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LKL
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09 Jan 2013, 3:02 am

NAKnight wrote:
LKL wrote:
So your claim is that humans have free will, and that animals do not?


Yes, free will implies responsibilities, and every animal I've seen serves only purpose: Procreate and Eat, Sleep and Poop.
Animals (including my dog) do not have any responsibilities (Or any responsibility) that contribute (Or Contribute At All} to the well-being of the family house hold.

your experience with animals has been limited, then. There are watch-geese down the road from me (some argue that geese are better than dogs for this); my dog has roles in my household that I've already elucidated; there are many working dogs, working horses, and other working animals out there that contribute to soldiers lives, that find drugs, that haul weight, pull carriages, etc. There are therapy dogs in nursing homes and pediatric cancer wards whose responsibility is to comfort suffering people. Pets in the household lower our blood pressure and make us live longer.

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LKL wrote:
Science does not provide un-changeable evidence


I want something that never changes, regardless of the day, time, year, whenever.
I want something that is there, will still be there when I leave and will be there when I arrive.

That's why I don't have my faith in Science.

I want to live forever, in perfect health. That's not going to happen. What you want has no bearing on what exists.
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LKL wrote:
There might not be an objective morality without some cosmic overlord, but that's a far cry from saying that there is no morality at all.


You are saying "There is or there is not" I deal with absolutes, I want an absolute answer. Either morality is relative or it's objective. We cannot both be correct, someone must be mistaken.

If moral relativism is true, then all moral categories are meaningless. Any attempt at moral discourse is reduced to incoherence. Therefore, the only course of action truly consistent with moral relativism is complete silence. If you view all morality as relative and you're consistent, you can't ever make a moral recommendation.

I disagree with you that nothing has meaning without moral absolutes. Just as my life has meaning for me without some god to tell me what to do, so my ethics have meaning to me without some god telling me what to do. Luckily for me, sane humans in general tend to want to help other people (or at least leave them alone), and not harm them; humans in general tend to love children, to love their families, and to become depressed or fail to thrive in the absence of some social contact.
Here is where I have a little bit of faith in spite of myself: I have faith that, on average, humans are 'good' as I think of goodness. Not because of a deity, but because we are human, and I am human, and my definition of 'goodness' comes from my humanity.

How absolute morality is depends, I suppose, on how specific you get. Sexual rules vary a great deal from one culture to another, with the exception of disgust with incest (and even what qualifies as 'incest' varies quite a bit across cultures; cousin marriage is quite common in some cultures). Food mores vary even more. General ideas about taking care of your family, and not hurting people, though, are pretty common - and they increase with increasing socioeconomic status as nations move into modernity, without anyone having to impose them.
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LKL wrote:
Wait, are you saying that your faith was caused by your upbringing? That your personality made no difference? That you had no choice - no free will - in the matter?


You do not know me personally, you have made multiple assumptions (and so have I) can we agree to not generalize each other in the sake of a civilized discussion?

I'm not making assumptions about you. You have said, 'anyone who has gone through what I went through would preach the Christian gospel.' That strongly implies that 'what you have gone through' is the external, causal agent of your Christianity, not some choice that you made. So, is there free will, or not?



01001011
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09 Jan 2013, 5:10 am

NAKnight wrote:
Yes, free will implies responsibilities, and every animal I've seen serves only purpose: Procreate and Eat, Sleep and Poop.
Animals (including my dog) do not have any responsibilities (Or any responsibility) that contribute (Or Contribute At All} to the well-being of the family house hold.

What you are saying is just a classical case of appealing to consequence. It is a fact that humans are no more than biological machines, as are all animals. Whether you like it does not change the fact.

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I want something that never changes, regardless of the day, time, year, whenever.
I want something that is there, will still be there when I leave and will be there when I arrive.

That's why I don't have my faith in Science.

Again, like it or not, the reality is by definition uncertain. Yout 'faith' is nothing but willful self delusion.

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If moral relativism is true, then all moral categories are meaningless. Any attempt at moral discourse is reduced to incoherence.

It is fact.

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Therefore, the only course of action truly consistent with moral relativism is complete silence.

Wrong. If there is no moral then no action needs moral justification.



ruveyn
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09 Jan 2013, 7:39 am

TallyMan wrote:
No brain, so no mind, so no consciousness.


The fetal brain begins to function fairly early in its development. By about the 5 th or 6 th month. Maybe a bit sooner. One the brain can produce a reflex action I would say there is consciousness, albeit of a low order.

ruveyn



TallyMan
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09 Jan 2013, 8:10 am

NAKnight wrote:
LKL wrote:
So your claim is that humans have free will, and that animals do not?


Yes, free will implies responsibilities, and every animal I've seen serves only purpose: Procreate and Eat, Sleep and Poop.
Animals (including my dog) do not have any responsibilities (Or any responsibility) that contribute (Or Contribute At All} to the well-being of the family house hold.


Family pet dogs adapt to the responsibility given to them that they are capable of doing. For most pet dogs this is simply to bark if a stranger is at the door or bite an intruder defending the dog's "extended family". Working dogs are pleased to be given responsibility to fetch game, herd sheep, find drugs or explosives, lead blind people etc.

In nature most mammals are extremely responsible. Not only do they reproduce but the parents spend a significant amount of their time acquiring food for their young, protecting them from predators and the elements. Some spend a considerable amount of time training them how to catch various prey. Some animals teach their young how to use primitive tools such as rocks to break open hard seed cases. Apes teach their young how to use both rocks and sticks as tools in various ways too. Their behaviour is highly responsible towards their family. Humans are more intelligent than other animals and we use more complex tools however our primary responsibility also rests with our families.


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b9
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09 Jan 2013, 8:43 am

visagrunt wrote:
When civilization breaks down, morality breaks down with it.

i disagree. i am mainly separated from civilization due to my reclusive nature, but i instinctively understand that every life deserves to live. my attitude to all animals (including insects and humans) is that they are no less deserving of peace and happiness than me.
i strongly feel an urge to help any life who is in trouble to escape from their dilemma if it is within my capacity to do so.
i am always rescuing insects in my house that are doomed to die if they can not find their way back outside. there is no one looking at me while i do it. i do not report my "benevolence" to anyone. it is not because of "civilization" that i am compelled to help a cricket that is not smart enough to know where my open door is. i was not taught my attitude. i just know that they, like me, are just passengers in their life's story, and i will go to great lengths to capture them and set them free outside where they can live their whole lives naturally.

no matter how smart people think they are, and how lofty their imaginings of their own importance is, no one can build a life. people may blithely stomp on a cockroach, but all the resources in the world, and the combined efforts of every genius in the world can not recreate that cockroach. that cockroach costs more than all the money on earth can buy.

i have my attitude independently of what i have been taught by "the world", and it is not because of a desire to conform to the greater will of society ,or to impress others, or to obey what others think i should do.

if i was the sole human occupant of a desert island and i encountered an animal (fish or mammal or reptile or insect) that was suffering, and if it was within my mental capacity to free it, i would be compelled by my conscience to do so without any societal or legal compunction.

visagrunt wrote:
Take a look at any nation in history in which government has disappeared--warlordism is the inevitable result.


while what you say is superficially true, i would suggest that only a few psychopathic people would become "warlords". i think that the vast majority of people would not become warlords, but i understand that if "laws" did not exist, then my house would be taken by someone who is inherently immoral.

my next door neighbor has a house that is better than mine, and she is an old lady. if all laws ceased to exist, i could go there and kill her and throw her body away somewhere and usurp her assets, but even if i was allowed to do so, i certainly would not. it would remain unconscionable for me to do so because my moral fiber is innate and not learned or conditional.

there are some people who are psychopathic, and they are devoid of morals, and they are rare, but i believe they would exercise their new "rights" to take control and assume ownership of the assets of those that are weaker than them.

so it is true that without laws, society would break down, but it is only because the wills of immoral psychopaths would not be impeded. i myself would never run in a rampage of looting if the laws against it ceased to exist.

i will fight to keep my food and my house, but i would never consider the loss of civil control to be a green light for immoral acquisition of other peoples property.

i have inborn love for other lives who struggle along with their existence.

you are a doctor and i am a lay person so maybe i am wrong, but you can never change my outlook with even the most intelligent dismantlement of what is forged within my fiber.



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09 Jan 2013, 9:33 am

Ditto everything b9 said. The only qualifier I'd add is that I do kill creatures that are harmful to my health when they are in my house such as flies, mosquitoes and the occasional mouse if I'm unable to catch it in the "live" trap for subsequent release outside. Other creatures I escort outside, from spiders to bumble bees.

I think most people have an innate sense of morality that is totally independent of religion or any other external purveyors of morality (parents, teachers, priests etc).


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NAKnight
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09 Jan 2013, 10:39 am

01001011 wrote:
...is just a classical case of appealing to consequence. It is a fact that humans are no more than biological machines, as are all animals. Whether you like it does not change the fact.


But I still have the ability to either agree with that or disagree with you. I choose the later.
But still, lets face the facts, typically who contributes more to the well-being of society collectively?
Animal, however cute and cuddly they may be, still do not contribute on the same level as man, therefore, they are not equal.
For the sake of argument, I hear animals and humans are equal, let me ask you this;
Are there any essential differences between animals and humans?
If there are, animals and humans are not equal, therefore, they should not be treated as such.

01001011 wrote:
Your 'faith' is nothing but willful self delusion.

Let me make a few things clear, first of all, you have no right to call me delusional or my choices delusional
Secondly, I have the ability to subscribe to any belief I so damn near wish.
If Atheism works for you, more power to you, but live and let live.
What you and I consider logical and coherent can be two entirely different things, that does not mean that one side cannot be correct.

How does it stand that you and I both consider our sides to be right, therefore, no side is correct?
Just because there is a disagreement in our views does not mean that one view cannot be correct.

01001011 wrote:
It is fact.


Then you cannot make a moral reccommnedation, therefore, your statement is reduced to incoherence.

01001011 wrote:
Wrong. If there is no moral then no action needs moral justification.


Then why are trying to justify that there are no morals
If There is no morals, moral actions needs no moral justification
You cannot make a moral reccommnedation/assertion if no morals exist.


Best Regards,

Jake


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09 Jan 2013, 11:10 am

TallyMan wrote:
I think most people have an innate sense of morality that is totally independent of religion or any other external purveyors of morality (parents, teachers, priests etc).

I agree. In fact I think that the only reason organized religion is as successful as it is is that it plays on people's innate sense of morality, rather than causing it.


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TallyMan
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09 Jan 2013, 11:12 am

NAKnight wrote:
01001011 wrote:
...is just a classical case of appealing to consequence. It is a fact that humans are no more than biological machines, as are all animals. Whether you like it does not change the fact.


But I still have the ability to either agree with that or disagree with you. I choose the later.
But still, lets face the facts, typically who contributes more to the well-being of society collectively?
Animal, however cute and cuddly they may be, still do not contribute on the same level as man, therefore, they are not equal.
For the sake of argument, I hear animals and humans are equal, let me ask you this;
Are there any essential differences between animals and humans?
If there are, animals and humans are not equal, therefore, they should not be treated as such.


Animals have no requirement to contribute to human society. Their only interest is towards their own species. Humans are similarly focused on our own species. Humans may be cute and cuddly but they contribute little towards the societies of other animals, quite the reverse, we often do much harm destroying their ecosystems.

Your argument can be turned completely on its head.


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09 Jan 2013, 11:31 am

Yeah, nothing so special about us humans when it comes to morals and responsibilities. We just happen to be "civilized" and even that is questionable.



NAKnight
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09 Jan 2013, 11:43 am

TallyMan wrote:
Your argument can be turned completely on its head.


Touche.


Best Regards,

Jake


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09 Jan 2013, 12:00 pm

ruveyn wrote:
TallyMan wrote:
No brain, so no mind, so no consciousness.


The fetal brain begins to function fairly early in its development. By about the 5 th or 6 th month. Maybe a bit sooner. One the brain can produce a reflex action I would say there is consciousness, albeit of a low order.

ruveyn


Relfexes are not, generally speaking, mediated in the brain. I think I am correct in claiming that all peripheral relfexes are mediated in centres within the peripheral nervous system. The only reflexes that might be mediated in the brain are those of the eye, which is more a matter of geography than anything else.


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09 Jan 2013, 12:20 pm

b9 wrote:
i disagree. i am mainly separated from civilization due to my reclusive nature, but i instinctively understand that every life deserves to live. my attitude to all animals (including insects and humans) is that they are no less deserving of peace and happiness than me.
i strongly feel an urge to help any life who is in trouble to escape from their dilemma if it is within my capacity to do so.
i am always rescuing insects in my house that are doomed to die if they can not find their way back outside. there is no one looking at me while i do it. i do not report my "benevolence" to anyone. it is not because of "civilization" that i am compelled to help a cricket that is not smart enough to know where my open door is. i was not taught my attitude. i just know that they, like me, are just passengers in their life's story, and i will go to great lengths to capture them and set them free outside where they can live their whole lives naturally.

no matter how smart people think they are, and how lofty their imaginings of their own importance is, no one can build a life. people may blithely stomp on a cockroach, but all the resources in the world, and the combined efforts of every genius in the world can not recreate that cockroach. that cockroach costs more than all the money on earth can buy.

i have my attitude independently of what i have been taught by "the world", and it is not because of a desire to conform to the greater will of society ,or to impress others, or to obey what others think i should do.

if i was the sole human occupant of a desert island and i encountered an animal (fish or mammal or reptile or insect) that was suffering, and if it was within my mental capacity to free it, i would be compelled by my conscience to do so without any societal or legal compunction.


That is a romantic notion, but I suggest to you that it is entirely untrue. You are only "mainly separated from civilization" in your own fantasy.

What practice are you engaged in during the instant that you are reading this? You are on the internet--a tool of civilization. You are communicating with other people--a manifestation of civilization. Where did you get the food that you ate for breakfast this morning? If you didn't cultivate it yourself, how did you pay for it? Where did the money come from to enable that purchase? If you did cultivate yourself, on the other hand, how did you come to hold the land on which you have done so?

I don't disagree for an instant that you have a unique morality, and that your morality is personal--so it is for all of us. But your morality arose in the context of your upbringing and your education. You were taught certain rules of good behaviour by the people who were responsible for your upbringing. You learned to share. You learned the moral of reciprocity. You learned not to take other children's toys. You took some of those teachings to heart and extended them; you have rejected others--so it is for all of us.

You may well be socially impaired, but that in no way separates you from civilization.

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while what you say is superficially true, i would suggest that only a few psychopathic people would become "warlords". i think that the vast majority of people would not become warlords, but i understand that if "laws" did not exist, then my house would be taken by someone who is inherently immoral.

my next door neighbor has a house that is better than mine, and she is an old lady. if all laws ceased to exist, i could go there and kill her and throw her body away somewhere and usurp her assets, but even if i was allowed to do so, i certainly would not. it would remain unconscionable for me to do so because my moral fiber is innate and not learned or conditional.

there are some people who are psychopathic, and they are devoid of morals, and they are rare, but i believe they would exercise their new "rights" to take control and assume ownership of the assets of those that are weaker than them.

so it is true that without laws, society would break down, but it is only because the wills of immoral psychopaths would not be impeded. i myself would never run in a rampage of looting if the laws against it ceased to exist.

i will fight to keep my food and my house, but i would never consider the loss of civil control to be a green light for immoral acquisition of other peoples property.

i have inborn love for other lives who struggle along with their existence.

you are a doctor and i am a lay person so maybe i am wrong, but you can never change my outlook with even the most intelligent dismantlement of what is forged within my fiber.


Your moral fibre is certainly innate--but you are quite wrong to claim that it is not learned, or that it is not conditional.

You admit that you will fight to keep your food and your house. So let's take that to the next step.

Have you ever been truly starving? Have you ever had to act to protect your life? You live in a civilization that is relatively free from threats to your bodily integrity and well being. Your civilization has given you the luxury of indulging in your particular morality. But I suggest that this civilization is a necessary precondition to that depth of morality. Were you to be deprived of all money; and were the stores suddenly no longer stocked, where would your morality go once you were starving?

Warlordism is, by definition, practiced by a few over the interests of many. But my point was not to suggest that we are all inherently potential warlords. Rather, my point was to suggest that morality disappears with the loss of civilization.

I have a deep and abiding respect for the morality of others. But I am also firmly of the conviction that all morality is learned, is conditional and can only be understood in the context in which the individual has approached it. For these reasons, morality cannot--in my view--be anything other than subjective.


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09 Jan 2013, 12:25 pm

visagrunt wrote:
Have you ever been truly starving? Have you ever had to act to protect your life? You live in a civilization that is relatively free from threats to your bodily integrity and well being. Your civilization has given you the luxury of indulging in your particular morality. But I suggest that this civilization is a necessary precondition to that depth of morality. Were you to be deprived of all money; and were the stores suddenly no longer stocked, where would your morality go once you were starving?


True. There is a famous saying, forgot who said it though, along the lines that "Human civilisation is only three meals away from civil war".


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The_Walrus
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09 Jan 2013, 5:36 pm

NAKnight wrote:
The_Walrus wrote:
What qualifications do you have in the field of Biology?


None currently, I basing the majority of my claims off personal research and experience.


Best Regards,

Jake
Then that would suggest that you are uneducated. A GPA counts for nothing if it is not in a field relevant to the discussion.

You might want conclusions that never change, you might want absolute morality, you might want humans to be separate from animals, you might want consciousness to begin at conception, you might want free will, but unfortunately we cannot alter reality with our minds. In these areas, what you or I want is irrelevant.



IChris
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09 Jan 2013, 7:22 pm

NAKnight wrote:

Yes, free will implies responsibilities, and every animal I've seen serves only purpose: Procreate and Eat, Sleep and Poop.
Animals (including my dog) do not have any responsibilities (Or any responsibility) that contribute (Or Contribute At All} to the well-being of the family house hold.



I do not understand free will as implying responsibilities, but as something which may have consequences. It is, for me, something different to the collective will which imply responsibilities.