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Religious Nuts Kill Own Daughter—Is Their Sentence Appropriate?

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 11:50 am
From Wikipedia:

Natural selection is the process by which heritable traits that make it more likely for an organism to survive and successfully reproduce become more common in a population over successive generations. It is a key mechanism of evolution.

From biology online-dot-org:

A process in nature in which organisms possessing certain genotypic characteristics that make them better adjusted to an environment tend to survive, reproduce, increase in number or frequency, and therefore, are able to transmit and perpetuate their essential genotypic qualities to succeeding generations.

*****************************************************

Natural selection operates because it confers an enhanced breeding opportunity on the individual. An individual may be "fit," in that he or she survives, which is all the definition of "fitness" that there is. But he or she will not transmit their genetic make-up unless the assembly of their traits confers on them the opportunity to reproduce, and they will not pass on a genetic make-up which comes to dominate their environment over all other genetic types unless the assembly of their traits confers on them an enhanced reproductive opportunity.

You have not told us yet, Brown, what advantages organized religion would confer on the true believer which would enhance their reproductive opportunity.
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 11:51 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Quote:
Human existence is a good thing for humans.


In the absence of firearms, it's a good thing for the big cats, too.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 12:00 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Quote:

Gorillas are creatures of nature; they exist outside of the right-wrong axis. This is a pretty dumb thing to write. Religion does not address this in any fashion.


I think this is the key to our disagreement. It is my contention that humans are also creatures of nature.

There is nothing in science to suggest that humans, being products of evolution are any less creatures of nature than any other product of evolution.


Francis
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 12:01 pm
Setanta wrote:
what advantages organized religion would confer on the true believer which would enhance their reproductive opportunity.


Spendi would say that the Sunday morning meeting at church, increase probabilities for church boys to meet church girls.

However, I'm not sure that enhance their "reproductive opportunity"..
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 12:07 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

Quote:

Gorillas are creatures of nature; they exist outside of the right-wrong axis. This is a pretty dumb thing to write. Religion does not address this in any fashion.


I think this is the key to our disagreement. It is my contention that humans are also creatures of nature.

There is nothing in science to suggest that humans, being products of evolution are any less creatures of nature than any other product of evolution.


I have forwarded this very argument many times on A2K. It doesn't change my contention at all.

The words 'right' and 'wrong' really only exist to describe actions which are initiated by sentient beings, who have the ability to conceptualize and control their actions, as well as understand the ramifications of them. They are only applicable in terms of self-reflection for a species.

This is why Gorillas, for example, sometimes cast members of their pack out - for actions THEY consider to be wrong. They self-police, in the same way that we do. Self-judge. But that doesn't mean that we consider Gorilla behavior to be inherently right or wrong. You seem to be positing inherent morality, which doesn't exist in the universe.

Your questions about nature, and natural actions, don't address right v. wrong, but our self-reflection as a species does. Religion does not help answer these questions. It seeks to avoid them by asserting answers based on mythology.

Cycloptichorn
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 12:11 pm
@Setanta,
No, the evolutionary advantage deals with two things.

1) Humans have evoled to form societies with shared cultures. Each society (including our own) developed stories that define what it means to be part of society, what are the standards of morality and even what it means to be human. Science can't provide any of these needs-- and religion does the job quite nicely.

2) Humans precipitate symbolic thought (that often goes along without logic). We look for patterns and ascribe meaning to them, even when the meaning is wrong. Long before we learned about germs, humans had rules on cleanliness-- often these rules were backed up by religious reasons. In this case the religion saved lives even though the science was out of reach.

Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 12:16 pm
@ebrown p,
Quote:
Science can't provide any of these needs-- and religion does the job quite nicely.


I heavily disagree with this statement. Religion does an extremely poor job of explaining or examining these things, and is in many cases actively harmful to progress in understanding these things.

Astounding that you would claim this.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 12:22 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Quote:

This is why Gorillas, for example, sometimes cast members of their pack out - for actions THEY consider to be wrong. They self-police, in the same way that we do. Self-judge. But that doesn't mean that we consider Gorilla behavior to be inherently right or wrong. You seem to be positing inherent morality, which doesn't exist in the universe.



I was arguing against inherent morality. I thought it was you who were saying that science could provide a "logical" basis for some inherent morality. If you agree with me that there is no inherent morality, then we have come a long way.

Quote:
Your questions about nature, and natural actions, don't address right v. wrong, but our self-reflection as a species does. Religion does not help answer these questions. It seeks to avoid them by asserting answers based on mythology.


You say Religion does not help answer these questions. I would argue that religion does answer these questions (the fact that you correctly argue that there is not logic basis for the answer religion gives is a different matter).

Maybe you are saying that religion does not give logic-based, testable or "acceptable" answers for these questions...

But then neither does science.

However, if we agree that there is not "inherent morality" (i.e. there is no absolute truth to give a definitive answer to moral questions), then this argument will be settled.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 12:37 pm
@ebrown p,
You can declare the argument 'settled,' but I guess that's only true if we've agreed that you were perfectly wrong.

Quote:

Maybe you are saying that religion does not give logic-based, testable or "acceptable" answers for these questions...

But then neither does science.


Yes, it does. Absolutely. Within the self-policing framework that we have developed as a species, something which is not dependent on Religion. Logic does not depend on absolute morality to be internally self-consistent.

Killing people isn't wrong because the invisible dude said so. It's wrong for a whole host of logical reasons. Science helps us understand this logic and administer justice. Religion doesn't help in this way at all.

Never thought I'd see the day, when the proponent of a religious position in an argument would argue that there is no absolute morality Laughing that sort of flies in the face of Religion itself.

Cycloptichorn
McGentrix
 
  3  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 12:50 pm
I read somewhere that science provides the how, religion the why.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 01:18 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Quote:
Within the self-policing framework that we have developed as a species, something which is not dependent on Religion.


You are confusing "society" with "species". Any "self-policing" frame-work is meaningless in practice.

Some humans believe that abortion is murder, other humans believe that abortion is a right. Some humans believe that not providing modern medical care to your children is murder. Others believe it is a right.

Some humans believe that women should be equals. Other humans believe that women should stay in the home.

Some people believe that eating meat is evil. Other humans believe that meat is a fine protein.

Some people believe that it is OK for the government to kill people who commit serious crimes against society. Other people believe the government should never kill.

Some people believe that killing in war based on the needs of one's country is immoral, others believe it is a duty.

Some people believe that homosexuality is a crime against humanity punishable by death. Other people believe it is a right.

There is no species wide agreement on any of these issues. The self-policing part is purely a function of where you happen to live. And, science doesn't help on any one of them.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 01:25 pm
@ebrown p,
Yes, Science does help answer those questions. It gives us the tools to objectively measure situations and come to determinations of truth. It allows us to dissect complex issues and figure out the validity of the underlying claims and facts which support those opinions.

All those 'beliefs' you list are based on something. What are they based on? Facts, assumptions, and emotions. Science allows us to examine each individually. Religion posits that they cannot be answered except by Fiat, by Decree, by Assertion.

Additionally, Science, unlike Religion, has the ability to progress to the point where it can answer some questions more fully than it does today. Religion will never progress to that point, because it is an inherently regressive ideal. Barring actual miraculous bending of reality by some diety or powerful demigod, religion never adds anything new to understanding. And why would it?

The point of religion is not to understand - but to control. It is a tool of control. Science is the opposite.

Cycloptichorn
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 01:34 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
You are turning science into a religion (albeit the one true religion... but still a religion).

You have failed to show how (or why) science can answer any question of morality or meaning-- except for the idea of "species-wide" agreement, which I debunked by providing plenty of examples where there is no species wide agreement.

Science only speaks on testable, measurable facts.

Values, morals and meaning will never be testable or measurable (and if they were, given that the universe is quite a cruel uncaring place, you wouldn't like the answer).
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 01:42 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

You are turning science into a religion (albeit the one true religion... but still a religion).


Absolutely not, because I do not ask you to take what I say on faith. Instead, I would challenge you to repeat the same experiments that others have done; and if you find different results, the theories we believe are true must change.

Religion never does this, outside of so-called miracles. It is not open for review.

Quote:
You have failed to show how (or why) science can answer any question of morality or meaning-- except for the idea of "species-wide" agreement, which I debunked by providing plenty of examples where there is no species wide agreement.


You didn't 'debunk' much of anything at all.

Quote:
Science only speaks on testable, measurable facts.

Values, morals and meaning will never be testable or measurable (and if they were, given that the universe is quite a cruel uncaring place, you wouldn't like the answer).


On the contrary. Values, Morals and Meaning are built upon testable assumptions and measurable facts. Science allows us to examine these facts and assumptions. This leads to evolution of morality, something which Religion expressly works against.

This is boring, suffice it to say that Science stands as a cultural belief which is not based on Myth, and your original question has been robustly answered.

Cycloptichorn
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 01:56 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Quote:
Values, Morals and Meaning are built upon testable assumptions and measurable facts.


That's funny. In all of this argument (which you claim you are basing on science) you have yet to suggest how the facts (you are asking me to accept on faith) have been tested, or measured. You haven't cited, or even suggested a single experiment or objective measurement in this whole thread.

You are confusing science with religion. You are perfectly right that the difference is testable assumptions and measurable facts... but you are making quite a few untestable assumptions (unless you would like to propose an experiment for any one of them) that you apparently expect me to accept on faith.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 01:58 pm
@ebrown p,
This is simply ipse dixit once again. You don't even provide a logical basis for the claims you make, you just make the claims. Once again, note that you state that often rules are backed up by religious reasons. If religion were hard-wired into us by evolution, it would have to be always, not simply often. You make a poor case, and blathering to me about science is meangless, since i have not made any claims about the superiority of science over religion. Keep that horseshit for your arguments with others.

Your claim about evolutionary advantage does not apply universally, to all species, so you are making not simply an unsupported statement from authority, but one which cannot be supported in reference to species other than human beings. Even your silly claims about bees doesn't hold up, because in the hive, and in ant colonies, it is a single individual who passes on her genetic code.

You lose.
McGentrix
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 02:06 pm
There is room in the world for both religion and science. For example, we know how life began, we believe we understand how man evolved, we know how the body works, but science can not answer the why. Why did life form? Why did we evolve? Due to mans higher consciousness (compared to others in the animal kingdom) we needed answers to the why. Religion plays that part in helping to answer those questions so people can sleep at night.

That being said, I believe religion to be a byproduct of Man's imagination, grasp for power, and answer to puzzling problems, but not a byproduct of evolution. Man and the world was already pretty well evolved before religion was main streamed.

At least until archaeologists uncover some shrine that dinosaurs used to worship to...
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 02:17 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
If religion were hard-wired into us by evolution, it would have to be always, not simply often.


That is clearly wrong. Not everyone has hair on the top of their head... it is still an evolved trait. Not everyone has dark skin or the ability to perceive color. These are all clearly evolved (genetic) traits.

Quote:
You lose.


Is seems like this is the core of your argument.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 02:17 pm
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:

Quote:
Values, Morals and Meaning are built upon testable assumptions and measurable facts.


That's funny. In all of this argument (which you claim you are basing on science) you have yet to suggest how the facts (you are asking me to accept on faith) have been tested, or measured. You haven't cited, or even suggested a single experiment or objective measurement in this whole thread.

You are confusing science with religion. You are perfectly right that the difference is testable assumptions and measurable facts... but you are making quite a few untestable assumptions (unless you would like to propose an experiment for any one of them) that you apparently expect me to accept on faith.


The details are where science comes into play. And it all begins with a simple question: Why?

You state that some believe that Homosexuality is wrong. Why do they believe that? In what ways do they think it is harmful to people? To others? To society? Religion would have us not ask these questions and has no way of addressing them. Science allows us to undertake experimentation in order to judge the validity of the claims. So, for example, if someone thought that Homosexuality would lead to higher rates of divorce, scientific studies can be done to see if it actually does. Once we have actual data, we can address the validity of belief on more than an Opinion level.

I don't expect you to take anything on faith; I don't even expect you to agree with me, for those who champion the cause of religion, in my experience, actively resist argumentation based on science and logic. I have merely endeavored to answer your question posed earlier, and have done exactly that.

Cycloptichorn
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Oct, 2009 02:18 pm
@McGentrix,
Quote:
I believe religion to be a byproduct of Man's imagination, grasp for power, and answer to puzzling problems, but not a byproduct of evolution.


Man's imagination, grasp for power, and his search for answers for puzzling problems are all evolved traits.
 

 
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