What is Morality, Where Does it Come From?

Apr 2013
34,216
23,109
Left coast
No, chimpanzees have not found God, since they are incapable of delayed gratification and have other reduced cognitive abilities compared to humans.

Buddhists have morals because they have found some of what God has woven into existence. As have pagans.

Your “unless” is only evidence that in yourself you find some clue to rules of accountability to which even God should be held to account. You have provided evidence for the existence of a transcendent morality not formed by culture and for the existence of God.
No, I have not. I have however found lots of evidence to show that if there is some power, it is either unconcerned with humanity or really sadistic.
 
Feb 2007
3,156
1,521
New York
You could say the same wil Hillary as the example. Either way it’s just a pointless insertion of politics into a discussion where that is not helpful.
Please clarify how Hillary being in office gives cover to those driven by their base instincts. With Trump, his behavior makes the point obvious.
 
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Dec 2015
13,176
12,035
Arizona
There is a book called The Moral Animal: Why we are the way we are by Robert Wright. Here's the thesis:
"Conscience, the seat of our moral sense, evolved as a survival mechanism. When ... we feel guilt because we have harmed a sibling, it is because we have thereby imperiled the proliferation of our genes. When we feel guilt because we have harmed someone outside the family circle, it is because we have potentially damaged our own (survival enhancing) status."

This explanation implicitly contains a remarkable claim. It suggests that there is something in us that is self-consciously aware of the process of evolution, that understands what the goal of evolution is – survival of our own species – and instructs us through our conscience to fulfill the optimal conditions for that survival.

Morality has been required since the caveman. In other words, it's been in place LONG before mankind KNEW OF/UNDERSTOOD God. In order to survive and thrive RULES were put in place for the clan and something called JUDGEMENT became obvious. The hierarchy was established. Punishments were meted out. Obviously, this was not JUST about survival. Parents protected their children from danger. Was that instinct or love? Was that innate or learned?

Since the beginning of man, standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable were in place.
They still are. Some people just CHOOSE to ignore them. People like Donald Trump.
 
Likes: RNG
Nov 2012
38,522
11,332
Lebanon, TN
There is a book called The Moral Animal: Why we are the way we are by Robert Wright. Here's the thesis:
"Conscience, the seat of our moral sense, evolved as a survival mechanism. When ... we feel guilt because we have harmed a sibling, it is because we have thereby imperiled the proliferation of our genes. When we feel guilt because we have harmed someone outside the family circle, it is because we have potentially damaged our own (survival enhancing) status."

This explanation implicitly contains a remarkable claim. It suggests that there is something in us that is self-consciously aware of the process of evolution, that understands what the goal of evolution is – survival of our own species – and instructs us through our conscience to fulfill the optimal conditions for that survival.

Morality has been required since the caveman. In other words, it's been in place LONG before mankind KNEW OF/UNDERSTOOD God. In order to survive and thrive RULES were put in place for the clan and something called JUDGEMENT became obvious. The hierarchy was established. Punishments were meted out. Obviously, this was not JUST about survival. Parents protected their children from danger. Was that instinct or love? Was that innate or learned?

Since the beginning of man, standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable were in place.
They still are. Some people just CHOOSE to ignore them. People like Donald Trump.

Or we got a Conscience when we ate of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge
 
Nov 2005
7,047
1,706
California
Or we got a Conscience when we ate of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge
You're comparing a fairy tale to something we can actually document and observe!

To put it another way, with the whole "fruit of the Tree of Knowledge" approach, did God give monkeys morality at the same time???
 
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Nov 2012
38,522
11,332
Lebanon, TN
You're comparing a fairy tale to something we can actually document and observe!

To put it another way, with the whole "fruit of the Tree of Knowledge" approach, did God give monkeys morality at the same time???
No, man ate of the Fruit of the tree of knowledge not monkeys. That is why nature's morality is survival of the fittest
 
Nov 2005
7,047
1,706
California
No, man ate of the Fruit of the tree of knowledge not monkeys. That is why nature's morality is survival of the fittest
Instead, I found that most of Charles Darwin’s work, especially “The Descent of Man,” not only supports the general argument of this book; it doesn’t support the idea of what most call Darwinism. Darwin’s research shows that “survival of the kindest” is more correct for explaining which species climb the evolutionary ladder efficiently and effectively.

According to biologists from Darwin to E. O. Wilson, cooperation has been more important than competition in humanity’s evolutionary success. Compassion is the reason for both the human race’s survival and its ability to continue to thrive as a species.​
Even Darwin thought 'survival of the fittest' was misinterpreted
 
Jul 2014
12,417
7,473
massachusetts
Instead, I found that most of Charles Darwin’s work, especially “The Descent of Man,” not only supports the general argument of this book; it doesn’t support the idea of what most call Darwinism. Darwin’s research shows that “survival of the kindest” is more correct for explaining which species climb the evolutionary ladder efficiently and effectively.​
According to biologists from Darwin to E. O. Wilson, cooperation has been more important than competition in humanity’s evolutionary success. Compassion is the reason for both the human race’s survival and its ability to continue to thrive as a species.​

Even Darwin thought 'survival of the fittest' was misinterpreted
EXACTLY!
Survival of the fittest doesn't mean "Last Man Standing", it doesn't mean survival of the individual, it's survival of the genome, and since evolution is bigger than the genome, it means survival of the meme.

I read a Stephen Jay Gould essay where he talked about the Jewish kosher diet, and how he could only see it as being detrimental to the Jews, at some point having fewer foods you can eat will negatively affect your survival.
Then he had an epiphany, the kosher rules kept Jews away from Gentiles socially, this reduced intermarriage, it discouraged assimilation, it preserved a separate Jewish culture, even as it caused some individuals to starve and by keeping separate encouraged pogroms , it kept the Jews from being assimilated into the European culture, as so many other minorities had been completely assimilated.
In America, where the friction between Jews and Gentiles is almost non existent, the Jewish population declines, through people leaving the congregation to marry outside the faith and the culture.
 
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