Joseph Lowery's Racist Prayer - Page 7 - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-28-2009, 02:27 PM   #91
Refugee
 
jphelmet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: cumming, ga usa
Posts: 1,387
Local Time: 09:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BonoVoxSupastar View Post

I find this kind of questioning to be extremely narrow minded. Human empathy alone could be grounds for setting morals, treat fellow humans the way I would want to be treated...
where does human empathy come from? if you are (or whoever) is a true atheist, than there is nothing to this life outside of the physical realm.

if we are truly products of the evolutionary mechanism, and natural selection - where does empathy come into the picture. if there is no higher power (i am not speaking specifically of the Christian God- but any higher power as atheism denies), then why would you ever be empathetic? for
natural selection depends on death, destruction, and violence of the strong against the weak- these things are perfectly natural. if that is all there is, then on what basis does the atheist judge the world to be wrong, unfair, or unjust? you can claim empathy as your reason for being upset over the horrors of this world, but what is your basis for being empathetic? where did you learn empathy if you are the byproduct of a cruel, violent system that has no regard for empathy?
__________________

__________________
jphelmet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 02:38 PM   #92
Blue Crack Distributor
 
VintagePunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: In a dry and waterless place
Posts: 55,732
Local Time: 09:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jphelmet View Post
where does human empathy come from? if you are (or whoever) is a true atheist, than there is nothing to this life outside of the physical realm.

if we are truly products of the evolutionary mechanism, and natural selection - where does empathy come into the picture. if there is no higher power (i am not speaking specifically of the Christian God- but any higher power as atheism denies), then why would you ever be empathetic? for
natural selection depends on death, destruction, and violence of the strong against the weak- these things are perfectly natural. if that is all there is, then on what basis does the atheist judge the world to be wrong, unfair, or unjust? you can claim empathy as your reason for being upset over the horrors of this world, but what is your basis for being empathetic? where did you learn empathy if you are the byproduct of a cruel, violent system that has no regard for empathy?


From the Friday night dispatch thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by VintagePunk View Post

Perhaps we are all the same, but very often, non-believers are accused of amorality and having a bleak outlook, and that's simply not the case. People have actually said to me "if you don't believe in an afterlife, what's the point?" Very frustrating. Made me want to scream "This! This is the point! The world. Life. Our relationships. That's the point!" Isn't that enough reason to be grateful, and to want to live a good life? It is for me.

This is exactly the kind of crap I was talking about in my post above.


jphelmet, why do you need the promise of an afterlife, or the directive of a supernatural being to have empathy? Maybe that's a better question. Because obviously, atheists are quite capable of having empathy without the window dressing.
__________________

__________________
VintagePunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 02:59 PM   #93
Refugee
 
jphelmet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: cumming, ga usa
Posts: 1,387
Local Time: 09:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by VintagePunk View Post
From the Friday night dispatch thread:




This is exactly the kind of crap I was talking about in my post above.


jphelmet, why do you need the promise of an afterlife, or the directive of a supernatural being to have empathy? Maybe that's a better question. Because obviously, atheists are quite capable of having empathy without the window dressing.
you've missed my point all together. you don't have to have the promise of afterlife to have empathy. i think all people have empathy to some degree. you seem to be answering your above post, and missing what i am asking- they are very different.

i am asking what is the basis for it, if we are here by random chance. If we got here by total random chance in a system that is cruel, and violent (natural selection- certainly is), then how would empathy ever entered the equation? have you ever had the thought as to why you do care (and i believe you do), when it flies in the face of how you believe (i am assuming here, correct me if i am wrong) we got here in the first place? I am not questioning if an atheist has the ability to be empathetic, just what the basis for it would be?
__________________
jphelmet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 03:03 PM   #94
Blue Crack Distributor
 
VintagePunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: In a dry and waterless place
Posts: 55,732
Local Time: 09:52 PM
It doesn't fly in the face of what I believe, at all. It's part of evolution. We've developed traits and abilities that are adaptive to our survival. Empathy is part of that. It's mutually beneficial to all of us to have empathy for others, among other things. It aids in our survival, and makes life pleasant.

Also, I take issue with your characterization of natural selection being cruel and violent. It's also beautiful, amazing, and awe-inspiring. But I guess we see what we want to, and natural selection threatens most religious belief.
__________________
VintagePunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 03:26 PM   #95
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 03:52 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jphelmet View Post
natural selection depends on death, destruction, and violence of the strong against the weak- these things are perfectly natural.
You could stand to do some reading in evolutionary psychology; selfish competitive instincts are certainly part of natural selection and have adaptive benefits, but so do reciprocal altruism and empathy, which enhance group ties and cooperation and therefore confer a more protective environment for reproduction. This is not unique to humans: laboratory monkeys will starve for days before giving in and pressing a button administering a shock to another monkey in order to be fed; chimpanzees will console the losers from fights within their group and bring together males who fight continuously for group-mediated reconciliation; many social animals go out of their way to protect the weak and infirm among them, even though at first glance such behavior might seem inefficient. Our moral behavior is more sophisticated than that, both because our societies are more sophisticated and because we rationalize our moral choices (sometimes including ex post facto rationalizations of reactions that are in fact hardwired--guilt, embarrassment etc.) but that's a difference of degree more than kind.
__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 03:30 PM   #96
Refugee
 
jphelmet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: cumming, ga usa
Posts: 1,387
Local Time: 09:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by VintagePunk View Post
Empathy is part of that. It's mutually beneficial to all of us to have empathy for others, among other things. It aids in our survival, and makes life pleasant.
empathy aiding in survival of the fittest, makes no sense.
__________________
jphelmet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 03:52 PM   #97
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,492
Local Time: 09:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jphelmet View Post
empathy aiding in survival of the fittest, makes no sense.


it makes perfect sense. i survive if the group survives, since i am stronger within the group than without the group. what does the group need to survive? all members must look out for one another. it's how a corporation is designed, even.

that's super simplistic, but i think it gets at the point.
__________________
Irvine511 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 03:53 PM   #98
Blue Crack Addict
 
deep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: A far distance down.
Posts: 28,501
Local Time: 06:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jphelmet View Post
empathy aiding in survival of the fittest, makes no sense.

as someone that was once a 'believer' I do understand why you think that, I once did.


but, now as an agnostic, I find my moral code, sense of right and wrong much more stable. I know that may sound odd to you. When I was a believer it sounded odd to me, too. I believed the foundation of my values rested on religious teachings.

again, I can tell you my values and moral code are more secure now,
because they are not dependent upon a 'belief system' that is always open to some degree of doubt.
__________________
deep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 04:17 PM   #99
Blue Crack Distributor
 
VintagePunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: In a dry and waterless place
Posts: 55,732
Local Time: 09:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jphelmet View Post
empathy aiding in survival of the fittest, makes no sense.
I would suggest then that you really don't have a very good understanding of the term "survival of the fittest," which isn't a scientific term in the first place, the correct term is "natural selection."

Yolland said what I was trying to say in a more complete way. I would take her suggestion and look up some evolutionary psychology. Wikipedia has a decent basic overview of the subject.


Quote:
Originally Posted by deep View Post

again, I can tell you my values and moral code are more secure now,
because they are not dependent upon a 'belief system' that is always open to some degree of doubt.
I understand exactly what you mean by this. It feels similarly for me, too.
__________________
VintagePunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 04:22 PM   #100
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,492
Local Time: 09:52 PM
i also think that empathy is as learned a quality as any.

how many times do parents and teachers point out how a small child's actions affect others? how many times do we point out how we shouldn't do something to other people if we don't want it done to ourselves? how often do we try and draw a direct cause-and-effect lesson with a child? how often do we read books and ask outside questions, like how did what so-and-so do make so-and-so feel? is the puppy sad? why?

i think empathy is one of the most beautiful impulses there is. but i think it's largely learned behavior.
__________________
Irvine511 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 05:53 PM   #101
BVS
Blue Crack Supplier
 
BVS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: between my head and heart
Posts: 40,684
Local Time: 08:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jphelmet View Post
where does human empathy come from? if you are (or whoever) is a true atheist, than there is nothing to this life outside of the physical realm.
I am not an atheist, but I understand that there can be empathy without belief in a god...

You see it in nature all the time. The wolf will attack anything that gets in it's way but it will also raise a cub that isn't biologically hers... Like Irvine said, I survive if the group survives...
__________________
BVS is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 06:39 PM   #102
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 30,343
Local Time: 09:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kieran McConville View Post
haha, and did you know that you can get a free refill on your coke at Burger King?

It's a wonderful restaurant!
This is purely a social call. Just a couple of adults gettin' a stew on.
__________________
phillyfan26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 06:41 PM   #103
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 30,343
Local Time: 09:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jphelmet View Post
where does human empathy come from? if you are (or whoever) is a true atheist, than there is nothing to this life outside of the physical realm.

if we are truly products of the evolutionary mechanism, and natural selection - where does empathy come into the picture. if there is no higher power (i am not speaking specifically of the Christian God- but any higher power as atheism denies), then why would you ever be empathetic?
I consider myself not necessarily atheist, but more or less apathetic. I don't care whether there is a God or not.

I don't know why I'm empathetic, but I am. Can it be that simple? I guess so.
__________________
phillyfan26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 07:11 PM   #104
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
Kieran McConville's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Auto Dafoe
Posts: 9,600
Local Time: 12:52 PM
I do agree that obsessing over God or the lack thereof in relation to moral behaviour is probably futile. But even in the absence of God, some religious teachings have managed to smooth some of the rough edges off human society, just as some other religious teachings may do the opposite.

See for example the strong evangelical inspiration of the early 18th century campaigners to ban slavery in the British empire.

None of which means that decency would not have won out otherwise, but still.

Now, if I wanted this thread to be about God, I'd say the universe on its cosmological scale is a lot more difficult to explain, with or without a god, than is basic morality.
__________________
Kieran McConville is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2009, 07:25 PM   #105
The Fly
 
AttnKleinkind's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 181
Local Time: 02:52 AM
I don't think that the issue is whether there can be empathy/altruism or not without a belief in God. However, I don't think that there can be morality (based on something other than mere altruism) without a belief in God. Being empathetic is indeed necessary to the survival of the species. Morality tends to appeal to something greater, more objective (I know some people believe in relativism, but for morality to have any real meaning it must have some sort of appeal to the absolute). I think the problem of people thinking empathy is not necessarily figuring out what it is based on (as that can be explained by evolution), but what it is actually for. Yes, to propagate the species. But why is this a good thing? In a purely material world, everything comes to the same end. It doesn’t ultimately matter whether your species lives for 50 years or 50 000 years. If there is nothing outside this world, it doesn’t matter if you’re a murderer or a humanitarian. One might have a harder, sadder life than another, but it will end soon enough just as the person’s next to them.

Further on the distinction between morality and altruism is that, people often appeal to a standard of behavior. Having a standard of behavior indicates that this is not something that is always followed, but something that someone can choose to follow or not. Morality tells people that they ought to act in a certain way, while altruism would be simply an action someone does out of instinct. Certainly not everyone acts with empathy all the time. How is it that it is so easy for some to ignore this instinct if it is so prevalent to our survival?
__________________

__________________
AttnKleinkind is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com