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  #51  
Old 10-12-2005, 09:23 PM
Peter666 Peter666 is offline
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Default Re: If There Is No God

Let us suppose we have an incredibly strong instinct to live as an evolutionary advantage.

The quandary is that at the same time we are rational creatures. We know that some pain like going to the dentist is good for us in the long run, but other pain is so great that we just want it to end and nothing more. We actually WILL to die, which is our rational nature at work. But why don't we pull the gun out of the drawer and end it right there? We cannot be acting on emotions as those are telling us to kill ourselves now because of the pain. We are not acting through reason, as we know it is better to stop the suffering now because death takes it away (if you are an atheist).

Is there a natural instinct so strong that causes us to fight on? Maybe, but then why do some people still manage to commit suicide on a purely rational basis. For instance I am talking about rich people who do not have physical suffering, or the Swedes who have the best social safety net in the world yet the highest rate of suicide too. And of course there are some people who manage to kill themselves on an emotional level such as when they are spurned by a lover or a loved one dies and they go crazy for a bit.

This suggests that our instinct is not developed to the point of being stronger than our reasoning or our emotions, but there is still no mass suicide amongst atheists. Why? Where are their convictions?

Now religious people who are often derided for their beliefs by many atheists seem to have a much better tolerance for pain. There are instances of them going through what we would deem as unbearable suffering, but able to bear it through their religious convictions, such as the early Christian martyrs.

So from a scientific viewpoint we must conclude that either:

1) When an atheist has suffered great pain and stays alive despite the ability to easily kill himself, he is lying to himself and everybody else if he thinks there is nothing beyond death.

Or

2) Religious people are higher on the evolutionary scale because they have found a way to preserve and perpetuate the human race to a much greater degree due to their ability to suffer, and are thus superior. [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]
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  #52  
Old 10-12-2005, 09:27 PM
chezlaw chezlaw is offline
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Default Re: If There Is No God

[ QUOTE ]
Let us suppose we have an incredibly strong instinct to live as an evolutionary advantage.

The quandary is that at the same time we are rational creatures. We know that some pain like going to the dentist is good for us in the long run, but other pain is so great that we just want it to end and nothing more. We actually WILL to die, which is our rational nature at work. But why don't we pull the gun out of the drawer and end it right there? We cannot be acting on emotions as those are telling us to kill ourselves now because of the pain. We are not acting through reason, as we know it is better to stop the suffering now because death takes it away (if you are an atheist).

Is there a natural instinct so strong that causes us to fight on? Maybe, but then why do some people still manage to commit suicide on a purely rational basis. For instance I am talking about rich people who do not have physical suffering, or the Swedes who have the best social safety net in the world yet the highest rate of suicide too. And of course there are some people who manage to kill themselves on an emotional level such as when they are spurned by a lover or a loved one dies and they go crazy for a bit.

This suggests that our instinct is not developed to the point of being stronger than our reasoning or our emotions, but there is still no mass suicide amongst atheists. Why? Where are their convictions?

Now religious people who are often derided for their beliefs by many atheists seem to have a much better tolerance for pain. There are instances of them going through what we would deem as unbearable suffering, but able to bear it through their religious convictions, such as the early Christian martyrs.

So from a scientific viewpoint we must conclude that either:

1) When an atheist has suffered great pain and stays alive despite the ability to easily kill himself, he is lying to himself and everybody else if he thinks there is nothing beyond death.

Or

2) Religious people are higher on the evolutionary scale because they have found a way to preserve and perpetuate the human race to a much greater degree due to their ability to suffer, and are thus superior. [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

[/ QUOTE ]

Or the survival instinct is stronger than the desire to end the pain. so strong, in fact, that some people can convince themselves of almost anything, no matter how silly, to avoid the thought of not surviving.

chez
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  #53  
Old 10-12-2005, 09:33 PM
RJT RJT is offline
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Default Re: If There Is No God

Math describes the physical universe (mass - energy, whatever) as I understand it. Morals deal with the “thought” or the mental universe it seems.

I doubt very much that there are Absolute Morals. You obviously seem to think there are or at least might be.

If I were one who thought such a possibility, I, for sure, would be working on its discovery/proof. I would at least be thinking of a single one that I thought might be provable to be Absolute.

I can’t even think of any morals we are aware of that I can think might even be absolute. (That’s why NotReady’s used the extreme example of murder.)

The only “moral” that I can even think of that I would find a worthwhile endeavor to prove is the concept of is “love”. That, to me, would be a worthwhile endeavor. Any thoughts on how we can prove love is an Absolute?
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  #54  
Old 10-12-2005, 09:47 PM
chezlaw chezlaw is offline
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Default Re: If There Is No God

[ QUOTE ]

Math describes the physical universe (mass - energy, whatever) as I understand it. Morals deal with the “thought” or the mental universe it seems.


[/ QUOTE ]

Maths is not about mass energy or the universe although it has proved useful in that area.

Mathematical truths are things like there is no largest prime number or PI is irrational.

I think these are objectively true because the fact that there is no largest prime number is part of the concept of prime number. Logic is used to find out what we mean by prime number and we 'discover' there cannot be a largest one.

It may be that once we know what morality is, we can use logic to discover its properties in a similar manner to maths.

chez
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  #55  
Old 10-12-2005, 09:48 PM
Piers Piers is offline
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Default Re: If There Is No God

[ QUOTE ]
Me and Not Ready say that if there are absolute morals then there must be a God

[/ QUOTE ]

Ehm! Why?

Why couldn’t the universal council of morality and ethics determine absolute morality? It could meet once an eon to decide the details, then an army of minions could sow their decree into the fabric of the universe making them fundermental laws of the universe?
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  #56  
Old 10-12-2005, 09:53 PM
spaminator101 spaminator101 is offline
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Default Re: If There Is No God

Man wheres Not ready i thought hed have replied by now. I cant remember anything about any one so i dont dont know how to answer
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  #57  
Old 10-12-2005, 09:59 PM
RJT RJT is offline
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Default Re: If There Is No God

Well, I was using physics, too, when I used the word math. If this is a technical error, I think my point still holds, doesn't it?
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  #58  
Old 10-12-2005, 10:02 PM
Peter666 Peter666 is offline
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Default Re: If There Is No God

So what does an atheist convince himself at this point?

And why do some rational people still kill themselves? Are they the supermen?
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  #59  
Old 10-12-2005, 10:05 PM
RJT RJT is offline
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Default Re: If There Is No God

Well, that is a good point that we know little about the concept of morality. Perhaps, because it is such a relatively new thing (appeared only since man evolved, I assume) its study is in its infancy.

I do suggest the following quotes though from the link in the new post here by Holdingfolding.

[ QUOTE ]
While nobody has identified any gene for religion, there are certainly some candidate genes that may influence human personality and confer a tendency to religious feelings.

[/ QUOTE ]

[ QUOTE ]
This would suggest that there is a sort of "morality module" in the brain that is activated at an early age. Evidence from neuroscience would back this up, to a degree. In my last book, The Human Mind, I noted that certain brain areas become activated when we engage in cooperation with others, and that these areas are associated with feelings of pleasure and reward. It also seems that certain areas of the brain are brought into action in situations where we feel empathy and forgiveness.

[/ QUOTE ]

If there is a “morality gene” or something similar then would not that suggest that it can’t be absolute. That it too evolves?
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  #60  
Old 10-12-2005, 10:11 PM
chezlaw chezlaw is offline
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Default Re: If There Is No God

[ QUOTE ]
Well, I was using physics, too, when I used the word math. If this is a technical error, I think my point still holds, doesn't it?

[/ QUOTE ]

I agree with much of the rest. As I said before I doubt the existence of absolute morality but its nothing to do with the idea that in the end nothing matters.

I dont see it being something like murder, it will be much more situational that that. An absolute moral law could be something like 'In situation X a rational person must act in way Y'

chez
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