Jump to content

Cognitive load of being religious and scientific


icehorse
 Share

Recommended Posts

Do you realise that you just said that the Bible is wrong?

 

There is, of course, all the difference in the world between what we actually do and what we know we should do. We, as a species, are not perfect- we goof off at work and we screw around.

Our societies don't do a lot better than we do.

But, just because we don't actually follow the "law" that you should "Do unto others..." doesn't mean it's a bad rule; it just means we are bad at following it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Said the atheist to the theist. You really might want to look into the philosophy of morality.

 

It wasn't wrong at the time.

 

 

And, seriously, this conversation can't produce any results. I start with the idea that morals aren't real. You think they are. There can be no constructive discourse.

If that were true, there'd be a universal code of ethics every society would follow. This is clearly not the case. Morals differ by culture.

Cultures have different eating habits and living habits, that doesn't make them all equal in terms of health. If we view morality as a "diet" for society and we are concerned for societal health, then we can see that while there will be more than one good diet, there will be terrible diets and bad choices that are obvious.

 

If you view morality as just a matter of taste and that human suffering is not a concern, then I agree with you that there can be no constructive discourse. Similarly, if someone doesn't value evidence and reason, then there is no need to discuss anything reasonably with them. Measuring human suffering isn't a science yet, but that doesn't mean we can't get answers even at the extremes. I think we know that slavery and rape are not conducive to human flourishing. They are wrong answers. This is more obvious to me than the world being round.

Edited by john5746
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

I think we know that slavery and rape are not conducive to human flourishing. They are wrong answers.

 

They are detrimental to the human organism as a whole, yes. That's why group theory and evolution don't really select for that.

 

If you think this in any way proves morals are separate, ontic entities, you're insane. Morals are social constructs. They would not exist without humans. They are not truths. They are not logical axioms. They are not derived.

Edited by A Tripolation
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

They are detrimental to the human organism as a whole, yes. That's why group theory and evolution don't really select for that.

 

If you think this in any way proves morals a separate, ontic entities, you're insane. Morals are social constructs. They would not exist without humans. They are not truths. They are not logical axioms. They are not derived.

 

I have to agree with this, I can't see how morals could exist separate from humans, or wolves, or crows, or chimps, or any other social animal and their morals are going to be quite different from what we think of as morals but it's how they evolved, our morals are part of us or a tendency toward certain behaviors and those behaviors are part of us but we work out the details, in times of plenty people who work well together may have different morals if things get bad, as conditions change morals change...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, gravity, which wouldn't exist without mass, isn't real.

The thing is that morals do exist- not just in humans.

And I'm amused by "f you think this in any way proves morals are separate, ontic entities, you're insane. " said the person who worships his invisible friend.

Whether it's "ontic" or not depends on the exact definition you chose for that word, so introducing it doesn't help a lot.

Nobody, for example, has said you can go to the market and buy a bucket of morals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, gravity, which wouldn't exist without mass, isn't real.

 

Gravity is the curvature of spacetime caused by mass-energy. Removing mass only removes a very tiny and very insignificant source of mass-energy. So, no. That's a horrible analogy. Remove ALL of the mass-energy in the universe then I will say gravity doesn't exist.

 

 

 

The thing is that morals do exist- not just in humans.

 

Yes, altruism and the functions selected by group theory and evolution exist in other animals with social hierarchies. This does nothing but prove my point that morals are a fabrication. They ONLY exist in social creatures. Does a star have morals? Does a black hole feel guilty as it accretes matter away from its binary companion, resulting in its demise? No. To suggest that morals are something that can exist without social creatures manifesting it shows an absolutely abysmal grasp on philosophy.

 

Morals aren't real. It's a label for certain actions that result in an increased rate of survival for a group.

 

Also, I'm going to say this: if you're suggesting moral absolutism is the case, then that absolute morality needs to come from somewhere. That source must be a perfect source of good morality, because all "evil" is is the deviation from good morality. This source is almost always God. Taking a stance on morality like yours makes it almost impossible for you to refute the existence of an omnibenevolent entity. Again, you should really look at the science of the matter.

Edited by A Tripolation
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

Yes, altruism and the functions selected by group theory and evolution exist in other animals with social hierarchies. This does nothing but prove my point that morals are a fabrication. They ONLY exist in social creatures.
Do you agree that social fabrications such as language and mathematics and coordinated assault techniques belong in a different category from fabrications such as the dog eating one's homework?

 

 

 

Morals aren't real. It's a label for certain actions that result in an increased rate of survival for a group
It's not a label for the actions. It's a label for certain kinds of mental states or events that govern an unspecified and unlimited variety of actions.

 

Do you agree that the unreality of mental states or events that do take place is not the same kind of unreality as that of proposed physical states or events that do not take place - may even be impossible?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Gravity is the curvature of spacetime caused by mass-energy. Removing mass only removes a very tiny and very insignificant source of mass-energy. So, no. That's a horrible analogy. Remove ALL of the mass-energy in the universe then I will say gravity doesn't exist.

 

 

 

 

Yes, altruism and the functions selected by group theory and evolution exist in other animals with social hierarchies. This does nothing but prove my point that morals are a fabrication. They ONLY exist in social creatures. Does a star have morals? Does a black hole feel guilty as it accretes matter away from its binary companion, resulting in its demise? No. To suggest that morals are something that can exist without social creatures manifesting it shows an absolutely abysmal grasp on philosophy.

 

Morals aren't real. It's a label for certain actions that result in an increased rate of survival for a group.

 

Also, I'm going to say this: if you're suggesting moral absolutism is the case, then that absolute morality needs to come from somewhere. That source must be a perfect source of good morality, because all "evil" is is the deviation from good morality. This source is almost always God. Taking a stance on morality like yours makes it almost impossible for you to refute the existence of an omnibenevolent entity. Again, you should really look at the science of the matter.

Way to miss the point there!

OK, without apples, apple trees wouldn't exist so apple trees are not real.

 

"Does a star have morals?"

No, but then nobody said it did so it's not clear why you introduced it.

 

Stars don't have religion so, according to your "logic" religion doesn't exist.

 

So, re "To suggest that morals are something that can exist without social creatures manifesting it shows an absolutely abysmal grasp on philosophy. "

The fact that I never said that they could suggests that you have "an absolutely abysmal grasp on" what you are talking about.

 

I actually explained where the science of morality comes from- repeated prisoners' dilemma problems and such.

That fairly clearly implies the existence of players who would, also clearly, be social animals.

 

Now, can you explain how you got from

"morality can be shown to be an outcome of intelligent social interaction between animals" to "To suggest that morals are something that can exist without social creatures manifesting it shows an absolutely abysmal grasp on philosophy. "

 

Did you just forget to think or what?

 

And, once again, we have a display of the increased cognitive load carried by someone who is trying to maintain the "double think" of religion and science.

To do so you have said that slavery was a good thing (you might want to ask a slave about that)

That right and wrong depend on when you asked the question

(if slavery was "right" 2000 years ago, how did it become wrong? What changed and how?)

And you have also turned what I said completely on its head while bizarrely introducing the morality of stars.

 

That's quite a lot of cognitive effort there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Way to miss the point there!

OK, without apples, apple trees wouldn't exist so apple trees are not real.

 

 

Yes. If something named an "apple" didn't exist, their tree would not exist. You are completely correct! Welcome to logic 101. Another example: if a mathematical operation called the "additive inverse" did not exist, it's function on math, a subtraction, would not exist!

 

 

 

Stars don't have religion so, according to your "logic" religion doesn't exist.

 

True! Religion is a categorical name given to a set of epistemological frames and beliefs! There exists no ontic entity known as "religion." It is a social construct. Nothing more.

 

 

 

 

I actually explained where the science of morality comes from- repeated prisoners' dilemma problems and such.

 

So you agree that morality is nothing more than applied neurochemistry to social situations. Good to know! You don't think it exists, either. You simply don't see that yet.

 

 

 

 

Now, can you explain how you got from

"morality can be shown to be an outcome of intelligent social interaction between animals" to "To suggest that morals are something that can exist without social creatures manifesting it shows an absolutely abysmal grasp on philosophy. "

I see nothing mutually exclusive about these statements.

 

And, once again, we have a display of the increased cognitive load carried by someone who is trying to maintain the "double think" of religion and science.

This actually has nothing to do with my religion since I'm quite the deist. This has to do with your knowledge of the philosophy of morality being so close to zero that the difference is negligible.

 

 

(if slavery was "right" 2000 years ago, how did it become wrong? What changed and how?)

Humans decided (most of them did) that the pain and suffering of a sentient, enslaved human wasn't worth what they got from it. Slavery has been rampant in human history and it was mostly an acceptable practice. Much like claiming lands from your defeated foes was an acceptable practice until the early 1800s. Social beliefs change. I expect a similar change in the future when humans become almost completely vegetarian in that there's no sense killing an animal if you derive no additional nutrition from it than you would a plant-based diet. Right now, being a carnivore is a morally acceptable position. This might change in the future. Morals change based on the society you live in. There is no absolute morality.

Edited by A Tripolation
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will you stop writing hogwash like this please?

"So you agree that morality is nothing more than applied neurochemistry to social situations. Good to know! You don't think it exists, either. You simply don't see that yet."

Neurochemistry does exist.

Its application to social situations does exist.

And, if that's how you choose to consider morality then morality exists.

 

As for "Now, can you explain how you got from

"morality can be shown to be an outcome of intelligent social interaction between animals" to "To suggest that morals are something that can exist without social creatures manifesting it shows an absolutely abysmal grasp on philosophy. "

I see nothing mutually exclusive about these statements."

I think you might need to review reading 101 and logic 101

You said that I suggested morals exist without people

I actually said morals can not exist without people (to play the games)

You say there's no contradiction there.

Well the obvious problem is that only one of them is true.

"Humans decided (mos..."

Why?

How , if slavery was right (as you have repeatedly asserted), did they decide that it was wrong?

When did reality change?

Was it with the first person to say "slavery is wrong"?

At that point, he was a weirdo; a minority of one. In the viewpoint of society he was wrong to say what he did.

Why did any people accept what he said?

Did a whole bunch of people experience some mass awakening to the fact that slavery was wrong all at the same time?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Morals aren't real. Case closed. You're a really sucky atheist.

So, that's it?

A point blank refusal to discuss the points I raised.

I'm inclined to consider that an admission that I'm right. At best it's "proof by loud assertion".

Also it's not as if atheism has much to do with morality- any more than theism does- so your logic seems faulty too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

"- - actually explained where the science of morality comes from- repeated prisoners' dilemma problems and such".

 

So you agree that morality is nothing more than applied neurochemistry to social situations.

What we have there is the social constructions and situations we call scientific research and findings, applied to an interesting feature of human social behavior.

 

We also welcome information from neurochemistry,.

 

Now if none of that "morality" stuff is real, we will need to establish a suitable category of unreality - because it would cause confusion to just throw it in with, say, the traffic laws of mermaids.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Slavery was completely normal in those days. Are you really saying that wasn't a truth at the time? And for those days, the Mosiac law set down on how to treat slaves was considerably better than what the Egyptians/Persians/etc did with their slaves.

All I'm saying is that when you use the term "better" in this statement, you are expecting it to have more weight than "I like blue".

 

Pain is a subjective experience. Without a being, there is no pain but it is very real. People experience different levels for the same stimuli, but this doesn't keep us from recognizing that dental surgery with anesthesia is a medical procedure, whereas without is torture. Language is a social construct. On the face of it, seems like any language is just as good as another. But languages do require rules and they can be analyzed and we can determine that some would be better than others or better in certain aspects - in relation to communication, which is the purpose.

 

For myself, I think that my religious thinking helps my scientific thinking in terms of never growing used to the marvels of the universe.

IMO, spiritual is a better fit in this sentence. We can have spiritual experiences without any story, rituals or supernatural baggage.

 

 

I don't think anything in the OT is really what God thinks. Not many people do. The NT is a lot closer, but it's still flawed. It's still just a recounting of stories passed down orally of a tumultuous time.

Now, had God written the OT personally, then there might be a problem. But AFAIK, it was written by warring pastorialists.

Replace God with your name. That's what I hear when someone says something like this. Because I have no reason to think they know anything about god, other than one or some might exist.

 

Morals aren't real. It's a label for certain actions that result in an increased rate of survival for a group.

Science isn't real either. It's a label for certain actions that result in models that describe reality.

 

Also, I'm going to say this: if you're suggesting moral absolutism is the case, then that absolute morality needs to come from somewhere. That source must be a perfect source of good morality, because all "evil" is is the deviation from good morality. This source is almost always God. Taking a stance on morality like yours makes it almost impossible for you to refute the existence of an omnibenevolent entity. Again, you should really look at the science of the matter.

Very little, maybe nothing is absolute in this universe. Moral tenants have degrees of freedom that adjust based on conditions, I agree with you there. It doesn't follow that therefore anything goes. And some tenants are less flexible than others. I cannot think of a situation where treating people as property would be better than not. If it does exist, that doesn't make it any better in the rest of the situations.

 

But, let's pretend that we agree that shoving a hot pocker in someone's anus is absolutely wrong, for all time, everywhere. Why is God needed for that? As you alluded to yourself, we are just mapping the human condition, nothing about God. The moral rules themselves are not gold tablets, just ape grunts.

Edited by john5746
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another aspect:

 

Religions are products of particular circumstances, certain times and places and people, a specific setup or two. By codifying the spiritual relationship of human beings to the material world in that narrow a setting, and inculcating that code, religion places a cognitive burden on future explorations of the physical world and its human inhabitants.

 

The original Christian religion, and thereby its progeny, was a city relligion - set up for the urban poor and agricultural economies based on providing product to centers of trade. As such it made no provision for a spiritual relationship with landscape and its denizens suitable for long term agriculture or other human employments of natural resources.

 

In basic Christianity the entire world is "just" material, a pile of stuff - as was much the case for the urban poor of the time or most times.

 

So we see, for example, the oblivious destruction of the Big Woods in eastern North America (and removal of its inhabitants) proceeded with religious encouragement as well as indifference - those whose natural spiritual response was to recognize in some vague sense the scale and irrevocability of the loss were burdened not only with incompatible ethical and moral terms of discourse and complete lack of support in religious conceptual tradition, but active opposition from those who regarded such recognition as pagan, unChristian, etc - not only including but especially the spiritual leaders of their communities.

 

The natural human reactions of wonder, awe, enchantment, sense of fitness in employment, curiosity, desire to establish good and profound relationships with a new land, empathetic connection with the living beings of the place, etc, faced cognitive burdens in their establishment or expression - and a good share of the burdens originated in that particular religion the white pioneers of North America happened to share.

 

And something quite similar afflicts Western science to this day - the Judeo-Christian division of the universe into "soul" and "stuff" is hard to get outside of, a cognitive burden on believers and unbelievers both.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.