don't survive - doesn't it? But again Carrikature, I still haven't gotten an answer - wasn't what the Europeans did a successful strategy? Like what we see between Chimp groups.

seer
05-08-2014, 08:15 AM
If that were true we would not have words like ‘good’ and ‘bad’. At our best, we are able to overcome our base nature. But without it you would not be here to debate the point – you would more likely be some other creature’s staple diet.

But I'm not a materialist FF. There is nothing to overcome if materialism is correct - we are just animals doing what animals do.

klaus54
05-08-2014, 08:35 AM
What was the materialist's moral basis before Darwin?

K54

seer
05-08-2014, 08:54 AM
What was the materialist's moral basis before Darwin?

K54

You tell me. Plato's forms? Or perhaps what De Sade said: "Whatever is, is right." Or Nietzsche;


Anything which is a living and not a dying body... will have to be an incarnate will to power, it will strive to grow, spread, seize, become predominant - not from any morality or immorality but because it is living and because life simply is will to power... 'Exploitation'... belongs to the essence of what lives, as a basic organic function; it is a consequence of the will to power, which is after all the will to life. From Beyond Good and Evil

shunyadragon
05-08-2014, 12:06 PM
You grant evolution too much in the way of anthropomorphic traits. Evolution has no consideration. It can't, because it doesn't think or plan or reason. There can't be a 'most important consideration'. Even reproductive success, while essential for another generation to arise, is not a goal. Evolution has no goals. It's merely a description of interacting effects. Natural Selection plus Random Mutation. That's it.

The above is a yes and no scenario with a few ????. First it is too simplistic to say; 'That's it to Random Mutation and Natural Selection. In actuality genetic mutation is not 'just ' random.

Your on the right track but your description is confusing; 'Evolution has (no consideration?). It can't, because it doesn't think or plan or reason.' Our concept of goals in human affairs does not exist in the process of evolution, nor anywhere else in the course of natural events. The science of evolution is a scientific description of how evolution functions in the biological world, but evolution itself is not 'merely a description of interacting effects.'

In terms of Theistic Evolution, evolution itself would not necessarily be a direct hands on Divinely guided process. The Natural Law and physical nature of our existence was created to result in humanity and the world around us.

God is a Creator, not an engineer nor designer.

Carrikature
05-08-2014, 12:50 PM
The above is a yes and no scenario with a few ????. First it is too simplistic to say; 'That's it to Random Mutation and Natural Selection. In actuality genetic mutation is not 'just ' random.

Your on the right track but your description is confusing; 'Evolution has (no consideration?). It can't, because it doesn't think or plan or reason.' Our concept of goals in human affairs does not exist in the process of evolution, nor anywhere else in the course of natural events. The science of evolution is a scientific description of how evolution functions in the biological world, but evolution itself is not 'merely a description of interacting effects.'

In terms of Theistic Evolution, evolution itself would not necessarily be a direct hands on Divinely guided process. The Natural Law and physical nature of our existence was created to result in humanity and the world around us.

God is a Creator, not an engineer nor designer.

Shuny, obviously genetic mutation is not just random, but I didn't imply it was. Random mutation and natural selection are basic concepts of evolution and don't need to be explained. The bolded is exactly what I'm saying. Even in TE, evolution does not have goals. In that case, it would be a mechanism. God, or whatever, would possess the goals.

Wally
05-08-2014, 01:09 PM
This is kind of like asking "what does yellow sound like".

Chrawnus
05-08-2014, 01:36 PM
This is kind of like asking "what does yellow sound like".

I bet someone with synesthesia would have no problem answering that question.






















:outtie:

Paprika
05-08-2014, 01:47 PM
I bet someone with synesthesia would have no problem answering that question.
D major
:outtie:

rwatts
05-08-2014, 01:54 PM
This came up in another thread but was off topic, I thought I would ask the question here: The Europeans come to North America, pretty much decimate the native population, and in the process create, arguably, one of the most powerful countries in history. From the evolutionary stand point this was a very successful strategy, and in the end, isn't that the most important consideration? So in the evolutionary sense - it was "good." Correct?Evolution has given us a very complex, but wobbly lump of grey matter between our ears.

Evolution does not decide "good", "bad".

That wobbly lump of grey matter between our ears does.

That our ancestors came and wiped out other people so that we could exist was bad for those other people. Was it good for us? Well that's a tough one, because if they did not do it, we would not exist.

And if we did not exist, then the question would be meaningless.

So, was it good that our ancestors did it? I don't think so. Had they not done it, then I would not be upset.

(Perhaps in another sense, for some born again believers, it was good because 1) the missionaries could come and convert the survivors, and 2) of those that were killed, then God will have dealt with them as he saw fit. So, presuming that you are a born again believer seer, was it "good"?)

rwatts
05-08-2014, 01:59 PM
I bet someone with synesthesia would have no problem answering that question.

I'll take a guess. It sounds like chocolate? :tongue:

seer
05-08-2014, 02:01 PM
Evolution has given us a very complex, but wobbly lump of grey matter between our ears.

Evolution does not decide "good", "bad".

That wobbly lump of grey matter between our ears does.

That our ancestors came and wiped out other people so that we could exist was bad for those other people. Was it good for us? Well that's a tough one, because if they did not do it, we would not exist.

And if we did not exist, then the question would be meaningless.

So, was it good that our ancestors did it? I don't think so. Had they not done it, then I would not be upset.

(Perhaps in another sense, for some born again believers, it was good because 1) the missionaries could come and convert the survivors, and 2) of those that were killed, then God will have dealt with them as he saw fit. So, presuming that you are a born again believer seer, was it "good"?)

But there is no good or bad. That is my point - in the end there is only survival. Again:


In 1974, Jane Goodall witnessed a disturbing scene in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. A gang of male chimpanzees invaded their neighbors’ territory and attacked a male chimp sitting by himself in a tree. The intruders dragged the chimpanzee to the ground, pinned him down, and bit and hit him all over his body. The attack ended when one member of the gang threw a rock at the bleeding victim. The battered chimp was never seen again and presumably died from his injuries.

The murderous chimpanzees weren’t attacking a stranger: They had recently all belonged to the same group. When the group split in two, one community took over the northern half of the range and the other the southern half. From 1974 to 1977, during the “four-year war,” the northern males obliterated the southern community, hunting down and killing all of its adult males. The northerners took over their enemies’ territory and females.

This was the first time scientists had documented “warfare” among chimpanzees. It wasn’t the last.

Is what the northern chimps did to the southern chimps good or bad?

rwatts
05-08-2014, 02:57 PM
Is what the northern chimps did to the southern chimps good or bad?Evolutionary speaking - neither. Evolution has no perspective, any more than rainfall has a perspective. Both are natural processes.

From a human perspective, bad for the group that was wiped out, good for the group that did the wiping out. From the perspective of both groups, evolutionary advantageous if they had both cooperated?

If the group that did the wiping out was favoured by God, and the group that was wiped out was not favoured by God, would the outcome have been good or bad?

firstfloor
05-09-2014, 12:16 AM
But I'm not a materialist FF. There is nothing to overcome if materialism is correct - we are just animals doing what animals do.I think what you are saying is that your view of materialism in incompatible with your view of the nature of human beings. Part of the difficulty is that the processes by which emergent phenomena like consciousness arise are not well understood. We are certain that they are emergent properties because the full list of moving parts for the relevant energy scale, are known. The fact that materialism it is not yet properly understood does not mean that Dualism or something like it must be correct. Dualism is discussed at a philosophical level but to get answers to philosophical questions you have to do science.

rogue06
05-09-2014, 02:21 AM
No I'm not. I'm saying that the only this that matters, in the end, is survival.
I think your confusion may stem from a severe misunderstanding of what "survival of the fittest" entails.

seer
05-09-2014, 04:27 AM
I think your confusion may stem from a severe misunderstanding of what "survival of the fittest" entails.

Then what is more important than survival?

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_evolution/2012/10/chimpanzee_wars_can_primate_aggression_teach_us_ab out_human_aggression.html


In 1974, Jane Goodall witnessed a disturbing scene in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. A gang of male chimpanzees invaded their neighbors’ territory and attacked a male chimp sitting by himself in a tree. The intruders dragged the chimpanzee to the ground, pinned him down, and bit and hit him all over his body. The attack ended when one member of the gang threw a rock at the bleeding victim. The battered chimp was never seen again and presumably died from his injuries.

The murderous chimpanzees weren’t attacking a stranger: They had recently all belonged to the same group. When the group split in two, one community took over the northern half of the range and the other the southern half. From 1974 to 1977, during the “four-year war,” the northern males obliterated the southern community, hunting down and killing all of its adult males. The northerners took over their enemies’ territory and females.

This was the first time scientists had documented “warfare” among chimpanzees. It wasn’t the last.


Here you had one group of males destroy another group of males. The males that survive pass on their genes and the ones who didn't don't, at least from that point on. So as far as an evolutionary strategy, where survival is key, the northern males win.

seer
05-09-2014, 04:33 AM
I think what you are saying is that your view of materialism in incompatible with your view of the nature of human beings. Part of the difficulty is that the processes by which emergent phenomena like consciousness arise are not well understood. We are certain that they are emergent properties because the full list of moving parts for the relevant energy scale, are known. The fact that materialism it is not yet properly understood does not mean that Dualism or something like it must be correct. Dualism is discussed at a philosophical level but to get answers to philosophical questions you have to do science.

Wrong FF, it is about what man is by nature. I know some very intelligent Christians who are materialists like Dr. Peter van Inwagen. So whether dualism is correct or not has no bearing on the question. But Dr. van Inwagen, like me, believes that human beings were created for a purpose and are image bearers of God. We are not biological accidents with no inherent worth.

shunyadragon
05-09-2014, 04:37 AM
But I'm not a materialist FF. There is nothing to overcome if materialism is correct - we are just animals doing what animals do.

Animals do what animals do, including humans, regardless of the many varied philosophical views from materialism, theism, agnosticism, Deism or whatever. The sciences of evolution, and other behavioral or biological disciplines are simply descriptive of the natural nature of life.

seer
05-09-2014, 04:38 AM
Evolutionary speaking - neither. Evolution has no perspective, any more than rainfall has a perspective. Both are natural processes.

From a human perspective, bad for the group that was wiped out, good for the group that did the wiping out. From the perspective of both groups, evolutionary advantageous if they had both cooperated?

There may have been no advantage in cooperation, perhaps there was just not enough feeding ground for both groups, perhaps resources were limited. But from an evolutionary stand point the northern males win, and get to pass on their genes - and that is all that matters in the end - correct?

shunyadragon
05-09-2014, 04:53 AM
There may have been no advantage in cooperation, perhaps there was just not enough feeding ground for both groups, perhaps resources were limited. But from an evolutionary stand point the northern males win, and get to pass on their genes - and that is all that matters in the end - correct?

No that is not all that matters, cooperation in many higher species, in fact most species even down to microrganism, in many forms is directly found essential to survival of different species.

Wally
05-09-2014, 04:56 AM
Your central error is conflating "good" and "successful"

Your next error is anthropomorphizing a natural process.

shunyadragon
05-09-2014, 05:00 AM
Then what is more important than survival?

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_evolution/2012/10/chimpanzee_wars_can_primate_aggression_teach_us_ab out_human_aggression.html



Here you had one group of males destroy another group of males. The males that survive pass on their genes and the ones who didn't don't, at least from that point on. So as far as an evolutionary strategy, where survival is key, the northern males win.

What is the point here? This a matter of fact observed behavior in humans and other species of life. Cooperation as well is found essential throughout life in most species.

firstfloor
05-09-2014, 05:05 AM
Wrong FF, it is about what man is by nature. I know some very intelligent Christians who are materialists like Dr. Peter van Inwagen. So whether dualism is correct or not has no bearing on the question. But Dr. van Inwagen, like me, believes that human beings were created for a purpose and are image bearers of God. We are not biological accidents with no inherent worth.As far as I know, nobody claims that human beings or any other creatures are accidents. Life evolves to fit its environment. We are really created by our environment. This planet has an oxygen atmosphere and consequently, the animals that live on the surface have lungs. The element of chance has to do with the range of characteristics in a population – some people are taller than others, for example.

Science tells us that all life is temporary and the Universe will eventually grow cold and dark but in the meantime we should enjoy what we have and decide for ourselves what our purpose is because we are the one animal that that has the power to control its own environment. In short, we create the creator both in fact and fantasy. It is a very responsible position to hold - are we up to the challenge?

Roy
05-09-2014, 05:05 AM
Then what is more important than survival? Reproduction.

Roy

seer
05-09-2014, 05:13 AM
Reproduction.

Roy

Well yes, because that is needed for survival of the species.

seer
05-09-2014, 05:14 AM
Your central error is conflating "good" and "successful"

What is the difference from an evolutionary stand point?

seer
05-09-2014, 05:25 AM
As far as I know, nobody claims that human beings or any other creatures are accidents. Life evolves to fit its environment. We are really created by our environment. This planet has an oxygen atmosphere and consequently, the animals that live on the surface have lungs. The element of chance has to do with the range of characteristics in a population – some people are taller than others, for example.

When I say accident I mean there was no overriding plan or purpose for humankind. No one intended our existence. Biological life on this earth was an accident, no intention was involved.


Science tells us that all life is temporary and the Universe will eventually grow cold and dark but in the meantime we should enjoy what we have and decide for ourselves what our purpose is because we are the one animal that that has the power to control its own environment. In short, we create the creator both in fact and fantasy. It is a very responsible position to hold - are we up to the challenge?

Oh please...

Wally
05-09-2014, 05:46 AM
What is the difference from an evolutionary stand point?

"Good" has nothing to do with evolution, it's an entirely subjective human judgement.

"Successful" is the unambiguous result of a process.

The males of our species have a primal urge to nail every available female that's available. That's a "successful" strategy to disseminate our genes, but we, as a cooperative society have made the subjective judgment, that it is not a "good" thing to do.

seer
05-09-2014, 06:01 AM
"Good" has nothing to do with evolution, it's an entirely subjective human judgement.

"Successful" is the unambiguous result of a process.

Back to the OP, then what the Europeans did in North America was wildly successful. And if we subjectively label that as "bad" then the opinion is meaningless.


The males of our species have a primal urge to nail every available female that's available. That's a "successful" strategy to disseminate our genes, but we, as a cooperative society have made the subjective judgment, that it is not a "good" thing to do.

Not quite true - you may want to disseminate your genes through the neighbor's wife, but then the neighbor may want to shoot you. We always come back to survival.

Wally
05-09-2014, 06:29 AM
Back to the OP, then what the Europeans did in North America was wildly successful. And if we subjectively label that as "bad" then the opinion is meaningless.

At the time, the Europeans judged it as "Good", now in more enlightened times, it is considered "Bad".

In both instances, it was "successful" from the European point of view, and "unsuccessful" in the native Americans point of view.




Not quite true - you may want to disseminate your genes through the neighbor's wife, but then the neighbor may want to shoot you. We always come back to survival.

Our biology gives us the primal urge, our intellect holds us in check (most of the time).

Our biology is "successful" or "unsuccessful", our intellect allows us to judge "Good" and "Bad".

Mixing these two concepts will assure that you will not understand reality.

seer
05-09-2014, 07:53 AM
At the time, the Europeans judged it as "Good", now in more enlightened times, it is considered "Bad".

In both instances, it was "successful" from the European point of view, and "unsuccessful" in the native Americans point of view.

In reality it was very a successful strategy for the Europeans, and that is all that matters in the end - not our subjective labels.




Our biology gives us the primal urge, our intellect holds us in check (most of the time).

Our biology is "successful" or "unsuccessful", our intellect allows us to judge "Good" and "Bad".

Mixing these two concepts will assure that you will not understand reality.

No, I'm saying that "good" or "bad" are, in the end, meaningless concepts - survival is what counts. In that context one could say that what is "good" is what helps the organism to survive, what is "bad" is what causes its death.

Roy
05-09-2014, 08:04 AM
Then what is more important than survival?ReproductionWell yes, because that is needed for survival of the species.You weren't asking about survival of the species, you were asking about survival of individuals.

Individuals that reproduce without surviving are evolutionarily fitter than individuals that survive without reproducing. Which is why black widow spiders and praying mantises behave the way they do, and why all your attempts to paint Hitler as acting according to evolution failed.

Stick to arguing in favour of your own position rather than against misrepresentations of evolution, since you presumably understand the former. You might still appear stupid, but at least you'd appear honest.

Roy

JonF
05-09-2014, 08:19 AM
Back to the OP, then what the Europeans did in North America was wildly successful.

Yuppers.


And if we subjectively label that as "bad" then the opinion is meaningless.

Nope.

Wally
05-09-2014, 08:20 AM
In reality it was very a successful strategy for the Europeans, and that is all that matters in the end - not our subjective labels.





No, I'm saying that "good" or "bad" are, in the end, meaningless concepts - survival is what counts. In that context one could say that what is "good" is what helps the organism to survive, what is "bad" is what causes its death.


So you basically have a sociopathic view of humanity, good to know.

If you can't separate biology and ethics, you have no moral compass.

seer
05-09-2014, 08:47 AM
You weren't asking about survival of the species, you were asking about survival of individuals.

And? Survival is survival. And perhaps it is best for the stronger, more aggressive, and more clever members of a group to survive at the expense of the weaker members. Like with my example of the chimps.


Individuals that reproduce without surviving are evolutionarily fitter than individuals that survive without reproducing. Which is why black widow spiders and praying mantises behave the way they do, and why all your attempts to paint Hitler as acting according to evolution failed.

What are you talking about, are these chimps acting according to evolutionary principles?



In 1974, Jane Goodall witnessed a disturbing scene in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. A gang of male chimpanzees invaded their neighbors’ territory and attacked a male chimp sitting by himself in a tree. The intruders dragged the chimpanzee to the ground, pinned him down, and bit and hit him all over his body. The attack ended when one member of the gang threw a rock at the bleeding victim. The battered chimp was never seen again and presumably died from his injuries.

The murderous chimpanzees weren’t attacking a stranger: They had recently all belonged to the same group. When the group split in two, one community took over the northern half of the range and the other the southern half. From 1974 to 1977, during the “four-year war,” the northern males obliterated the southern community, hunting down and killing all of its adult males. The northerners took over their enemies’ territory and females.

seer
05-09-2014, 08:51 AM
If you can't separate biology and ethics, you have no moral compass.

Well wouldn't my moral compass be the result of biology. The way the evolutionary process created me to think and act?

Wally
05-09-2014, 09:20 AM
Well wouldn't my moral compass be the result of biology. The way the evolutionary process created me to think and act?

If you are really interested in how behavior in humans developed, try reading "The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are" by Robert Wright (I can't believe it's 20 years old now). It helps to understand how our behavior has independently evolved to sometimes counter our natural biological urges.

seer
05-09-2014, 09:23 AM
It helps to understand how our behavior has independently evolved to sometimes counter our natural biological urges.

No, why don't you tell us. What exactly is it in us that is not biological? What is this thing that rises above and controls biology?

HMS_Beagle
05-09-2014, 09:35 AM
No, why don't you tell us. What exactly is it in us that is not biological? What is this thing that rises above and controls biology?

Evolved behavioral traits. Humans are social animals and we have evolved social traits like altruism that help the overall group at the expense of the individual. This is not uncommon in nature. Look at honeybees and ants - how many worker drones have to die so the queen survives to produce the next generation?

Of course there is lots of variation in individuals too. Some people are very altruistic, some are selfish sociopaths. But on average as a species our evolved behaviors help the species survive.

Roy
05-09-2014, 09:47 AM
You weren't asking about survival of the species, you were asking about survival of individuals.And? Survival is survival.And you are deliberately equivocating between two different concepts in order to disseminate your falsehoods and escape the consequences of your own ignorance.

Survival of a species is not the same as survival of individual members of that species, as the examples you ignored demonstrate.

Roy

seer
05-09-2014, 10:12 AM
Evolved behavioral traits. Humans are social animals and we have evolved social traits like altruism that help the overall group at the expense of the individual. This is not uncommon in nature. Look at honeybees and ants - how many worker drones have to die so the queen survives to produce the next generation?

Of course there is lots of variation in individuals too. Some people are very altruistic, some are selfish sociopaths. But on average as a species our evolved behaviors help the species survive.

Well of course, and?

seer
05-09-2014, 10:17 AM
And you are deliberately equivocating between two different concepts in order to disseminate your falsehoods and escape the consequences of your own ignorance.

Survival of a species is not the same as survival of individual members of that species, as the texamples you ignored demonstrate.

Roy


No I'm not Roy, I'm speaking of survival (for individuals or species, since species need individuals). Is the stronger, more aggressive, and more clever members of a group ability survive at the expense of the weaker members, not helpful to the species over all?

And again, you said: and why all your attempts to paint Hitler as acting according to evolution failed.

So I asked, are these chimps acting according to evolutionary principles - yes or no?


In 1974, Jane Goodall witnessed a disturbing scene in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. A gang of male chimpanzees invaded their neighbors’ territory and attacked a male chimp sitting by himself in a tree. The intruders dragged the chimpanzee to the ground, pinned him down, and bit and hit him all over his body. The attack ended when one member of the gang threw a rock at the bleeding victim. The battered chimp was never seen again and presumably died from his injuries.

The murderous chimpanzees weren’t attacking a stranger: They had recently all belonged to the same group. When the group split in two, one community took over the northern half of the range and the other the southern half. From 1974 to 1977, during the “four-year war,” the northern males obliterated the southern community, hunting down and killing all of its adult males. The northerners took over their enemies’ territory and females.

rogue06
05-09-2014, 11:58 AM
Reproduction.

Roy
Exactly. That is what "survival of the fittest" is all about.

klaus54
05-09-2014, 12:12 PM
Exactly. That is what "survival of the fittest" is all about.

Did Seer ever answer the question "What was the atheists' ethical basis before Darwin?"?

Denis Diderot, e.g.

Cultural evolution layers over biological evolution, the former using altruism in some cases as survival strategy. Of course, the further one gets from a in-group the less altruism is useful. It's only been post-WWII (IMO) that the developed nation notion of global altruism/humanism became manifest. It's one reason the people got into the habit of judging history in the morals terms of modern humanism. Abraham Lincoln was a awful racist by today's standards, even more that Charles Darwin.

Of course one could argue that Jesus' teachings were exceedingly novel for the First Century in terms of "loving others."

K54

seer
05-09-2014, 12:13 PM
Exactly. That is what "survival of the fittest" is all about.


Yes: during the “four-year war,” the northern males obliterated the southern community, hunting down and killing all of its adult males. The northerners took over their enemies’ territory and females.

The northern males did very well. Just like the Europeans in North America.

HMS_Beagle
05-09-2014, 12:23 PM
Yes: during the “four-year war,” the northern males obliterated the southern community, hunting down and killing all of its adult males. The northerners took over their enemies’ territory and females.

The northern males did very well. Just like the Europeans in North America.

Do you have any sort of point at all?

Central California has been experiencing one of the worst droughts in its recorded history, threatening record crop losses. Last week a small thunderstorm finally came through and provided enough water for the crops to survive. However, several children playing outside were killed by lightning.

Was the storm good or bad?

klaus54
05-09-2014, 12:30 PM
Do you have any sort of point at all?

Central California has been experiencing one of the worst droughts in its recorded history, threatening record crop losses. Last week a small thunderstorm finally came through and provided enough water for the crops to survive. However, several children playing outside were killed by lightning.

Was the storm good or bad?

Seer had better be careful that his tactic does not backfire on him and ignite another Evolution-Theodicy war.

It looks like peace negotiations are falling apart fast.

K54

seer
05-09-2014, 01:05 PM
Do you have any sort of point at all?

Central California has been experiencing one of the worst droughts in its recorded history, threatening record crop losses. Last week a small thunderstorm finally came through and provided enough water for the crops to survive. However, several children playing outside were killed by lightning.

Was the storm good or bad?

Yes I have a point, in the evolutionary model the only thing that matters, in the end, is survival. If cruelty helps the group to survive, then that is good or advantageous, if cooperation helps the group to survive then that is good or advantageous. And from this worldview there is no rational argument that would condemn what the Europeans did in North America, as a matter of fact just the opposite - what they did (like the northern males chimps in my link) was extremely successful.

rwatts
05-09-2014, 01:09 PM
There may have been no advantage in cooperation, perhaps there was just not enough feeding ground for both groups, perhaps resources were limited. But from an evolutionary stand point the northern males win, and get to pass on their genes - and that is all that matters in the end - correct?And there may have been an advantage in cooperation. Had they cooperated, they may have found out how to overcome the limitations and do even better than if one group had wiped out the other.

One speculation as if it just has to be the correct one, deserves another speculation. As I pointed out previously, evolutionary speaking - neither good or bad. Evolution has no perspective, any more than rainfall has a perspective. Both are natural processes. If rain falls on an already greened country and continues to miss the drought infected country, then is the weather good, bad or just being naughty?



From previous posts:-

If the group that did the wiping out was favoured by God, and the group that was wiped out was not favoured by God, would the outcome have been good or bad?

HMS_Beagle
05-09-2014, 01:20 PM
Yes I have a point, in the evolutionary model the only thing that matters, in the end, is survival. If cruelty helps the group to survive, then that is good or advantageous, if cooperation helps the group to survive then that is good or advantageous. And from this worldview there is no rational argument that would condemn what the Europeans did in North America, as a matter of fact just the opposite - what they did (like the northern males chimps in my link) was extremely successful.

I see you still don't grasp the concept that cultural traits are different than evolution produced behavioral traits.

But then again you really don't want to understand, do you? :ahem:

BTW, you forgot to tell me if the thunderstorm in the previous example was good or bad.

seer
05-09-2014, 01:34 PM
I see you still don't grasp the concept that cultural traits are different than evolution produced behavioral traits.

But it is a distinction without a difference. Cultural traits are driven or created by biology. There is nothing else...


BTW, you forgot to tell me if the thunderstorm in the previous example was good or bad.

Nope, not letting you turn it around HMS.

seer
05-09-2014, 01:38 PM
And there may have been an advantage in cooperation. Had they cooperated, they may have found out how to overcome the limitations and do even better than if one group had wiped out the other.

One speculation as if it just has to be the correct one, deserves another speculation. As I pointed out previously, evolutionary speaking - neither good or bad. Evolution has no perspective, any more than rainfall has a perspective. Both are natural processes. If rain falls on an already greened country and continues to miss the drought infected country, then is the weather good, bad or just being naughty?

Ok, so what the Europeans did in North America was morally neutral? Neither good no bad?



If the group that did the wiping out was favoured by God, and the group that was wiped out was not favoured by God, would the outcome have been good or bad?

I'll tell you what I told HMS - I'm not letting you guys turn the argument. Stay on topic.

HMS_Beagle
05-09-2014, 01:40 PM
But it is a distinction without a difference. Cultural traits are driven or created by biology. There is nothing else...

It's an easily understandable difference for people who have actually studied and understand the two subjects. For willfully ignorant layman trying to justify their religion-based prejudices, no so much so. :shrug:


Nope, not letting you turn it around HMS.

Most Creationists run from the tough questions they can't answer.

Is a lion who kills a gazelle in order to feed her cubs being cruel?

seer
05-09-2014, 01:43 PM
It's an easily understandable difference for people who have actually studied and understand the two subjects. For willfully ignorant layman trying to justify their religion-based prejudices, no so much so. :shrug:

Really? Let me ask you HMS - was what the chimps did cultural or biological?

HMS_Beagle
05-09-2014, 01:44 PM
Ok, so what the Europeans did in North America was morally neutral? Neither good no bad?

Morality is a subjective human cultural judgement, not an evolutionary one.


I'll tell you what I told HMS - I'm not letting you guys turn the argument. Stay on topic.

We are on topic. Just showing how your ignorance of the basic science warps your views.

seer
05-09-2014, 01:46 PM
Morality is a subjective human cultural judgement, not an evolutionary one.

So whose cultural judgement was correct - the Europeans or the Native Americans?

HMS_Beagle
05-09-2014, 01:49 PM
Really? Let me ask you HMS - was what the chimps did cultural or biological?

The original Slate article you linked to explained it pretty well. Maybe you should try reading the whole thing instead of just cherry-picking the parts you perceive to be anti-evolution.

HMS_Beagle
05-09-2014, 01:51 PM
So whose cultural judgement was correct - the Europeans or the Native Americans?

Again that's a subjective human judgement. The answer will depend on which side you ask.

Is there a reason you're having this much trouble with such a simple concept?

klaus54
05-09-2014, 01:54 PM
Am I invisible here? :bawl:

HMS_Beagle
05-09-2014, 01:56 PM
Am I invisible here? :bawl:

Asking tough questions that Creationists won't answer tends to do that to folks. :teeth:

seer
05-09-2014, 02:06 PM
The original Slate article you linked to explained it pretty well. Maybe you should try reading the whole thing instead of just cherry-picking the parts you perceive to be anti-evolution.

I didn't say it was anti-evolution. So again HMS - was what the chimps did cultural or biological?

seer
05-09-2014, 02:08 PM
Again that's a subjective human judgement. The answer will depend on which side you ask.

Is there a reason you're having this much trouble with such a simple concept?

So again, if that is the case then these moral judgements and the cultural considerations you speak of are both meaningless and useless.

HMS_Beagle
05-09-2014, 02:14 PM
I didn't say it was anti-evolution. So again HMS - was what the chimps did cultural or biological?

Read the article and the explanation about violence in fission-fusion societies. I can't do anything about your willful ignorance.

HMS_Beagle
05-09-2014, 02:16 PM
So again, if that is the case then these moral judgements and the cultural considerations you speak of are both meaningless and useless.

You're free to believe that if you wish. Everyone else is free to ignore your ignorance based arguments.

seer
05-09-2014, 02:19 PM
Read the article and the explanation about violence in fission-fusion societies. I can't do anything about your willful ignorance.

Ok, so what the chimps did was biologically driven. So when we do it is it just as biologically driven?

HMS_Beagle
05-09-2014, 02:21 PM
Ok, so what the chimps did was biologically driven. So when we do it is it just as biologically driven?

Must be true if you say so. :ahem:

seer
05-09-2014, 02:23 PM
You're free to believe that if you wish. Everyone else is free to ignore your ignorance based arguments.

Let me frame it HMS so that even you can understand it.

Group one claims that 1+1=4, group two claims that 1+1=3. If there is no right answer then the claims are logically meaningless. If there is no standard to judge between the two claims then the claims are useless.

HMS_Beagle
05-09-2014, 02:29 PM
Let me frame it HMS so that even you can understand it.

Group one claims that 1+1=4, group two claims that 1+1=3. If there is no right answer then the claims are logically meaningless. If there is no standard to judge between the two claims then the claims are useless.

That's brilliant. You should write that up and submit it to Nature.

seer
05-09-2014, 03:10 PM
That's brilliant. You should write that up and submit it to Nature.

Not brilliant, just rational.


Must be true if you say so.

So you have no idea what you think - fine.

klaus54
05-09-2014, 03:17 PM
Not brilliant, just rational.



So you have no idea what you think - fine.

By this time in the thread I have no clue what Seer's point is supposed to be.

K54

HMS_Beagle
05-09-2014, 03:18 PM
Not brilliant, just rational.

No, it's brilliant. I can give you the address to send your idea to Nature if you'd like.

Paradigm-changing intelligence like yours should be recognized.

rwatts
05-09-2014, 03:48 PM
Ok, so what the Europeans did in North America was morally neutral? Neither good no bad? I had already explained that in a previous post.

Let me quote myself again (I'll even bold it for you Seer):-


That our ancestors came and wiped out other people so that we could exist was bad for those other people. Was it good for us? Well that's a tough one, because if they did not do it, we would not exist.

And if we did not exist, then the question would be meaningless.

So, was it good that our ancestors did it? I don't think so. Had they not done it, then I would not be upset.

Can you see it now?

However, from the perspective of the process of evolution:-


Evolution has no perspective, any more than rainfall has a perspective. Both are natural processes. If rain falls on an already greened country and continues to miss the drought infected country, then is the weather good, bad or just being naughty?
the drought infected country, then is meteorology good or naughty?

Did you see what I wrote just above, about evolution being neutral given that it's a natural process, just like rainfall? Evolution does not bring our values to an outcome, anymore than rainfall does.



I'll tell you what I told HMS - I'm not letting you guys turn the argument. Stay on topic.Sure, staying on topic is important. But you keep on wandering off.

When we tell you what the perspective is from the point of view of evolution, you keep on ignoring what we say. So you can hardly point the finger at us. We answer you, and you ignore us.

Hence, do you have an answer to this or not? Here it is:-

If the group that did the wiping out was favoured by God, and the group that was wiped out was not favoured by God, would the outcome have been good or bad?

seer
05-09-2014, 03:59 PM
I had already explained that in a previous post.

Let me quote myself again (I'll even bold it for you Seer):-



Can you see it now?

However, from the perspective of the process of evolution:-



Did you see what I wrote just above, about evolution being neutral given that it's a natural process, just like rainfall? Evolution does not bring our values to an outcome, anymore than rainfall does.

I understand everything you said. I did not say that evolution makes moral judgments. The point was that survival, in the end, is the only thing that counts. Whether that survival is aided by killing your neighbor or loving your neighbor. And there is no independent rule or standard that can decide between these two possibilities. If it works, it works - all other considerations, ethical or otherwise, are meaningless or useless.

rwatts
05-09-2014, 04:11 PM
I understand everything you said. I did not say that evolution makes moral judgments. The point was that survival, in the end, is the only thing that counts. Whether that survival is aided by killing your neighbor or loving your neighbor. And there is no independent rule or standard that can decide between these two possibilities. If it works, it works - all other considerations, ethical or otherwise, are meaningless or useless.That's just like the process of rainfall, right seer.

Falling to the ground when the drops get too heavy is all that counts. Wether or not it falls on the drought stricken, the well watered, or the flooded - there is no independent standard by which we can choose between good, bad, or indifferent. We bring those value judgements to the rain and where it fell.


Because you seem to want to discuss independent standards then:-

If the group that did the wiping out was favoured by God, and the group that was wiped out was not favoured by God, would the outcome have been good or bad?

Roy
05-09-2014, 04:25 PM
And you are deliberately equivocating between two different concepts in order to disseminate your falsehoods and escape the consequences of your own ignorance.

Survival of a species is not the same as survival of individual members of that species, as the examples you ignored demonstrate.No I'm not Roy, I'm speaking of survival (for individuals or species, since species need individuals).Yes you are, and you just did it again. Survival of a species is not the same as survival of individual members of that species.

If you were smarter, I'd call you a liar.

Roy

seer
05-09-2014, 05:59 PM
That's just like the process of rainfall, right seer.

Falling to the ground when the drops get too heavy is all that counts. Wether or not it falls on the drought stricken, the well watered, or the flooded - there is no independent standard by which we can choose between good, bad, or indifferent. We bring those value judgements to the rain and where it fell.

Yes, but those moral judgments are either meaningless or inconsistent.

Look, I gave an example with the chimpanzees. One group comes in and decimates the other group taking their territory, feeding grounds, and females. We don't bring moral judgments to that event. It is merely evolution in action. But when the Europeans do almost the exact same thing the American Indian you all feel the need to try couch it in moral language when in reality it is, again, merely evolution in action. It is no more moral or immoral as what the northern chimpanzees did to the southern chimpanzees. Rain falling is not a moral event, no matter the language we use.

seer
05-09-2014, 06:01 PM
Yes you are, and you just did it again. Survival of a species is not the same as survival of individual members of that species.

If you were smarter, I'd call you a liar.

Roy

It doesn't matter Roy, whether it is one species decimating another species or one group decimating another group of the same species.

klaus54
05-09-2014, 06:40 PM
The Israelites slaughtered the Caananites. Nothing to do with evolution. Was that good or evil?

K54

firstfloor
05-10-2014, 12:35 AM
Yes, but those moral judgments are either meaningless or inconsistent.

Look, I gave an example with the chimpanzees. One group comes in and decimates the other group taking their territory, feeding grounds, and females. We don't bring moral judgments to that event. It is merely evolution in action. But when the Europeans do almost the exact same thing the American Indian you all feel the need to try couch it in moral language when in reality it is, again, merely evolution in action. It is no more moral or immoral as what the northern chimpanzees did to the southern chimpanzees. Rain falling is not a moral event, no matter the language we use.You are pretending to know what is going on inside the chimpanzees head just as you pretend to know where morals come from. Do you assume that they are not moral creatures even while you know that they are social animals like us? Do you have any idea what monkey morals are? And why do you say that we do not have a moral attitude towards their behaviour? I think we do. Why do you seem to equate chimps with rainfall – do you not see the dissimilarity between living and non-living matter?

Evolution is not an action in the sense you mean. It is not a driving force or directed at any goal or purpose. In particular it is not directed at the creation of higher animals or big brains or us. If the experiment called ‘life on earth’ was rerun, we might not emerge a second time.

rwatts
05-10-2014, 01:20 AM
Yes, but those moral judgments are either meaningless or inconsistent.

Look, I gave an example with the chimpanzees. One group comes in and decimates the other group taking their territory, feeding grounds, and females. We don't bring moral judgments to that event. It is merely evolution in action. But when the Europeans do almost the exact same thing the American Indian you all feel the need to try couch it in moral language when in reality it is, again, merely evolution in action. It is no more moral or immoral as what the northern chimpanzees did to the southern chimpanzees. Rain falling is not a moral event, no matter the language we use.Do you think that if you were an evolutionist then you would lose your morals??????

Deary me. We don't. So why should you?



Because you seem to want to discuss independent standards then:-

If the group that did the wiping out was favoured by God, and the group that was wiped out was not favoured by God, would the outcome have been good or bad?

firstfloor
05-10-2014, 03:30 AM
Why God is not the answer to the question about the origin of morals:

According to AronRa, God is anthropological, magical and eternal. God is conceived to be like us but not one of us. By using words such as omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence we attempt to answer ‘why’ questions and distance ourselves from our gods. But the fact is that although we can construct the words we are unable to answer ‘how’ questions. Without the ‘how’ answer we are unable to claim that we understand what we are talking about. This means that God is a cognitive trick and therefore cannot possibly be the source of morals.

seer
05-10-2014, 03:33 AM
Do you think that if you were an evolutionist then you would lose your morals??????

Deary me. We don't. So why should you?

That is not the point, I'm not saying that all atheists are completely immoral and smell bad (though we are all sinners). Do you agree that what Europeans did and what the northern chimpanzees are both examples of evolutionary events? If not, what is the difference? The second problem is this, the atheist has no independent ethical standard to appeal to. So you offer answers like - well what the Europeans did was good for them, but not good for the American Indian. As a moral theory this is completely useless or contradictory. The only objective standard you can appeal to is was this strategy successful in the evolutionary sense - yes it was for Europeans, as with northern chimpanzees - and in the end that is all that counts - their genes get passed in, the genes from the losing groups don't, or are severely curtailed.



If the group that did the wiping out was favoured by God, and the group that was wiped out was not favoured by God, would the outcome have been good or bad?

If God decides to remove an individual or individuals from this earth then it is a completely just act.

seer
05-10-2014, 03:36 AM
You are pretending to know what is going on inside the chimpanzees head just as you pretend to know where morals come from. Do you assume that they are not moral creatures even while you know that they are social animals like us? Do you have any idea what monkey morals are? And why do you say that we do not have a moral attitude towards their behaviour? I think we do. Why do you seem to equate chimps with rainfall – do you not see the dissimilarity between living and non-living matter?

Evolution is not an action in the sense you mean. It is not a driving force or directed at any goal or purpose. In particular it is not directed at the creation of higher animals or big brains or us. If the experiment called ‘life on earth’ was rerun, we might not emerge a second time.

So what the northern chimps did was not an evolutionary event? It was something else?

Roy
05-10-2014, 04:10 AM
It doesn't matter Roy, whether it is one species decimating another species or one group decimating another group of the same species.That's
1) irrelevant to your equivocation between survival of individuals vs survival of species, which you have now effectively conceded, and
2) poppycock.

Your own example:
One group comes in and decimates the other group taking their territory, feeding grounds, and females.shows how and why it does matter. If the two groups aren't of the same species, then the victors have no use for their adversaries' females.

There are other considerations (the fraction of shared genes, ecological relationships, range boundary effects) by which the difference between group vs group and species vs species matter, but if you missed the relevance of additional mate acquisition you have no chance of even comprehending them.

Roy

Roy
05-10-2014, 04:13 AM
Do you think that if you were an evolutionist then you would lose your morals??????

Deary me. We don't. So why should you?He's lost some of them - if he ever had them - without being an evolutionist. Why would he change?

Roy

firstfloor
05-10-2014, 04:34 AM
So what the northern chimps did was not an evolutionary event? It was something else?
I think it is wrong to think of evolution as being comprised of a series of events. “Evolution” is just the word we use to describe the processes that incrementally give rise to change and diversity over time. It works on the scale of populations rather than individuals although you might with hindsight pick out a particularly important individual in a population or a very significant environmental occurrence.

Similarly to the way we understand the motion of objects through space by a theory of gravity, we understand diversity in biology by a theory of evolution. So, if two objects collide you would not describe it as a gravitational event necessarily. Gravity works just the same without the collision and the colliding objects do not need to know about gravity. Likewise, a chimp going to ‘war’ is not an evolutionary event but we may understand the existence of the chimp by its evolutionary history.

Jorge
05-10-2014, 04:51 AM
It wasn't very good for the Native Americans. "Good" is a relative and very subjective term.

It was also a cultural clash, nothing to do with biological evolution.

In case you haven't noticed, 'Einstein', Evolution is being used to explain EVERYTHING - how language arrived and 'evolves', consciousness, sex (including deviant sexual practices), biological diversity (of course), the origin of life itself .................

Wait ... what am I doing? ... I'm trying to get 'Beagle'/Tiggy to see/accept the truth.
That's like trying to convince Obama that the best thing he could do for the U.S.A. is to resign immediately!
Think that will ever happen? Yeah, right ... the day Frosty the Snowman is elected Governor in Hell. :lol:
Mea culpa ! :blush:

Jorge

Jorge

firstfloor
05-10-2014, 05:34 AM
Evolution is being used to explain EVERYTHING - how language arrived and 'evolves', consciousness, sex (including deviant sexual practices), biological diversity (of course), the origin of life itself ............You should try AronRa’s ‘foundational falsehoods’ series. They would help clear up a lot of your confusion.

seer
05-10-2014, 07:35 AM
That's
1) irrelevant to your equivocation between survival of individuals vs survival of species, which you have now effectively conceded, and
2) poppycock.

Your own example:shows how and why it does matter. If the two groups aren't of the same species, then the victors have no use for their adversaries' females.

There are other considerations (the fraction of shared genes, ecological relationships, range boundary effects) by which the difference between group vs group and species vs species matter, but if you missed the relevance of additional mate acquisition you have no chance of even comprehending them.

Roy


You are missing the forest for the trees. It doesn't matter if a species of bacteria invades and destroys another species of bacteria, or one group of the same species destroys another group from said species - like the chimp or European examples - they are all merely evolutionary processes working out. And I have been told time and time again that we don't assign moral values to such processes - good then don't - don't with the chimpanzee, nor with the Europeans. What the chimps did was perfectly natural, and what the Europeans did was perfectly natural. No more moral or immoral than a flood.

firstfloor
05-10-2014, 08:17 AM
What the chimps did was perfectly natural, and what the Europeans did was perfectly natural. No more moral or immoral than a flood.What you are missing is that morality is also natural.

seer
05-10-2014, 08:22 AM
What you are missing is that morality is also natural.

And meaningless, was what the northern chimpanzees did to the southern chimpanzees immoral FF?

JonF
05-10-2014, 08:31 AM
And I have been told time and time again that we don't assign moral values to such processes

You have been told time and time again that the ToE and the process of evolution do not assign moral values to such processes but humans (and, it seems, some aniumals) do.

klaus54
05-10-2014, 09:25 AM
Seer,

Did atheists' basis for morality change when biological and cultural evolutionary theory became manifest? Simple question.

K54

P.S. Seer, I'd also like to see your definition of morality. When definitions are not agreed upon, people talk past each other.

firstfloor
05-10-2014, 10:01 AM
And meaningless, was what the northern chimpanzees did to the southern chimpanzees immoral FF?I cannot say. It is not for us to judge the morality of another species and we do not need to copy them either. The fact that we observe behaviors in other primates that are similar to our own should not be surprising. Why do you think that morality is meaningless (if that is what you mean)? Innate or learned codes of behavior is what keeps families together, even families of monkeys. Observance of these codes is what constitutes morality and it is why cooperative groups prosper.

seer
05-10-2014, 10:38 AM
You have been told time and time again that the ToE and the process of evolution do not assign moral values to such processes but humans (and, it seems, some aniumals) do.

Yes, but moral language is meaningless. Again, was what northern chimpanzees did immoral, was what the Europeans immoral Jon?

seer
05-10-2014, 10:41 AM
I cannot say. It is not for us to judge the morality of another species and we do not need to copy them either. The fact that we observe behaviors in other primates that are similar to our own should not be surprising. Why do you think that morality is meaningless (if that is what you mean)? Innate or learned codes of behavior is what keeps families together, even families of monkeys. Observance of these codes is what constitutes morality and it is why cooperative groups prosper.

Then how is what northern chimpanzees did, in kind, any different from what the Europeans did? And is what Europeans did immoral? Both events are in keeping with nature, so why label one amoral and the other wrong or immoral?

Roy
05-10-2014, 11:07 AM
You are missing the forest for the trees.What trees? Most of what you've written is, as usual, nonsense. If I'm missing anything - which I don't think I am - I'm missing the forest for the plastic flamingoes.
It doesn't matter if a species of bacteria invades and destroys another species of bacteria, or one group of the same species destroys another group from said species - like the chimp or European examples - they are all merely evolutionary processes working out. And I have been told time and time again that we don't assign moral values to such processes - good then don't - don't with the chimpanzee, nor with the Europeans.Who did? AFAIK no-one in this thread has assigned moral values to those processes. And if they haven't it makes your entire argument a colossal straw-man and you a fraud.

Roy

firstfloor
05-10-2014, 11:15 AM
Then how is what northern chimpanzees did, in kind, any different from what the Europeans did? And is what Europeans did immoral? Both events are in keeping with nature, so why label one amoral and the other wrong or immoral?Morality is a matter of judgment. There is no absolute measurement available unless you decide (itself a moral decision) to go (as you do) to a specific literature. In that case your moral choices are dictated to you by the literature you choose and you run the risk that your moral standard becomes obsolete over time.

seer
05-10-2014, 11:54 AM
Who did? AFAIK no-one in this thread has assigned moral values to those processes. And if they haven't it makes your entire argument a colossal straw-man and you a fraud.

Roy

Good, so what the Europeans did was not morally wrong. Then nothing is morally wrong - there are only evolutionary processes. Thanks...

seer
05-10-2014, 12:00 PM
Morality is a matter of judgment. There is no absolute measurement available unless you decide (itself a moral decision) to go (as you do) to a specific literature. In that case your moral choices are dictated to you by the literature you choose and you run the risk that your moral standard becomes obsolete over time.

That is exactly what I mean - you can not even say that what Europeans did was immoral. That is why all such ethical language is meaningless. If 1+1 could equal 3, and 4, an 2 then all math language becomes useless. If there is no right answer then it is an exercise in futility.

Roy
05-10-2014, 12:33 PM
And I have been told time and time again that we don't assign moral values to such processes - good then don't - don't with the chimpanzee, nor with the Europeans.
Who did? AFAIK no-one in this thread has assigned moral values to those processes. And if they haven't it makes your entire argument a colossal straw-man and you a fraud.Good, so what the Europeans did was not morally wrong.Now you are a liar.

Not even you are dumb enough not to know that I neither said nor implied any such thing.
Then nothing is morally wrong - there are only evolutionary processes. Thanks...But apparently you are dumb enough not to spot the obvious fallacy in the above. Unless you're lying again.

Roy

firstfloor
05-10-2014, 12:46 PM
That is exactly what I mean - you can not even say that what Europeans did was immoral. That is why all such ethical language is meaningless. If 1+1 could equal 3, and 4, an 2 then all math language becomes useless. If there is no right answer then it is an exercise in futility.Why does there need to be a right answer? Moral questions are not mathematical. Typically, they are about optimizing the good but the solution will depend on what is considered good. It used to be considered a good thing to burn witches. Not any more. Perhaps moral perfection is unattainable but I can’t see why you would want to abandon the project.

seer
05-10-2014, 12:52 PM
Why does there need to be a right answer? Moral questions are not mathematical. Typically, they are about optimizing the good but the solution will depend on what is considered good. It used to be considered a good thing to burn witches. Not any more. Perhaps moral perfection is unattainable but I can’t see why you would want to abandon the project.

Then what Europeans did was good. If they say it was, and if there are no right answers, then like in the math example, it is an exercise in futility - useless moral jabbering.

seer
05-10-2014, 12:56 PM
Not even you are dumb enough not to know that I neither said nor implied no any such thing.
Roy

Really Roy? So do you assign moral blame to the Europeans?

firstfloor
05-10-2014, 12:59 PM
Then what Europeans did was good. If they say it was, and if there are no right answers, then like in the math example, it is an exercise in futility - useless moral jabbering.Who knows what they thought at the time. Their moral code is superseded by ours. Ours, no doubt, will be superseded by something else. I don’t see the problem. The Bible itself represents a superseded moral code. If there was an absolute, unchanging standard, where would you find it?

rwatts
05-10-2014, 01:11 PM
That is not the point, I'm not saying that all atheists are completely immoral and smell bad (though we are all sinners). Do you agree that what Europeans did and what the northern chimpanzees are both examples of evolutionary events? If not, what is the difference? They are events.

In both cases they improved the reproductive fitness of one group at the expense of another group. So they were good for one group but bad for another group. In the case of the humans, the Europeans did not need to do it the way they did. They had a moral choice and their choice was very bad. Maybe the chimps could have cooperated and it would have been a win, win situation.

That this happened was perhaps evolutionary bad in that the less fit group happened to win - in both cases.


The second problem is this, the atheist has no independent ethical standard to appeal to.

So seer, was the outcome God's will in both cases?


So you offer answers like - well what the Europeans did was good for them, but not good for the American Indian. As a moral theory this is completely useless or contradictory.You did ask whether or not it was good or bad. You got your answer so don't be silly.



The only objective standard you can appeal to -

So was the outcome, God's will, in both cases?


- is was this strategy successful in the evolutionary sense - yes it was for Europeans, as with northern chimpanzees - and in the end that is all that counts - their genes get passed in, the genes from the losing groups don't, or are severely curtailed. Well yes. If rain falls on the drought stricken, that's all that matters for the suffering. It's good. But if it does not, then it's bad.

"Good" and "bad" are values we assign to the process of rainfall and evolution. As processes, they are neutral in how they feel about it. I'll wager that nether losing group thought it good, whether or not they accepted evolution. Many in the winning groups may have thought it good. In the case of humans though, not every one did. I don't think it was good.

I'll wager that you think it good in both cases, right seer, if you thought that it was God's will. Do you think it was God's will in both cases? If not, then how do you know?



If God decides to remove an individual or individuals from this earth then it is a completely just act.So if God wrote the Bible up as a joke book and by believing it, all Christians go to hell and all non believers to heaven, then that is a completely just act? It's an act that is as just as all Christians going to heaven and all non believers to hell?

In such a universe of absolutes, you have no hope do you seer. Whatever God does to you, is always just. It's as good casting you in hell for believing as it is taking you into heaven. So why is one outcome any more likely than the other?

seer
05-10-2014, 01:30 PM
They are events.

In both cases they improved the reproductive fitness of one group at the expense of another group. So they were good for one group but bad for another group. In the case of the humans, the Europeans did not need to do it the way they did. They had a moral choice and their choice was very bad. Maybe the chimps could have cooperated and it would have been a win, win situation.

Really? Now you believe in free will? So why assign moral blame to the Europeans, and not the chimps? Are not Europeans acting just as much from their biological nature as the chimpanzees?

rwatts
05-10-2014, 01:35 PM
Really? So now you believe in free will? So why assign moral blame to the Europeans, and not the chimps? Are not Europeans acting just as much from their biological nature as the chimpanzees?Well we think that Europeans have a lot more self awareness than do chimps. We think they have much more of an ability to make those kind of "good" or "bad" calls.

Evolutionary speaking, the less fit might have won in both cases, just as the more fit might have won.

In your world of absolute, objective morality, it seems that anything goes, providing two conditions are met:-

1) It's God's will and

2) You agree that it's God's will

So was it God's will in both cases seer?

seer
05-10-2014, 01:40 PM
Well we think that Europeans have a lot more self awareness than do chimps. We think they have much more of an ability to make those kind of "good" or "bad" calls.

What does awareness have to do with whether there is freedom of will. Or whether we are just as biologically driven as chimpanzee. And where does "good" come into the picture? Good for whom?

Roy
05-10-2014, 01:55 PM
Not even you are dumb enough not to know that I neither said nor implied no any such thing.Really Roy?Yes, really. But if I'm wrong, and you actually are that dumb, I'm happy to be corrected.
So do you assign moral blame to the Europeans?Given that the colonisation of North America by Europeans took four centuries and involved many different events instigated by a wide range of cultures for a variety of reasons, I don't think it can be reduced to a simple yes/no answer. Nor do I see any point in producing a longer one since you've just demonstrated that your only interest in the answer is to distort it to support your preconceived purpose.

Roy

rwatts
05-10-2014, 01:59 PM
What does awareness have to do with whether there is freedom of will.?

Because we like to think we have choices in how we act, based on what we call self awareness.



Or whether we are just as biologically driven as chimpanzee.Perhaps we are. But then there is this thing called self awareness which seems to be a new player, and takes us somewhat beyond being just biologically driven.


And where does "good" come into the picture?????

Haven't you been told this repeatedly? Is it good that you completely ignore what we argue? Is it God's will that you completely ignore what we argue?

Why would it be God's will, and thus good, that you completely ignore what we argue?

"Good" and "bad" are values we assign.




Good for whom?See above.

In your world of absolute, objective morality, it seems that anything goes, providing two conditions are met:-

1) It's God's will and

2) You agree that it's God's will

So was it God's will in both cases seer? And is it God's will that you continue to ignore what we argue in the context of "good" and "bad"?

seer
05-10-2014, 02:08 PM
?

Because we like to think we have choices in how we act, based on what we call self awareness.


Perhaps we are. But then there is this thing called self awareness which seems to be a new player, and takes us somewhat beyond being just biologically driven.

Are you saying we have free will? That there is something beyond biology?



Haven't you been told this repeatedly? Is it good that you completely ignore what we argue?

Actually no, I haven't been.


"Good" and "bad" are values we assign.

So if the Europeans decided that what they did was good, and you decide that it was bad - who is correct?

rwatts
05-10-2014, 02:17 PM
Are you saying we have free will? That there is something beyond biology????

Why shouldn't there be?





Actually no, I haven't been.Yes you have. Would you like the links?



So if the Europeans decided that what they did was good, and you decide that it was bad - who is correct?I think I am correct. That's a no brainer, isn't it?*

Who do you think was correct?

In your world of absolute, objective morality, it seems that anything goes, providing two conditions are met:-

1) It's God's will and

2) You agree that it's God's will

So was it God's will in both cases seer- the Europeans and the chimps?


* Don't you ever think you are correct or incorrect about things? Do you think all your thoughts are God's thoughts and so you have no choice in the matter?

seer
05-10-2014, 02:42 PM
???

Why shouldn't there be?

Have you ever read men like Sam Harris? From a materialist's point of view how is he off?

http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/the-illusion-of-free-will-lecture-at-caltech


I think I am correct. That's a no brainer, isn't it?*

And they think they are. Which answer is actually correct?


Who do you think was correct?

We are not speaking of me or my theological views. This is a Natural Science board. If you really want a theological discussion on ethics and the law of God start a thread on Apologetics 301 and let me know.

rwatts
05-10-2014, 03:50 PM
Have you ever read men like Sam Harris? From a materialist's point of view how is he off?I don't have the ability to watch an hour's worth of video on my machine.

So what is his argument?



Actually no, I haven't been.

Yes you have. Would you like the links?
So do you want the links seer?



And they think they are. Which answer is actually correct? You think that the Europeans did good by invading and wiping out another culture, likewise you think the chimps did good by wiping out the other group?

In what sense is that an objective moral standard by your accounts? Does God agree with it?


And they think they are. Which answer is actually correct? Mine is correct, of course. (Do you think the European outlook was good, or bad - to use your system of judgement?)


We are not speaking of me or my theological views. This is a Natural Science board. If you really want a theological discussion on ethics and the law of God start a thread on Apologetics 301 and let me know.But you titled your OP as a question of ethics. You keep on raising questions of ethics. You refer to objective ethical standards. I know you are thinking in terms of your beliefs about God, so:-

In your world of absolute, objective morality, it seems that anything goes, providing two conditions are met:-

1) It's God's will and

2) You agree that it's God's will

So was it God's will in both cases seer- the Europeans and the chimps?


I'm happy to put questions to you in the same kind of light that you put questions to me. I'm happy to address your questions too.

seer
05-10-2014, 04:04 PM
I don't have the ability to watch an hour's worth of video on my machine.

So what is his argument?

That free will is n illusion, and not compatible with a scientific view of humanity.


You think that the Europeans did good by invading and wiping out another culture. Likewise you think the chimps did good by wiping out the other group?

In what sense is that an objective moral standard? Does God agree with it?

Mine is correct. In your view then, you think your view is correct because it's the objective view which is God's view?

But again you can not show that your opinion is any more valid or correct than the Europeans. Not only isn't there a correct answer there can't be a correct answer in your worldview. It all comes down to preference - one man likes steak, another lobster - neither is right or wrong, neither is more or less correct. That is why all your talk about ethics is, in the end, meaningless. Men arguing that preferring steak I better than preferring lobster.

Ok, I'm done here. If you want to start a thread ethics and the law of God start a thread on Apologetics 301 and I will gladly jump in.

rwatts
05-10-2014, 04:10 PM
That free will is n illusion, and not compatible with a scientific view of humanity.

Well, if it is an illusion, it's certainly an odd one. We like to think we have it, at the very least. So if my genes are telling me that I have it, then that's it. I have it. Most folk seem to share in my illusion and we agree that more or less, the European invasion cannot be justified in the context of taking the culture away from another group.

And we have told you this, repeatedly.


But again you can not show that your opinion is any more valid or correct than the Europeans. Not only isn't there a correct answer there can't be a correct answer in your worldview. It all comes down to preference - one man likes steak, another lobster - neither is right or wrong, neither is more or less correct. That is why all your talk about ethics is, in the end, meaningless.

Well you having absolute, objective truth does not seem to help any. I know you are doing wrong when you continually avoid things like this:-



Actually no, I haven't been.

Yes you have. Would you like the links?

Most people I think, would share my illusion. You are doing wrong.

If you think it correct because God agrees with it, then I'm interested in your evidence for this. I'll wager that God does not agree with it. So genes 'n God seem to agree.



Ok, I'm done here. If you want to start a thread ethics and the law of God start a thread on Apologetics 301 and I will gladly jump in.

It's up seer:-

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1944-A-concept-of-objective-morality-is-not-necessarily-a-good-thing-It-can-be-harmful&p=53489#post53489

Carrikature
05-13-2014, 06:58 AM
I was listening to lectures from my Global History from 1760 course this morning when I finally realized what I've been missing from the beginning.


The Europeans come to North America, pretty much decimate the native population, and in the process create, arguably, one of the most powerful countries in history.

This entire scenario is false. It implies that the act of decimating the population is what gave rise to one of the most powerful countries in history. It completely ignores all developments before and after, developments which assuredly had a much greater impact than the removal of the local population. What's more, the most grievous crimes against the Native Americans took place starting in the 1830s. It was not prior to the establishment of colonies that the native population was decimated. It was a couple of centuries later.