timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 12:34 pm
Perhaps, fm, what we got going on here is some wierd sorta corrolary to Godwin's Law Laughing
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 02:23 pm
timberlandko wrote:
No, quite the opposite; the concept of "Morality" is to all evidence a uniquely human construct, it appears only humans have the capacity to recognize and act on moral precepts. As mentioned, that is a signal differentiation between humans and the rest of the planet's biomass.

Thanks, that clears things up.

timberlandko wrote:
No, I am saying that which does not " ... simultaneously most effectively and efficiently contribute to that which is "necessary to the survival of any species renders any such choice immoral."

I can see that statement might benefit from a bit of disambiguation. Perhaps augmenting the word "survival" with the phrase "and overall benefit" and replacing the phrase "any species" with the phrase "the entire community of species" might serve more clearly to convey my intended meaning. Does " ... simultaneously most effectively and efficiently contribute to that which is necessary to the survival and overall benefit of the entire community of species renders any such choice immoral" work better for you?

Well, I'm not exactly sure who you include in the "community of species," but let's focus for the moment on the human species, since you and I both agree that humans are the only moral animals.

If actions are moral insofar as they simultaneously most effectively and efficiently contribute to that which is necessary to the survival and overal benefit of the species, then we should expect that those acts which positively affect the survival of the next generation to be more moral than those acts which do not. Let's suppose, then, that a 20-year-old woman sees an 80-year-old woman drowning in a lake. The younger woman swims out to save the older woman, even though she risks drowning herself. We might praise the younger woman's act as moral, yet, from an evolutionary perspective, it is hard to defend. After all, once a woman is past menopause, her contribution to the continuation of the species is largely over. In biological terms, she is simply living on borrowed time from that point forward. Certainly, if we are concerned about the perpetuation of the species, then we shouldn't be encouraging young women of child-bearing years to risk their lives saving old women who can no longer reproduce. Indeed, far from being a praiseworthy, I'd think that, under your version of morality, the young woman's act should be condemned as immoral. Is that right?
0 Replies
 
c logic
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 04:33 pm
joefromchicago wrote:
Certainly, if we are concerned about the perpetuation of the species, then we shouldn't be encouraging young women of child-bearing years to risk their lives saving old women who can no longer reproduce. Indeed, far from being a praiseworthy, I'd think that, under your version of morality, the young woman's act should be condemned as immoral. Is that right?


That indeed seems to be the case with this version, which also excludes the emotional aspect.
A guy beating his wife for fun would not be immoral if that would not interfere with the perpetuation of the species.
This defeats some of the major ideas behind morality, which leads me to state the following:
1. This version of morality is false and absurd.
2. How do we define morality? Is this version of morality just another interpretation as we don't know how to define it in the first place?

Morality - as I understand most people view it - has to do with absolute "good" and "bad" (while taking human emotions into consideration as well), whether that does or does not coincide with the perpetuation aspect. That is also your view, joefromchicago, correct?
(I will get back to your previous reply soon...)
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 04:34 pm
stop being so damn Darwinian. Conveying an added benefit to the species (meaning humans only) may mean something else entirely if the 80 year old was some cultural icon like Mary Leakey or Mother Theresa.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 04:36 pm
timber said
Quote:
Perhaps, fm, what we got going on here is some wierd sorta corrolary to Godwin's Law [Laughing]
__________
precisely, somebody call Godwin, weve broken his train.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 05:05 pm
c_logic wrote:
Morality - as I understand most people view it - has to do with absolute "good" and "bad" (while taking human emotions into consideration as well), whether that does or does not coincide with the perpetuation aspect. That is also your view, joefromchicago, correct?

Morality is a system of beliefs regarding right and wrong conduct.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 05:11 pm
farmerman wrote:
stop being so damn Darwinian. Conveying an added benefit to the species (meaning humans only) may mean something else entirely if the 80 year old was some cultural icon like Mary Leakey or Mother Theresa.

Well, that doesn't really help very much. If it's just post-menopausal cultural icons who are a "benefit to the species," then we are still left with 20-year-old women who are, we must presume, behaving immorally by attempting to save the lives of post-menopausal non-icons. On the other hand, if there is something about even non-icons that is beneficial to the species, then isn't that an exception that swallows the rule? After all, if everyone represents some benefit to the species, then shouldn't we be identifying that quality, which is shared by everyone, as the true standard for morality?
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 06:12 pm
Joe, simply passing genes to future generations - breeding successfully - does not make the cut when one considers in total that which simultaneously most effectively and efficiently contributes to that which is necessary to the survival and overall benefit of the species; for example, and as alluded elsewhere in this discussion, acting as did the 20-year-old to save an 80-year-old would be, for instance, an expression of altruism, a major component of the social development which has enabled humans to evolve from pack to civilization. It also very well might preserve for current and/or future generations knowledge and/or experience which would be of benefit if passed on - that too is a major component of what makes us human; the ability to formulate, retain, and transmit complex ideas pretty much is key to getting from pack to civilization as well. Also, there is the aspect of assistance and instruction in the care, nuturing, and education of young provided by elders and others not biologically parental to those offspring - many social/pack critters, not just humans, share that trait; obviously, its important/valuable enough to be passed on at the instinct level.

Finally, it should be remembered the genetics of specific individuals are of far less significance to genetic transfer than are the shared genetics of entire populations. Given a sufficiently large population, 20-year-olds are relatively expendable in the interest of real or perceived benefit to the subject population; that's a big part of why armies are full of 'em :wink:
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Dec, 2006 06:13 pm
joe said
Quote:
then shouldn't we be identifying that quality, which is shared by everyone, as the true standard for morality?
Dont start changing the premise. A benefit to the survivability of the human species transcends mere fecundity.That was my only point .
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Dec, 2006 09:18 am
timberlandko wrote:
Joe, simply passing genes to future generations - breeding successfully - does not make the cut when one considers in total that which simultaneously most effectively and efficiently contributes to that which is necessary to the survival and overall benefit of the species...


farmerman wrote:
Dont start changing the premise. A benefit to the survivability of the human species transcends mere fecundity.That was my only point .

If "benefit to the survival of the species" encompasses more than merely a biological benefit, then there's the danger that it will eventually encompass everything that is regarded as "good." So, for instance, if altruism is morally good because it fosters desirable social behaviors, we're already a couple of steps removed from the notion of "benefit to the survival of the species." Ultimately, saving old ladies because they have wisdom that they can impart to future generations or because rescuing old ladies in particular promotes the rescue of people in general looks rather less like some kind of "evolutionary" morality than it does a generic utilitarian calculus. In other words, you'd encourage the young woman to rescue her elder because you consider what she is doing to be "good," not because she is conferring some benefit to the survival of the species.

timberlandko wrote:
Finally, it should be remembered the genetics of specific individuals are of far less significance to genetic transfer than are the shared genetics of entire populations. Given a sufficiently large population, 20-year-olds are relatively expendable in the interest of real or perceived benefit to the subject population; that's a big part of why armies are full of 'em :wink:

Armies are not full of 20-year-old women. From a biological perspective, that's perfectly logical: men are largely superfluous in a biological sense. Given their limited function in reproduction, there is an enormous surplus of men, so most of them are expendable. That's why wars, which kill off a vastly disproportionate number of men as opposed to women, rarely have a significant demographic impact on populations, whereas famines and epidemics, because they usually kill women in the same proportions as men, have a much more profound demographic effect.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Dec, 2006 11:00 am
joe says
Quote:
In other words, you'd encourage the young woman to rescue her elder because you consider what she is doing to be "good," not because she is conferring some benefit to the survival of the species.
First, I dont encourage anything based upon some societal benefit. However, having stated
that, I would like us to recognize that, as unique species, we transfer our culture via communication not just by nature. Weve seen how , through most of hominid pre-hitory, culture, such as tools etc, remained fairly static. When we evolved a bigger meat eating brain, we could invent abstract thought, advances in technology, and an ability to transmit this information via speech.
Thats all, no biggy, just consistancy in all things data based.
0 Replies
 
BubbaGumbo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Dec, 2006 10:23 pm
You know what I like about Hitler?

He didn't take sh!t from magicians.
0 Replies
 
 

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