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Could morality be biological?

Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by kmik, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. kmik

    kmik Member

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    I think that the commonly held position is that the source of morality is reason. That is, man is a rational being and morality is encouraged because it's beneficial for everyone. I've been thinking, however, that it might be the result of some sort of an evolutionary psychology. Certainly, morals change with time and from culture to culture but most of us would feel, for example, that going around killing innocents for no good reason is wrong. Perhaps these are not social values but something inherent to us. Kids, for example, sometime have some sort of a primitive conception of morality even if not exposed to other things. They just KNOW it's wrong if someone punches them in the face.

    If we didn't have at least a vague conception of what's right and wrong, a normal, functioning society could not exist. Antisocials and those who oppose that have been over time left out because that is simply an undesired genetic trait - if everyone was like that, society would be doomed (and humans must have a society to survive).

    I know that was somewhat conufsed... but what are your opinions?
     
  2. vikk

    vikk Member

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    i think that morality is not a psychology inheritance for all humans, but a psychology designation for that individual. Some person, can born in welth but still bet a cunt, and i point at famous psicopats, the majority had a disturbed childhood.
     
  3. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

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    can't be bothered going over all this stuff again, I just thought, for now, I'd chime in and say I disagree with pretty much everything you wrote. (elaboration probably to follow later when I have my contacts in).
     
  4. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

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    I'm not sure about the language here. Indeed the argument against animal rights is that 'animals don't have reason/language---they cannot have morality, only man---the rational animal---can', but morals of course, are some of the most unreasonable/unreasoned things in human life, utterly unvalidated by reason.

    yes, most people like to think there is a universal 10 commandments, and only all that other fluff changes

    what are innocents? Iraqi civilians? pagans? financiers of terrorists? white-collar criminals? stag?
    but, in the first place, what is a good reason?---is there a good reason for killing 'innocents'?


    evidently not inherent to everyone who's ever killed someone you deem 'innocent'. or would you say social values the opposite of what's inherent has merely discolored their sight into moral blindness?

    they do?
    when a bee stings you, or your brother pinches you, and you run to mommy complaining... do you 'know it was wrong' what that evil creature did to you, or do you just know 'I don't much care for that' the same way you feel about a poisonous fruit which has no malice yet you disagree with all the same?
    'Wrong' sounds like just a word you're giving to 'what I feel is bad for me', which by no means gives a reason to say 'me pinching my brother is wrong'.

    I have no concept of right and wrong, and I function perfectly well merely knowing some behaviors wont serve me well.

    which has what to do with morality?
     
  5. death metal black metal

    death metal black metal New Metal Member

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    I think it's related to intelligence, and that all people have morality, just different types depending on how smart/noble they are.

    Most people's morality is "don't kill anyone who might buy shit from me."
     
  6. kmik

    kmik Member

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    Look, if you don't have at least a vague concept of what's right and wrong, then you're a fucking psychopath. Do you think molesting children is OK? Killing your mother? Destroying all the copies of Hamlet? And no, don't tell me the ends justify the means because for that you'd also have to think that some things are, in some way, preferable to others...

    In any case let's take an extreme example. I believe most of us are disgusted by incest. That's a natural response. Why that is? Are we disgusted because we think 'ohhh no, our infant might have mental retardation'? No. That's an inherent thing. If by any chance there happened to be an individual who was not disguised, he'd naturally have unhealthy children and not pass that incest gene forward (of course I'm massively oversimplifying here but you get the point).

    If mommy gives Danny a candy and Tom is left with nothing, Tom will be angry. He won't be angry if they both get a candy. (in 90% of the cases). Do you agree with me or not?

    In war things get complicated. It's often killing in the name of something so morals get blurred. I'm talking about the murder of innocents. Well, look. I think killing someone would be exciting. That's definitely something I'd like to try. However, I think it is just utterly wrong. Would you kill an innocent guy for a 100 $ if I told you wouldn't get caught? I don't know what about you but I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't.

    I'm not saying morality is so reasoned and all. But that was a common thought in the age of enlightenment.
     
  7. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

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    lol, that sort of nonsense doesn't fly here. Take your huffing and puffing to the church if you need to let off steam.

    define 'ok'.

    in some way. As much I already suggested.

    (I was certainly thoroughly disgusted by vegetables as a youth, I'm not sure quite how you expect me to impose as a matter of morality my sentiments on a healthy diet on society. but anyway...)

    and if a homosexual is disgusted by heterosexual intercourse as a heterosexual is of homosexual intercourse... is your contention that homosexuality is a pathology to the species, which should, in the fairness of consistency, be condemned morally the same as other biological pathologies for the species like incest? Or, should we simply accept that what's bad for the species isn't something we necessarily need to destroy people's liberty over?

    depends if he feels he's been a bad boy or not (that would perhaps be in the 10%), but yes, to rephrase the analogy, when my mate gets pussy and I get no action, I'm upset about the state of affairs, and, are you saying I have a sense of morality which is what bitterly demands the world provide as much sex for me as for everyone else?---that it is in pursuit of justice that I sabotage the rest of the world who're happy, or drug-rape someone to get my own thrills?

    who are innocents?

    Sounds to me like you're the psychopath. I don't think killing someone would be glorious, and I'm sure many people would be glad you have some absurd moral mental block about doing it if they knew about such fantasies of yours.

    you haven't even told me who's innocent yet, and because of that, let's just suppose it's someone guilty (perhaps a criminal released on an appeal because of some procedural error against his rights, as has happened from time to time)...

    benefit = $100
    cost = risk of messing up and being caught, risk of being handed in by the contractor, i.e., risk of life imprisonment.
    analysis = I'm not that desperately poor, and even if I was, I wouldn't trust that proposal, and rather would beg or steal instead of going straight to extremely low-paid contract killing.


    oh... then it must be true.

    I'll call Oxford and tell them to stop thinking for themselves, there remain no mistakes of antiquity to be corrected by modern thinkers.
     
  8. death metal black metal

    death metal black metal New Metal Member

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    Sounds right. If an asteroid is about to hit the earth and molesting children, killing your mother, and destroying all copies of Hamlet are the only way to avert it, then the ends justify the means, don't they?

    Or would we rather wait to die, watching as the asteroid gets bigger and bigger?

    Eugenics now.
     
  9. kmik

    kmik Member

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    First off: no hard feelings. You seem somewhat hostile in your posts. I think you're a really cool guy except for the fact you're a psychopath so let's keep it clean :)

    define "innocents" - a blond blue-eyed baby with 200 IQ. Would you befriend with someone who murders these babies on a regular basis? Do you think it's no more justified to put these baby-murderers in jail than other people who are exactly the same except they're not baby murderers? You know what, a hypothetical situation. There are two people who are exactly the same except one is a baby murderer. You must execute one of them, but only one. Who would you execute? Why?

    The pussy example you gave is not very relevant I think. because that's not discrimination. Your friend got more pussy because he's more confident and more handsome than you. You accept that. But if mommy gives Tommy a candy and not to Danny even though Tommy was a bad boy Danny's angry. If the lazy guy in your office gets a raise it would make you angrier than if the other guy did, wouldn't it..

    Suppose there's a possibility to murder, get the money, and NOT get caught. There are no risks involved. Would you murder? You won't feel guilty even for a second?



    death metal black metal is talking about something else. He says the ends justify the means and in some cases I absolutely agree... If we don't destroy the copies of Hamlet humanity will be destroyed and then it won't matter if they exist or not. That makes sense. He chooses the lesser of two evils..

    I do think homosexuality is a pathology to the species. If everyone was a homosexual than we would extinct! That's like impotence. From an evolutionary perspective, that's an undesired genetic trait. I'm talking about morality or anything in this case. It is simply a fact that if there was a 'homosexual gene' then it won't pass on to the next generation because all individuals with that trait won't breed.
     
  10. SouthernTrendkill

    SouthernTrendkill Super Normie

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    I'd have to say personally I don't believe in any kind of uniform morality. The things I believe are right are not what most people would consider right. I have no problem with murder, for example. I'm actually an intensely moral person, and I hold to my philosophical beliefs to the dizzying extent that a devout religious person does. But my beliefs on what is moral are contrary to what most would call morality.
     
  11. Έρεβος

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    Really, shut up. We all have heard how eugenics is the magnificent means of all things pwnzinating, many times now. Stop being obsessed with a single facet of the much larger picture. It makes it so no one looks at your posts with anything more than an "oh, that again..." even if they agree to an extend.
     
  12. Norsemaiden

    Norsemaiden barbarian

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    Since the beginning of life on Earth, Nature has decreed that the only true morality is: what is good for your own kind is the ultimate good and what is bad for your own kind is evil. Sometimes humans would do well to be more like animals.
    [note: this does not imply any need to do harm to others]
     
  13. Blind Guardian

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    i think everyone is a product of their own surroundings.At least i hope so,if there was to be a pre-set degree on our moral values,then that means that no one changes.
     
  14. fates warning 666

    fates warning 666 New Metal Member

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    i find this thread confusing.

    obviously, plenty of values have majority backing (though it's questionable whether any are universal), and this is blatantly due to human nature. i mean, why might living humans value human life? why might beings wired to reproduce value love, or children's well-being, in particular? it's obvious, i don't see how anyone can think that no morals are rooted in our biological make-up or human nature or whatever you want to call it. there are tons of other examples.

    that doesn't render said morals objective, however, as people tend to suggest when discussing this topic. even if a human value is universal (and i can't think of any that are), it's still a personal judgment, it just happens in that case to be one we all share. it's just as possible that the value is 'wrong' as that it is 'right', that is to say impossible.
     
  15. death metal black metal

    death metal black metal New Metal Member

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    Morality is useless because it focuses on human beings for their externality, that is, that they're another human number.

    If I machine-gunned every person under 120 IQ points in the world, it would make the world better. Therefore, it is the morally right thing to do and shirking that duty is harming innocents in the future.
     
  16. BrandonS

    BrandonS Member

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    I think, in this forum, you guys talk about simple things at outrageous length. Is it really that hard to understand that a child will develop a set of morals depending on the religious beliefs, and childhood abuse, administered by their parents? I was raised Christian yet abused through childhood by pretty much everyone; became a Satanist during my upper-teen years, and subsequently went back to Christianity. I guess you could say I've always been a Christian, yet at one point, I was rooting for the other team.

    So there you go. I'm glad to be a better person today, and a Christian. I enjoy thinking logically. I do regret the severe mindfuck I encountered as a kid, but with time, I'm going to be able to surpass that. :)

    It may be good morally to gun people down, but that is a display of bad ethics. You've got to have good morals and good ethics.
     
  17. death metal black metal

    death metal black metal New Metal Member

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    I think you forget that this is a topic about morality and its relative incarnation in genetics, which means this is germaine. I understand it may upset you, but so is life.
     
  18. The Poona of Peshwa

    The Poona of Peshwa Blood Glutton

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    Of course morality is biological. In the ancestral environment the only other humans you would see more than once would be members of your tribe, so the genetic predisposition towards altruism towards others would be naturally selected. Cosmopolitanism has led to the widening cicles of empathy from kin group, to city-state to empire, to humanity, and now even to animals. Besides it makes logical sense in the state of nature to do good for others because they will be more inclined to do good for you. People who cheat will be remembered and ousted. Welcome to the 1970's.
     
  19. death metal black metal

    death metal black metal New Metal Member

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    A good leader must also know when to not have entropy, or he becomes destroyed by parasites along with his people. Yet your model doesn't consider this.

    Curious.
     
  20. Opethian666

    Opethian666 Booze influenced

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    Obviously, there's not one simple cause of morality, but the morals we develop are undeniably heavily influenced by our biological heritage. When making moral decisions, we are never making a simple completely objective rational calculation, but we are influenced by our emotions, which are in turn the result of thousands and thousands of different regulatory and effector molecules in our bodies, which ultimately find their origin in our DNA codes, which have undergone evolution for billions of years, starting from the common ancestor(s) we share with every living organism on this planet.
    It is easy to see that most of the most intense and basic emotions that influence our "decision making" (of course I do not believe in free will, but for the sake of argument and lack of more convenient terminology I will call it this) bring survival benefits and have thus been selected for through natural selection. Psychopaths are rare because the result of their illnesses almost always puts them at a disadvantage, from an evolutionary perspective. Of course, in many cases these illnesses develop from a bad childhood, but I dare to bet that most of these cases also have a genetic basis in combination with these environmental factors, and some cases may result out of genetic disposition alone (if you have genetic defects in genes that code for molecules essential to have certain emotions, it becomes a lot harder to become an ethically responsible person).

    Here are a few emotions and my simple take on them:

    Pride: If you receive positive stimuli after you have accomplished something which benefits you and the society from which in turn you benefit, you are more likely to accomplish more in the future.

    Jealousy: If you receive negative stimuli from something someone else has, and you don't, you are more likely to acquire it yourself. (genetic defects that overexpress this emotion are likely to create psychopaths)

    Guilt: If you receive negative stimuli from doing something which the society you live in and benefit from regards as negative, you are less likely to do it again. (genetic defects that suppress this emotion are likely to create psychopaths)

    Longing for vengeance: If someone has done something which has caused you harm (and thus has lessened your chances for survival/reproduction), seeking vengeance will lessen the chance that this person will do it again. (genetic defects that overexpress this emotion are likely to create psychopaths)

    There are many more that I could go into, and it is all very simple and straightforward. Most of you will probably have thought of this yourself, but for those that hadn't, I have a tip that might enhance your life. Whenever an emotion is driving you to do something, go into "rationality mode" as I like to call it. Emotions have developed because, in general, they work very well to benefit the organisms that have them. Yet, we all know, we are far from perfect beings, and natural selection combined with random mutations is far from able to create machinery to consider every specific situation possible and react in the most beneficial way possible. The best thing we have to consider situations and make decisions which will benefit us in any specific case, is our rational, conscious mind, and if you learn to use it well, it can overpower most any emotions you might have (although in some situations, emotions can become too strong for even the most neutral and rational person). Check if the result of simply acting on and following the orders of the emotions you are having will be more beneficial than any different action you could take from a more neutral perspective. That way, you might become a person just a bit more in control than you would be otherwise.
     

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