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Old 2010-01-26, 20:11   #45
FactorEyes
 
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Originally Posted by Mini-Geek View Post
Evolution (in general) says, "The Big Bang and evolution.", "No particular reason, we just are, due to evolution.", and "Nowhere. Life ends when your biological functions cease and that's that."
Religion (very generally) says, "We were created by god(s).", "To serve (the) god(s).", and "To an after life based on how you lived."

Would you disagree?
Yes, I would.

Evolution says nothing about the big bang, or even the origin of the universe. It says nothing about the nature of you after your biological functions have ceased: it doesn't even say "that's that." I have never attended a biology lecture, nor read any discussion of biology, which, in the conclusion to a discussion of evolution, says: "Well, this means, of course, that when you're gone, you're gone - no soul, no nothing."

I dislike - in case it isn't yet obvious - your implicit straw man lurking here, which is that science, or a lack of religion, is really just another religion. Evolution is not a religion. It is not a moral code.

Evolution and religion may overlap or contradict one another on some questions, but virtually every other branch of science contradicts some aspect of the Bible - check the mention of the first page of Genesis, which, with its firmament separating the waters above from the waters below, would rule out satellite launches. Yet space travel is not seen as an alternate life philosophy which explains our origins and denies the existence of a soul or an eventual day of reckoning.

EDIT: I'm not even certain why evolution is seen as running counter to Biblical explanations, which are obviously allegorical. I have discussed this with Christian biologists and geologists, who say that, yes, allegories are allegories, and can be seen as a description of a flow of events on another level, which runs parallel to the flow that science conceives.

Last fiddled with by FactorEyes on 2010-01-26 at 20:17
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Old 2010-01-26, 20:19   #46
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Originally Posted by Joshua2 View Post
I'm sorry I don't have a link, but I heard it last weekend first hand from a missionary to Africa who had seen it first hand. If you look at infanticide on wikipedia under Africa you will see something similar. "Africa some children were killed because of fear that they were an evil omen or because they were considered unlucky."
And still no link? Hmm, even your quote shows no reference to "the teeth com[ing] out in the wrong order".
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Old 2010-01-26, 21:10   #47
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Originally Posted by retina View Post
And still no link?
I'm sorry you don't believe my first hand evidence, but I told you where to find similar information. And besides the exact thing is relevant. Are you saying your argument is that no babies have been killed for no good reason in some cultures or your just being difficult? The quote from wikipedia is enough to establish my point.
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Old 2010-01-26, 21:14   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FactorEyes View Post
Evolution says nothing about the big bang, or even the origin of the universe. It says nothing about the nature of you after your biological functions have ceased:
I dislike - in case it isn't yet obvious - your implicit straw man lurking here, which is that science, or a lack of religion, is really just another religion. Evolution is not a religion. It is not a moral code.

EDIT: I'm not even certain why evolution is seen as running counter to Biblical explanations, which are obviously allegorical. I have discussed this with Christian biologists and geologists, who say that, yes, allegories are allegories, and can be seen as a description of a flow of events on another level, which runs parallel to the flow that science conceives.
Evolution as a process is not counter to Christian principles. When I was talking about evolution I was meaning it as a worldview with the big bang and everything happening entirely by natural processes. The reason why I would say that evolutionist without a religion is kind of its own religion is that if there is no higher authority and absolute moral code, then there is no reason to not do whatever feels good. Killing babies is kind of besides the point in a way. One could consider rape or murder or lots of other things too.
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Old 2010-01-26, 21:21   #49
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Originally Posted by FactorEyes View Post
Now you're doing it: a lack of religious belief does not imply a belief in evolution as some sort of moral code.

Why use the construction "contrast to"? I don't believe that religion and the theory of evolution address the same questions: they're orthogonal axes that talk about different things.

I might be pardoned for feeling that Christians are brainwashed, because killing babies comes up often - a scenario for every occasion, it seems - but past Christians had no problem with abortion, seeing as it was legal and a service provided by midwives through the end of the 19th century.
I'm sorry I didn't have time to spruce it up. I had some bad word choices in there. I would like to make the point that calling yourself a Christian doesn't make you a Christian. Just like calling your self an evolutionist one doesn't make you one if you don't think natural selection ever happens.

"a lack of religious belief does not imply a belief in evolution as some sort of moral code." That is true and I agree. However a belief in evolution without a religious code means that you have no moral code that you can turn to. If most people say its fine with them and they like it, then that is that. If there is no God there is no basis to say my moral code is better than yours. That last sentence is all I'm getting at.
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Old 2010-01-26, 21:29   #50
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To get back to the original thread's point. A government's purpose is to make rules that the people have to follow to stave off anarchy. If you don't use a moral code like Bible that will never change, what is right and wrong will continually change, and as people change and laws change there is no bottom grounding to keep things in check. If you believe people are basically good, then that is fine. However, I find it obvious that not everyone is good. There are enough people who are so lazy/evil/whatever that any system must have checks and balances. That is why our government has lasted as long as it has. Since America was founded France has gone through about 7 "constitutions". The reason the Roman empire fell is kind of getting close to where we are heading. The people of Rome wanted a bunch of handouts from the government, and didn't want to work or serve in the military, so they hired everything out, and then everything failed. I'm afraid I'm explaining it quite poorly. If you are interested you can read a book by David Barton about it.
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Old 2010-01-26, 21:32   #51
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The funny thing is that we all basically agree with most of the laws. For example don't kill, don't steal, don't cheat and lie. Basically the only things to argue is what is a "person" that you aren't suppposed to kill, what does it take to constitute "something" that can be stolen, and how big of a cheat and lie does it have to be illegal.
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Old 2010-01-26, 21:34   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua2 View Post
When I was talking about evolution I was meaning it as a worldview
But, evolution is not a worldview. You are inventing a new belief system implicitly here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua2 View Post
The reason why I would say that evolutionist without a religion is kind of its own religion is that if there is no higher authority and absolute moral code, then there is no reason to not do whatever feels good. Killing babies is kind of besides the point in a way. One could consider rape or murder or lots of other things too.
An evolutionist without a religion is simply an atheist who happens to agree that the scientific evidence supporting evolution is valid. Beyond that evolution has no place at all in this discussion. So you are saying that atheists do not have any moral codes and think that killing babies or rape is ok. I'll bet atheists disagree with you there.
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Old 2010-01-26, 21:46   #53
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But, evolution is not a worldview. You are inventing a new belief system implicitly here.
An evolutionist without a religion is simply an atheist who happens to agree that the scientific evidence supporting evolution is valid. Beyond that evolution has no place at all in this discussion. So you are saying that atheists do not have any moral codes and think that killing babies or rape is ok. I'll bet atheists disagree with you there.
Most of what you about me I do not believe. I am basically equating evolutionist with atheist, sorry for not defining terms properly and talking clearly. Yah we should stop talking about evolution I agree. I am not saying that about atheists at all. What I am saying is that atheists have no moral codes they can use to keep others from doing bad things. If people were generally good this would be fine. But when there are enough people who want to do something, once its because close to a majority, an atheist has no justification for saying why is own moral views are superior to the majority. A Christian can say that the majority is wrong because they are doing something evil, and they have in many instances. For example Boenhoeffer was a Christian pastor who stood up against Hitler and was killed for it. An atheist would have no higher authority in Germany to say why what Germany was doing was wrong, and would not have a reason to give up his life trying to stop the evil, other than the goodness of his heart, but I think it is pretty obvious that not everyone is basically good so we can't really on this.

Honestly we probably aren't going to get anywhere discussing this so let's ! lol
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Old 2010-01-27, 06:39   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua2 View Post
The reason why I would say that evolutionist without a religion is kind of its own religion is that if there is no higher authority and absolute moral code, then there is no reason to not do whatever feels good.
This is not a valid argument on at least three counts :

- there is no absolute moral code in any religion, just look at the evolution of the morality of God as related by the Bible . Or at the evolution of Christian morals about slavery, torture, the killing of non Christians...

- the second fallacy is saying that unless one submits to a higher authority one can not have a moral code.

- the third is the assumption that what feels good will systematically include actions that are against a moral code. This last argument says a lot about some flavours of Christian faith : it implies that "people are bad and without the authority of the Church they will abide to the Devil". This does not mean to say I believe or argument that people are good per se.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua2 View Post
A government's purpose is to make rules that the people have to follow to stave off anarchy.
Perhaps you should read some books by Proudhon, Kropotkin, Malatesta or E. Reclus. Some people are of the opinion that government is there to enforce the power of the people in power. I would like to quote E. Reclus : "Anarchy is the highest expression of order."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua2 View Post
If you don't use a moral code like Bible that will never change, what is right and wrong will continually change, and as people change and laws change there is no bottom grounding to keep things in check.
I already answered to that, but since you insist I will as well :
- first of all, the Bible is changing, some books have been added, translations have changed. Then not every Christian denomination has the same Bible, I immediately think of the peculiar translation used by the Jehova witnesses.
- second let us assume the Bible never changed (at least since the 3rd century, when the (very long lived ?) evangelists finished their additions. The moral code implied by that immutable book did change a lot. Just compare Christianity of the early centuries with that of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and so on. People change and their interpretation of the Bible does and finally their implied moral code does.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua2 View Post
What I am saying is that atheists have no moral codes they can use to keep others from doing bad things.
Perhaps that here we come to the crux of the argument : ones moral code is there to be used against others !
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Originally Posted by Joshua2 View Post
(...) an atheist has no justification for saying why is own moral views are superior to the majority.
The same argument applies to each moral code implied by any religion past, present or future.
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Originally Posted by Joshua2 View Post
A Christian can say that the majority is wrong because they are doing something evil, and they have in many instances.
A lot of people calling themselves Christians have also done evil things. A lot of countries with a Christian majority have also done evil things. Or is it that somebody can only be called a Christian if s/he has exactly the same beliefs and moral code as you do and strictly act following it ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua2 View Post
For example Boenhoeffer was a Christian pastor who stood up against Hitler and was killed for it. An atheist would have no higher authority in Germany to say why what Germany was doing was wrong, and would not have a reason to give up his life trying to stop the evil, other than the goodness of his heart, but I think it is pretty obvious that not everyone is basically good so we can't really on this.
But a lot of atheists have spoken up against Hitler and a lot of them have been killed for it, their moral code was not imposed by a higher authority, just by a moral sense ;-)

Jacob

Last fiddled with by S485122 on 2010-01-27 at 07:16
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Old 2010-01-27, 07:27   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua2 View Post
What I am saying is that atheists have no moral codes they can use to keep others from doing bad things.
That's just religious self-justification, not fact.

(Check your apparent assumption that you actually know about atheists' moral codes.)

From http://www.the-brights.net/action/ac...tatements.html :
Quote:
The four declarative statements below are based on a broad review of the multidisciplinary literature and are published along with associated “substantiating research studies” deemed adequate to support them. Taken together, they affirm the natural underpinnings of human morality. Listed below the statements are members of the review panel of research scientists and ethicists involved in the authentication process.

Statement A

Morality is an evolved repertoire of cognitive and emotional mechanisms with distinct biological underpinnings, as modified by experience acquired throughout the human lifespan. [1]

see also n.b.

Statement B

Morality is not the exclusive domain of Homo sapiens; there is significant cross-species evidence in the scientific literature that animals exhibit "pre-morality" or basic moral behaviors (i.e. those patterns of behavior that parallel central elements of human moral behavior). [2]

Statement C

Morality is a "human universal" (i.e. exists across all cultures worldwide), a part of human nature acquired during evolution. [3]

Statement D

Young children and infants demonstrate some aspects of moral cognition and behavior (which precede specific learning experiences and worldview development). [4]

see also n.b.

Panel of Reviewers

Oliver Curry, Ph.D.
Researcher in Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology
The University of Oxford

Herbert Gintis, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of Economics
The University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Joshua D. Greene, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Harvard University

Marc Hauser, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology, Organismic & Evolutionary Biology and Biological Anthropology
Harvard University

Debra Lieberman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychology
The University of Miami

Jessica Pierce, Ph.D.
Associate Faculty, The Center for Bioethics and Humanities
The University of Colorado

Peter Singer
Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics
Princeton University

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2010-01-27 at 08:19 Reason: minor edits
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