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Thread: Dawkins Interview

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    Dawkins Interview


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    Good read, Fish, thanks.

    While I don't necessarily agree with all he says, he has excellent perspective.

    It seems to me that in many ways, our "evolved" morality to gotten us directly to the point where we now openly seek to halt our own evolution as a species. Survival of the fittest is apparently an evil portrayed upon us all by the rich.

    Anyone ever seen the movie "Idiocracy"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post

    It seems to me that in many ways, our "evolved" morality to gotten us directly to the point where we now openly seek to halt our own evolution as a species. Survival of the fittest is apparently an evil portrayed upon us all by the rich.

    Anyone ever seen the movie "Idiocracy"?
    That corporate lawyer, the investment banker and the lobbyist.

    The Navy SEAL, the mountain guide and the paramedic.

    Money isn't indicative of "favorable evolution".

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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    That corporate lawyer, the investment banker and the lobbyist.

    The Navy SEAL, the mountain guide and the paramedic.

    Money isn't indicative of "favorable evolution".
    No one said anything about money but those who seek this halt.

    All I see in your post are 6 different careers of motivated people. May they all reproduce to their hearts' content.
    Last edited by JetPotato; 09-06-2012 at 03:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    No one said anything about money.
    Elaborate on this for me, then. Because to me, it looks like you're saying those of us that think the rich have had the rules too much in their favor for the past say two or three decades are somehow halting our own evolution.

    It seems to me that in many ways, our "evolved" morality to gotten us directly to the point where we now openly seek to halt our own evolution as a species. Survival of the fittest is apparently an evil portrayed upon us all by the rich.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    No one said anything about money but the accusers.

    All I see in your post are 6 different careers of motivated people.
    Don't waste your time Tater. You'll never get a liberal to agree that the Party of Science is also the party that thinks it's collectivist policies can simply over-rule science, in evolutionary terms, biodiversity terms, and climactic terms.

    Remember, many liberals truly belive that if we just followed their political policies, they could support all humans equally (and end to the evil of darwinian society!), stop species for ever going extinct (save the whales!), and freeze the climate in one permananetly awesome position (stop man-caused climate change!).

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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    Elaborate on this for me, then. Because to me, it looks like you're saying those of us that think the rich have had the rules too much in their favor for the past say two or three decades are somehow halting our own evolution.
    In what terms? You want to speak about the "rules" of raw evolution? In evolution, there is only one rule, and it applies equally to all: survive. By whatever means given to you or by whatever means you provide for yourself, survive. There is no leveling of the playing field, because if there is, there is no evolution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Don't waste your time Tater. You'll never get a liberal to agree that the Party of Science is also the party that thinks it's collectivist policies can simply over-rule science, in evolutionary terms, biodiversity terms, and climactic terms.

    Remember, many liberals truly belive that if we just followed their political policies, they could support all humans equally (and end to the evil of darwinian society!), stop species for ever going extinct (save the whales!), and freeze the climate in one permananetly awesome position (stop man-caused climate change!).
    You're right. Might as well stop here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    In what terms? You want to speak about the "rules" of raw evolution? In evolution, there is only one rule, and it applies equally to all: survive. By whatever means given to you or by whatever means you provide for yourself, survive. There is no leveling of the playing field, because if there is, there is no evolution.
    Rule of law. Tax code. Civilized society.

    My point is, this isn't anarchy. The same evolutionary advantages the "fittest" have in the wild, are not the same ones that are beneficial in a capitalist society.

    Having great physical endurance and being a fast healer does not really mean sh*t in a market economy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Don't waste your time Tater. You'll never get a liberal to agree that the Party of Science is also the party that thinks it's collectivist policies can simply over-rule science, in evolutionary terms, biodiversity terms, and climactic terms.

    Remember, many liberals truly belive that if we just followed their political policies, they could support all humans equally (and end to the evil of darwinian society!), stop species for ever going extinct (save the whales!), and freeze the climate in one permananetly awesome position (stop man-caused climate change!).
    Equality of opportunity is not equality of outcomes. I'm for equality of opportunity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    Equality of opportunity is not equality of outcomes. I'm for equality of opportunity.
    Outside of every person being given X to start their lives, and perfectly equal parents, family, schools, friends, and much, much more, the idea of "equallity of opportunity" is a total and laughable pipe dream. It would several steps beyond simple cimmunism into the land of pure fantasy.

    Like asking for "equaillity of climate" for two people in Phoenix and Seattle.

    The best you can offer, and what should be offered, is equallity from interference by the Law. Everyone has teh same rigths and responsabillities under the Law.

    The idea we can simply choose to give everyone the exact same "opportunity" is a silly as the current idea of what "fairness" means.

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    Where do we get our morals from? We get our morals from a very complicated process of discussion, of law-making, writing, moral philosophy, itís a complicated cultural process which changes Ė not just over the centuries, but over the decades. Our moral attitudes today in 2012 are very different form what they would have been 50 or 100 years ago. And even more different from what they would have been 300 years ago or 500 years ago. We donít believe in slavery now. We treat women as equal to men. All sorts of things have changed in our moral attitudes.


    Itís to do with a very complicated more zeitgeist. Steven Pinkerís latest book ďThe Better Angels of Our NatureĒ traces this improvement over long centuries of history. He makes an extremely persuasive case for the fact that we are getting more moral, we are getting better as time goes on, and religion perhaps has a part to play in that, but itís by no means an important part.
    The philosophical problem with this statement is that the argument "we are getting more moral" implies some objective standard against which moral attitudes could be measured, a benchmark against which "moral progress" can be determined. And the simple reality is that absent God, there is no viable argument for any objective moral standard.

    Which means that, absent God, the claim "we are more moral than we used to be" is nothing but the semantic analog of "we have different morality than we used to have, and we like this morality better." It is, quite literally, an argument the Nazis could have made for their own society (they were more moral, in their own twisted conception, because they, unlike past cultures, recognized the importance of preserving the master race and took action to do so).

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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    Equality of opportunity is not equality of outcomes. I'm for equality of opportunity.
    Except you can't legislate absolute equality of opportunity any more than you can legislate absolute equality of outcomes.

    Some people will always be better connected, better nurtured, or simply more gifted than others. Some children will start off with a silver spoon in their mouths - and shouldn't be demonized or less respected for it.

    Equal treatment under the law should be the goal - not some nebulous concept of "equality of opportunity"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Outside of every person being given X to start their lives, and perfectly equal parents, family, schools, friends, and much, much more, the idea of "equallity of opportunity" is a total and laughable pipe dream. It would several steps beyond simple cimmunism into the land of pure fantasy.

    Like asking for "equaillity of climate" for two people in Phoenix and Seattle.

    The best you can offer, and what should be offered, is equallity from interference by the Law. Everyone has teh same rigths and responsabillities under the Law.

    The idea we can simply choose to give everyone the exact same "opportunity" is a silly as the current idea of what "fairness" means.
    /ninjaed

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    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it View Post
    The philosophical problem with this statement is that the argument "we are getting more moral" implies some objective standard against which moral attitudes could be measured, a benchmark against which "moral progress" can be determined. And the simple reality is that absent God, there is no viable argument for any objective moral standard.

    Which means that, absent God, the claim "we are more moral than we used to be" is nothing but the semantic analog of "we have different morality than we used to have, and we like this morality better." It is, quite literally, an argument the Nazis could have made for their own society (they were more moral, in their own twisted conception, because they, unlike past cultures, recognized the importance of preserving the master race and took action to do so).
    So for your "objective standard" of God, which God are you using?

    The Jewish God?

    The Triune Christian God.

    Zeus?

    Allah?

    The Earthmother, Gaia?

    The Flying Spahetti Monster?

    It's odd to see someone as bright as you use "God" and "Objective standard" in the same line of argument, when you obviously know the one thing that is consistent about our long list of religions is their INconsistency, both external to each each other, and internal, in the hypocricy of their adherants actions.

    The reality of morality is that it is whatever we say it is at any given moment in time. There is no objective standard of any kind at any time, only the ruling/reigning majority view of the moment.

    EDIT: See, now I feel bad. You +1 me, and I am immediately critical of you. Sorry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    The reality of morality is that it is whatever we say it is at any given moment in time. There is no objective standard of any kind at any time, only the ruling/reigning majority view of the moment.
    +1

    Another issue with the evolving morality argument is the assumption that there is one concrete and uniform morality at any given time. The reality is there are numerous sets of moralities dispersed among the various human societies and cultures throughout the world. They are all constantly changing, both dependently and independently, but change does not mean evolution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by parafly View Post
    +1

    Another issue with the evolving morality argument is the assumption that there is one concrete and uniform morality at any given time. The reality is there are numerous sets of moralities dispersed among the various human societies and cultures throughout the world. They are all constantly changing, both dependently and independently, but change does not mean evolution.
    Not necessarily true. Morality is no different than culture or even skin color. We evolve and adapt to survive in a given environment. Different environments demand different survival skills. By improvement of morality, the author does not mean "better", he means "puts its believers in a stronger survival position"

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    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it View Post
    Except you can't legislate absolute equality of opportunity any more than you can legislate absolute equality of outcomes.

    Some people will always be better connected, better nurtured, or simply more gifted than others. Some children will start off with a silver spoon in their mouths - and shouldn't be demonized or less respected for it.

    Equal treatment under the law should be the goal - not some nebulous concept of "equality of opportunity"
    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Outside of every person being given X to start their lives, and perfectly equal parents, family, schools, friends, and much, much more, the idea of "equallity of opportunity" is a total and laughable pipe dream. It would several steps beyond simple cimmunism into the land of pure fantasy.

    Like asking for "equaillity of climate" for two people in Phoenix and Seattle.

    The best you can offer, and what should be offered, is equallity from interference by the Law. Everyone has teh same rigths and responsabillities under the Law.

    The idea we can simply choose to give everyone the exact same "opportunity" is a silly as the current idea of what "fairness" means.
    But see, you're taking equal opportunity, in an American political context, and taking it to extreme levels.

    I'm talking about a universal curriculum for nation and school funding changed to a national pool that can give it out based on number of students. I'm talking about healthcare for everyone where we all pay taxes for it and I'm talking about making college more affordable.

    We're all born different, some of us are gifted in areas and blessed with certain genetics. Some of us are born into wealth, some to poverty, some with great parents, some without.

    But to take something like "equal opportunity" and bring up the climates of Phoenix and Seattle is ridiculous, Warfish.

    As a nation, we should be thinking how best and responsibly we can give opportunity to our people. Universal healthcare, uniform and rigorous national curriculum combined with cheaper college will give our citizens greater freedom to develop themselves.

    There can never be absolute equal opportunity. But we can level the playing field better than we're doing.
    Last edited by SafetyBlitz; 09-06-2012 at 10:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    EDIT: See, now I feel bad. You +1 me, and I am immediately critical of you. Sorry.
    No worries

    So for your "objective standard" of God, which God are you using?

    *snip*

    It's odd to see someone as bright as you use "God" and "Objective standard" in the same line of argument, when you obviously know the one thing that is consistent about our long list of religions is their INconsistency, both external to each each other, and internal, in the hypocricy of their adherants actions.
    I think you're missing my point. I mean, I obviously have reasons why I would say "the Jewish God" as opposed to any of the other claims on that list, and I think you know me well enough to know it won't be "because the bible says so", but that's really a different discussion. The point I'm making is actually the one you're about to make - that, assuming there is no God:

    The reality of morality is that it is whatever we say it is at any given moment in time. There is no objective standard of any kind at any time, only the ruling/reigning majority view of the moment.
    Assuming there is a God, regardless of which - or even if any - religion accurately conceived of/described God, there is a basis to assert that there is an objective morality, that morality is not merely "whatever we say it is at any given moment in time", that the Nazis were not just "operating under a different conception of morality than us" but were actually and in reality "immoral", that they deviated from a moral standard that is objective and therefore exterior to us.

    If there is no God, then the conclusion you draw about morality - that "it is whatever we say it is at any given moment in time" - is absolutely correct.

    And, given that truth, my point was there is an inherent disconnect between Dawkins' atheism and his assertion that history is a progression from "less moral" to "more moral" - because, on that atheism, it is literally impossible for anything to be "more moral" than anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    Not necessarily true. Morality is no different than culture or even skin color. We evolve and adapt to survive in a given environment. Different environments demand different survival skills. By improvement of morality, the author does not mean "better", he means "puts its believers in a stronger survival position"
    No, he means better. Truth is, in a moral society, the man who can be immoral without being caught is in a stronger survival position than the man who refuses to behave immorally even when he can get away with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    But see, you're taking equal opportunity, in an American political context, and taking it to extreme levels.

    I'm talking about a universal curriculum for nation and school funding changed to a national pool that can give it out based on number of students. I'm talking about healthcare for everyone where we all pay taxes for it and I'm talking about making college more affordable.

    We're all born different, some of us are gifted in areas and blessed with certain genetics. Some of us are born into wealth, some to poverty, some with great parents, some without.

    But to take something like "equal opportunity" and bring up the climates of Phoenix and Seattle is ridiculous, Warfish.

    As a nation, we should be thinking how best and responsibly we can give opportunity to our people. Universal healthcare, uniform and rigorous national curriculum combined with cheaper college will give our citizens greater freedom to develop themselves.

    There can never be absolute equal opportunity. But we can level the playing field better than we're doing.
    Won't the best and brightest rise regardless of circumstance?

    I feel continuously pulling the dead weight of society is a burden on those who help our society thrive.

    The entitlement recipients play little to no role without government intervention...

    The average-middle class citizens play a vital role in helping to sustain a free market economy that is carried by the upper echelon of our society...

    The upper echelon dregs would also fail without government intervention...

    The useless on both sides of the scale put a strain on all of us and the government is aiding and abetting...

    The liberal ideal is to keep that cyclical...

    That's alarming, tbqh...

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