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Does it really matter....

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Posted Apr 11, '08 at 10:53pm

Skipper8656568

Skipper8656568

345 posts

There is no god seeing is beliveing i dont see so i dont belive! other religions do see their god though.

 

Posted Apr 12, '08 at 12:24am

Strop

Strop

11,085 posts

Moderator

How do we know which came first, our humanity or our morality?

I read the passage twice before I realised you may have sneaked another presumption in the below passage: that morality is confined to the domain of human consideration. At the same time, it doesn't appear to be consistently treated in the following sentence: "Small primate groups operate with some form of socially functioning hierarchy..."

I would examine this closely, particularly exactly what you mean by 'morality', because then it might make more sense to understand how life, in a taxonomical sense, precedes (my definition of) morality.

I'll expand: it makes sense to me in that one cannot have morality without life, and that life has a broader definition that entirely contains morality...assuming that the concept of taxonomy and evolution is at least in a broad sense valid, I could say that insofar as there is berth for social interaction there is a berth for the notion of morality- but we consider things that don't necessarily have this to be living (e.g. bacteria, fungi etc.) That said, that we recognise fundamental similarities between the social structures of other animal species and our own through our observation of their behaviors, and also our own interactions, which would imply that we could quite possibly apply the term moral beings to them as well.

As said above, this leaves me more versatile and more able to make sense of things I observe with greater precision.

Speaking of which, my definition of morality is the judgement that is formed by and informs behaviors. I should have said that earlier, my bad.

 

Posted Apr 12, '08 at 1:00am

garifu

garifu

172 posts

OK, that's helpful.

I was thinking that "society" and "social interactions" were two very vague terms that could be applied not only to our own rather sophisticated version, but also to many of those of our mammalian counterparts. So to tie morality and society together made me wonder if that connection may have been made before our arrival onto the scene. But it would seem that your definition presumes some sort of processing of events that I am guessing would not be expected to be available to other animal minds (judgement/executive thought)?

In other words, if the broader idea of morality were to be used, it could be applied to most "societies", but that is not the manner in which morality is being employed in your discussion. Rather, the morality to which you refer is not confined to our organic capabilities, but also to thousands of years of cultural tweaking, blending, arguing, reconciling, etc.

I think.

 

Posted Apr 12, '08 at 9:59am

Strop

Strop

11,085 posts

Moderator

Well yes, let's see if I can write something off the top of my head, make it clear and readable at the same!

...this is going to be long...

First, I do agree with your broad interpretation of "society" and "social interactions". The nuances when discussing animals in generals and human society is important; I'll come back to this later.

To answer your question directly, I guess that with the notion of 'society' comes 'morality', thus morality would technically precede homo sapiens. This isn't all that big a deal for the following reasons:

* When I think of society and morality, I do indeed think 'executive function and processing with relation between self and others'. As in this is a necessary (and sufficient) part of both, hence society necessarily entails morality. They kinda form at the same time and end up being mutually interdependent.

* These taxonomical labels and chronologies aren't exactly the most concrete thing in the world; they're defined by sufficient divergence in characteristics (this relates to the whole 'human' thing, but it's essentially more of a side note), and since evolution and adaptation is a continual process, there's obviously going to be an element of incompatability.

* I would reject that animals "do not possess any executive functioning, unlike humans". To claim this would be to say that animals are biological machines- from my previous post I find it difficult to say that and then reject the same claim for humans, and since I find it more useful to reject incompatiblist determinism for humans...you see where this is going?

* Hence I'd rather consider animals agents in their own right- it is then a matter of coming to understand the manner in which they go about their ways, not to mention interspecies interactions (including, or especially with humans). Obviously they are different from humans- on that note, it seems to me that what is uniquely human, I could loosely describe as metaphysical querying, supported by the degree of the formation of our language.

So from all the above, I get this: we can claim that the animals whose behaviors we can recognise share the same fundamental structure have a form of 'society' and 'morality'. Exactly how this manifests with them would be unique to them, just as the way we discuss society and morality as humans is unique to us. In this case, because of our empahsis on cognisation, the scope of morality has acheived a level of abstraction that we observe in cultural theatres.

But I would still say it stemmed from our 'organic capabilities', in a sense- again, it's difficult to avoid slipping between the interpretations of "we are different to other animals".

So...yeah, seeing as much of the evidence I've alluded to as support for the arguments I present are retrospective, the connection was probably made before we arrived on the scene, but it was only represented, articulated and debated after we arrived on the scene.

I have a few examples up my sleeve if need be, but this post is probably too long as it is.

 

Posted Apr 12, '08 at 12:19pm

garifu

garifu

172 posts

I think you wrote for the both of us, because I am in agreement. And yeah, that "complete lack of executive functioning" comment was not well elaborated; I should have said that non-human executive functioning is less complex, lacks certain functions that separate us from them.

P.S. the Nat Geo from March '08 has a great article on Animal cognition, so if you haven't read it, I recommend it.

 

Posted Apr 13, '08 at 4:48am

Strop

Strop

11,085 posts

Moderator

Ooh, thanks for the heads-up. Will hunt it down.

In this regard...and sorry for derailing the thread y'all! In this regard, what I'm concerned with is propagating the understanding that what we've been doing until recently is directly comparing animal behaviors to our own without being aware of the context of human behaviors. For example the huge deal that people make of intelligence.

Anyway...we were originally talking about bases for moral codes or something, wasn't it?

 

Posted Apr 13, '08 at 4:01pm

garifu

garifu

172 posts

Oh, um, yeah I guess we were.

And yeah, that is a notable point, it does seem like our comparison of behaviors has not been dealt with in a consistent or contextually relevant manner. But if anything, our understanding of behavior is probably outdated when you see what new developments have arisen.

 

Posted Apr 13, '08 at 8:22pm

Itachi2641747

Itachi2641747

277 posts

A higher power matters very much, and I believe their is one.

 

Posted Apr 13, '08 at 8:25pm

StarScreamer

StarScreamer

629 posts

there are no other gods besides for God
all of you athiests got to hell. oh wait thats were your going to go anyway. hahaha you deserve it. your fault not ours.
I love God

 

Posted Apr 13, '08 at 9:45pm

Armed_Blade

Armed_Blade

1,564 posts

And you, My friend, may just have trouble getting into heaven. >.>

To be honest, in all religions with Hell and Heaven, there are some main things. Along with God being able to choose where they go, according to their deeds.

Deeds in them show that if you are following one of these religions with heaven or hell, you should be tolerable to all veiws on life no matter what they speak about God or Aethism, showing them the door to hell is not allowed.

Think I summed it up, buddy. As Christian or whatever you are, don't let it show with hate.

Anyway, Behavior in life is how a Country runs with Morals, religion, parenting. A problem right now is Parenting, alot of people I know don't get as much time with their parents as I know in other places or myself. According to it, A good lot of them are Aeithists or something or another.

I say, a veiw on life is okay, I still believe there should be a God -- If there wasn't one, we'd be rather savage. Not to mention, just to kill this ongoing counter.

When we are "rational" beings we do whats best for ourselfs in an educated manner. To be honest, if I had a good array of spy stuff and who knows what, it'd be rational for me to go steal all the cash I want without being caught.

On one side, its rational and benefits me. Look at the other side, its considered "Wrong". So being rational beings won't help. Also, just to put a spiritual side up to it, If theres no one else.. You've got God to look up to.