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Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys?

Glad to hear it, James. Coming down from the self-aggrandizing, and quite unlikely idea of so-called "free will" opens up new vistas well-worth consideration in my opinion. And no, simply noticing how much of ones so-called "self" is unchosen: original temperament (one baby is timid, another is bold from birth as every mother knows), parents and other family influences, time and place of birth, the larger cultural surround, ones physical and mental strengths and weakness--including, for example, "IQ," lung capacity, good or not so good looks, health or lack of it--etc., does not make you a determinist, because, strictly speaking, determinism means that given a specified way things are at a certain time, the way things go thereafter is fixed as a matter of natural law, but that is not at all what I am claiming. My argument simply holds that "free will" is not a fact but a story we tell ourselves, milliseconds after the fact, about imagined "choices" which really are the outcome of unchosen factors, and which happen automatically. That does not mean that future events are unalterably determined. To take just one example, I may by chance find a book left behind on a park bench, read it, and find my views of the world changing. The person who left the book did not choose to leave it, and I did not choose to find it. Nevertheless, my mind has been altered by this accidental—as a philosopher you might prefer to say "aleatory"--happening which could not have been predicted as determinism requires.
Further, the human mind evolved to deal effectively with real world problems, not to understand causality or any other ultimate matters. Therefore, it is possible that factors beyond our ken and beyond our capacity to understand influence events in ways we do not, and perhaps cannot fathom, so free will and determinism might not be the only possibilities.

Dragontongue--
OK. Be disappointed no more. You ask, "Where could that come from? That 'inborn, innate sense of right and wrong'? Although I may not really care one way or the other, even I know what's right and what isn't. How come?"
To be able to grasp the answer, you must first try to understand two important ideas: 1) the basic workings of the entirely automatic filtering processes which we call "evolution," and 2) the vast amounts of time and great number of generations involved in human evolution.
To understand number 1, let us imagine that a small tribe falls on hard times. Perhaps a permanent change in weather patterns is making food, which once was plentiful, increasingly scarce. Now imagine a new generation of babies born into this tribe, Some of the fathers, through normal variations in temperament, are more inclined to tighten their belts and share the scarce food with their offspring, while others are more inclined to eat selfishly while children go hungry. Obviously, more of the offspring of the "generous" fathers will survive; hence more of the genetic material of those fathers, as opposed to the "selfish" ones, will survive into the next generation. This is straightforward logic, right?
OK. Now as to number 2: Homo sapiens has been around for 250,000 years. If one guesses that humans have in average reproduced when they are 15, this would mean, there has been 16,000 generations of humans. With thousands of generations, the initial difference between the "generous" fathers and the "selfish" ones could be quite small but still over a long period of time produce a very large change. This is because if even a few more of the carriers of the "generous gene" survived in each generation, eventually that gene would come to predominate. This slow filtering process, by the way, is completely automatic and has nothing to do with intention or "intelligent design."
If you factor in sexual selection, which I explained earlier, in which, for example, females are more attracted to "generous" men, and so mate with them more often, the process could be hastened considerably.
I hope this example will put you on the right track to grasping these interesting matters.

Again, thanks to all for your intelligent participation. Spread the word.

Be well.

Website: www.dr-robert.com

Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by Sixshot - Jul 22, 2010 9:29pm
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by dr. robert - Jul 23, 2010 3:18am
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by Zenemy - Jul 23, 2010 6:23pm
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by Hexi - Jul 23, 2010 8:21pm
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by Hexi - Jul 23, 2010 8:24pm
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by Zenemy - Jul 23, 2010 8:46pm
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by dr-robert - Jul 23, 2010 9:25pm
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by Zenemy - Jul 24, 2010 6:23am
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by dr-robert - Jul 24, 2010 7:23am
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by dr-robert - Jul 24, 2010 7:46am
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by James - Jul 24, 2010 5:09am
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by Zenemy - Jul 24, 2010 6:32am
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by James - Jul 24, 2010 7:36am
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by Zenemy - Jul 24, 2010 11:40am
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by James - Jul 24, 2010 12:25pm
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by Hexi - Jul 24, 2010 12:57pm
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by Hexi - Jul 24, 2010 3:52pm
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by Zenemy - Jul 25, 2010 12:43am
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by famfav5 - Jul 25, 2010 4:17pm
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by famfav5 - Jul 26, 2010 3:51am
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by famfav5 - Jul 26, 2010 11:27am
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by dr. robert - Jul 26, 2010 2:02pm
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by Zenemy - Jul 26, 2010 4:12pm
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by ror666 - Jul 24, 2010 1:44pm
Re: Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? - by James - Jul 26, 2010 3:52pm