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Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:09 AM

how does atheism/materialism account for

Love, hate, friendship, jealousy, heroism, narcissism, beauty,

174 replies, 8743 views

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Arrow 174 replies Author Time Post
Reply how does atheism/materialism account for (Original post)
arely staircase Jan 2014 OP
longship Jan 2014 #1
rug Jan 2014 #2
rexcat Jan 2014 #3
rug Jan 2014 #4
TheBlackAdder Jan 2014 #61
rug Jan 2014 #62
TheBlackAdder Jan 2014 #63
rug Jan 2014 #65
Brettongarcia Jan 2014 #149
rug Jan 2014 #150
Brettongarcia Jan 2014 #153
rug Jan 2014 #155
Brettongarcia Jan 2014 #159
rug Jan 2014 #163
rexcat Jan 2014 #75
arely staircase Jan 2014 #137
longship Jan 2014 #6
rug Jan 2014 #7
longship Jan 2014 #16
TexasProgresive Jan 2014 #19
rug Jan 2014 #24
edhopper Jan 2014 #5
arely staircase Jan 2014 #8
edhopper Jan 2014 #9
arely staircase Jan 2014 #11
edhopper Jan 2014 #13
arely staircase Jan 2014 #20
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2014 #21
edhopper Jan 2014 #25
arely staircase Jan 2014 #52
edhopper Jan 2014 #70
arely staircase Jan 2014 #90
edhopper Jan 2014 #92
arely staircase Jan 2014 #139
NoOneMan Jan 2014 #74
Theodis Jan 2014 #28
cbayer Jan 2014 #31
edhopper Jan 2014 #38
cbayer Jan 2014 #41
edhopper Jan 2014 #43
Theodis Jan 2014 #99
edhopper Jan 2014 #102
Theodis Jan 2014 #146
edhopper Jan 2014 #147
Theodis Jan 2014 #171
edhopper Jan 2014 #173
edhopper Jan 2014 #34
cbayer Jan 2014 #37
edhopper Jan 2014 #42
cbayer Jan 2014 #45
edhopper Jan 2014 #68
cbayer Jan 2014 #71
Theodis Jan 2014 #100
edhopper Jan 2014 #101
Warren Stupidity Jan 2014 #49
ArcticFox Jan 2014 #10
arely staircase Jan 2014 #12
LostOne4Ever Jan 2014 #14
DreamGypsy Jan 2014 #17
longship Jan 2014 #35
LostOne4Ever Jan 2014 #106
LostOne4Ever Jan 2014 #105
uriel1972 Jan 2014 #18
arely staircase Jan 2014 #138
DreamGypsy Jan 2014 #15
skepticscott Jan 2014 #22
Warpy Jan 2014 #76
Jim__ Jan 2014 #23
cbayer Jan 2014 #26
okasha Jan 2014 #91
cbayer Jan 2014 #93
okasha Jan 2014 #95
JNelson6563 Jan 2014 #27
on point Jan 2014 #29
cbayer Jan 2014 #32
on point Jan 2014 #40
cbayer Jan 2014 #44
on point Jan 2014 #46
cbayer Jan 2014 #47
JoePhilly Jan 2014 #50
cbayer Jan 2014 #53
on point Jan 2014 #55
cbayer Jan 2014 #58
skepticscott Jan 2014 #64
on point Jan 2014 #69
cbayer Jan 2014 #72
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2014 #56
cbayer Jan 2014 #59
Nay Jan 2014 #30
JoePhilly Jan 2014 #36
JoePhilly Jan 2014 #33
cbayer Jan 2014 #39
JoePhilly Jan 2014 #48
cbayer Jan 2014 #51
JoePhilly Jan 2014 #67
skepticscott Jan 2014 #79
JoePhilly Jan 2014 #88
pinto Jan 2014 #89
rurallib Jan 2014 #54
cbayer Jan 2014 #60
skepticscott Jan 2014 #94
gcomeau Jan 2014 #57
rug Jan 2014 #66
gcomeau Jan 2014 #77
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gcomeau Jan 2014 #80
rug Jan 2014 #81
gcomeau Jan 2014 #82
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gcomeau Jan 2014 #84
rug Jan 2014 #85
gcomeau Jan 2014 #86
Brettongarcia Jan 2014 #148
rug Jan 2014 #151
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rug Jan 2014 #154
Brettongarcia Jan 2014 #156
rug Jan 2014 #158
edhopper Jan 2014 #161
rug Jan 2014 #162
edhopper Jan 2014 #164
Brettongarcia Jan 2014 #165
rug Jan 2014 #166
edhopper Jan 2014 #167
rug Jan 2014 #168
edhopper Jan 2014 #169
rug Jan 2014 #170
edhopper Jan 2014 #172
pinto Jan 2014 #73
phil89 Jan 2014 #87
trotsky Jan 2014 #96
rug Jan 2014 #97
edhopper Jan 2014 #98
rug Jan 2014 #108
edhopper Jan 2014 #110
rug Jan 2014 #111
edhopper Jan 2014 #112
rug Jan 2014 #113
edhopper Jan 2014 #114
rug Jan 2014 #115
edhopper Jan 2014 #116
rug Jan 2014 #118
Jim__ Jan 2014 #120
edhopper Jan 2014 #122
Jim__ Jan 2014 #123
edhopper Jan 2014 #129
Jim__ Jan 2014 #130
edhopper Jan 2014 #131
Jim__ Jan 2014 #145
rug Jan 2014 #124
gcomeau Jan 2014 #121
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gcomeau Jan 2014 #126
rug Jan 2014 #127
gcomeau Jan 2014 #128
rug Jan 2014 #135
gcomeau Jan 2014 #140
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gcomeau Jan 2014 #142
rug Jan 2014 #143
gcomeau Jan 2014 #144
Shivering Jemmy Jan 2014 #103
Act_of_Reparation Jan 2014 #104
LeftishBrit Jan 2014 #107
arely staircase Jan 2014 #136
Iggo Jan 2014 #109
cbayer Jan 2014 #117
trotsky Jan 2014 #119
Humanist_Activist Jan 2014 #133
cbayer Jan 2014 #134
Humanist_Activist Jan 2014 #132
longship Jan 2014 #157
ladjf Jan 2014 #160
2ndAmForComputers Jan 2014 #174

Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:11 AM

1. It doesn't. But neither does religion.

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Response to longship (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:12 AM

2. Do those things exist?

 

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:19 AM

3. They exist...

subjectively in the human mind.

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Response to rexcat (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:23 AM

4. Can a subjective thing have objective realty?

 

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Response to rug (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:34 PM

61. Objective as in a group consensus?

People are constantly told what to think and how to formulate their thoughts.

They might find something attractive as a child, only be be redirected by peer pressure, adversing, social norms, etc. These impressions change over the history of man, so they are not concrete, as reality would dictate


One day, prevalent thought was that attractive women were 30-40 lbs heavier than what they are today. Does that mean that a woman of the 1920's no longer holds the beauty that they one held?


===


As such, things that are objectified in our minds as having certain traits, thoughts that express wants or desires, does not mean there is existence to them. It is how our minds place an abstract reality to thought or an object's true state.

The state of reality is, whatever is.. IS.

Any human associations are abstract impressions applied to it by the mind.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #61)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:38 PM

62. Objective as in observable from the outside.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #62)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:40 PM

63. Who observes it from the outside, as a neutral with no predispositions?

This comes back to who is the person/group assessing what is objective and how the basis of objectivity is derived?

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #63)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 02:09 PM

65. Ok, this is apropos.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #65)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 11:42 AM

149. That's a pyrhhic answer: if all the world is a delusion, then of course EVERYTHING cancels.

Including Christianity

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Response to Brettongarcia (Reply #149)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 01:48 PM

150. Your last two words are superfluous.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #150)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 02:10 PM

153. Not entirely. We need to make this explicit

Since much of religion simply decrees that "the world" is indeed, an illusion. And then goes on to claim however an entirely otherworldly domain.

By the way, this entirely otherworldly kind of religion, does not square with the Bible; which gives us a God who in the beginning, made the entire physical universe. Who promises physical rewards. Who promises to return to this material "earth." Etc.

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Response to Brettongarcia (Reply #153)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 02:12 PM

155. Except the subthread was not discussing religion at all.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #155)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 02:33 PM

159. If all the world is a delusion, then there's no point in ANY discussion

As for knowing what is in the mind/brain/subjectivity of others? In human society, intersubjective agreement. Empathy. Assumption that others are like us; while we know our own feelings.

In philosophy, one can philosophically reject the possibility of all objectivity. As say, Post Structuralism seemed to. But eventually even Post Structuralism was philosophically discredited, or bypassed. Most today agree that we can know a reasonably "real" reality. And in any case, in everyday life, most people act as if reality is real: they move out of the way of what appears to be an oncoming bus, acting as if it was real.

Science cannot prove the reality we see is real; but it seems a workable assumption. One that if you abandon, appears to be physically fatal. Science overall accepts the reality of reality therefore.

So given these methodological conventions of Science: can we reasonably discover what is going on in the mind of animals? Given their evolutionary genetic kinship to humans, similarities in brain structure, and occasionally observed similarities in behavior, it seems plausible to many that many of the basic emotions thought to be partially constitutive of religion - like "love" ("God is love," etc.) - are quite likely found in animals.

And the Bible makes parts of this explicit it seems, for Christians: "observe the ravens" Jesus tells us; what they do forms moral lessons - religion. For Jesus at least.

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Response to Brettongarcia (Reply #159)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 03:54 PM

163. I agre . . . .

 

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Response to rug (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 04:27 PM

75. For beauty...

that would be a group consensus. Reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode where what we would consider normal was ugly in the society being depicted. A women had reconstructive surgery and when the bandages were unwrapped she looked normal and good looking to us the audience but to the society being portrayed she was ugly and horrific looking.

For the others (love, hate, etc.) more of a chemical reaction of the brain. Possibly controlled genetically. Not sure how to classify these.

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Response to rexcat (Reply #75)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 06:37 PM

137. though beauty especially when it comes to art often lacks consensus nt

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:35 AM

6. That's a very good question.

If one looks through politics, religion, culture, and the written word through the ages, one realizes that these things have been ever present.

Why would one segment, a belief in gods, be able to stake a claim on them? The answer I would suggest is political power, which seems to be ever present in human endeavors.

Beyond that, the only answer I might have is that these are vestiges of inherent human nature, or maybe an evolved trait of life in general. Not that I am an advocate of evolutionary psychology, but in spite of its problems it at least has a semblance of an explanation.

More research may tell. I think Dawkins' meme may be a very important contribution to this.

Otherwise, the burden of proof rests on those who claim that they have an answer. I don't think anybody does least of all the theists, who seemingly claim that very thing.

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Response to longship (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:46 AM

7. Well, leaving out atheism for the moment, the OP asked if materialism can explain it.

 

Being no scientist, the only thing that comes to my mind is some form of bioelectric function. But, given what is to be explained, that's not a very satisfying answer.

I'm deliberately avoiding a nonmaterial explanation because that leads to well-trodden territory.

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Response to rug (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 02:22 AM

16. What is bioelectric function?

That's a term I am not aware of.

Not surprised that one would avoid a non-materialist explanation in that context. The question is -- treading into treacherous territory here -- what is reality?

The methodological naturalism framework (science) makes the claim that nature is the final and ultimate arbitration of reality. The extent to which a hypothesis differs from nature's data, is the extent to which it is falsified.

I have a degree in physics and I never heard of bioelectric function. Maybe my education is too old, or too shallow.

Regards.

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Response to longship (Reply #16)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 07:15 AM

19. From the Encyclopaeda Britannica

Bioelectric effects

Bioelectricity refers to the generation or action of electric currents or voltages in biological processes. Bioelectric phenomena include fast signaling in nerves and the triggering of physical processes in muscles or glands. There is some similarity among the nerves, muscles, and glands of all organisms, possibly because fairly efficient electrochemical systems evolved early. Scientific studies tend to focus on the following: nerve or muscle tissue; such organs as the heart, brain, eye, ear, stomach, and certain glands; electric organs in some fish; and potentials associated with damaged tissue.
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/182915/electricity/71583/Bioelectric-effects


Perhaps if you can remember your high school biology setting aside your degree in physics this will come to mind. Biology is the one scientific discipline where chemistry and physics meld together.

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Response to longship (Reply #16)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:09 AM

24. Well, I said I'm no scientist.

 

I have no idea what a bioelectric function is but what I mean is transmission of information by nerves, like vision or hearing. Isn't that transmitted electrically?



In any event, while there may be out there a cogent materialist explanation for these abstract things (which do indisputably exist, e.g., Rodin's The Thinker), it is a daunting task.

The alternative explanation is not treacherous, just familiar, and is distracting from the OP's question.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:30 AM

5. they are called human emotion

There are some interesting psychological views and studies about emotion. For instance; many emotions are similar as far as the biological aspects but the brain's interpretation that seems to dictate what we think we feel.
Why would you feel that atheist don't accept emotions. Or do you think there is some ether relm where they come from and are bestowed on people.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:51 AM

8. I didn't say atheism doesn't accept emotions

I am asking what explanation materialism/atheism can give for their existence. Religions address these issues. Whether they do so satisfactorily is up to the idividual to determine on a personal basis.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:58 AM

9. what does religion say about them?

And how does that differ from the evolutionary explanations?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:13 AM

11. too much for me to try to post from my phone

but google any of those words along with Christianity, Islam, etc. and you will find lots of stuff ranging from fundamentalist to liberal religious interpretations of respective beliefs on the subject. As for scientific explsnations, that is the auestion I am asking.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:23 AM

13. your question seems to imply that religion has an answer that is any more

Worthwhile than religions answer to the origins of Man or the Earth.
Science has a lot to say about emotions. As does philosophy, without the need to interject a supernatural component.
Perhaps that is not what you meant. But it seems so.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 07:24 AM

20. not just religion but philosophy and art

I believe offer us ways of understanding, addressing and conceptualizing certain almost inscrutable things that are part of the human condition. So perhaps I should have just said materialism and left atheism out. But I do think the recognition and belief in the concept of "the sacred" is one very important lense through which many humans experience these uniquely human things.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 08:44 AM

21. Philosophy and art are not excluded in a materialist outlook

Materialism is a theory of philosophy, in fact.

Many people do use the concept of 'the sacred', but love, hate, friendship, jealousy, heroism, narcissism and beauty don't all have to be explained using it, even for religious people. And it's highly arguable whether they are all 'uniquely human' - friendship is a concept that can be applied to animals too, I'd say.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:26 AM

25. What does "sacred" mean

is that just another way of saying God's hand is involved?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #25)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:00 PM

52. even if one accepted nothing supernatural

just sacred in anthropological since - see Emile Durkheim.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #52)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 02:47 PM

70. So you are talking about things

a society deems as essential to their group? Why would a materialistic view not be appropriate to look at that?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #70)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 07:39 PM

90. in the Emile Durkheim since of sacred vs profane.

I realize everything is made of matter.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #90)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 08:17 PM

92. well its an interesting dicotomy

I guess a materialist would look at that in a sociological and cultural context, while a religious person might think that there is something ordained in what is designated one or the other.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #92)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 06:58 PM

139. well put

A aboriginal tribe in Australia might consider a termite mound or a certain tree as sacred while I consider the Holy Scraments of the Anglican communion to be so. And while I agree with cultural anthropological explaination concerning group unity, etc. I suppose where I differ is that I believe (but don't know) that I am experiencing the real presence of Christ through the Eucharist and accept that people of other religiouns are genuinely experiencing the non materialist world through their faiths and practices. I have no need to have others agree with me on that point, being from a non-evangelical faith. I am actually pleased at how this thread has developed, for the most part mutually respectful. I never meant to imply the things I listed can't have material causes. If fact they certainly do. I just have faith in a non material reality that can't be proven that put it all into place and got the ball rolling.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 03:22 PM

74. "I am asking what explanation materialism/atheism can give for their existence"

 

Evolution

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Response to edhopper (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:46 AM

28. The list contains emotions and desires

Love, hate and it's combination, jealousy are feelings, which many times people have troubles controlling.
Beauty is temporary and fleeting. Friendship for some is difficult while easy for others. They are desires.
The beauty of feelings is the simple concept that states "feelings are never wrong". For some that is a tough concept to accept but upon acceptance is when a person truly begins to understand the feelings of their loved ones.

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Response to Theodis (Reply #28)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:50 AM

31. I keep going back to you statement that "feelings are never wrong".

That completely resonates with me and seems to be a fundamental truth when it comes to discussing these issues.

They may be expressed falsely, but when sincere, they are never wrong.

Welcome to DU and to the religion group, Theodis.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #31)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:58 AM

38. So the feelings of a stalker

that someone must love them too, is never wrong. The feelings of people that Gay or interracial marriage is just wrong because they feel it is never wrong?
GWB deciding because "his gut" told him he was right, was never wrong if he was sincere?

Really?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #38)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:04 PM

41. Oh, I don't mean wrong in that way. My apologies.

Some feelings may be morally reprehensible, dangerous, etc. There is clearly a moral right and wrong.

What I mean is that they are never right or wrong in the way we generally evaluate things scientifically - being either true or false. They exist in reality and are always true (unless fabricated).

Anyway, that's what I thought the person I was responding to was trying to say.

For example, if I say "That story made me very sad", no one can say "No, it didn't".

Am I being clearer?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #41)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:06 PM

43. Yes

I understand what you meant now.

People do feel what they feel. And we often must look at things within that context.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #38)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 10:45 AM

99. Those are not feelings

Deciding to stalk someone under some false rationalization is a decision.
Choosing to hate one group or another is a decision.
And as you pointed out, GWB made a decision.

"Feelings are never wrong is a difficult concept", and was for me initially, but I now accept the doctrine.
By accepting the doctrine, it helps me understand why you feel the way you do.

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Response to Theodis (Reply #99)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 10:57 AM

102. Can you give an example by what you mean

by "feelings are never wrong". What feelings? Why are they never wrong?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #102)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 10:26 AM

146. There are basic feelings

Anger, fear, joy, sadness, surprise, contempt [hate] and disgust.
There are combinations of feelings, such as Love + Hate = Jealousy.
When you experience a feeling, it is based on your perception at that time. Hence, what you perceive, say disgust, based upon the information your brain has processed is correct because what your senses took in, disgusted you.
Could your perception be off? Yes. does that mean your feeling was incorrect? No. Of course, when you get corrected material, your feeling(s) may or may not change.
How a person acts upon their feeling is a different thing.
Personal decisions differ also; such as to hate toward an ethnic group is not a feeling.
Oversimplified explanation, but maybe take a simple approach. Instead of applying this to the world, apply it to you and your loved ones. Accepting the concept will help you understand their feelings and deepen your love for each other.

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Response to Theodis (Reply #146)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 11:19 AM

147. That comes under the category of psychology

and is probably wise advice.
But doesn't say to me that feelings are outside the material world. (don't think you are saying they are, but the thread is long and I am losing track )

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Response to edhopper (Reply #147)

Sat Jan 18, 2014, 02:24 PM

171. I hear you, but it's a fun topic

In a relationship, one of the most difficult topics to convey to a loved one are your feelings, just because of the subjective nature and the endless interpretations.

Cheers!

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Response to Theodis (Reply #171)

Sat Jan 18, 2014, 02:34 PM

173. Don't I know it!

And it's always fun when your partner tells you what you are feeling.

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Response to Theodis (Reply #28)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:55 AM

34. I am not sure what that means

Feelings can often lead people to do very damaging things. And rational thinking can help people realize when their feelings are leading them astray.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #34)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:58 AM

37. And the opposite may be true as well.

Feelings often lead people to do very heroic and meaningful things, while rational thinking may talk them out of it.

The key, it seems, is being able to find a balance and use both to their highest advantage.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #37)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:05 PM

42. I don't think that is true.

because at that point the decision is to follow an emotion when the outcome is uncertain, so rationally you take a gamble. And I am sure there are conflicting emotions going on at those times as well. But saying feelings are never wrong is patently false, they are often wrong. If all the evidence points to your feelings being wrong, and you disregard any critical thought on the matter, I would say the results are for the most part bad.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #42)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:20 PM

45. I don't know. I can think of situations where it might be best

to let your heart guide you.

Rationality is not without fault because an individual's rationality may be subjective, no? I can only make "rational" decisions using my unique data base, which is far from comprehensive.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #45)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 02:40 PM

68. Yes

You cleared things up with a previous post, so we are not arguing about what we thought (or at least what I thought) we are arguing about.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #68)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 02:51 PM

71. Glad to hear it!

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Response to edhopper (Reply #34)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 10:47 AM

100. Agreed and I would add

While "feelings are never wrong", a person needs to think before they act.
Committing a heinous act under the premise of acting upon a feeling is a weak attempt to rationalize a bad deed.

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Response to Theodis (Reply #100)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 10:54 AM

101. What does

"feelings are never wrong" mean. I am unclear.

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Response to Theodis (Reply #28)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:40 PM

49. "Feelings" - emotions - are a form of conscious experience and don't have "rightness" or "wrongness"

 

"Feelings are never wrong" is nonsense. They are never "right" either. They just are mental states. They may be artificially induced:


Very few studies in humans have quantified the effect obtained after direct electrical stimulation of the amygdala, in terms of both emotional and physiological responses. We tested patients with drug-resistant partial epilepsies who were explored with intracerebral electrodes in the setting of presurgical evaluation. We assessed the effects of direct electric stimulations in either the right or the left amygdala on verbally self-reported emotions (Izard scale) and on psychophysiological markers of emotions by recording skin conductance responses (SCRs) and by measuring the electromyographic responses of the corrugator supercilii (EMGc). According to responses on Izard scales, electrical stimulations of the right amygdala induced negative emotions, especially fear and sadness. In contrast, stimulations of the left amygdala were able to induce either pleasant (happiness) or unpleasant (fear, anxiety, sadness) emotions. Unpleasant states induced by electrical stimulations were accompanied by an increase in EMGc activity. In addition, when emotional changes were reported after electrical stimulation, SCR amplitude for the positively valenced emotions was larger than for the negative ones. These findings provide direct in vivo evidence that the human amygdala is involved in emotional experiences and strengthen the hypothesis of a functional asymmetry of the amygdala for valence and arousal processing.

http://cercor.oxfordjournals.org/content/17/6/1307.short

and they certainly can be wildly inappropriate, or lead people to behave in inappropriate ways, or again, is illustrated above, completely divorced from our experience of the world. Put a current in one part of the brain and experience love, in another experience fear. Right and wrong don't seem to apply.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:05 AM

10. why are you equating atheism to materialism?

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Response to ArcticFox (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:14 AM

12. no. though they overlap somewhat. more of an either/or question. nt

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:49 AM

14. Don't know for sure but I would guess

  1. Love-Evolved emotion that helps families care and ensure that they protect one another

  2. Hate-Evolved Emotion that helps individuals recognize threats to themselves and their kin and ensure they protect family from said threat.

  3. Friendship-Evolved Emotion that helps individuals recognize allies who might help protect ones kin

  4. Jealousy-Evolved Emotion that helps to ward off potential mate competition or to encourage individuals to labor for greater benefit

  5. Heroism-Extreme altruism/evolved behavior that helps society

  6. Narcissim-form of self preservation

  7. Beauty-things that stimulate the brain. Can be an evolved preference that helps us find the best mate




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Response to LostOne4Ever (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 02:24 AM

17. Yes. Your "guesses" are a great summary.

By the way, if you aren't succeeding in the quest for "Kookamunga", you might try Cucamonga - not certain, but I suspect it's near Anaheim and/or Azuza




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Response to DreamGypsy (Reply #17)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:56 AM

35. Or, Mel Blanc on the Jack Benny program.

At the LA train station...

"Now boarding from track number six, to Anaheim... Azusa... and Cu...-camonga."

That's where that comes from. BTW, no train would rationally go to those destinations because they are in different directions from LA.


BTW, now called Rancho Cucamonga, it's near Ontario, CA east of LA.

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Response to longship (Reply #35)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:35 PM

106. Thats probably where I got it

But I could of sworn Mel Blanc also made a reference to it in a Bugs Bunny Cartoon where bugs is lost in Africa and looking at a map and said he took a wrong turn at "kookamunga" as opposed to his usual reference to a left turn at Albuquerque. But for the life of me I can't find that particular cartoon.

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Response to DreamGypsy (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 12:28 PM

105. Oh cool

I always thought the Mel Blanc/Bugs Bunny cartoon was saying Kookamunga! I thought it was a fictitious place they made up.

Fixing that right now!

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Response to LostOne4Ever (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 03:13 AM

18. From my point of view these are on the money...

People get lost in the concept of the 'selfish gene' and believe it only promotes behaviour we see as selfish. By promoting behaviour that ensures gene survival, all the behaviours described as altruism can be seen.

Even behaviours that seem unrelated such as adoption of children/pets are just expressions of behaviours that evolved to ensure kin survival. The genes don't know about genes, they just do what they do because they evolved to do it.

The behaviours are the result of evolution 'overkill' in order to make sure these behaviours happen. Of course we see a full spectrum of behaviour 'strength' because of normal human variation, so we get people who don't seem loving and altruistic as well.

The feelings we feel are expressions of material connections of the brain that has evolved to protect and ensure gene survival. That's the way I see it. YMMV

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Response to LostOne4Ever (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 06:42 PM

138. good post nt

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 02:13 AM

15. How does religion/spiritualism account for tennis...

...and the associated concept of love?



1
a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties <maternal love for a child> (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests <love for his old schoolmates>
b : an assurance of affection <give her my love>
2
: warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion <love of the sea>
3
a : the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration <baseball was his first love>
b (1) : a beloved person : darling —often used as a term of endearment (2) British —used as an informal term of address
4
a : unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1) : the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) : brotherly concern for others
b : a person's adoration of God
5
: a god or personification of love
6
: an amorous episode : love affair
7
: the sexual embrace : copulation
8
: a score of zero (as in tennis)

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 09:12 AM

22. Unless you're asserting that these things

 

can traditionally only be accounted for by some supernatural sky daddy, why should atheism have to account for them at all?

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #22)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 04:49 PM

76. No kidding and materialist science has come up with

mechanisms for many of them, like oxytocin for love, with the limbic system overseeing social processing.

Materialism has explained a lot of this stuff. Religion just lumps it all in under the "soul" and investigates no further.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 10:20 AM

23. We can begin by looking at one of these things, say love.

Love can be viewed as a set of behaviors, different behaviors in different contexts. In a family context parental love for the children is complemented by the children's love for the parents; and this love can be described by behaviors, for instance,parents feeding the children and the children responding by obeying the parents (I'm speaking of general trends and am aware that some specific events will not fit - IOW I know the children we love can sometimes be a pain in the ass). These behaviors keep the family together and this is important from a survival perspective, so these behaviors would likely be selected for. So, selection can account for these behaviors, and the similar behaviors associated with the other aspects of love and the other words in your list.

My guess is that you're not really asking about behaviors but about the deep subjective feelings that are associated with these terms. Feelings that can at times be so strong that they almost compel the individual to act. It's easy to see that strong subjective feelings that reinforce survival enhancing behaviors are advantageous. We can account for the feelings in that way - they enhance beneficial behaviors. But, I don't believe that the question of how we get from biological processes - e.g. communication across a neural network - to subjective emotional experience has been answered. I don't believe the feelings have yet been fully accounted for.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:37 AM

26. Great question and really interesting thread so far.

I recall that during my undergraduate studies in the liberal arts, but with majors in hard sciences, I cam to believe that humans had something that it was going to be hard to explain from a purely scientific perspective.

Noting that it could just be an evolutionary step that we don't yet really understand, these kinds of powerful emotions seem to be independent of a purely neurochemical explanation.

I have since come to recognize that there are other animals that do share some of these, but it doesn't appear to be to the extent that we are imbued with them. The arts in particular seem the thing that separates us the most.

Is it a soul? Is it some shared biological process that we have not been able to explain? Is it god?

This has been what has stymied both religious and non-religious philosophers throughout humankind's history, is it not.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #26)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 08:03 PM

91. Not speaking as a scientist

but as a working artist--almost all activities humans call art require the ability to grasp and manipulate an object. The only exceptions I can think of offhand are oral literature, a capella music and dance.

Perhaps other species practice art we just don't recognize.

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Response to okasha (Reply #91)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 08:27 PM

93. I guess I wonder if there are animals that create just for pleasure.

I saw a great video today of killer whales playing in the wake of a boat.

While there may be an explanation for it, it really appeared that they were just having fun.

But do they create other things just for fun?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #93)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 10:24 PM

95. Probably.

But again from an artist's POV, art isn't always or necessarily fun. Sometimes it's working your butt off. Sometimes it's physically or emotionally painful. Sometimes it's both.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:37 AM

27. All part of the human experience.

Also known as "psychology". It seems to be some sort of science...



Julie

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:46 AM

29. Unlike religion which makes up answers for everything, science explains what it can

The question demonstrates again what is wrong with fantasy thinking in religion. Science strives to explain things, but is absolutely able to say we don't know yet.

In truth, science is on the path to explaining this, while religion is still stuck in the stone age

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Response to on point (Reply #29)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:53 AM

32. Lol. What evidence do you have that science is on the way to explaining all

the things in his list? You are asserting this without evidence, not very scientific of you.

I would suggest that your red hot hostility towards religion is a very complex emotion. Can you give me a scientific explanation for it?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #32)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:01 PM

40. See other answers for example pathways. My hostility is towards the pushing of

Delusional nonsense on others. If religion helps you function in the real world that is a personal crutch you are entitled to. But stop trying to poison others with your Stone Age guff. The sooner humanity frees itself from from such fantasies the better.

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Response to on point (Reply #40)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:10 PM

44. I think most here will agree that pushing one's religion down someone's throat is wrong.

But can we also agree that calling everyone's religious beliefs delusional nonsense is a simple expression of intolerance and prejudice that might be equivalent.

Religion isn't going anywhere, so it might be in our best interest to find ways for the religious and non-religious to better understand each other.

Do you not recognize that you are expressing the same kind of hostility that you accuse religions of expressing towards each other? And advocating for their elimination has some eerily uncomfortable undertones, imo.

Delusional, crutch, poison, Stone Age, fantasies. This very much feels like your views being pushed down other people's throats.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #44)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:20 PM

46. Expect bs to be called until and unless you produce evidence

Until then, whenever delusional thinking ventures into public square it should expect to be dismissed as an ancient model, long since debunked, and deserving of same respect as Greek or Egyptian myth. Nice literature, fun stories, but fiction just like any other fantasy story

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Response to on point (Reply #46)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:24 PM

47. IMO, there will never be evidence to either prove or disprove the

existence of god(s). In the meantime, I don't see much point in arguing for or against the existence and I see even less point in denigrating those who believe or don't believe.

I would suggest that it is equally delusional to think that one is right and everyone else is wrong when it comes to disbelief. And it's even more likely to be delusional, technically, when the vast majority of others hold a different truth.

You just see it differently. I don't think you are delusional and I don't think most religious believers are delusional either.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #47)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:51 PM

50. God could prove it.

If you read the bible, and other religious texts, God has shown up "as God" before, or gives some one on earth the ability to prove it.

For example, Moses is able to use God's power to "prove" God exists. Jesus does the same. At least if we are to believe those books.

So God can prove it.

Proving something does not exist is far harder.

What science has tended to do, is make the areas in which the explanation for some event must be "God did it", smaller and smaller.

For instance, many illnesses were explained as "God did it". Until science started to explain more and more of those events.

Floods and earthquakes .. "God did it" ... nope, science explains it.

What some now do is try to prove God by saying "Science does not explain X". The implication, often left unstated, is that God explains it.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #50)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:04 PM

53. I'm not going to debate the existence of non-existence of god with you.

I don't know if there is a god or not and I don't care if there is a god or not.

What I care about is how people treat each other and I have a low level of tolerance for the grossly intolerant.

Those who need to dismiss and denigrate believers or non-believers, and make some kind of case that they are right and others wrong are equally foolish, imo.

You have followed your own path and found your own place. Why the need to insist that everyone else come with you?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #47)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:11 PM

55. Holding a belief in something not true in reality is the DEFINITION of delusional

Since there is no evidence for your point of view, holding it without evidence in reality makes it delusional. That you are uncomfortable with this, especially since the word is somewhat pejorative is unfortunate, but a personal matter.

It does not make it any less true. Since it seems evidence, or lack thereof, does not concern you, it does seem pointless for further discussion on this.

But as I said before, as soon as you push your nonsense into the public discourse, expect it to be challenged for the hokum it is.

Unless, you have verifiable evidence of course, which I would be happy see.

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Response to on point (Reply #55)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:25 PM

58. But first one has to show that it's not true.

In order for it to be a delusion there has to be strong evidence against it being the case. Do you have that?

Are you truly saying that all religious people are delusional? Except for possibly a few cranks, the psychiatric community would completely disagree with you. Does that make you delusional?

The only thing making me uncomfortable is the need for some to hold out their superiority to others who experience the world differently. It's not a personal matter at all.

Evidence and the lack thereof do concern me. People labeling others as having a psychiatric disorder when there is absolutely no evidence to support that position concerns me.

I will say the same to you. As soon as you push your nonsense, and it is indeed nonsense, into the public discourse, expect it to be challenged for the derisive hokum it is.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #58)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:55 PM

64. So you wouldn't consider it delusional

 

If someone you knew told you (actually meaning it) that they were keeping a pet pink unicorn in their garage, even though you couldn't PROVE there was no pink unicorn in their garage? Seriously? Is that the sum and substance of your thinking on this?

No, cbayer…you know perfectly well that you don't have to PROVE that something isn't true to classify it as

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Response to cbayer (Reply #58)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 02:43 PM

69. Sorry but you have it backward. If you assert something, YOU have obligation to show it to be true

Your assertions without evidence are worthless.

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Response to on point (Reply #69)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 02:54 PM

72. We were talking specifically about delusions.

You have made a great number of assertions in this thread about religion and the religious, yet you have not provided any evidence that they are true. They are only your beliefs.

So I guess that makes them worthless?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #47)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:21 PM

56. If there's no point in arguing the existence of god(s), there's no point in listening to religions

that claim the existence of god(s) and then use that as a basis to talk about the feelings listed in the OP. This removes Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and many more from the discussion in this thread.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #56)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:28 PM

59. Don't listen to them. Who said you needed to?

I don't think the OP said anything about that.

Most would agree that religions do offer some way of explaining these things, at least to the religious.

His question is how the non-religious explain these things.

The answer, if there is one, is clearly going to be very complex and it may or may not involve religion.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:46 AM

30. A recent experiment with small monkeys would indicate that they do. Two

monkeys in side-by-side cages (so they could see each other) were given slices of cucumber as a snack. The monkeys like cukes OK, but they like sweet fruit much better. Both monkeys were OK with cukes until one monkey got a ripe banana and the second monkey got another piece of cuke.

The second monkey screamed (apparently in anger) and threw his cuke at the researcher. I'd call that envy/jealousy, wouldn't you?

There's a book called Good Natured by Frans de Waal that discusses many years of research into animal emotions. It's a very readable and accessible book. He's got other books out, too. I haven't kept up with elephant emotions research, but they're supposed to be pretty high on the emotions/feeling scale, too, as are dolphins.

It only makes sense -- we get all our physical characteristics from a long history on the planet, and we get our emotions and feelings from all that DNA mixing, too. There's actually no need to involve religion in the acquisition of emotions, as scientific discoveries have indicated that they are also a product of evolution.

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Response to Nay (Reply #30)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:57 AM

36. +1, The field of comparitive Psychology provides numerous examples.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:53 AM

33. Why do bees commit heroic acts?

A bee will give its life to protect the hive.

That's an act of heroism.

Does the bee need to believe in a God to perform such acts.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #33)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:00 PM

39. How do you see that as heroic as opposed to purely reflexive?

While I don't think one needs to believe in god to be a hero, I don't think the bee example really explains heroism in the way humans experience it.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #39)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:37 PM

48. When a bee lands on you, does it always sting you when you move?

That would be more like a reflex.

And of course what a bee does is not the same as "human experience", but then no comparison outside the human species matters.

The reason a bees does it might be less complex, but the bee risks its own life to defend others. The bee as an individual would be better off flying away. Yet it attacks and likely dies as a result.

If bees can act with such selflessness, surely Humans can too. And human version does not need a God either.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #48)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 12:54 PM

51. I guess I see where you are going here.

If I am getting this right, you are saying that an act of human heroism is just a more fully developed action than, say, that of a bee.

Do you think that can explain all human emotion? It might, I will grant that. But if it does, I think we are far, far from being able to scientifically explain the full range and breadth of human emotion, art, music, inspiration, devotion.

It seems that there are some things that seems unique to the human.

The question I would have is whether that has a scientific explanation that fits in any models we currently have or represents something entirely different.

I don't know.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #51)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 02:17 PM

67. Each species has its own unique elements.

For a long time, Humans believed that "lower animals" didn't really think or have emotions. That view is one that makes killing and torturing them easier to accept.

But what scientists are now finding is that many species do have emotions that are very similar to our own, like mourning the death of a family member.

Our experience is unique to us, their experience is unique to them.

Take mating. Some species "mate and move on", some "pair bond" for life. Do the other species who pair bond "love" each other. Certainly not in the exact same way we do. But what their relationships show is that the spousal type of bonding found in humans, is not unique.

SO when some one asks if an atheist can explain or account for these emotions, and the associated behaviors, the answer is "yes".

My question back is, why does having a God concept make any of those things easier to understand?

I ask "Will I be sad or angry if I get to Heaven and some of my loved ones are not there?" Why, or why not?

I ask, "Why only one God?" ... with all the diversity of life on earth, why not "many Gods"? That model makes it far easier to understand conflict in the world.

The creationists like to play a game called "God of the gaps" ... they'll attack evolution and science for those things they can not yet explain, and then jam God into the space. But they struggle when this approach is turned back on them.

Even if science can not explain Love for example, does religion or a belief in God do a better job? No. When we look across the major religions, they often explain the same phenomenon very differently ... in other words the religious people of the world disagree on the role God plays in various situations.

Did God set up the domino, and then kick things off, and then step back and allow things to go on ... or is God active in the minute to minute, daily life of every person on the planet. Does God let it all run, until God decides its time to step in? The religions themselves vary on just how active God is.

We now know the basic manner in which the nerves in your brain communicate with each other. But we can't yet map it all out so as to know exactly which nerves will fire in the next instant. They used to drill holes in your head to let the demons out.

Sometimes it worked. The reason it worked sometimes, is that there was some form of pressure building up and the hole helped release that pressure. No demons were involved. Science now understands why this approach would have sometimes worked. And its still used.

Science might not always move fast, but over time, it tends to figure out "earthly" reasons for why things happen.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #48)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 06:38 PM

79. Actually, science explains it quite nicely

 

based on the preferential survival of genes. As it turns out, because of the unique genetic structure of a beehive (understood because of science, not religion, btw), with the female workers all offspring of one queen, any one worker is more genetically similar to her sister workers than she would be to even her own offspring (if she were able to have any, which normally she wouldn't), so protecting the hive ensures greater propagation of her genes than her own individual survival and reproduction would. Genes that might be responsible for this "heroic" behavior are therefore actually NOT subject to negative selection pressures that would tend to weed them out.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #79)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 07:06 PM

88. Exactly, science continues to identify

the specific mechanisms for behaviors which, on first look, appear to be at odds with evolutionary theory.

This is true at all levels, from bees, to humans.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #79)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 07:15 PM

89. Read an interesting theory that a hive is actually one organism, in a sense. Can be seen as a whole.

Not a collection of individuals, per se, but a singular organism as a whole. I found it fascinating.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:09 PM

54. recent studies suggest many of these traits exist in other animals

yet they seem to not practice religion.
Can you explain?

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Response to rurallib (Reply #54)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:30 PM

60. I think both of those things are unanswered questions at this point.

Do all human emotional traits exist in other animals?

Do no other animals practice religion or have a belief in gods?

I don't know the answers to those questions, and I don't think anyone else does either.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #60)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 09:05 PM

94. It really is sad

 

to see you embrace ignorance so enthusiastically, and to constantly say "We/I don't know for certain, therefore nobody knows anything at all". It bespeaks a complete lack of understanding of how we learn, know and understand things, even though it's been explained to you over and over and over. Are you really that desperate to somehow maintain the relevance of religions that you don't even believe in?

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 01:25 PM

57. The brain. Duh. -eom

 

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #57)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 02:11 PM

66. The question is how, not where. Duh. -eom

 

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Response to rug (Reply #66)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 06:18 PM

77. "The brain" is the answer to both. DUH. -eom.

 

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #77)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 06:33 PM

78. Ok, "How do I turn on the faucet?"

 

"The faucet, duh."

This has been another Hillbilly Moment from the Amanda Show.

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Response to rug (Reply #78)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 06:41 PM

80. Pathetic analogy fail...

 

The question was not "how does atheism/materialism account for the brain".




It was "how does atheism/materialism account for Love, hate, friendship, jealousy, heroism, narcissism, beauty"

The brain is how it accounts for those things. They are produced there.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #80)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 06:43 PM

81. It wasn't an analogy.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #81)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 06:47 PM

82. Go look up "analogy"

 

Yeah... it was.


Either that, or you just decided to randomly spout content that had absolutely no relation whatsoever to the thread and it's pure coincidence that it happened to land here in reply to my post.... would that really be any better?

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #82)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 06:48 PM

83. Go look up "how".

 

I was referring to the video.

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Response to rug (Reply #83)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 06:50 PM

84. The video...

 

...which was posted in response to me. By way of analogy.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #84)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 06:50 PM

85. It wasn't an analogy.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #85)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 06:51 PM

86. I refer you to post 82. -eom

 

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Response to rug (Reply #66)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 11:30 AM

148. We don't need to know all of brain structure; we can see it from ANIMAL BEHAVIOR

Mothers of many, even most animal species, care for their young with at times apparently selfless devotion/love.

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Response to Brettongarcia (Reply #148)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 01:50 PM

151. I particulary admire their sculpture.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #151)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 02:07 PM

152. Which some have derived, in stories about learning from animals

And from speculations about animal religion; not just the discredited "God gene," but "altruism," etc.

Interestingly, some animals like crows, seem to attend to the bodies of their deceased comrades; some all it "mourning." Elephants return to sites where other elephants died, etc..

A fullfledged "religion" of course, is probably not to be found in animal society. But that's in part because it requires some cognitive content, ironically. Beyond the emotions - "love" and so forth - that this post is mostly about. Mostly it's about emotions. Which animals seem to have.

Even wolves howl at the moon; a proto-religious impulse? A dim intuition of some kind of sublimity in the sky?

Of course, a fullfledged "scripture" proper, is impossible by definition. But the basic emotional underpinnings of religion have been plausibly traced to animal behavior. And in fact, to survival and evolution; the love or care of an animal mother to her children, assists the survival of the species.

It is important to get beyond inability to see beyond minor differences; to see the larger overall structures in nature and life. The larger patterns and general rules.

Your implication that religion is uniquely human does not quite seem right; it does not even quite square with the Bible. Where a donkey speaks words found in the Bible (Balaam's Donkey) for example. Where "all the earth" including the animals, sing praise of God.

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Response to Brettongarcia (Reply #152)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 02:11 PM

154. You're drawing a lot of unsupported conclusions from this.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #154)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 02:14 PM

156. Religion in animals IS somewhat speculative; thanks for possibly relevant illustration though

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Response to Brettongarcia (Reply #156)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 02:15 PM

158. It was too cute to pass up.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #151)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 03:18 PM

161. So art would be impossible with out God?

Ah , but your answer will be, "That's not what I am saying". So I'll save you the time to write that non answer and ask.

So what are you saying, since a evolved intelligent human is surely capable of producing art without a God involved.

Or do you think that isn't the case?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #161)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 03:47 PM

162. The topic is the material explanation of the abstract, such as art.

 

The topic is not "Is art impossible without God?"

I understand how badly you want to change the subject but there it is.

The reply was in response to a suggestion that animals show the ability for some abstract notions. Presumably through . . . . evolution.

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Response to rug (Reply #162)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 04:19 PM

164. Okay

I don't see where there isn't a materialistic explanation for humans ability to produce art.
But if you are not claiming it is because of God or some other supernatural agent, I leave it a that.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #164)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 12:00 PM

165. Finally: just as there is a material explanation for art,so also for "love" and elements of religion

Animals can do some of these things to some degree; so it seems reasonable to suggest our more developed human versions are simply developed, by evolution, from animals, and material evolution.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #164)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 12:47 PM

166. What is it?

 

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Response to rug (Reply #166)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 01:52 PM

167. Brettongarcia

just explained it in previous post #165.

Was my assumption about what you meant correct?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #167)

Fri Jan 17, 2014, 07:18 PM

168. No, he made a suggestion.

 

I refer you to #154.

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Response to rug (Reply #168)

Sat Jan 18, 2014, 10:50 AM

169. So you don't think evolution can explain

art?

What is your explanation?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #169)

Sat Jan 18, 2014, 11:19 AM

170. It hasn't been demonstrated.

 

Can you?

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Response to rug (Reply #170)

Sat Jan 18, 2014, 02:27 PM

172. There are several posts here explaining it

as a result of evolution.
As with much of human behavior, it is hard to determine if something is a byproduct of other inherited traits or a behavior itself that evolved. Since we don't have enough data on when and where these originated, on the results after man started creating, it is not possible as yet to say which scenario fits.
But the thread asks how materialism accounts for these things, not does science have proof of exactly what happened.

You can reject the scientific answer for a supernatural one. But that is the scientific explanation.

I can't help you more than that.



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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 03:20 PM

73. Interesting thread. I think love, hate, friendship, jealousy, heroism, narcissism, beauty, etc.

are experienced by everyone to some degree, whether religious, a-religious or otherwise. All seem to provide context to our lives. No clue how to account for that or if an account is even needed.



Thanks for the post.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 07:01 PM

87. Well

 

Atheism is the rejection of a claim. It has nothing to do with what you have listed. Atheism has nothing to do with evolution or the big bang either. To imply that emotions are evidence for a god is simply an argument from ignorance.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:30 PM

96. Do you think atheists/materialists don't experience emotions? n/t

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Response to trotsky (Reply #96)

Sun Jan 12, 2014, 11:41 PM

97. The question was whether you can explain it on a material basis.

 

Nice try though.

So, can you?

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Response to rug (Reply #97)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 10:14 AM

98. What is the religious explanation for them.

As has been stated here in several posts.

Evolution.

If you are asking what they mean to people. That is up to each person to decide and like life itself, there is no meaning the Universe imparts, it is the meaning that we find for ourselves.

Nothing is written, but what we write. T.E. Lawrence

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Response to edhopper (Reply #98)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 01:19 PM

108. That's an entirely different question.

 

Nor is the question about the subjective meaning of emotions.

The question is how does materialism explain these, and other, phenomena.

Can you answer it?

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Response to rug (Reply #108)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 01:23 PM

110. Evolution

what part of this don't you understand?

How does religion explain them?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #110)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 01:28 PM

111. How does evolution generate emotions?

 

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Response to rug (Reply #111)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 01:29 PM

112. Emotions are a physical response to stimuli

that is interpreted in the brain.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #112)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 01:31 PM

113. Resulting in the "The Thinker", Moby Dick and Beethoven's Fifth?

 

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Response to rug (Reply #113)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 01:36 PM

114. Are those the results of emotion.

Do you want to know why man creates?

Evolution.

Man has evolved in to a creature with imagination, i.e they can imagine things that aren't there. They can look to the future, they can see patterns. They are also good at manipulating the enviornment and using tools. Put them together and you get art, architecture etc..

As for music, I would recommend "The Brain on Music" for a great scientific look at music.

Where does religion say these things come from? Why won't you answer that?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #114)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 01:39 PM

115. They would be piss poor art if they weren't.

 

Frankly, saying "evolution" as the default answer is as dissatisfying as saying "God".

I am deliberately not answering your question because it is a nervous distraction from a really fundamental question.

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Response to rug (Reply #115)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 01:46 PM

116. I then explained how they could come into being

because of evolution.

If you are really interested in how man has evolved these behaviors, there is plenty of good explanations written by evolution biologist, who would be much better explaining this than I..

I am giving you the "materialist" explanation for these things. I don't get what you don't understand. I can only assume you are trying to "catch' me in some sloppy turn of phrase.

If you disagree with this explanation, I invite you to explain what you think. Or not. Whatever.


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Response to edhopper (Reply #116)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 02:00 PM

118. Ok. I'll find the answer elsewhere.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #118)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 02:20 PM

120. I don't think you'll find an answer to: How does materialism account for these things?

Unless, that is, you're willing to accept the answer that it doesn't, at least not completely, not at this time.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #120)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 02:36 PM

122. Does religion give any explanation for these things?

complete or not.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #122)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 03:29 PM

123. I wouldn't know. Of course, if the question is serious and you are interested in an answer ...

... you could always consult various religious texts/people to find it.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #123)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 04:23 PM

129. I am curious where you think they come from.

I also can't tell if you accept the materalistic explanation, but think we don't have a full answer as of yet. Or think there is a spiritual, religious or supernatural explanation to these.

I have clearly stated what I think.

Neither you nor rug have given your opinion.

I am not sure why that is.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #129)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 04:54 PM

130. I stated my opinion in post #23.

So your claim: Neither you nor rug have given your opinion is just plain wrong.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #130)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 05:11 PM

131. Sorry, didn't see it

good post.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #131)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 08:21 PM

145. OK. Thanks.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #120)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 03:37 PM

124. I suspect you're right.

 

But the joy is the journey, not the destination.

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Response to rug (Reply #118)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 02:24 PM

121. Meaning you're going to ignore the one just provided to you directly? -eom

 

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #121)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 03:38 PM

125. "How'd you like the movie?"

 

"Evolution."

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Response to rug (Reply #125)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 03:56 PM

126. So that's a yes then...

 

Enjoy your pointless search for an answer to the reality.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #126)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 03:57 PM

127. Was that a yes?

 

Evolution.

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Response to rug (Reply #127)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 04:00 PM

128. Am I distracting you from recess? -eom

 

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #128)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 06:17 PM

135. Evolution.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #135)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 07:08 PM

140. Another yes then...

 

I'll let you get back to the swings and sandbox now.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #140)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 07:12 PM

141. Are you waiting for the answer to change?

 

Evolution.

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Response to rug (Reply #141)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 07:29 PM

142. No, I don't have that level of expectation from you at this point.

 

Like I said, don't let me keep you from the playground.

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Response to gcomeau (Reply #142)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 07:31 PM

143. Would you like the last word?

 

Evolution.

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Response to rug (Reply #143)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 07:35 PM

144. Sure.

 

Go play.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 11:01 AM

103. It's all neurotransmitter and synaptic weights.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 11:02 AM

104. Evolution.

Emotions motivate decision-making, planning, and other behaviors adaptive to your environment.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 01:05 PM

107. Science/materialism doesn't fully, and neither does religion

There are scientific accounts of what goes on in the brain when people experience these emotions, or perceive something as beautiful; social psychology experiments that can tell you something about the predictors and effects of friendship or hate; studies that can tell you something about both genetic and environmental contributions to characteristics such as narcissism or altruism.

But I don't think that any studies can provide some sort of 'ultimate cause' that will explain all these characteristics.

Can religion? Well, of course one can say 'God created it'; but that depends on faith, not on explanatory power. Also, while religious people may indeed say that God created love and heroism and beauty, how does one explain the creation of hate and jealousy? (Of course, some people would say 'the devil'; but many religious people nowadays don't believe in a literal devil.)

You will note that I changed the question from 'how does atheism/ materialism account for' these things to 'how does science/materialism account for' these things. This is because atheism is not there to provide an account for anything. Atheism just means NOT believing in a God or gods. It is rejection of one type of explanation; not a statement of some other form of explanation.

I think there is something more basic here. Many (not all) religious people believe that there must be some sort of specific single ultimate cause for our existence; the world's existence; the phenomena that we observe. Therefore, they often assume that atheists must be substituting another single ultimate cause for God. This is not necessarily the case. Many atheists (and some religious people) believe in multiple causes for the world being as it is, or simply are not seeking an ultimate cause.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #107)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 06:35 PM

136. for the record I am a Christian who accepts the science of biological evolution

and you changing atheism/materialism to science/materialism is fine. I admitted upthread that I probably shouldn't have used atheism. I'm just not going to change the OP since so many have already answered it as it is. So I believe God created the universe but that the Genesis creation myth is an allegory written by people before science even existed. I liked your post. Thanks.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 01:20 PM

109. Atheism is the lack of a belief in a god or gods.

That's it.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #109)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 01:48 PM

117. I don't know about that.

I know it's a position often taken and it's true for many.

But there is also a subgroup where there is a lot of groupthink and positions voiced in the first person plural, as if there were a coalition of some sort that had many opinions and not just a lack of belief.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #117)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 02:09 PM

119. Why can't you just accept what people say about their beliefs, or lack thereof?

By telling them they're wrong, that means you're saying that you're right and forcing your views on them. You rail against others for doing that - why do you think you can?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #117)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 05:38 PM

133. LOL.

 

Honestly, your anti-atheist bigotry is a sight to behold!

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #133)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 05:44 PM

134. You are calling me a bigot? Where do you get bigotry from my post?

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2014, 05:37 PM

132. Are those things supposed to be magic? n/t

 

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 02:14 PM

157. Evolution, my friend.

All human behavior is evolutionary. It's an emergent property of brains, just like it is in all other animals. That gives evolution a purchase by which to manipulate it.

Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.

Archimedes

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Thu Jan 16, 2014, 02:35 PM

160. In the same way all other animals do. Your question shows a profound ignorance of atheism and

materialism. Who is it among human groups you believe to be experts on the items on your list? Do your personally know any atheist or materialist?

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Response to ladjf (Reply #160)

Sun Jan 19, 2014, 07:54 AM

174. And a propensity to stir shit up.

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