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kudayta
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Postby kudayta » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:31 pm

Schubdüse wrote:
kudayta wrote:Ribozymes are complex structures that could not have happened by chance. Some sort of process resulted in their existence. That process remains a mystery.

Hmm, I'm not sure about that. Ribozymes are not that complex. Maybe their precursors can be even explained by a self-assembly process.
I think, I have read a chemisty paper or an article about artificial ribozymes, which were very easily created by natural reaction starters (uv-light, flashes, you know the story.)
But I won't start an argument here until I have found this article.
And of course you are right, the origin of life remains to be uncovered. (I don't like words like mystery or wonder in the context of science. For instance, there is no wonder of life.) :P


Yeah, it could very well be that I flubbed the origin of ribozymes assertion. Biochemists may know full well how they came to be. In any case, I'm still not qualified to comment on them, except to say that there was a ratcheting process involved in their creation. They are too complex to have simply popped into existence by some quantum event in the time frames we're looking at. The universe just isn't old enough for that.
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:36 pm

-- Tobias -- wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote: Who's to say that boy in the analogy wasn't raised by decent people ...

LOL. I forget to tell you the rest of the story! It was his dog that placed the mess where he targeted (during lunch time). [Assumptions = bad]

None of that changes my point. :p (I said decent, not perfect)

-- Tobias -- wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote: the root cause of your action was selfishness ...


I prefer "enlightened self-interest." But you are focusing on the self-interest part, where I am trying to stress the enlightened part. While I was perhaps lucky enough to realize a particular connection in that instance, my more general point is that no matter how much data we have, and no matter how powerful our processing capabilities, we would be quite arrogant to believe we have ever captured all the relevant data or have made no false or incomplete assumptions to rationally "manage" morality.

Enlightened self-interest is still 'self' interest. :P Boil it down to the core, and you see human beings are not naturally predisposed to giving, even out of selfishness. In fact, it's quite the opposite (see below).

-- Tobias -- wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote:who gets to decide right from wrong? ... Very few people would decide that "what's good for me is to do good for you, because that helps me too."


Well, Hume might say that we innately already know what's right and wrong: we have a sense of how we would feel if acted upon similarly.

Have you ever seen two infants or todlers play together, unsupervised, for any length of time? They have not yet been indoctrinated with good, evil, god, or anything else and yet they will, sooner or later, fight over something. Adding any number of years to that, at the core, you still have the very same thing.

-- Tobias -- wrote:
kudayta wrote:I find a rather profound sense of meaning in the pursuit of knowledge ...

Really. I never could get my head around that whole Garden of Eden story anyway. What's so bad about sex? And what could possibly be wrong with the Tree of Knowledge? btw, I'm still looking for seedlings of a shade-loving variety of the TOK for my backyard.

1. Nothing is bad about sex.
2. Tree of knowledge; let's not get into a purely religious topic. Go ask the internets or something. :P
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Postby kudayta » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:41 pm

-- Tobias -- wrote:Really. I never could get my head around that whole Garden of Eden story anyway. What's so bad about sex? And what could possibly be wrong with the Tree of Knowledge? btw, I'm still looking for seedlings of a shade-loving variety of the TOK for my backyard


It's even worse than that. The full name was The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. So before Adam and Eve ate the apple, they didn't know that disobeying God is a bad thing to do. God, isn't God such a shit!
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Postby kudayta » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:45 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:Have you ever seen two infants or todlers play together, unsupervised, for any length of time? They have not yet been indoctrinated with good, evil, god, or anything else and yet they will, sooner or later, fight over something. Adding any number of years to that, at the core, you still have the very same thing.


Have you ever seen or heard of a parent sacrificing him or herself to save the life of its child? That happens naturally as well, even with other species. It's not as simplistic as Hobbes' "nasty, brutish and short" would have you believe.
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:57 pm

kudayta wrote:It's even worse than that. The full name was The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. So before Adam and Eve ate the apple, they didn't know that disobeying God is a bad thing to do. God, isn't God such a shit!

Yes, they did, and it we don't know if it was an apple. I think you might want to re-read the story before making such claims. :wink:

kudayta wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote:Have you ever seen two infants or todlers play together, unsupervised, for any length of time? They have not yet been indoctrinated with good, evil, god, or anything else and yet they will, sooner or later, fight over something. Adding any number of years to that, at the core, you still have the very same thing.


Have you ever seen or heard of a parent sacrificing him or herself to save the life of its child? That happens naturally as well, even with other species. It's not as simplistic as Hobbes' "nasty, brutish and short" would have you believe.

Let me just leave this here...

Code: Select all

Jaron Lanier: ‘There’s a large group of people who simply are uncomfortable with accepting evolution because it leads to what they perceive as a moral vacuum, in which their best impulses have no basis in nature.’
Richard Dawkins: ‘All I can say is, That’s just tough. We have to face up to the truth.


Evolution: The dissent of Darwin,’ Psychology Today 30(1):62, January/February 1997, quoted in Creation 20(3):44, June 1998.
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Postby kudayta » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:14 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:
kudayta wrote:It's even worse than that. The full name was The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. So before Adam and Eve ate the apple, they didn't know that disobeying God is a bad thing to do. God, isn't God such a shit!

Yes, they did, and it we don't know if it was an apple. I think you might want to re-read the story before making such claims. :wink:

kudayta wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote:Have you ever seen two infants or todlers play together, unsupervised, for any length of time? They have not yet been indoctrinated with good, evil, god, or anything else and yet they will, sooner or later, fight over something. Adding any number of years to that, at the core, you still have the very same thing.


Have you ever seen or heard of a parent sacrificing him or herself to save the life of its child? That happens naturally as well, even with other species. It's not as simplistic as Hobbes' "nasty, brutish and short" would have you believe.

Let me just leave this here...

Code: Select all

Jaron Lanier: ‘There’s a large group of people who simply are uncomfortable with accepting evolution because it leads to what they perceive as a moral vacuum, in which their best impulses have no basis in nature.’
Richard Dawkins: ‘All I can say is, That’s just tough. We have to face up to the truth.


Evolution: The dissent of Darwin,’ Psychology Today 30(1):62, January/February 1997, quoted in Creation 20(3):44, June 1998.


Sweet! Quote Wars!

Richard Dawkins wrote:If you wish to extract a moral from it, read it as a warning. Be warned that if you wish, as I do, to build a society in which individuals cooperate generously and unselfishly towards a common good, you can expect little help from biological nature. (quoted from The Selfish Gene)


We should never fall into the mistake of thinking that just because an act is moral we will find it in nature, or that because an act is natural it is therefore moral. The concepts of morality and nature do not intertwine that easily. I will state that the main thrust of Dawkins' The Selfish Gene is that altruistic behavior is genetically selfish. Dawkins does point to several examples in this book where seemingly self-sacrificing behavior has an underlying benefit to the genes in question. We can also look to so called Green Beard effects in nature for more examples.

These concepts can get a bit tricky to deal with, and the math isn't always accessible to the layman. Furthermore, there has been some pretty serious professional criticism leveled at Dawkins over his gene-centric views of evolution. It's a topic I find fascinating, but then again I studied this stuff in college. It's probably rather boring to most people.
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:21 pm

About to leave for home, but I found this online and thought it was funny (in a point making way).

You remind me of a story that was told about the French atheist Voltaire (1694-1778). It is said that when he had atheist friends over for dinner they spoke openly, while being served, of their atheism. But, Voltaire told them to shut up, that he didn’t want such godless talk in front of the hired help because if they believed this they might murder him in his sleep and rob him.

I don't know if the story is true or not, but it certainly has a way of bringing life to what I'm saying. :P

Edit: Also, I think your quote agrees with mine (duh, same person), so where's the 'wars' part? :P
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Postby kudayta » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:38 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:About to leave for home, but I found this online and thought it was funny (in a point making way).

You remind me of a story that was told about the French atheist Voltaire (1694-1778). It is said that when he had atheist friends over for dinner they spoke openly, while being served, of their atheism. But, Voltaire told them to shut up, that he didn’t want such godless talk in front of the hired help because if they believed this they might murder him in his sleep and rob him.

I don't know if the story is true or not, but it certainly has a way of bringing life to what I'm saying. :P

Edit: Also, I think your quote agrees with mine (duh, same person), so where's the 'wars' part? :P


Yeah, life on the cutting edge of The Enlightenment in France was probably a lot dicier than life in Arizona in the early 21st Century (I don't know if the story is true either, the only sources I've found for it are places like Answers in Genesis). I dare say that because of men like Voltaire, I can push the envelope a bit further in the name of reason, sanity and liberalism. And yeah, the quotes largely agree (duh, same person) so the "wars" thing was mostly a joke. I wanted to get something a bit more substantive from Dawkins in the thread, since a mere slamming the door shut is good for TV, but not for Internet arguments. :)

I've not read the interview from '97 in Psychology Today, but I imagine Dawkins was a bit pissy about being asked such a droll question from an interviewer who represented a magazine that's supposed to be about science.
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Postby rus|Mike » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:44 pm

Wow, evolution/religion/science debate hidden inside "BANNED on SFCON" thread :shock: No surprise I have just located it now.
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Postby kudayta » Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:02 pm

rus|Mike wrote:Wow, evolution/religion/science debate hidden inside "BANNED on SFCON" thread :shock: No surprise I have just located it now.


You gotta love how the ideological differences between forum members are always just below the proverbial boiling point.
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Postby -- Tobias -- » Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:18 am

Ace Rimmer wrote:Have you ever seen two infants or todlers play together, unsupervised, for any length of time? They have not yet been indoctrinated with good, evil, god, or anything else and yet they will, sooner or later, fight over something. Adding any number of years to that, at the core, you still have the very same thing.


Are you therefore suggesting that since conflict arises "naturally," there is no such thing as good or bad behaviors?

No need to interject God into this scenario at all, and even if I grant you that fighting "over something" amongst children will always arise spontaneously (which I am reluctant to do), and even if I grant you that bad behavior "at the core" is about seeking to obtain possession of property which is not one's own (which I am less reluctant to do), we make a significant distinction between children and adults. You take Tommy's toy as a child, you get spanked (or Tommy hits you and doesn't invite you to his birthday party). You take Tommy's horse as an adult, you get hanged (or Tommy hangs you, and the town throws a party on Tommy's behalf).
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Postby kudayta » Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:35 am

-- Tobias -- wrote:
Ace Rimmer wrote:Have you ever seen two infants or todlers play together, unsupervised, for any length of time? They have not yet been indoctrinated with good, evil, god, or anything else and yet they will, sooner or later, fight over something. Adding any number of years to that, at the core, you still have the very same thing.


Are you therefore suggesting that since conflict arises "naturally," there is no such thing as good or bad behaviors?

No need to interject God into this scenario at all, and even if I grant you that fighting "over something" amongst children will always arise spontaneously (which I am reluctant to do), and even if I grant you that bad behavior "at the core" is about seeking to obtain possession of property which is not one's own (which I am less reluctant to do), we make a significant distinction between children and adults. You take Tommy's toy as a child, you get spanked (or Tommy hits you and doesn't invite you to his birthday party). You take Tommy's horse as an adult, you get hanged (or Tommy hangs you, and the town throws a party on Tommy's behalf).


I think Ace's point there was that because humans have a natural tendency towards aggression, then we need to teach morality in order to properly socialize humans. It's veneer theory.

I don't completely agree with that point of view, but I do think that humans have a natural tendency towards aggression (among a wide variety of other behaviors). In other words, our tendencies towards aggression are coupled with tendencies towards compassion, mercy, lust, greed, and so on. Morality is at least as much a function of our biology as it is a function of our culture.
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Postby kudayta » Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:41 am

http://www.ted.com/talks/frans_de_waal_ ... orals.html

If you've got an extra 17 minutes, this is a good presentation along the lines of what I've been saying.
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Postby -- Tobias -- » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:09 am

I generally agree with this line of thinking (i.e., that morality is innate and an evolved sense of sorts). Unlike you kudayta, who seems to have considered and rejected a future "big bad bang," I am genuinely concerned that our morals are not evolving fast enough (by this I mean the vivacity of moral impressions felt by individuals; more so the depth than the breadth) to forestall a true human calamity. And, as I was saying regarding randomness: it won't be because we will be unable to clearly see the problem at the time - but rather it will be as the consequence of our late moral development. Our previous immoral behavior will have already eliminated the possibilities that would then be required to solve the problem. In short: the short-sighted wrong-doer jeopardizes not only his, but our entire future. When someone steals, for example, they not only steal fifty bucks today from someone else, they are incrementally stealing some unquantifiable possibility from the future from all of us.
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Postby Laika » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:36 am

He can also obtain some possibility for himself / his people in long term. When USSR stolen US intel on a-bomb, it certainly didn't put soviets' future into more jeopardy. Robin Hood was one time popular because people thought that stealing from riches and giving to poor is a quite moral deed (most of those people were poor, that's another story). Imo real situation is always complicated enough to make absolute assumptions of any kind wrong.

Only sith deal in absolutes. lol.

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