Science and Morality

For all other chat which isn't directly related to lucid dreaming and the world of sleep and dreams.
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Pilgrim
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Re: Science and Morality

Postby Pilgrim » 06 Apr 2018 11:55

Hello to Lia78, Hagart, Dane, Sleepy Kitty, Great Octopus, and Summerlander! These were a few of the folks that I use to interact with on this forum. Maybe it has been a year or two since I last wrote. Anyway, this will keep Summerlander busy for another couple of years.

Suggestion on “no Jesus” propaganda……. I would recommend that you consider some credible sources. Perhaps this is the type of source that Dawkins used to pump the same idea. That Jesus did not exist is not a serious consideration among people who have actually spent time in the related disciplines. You might want to stick to quoting Bart Ehrman, a fine atheist source for you, who explains well why experts do not take the “no Jesus” theory seriously. There are too many independent attestations. You might want to study a little on this topic, lest someone ridicule you.

Sam Harris is without a case, except for his fan base in New Atheism. There is no moral basis for how cosmic dust ought to relate to other dirt. His attempt to push his morality on others is futile, especially when identical philosophical assumption and science will yield different opinions. Are you actually going to consider a scientific study of rape, and the net utilitarian impact? What about genocide…lots of ending well-being can be argued. Here is a school student who challenged the philosophical assumption of Sam Harris. (New Atheism hallmark is failure to recognize philosophical assumption.)
http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2011/11/sam-harris-is-wrong-about-science-and-morality/


By the way, Sam Harris, has thrown his fellow New Atheist horseman under the bus. We all know how much more holy Sam Harris is than Lawrence Krauss, right? Sam Harris is genetically superior.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vuBhKPy1As


(Krauss had the universe-from-nothing propaganda, praised by Dawkins, which was important to mobilize the philosophical movement.)
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/is-lawrence-krauss-a-physicist-or-just-a-bad-philosopher/

I apologize for the poor spelling and grammar. Not really :lol:

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Summerlander
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Re: Science and Morality

Postby Summerlander » 06 Apr 2018 16:07

Hi and welcome back, Pilgrim! :D

It is always good to have someone arguing from the opposition because it helps all of us to refine our discourse. :)

I have many bones to pick with your post, Pilgrim, and very little time today but I promise I will address and impugn all your points---including misinformation by the fatuous sources you subscribe to---just like before. ;)

But I will say this ...

The source cited for the nonexistence of Jesus Christ was Joseph Atwill, not Richard Dawkins. You might want to check him out. But I will check out Ehrman, the atheist you mentioned, although I doubt that his historical thesis is as recent as Atwill's.

It is also ironic that theists will agree with atheistic sources if they lend the slightest credit to their belief but then again we all took a man of the cloth at face value when he presented scientific evidence showing the universe to have a beginning. Remember Georges Lemaître's expanding model commensurate with Hubble's law? Nobody, not even Einstein, contradicted him because the priest used science and observation confirmed it. Lemaître even contradicted the Pope when this one suggested the beginning proved the existence of a Creator. Not so fast; it all works without theological suppositions. 8-)

Moreover, the latest research strongly suggests the previous existence of a radically different universe that might have given birth to our own. Was there even a beginning of everything? :mrgreen:

As for 'New Atheism', it is just plain old atheism with one difference---nonbelievers are more vocal than ever before seen as Christians are no longer torturing, raping and murdering them by the tens of thousands like they did before. The main worry today, of course, is Islam (I know we're in agreement about this point). 8-)

So yeah, I applaud what those guys are doing (the 'Horsemen').

Finally, Lawrence Krauss ... :twisted:

Nobody has ever said that atheists can't be bad. It is also true to say that many perverts and psychopaths have been creative in many fields---from entertainment to science. To imply that atheism and science are bad because a representative misbehaved is an invalid argument---it is, in fact, the oldest ad hominem trick in the book in this war of ideas. :idea: :lol:

The scientific community, including Sam Harris, have distanced themselves from the cosmologist and they have good reasons to do so.

Krauss's science and his A Universe From Nothing remains legit. A scientist's opprobrium does not discredit his work in any way---especially when we know the man worked with a team and experiments in Antarctica showed, unequivocally, that the universe is flat in all directions and most probably infinite. Positive and negative forces in the universe also add up to zero, which reinforces the idea that our cosmos arose from nothing.

If you look far enough into space, you will see an ancient universe that looks radically different---a hot plasmic 'wall' that blocks our view of the Big Bang; and everything is looking as it should according to predictions previously made by physicists and scientists.

As you can see, there's a lot to cover here. I shall also be expounding upon the notion that the best morality can be derived from science; why stardust relates to stardust in meaningful ways, and why human beings seek wellbeing and ways to survive. :geek:

In the meantime, I think you should mull over the OP, in particular, this quote/meme:

'Values reduce to scientific facts about the wellbeing of conscious creatures.'

~Sam Harris

Anyway, very little time at the mo.
I'll be back! 8-)

PS: You're excused about the bad grammar whether you're sorry or not. I hope to debate with you very soon, my theistic friend. ;)

Once again, welcome back, Pilgrim!
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Summerlander
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Re: Science and Morality

Postby Summerlander » 13 Apr 2018 03:45

I think those who fight about morality should study ethics, moral philosophy and deontology. And they should learn to communicate and debate, too. :ugeek:

A good place to start would be Christian Wolff, for redefining philosophy as the science of the possible, and Immanuel Kant, as his 'categorical imperative' and 'summum bonum' concepts are quite useful.

lucidé wrote:It might be a good time to bring up a hot internet subject that happened 2 weeks ago. There was a science teacher who fed a dying puppy to a snapping turtle. Science students enjoyed the feeding and said it taught them the harshness of real life. Religious students put out a huge complaint saying it was cruel to the dog. One problem I have is most religions have a fetish with certain animals (cats, dogs, cows), but don’t care about the others. They could have fed it a live mouse, and only PETA reps would have complained (most are all kill shelters). The problem wasn’t with the feeding in the end, but with the fact the teacher brought an invasive animal into that US state, so they had to kill it. Now there is a huge online war between the religious and non religious about the morality of what that teacher did. In my eyes, he probably should have euthanazed that puppy shortly before feeding it to the turtle. Once it’s dead, doesn’t matter how the body is disposed.


Well, there is no way to 'euthanise' a puppy because its instinct will be to avoid a dangerous situation. If the animal is driven by a survival instinct right until the end and does not have the capacity to understand---let alone experience---a death wish, euthanasia is inapplicably null and void. Perhaps the word was misapplied there and 'slay' would have been better.

But I do agree with your ethical code that the puppy should be killed swiftly and as painlessly as possible. Why make the poor creature suffer by forcing it to undergo the horror of being eaten by another animal? :evil:
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Pilgrim
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Re: Science and Morality

Postby Pilgrim » 13 Apr 2018 09:53

Summerlander, I am not coming back. You can explore the "no Jesus" information as you please. I will check back in a year or so, to see if I can again intrude on something. :)

On Ad hominem. Your original post referenced Sam Harris who wants to advise others with assumptions about morality, and it is his attitude that is on display. If all secrets of Harris were known, I suspect that Krauss could be the one describing Harris as “semi-autistic”. There is none righteous—no….not one.

There is no reason to accept the philosophical assumptions of Harris on morality over anyone else’s. Why should I should not be euthanized? After all, I intend to continue to eat animals every day. Perhaps the planet should only have animals that will eat plant life, which would probably make it brown. By the way, I have an animal-eating neutered cat who enjoys raping.

Of course, I gave you Bart Ehrman because you would agree with his worldview. He is an expert in New Testament criticism with quite respectable training and knowledge. He is removed from the religious element, against which you would scream of bias. He is correct that arguments of Joseph Atwill would not stand the college sophomore level. It is conspiracy hype, for which there is an audience.

Simple and Sure. The marketing and enthusiasm behind the universe-from-nothing formula give the wrong impression. It is no different than when we discussed your Excalibur argument. A dictionary will prove it. Fast, easy, simple, marketable. The larger sematic units must often qualify parts of the seemingly foolproof formulas. The desire for simple and sure…. and aggression to ridicule stupid people who would disagree, is an appeal to baser human emotions. This is where they are deceiving you. This approach is perhaps a greater vice than you would reckon virginity.

Harris should stick to inherent appeal of Atheism—God is dead, go enjoy. Harris is groping in the darkness, searching for moral meaning that is not there. A little mouse hung from a cliff over a void. He reached in futility for a blade of dried grass.

People are of the same nature, with perceived moral superiority, based on shallow external judgments. The heart is the same, and it is wicked. Here is a good book title that says it all. You know I like the long titles: Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners: Or a brief and faithful relation of the exceeding mercy of God in Christ to his poor servant, John Bunyan; namely, in his taking him out of the dunghill, and converting of him to the faith of his blessed Son, Jesus Christ. Here is also particularly showed, what sight of, and what trouble he had for sin; and also what various temptations he hath met with, and how God hath carried him through them. Whereunto is added a brief relation of his call to the work of the ministry, of his temptations therein, as also what he hath met with in prison. All which was written by his own hand there, and now published for the support of the weak and tempted people of God.
~John Bunyan

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Summerlander
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Re: Science and Morality

Postby Summerlander » 13 Apr 2018 13:36

John Bunyan? The Pilgrim's Progress, right? I remember we talked about him ages ago.

I read your post and took your points but I'm yet to do research on the info you provided. I'm sorry I'm taking my time here, Pilgrim, but I've also been so busy.

I will reply in detail and our debate might come to fruition, or it might not. It'll be fun if it does so hopefully you'll consider coming back.

Keep an eye on this thread, my friend. :)
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Vivian+
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Re: Science and Morality

Postby Vivian+ » 10 May 2018 14:29

Very well you write.

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Summerlander
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Re: Science and Morality

Postby Summerlander » 14 May 2018 20:48

I take it that the posts here weren't 'ridiculously said' then, Vivian. :D
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

Emergent
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Re: Science and Morality

Postby Emergent » 18 May 2018 02:04

I think there's definitely a case to be made that morality does not come from science. I think that it could be the case that they are antithetical to one another. Of course, this comes down to what you mean by "morality," and what you mean by "science." For clarity, I will define morality as "an articulated description of how a human being should comport himself in life" and science as "the study of the natural world."

Humans seem to behave in accordance with morality almost by instinct. People behave immorally when they are corrupted by a philosophical or religious idea (some cognitive construction) or are physically or psychologically ill. How one should comport oneself is coded into one's being to the same degree that one's anatomy and personality are. Neither are determined entirely by nature (genes); they are also determined by external (environmental) factors.

This is because morality evolved in human beings by the same Darwinian processes which produced human anatomy and psyche. It was formed within a particular environment, under the selective pressures of various forces. (Now, what those forces were tells us about where morality came from. It came from us! Morality is obviously a product of the human mind because it seems to effect the core of our souls more than anything else. If you violate morality, your conscience will destroy you--read Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment.")

When the human mind was evolving, it evolved within a particular environment. An unusual environment, some might even say. We were (and are) social apes. We were able to be so evolutionarily successful because we learned to work together, to scratch each others backs, to share, and perhaps even to love one another over time (that probably came much later, and some would say that hasn't even happened yet :lol: ). Therefore, the human mind evolved within a social environment. Not a natural one. I mean, obviously the mind evolved with respect to selection pressure from the natural world to a great degree. No argument there. If it hadn't, we would not be able to interact with the objective world at all, we would not have science, and our species would have died almost immediately. But for the most part, I would say that the environment in which the human mind--the modern human mind, the one which is capable of reason and thinking about things like morality--evolved in was a society. And a society is not exactly logical in the way that the natural world is.

A social environment is not composed of natural forces and objects--it is composed of characters and archetypes. It's medium is the interactions between people on a stage. It's drama, essentially. This is why, when the modern human mind first touched the objective (natural) world, it interpreted the strange, objective, uncontrollable forces of the scientific world in terms of mythological drama (religion). It construed reality as a judgmental father (God). Our morality evolved under these pretexts. In this sense, it might have even come from (or be a manifestation of) religion.

Science attempts to describe the objective world while ignoring all the things I've talked about. Which is why I think it might not be able to procure morality. A lot of these thoughts were inspired by Jordan Peterson, who I've been reading recently. He's on the brain!

Thoughts?

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Summerlander
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Re: Science and Morality

Postby Summerlander » 19 May 2018 16:08

What a great post and quite comprehensive. I'll have to get back to you. You certainly make a good point based on facts. I'll get back to you. 8-)

I wouldn't say morality came from science because the method itself was developed fairly recently in human history. So morality---or a sense of such concept---comes from us and is, as you mentioned, a mental phenomenon arising out of Darwinian and social pressures. It's an anthropologically natural phenomenon.

It had to come from us first before the founding of any religion. Religion is merely an expression of such values, mental preferences if you will, which I would argue are refined by science---after all, a method of enquiry is bound to inform us, in detail, what is best for conscious creatures. Today, we live longer because of science. (Read The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris.)

And although one can argue that science can also inform us about what could wipe us out---such as weapons of mass destruction which could fall into the wrong hands---religion doesn't always diffuse or promote ethical behaviour; in fact, it can advocate quite the opposite: suicide-homicide, misogyny, paedophilia, rape, violence, slavery etc.

So we can safely conclude, based on sound epistemology, that:

1. Morality does not come from science.
2. Morality does not come from religion either.
3. Morality is inherent in most of humankind, to differing degrees, save for a small percentage of pathological individuals.

One could describe morality as a mental epiphenomenon arising from natural conditions---and our theory of mind has a lot to say on the subject. If we as individuals believe that others have minds similar to our own, and all capable of suffering, then empathy or compassion potentially manifest in our neoencephalons. And then extreme cases of altruism can follow from that. We instinctively sussed out that we must follow the golden rule and coexist in order to survive.

Perhaps what comes out of social interaction can also be thought of as something as natural as Darwinian evolution---or even an extension of the natural, analogous to genes and memes or genes and the 'extended phenotypes' described by Richard Dawkins. 8-)

And remember:
science can be axiological, too. :idea:
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Summerlander
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Re: Science and Morality

Postby Summerlander » 05 Jun 2018 17:30

What an unscrupulous sodomite. :D
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava


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