Monday, November 19, 2012

430: The Art Not tobe an Egoist 5

"One day is enough to determine that a person is evil; it takes a life to see that he is good." according to  Théodore Simon Jouffroy (1796 – 1842), a French philosopher. Harsh words !

Thomas Henry Huxley (1825 - 1895) claims that Man is an a-moral animal like all other living creatures. His natural interest is the struggle for life at all costs.

Only much later in evolution man "invented" morals. It is not an invention of nature but of culture. Nature and morality relate to each other in deep contradiction. 

In fact Huxley ran in a contradiction. His fundamental idea was that ALL human behavior was a product of nature, of evolution.

However in his lecture "Evolution and Ethics" he claims that moral ideas developed much later in evolution. As Huxley wrote himself"

"On the question of morality, I see no trace of nature. It is a product created exclusively by man".

How could he make such a mistake? One reason can be that Darwin himself wasn't clear about this issue himself.  On the one hand he too claims that all behavior is a product of evolution.

But on the other hand he claims that moral sentiments are "probably the best and most important difference between man and animal".

Thus the confusing situation arises, that on the one hand ALL behavior is a product of evolution, but on the other hand ethics is an exclusive product of man.

That this contradiction could exist is not surprising, because the general idea about man in those times was in sync with these ideas.

A man like Johann Gottfried Herder (1744 - 1803), a German poet and theologian, regarded human morality as a product of education.

He said: "Education for humanity is a work that should be pursued relentlessly, or we fall back to the raw animal nature, to brutality."

Are we really that bad? Can it really be the case that all behavior is said to be a product of evolution and then all of a sudden our moral behavior is a product of culture?

An outspoken opponent of these ideas is Frans de Waal, PhD (born 29 October 1948), a Dutch primatologist and ethologist.

The idea that human morality is represented as a thin crust, under which  the antisocial, amoral and selfish passions are bubbling, he called the 'Façade Theory'.

The famous ethologist Konrad Lorenz (1903 - 1989) was a supporter of this Façade Theory. He considers the human capacity for morality as natural, but he regarded it in relation to other animal-human behavior as inferior.

In light of such a theory selfishness, aggressiveness, hatred and murder are more "real" than caring, devotion, sympathy and love.

The older a property of man is, the more you can trace it in the world of reptiles or fish, he argues, the more powerful it is in determining the nature of man.

However, Lorenz, does not explain why older behavior patterns are more dominant than evolutionary more recent ones. Why should evolution have added later only weaker traits? In fact it may be the opposite. 

Michael T. Ghiselin (1939 - ),  an American biologist, and philosopher as well as historian of biology currently at the California Academy of Sciences wrote in 1974:

"Where it suits his own interests, a human being understandably supports his family. If he sees no other way, he is subordinate to the community. 

But give him a chance to live according to his own interests, there is nothing that prevent him from being violent, maim and kill  - his brother, his spouse, his parents or his children. Scratch an "altruists" and you see a hypocrite bleeding."

Harsh words! Ok, in situations of crisis we can be violent and aggressive, but why should this behavior be more "real human nature" than our other behavior?

With regard to  the current state of knowledge, what   should strengthen us  on the assumption that our "bad" behavior comes from the animal kingdom, the "good", however, comes from the human culture?

The Discussion

[13:22] herman Bergson: Thank you....^_^
[13:22] Debbie Dee (framdor): Interesting - thanks prof
[13:23] Qwark Allen: ::::::::: * E * X * C * E * L * L * E * N * T  * ::::::::::
[13:23] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Well I like the comparison with other animals
[13:23] Lizzy Pleides: Thank you Herman!
[13:23] herman Bergson: The famous nature / nurture debate....^_^
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: hmm interesting for sure
[13:23] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): I agree with this.... Only much later in evolution man "invented" morals. It is not an invention of nature but of culture.
[13:24] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): But not with this bit.... Nature and morality relate to each other in deep contradiction.
[13:24] Debbie Dee (framdor): Lorenz makes a weak point. Evolution happens when the weaker traits perish. So the newer evolutionary steps are equally strong
[13:24] herman Bergson: Then you have a serious opponent in Frans de Waal Merlin
[13:24] Catt (catt.gable): is the argument that morals should be invalidated because they are an invention of man?
[13:25] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Yes and he someone who studies animals too I think
[13:25] herman Bergson: Yes Debbie...but sad to say Lorenz was a nazi and that fits with the warrior idea of man
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: however that our basics are to kill each other and cause suffering, that seems strange
[13:25] Lizzy Pleides: perhaps the question how much animal we are is a historical question because the evolution is going on
[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): These human morals ..are they good?
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: cause a basic drive for us is to be social and feel good
[13:26] herman Bergson: Yes Bejiita...of course...
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: really tricky this for sure how this works
[13:26] herman Bergson: we'll end up there of course
[13:26] Debbie Dee (framdor): Moral values help us to co-exist as social animals
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: but u got to wonder, now there is total war in Palestine again
[13:26] herman Bergson: Moral values are the on sequence of us BEING social animals, I would say Debbie
[13:27] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): I am not sure that morality serves any other purpose than practical co-existence and feeling good about ourselves.
[13:27] herman Bergson: That is beside the point Bejiita....that is present politics
[13:27] Debbie Dee (framdor): And it is a recipe for species proliferation....
[13:27] herman Bergson: Sure moral ideas have a function....
[13:28] Debbie Dee (framdor): we are very successful at keeping people alive. all 7 B
[13:28] Qwark Allen: lets see for how long
[13:28] herman Bergson: the question at the moment it just a varnish or is it inherently human as a result of evolution
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): all 7B??...
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what do you mean?
[13:28] Debbie Dee (framdor): billion
[13:28] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): I don't think morality follows from evolution
[13:29] herman Bergson: But our consciousness of good and bad does Merlin ???
[13:29] Debbie Dee (framdor): So how did the commandments come about?
[13:29] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): hmm perhaps
[13:29] Debbie Dee (framdor): they probably evolved ;)
[13:29] herman Bergson: You mean our consciousness is extra terestrial Merlin
[13:30] herman Bergson: From another source than evolution?
[13:30] Debbie Dee (framdor): Oh yes merlin.... I like that concept
[13:30] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Dont forget that man has evolved very little in the last 200,000 years
[13:30] Qwark Allen: eheheh add there 200 000 more
[13:30] Qwark Allen: i`ll say half million years
[13:30] herman Bergson: what are you talking about if we talk about millions of years of evolution….?
[13:31] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): ok I wont argue with that
[13:31] herman Bergson: our most recent rise to consciousness is just 60.000 years old...
[13:31] herman Bergson: a wink of an eye in history
[13:31] Qwark Allen: remember, that never have been found a specie that links us in the evolution tree of darwin
[13:32] Lizzy Pleides: when you drive a car you can see that we still have animal instinct
[13:32] Qwark Allen: so far is not proven that we are a fruit of evolution
[13:32] Debbie Dee (framdor): Well, when did we start to have moral values? A recent new scientist article suggests it was when we started to perceive our mortality, and began to bury the dead.
[13:32] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): OMG come on Quark :(
[13:32] Qwark Allen: natural, that is
[13:32] Qwark Allen: eheheh search about
[13:32] herman Bergson: Qwark...
[13:32] herman Bergson: it has never been proven that we come from elsewhere either :-)
[13:32] Qwark Allen: thats factual reality, about our specie
[13:33] Qwark Allen: we don`t know what are our ancestors
[13:33] herman Bergson: But all our chemistry belongs to this planet...that is proven
[13:33] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): There is a whole sequence of fossils which trace man's evlolution
[13:33] Debbie Dee (framdor): qwark, you have the most amazing facts at your disposal.....
[13:33] herman Bergson: Points at the chart at the wall
[13:33] herman Bergson: I guess you overlook that picture Qwark
[13:33] Qwark Allen: thats a fact, but ... like most of creatures of this planet there isn`t a link for us
[13:34] herman Bergson: there is....
[13:34] Qwark Allen: its the missing link
[13:34] Qwark Allen: that is why it was named "the missing link"
[13:34] herman Bergson: our DNA differs only for 3% from a chimpansee
[13:34] Debbie Dee (framdor): the missing link is the yetti ;)
[13:34] Qwark Allen: not 3% , 0.5%
[13:34] Debbie Dee (framdor): Corect on the dna herman
[13:34] Qwark Allen: to be exact
[13:34] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): There is NO missing link, except that there are always inevitably gaps between all links
[13:35] Qwark Allen: you believe what you want to believe
[13:35] herman Bergson: Indeed Merlin...
[13:35] Qwark Allen: but the theory behind your truth, was not proven to our specie
[13:35] herman Bergson: So I would say....
[13:36] herman Bergson: there IS a strong relation between chimpanses / animals and us, naked apes :-)
[13:36] herman Bergson: That link is evident
[13:36] Qwark Allen: have in mind, that at a point there was 5 different species of hominides
[13:36] herman Bergson: oh yes...
[13:36] Qwark Allen: we are the last ones to survive
[13:36] herman Bergson: all these can be traced to by the DNA of all people...
[13:37] Qwark Allen: and we have genes from neanderthals
[13:37] herman Bergson: that is true Qwark :-)
[13:37] Qwark Allen: when we bread with them
[13:37] herman Bergson: We did our best not to make it, but so far we made it ^_^
[13:37] Qwark Allen: ^^
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:37] Qwark Allen: we are terrible to other species
[13:38] herman Bergson: True ..and sometimes we still are Neanderthalers^_^
[13:38] herman Bergson: That is the whole point here
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:38] Qwark Allen: yes, was where i was getting in the end
[13:38] herman Bergson: We want to be good and we do bad (now and then)
[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): were the Neanderthalers bad people with no morality?
[13:38] Qwark Allen: our instinct of survival is bigger then everything else
[13:38] Debbie Dee (framdor): And we do bad, believing we are doing good sometimes.
[13:39] Qwark Allen: we are just more adaptive
[13:39] herman Bergson: You are right Beertje....I think they weren't
[13:39] Qwark Allen: they were good people like us
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): of course..they were people just you and me
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: no more like animals, just following instincts i think
[13:39] Qwark Allen: just not as well prepared for natural changes
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): just like you and me
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: dont know
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they have a bad name..and whatfore?
[13:39] Qwark Allen: ehheeh a bad name?
[13:40] herman Bergson: Jean Auel describes them in an interesting way....calling them the flatheads
[13:40] Lizzy Pleides: neanderthals are amazing
[13:40] Qwark Allen: i have to say that Qwark, sounds much better then Neanderthal
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: haha well you use to call someone u dont like for F223ck846ng neanderthal!
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: haha
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: heard many times
[13:40] Qwark Allen: but for a Neanderthal, i bet Qwark should sound awfull
[13:40] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:40] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: hahahahahahaha
[13:40] herman Bergson: ^_^
[13:41] herman Bergson: OK...
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: loolo
[13:41] herman Bergson: so
[13:41] herman Bergson: our question is not yet fully answered...
[13:41] herman Bergson: is morals as much a product of evolution as all our other behavior
[13:42] herman Bergson: or is it just something we "invented" to stay alive in a social way?
[13:42] Qwark Allen: i think its a product of society living
[13:42] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Well I think I already gave my view
[13:42] Qwark Allen: you all remember that boy, that grew with animals
[13:42] Lizzy Pleides: Tarzan?
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: hahahahaha
[13:43] herman Bergson: Moglie?
[13:43] Qwark Allen: he was a good boy, but his morality for our standards, was, not the same
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Mowgli
[13:43] herman Bergson: Romulus and Remulus?
[13:43] Qwark Allen: was a true story
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: aaa jungle book u mean?
[13:43] Qwark Allen: in the 20th century
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: yes think that might have been the case when i think of it
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: sounds familiar
[13:43] herman Bergson: But Qwark.....
[13:44] Qwark Allen: he was found with still adolescent
[13:44] herman Bergson: Was that boy able to care for someone?
[13:44] Vadaman: Romulus and Remus? Talking about killing your brother.
[13:44] herman Bergson: Love someone
[13:44] herman Bergson: KNow when someone was hurt or sad?
[13:44] Qwark Allen: that is the point
[13:44] herman Bergson: It is...
[13:44] Qwark Allen: society and education gives you the values to live on community
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): he cared about his family..his animal family
[13:45] herman Bergson: Wolves and chimpansees do too Qwark
[13:45] Qwark Allen: yes, true, just not the same  ones, we have
[13:45] herman Bergson: the only difference is that only we are conscious of this fact
[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): are you sure Herman?
[13:45] Qwark Allen: we can have another example, of New Guinea, in the Pacific
[13:46] Qwark Allen: with the headhunters
[13:46] herman Bergson: Yes Beertje..otherwise we never would have a debate on ethics
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:46] Qwark Allen: for us is morally wrong to kill someone and eat him
[13:46] herman Bergson: That is for headhunters too Qwark....
[13:46] Qwark Allen: in their culture was ok, cause they thought, the killed friend, was living inside them, after being ate
[13:47] herman Bergson: They only hunt their enemy....
[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): an animal doesn't eat his own species as well qwark
[13:47] Qwark Allen: heeheh friends to
[13:47] herman Bergson: Some do Beertje...
[13:47] Lizzy Pleides: beertje animals eat their own species
[13:47] herman Bergson: Most famous one is the Spider...the female one who eats her lover after a one night stand ^_^
[13:47] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Cannibalism is biologically hazardous, for example the Mad Cow Disease episode
[13:47] Qwark Allen: hhehehe yes
[13:48] Qwark Allen: mad cow is related with a bug, a vibration
[13:48] herman Bergson: Indeed Merlin....
[13:48] Qwark Allen: not much about it, so far
[13:48] herman Bergson: was a creepy thing feeding cows 'meat'
[13:48] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): yes
[13:48] Lizzy Pleides: oh yes!
[13:48] Qwark Allen: infected with vibrations, food
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: prions i think its called
[13:49] Qwark Allen: yes that it
[13:50] Vadaman: When men are starving they eat other men.
[13:50] herman Bergson: Has happened indeed...
[13:50] Vadaman: Stalingrad.
[13:50] herman Bergson: I once mentioned the lifeboat incident here...
[13:50] herman Bergson: But ok....
[13:51] herman Bergson: maybe we might take a vote...
[13:51] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Wasn't there a plane crash in the Andes too?
[13:51] herman Bergson: option A
[13:51] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Or was that fiction?
[13:51] Vadaman: Rugbyteam
[13:51] herman Bergson: Morality is just a varnish created by culture
[13:51] herman Bergson: option B
[13:51] Lizzy Pleides: yes mwelin
[13:51] herman Bergson: Morality is the result of evolution which made us social beings
[13:52] herman Bergson: ok...what is your answer?
[13:52] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Sorry... I see Herman is trying to get us back on topic
[13:52] Qwark Allen: i think it depends on the level of survival need, according to the need at the reality
[13:52] herman Bergson: A or B
[13:52] Debbie Dee (framdor): option B for me ;)
[13:52] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): option a for me
[13:52] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Well it's A for me
[13:52] Qwark Allen: its A and B
[13:52] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:52] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: heheh
[13:53] herman Bergson: these are jsut three are 8!
[13:53] herman Bergson: A: 2 B:1 sofar
[13:53] herman Bergson: come on...!
[13:53] Qwark Allen: when we started to live in groups, morality evolved with it
[13:53] Debbie Dee (framdor): evolved = B
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: hhm tricky but i say B, our base instinct cant be all evil
[13:53] Lizzy Pleides: is A and B a contradiction?
[13:53] Vadaman: I hope B
[13:54] herman Bergson: smiles at Vadaman...
[13:54] Qwark Allen: its A also, cause to live in society makes it
[13:54] herman Bergson: yes Lizzy
[13:54] Lizzy Pleides: ok then i tend to B
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: and I for example have nothing of soul in me wouldn't be able to hurt some other person
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: or something similar
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: would feel so wrong to do
[13:55] Lizzy Pleides: do you drive a car bejiita?
[13:55] herman Bergson: you are just well educated Bejiita ^_^
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: if it was A that wouldn't be correct on me
[13:55] Qwark Allen: its another adaptive tool we have to keep surviving in this planet
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: hmm well that might be a thing too
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: its sooo tricky and complex all this
[13:56] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): I am just trying to summarize that question:
option A
Morality is just a varnish created by culture
option B
Morality is the result of evolution which made us social beings
[13:56] herman Bergson: Yes it is Bejiita
[13:56] herman Bergson: OK Merlin
[13:56] herman Bergson: A = Nurture, B = Nature
[13:57] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): yess
[13:57] herman Bergson: OK..I guess we need another lecture on this ^_^
[13:57] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): lol
[13:57] Debbie Dee (framdor): I guess so...
[13:57] herman Bergson: so...thank you all for your participation...:-))
[13:57] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ^_^
[13:58] Lizzy Pleides: this is so exciting
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: really interesting it was for sure
[13:58] Qwark Allen: imagine tomorrow a flare hits earth, and all will be without electricity, then you`ll see the moral of our society
[13:58] Bejiita Imako:
[13:58] Debbie Dee (framdor): Thank you Herman - confusion reigns...
[13:58] herman Bergson: Then you should make a difference here Qwark...
[13:59] herman Bergson: Look at that situation in the short term and the long term
[13:59] Qwark Allen: short term chaos,
[13:59] Qwark Allen: long term, reorganization
[13:59] herman Bergson: In the short term worst of us will surface...but inthe long term...???
[14:00] Qwark Allen: yes, was what i said
[14:00] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Are we all refusing to leave?
[14:00] herman Bergson: But if we want to reorganize we need ethics....the differenc ebetween good and bad
[14:00] herman Bergson: lol Merlin
[14:00] Qwark Allen: that is why, i was saying, all depend on the level of survival need for the the time
[14:00] herman Bergson: SHould I eject you all then????lol
[14:00] Bejiita Imako: hahaha
[14:00] Qwark Allen: individual, or social
[14:00] Qwark Allen: AAHH!!!
[14:01] Qwark Allen: just ten more minutes
[14:01] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[14:01] Qwark Allen: lol
[14:01] Bejiita Imako:
[14:01] herman Bergson: lol
[14:01] herman Bergson: Well the only thing of dismissing class is that I am no longer responsable for what happens after ^_^
[14:01] Debbie Dee (framdor): I've got to go.... bye all
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[14:01] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol Herman
[14:01] Bejiita Imako: ok cu Debbie
[14:02] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Bye Debbie
[14:02] herman Bergson: ok Debbie...nice you were here
[14:02] Vadaman: Bye!

No comments:

Post a Comment