For non theists : What is the conscience and does it really matter?
If the brain is "built" to believe in god, that suggests all beliefs in god are equivalent, i.e., none of them are objectively true.
Likewise, the body is built to derive nutrition from vegetables. Asparagus is not more "true" than broccoli.
Probably it would be more correct to say that we are built with a need to be superstitious rather than to admit, "I don't know."
I would just like to add to the god belief be inherent in/to human cognition. That there are no doubt several contributing factors which may or may not be located in the frontal lobe of the brain.
We all have the ability to sympathise, and/or imagine we feel what other people feel, and we can even attribute human qualities to animals, and to some extent plants and other lower form of life. This in turn can lead to thinking of gods with human feeling and actions. While not specifically having the brain hard wired for belief in a god with human qualities.
And since a survival trait we have developed is the need to question and find resolution to questions in the form of answers. Mythology has been a tool to resolve questions that we didn't know the answers to,, thus resolve tension in the thinking a question and seek an answer process.
Great thread! Cofty, thanks for posting about the bats. Interesting.
I think Sheryl Crow said it best: "If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad"
Humans are born with a conscience. Whether the Bible exists or not does not affect our conscience.
I have lived among aboriginal people who never heard of the Bible and couldn't have read one anyway. These people were very sweet natured, kind, caring, loving, and considerate. Once I was sitting with the women, and one of the children took something out of my backpack, this tribe did not have technology, they had almost no individual possessions. One child was playing with the object she took out of my backpack and another child tried to take it away and the first child hit the second child with the object.
The second child started crying and the first child screamed and threw the object on the ground as if it had suddently come alive and spouted fangs. The entire tribe was traumatized and the elders came and did rituals for the rest of the day, there was obviously a lot of consternation, and the elders talked a lot about what to do about this horrific act.
I asked one of the elders why this was such a big deal and I didn't quite understand everything he said but he kept pointing to his head and making a sign for "hurt" and pointing to the children and mimicing the hitting. Like "the idea of a child hitting another child hurts my head". He was obviously talking about the conscience. The child who hurt the other child was deeply hurt all day and cried and cried. We finally had to take the object from my backpack away from the tribe and throw it away, to get rid of the "evil thing".
It was very obvious that those sweet people were born with the notion that physical violence was an extremely "bad" act, they obviously had a conscience.
Beautiful story to illustrate HG. Thanx for sharing. Nice thread.
At one time you could have more than one wife and it was not immoral. Now for some it still is not immoral, for others it is immoral to have more than one wife. Who or what determinded what is moral or immoral in this matter and why?
It is culture, religion, and government that determine it. There is no absolute universal moral code in the universe out there. Morals are determined by survival instincts, level of cognitive function, religious indoctrination, levels of empathy, and pervasiveness of governmental and religious authority, and some times just what is practical at the time and circumstances we find ourselves.