Moral Nihilism

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rat spit's picture
@doG

@doG

Well, I’ve gone to lengths to reference some very relevant information on this topic. And I can see you have no appreciation for it, so good day to you, sir.

On a side note. What are those two little apes doing in that avatar of yours? Let’s have a little Q&A shall we?

doG's picture
They are getting sexy.

Day git'n sex'eh.

rat spit's picture
Bonobos i’m assuming. Correct

Bonobos i’m assuming. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Now. Do they do that because it’s right? Or do they do that because it brings pleasure or comfort?

Trick question. Does the ape in the foreground get more pleasure out of hugging or being hugged?

doG's picture
"Now. Do they do that because

"Now. Do they do that because it’s right? Or do they do that because it brings pleasure or comfort?"

Day is soopa ho'ney.

rat spit's picture
@doG

@doG

I can see that. Hmm. Indeed. But why?

Tin-Man's picture
Dang, Ratty. Really? Haven't

@Rat Spit Re: "What are those two little apes doing in that avatar of yours?"

Dang, Ratty. Really? Haven't you ever heard of "Sexual Healing"? Surly you haven't been living in the sewers ALL your life, have you?... *chuckle*... Here, maybe this will help you a bit...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjlSiASsUIs

rat spit's picture
@Tin Man

@Tin Man

Nawp!!! Nawp!!! Too damn sexy right from the get go. I ain’t watching that!

Sheldon's picture
"Bonobos i’m assuming.

"Bonobos i’m assuming. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Now. Do they do that because it’s right? Or do they do that because it brings pleasure or comfort?"

Do you think Bonobos are a good benchmark for human moral judgments? Is flinging your shit or fighting a moral way for human males to determine who gets to have sexual congress?

Now how many times are you going to ignore the fact that human beings have evolved an intellect capable of a level of reasoning that means we can form moral judgments independently of our base instincts?

Do you think bonobo brains enable more less or the same level of autonomy as humans?

Do take your time with that last one.

rat spit's picture
@Sheldon

@Sheldon

Naturalistic fallacy. Pure and simple. Tell me; we build computers - machines that are better than us at performing certain tasks and calculations. Why is it that we are only doing so in the 20th and 21st centuries? What gene mutation do you attribute the invention of computers to? Maybe opposable thumbs?

Sheldon's picture
Now. Do they do that because

Now. Do they do that because it’s right? Or do they do that because it brings pleasure or comfort?"

Do you think Bonobos are a good benchmark for human moral judgments? Is flinging your shit or fighting a moral way for human males to determine who gets to have sexual congress?

Now how many times are you going to ignore the fact that human beings have evolved an intellect capable of a level of reasoning that means we can form moral judgements independently of our base instincts?

Do you think bonobo brains enable more less or the same level of autonomy as humans?

Since you ignored them with hand waving the first time.

Cognostic's picture
What kind of biologist are

What kind of biologist are you ratty boy/ It does not matter if the BEHAVIOR is known to be right or not. It is moral behavior within the tribe. To not engage in the behavior will have consequences. These are the rules bonobos have for one another. Morality EVOLVES. If and when bonobos begin to speak, THEY WILL RATIONALIZE THEIR SOCIAL BEHAVIOR AS MORALITY. Ancient species do not have to recognize it as moral to be moral. They only have to care about each other and have an interest in helping their neighbor.

THEN THEY INVENT RELIGION and demand everyone behave the same or burn in a hell. suffer death or be banished. Everyone must be the same to reap the rewards of cake and ice cream after they die. Then, morality vanishes and moral dictates take their place. This stays the same until the Atheists come along, bring back freedom of choice instead of reward and punishment. As this occurs, we witness the decline of religions around the world.

rat spit's picture
I’m a trained biologist. And

I’m a trained biologist. And if MORALITY evolves - then I say to you ARCHITECTURE evolves! MUSIC evolves! LANGUAGE evolves! But none of those things do so on a genetic level. And behaviour is genetic. We “build” homes because we seek shelter and warmth. This is the Behavioral basis of Architecture, not the evolution of it. We “sing” and “play” music because it’s pleasant. That is our motivation for doing so. But the innovation of new instruments is part of our ability to invent. I think we evolved to invent, and we have certainly invented to evolve - but we have also invented to enslave, to selfishly profit - etc. Invention is an extension of greed.

Nyarlathotep's picture
rat spit - I’m a trained

rat spit - I’m a trained biologist.

I took an honors high school biology class like 30 years ago and did well; does that make me a trained biologist too?

rat spit's picture
Fine. I have a University

Fine. I have a University Bachelors Degree in Biology. I’m fully capable of working in the field. I have spent four years of my life training to work in the field of Biology.

Honors high school biology? No. No, you’re not a trained Biologist. What did you do your Bachelors in?

Cognostic's picture
Yes, architecture evolves, it

Yes, architecture evolves, it evolved from grass huts and pyramids to sky scrapers and space stations. Music evolved from beating on trees, to waltzes, to rock n' roll, symphonies, and Kataro. Everyone knows language evolves. English is 60% French with German, Greek, and Latin and a bunch more.

OF COURSE THEY ALL EVOLVE ON A GENETIC LEVEL - WHAT IN THE HELL KIND OF A BIOLOGIST ARE YOU?

Everything we do is directly related to our biology. Neanderthal did not write symphonies of build skyscrapers. Cromagman did not write books, or fly to the moon. They were GENETICALLY INCAPABLE OF SUCH FEATS. We build homes because we are genetically capable of doing so. Gorillas in the wild do not build homes, they build nests. Their brains are not capable of the concept of "HOME' yet. Do you not think Gorillas seek warmth?

We do not sing music because it is pleasant. We sing because we can. Do you imagine birds sing because they like the sound of it. Enjoyment is a human characteristic that we have EVOLVED into. Our brains allow us to write down, memorize lyrics, repeat them, and even become innovative with them. ITS ALL GENETICS. Even the ability to invent is GENETIC. If it was not, jelly fish would be flying to the moon as well as the Chinese. Greed? "You need to read (The Selfish Gene) Richard Dawkins."

https://archive.org/stream/pdfy-RHEZa8riPwBuUyrV/The%20Selfish%20Gene_dj...

"Originally published in 1976, this book argues that genes are the basic unit of evolution, not individual organisms or even species. Due to their naturally selfish behavior, genes merely use organisms as mechanisms to ensure their own survival. Different body features, behaviors, and even altruistic actions are nothing but tools for them."

rat spit's picture
@Cog

@Cog

Innovation and ingenuity are genetic features of humans which evolved alongside our intelligence. But technological discoveries and advancement are features of progress. Rome wasn’t built in a day as they say. I find it hard to believe - ridiculous, quite frankly, that you would suppose an underlying genetic mutation for each era or period of the human architectural endeavour. You’d have to provide a mutation for each period.

The idea that intelligence, innovation and ingenuity evolved once and allowed for invention and discovery is a wee bit more believable. But believe what you like, monkey man.

Sheldon's picture
"I’m a trained biologist. And

"I’m a trained biologist. And if MORALITY evolves - then I say to you ARCHITECTURE evolves!"

You don't think our morality evolves? Do you see anyone being pilloried in the stocks in the town centre? I think you meant to use the past tense, as in evolution was not the original source of morality. Either you're laughably wrong. Trained biologists indeed, snigger. So you're going to run with this new appeal to authority fallacy then, fine then post some peer reviewed research that falsifies the evolution of morality.

https://philpapers.org/rec/MACPAP-13

"in The Bonobo and the Atheist, primatologist Frans de Waal argues that there’s another answer that fits the data better: morality comes from our evolutionary past as a social primate."

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21829172-300-tracing-the-roots-of...

So our morality is not an ENTIRELY human construct. So do please stop lying as i have not claimed it does not involve human constructs.

"“Morality” is a completely provisional concept."

http://www.atheistrepublic.com/forums/debate-room/moral-nihilism?page=1#...

Note the word completely there in your post, it's not as it has its roots in evolution. Certain evolved traits are innate in societal animals, morality is one of those.

rat spit's picture
@Sheldon

@Sheldon

Your reference to de Waal is a prime example of this

“Normative evolutionary ethics is the most controversial branch of evolutionary ethics. Normative evolutionary ethics aims at defining which acts are right or wrong, and which things are good or bad, in evolutionary terms. It is not merely describing, but it is prescribing goals, values and obligations. Social Darwinism, discussed above, is the most historically influential version of normative evolutionary ethics. As philosopher G. E. Moore famously argued, many early versions of normative evolutionary ethics seemed to commit a logical mistake that Moore dubbed the naturalistic fallacy. This was the mistake of defining a normative property, such as goodness, in terms of some non-normative, naturalistic property, such as pleasure or survival.”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_ethics

It makes the underlying mistake of the naturalistic fallacy and it demonstrates a poor understanding of the evolution of things like (eg. ) kin selection and altruism.

rat spit's picture
“You don't think our morality

“You don't think our morality evolves? Do you see anyone being pilloried in the stocks in the town centre? I think you meant to use the past tense, as in evolution was not the original source of morality. Either you're laughably wrong. Trained biologists indeed, snigger. So you're going to run with this new appeal to authority fallacy then, fine then post some peer reviewed research that falsifies the evolution of morality.”

“Either your laughably wrong.” Nice sentence, Sheldon. Makes no fucking sense, but I appreciate the effort.

I’ve already posted relevant information from Wikipedia. Apparently you failed to read it and/or understand it. The principle underlying Hamilton’s assessment for altruism applies to your so called morality. I suggest you read it again.

Sheldon's picture
"“Either your laughably wrong

"“Either your laughably wrong.” Nice sentence, Sheldon. Makes no fucking sense, but I appreciate the effort."

You're actually, not your, if you're going to cite an error in my grammar you might want to master some basic spelling.Nice smoke screen though, I notice you have used it to entirely ignore the post content, in favour of some cheap point scoring, Care to try and show some integrity for once?

“You don't think our morality evolves? Do you see anyone being pilloried in the stocks in the town centre? I think you meant to use the past tense, as in evolution was not the original source of morality. Either way you're laughably wrong. Trained biologists indeed, snigger. So you're going to run with this new appeal to authority fallacy then, fine then post some peer reviewed research that falsifies the evolution of morality.”

I've inserted the single missing word omitted through a typo on my phone since you thought this justified your petty rant.

"I’ve already posted relevant information from Wikipedia."

IS Wikipedia a peer reviewed source then? If you're going to make grandiloquent appeals to authority fallacies we'll need something more tangible. I'm surprised you didn't learn that much during a 4 year degree.

"The principle underlying Hamilton’s assessment for altruism applies to your so called morality. I suggest you read it again."

Oh dear it's as if you have selective hearing, or reading anyway. I'll go slowly DOES HAMILTON's RESEARCH INTO ALTRUISM AND ITS EVOLUTIONARY DERIVATION NEGATE THE POSSIBILITY OF HUMANS MAKING CONSCIOUS CHOICES THAT OVERRIDE THOSE INSTINCTS?

I'm also curious as to how you now appear to be championing research that indicates altruism is an evolved trait. Yet earlier claimed morality was an entirely provisional concept, as these are mutually exclusive claims. As I said at the time you posted it, the word entirely is what made your claim wrong.

rat spit's picture
Sheldon posts a reference to

Sheldon posts a reference to a scientific conclusion - objective evidence.

Rat spit posts a reference to a scientific conclusion - appeal to authority fallacy

- and not only is it an appeal to authority fallacy - the fucking guy asks for more.

Wow.

Sheldon's picture
The appeal to authority

@ratspit

The appeal to authority fallacy I cited was when you dismissed an objection from another poster, I forget who, with the grandiose claim you are a trained biologists.

Did this degree involve even a basic level of reading comprehension skills?

rat spit's picture
And I’ll bump this one for

And I’ll bump this one for Sheldon, since it’s a gem.

Ie. how does a nihilistic morality based on Darwinian evolution promote or support the theist position of a Creator God?

You’ve claimed the argument has been made here by theists many times. Please answer the question.

Sheldon's picture
Easy, that's not the argument

Easy, that's not the argument I was referring to in that quote you've paraphrased.

Now please explain why you claimed to think it is not morally wrong to rape a child? This is a pretty disgusting development.

rat spit's picture
Uhh. Cog asked “what kind of

Uhh. Cog asked “what kind of Biologist are you?” I answered him; a “trained one” - which after four years of studying the subject in great depth is more or less true. An “active Biologist”? No. I don’t work in my field. So what’s the problem here? How is this an appeal to authority.

And again you’re dodging the question- although I love the way you had to correct your own mistakes. I find it hilarious that you would even care. And believe me I don’t point them out to win points. I point them out to erk you.

The question was: how does a nihilistic moral view based on evolution support the idea of a theist creator God. Obviously you don’t have an answer because you’ve pigeonholed me incorrectly and you’re back tracking.

Is raping a nine year old morally wrong or right. Neither. As I’ve said, it disgusts me, I’m angered by it, and as a consequence I would take revenge on any said rapists. This is clear without the need for a moral construct. It is a clear reaction based on traits which might have evolved early on in our ancestors.

I argue here as I’ve argued elsewhere that morality is a fictional concept not supported by evolutionary theory. Evolution supports traits which thrive under natural selection. Disgust, anger, and revenge are all emotional traits which have evolved to thrive among the human species.

Cognostic's picture
RatSpit: You need to go

RatSpit: You need to go back to school..... Why don't you do just a little research before making these inane comments. You are a biologist like I am a box of crackers. You do not know what you are talking about.

"Morality and Evolutionary Biology
First published Fri Dec 19, 2008; substantive revision Wed Jul 23, 2014
A recent article in The Economist—sporting the provocative subtitle “Biology Invades a Field Philosophers Thought was Safely Theirs”—begins with the following rumination: ..... This passage epitomizes a growing theme in the popular and scientific media, echoing claims made forty years ago with the emergence of sociobiology, when E.O. Wilson suggested that “the time has come for ethics to be removed temporarily from the hands of the philosophers and biologicized”

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/morality-biology/

"Nearly 150 years ago, Charles Darwin proposed that morality was a byproduct of evolution, a human trait that arose as natural selection shaped man into a highly social species—and the capacity for morality, he argued, lay in small, subtle differences between us and our closest animal relatives. “The difference in mind between man and the higher animals, great as it is, certainly is one of degree and not of kind,” he wrote in his 1871 book The Descent of Man."

"For the last 30 years, the psychologist Michael Tomasello has been studying those differences of degree, trying to determine how our species’ social nature gave rise to morality."

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/12/evolution-of-morality...

Do Genes Shape Your Morality?
Joel Yager, MD reviewing Bernhard RM et al. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci 2016 Dec

Oxytocin receptor polymorphisms are associated with types of moral judgment.

"Research into biological correlates of social behaviors has yielded many insights. Twin and family studies have shown genetic influences on religiosity, political affiliation, and other behaviors. Nasal oxytocin and vasopressin have been found to affect behaviors. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of oxytocin and arginine-vasopressin receptor genes (OXTR and AVPR1A, respectively) have been linked to various affiliative behaviors. Now, researchers have investigated whether OXTR and AVPR1A SNPs affect higher-order moral behaviors."

https://www.jwatch.org/na43092/2016/12/19/do-genes-shape-your-morality

This is one of the most fruitful areas of investigation by modern science and you want to simply poopoo it all away? It just makes you look ignorant.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Cog

@ Cog

"Boom" thanks for that mate. Captain Cat was getting ready to leap at the screen and chew ratty a new one until you posted that learned lecture.

rat spit's picture
Ha! No. As a trained

Ha! No. As a trained Biologist I find your links extremely interesting. I however have a problem with the word “moral” - as it has always been derived from religious absolutists.

I can easily digest the information on an ethical level which lends a hand to genetics. In other words, leave morality out of the equation. Include cooperation, kin recognition, altruism, etc. on a scale that represents the ways genes are selected for and I will happily digest all of the information you have provided. Indeed, I find it extremely interesting. However, I have no need to use the word moral - any less than I would imply that “matrix algebra” has its roots in a genetic mutation which was selected for over time. On the contrary, “matrix algebra” is a branch of mathematics- one which progressed to where it is today because humans have always been inventive, innovative, and ingenious.

Sheldon's picture
ratspit "I however have a

ratspit "I however have a problem with the word “moral” - as it has always been derived from religious absolutists. I can easily digest the information on an ethical level which lends a hand to genetics. In other words, leave morality out of the equation. "

Morality
noun
principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour.
synonyms: ethics, rights and wrongs, correctness, ethical
More a particular system of values and principles of conduct.

Ethics
noun
1. moral principles that govern a person's behaviour or the conducting of an activity.

ratspit "humans have always been inventive, innovative, and ingenious."

Humans have not always been humans, they evolved, and like all societal animals we evolved the ability to understand the concept of right and wrong before we evolved into humans. Chimpanzees understand morality, as are all societal animals.

rat spit's picture
Please provide peer reviewed

Please provide peer reviewed research supporting your assertion that - quote “we evolved the ability to understand the concept of right and wrong.”

Or, if you’re willing, show how on a genetic level, evolution selects for changes in any population demonstrating such discriminations.

Ie. show how evolution gave rise to the concepts of right and wrong. And show further why it selects for those who chose right over wrong - when it is clearly the case that for the majority of the history of civilization (and still into this day) those who practised slavery, waged war, and committed atrocities of every kind were, are, and have been the most powerful and reproductively successful human beings on the planet.

If something is “right” then why do “moral” people get continually fucked over by “amoral” people?

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