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Thread: is evolution an excuse?

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    Default is evolution an excuse?

    does evolution provide a moral basis for human behavior? i've been reading sartre go on about how if there is no god and no predetermined morality, then we create our own. and then today i saw this thread in which @xerx seemed to argue that evolutionary psychology discredited sex-positive feminism. and i was thinking about how science is replacing religion when it comes to understanding how the world works. and it seems like its taken for granted sometimes that if our behavior stems from biology, and is therefore natural, then its excusable or at least provides some kind of foundation for excusable behavior. but where does personal responsibility and free will come into play? what do you think?

    i think @rat1 might have thoughts about this.

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    Evolutionary psychology, in its current state, does contest the claim made by sex-positive feminists re: the versatility of female sexuality. That said, I'm pretty sure that evopsych still has problems being accepted as a hard science, particularly in more rigorous domains where testing under laboratory conditions is carried out, or where molecular evidence is the lowest requirement for making a case.
    Last edited by xerx; 12-06-2013 at 06:16 PM.
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    even if a statistically relevant sample of women accorded perfectly with the evolutionary hypothesis, there would still be some who didn't. a problem with talking about evolution is the tendency for laymen to misconstrue it as a species-wide phenomenon. in reality, there are huge variations within species that, under proper conditioning, allow for the formation of new species.

    also, there is lots of seriously crap evolutionary psychology articles on the internet which cheerfully and very conveniently accord with the author's own biases and bigoted opinions. satoshi kanazawa is at the forefront of this. saad gad is another douchebag whose "research" somehow always draws conclusions that fit neatly into the capitalist world view.

    both are business professors, go figure. never let anybody use a prestigious name to sell you something.
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lungs View Post
    does evolution provide a moral basis for human behavior? i've been reading sartre go on about how if there is no god and no predetermined morality, then we create our own. and then today i saw this thread in which @xerx seemed to argue that evolutionary psychology discredited sex-positive feminism. and i was thinking about how science is replacing religion when it comes to understanding how the world works. and it seems like its taken for granted sometimes that if our behavior stems from biology, and is therefore natural, then its excusable or at least provides some kind of foundation for excusable behavior. but where does personal responsibility and free will come into play? what do you think?

    i think @rat1 might have thoughts about this.
    If you enter a monogamous relationship with the mutual understanding that neither partner sleeps around, then you have no excuse to sleep around. If a guy in said situation came to me and said *but honey, it is my evolutionary destiny to spread my seed and I couldn't help myself,* I would laugh and inform him that his pathetic seed is better left unspread.
    “Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us”
    ― Pablo Neruda

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    Whether there's a God or not depends on how you define him. If you define God as the primordial conscious observer it's a pretty universal non-dogmatic definition. God has been overly dogmatized and that's why he's so easily rejected by scientists.
    So the primordial observer is that objective perspective on reality. By obeying God, one is recognizing the objective reality through conscious observation. Choices that are more evolutionary come from a fuller consideration of reality, with a bias for survival, By recognizing the overall picture and adapting to it properly, one survives. So evolution itself is a moral imperative for survival, and that means following 'God'.
    I think people forget that their perspective on reality is itself objective, and get lost in trying to find a somehow more objective perspective. That is one of the biggest neuroticisms that comes from belief in God. Individuals can take control of their life... individuals aren't enslaved to an outside source of awareness.
    ALso, death is inevitable... it's an inseparable part of the primordial conscious observer. There is always a nothingness beyond the perspective of the observer which underlies his existence. So an evolutionary imperative for survival is still just a bias.
    That nothingness is the void realm ... it's a place where things can be imagined. Creation comes out of the void. Life & death are a neverending cycle.

    I think certain things have to die while other things live on. Some people are basically born to die. The bible says that itself... God created things to die for the 'greater glory of those that lived' (greater according to Paul).
    Last edited by rat1; 12-06-2013 at 05:26 PM.

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    Using a evolution as a excuse for moral failings is a naturalistic fallacy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    even if a statistically relevant sample of women accorded perfectly with the evolutionary hypothesis, there would still be some who didn't. a problem with talking about evolution is the tendency for laymen to misconstrue it as a species-wide phenomenon. in reality, there are huge variations within species that, under proper conditioning, allow for the formation of new species.

    also, there is lots of seriously crap evolutionary psychology articles on the internet which cheerfully and very conveniently accord with the author's own biases and bigoted opinions. satoshi kanazawa is at the forefront of this. saad gad is another douchebag whose "research" somehow always draws conclusions that fit neatly into the capitalist world view.

    both are business professors, go figure. never let anybody use a prestigious name to sell you something.
    I think the researchers that draw moral conclusions from evopsych studies fall into a trap, the moral conclusion has to be based on harm and other criteria not "nature".

    My view on evolutionary psychology and what legitimate discoveries it can make is positive because I think it's important to go against the grain in relation to nature on many things. A big part of social development in my opinion is overcoming the more unpleasant aspects of human nature.

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    Would you give an excuse for breaking your leg or getting cancer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rat1 View Post
    Would you give an excuse for breaking your leg or getting cancer?
    Depend if I made a promise not to break my leg or get cancer.

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    WHat would motivate you to make a promise like that

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    Quote Originally Posted by rat1 View Post
    Would you give an excuse for breaking your leg or getting cancer?
    idk. maybe if i broke my leg in a really stupid way i'd come up with an excuse. but not that it was nature's way lol.
    i think free will allows us to act in ways that might not be in accordance with our biological inclinations. like kim's cheating example.
    but maybe that's not entirely true. for example if i sense a threat i'll go into fight-or-flight mode because its the biological response, whether i want to or not.

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    Even though it's a failure of your free will when you break your leg you can't really say death / injuries aren't a part of nature.
    You have free will given a certain limited range of choices... So the choices are both free and determined.
    That's kind of the relationship between God and "Satan". Satan gives a deterministic, animal perspective on things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rat1 View Post
    WHat would motivate you to make a promise like that
    Nothing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    Nothing?
    Then why do it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rat1 View Post
    Then why do it?
    I don't do it.

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    I don't see why I'd honor a promise I made for no reason, being of no consequence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    I think the researchers that draw moral conclusions from evopsych studies fall into a trap, the moral conclusion has to be based on harm and other criteria not "nature".
    Yeah, pretty much. Pop evopsych is especially prone to committing the naturalistic fallacy.
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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