Evolution is wack;God is the only way that makes sense! - Part 2

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by garbonzo, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    It doesn't defy anything. And evolution doesn't define everything. There are a wide range of cultural values that are possible given our evolutionary heritage. We evolved only the capacity to have a culture, and that could be almost anything. We can override our "programming" because we are intelligent enough to do so. For instance, suicide would seem to be a trait that evolution would discourage, but in some cultures like the Samurai of Japan, suicide in some contexts was considered a virtue.
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  3. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    I am repeatedly told that Darwinsitic evolution is blind to any particular goal or objective beyond survival, diversity of the genome.
    It is not like Darwinistic type evolution saw the potential for humans to evolve values and then evolved towards that potential.
    It is supposed to be predominantly "random hit and miss, trial and error, genetic mutation" but only by necessity of survival type situation. [ there is no room for "luxury" or whim]
    The question then arises why the ability to have some values has evolved in humans when it is unecessary for survival.

    The value of existential freedom for example when probably the oppressive nature of a "Hive culture" would be better...

    any ways just thnking about it.. there is an awful lot of reference material on the web so I am still looking through all that... [in other words this is far from being a "new" line of enquiry.]

    Bottom line:
    Why did that cave man value painting his hand on a cave wall? What natural selection would require this "value" [ not "abiity" but "value"] as it apparently fails to be only a necessity for survival action.
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  5. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    cognitively sloppy people. Also time limitations are in play in most discussions.
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  7. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    I guess I got that wrong regarding hindus and the pali canon. Also, I don't have a reference. Do you have a reference to anything that could be called a ground-of being, or highest, or something like that? Maybe you can point me in the right direction. I guess i am pretty ignorant when it comes to the original texts of buddhism, as i have received these buddhist ideas second-hand from zen study and other second-hand materials. I am sure further study is warranted. I would even be guilty of that thing i complain about, with people using fundie christianity as the only christianity, if i didn't understand that there are many buddhist sects, and although i do i don't always take the time to think about that every time i lean on my limited understanding of many buddhist ideas. If you were trying to make a meta-analysis of what is going on in this forum, as we all talk to each other, that is a nice point. Also, thanks for adding a big chunk of research to my plate, argh.

    EDIT - i did read the dhammapada, (EDIT- a few years ago), but honestly i didn't get hit by much, and it strikes me as overly simplistic, like it is saying things that aren't explained thoroughly enough - i guess i would be a bad buddhist. I feel like when someone is pointing something out like that they should tell you what they don't mean. Of course applying this same idea to the words of jesus in the bible may explain some of the problems people have with jesus.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
  8. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    I suppose if you define philosophy as the repository of morals, that's a fair statement. My view is that morality in the common vernacular is a mostly modern concept, almost cast in concrete in the Victorian era by Christians. It certainly had its tests, such as when Puritans tried to export it to colonial America. It's just that, if you put Puritans and Anglicans as answers to the multiple choice question Philosophy is needed by--, I don't think many respondents would choose either one. Yet if the question asked Which are known for shaping morality, and Puritans and Anglicans were listed below Leary and Jung, which do you think would be the more common answer?

    Early in the development of sexual reproduction, the ability to cast hardened spores that would survive to another season seems to have become a template for the casting of sperm and egg across a wide area. In Cnidaria the hydra become motile during this stage--leaving their sedentary position as polyps, as if to ensure that the range of cross fertilization will increase. The benefits for increasing the range is that a species can maintain a broader spectrum of genes, and any that are advantageous under a particular stress would remain on tap, to see the species through its drift, variation, adaptation--and perhaps speciation--with overall greater likelihood of success.

    The person reporting this was a linguist who seems to have mastered their language. He goes into more detail, mentioning that they questioned his basis for believing that things had to be caused, as opposed to simply existing that way forever. His point in this statement was to say that they had no creation myth and no sense of a God.

    My thinking about "Godless" primitives is that they show that Jung and Leary (maybe even Nietzsche) maybe should have been looking at modern primitives when they addressed religious ideology (or ideation).

    This was an account by an American who went to live among them, who I think at first was hoping to convert them to Christianity, and ended up not only mastering their language, but the experience effectively turned him into an anthropologist.

    I thought this was why you were linking evolution (as if primitive people might represent humans at the cusp of diverging from the proto-human ancestor) to religion, morality and philosophy. My reason for mentioning modern primitives is that we have some credible accounts from people who ventured out to study them, whereas the beliefs and norms of prehistoric people (and even many post-historical ones) are at best interpreted from trace evidence.

    I'm not sure I see the distinction or the significance. There could be no science without the demand for honesty you say is only possible with philosophy. And yet there could be no philosophy without the science it was married to (as in the Golden Age of Greece.) If not for religion, it's entirely possible that physics and metaphysics would have never found their mutually exclusive niches. If I were to ask you where Aristotle (or even Alexander) got his sense of morality, would you not say by studying the laws of nature?
    I think Boas explains that the tribes he studied were animists. (He speaks of totemism). The closest thing to religion they had was some irrational fear about natural objects and creatures. The question relating to your point is: how does an rationalized fear of nature constitute "a God" or even a philosophy. I think animism is an avoidance of a philosophy, relegating the machinery of nature to something unpredictable and powerful which might snap at you if in the least way provoked, rather than using the analysis of, say, Aristotle, to try to winnow out the grains of truth from the chaff.
    That then is my confusion over your point. It seems like you're saying you need only call it philosophy for it to become so. Everett reported that the Pirih√£ would care for their elders, making sure they had enough to eat, and that they could chew, if they had no teeth, etc., yet the tribe lacked any laws or leaders and no one ever told anyone else what to do. When he asked them whether they put food away for hard times, they would say that if they had any to put away, they would put it in the bellies of their friends and face the problem of finding more food tomorrow. But their responses all seemed to be based on logic, not any sense of right or wrong. If I'm not mistaken, this undermined Everett's own abiding belief, perhaps similar to yours, that morality was a universal, and it had such a profound effect on him that he eventually became an atheist.
  9. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    which brings to mind the confusion many people have in thinking religion and philosophy are necessarily the same system, because there is such a massive amount of overlap. I guess the difference in the two systems could be explained similarly to two areas of psychology which have a similar difference in my mind, although i am sure there are ways in which the analogy might not apply. Person centered therapy, pioneered by carl rogers basically stands in for religion in my analogy because it is an experiential discipline, not controlled and worked out entirely by what is being said, but simply by the acceptance of a patient as "ok" from a professional, whereas cognitive therapies would be like philosophy, within which correctness is determined by creating, and creating understanding of, sets of "rules of the road" within which to operate the human vehicle so to speak. And the problems with cognitive therapies are that the rules they teach may or may not be useful for certain patients, whereas, almost universally people will respond to feeling loved. Unfortunately it seems there weren't many therapists who had the power to affect people the way rogers did apparently, so he came to deny his work later. Anyway, the point is the experiential and the intellectually correct seem to be the lines down which philosophy and religion are split, in their intentions at least. But like i said the overlap is massive, and ALSO there is no reason why either one can't advise the other.

    Leary was still applying the phrase "modern primitives" to technological societies, haha. Jung for one went and hung out with some "The group traveled through Kenya and Uganda to the slopes of Mount Elgon, where Jung hoped to increase his understanding of "primitive psychology" through conversations with the culturally isolated residents of that area. Later he concluded that the major insights he had gleaned had to do with himself and the European psychology in which he had been raised." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Jung
    Whether or not he was objectively "correct", Jung was the real deal, don't sell that dude short.
    i for one am glad science and religion have been effectively split, and think we would do better to realize the split, and stop muddying the water. I mean, without the clarity the scientific method brings, the science we have would be, i imagine, even sloppier than it is now. And religion obviously has problems as a scientific discipline, not that that can be understood as a knock on religion, if you have the intellectual sophistication to understand what is going on.
    well it is clearly a philosophy, or system of human thought, although i am not saying we could call them practitioners of the discipline of philosophy, although i wouldn't rule it out without talking to the shaman first, if they had such a role in their society.
    i think traveling to a society where experiences are so widely different, and explained so differently, would be an incredibly emotional experience, and of course emotional experiences are very capable of affecting a deep change in thought process. Also, he probably had beliefs consistent with evangelical christianity that were logically inconsistent, and scientifically troubling. Just going to a tribe who says "things always were the way they are now" would create quite a problem for someone sent there to save them from hell. I'm sure there are many other examples of how fundie christianity could be felt as being problematic just by seeing these people loving each other.
  10. davewhite04 Valued Senior Member

    The common mistake... mixing religion with science(which is renowned for getting things wrong, then coming up with something new from learning from what they did wrong). He'll be an atheist this time next year if this is the path he takes. Why he is asking this question is interesting though...

    Are you sure he hasn't just committed adultery and is justifying it to no one but himself?
  11. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Science does learn from it's mistakes, unlike religion, the mistakes of which are eternal. I don't think there are aspects to reality that religion teaches which are out of the scope of science. I think it's a false separation. Not that they are compatible, they aren't.
  12. davewhite04 Valued Senior Member

    Science certainly hasn't got a theory to love thy neighbor as thyself.
  13. Neverfly Banned Banned

    It has anthropology.
    It has theories of psychology and social studies. Frankly- a bit more impressive than edicts from Imaginary Beings.
  14. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member


    Science certainly has shown that the benefits of mutual cooperation and defense have evolutionary survival value(ants, bees, herds, pods, schools, flocks, etc.). In higher mammals and birds this evolutionary concept is expressed as love(mates)but the evolution of the behavior came before the evolution of the emotional system that motivates it in humans.


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  15. cole grey Hi Valued Senior Member

    ethics is not a branch of science -

    Tigers are bad co-operators but very advanced creatures, and without man's intervention the process of their evolution would have been perfectly valid for millions of years probably.

    Science may show us in a very vague and general way that human co-operation is needed to sustain our species, but it isn't clear at all whether we should co-operate by having one group of a couple hundred thousand people rule the world with an iron fist, killing whomever they wish to maintain balance of resources and populations, and perhaps experimenting upon the unlucky masses when they need to find a genetic cure for some disease the hundred thousand elites have been afflicted with. And mutually co-operating only with your immediate family, while cheating everyone else is not ethical behavior.

    No, it is quite clear that science doesn't prescribe ethics. i am a little confused by anyone who doesn't see that plainly. Studying people and making judgement on their ethical behavior are not the same thing in any way.

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