Morality Without Deity
Until you see the evidence that "jungle rule" and "moral rule" can be the same thing you will continue to struggle with this. Your problem is a basic misunderstanding of evolution.
Evolution explains very well why we should display empathy and cooperation. It is the winning strategy if we wish to benefit from living in successful social groups.
We are all descended from many generations of ancestors who had the capacity for what we now call morality or ethics. Rudimentary versions of these capcities can be found in other social species.
Survival of the fittest in our case includes moral intelligence. We all understand what contributes to our own well being and how that can be best achieved in cooperation with others.
How this applies to animals outside the pack? Or to others species (we apply our altruism to some other species)?
Ruling dinosaurs did not followed altruism and they only became extinct due to external causes.
Until you see the evidence that "jungle rule" and "moral rule" can be the same thing you will continue to struggle with this.
I know what you mean.
Jungle rule using game theory produced the golden rule which for some reason is the best evolutionary advantage.
I'd already thought about this and I see problems in this view.
That's progress. Let's go back to my question now if we may. In what way is theistic morality better than based rationally on the we being of conscious creatures?
Sorry - "Well being".
Ruling dinosaurs did not followed altruism and they only became extinct due to external causes.
Looks like someone needs to study evolution.
John your one-word dismissal of many of my most important arguments is not conducive to a useful conversation.
John can't really "converse" because he doesn't know what he is talking about on practically any subject. Notice he can't even address morality in the Bible and has the idea that the first Christians were Catholic. He doesn't understand science, logic, history or evidence.
He could fix that if he wanted, but he doesn't want.
Perhaps is Ayalas theory a help in this discussion.
Francisco Ayala, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine, has proposed a Darwin-inspired explanation of how human morality might have evolved in 2010.
Read more at:https://phys.org/news/2010-05-professor-complex-evolution-human-morality.html#jCp
“Many biologists, including sociobiologists, argue that morality is a biologically determined trait,” Ayala told PhysOrg.com. “Most philosophers and theologians see morality as a product of cultural evolution and/or religious faith. I distinguish between the ‘capacity for ethics,’ which is biologically determined as a result of biological evolution; and the ‘moral codes’ or ethical norms, which are largely outcomes of cultural evolution, including religious beliefs.
Ayala further explains that the capacity for moral behavior is not adaptive in itself, but it is a consequence of a higher intellectual ability that is adaptive, being directly promoted through natural selection due to its ability to improve survival rates (such as by allowing us to construct tools, develop hunting strategies, etc.). Ayala identifies three necessary conditions for moral behavior that could have evolved with intelligence: the ability to anticipate the consequences of our actions, to evaluate such consequences, and to choose accordingly how to act. While overall intellectual capacities evolved gradually, he speculates that the three necessary conditions for moral behavior only came about after crossing an evolutionary threshold, as they require abilities such as the formation of abstract concepts. And only after humans possessed all three abilities could we possess a moral capacity.
Here a German articel about the same subject
For me the best article about orgin of ethics is this
with this comment about babies:
"From the beginning they have a moral sense and a moral knowledge about good and evil. But in many of them it has not yet become an inner personal need to evaluate the world morally urgently and act accordingly."
I attached a google translation from this article by M. Hubert.
Origin of Ethics - How man was morally
From the 12-part series: "The Limits of the Allowed" (1)
By Martin Hubert
Babies want to satisfy their own needs as innocently as unrestrained. How then will moral beings, who distinguish between good and evil, think of the welfare of others, and have feelings of guilt? For a long time it was thought that the way to go there could only go through punishment and obedience: learn what is allowed! Meanwhile, psychologists believe that babies have a sense of morality. From an evolutionary biology point of view, morality arose because the early people realized that they were dependent on each other. But how far does this insight reach, how strong is the moral sense? Is it only for relatives, friends and their own group - or for strangers? How universal can moral values be?
Philosopher and philosopher have been bothering about it for centuries. In biology, one looks for the roots of morality in evolution. And developmental psychology tries to find out whether morality is innate or just a product of education and social pressure. To this end, one has constructed thought-making games, dilemmas, difficult to solve moral conflicts.
The "Heinz Dilemma"
One example is the "Heinz Dilemma": The wife of Heinz is seriously ill, maybe she will die soon. There is an expensive drug that could help her. But the health insurance companies do not pay it and Heinz does not have enough money. Can he steal money to help his sick wife?
The American psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg used such tests in the 1970s and 1980s to find out how morality evolves. In the beginning, he argued in his influential theory, that there was no moral system but the fear of punishment and obedience to authorities. Young children, Kohlberg said, were only following rules because they were afraid of sanctions.
In the Heinz dilemma, the four- to seven-year-olds often said that Heinz was not allowed to steal because he would otherwise be punished. Critics, however, argue against Kohlberg's approach that his view of morality was much too narrow. The Münsteran philosopher Kurt Bayertz, for example, thinks that early moral attitudes can not be tested only by over-pointed moral conflicts. For moral education is rarely something that happens separately.
Babies want to help
Studies show that babies experience social experiences through their facial expressions, gestures and sounds. How does the other respond to me? How can I bring others to specific actions? Babies and toddlers also show signs of compassion. They cry, for example, when others cry. Or comfort them. They also help.
This is essential prerequisites for morality, says Monika Keller, psychologist at the Max Planck Institute for Educational Research in Berlin. Babies who feel compassion and help are already orientated towards others.
Monika Keller concludes from her test results: The moral competence of children is impressive, but also contradictory. From the beginning they have a moral sense and a moral knowledge about good and evil. But in many of them it has not yet become an inner personal need to evaluate the world morally urgently and act accordingly. They are torn between moral rule and personal interests. Not infrequently, they only revert to moral rules because they are afraid of being caught.
The morality of hunters
Moral is a complicated matter. Contrary to the pioneer of the moral theory of evolution Lawrence Kohlberg, people seem to have a sense of morality from an early age. But not everyone is acting morally. To this extent Kohlberg was right when he underlined the importance of sanctions. Can the history of evolution explain in more detail how such a fragile as morality could possibly arise and how far its influence reaches?
Evolutionary biology is largely in agreement that a moral awareness has been created in the hunter-gathering companies about twenty to a hundred thousand years ago, some of which date back even further. In these manageable societies the group members went hunting together, gathered plants and shared the yield.
Morality is not an end in itself, Darwinian, but serves the propagation success in a group. Man is not morally and cooperatively, on the basis of general rational considerations, but the interest in survival of his genes drives him. However, the human being can still make a difference to others even if they are not directly related to them.
Morality against strangers
Then the principle of reciprocity works: Like me, so I do to you. If someone can expect another to help him after he has helped him, he increases his chances of survival. On this basis a common trust and a common group moral can also develop among unrelated people.
To this day, scientists are arguing about the extent to which a morality can develop which also includes strangers. We do not know them, do not know whether we can trust them and whether they accept the culture of our own group. How universally can moral norms and values work, which originally developed within manageable communities?
The psychologist Michael Tomasello, like many of his colleagues, is convinced that morality does not originate from noble ethical considerations. For the director of the Leipzig Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, the main task was to increase the reciprocal use of hunt and collecting societies in a very pragmatic manner.
Moral as a brain exercise
Michael Tomasello, however, also believes that the experiences of mutual aid had far-reaching consequences. For they led people to develop new spiritual abilities. They learned about getting better and more into each other and reading their thoughts. People began to see more and more from the perspective of others.
According to Michael Tomasello, a spiritual scaffolding was created to accept general moral norms: Handle so that you understand others and incorporate their perspectives and interests into your actions. This brought a survival advantage for the group in hunting and collecting. From this, moral norms and values developed for interpersonal intercourse.
These underpinned this survival advantage by defining positive group behavior. The larger and more complex the societies became, the more these commandments were formulated and the more generally their validity became. Taboos, sanctions, institutions such as the right restricted immoral acts. And the great religions designed moral systems with a universal claim.
More brain in puberty
What is common to these principles is that they force the individual to involve others' welfare. We strongly that is then implemented in reality is, as is known, another question. In everyday life, moral demands reach limits, compromise. This will sooner or later also adolescents.
Studies show that in the brain puberty processes are taking place which are indispensable for the moral development. Just before puberty, the brain builds up additional gray mass. An excess of nerve connections is produced. The neuroscientist Peter Uhlhaas, working at the University of Glasgow, found out that these new nervous connections still cooperate quite uncoordinated among puberty.
The excess and disordered nervous mass also allows the puberty to make new experiences with themselves and their environment. These experiences are then anchored in new nerve connections. The brain thus appears to be the prerequisite for what psychology defines as the main attraction of puberty: solve yourself from the world of your parents and create your own cosmos.
Autonomy: The ability to free itself from the pressure of the environment and to withstand the contradiction between norms and reality. Only that makes people a truly reflective moral person. This leads to the fact that morality does not freeze and the limits of what is permitted do not crush human beings. Puberty is an important building block to achieve this moral autonomy.
SWR2 Knowledge. By Martin Hubert. Internet connection: Ulrike Barwanietz & Ralf Kölbel
Stand: April 30, 2015, 2:20 pm
Theistic morality is a very broad term.
I see you constantly put any theistic morality under the superstition umbrella.
I disagree with this view.
If I have a belief that something evil or good will happen if I clap my hands in front of a mirror at midnight then I agree I'm totally in nonsense and plain superstition. But I'm totally against such superstitions.
Then we have a middle terrain like the JW view on blood transfusions. JW's simply say this belief is based on their unique interpretation of a few Bible texts. They don't provide any philosophical base about this belief. And the history of how this belief was formed shows that was just an opinion of a single man and nothing more. Even though this belief is considered "theistic morality" ultimately I can't see how it's different from superstition.
Finally we have beliefs that are not based purely on Bible or science but on revelation and/or philosophy. Like when exactly the human soul is created.
Not every theistic morality has practical problem about this. There's a theological view that says every human soul were created before Big-Bang and they stay in a Limbo until conception. I don't see much problems regarding abortion taking this view in consideration.
Some religions use only Bible texts to base the problem of when a soul is created. I think this is superstition too.
IMHO I can only defend a belief if it's not anti-scientific, have a genuine philosophical ground to it and have at least some kind of metaphysical sign (or revelation, which can be private or public) attached to it.
Thank you for those resources WOY.
I am currently reading The Blank Slate by Pinker where he surveys a lot of that evidence.
John you are still ignoring my question. How is your "top down" system of morality based on the character of a perfectly good god better than my "bottom up" morality?