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  1.    #121  
    Quote Originally Posted by bheuss
    In a philosophy class, someone suggested that self-awareness (which is related to having a purpose) may have developed in an evolutionary way. If it's possible that self-awareness was a genetic trait, perhaps members of the species who were more self-aware or who had even a vague sense of mortality may have been more careful and lived longer, thereby having more children. Thereby self-selecting for survival over other members who did not have the same awareness.
    Bingo. The evolution of religion.

    But Dennett suggests that evolution extends beyond genetics, even if self-awareness is not a genetic trait, our ability to exchange ideas gives the ideas themselves a life of their own to act out in our bodies, imagine an idea so powerfull it would cause your body to carry a nail bomb in to a cafe, or an abortion clinic.

    How can these ideas have evolved?
  2. #122  
    Quote Originally Posted by bheuss
    With all due respect, I was offended. There was no reason to personalize this type of response. Getting to know more is a good reason to engage in civilized debate. I have learned quite a bit from this discussion and hope to continue to learn from people who can share information without personalizing the response.

    The remainder of the first paragraph seems to imply a sense of shame over having wonderment, amazement, or mystical beliefs. I feel my life would be much less rich without them. They do not, however, prevent me from understanding and appreciating a scientific explanation. As an analogy, appreciating a beautiful building can cause wonder at the gifts of being able to design and construct those structures. Knowing how it was constructed does not detract from that. It only adds to the appreciation of it.

    While I mistook genus for species, it's not bringing about the end of the world. But nonetheless apologize for my oversight.

    And convergent evolution does not prove or disprove the presence of a god. Unless one can prove that a god has nothing to do with convergent evolution.
    I'm sorry you feel that way. It was not meant as a put down. I was merely saying that if you knew more about convergent evolution you would not have used the example of the anteater.

    BTW, those 4 animals are also from different genera also. They are VERY VERY different animals shaped by evolution to best exploit their diet. Its an illustration of the power of evolution, which is what deserves wonderment in the first place.

    Surur
  3. #123  
    I must say I never "got" self-awareness. When some-one says that I dont understand what they are talking about. I dont understand what this "redness" of red means. I never got qualia.

    Can anybody explain what it is all about?

    Surur
  4. #124  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur
    I'm sorry you feel that way. It was not meant as a put down. I was merely saying that if you knew more about convergent evolution you would not have used the example of the anteater.

    BTW, those 4 animals are also from different genera also. They are VERY VERY different animals shaped by evolution to best exploit their diet. Its an illustration of the power of evolution, which is what deserves wonderment in the first place.

    Surur
    Thank you and excellent job of pointint out lapses in knowledge without it being confrontational.

    I agree with you that evolution is worthy of wonder. And think it's pretty amazing how it works or doesn't work out. There's a blind fish that lives in kelp forests in the Pacific . It's able to change it's coloration to match the coloration around it, even though it apparently cannot discern color (at least with its eyes). And it happens with all colors not just a short range of blues/greens you would expect in a kelp forest. It's amazing that this type of protection developed in an animal that apparently cannot discern color. Why that instead of something else (ink, spines, etc.)? It is amazing. But, to me, it still does not stand as an argument that removes a god from the possibilities.
    Brent
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  5.    #125  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur
    I must say I never "got" self-awareness. When some-one says that I dont understand what they are talking about. I dont understand what this "redness" of red means. I never got qualia.

    Can anybody explain what it is all about?
    Give a monkey or a dolphin a mirror, and see if he is able to recogonize himself.

    I am not sure exactly how he's relating it to Consciousness, or our need for a sense of purpose apart from the fact that he said a classmate raised the topic in Psychology class.
  6.    #126  
    Quote Originally Posted by bheuss
    But, to me, it still does not stand as an argument that removes a god from the possibilities.
    Again, you can no more "remove God from the possiblities" than you can remove the afformentioned invisible jelly monsters.

    The reason we even had an idea that there might be a god, was the very fact that we exist. As you said, how could we have just "happened"?

    Darwin's idea seems to answer that exact question.
  7. #127  
    Quote Originally Posted by theBlaze74
    Give a monkey or a dolphin a mirror, and see if he is able to recogonize himself.

    I am not sure exactly how he's relating it to Consciousness, or our need for a sense of purpose apart from the fact that he said a classmate raised the topic in Psychology class.
    I cant say I agree with that. I personally believe every device with a feedback cycle has some kind of self-awareness. Without self-awareness, how would we know how to act in our own benefit?

    E.G. an Amoeba may sense a harmful chemical, and move away from it. It may be all automatic, but at a cellular level, so are we.

    Surur
  8. #128  
    Quote Originally Posted by theBlaze74
    Again, you can no more "remove God from the possiblities" than you can remove the afformentioned invisible jelly monsters.

    The reason we even had an idea that there might be a god, was the very fact that we exist. As you said, how could we have just "happened"?

    Darwin's idea seems to answer that exact question.
    You cant remove God, but if he isn't necessary for the process, why add him?

    Surur
  9. #129  
    To the original postulation....absolutely not. Who is more moral ?

    A. The avidly religious person who "does unto others...." because he is afraid of eternal damnataion.

    B. The atheist who "does unto others...." simply because it is the right thing to do.

    ....it's not A.

    Character dictates morality not whose basket ya drop change into.
  10. Micael's Avatar
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    #130  
    Quote Originally Posted by JackNaylorPE
    To the original postulation....absolutely not. Who is more moral ?

    A. The avidly religious person who "does unto others...." because he is afraid of eternal damnataion.

    B. The atheist who "does unto others...." simply because it is the right thing to do.

    ....it's not A.

    Character dictates morality not whose basket ya drop change into.
    Agree. Religion doesn't make us more moral. It can, perhaps, offer material and community guidance that assists an individual with moral behaviour.

    Can't one be religious and amorale?

    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  11. #131  
    Quote Originally Posted by surur
    You cant remove God, but if he isn't necessary for the process, why add him?

    Surur
    Occam's Razor; prefer the simplest explanation.
  12. #132  
    Quote Originally Posted by JackNaylorPE
    To the original postulation....absolutely not. Who is more moral ?

    A. The avidly religious person who "does unto others...." because he is afraid of eternal damnataion.

    B. The atheist who "does unto others...." simply because it is the right thing to do.

    ....it's not A.

    Character dictates morality not whose basket ya drop change into.
    But who determines what is the "right thing to do"? And then, doesn't that lead us directly back to the original question?
  13. #133  
    Jack, you forgot C & D...

    C. The athiest who "does unto others" because he is afraid of the social consequences of being ostracized, called names, given a ticket or jailtime, etc. (Not being afraid of hell doesn't mean there are not still human penalties to pay.)

    D. The avidly religious person who "does unto others" simply because it is the right thing to do... (or even out of thankfulness from having already been saved from eternal damnation).

    Too often people are under the impression that Christians or others do good out of fear of hell, but those "saved" don't have that hanging over them, so it could truly be done out of thankfulness, or even simply because it is the "right" thing to do.
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    #134  
    Quote Originally Posted by awerry
    But who determines what is the "right thing to do"? And then, doesn't that lead us directly back to the original question?
    Don't you decide for yourself? Don't you weigh what is right vs what is wrong, and decide? If someone else 'decides for you', don't you still analyze that decision and decide whether or not to conform?
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
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    #135  
    Quote Originally Posted by duanedude1
    Too often people are under the impression that Christians or others do good out of fear of hell, but those "saved" don't have that hanging over them, so it could truly be done out of thankfulness, or even simply because it is the "right" thing to do.
    The same could be said for the aethist, for in fact, aren't they also "saved" from hell (that doesn't exist)?
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  16. #136  
    As to the Invisible Jelly Monsters, ( I think they are named Strawberry, Grape, and Apricot), they are upset that some of you do not believe in their existence, and so they may be plotting your painful demise.

    God is saddened that you don't believe in him either, but he has much more patience, and is waiting your repentence.
    Last edited by duanedude1; 07/19/2006 at 10:02 AM.
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  17. #137  
    As to the athiest being saved from a hell he doesn't believe exists.... well, in his mind, I guess he would be saved from a mythical place of punishment. But... if indeed he is wrong about the imaginary nature of hell, then he might be unpleasantly surprised to wind up there.

    Thus many try to "cover their bases" claiming to believe in all sorts of religions, just in case one happens to be ultimately "true". Of course the fact that some of these religions are mutually exclusive doesn't seem to phase them. i.e....

    Religion A says A is the only way to nirvana
    Religion B says "non-A" (or B) is the only way
    Religion C says all A thru Z are ways to bliss, ignoring that both A and B can't be true.
    = =
    As to you chosing what is right and wrong... sounds very nice, but what is to stop anarchy, or you choosing that it is right to steal from me because you can get away with it and it benefits you? With no higher power saying "Thus Says the LORD... X is right, Y is wrong!" We are at the mercy of our feeble minds to decide for ourselves what is right in any given situation... and it may vary from person to person.
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    #138  
    I'll take that as a yes to both of my questions. Thanks.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  19. #139  
    Not really "Yes"... I actually pointed out problems with both assumptions... the one about there being no hell to be saved from, and the one about chosing for ourselves what is right and wrong. More like "No"'s... or at least "Yes, but"'s.
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  20. Micael's Avatar
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    #140  
    Yes, buts... then! Thanks!
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
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