Come ye faithful and ye atheist rabble.

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Re: Come ye faithful and ye atheist rabble.

Postby Lootifer on Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:24 pm

jonesthecurl wrote:That quote doesn't mean that YOU have to be stupid.
Despite all their failings, humans can be magnificent sometimes.
try to be magnificent, not stupid.

I agree.

I'd also point out that its not always being stupid, but sometimes being an asshole, and sometimes being both.

I try [and usually fail] to avoid both.

j9b wrote:i have that view as well, but i don't trust government because government is just a bunch of relatively stupid humans who don't know me trying to solve my problems.

if there is a god, then they would be much better at doing so, because they aren't human.

I personally think stupidity of decision makers can be something we "evolve" out of.
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Re: Come ye faithful and ye atheist rabble.

Postby john9blue on Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:23 pm

Lootifer wrote:
j9b wrote:i have that view as well, but i don't trust government because government is just a bunch of relatively stupid humans who don't know me trying to solve my problems.

if there is a god, then they would be much better at doing so, because they aren't human.

I personally think stupidity of decision makers can be something we "evolve" out of.


i think so too... in fact i think it has already happened to an extent... but our species has been fucking up our own natural selection lately, so we'll see whether that ends up working.

crispybits wrote:
john9blue wrote:i have that view as well, but i don't trust government because government is just a bunch of relatively stupid humans who don't know me trying to solve my problems.

if there is a god, then they would be much better at doing so, because they aren't human.


I agree - but I see religion as another bunch of stupid humans - if there is a God and he demonstrates his/her/it's existence and starts acting directly to sort things out then I'll be all for it.


some religions are better than others. getting scammed by a dumb religion (like scientology) isn't much different from getting scammed by some other con artist.
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Re: Come ye faithful and ye atheist rabble.

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:31 pm

Lootifer wrote:
jonesthecurl wrote:That quote doesn't mean that YOU have to be stupid.
Despite all their failings, humans can be magnificent sometimes.
try to be magnificent, not stupid.

I agree.

I'd also point out that its not always being stupid, but sometimes being an asshole, and sometimes being both.

I try [and usually fail] to avoid both.

j9b wrote:i have that view as well, but i don't trust government because government is just a bunch of relatively stupid humans who don't know me trying to solve my problems.

if there is a god, then they would be much better at doing so, because they aren't human.

I personally think stupidity of decision makers can be something we "evolve" out of.


So the Soviet Union needed another 60 years or so, and it would've worked like a charm?
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Re: Come ye faithful and ye atheist rabble.

Postby john9blue on Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:58 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
So the Soviet Union needed another 60 years or so, and it would've worked like a charm?


man... are you another one of those guys who thinks significant humans evolution can happen in a 50 year time span?
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Re: Come ye faithful and ye atheist rabble.

Postby BigBallinStalin on Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:18 am

john9blue wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
So the Soviet Union needed another 60 years or so, and it would've worked like a charm?


man... are you another one of those guys who thinks significant humans evolution can happen in a 50 year time span?


Yeah, you're right. With Lootifer's argument, 1000s of years of totalitarian governance is justifiable!
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Re: Come ye faithful and ye atheist rabble.

Postby john9blue on Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:38 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
john9blue wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
So the Soviet Union needed another 60 years or so, and it would've worked like a charm?


man... are you another one of those guys who thinks significant humans evolution can happen in a 50 year time span?


Yeah, you're right. With Lootifer's argument, 1000s of years of totalitarian governance is justifiable!


it is if you consider "they aren't evolved enough" to be justification. which apparently is a good enough answer to questions like "why do some birds rape each other" and "why do female insects eat male insects after they f*ck"
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Re: Come ye faithful and ye atheist rabble.

Postby Haggis_McMutton on Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:06 pm

john9blue wrote:it is if you consider "they aren't evolved enough" to be justification. which apparently is a good enough answer to questions like "why do some birds rape each other" and "why do female insects eat male insects after they f*ck"


Evolution has nothing to do with man-made moral considerations. Evolution pushes towards a selective advantage in a certain ecosystem. Do you think eating the males after they f*ck is some kind of evolutionary hiccup that will be fixed when the evolution1.1 patch is released?

Improving the human condition is something that only humans can do. Hoping that "evolution" will somehow fix our problems is equivalent to wishing for the rapture to happen so we can all go live in our mansions in the sky.

* Note: I am using evolution is the strict biological sense. If you're using some fuzzy notion of "all progress is evolution" then the term loses all meaning. The difference I'm specifying is that evolution is something that happens to the members of a species, whereas our progress in the past couple thousand years is something we did to ourselves. Not something that evolution or aliens or sky daddies did for us.
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Re: Come ye faithful and ye atheist rabble.

Postby john9blue on Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:34 pm

Haggis_McMutton wrote:Evolution has nothing to do with man-made moral considerations. Evolution pushes towards a selective advantage in a certain ecosystem. Do you think eating the males after they f*ck is some kind of evolutionary hiccup that will be fixed when the evolution1.1 patch is released?

Improving the human condition is something that only humans can do. Hoping that "evolution" will somehow fix our problems is equivalent to wishing for the rapture to happen so we can all go live in our mansions in the sky.

* Note: I am using evolution is the strict biological sense. If you're using some fuzzy notion of "all progress is evolution" then the term loses all meaning. The difference I'm specifying is that evolution is something that happens to the members of a species, whereas our progress in the past couple thousand years is something we did to ourselves. Not something that evolution or aliens or sky daddies did for us.


would you agree that societal morals are made to benefit humanity as a whole?

would you agree that we can only develop these morals due to the advanced intelligence that our species evolved?

if so, then i propose that man-made morals are an evolutionary adaptation to benefit our species. there are evolutionary reasons why our society has taboos on (for example) incest and cannibalism. how do you think those developed in the first place?
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Re: Come ye faithful and ye atheist rabble.

Postby Haggis_McMutton on Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:32 am

john9blue wrote:would you agree that societal morals are made to benefit humanity as a whole?


Not really. At best you could argue that they're made to benefit the specific society they occur in. The widespread notion that all humans are equal is a very recent one, for almost all of human history people really only gave a shit about their "group".

john9blue wrote:would you agree that we can only develop these morals due to the advanced intelligence that our species evolved?


To some extent yeah. I don't know if it's a purely human trait. I'm pretty sure chimps also have some kind of social rules that allows them to live in groups.

john9blue wrote:if so, then i propose that man-made morals are an evolutionary adaptation to benefit our species. there are evolutionary reasons why our society has taboos on (for example) incest and cannibalism. how do you think those developed in the first place?


Right, I agree with that to some extent.
However, there has not been an evolutionary change leading to the widespread change in opinion regarding slavery or racism or owning women or the right to kill your kids or the value of human life in general. We have seen MAJOR shifts in culture in the past couple thousand years and these were not caused by any evolutionary event.
Therefore these changes are due to the actions of humans. It's due to emperors uniting large areas of land and then imposing a rule of law. It's due to the creation of currency. It's due to the proliferation of trade. It's due to the invention of the printing press. And so on and so forth.
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Re: Come ye faithful and ye atheist rabble.

Postby john9blue on Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:42 am

Haggis_McMutton wrote:
Not really. At best you could argue that they're made to benefit the specific society they occur in. The widespread notion that all humans are equal is a very recent one, for almost all of human history people really only gave a shit about their "group".


yes, but you're missing the point. societal mores still exist to benefit the survival of the group of humans in question. this is the purpose of evolution.

Haggis_McMutton wrote:Right, I agree with that to some extent.
However, there has not been an evolutionary change leading to the widespread change in opinion regarding slavery or racism or owning women or the right to kill your kids or the value of human life in general. We have seen MAJOR shifts in culture in the past couple thousand years and these were not caused by any evolutionary event.
Therefore these changes are due to the actions of humans. It's due to emperors uniting large areas of land and then imposing a rule of law. It's due to the creation of currency. It's due to the proliferation of trade. It's due to the invention of the printing press. And so on and so forth.


just because something happens due to our actions doesn't mean it's not an evolutionary adaptation. for example, the actions of peacock females have caused the evolutionary adaptation of bright, colorful plumage. adaptation does not just happen in response to the environment or to other species. in fact, since humans are no longer immediately threatened by either of those, our adaptations to the actions of our own species have become even more important for our survival.
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Re: Come ye faithful and ye atheist rabble.

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:06 am

Haggis_McMutton wrote:
john9blue wrote:it is if you consider "they aren't evolved enough" to be justification. which apparently is a good enough answer to questions like "why do some birds rape each other" and "why do female insects eat male insects after they f*ck"


Evolution has nothing to do with man-made moral considerations. Evolution pushes towards a selective advantage in a certain ecosystem.


Suppose there's a village where murder is acceptable, i.e. there's no such thing as unjustified killing. I'd imagine that they wouldn't survive for that long.

Suppose there's this other village where there's some rules against unjustified killing. I'd imagine that they would have greater chances of survival.

Is this not an example of variation?

If so, then isn't the moral code of humans part of the evolutionary process?
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Re: Come ye faithful and ye atheist rabble.

Postby Haggis_McMutton on Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:18 pm

john9blue wrote:yes, but you're missing the point. societal mores still exist to benefit the survival of the group of humans in question. this is the purpose of evolution.


I disagree.
What evolution would really "want" for my genes is if I could kill every male on earth other than me and impregnate as many of the females as I can get around to. The fact that I haven't accomplished this yet is due to the inadequacy of my genetic stock.

What I'm saying is evolution isn't somehow consciously pulling towards the betterment of mankind, it's largely incidental that certain behaviors which we find morally agreeable have also turned out to be evolutionarily profitable. It isn't a "mistake" that male polar bears sometimes eat their own young. For that situation that is what evolution has dictated is optimal.

john9blue wrote:just because something happens due to our actions doesn't mean it's not an evolutionary adaptation. for example, the actions of peacock females have caused the evolutionary adaptation of bright, colorful plumage. adaptation does not just happen in response to the environment or to other species. in fact, since humans are no longer immediately threatened by either of those, our adaptations to the actions of our own species have become even more important for our survival.


I'm saying that there is no significant genetic difference between humans today and humans 3000 years ago. If you took a baby born today and somehow transplanted him in a hunter-gatherer tribe 3000 years ago, 20 years later he would be more than happy to brutally murder the children and women of an opposing tribe and put their vaginas and penises on strings as trophies. The reverse applies as well.
We don't find slavery morally reprehensible today because evolution has changed our brain chemistry, we find it morally reprehensible because of the cultural changes that have occurred. These cultural changes have nothing to do with biological evolution.

BBS wrote:Suppose there's a village where murder is acceptable, i.e. there's no such thing as unjustified killing. I'd imagine that they wouldn't survive for that long.

Suppose there's this other village where there's some rules against unjustified killing. I'd imagine that they would have greater chances of survival.

Is this not an example of variation?

If so, then isn't the moral code of humans part of the evolutionary process?


Yes, but this reasoning only applies to a small subset of our current moral code. To take the most natural extension of your example, the "unjustified" murder would only apply within one's tribe. The murder, rape and torture of a member of any other tribe would be just fine and dandy evolutionarily speaking (baring threats of retribution).

Pinker talks about this. Apparently when monkeys fight for territory and the groups are relatively evenly matched they sort of just jump around and shout until the group that seems weaker gives up and leaves. But it turns out if a group of moneys find just one or two opposing monkeys, the "kindness" ends. They brutally rip them apart and eat parts of their flesh.
Basically evolution "taught" them that when the groups are relatively evenly matched it's bad strategy to get in a fight. But when you have the clear advantage you should take it and kill those fuckers.

So yeah, some evolutionarily beneficial behaviors match with what we think of as moral, but I think this is largely incidental. i.e. what about slavery?
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Re: Come ye faithful and ye atheist rabble.

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:58 pm

Haggis_McMutton wrote:
BBS wrote:Suppose there's a village where murder is acceptable, i.e. there's no such thing as unjustified killing. I'd imagine that they wouldn't survive for that long.

Suppose there's this other village where there's some rules against unjustified killing. I'd imagine that they would have greater chances of survival.

Is this not an example of variation?

If so, then isn't the moral code of humans part of the evolutionary process?


Yes, but this reasoning only applies to a small subset of our current moral code. To take the most natural extension of your example, the "unjustified" murder would only apply within one's tribe. The murder, rape and torture of a member of any other tribe would be just fine and dandy evolutionarily speaking (baring threats of retribution).


Sure, that happens, and I'm not trying to justify universal morals and whatever else j9b may be trying to assert. Just sayin' that it's part of the evolutionary process for this particular species (homo sapiens)--which is why I disagree with "Evolution has nothing to do with man-made moral considerations."

Haggis_McMutton wrote:Pinker talks about this. Apparently when monkeys fight for territory and the groups are relatively evenly matched they sort of just jump around and shout until the group that seems weaker gives up and leaves. But it turns out if a group of moneys find just one or two opposing monkeys, the "kindness" ends. They brutally rip them apart and eat parts of their flesh.
Basically evolution "taught" them that when the groups are relatively evenly matched it's bad strategy to get in a fight. But when you have the clear advantage you should take it and kill those fuckers.

So yeah, some evolutionarily beneficial behaviors match with what we think of as moral, but I think this is largely incidental. i.e. what about slavery?


Good, let's take on slavery. Before slavery, human sacrifice was more profitable; however, at some point various groups could realize the gains of greater labor productivity by enslaving others. Perhaps, this was due to the decreased price of maintaining slaves (e.g. greater ability to grow food).

What does that say of morals? I'd say that morals are largely driven by profit-seeking plans, realization of prices, and those outcomes. Those who have the leisure (from Plato to beyond) would then reflect on the outcomes and try to make them coherent. 'Ethics' back in Greece's day meant "custom." Another side of ethics/moral philosophy was about planning beyond the custom. Later, with perhaps the Renaissance Period, we see this side dominate as they would strive to design a moral system beyond the current outcomes/customs--and this phenomenon might be part of evolution, but I'm not sure.

Does someone sitting down, reflecting, and then writing resemble something of evolution? If not, then the ethics/moral philosophy which is designed by reason and largely devoid of current custom may not be part of evolution... but what could it be?
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Re: Come ye faithful and ye atheist rabble.

Postby Lootifer on Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:47 pm

Herp. Intellectual and Cultural evolution is an analogue to the more commonly referred to species evolution. Be pragmatic for once you twits.

BigBallinStalin wrote:
john9blue wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
So the Soviet Union needed another 60 years or so, and it would've worked like a charm?


man... are you another one of those guys who thinks significant humans evolution can happen in a 50 year time span?


Yeah, you're right. With Lootifer's argument, 1000s of years of totalitarian governance is justifiable!

Not even close to what I was saying.

I'd assert that intellectual/cultural evolution is visable in a human-lifespan time scale.

Dont be like PS and view it as black and white BBS; we are evolving towards your own personal-view uptopia. But be warned, if I was you I would personally prepare myself for a pre-libanarchy optimum (i.e. Libertarian Anarchy is kinda poop).

Related to this I believe at this stage we dont have nearly enough data points to determine anything but a theoretical optimum (so far we have a handfull of failed totalitarian systems, a bunch of psuedo-free systems that only serve to give erranous data points - Im looking at you USA, and a few free-ish systems that show, generally, the direction to head in).
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Re: Come ye faithful and ye atheist rabble.

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:22 pm

Lootifer wrote:Herp. Intellectual and Cultural evolution is an analogue to the more commonly referred to species evolution. Be pragmatic for once you twits.

BigBallinStalin wrote:
john9blue wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
So the Soviet Union needed another 60 years or so, and it would've worked like a charm?


man... are you another one of those guys who thinks significant humans evolution can happen in a 50 year time span?


Yeah, you're right. With Lootifer's argument, 1000s of years of totalitarian governance is justifiable!

Not even close to what I was saying.

I'd assert that intellectual/cultural evolution is visable in a human-lifespan time scale.

Dont be like PS and view it as black and white BBS; we are evolving towards your own personal-view uptopia. But be warned, if I was you I would personally prepare myself for a pre-libanarchy optimum (i.e. Libertarian Anarchy is kinda poop).

Related to this I believe at this stage we dont have nearly enough data points to determine anything but a theoretical optimum (so far we have a handfull of failed totalitarian systems, a bunch of psuedo-free systems that only serve to give erranous data points - Im looking at you USA, and a few free-ish systems that show, generally, the direction to head in).


I can't joke around? :(

I don't think the US is headed in the direction of a narrower in scope and more effective government. It's simply consuming more people's incomes in order to transfer wealth to other groups---while at a loss too (deficit spending). It's not sustainable, so my concern is that people will continue looking to the government for a solution to the problems which the government creates and sustains.
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