Moral Nihilism

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Sheldon's picture
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_morality

"show how evolution gave rise to the concepts of right and wrong. "

Natural selection, no societal animal could have evolved to live in groups without such a concept. It is also well evidenced in all societal animals.

"And show further why it selects for those who chose right over wrong "

Again natural selection, any animal that lives in a societal group would be driven from that group or killed if they failed to recognise the evolved concepts of right and wrong that natural selection had selected as benefiting reproduction of that species. A female lion couldn't sit down and learn it has to hunt with and for the pride without that evolved instinct, it's a behaviour that benefits the group, and the individual, and it evolved. A male lion cub would be killed pretty quickly by the dominant male if it didn't grasp that certain behaviours are considered wrong.

"when it is clearly the case that for the majority of the history of civilisation "

An Irrelevant amount of time on an evolutionary timescale, and a "trained biologist" would surely know that.

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

How does this change the fact that the precursors of human morality are derived from evolution, as with all societal animals? Humans have evolved an intellect that enables us to make choices that can negate those evolved instincts, again I am not sure why this must be repeated to you over and over and over? Right from the start you have made an absoollute claim that moral are entirely provisional, note the word entirely, it's yours, and it is wrong, as certain moral instincts are innate in us, and derived from our evolution which spans billions of years, so pointing to behaviours in humans over the last few thousand years misses the point entirely. You understand the biology of humans didn't start with humans right?

rat spit's picture
@Sheldon

@Sheldon

Naive Sheldon. Thinks humans know right from wrong. Thinks human are “moral”. Do you think the world will achieve peace? Or do you think it will end with war? And why have there been so many wars? Isn’t interesting how well one racial group cooperates when faced with aggression from another racial group - over something like territory.

The men who invented the atom bomb or the H-bomb... so inventive, so ingenious, so inquisitive, So manifestly human. I wonder if they ever thought about the Japanese who would be vaporized into nothing by their invention. Although, it was the right thing to do - twice, mind you.

Had they not dropped fat boy and skinny boy on Japan - the war would have been drawn out for a longer period, with more American and allied casualties. I guess this is what you call the pinnacle of morality, hmm? Making that choice. Should we drop this bomb on Japan, or not? What is the “right” thing to do? Should we drop another one? It was “right” the first time, after all.

Menial men like you - fighting for the freedoms of the individual, you will always be at the mercy of the small, but cooperative few. The few who seek to take your rights away. And they have and do - and very well, at that.

Will people like you ever contest the corruption that rules the world? Never. You’re weak and afraid. But you call it “moral” and “right”. Your sense of “moral justice” hides the absolute lack of consequences the evil and corrupt face by monetizing your social value. You’re a wage slave, like the rest of us. Hemmed in by a system we can’t escape. One which we would have to unite over in order to destroy. Absolute mayhem, anarchy, and slaughter of the 1%. Complete moral nihilism in the face of social justice.

Sheldon's picture
I have to say it's pretty

ratspit "Naive Sheldon. Thinks humans know right from wrong."

Didn't you just claim the rape of a child was wrong, and offer your reasons? You seem very confused.

I have to say it's pretty hilarious for someone to call anyone else naive, when they appear to not understand that knowing something is wrong, is not the same as never doing something that is wrong. That irony aside, I have said repeatedly humans have evolved an intellect that enables complex decision making process, thus we can make choices that are completely at odds with our evolved instincts.

I don;t understand why you keep ignoring the fact I have stated from the start that the precursors to human morality have evolved, but humans can make provisional moral choices?

So your original claim that "all human morality is **ENTIRELY** provisional" is demonstrably wrong. Rather than admit this error you prefer to go attacking me, and misrepresenting what i have said as if I have claimed we are entirely slaves to our evolved moral instincts, which I never have. Thus the rest of your rant has no relevance to what I said, as I have never claimed human morality is not subjective, or even provisional, just that it is not "ENTIRELY provisional" as you claimed.

"Complete moral nihilism in the face of social justice."

Are you claiming there is no justice in all of human existence? That's absurdly wrong if you are, if you're not then your point is lost on me, as it should be obvious to a "trained biologist" that humans as evolved primates are never going to create a perfectly just or moral society, rather these are things we strive toward, using the only tools at our disposal, our evolved reason, and our equally evolved ability to empathise and behave in an altruistic way, and those behaviours are just as prevalent now as the pernicious behaviours you have listed as if they somehow typify us and are somehow inescapable.

It is a well researched fact that humans are less likely now to meet a violent death than at any point in human history, and that is allowing for two of the bloodiest conflicts in human history occurring within the last century more or less.

doG's picture
As long as religion exists,

As long as religion exists, there will be reason for immoral behaviour. Get rid of it, and our species pretension for moral good, will shine. I always have said, that you have to be religious, to act immoral.

Cognostic's picture
How many dead RatShits does

How many dead RatShits does it take to change a light bulb?
It depends on how good your are at stacking.

Sheldon's picture
The high point for me were

The high point for me were the words "trained biologist".

Many years ago as a second year apprentice Fitter someone cautioned me never to claim expertise in anything, as you were almost certainly setting yourself up for a fall. His words have always rung true, and that was before I understood what an appeal to authority fallacy was.

Has anyone else noticed rat's habit of rolling on without any pretence of ever admitting when he is wrong, but just moves on to his next raft of claims? I know it's stating the obvious but his posts suggest he has something of a chip on his shoulder about being wrong, to put it mildly.

doG's picture
How ironic is that...that

How ironic is that...that trait is specific to certain personality disorders that display a distinct blurring of boundaries, including archetypal normal moral standards. LOL.

Cognostic's picture
I've commented generally on

I've commented generally on that with RatSpit, Catholicity, Maddie, Breezy, Jo, Searching For Truth, and many others. That;s just what theists do. The next thing they do is just ask the same question over and over and over as if it has not been responded to 25 times. Typical theist practices. Their childhood brainwashing does not allow them to see facts and reality. There is always something hiding in the dark behind all that is real. The are in fact Delusional.

Sheldon's picture
" The next thing they do is

" The next thing they do is just ask the same question over and over and over as if it has not been responded to 25 times. "

Whilst pretending atheists have not answered their questions, especially when those answers don't seem to be the ones they'd hoped for.

doG's picture
BAM! Agreed oh great chimp.

BAM!
Agreed oh great chimp.

rat spit's picture
@Sheldon.

@Sheldon.

Can’t let go of the “trained Biologist” comment, eh? Just keep getting your jabs in while you can.

Sheldon said:

“Again natural selection, any animal that lives in a societal group would be driven from that group or killed if they failed to recognise the evolved concepts of right and wrong that natural selection had selected as benefiting reproduction of that species. A female lion couldn't sit down and learn it has to hunt with and for the pride without that evolved instinct, it's a behaviour that benefits the group, and the individual, and it evolved. A male lion cub would be killed pretty quickly by the dominant male if it didn't grasp that certain behaviours are considered wrong.”

A male lion cub is afraid of the dominant male. It has nothing to do with morality. It is entirely about survival and recognizing who is bigger and more vicious than you. Once again you’ve made a pipe fitters naturalistic fallacy. And you’ve also committed an additional anthropomorphic fallacy to boot. So we’ll done. That’s two strikes against your normative view on evolutionary ethics. Simply because you ascribe to the more controversial, less accepted view of evolutionary ethics doesn’t make it right. Especially in light of your bare minimum understanding of it. You are taking natural survival mechanisms and you are ascribing human concepts like right and wrong to them. Which makes you a git.

That is the final time I will point out the problem you all keep making with the normative view of the evolution of ethics. And until you’re all able to grasp the meaning of altruistic behaviour in the same terms that I have quoted Hamilton on - I see no reason to go back and forth with you over whether or not evolution led to the “concept of right and wrong”. The fact that concepts are socially constructed should be obvious - at least as obvious as the fact that evolution on a genetic level does not create “concepts”.

Until then, I piss on your shoes and give a long protracted hisss!!!! to all of you!

Cognostic's picture
@RATTY: You are no trained

@RATTY: You are no trained biologist, you know nothing at all about modern biology.

" A growing number of animal scientists, however, are going over to the dark side, and at least flirting with the idea that animals can act morally. In his book Primates and Philosophers (2006), the Dutch primatologist Frans de Waal has argued that animals are at least capable of proto-moral behaviour: they possess the rudiments of morality even if they are not moral beings in precisely the way that we are."

"American biologist Marc Bekoff has being arguing for years that animals can act morally, and his book Wild Justice (2009)"

"Russell Church, now professor at Brown University, Rhode Island, demonstrated that rats wouldn’t push a lever that delivered food if doing so caused other rats to receive an electric shock. Likewise, in 1964, Stanley Wechkin and colleagues at the Northwestern University in Chicago demonstrated that hungry rhesus monkeys refused to pull a chain that delivered them food if doing so gave a painful shock to another monkey. One monkey persisted in this refusal for 12 days."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofpYRITtLSg&feature=youtu.be

"we should not postulate any more than we absolutely have to. In other words, we should not explain the behaviour of animals in complex, moral terms when another — non-moral — explanation is available."

The evidence for moral behavior in animals absolutely demonstrates behavior above and beyond non-moral explanations. Animals are capable of love, belonging, and caring not only for one another but for other species as well.

All you are arguing is that when, for example, compassion, occurs in an animal, it is not the same sort of thing as compassion when it occurs in a human. When it occurs in an animal, compassion has no moral status, and so even if the animal acts through compassion, it is still not acting morally. Absent any other reason for animals to demonstrate love, affection, caring, bonding, and care taking behaviors, your position is untenable.

"Our morality is rooted in our biology rather than our intellect......"

"If this is true, then the reasons for thinking that animals cannot act morally dissolve before our eyes. What is left is a new understanding of what we are doing when we act morally and, to that extent, the sorts of beings we are. Those beings are, perhaps, just a little more biological and a little less intellectual, a little more animal and a little less spiritual, than we once thought."

https://aeon.co/essays/if-a-lion-did-a-good-deed-would-we-understand-it

Your position is untenable and illogical given current trends in BIOLOGY.

rat spit's picture
Cog quoted:

Cog quoted:

“A growing number of animal scientists, however, are going over to the dark side, and at least flirting with the idea that animals can act morally”

Flirting. They’re “flirting” with the idea (the “dark side”). Okay? Does this sound like the more accepted branch of evolutionary ethics to you? Perhaps there’s a branch where people don’t only flirt; they go all the way?

And I like this one.

Cog quoted:

“"we should not postulate any more than we absolutely have to. In other words, we should not explain the behaviour of animals in complex, moral terms when another — non-moral — explanation is available."

As if love, affection, compassion are “moral affects”? Seriously? They’re advantageous adaptations. These are emotions which form bonds among members of the same group - usually so that they can survive when they’re being attacked by another group.

You’re not looking for the evolutionary advantage of the traits. You haven’t got the slightest argument for a genetic mechanism underlying the “concept of morality”. You’re looking at the trait and you’re saying it’s “moral”. That’s it. Your practically giving up because you stop at the genetics and start at the behaviour.

From Wikipedia on The evolution of ethics:

“The most widely accepted form of evolutionary ethics is descriptive evolutionary ethics. Descriptive evolutionary ethics seeks to explain various kinds of moral phenomena wholly or partly in genetic terms. Ethical topics addressed include altruistic behaviors, an innate sense of fairness, a capacity for normative guidance, feelings of kindness or love, self-sacrifice, incest-avoidance, parental care, in-group loyalty, monogamy, feelings related to competitiveness and retribution, moral "cheating," and hypocrisy.

A key issue in evolutionary psychology has been how altruistic feelings and behaviors could have evolved, in both humans and nonhumans, when the process of natural selection is based on the multiplication over time only of those genes that adapt better to changes in the environment of the species. Theories addressing this have included kin selection, group selection, and reciprocal altruism (both direct and indirect, and on a society-wide scale). Descriptive evolutionary ethicists have also debated whether various types of moral phenomena should be seen as adaptations which have evolved because of their direct adaptive benefits, or spin-offs that evolved as side-effects of adaptive behaviors.

Kin selection:

“Hamilton (1964) outlined two ways in which kin selection altruism could be favoured:

The selective advantage which makes behaviour conditional in the right sense on the discrimination of factors which correlate with the relationship of the individual concerned is therefore obvious. It may be, for instance, that in respect of a certain social action performed towards neighbours indiscriminately, an individual is only just breaking even in terms of inclusive fitness. If he could learn to recognise those of his neighbours who really were close relatives and could devote his beneficial actions to them alone an advantage to inclusive fitness would at once appear. Thus a mutation causing such discriminatory behaviour itself benefits inclusive fitness and would be selected. In fact, the individual may not need to perform any discrimination so sophisticated as we suggest here; a difference in the generosity of his behaviour according to whether the situations evoking it were encountered near to, or far from, his own home might occasion an advantage of a similar kind." (1996 [1964], 51)[2]

If you like your Normative Evolutionary ethics, that’s fine. I like my descriptive variety. You’re not right. You simply ascribe to a different view. One which doesn’t treat evolution on a genetic level.

Sheldon's picture
"So we’ll done."

"So we’ll done."

Priceless.

"Especially in light of your bare minimum understanding of it. "

Ah you're wheeling out the appeal to authority fallacy again, theists do love repetition of their fallacies.

"You are taking natural survival mechanisms and you are ascribing human concepts like right and wrong to them. Which makes you a git."

You asked for an explanation in evolutionary terms, the wrong behaviours would be the ones that got you killed before you are able to reproduce, like a lion cub whose evolved instincts made run away into the wild away from the bigger dominant male, rather than the correct evolved behaviour where it's fear enabled it to avoid being killed by the dominant male, whilst remaining in the pride and having it's protection. I am not ascribing the concept to the evolved trait at all, simply calling it a concept is a tautology you've produced, as if this unevidenced claim makes it just a human concept. Try evidencing that morality is merely a human concept in the light of all the contrary peer reviewed research that shows us that all societal animals have evolved the ability to understand the difference between right and wrong behaviours. Did humans teach them this???

You are the one anthropomorphism this, not me, because you can't understand a simple dictionary definition.

Morality is the concept of understand the difference between right and wrong behaviours, it's not limited to humans. Again it's astounding a trained biologist can not know this? Then again it's also true that there is a wide range of abilities in that term, as in all fields. Your ad hominem is as pathetic as your grasp of English, and that's language by the way, not literature as you hilariously claimed in another thread. Unless you think the inability to spell you are as an abbreviation is a result of not studying the classics.

" The fact that concepts are socially constructed should be obvious - "

You understand an animal can have an evolved ability without understanding the concept humans have created to explain it right? Again you're creating a begging the question fallacy using a simple tautology. All animals that have evolved to live in groups show an ability to understand the difference between right and wrong behaviours, they could not have survived without those abilities and natural selection "selected" them to survive and reproduce.

"at least as obvious as the fact that evolution on a genetic level does not create “concepts”."

So you're saying that right and wrong behaviours don't exist in reality, but are merely concepts, again simply making the claim it is a only a concept is not evidence, and your claim implies societal animals have no practical understanding of right and wrong behaviours, and each new generation just quickly learns anew every single behaviour, and which are right or wrong, and so avoids being killed in infancy, that's absurd.

Hmm....

"But 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. Like our closest relatives the apes, humans evolved in small, tightly knit, cooperative groups. As a result, again like the apes, we are exquisitely sensitive to one another’s moods, needs and intentions.

This well-developed empathy provided the trellis on which morality later flowered. De Waal, who is based at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, has been making this case eloquently for many years and over several books, notably in Good Natured back in 1997, and in Primates and Philosophers, 12 years later."

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

and the article goes on "If humans inherited morality from our ancestors, though, what are we to make of religion? Here de Waal moves into territory he has not explored before. Clearly, religion must do something important, since every human culture has it. But instead of religion giving us morality, de Waal turns the tables. Morality, he argues, probably gave us religion as a way of reinforcing the pre-existing community concern."

...and on...

"If he’s right, then there may be no absolute code of right and wrong out there to be discovered. Instead, each individual’s evolved sense of empathy and concern for the group may help shape the group’s consensus on what kind of behaviour is appropriate. In short, says de Waal, morality may be something we all have to work out together. It’s a persuasive argument, and de Waal’s cautious and evidence-based approach is one that many New Scientist readers are sure to find congenial."

Now he is an expert in evolutionary biology, so I am going to see you your appeal to authority fallacy, and raise you from a mediocre but trained biologist to a world renown expert in evolution, whose ideas are being published in well respected peer reviewed journals..

rat spit's picture
And before any of you says,

And before any of you says, “oh there goes the theist, running away from the argument” - a few points.

a) I’m not a theist for fucks sake
b) there is descriptive evolution of ethics and normative evolution of ethics. The fact that you are all adhering to the normative branch means that I disagree with you. The normative branch is not the widely accepted branch. But hold on to it. I don’t fucking care.
c) Sheldon is still dodging this point - a theist would never argue moral nihilism on the basis of evolution. If you want me to admit I’m wrong, step the fuck up and do the same for your self, coward.
d) hisss!!! and fuck off into Hell with the lot of you. You can all fuck Darwin’s ass as he burns eternally in the hottest depths of hell.

doG's picture
I’m not a theist for fucks

I’m not a theist for fucks sake

What would you prefer? Theitard? Religitard?...maybe, God?

rat spit's picture
Schizoaffective Depressive,

Schizoaffective Depressive, asshole.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Rat Spit

@ Rat Spit

Schizoaffective Depressive, asshole.

You should capitalise the A in asshole, Asshole. Oh. and just in case you didn't know the voice you hear is Yama (god of Death), and you are a direct descendant of Karni Mata.

So now you can stop fucking around and act proper. Sheesh, some rodents are soooo ignorant.

rat spit's picture
Thanks for the tip, Old

Thanks for the tip, Old Smelly Man. And for your information - it is not Yama; it is Māra. Or one of Māra’s hoard.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Ratty

@ Ratty

Oh boy, next time you hear voices they are going to be very very pissed at you...It IS Yama or Yamarāja...do a google thingy. Sheesh you like living dangerously, never mind in ignorance, aka la la land....

rat spit's picture
@old Man shouts

@old Man shouts

Nope. Nope. I was in the sauna yesterday and Yama came in and we had a personal conversation and he said he didn’t want anything to do with me. We compared penises. His was thicker but mine was longer. We talked about his assimilation into Theravada Buddhism and he expressed his disgust.

I exclaimed “if it’s not you in my head, then who!!!?”

He shrugged and replied, “I don’t know. Maybe it’s Brahma.”

But then I looked over my shoulder and heard a hiss and I knew it was the Evil One - none other than the murderous Māra.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Ratty Poo

@ Ratty Poo

Ah well I shall have to go to the temple and tell them you said they were all wrong...never mind. I am sure they won't care. After all there are many places where Rats are worshipped and protected...oh wait......

Sheldon's picture
You believe in a superhuman

You believe in a superhuman deity that you call god, and that intervenes in the world. That is a theist, and in your profile you stated you were not an atheist, there is only one other position, theism and atheism are logical negations of each other.

b) Well it's sweet you think we care whether you care.
c) Sheldon has answered repeatedly,, and you are lying again,, typical theist.
d) Ah Hell, definitely an atheistic concept, dear oh dear.

rat spit's picture
@Sheldon

@Sheldon

a) misrepresenting me again. At no time have I called him a “god”. Furthermore, there is no belief going on. Like 8 to 10% of the rest of the world I hear voices which I don’t attribute to my self. So in fact, I effectively know that there are Supreme Beings in my head. I haven’t placed the creation of the world in their hands and apart from talking to me in whispers, they don’t intervene in the world.

Non-Atheists and Theist are two of the options given at the registration of our accounts. Apparently someone saw a difference between the two - a difference you fail to see. Again, “agnostic” is an alternative to both theist and atheist.

Okay. If you’ve already explained this absurd position - simply post a reference to it - because I for one have not seen the answer. I might be mistaken but I am not lying and you are a prick for saying so. But I’m sure you already know that.

Nyarlathotep's picture
rat spit - Non-Atheists and

rat spit - Non-Atheists and Theist are two of the options given at the registration of our accounts.

That simply isn't true, there is no option labelled "Theist". Two options are given for that question: atheist, and non-atheist.

rat spit's picture
Then why not “Theist”? If you

Then why not “Theist”? If you don’t don’t believe in God then obviously you believe in God. You must take some stance on the issue. Hisss!!!!! I like to lie sometimes!!! Is that so bad?!!!!

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Ratty

@ Ratty

Come on little rodent...just say..."damn, I'm caught in a lie, ah fuck" . But hey, that is what rats do they rat out, get in a panic and abandon ship! !

rat spit's picture
@Old Man Shouts

@Old Man Shouts

Hissssss! The old man knows me! Now I must leave. But i’ll be back. You’ll all see. With bigger, better lies!!!

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Rat Spit

@ Rat Spit

Look up my older post about rats mewing, but no hissing except.....

Nyarlathotep's picture
rat spit - Then why not

rat spit - Then why not “Theist”?

I don't know why it was chosen to be like that, but I like it that way, and I'll offer a guess as to why it is that way:

Because atheist and non-atheist are guaranteed to be exclusive and span the space. It isn't so clear that would be the case with atheist and theist

.

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