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Old 31st August 2019, 02:23 AM   #601
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
Why don't you admit:
Morals and ethics apply to all able to experience good and bad.
All able to experience good and bad have a universal aim: Well-being.


is an objective all inclusive statement, definition, whatever?
I've already answered that: because it isn't.

How about you answer the question in the post you quoted? What are you afraid of?

Quote:
It is not subjective anthropomorphism
It is. You are applying a human behaviour and understanding to something that does not think like a human. That is the definition of anthropomorphism.
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Old 11th September 2019, 11:35 PM   #602
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I've already answered that: because it isn't.
No, you just state that it isn't when in fact it is. Please explain yourself. Stating the same thing over and over does not make it so.

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
It is. You are applying a human behaviour and understanding to something that does not think like a human. That is the definition of anthropomorphism.
Not at all, don't even know how you come up with this. It is a behaviour common to all life with complex enough nervous systems.
You keep making illogical claims without explaining yourself, please do.

It would help if you would just say how exactly you think a human experiences life differently from an animal, say a mouse. What feelings do you think are unique to humans?
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Last edited by Cheetah; 11th September 2019 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 11th September 2019, 11:39 PM   #603
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Quote:
But Cheetah, I thought you were looking to see if you could define well-being as behaviors that lead to gene propagation?
The evolution of well being?
Evolution is fascination, damn it's so cool.

Nervous systems evolved because they enabled distant parts of the body to communicate and coordinate, enabling locomotion. Then sensors evolved, enabling responses tailored to conditions inside and outside the organism. Well-being is evolution's way of triggering the appropriate responses.
The most basic NSs had only two basic behaviors: towards and away, attract or repulse (feed / flight). Positive / negative.
If you look at something with a simple nervous system, like C elegans, it's already more complex and most of the basics are there.
Their basic behavioral responses are:
(feed / breed) / (flight / fight)
IOW Positive / Negative
If everything is hunky-dory nematodes will indulge in repeated cycles of feed & breed / rest & digest.

They rest and digest because their well-being is at optimal levels, preparing to breed and feed. If their nervous system picks up internal signals of malnutrition, well-being is disturbed and appropriate behaviors trigger to restore well-being, they look for food.
It might be resting & digesting when its NS picks up clues from the environment of a potential mate. Suddenly what was perfect well-being is no more. Well-being becomes getting the girl or whatever.
If it senses a rival, it's well being is disturbed and it attempts to restore it by fighting it off, aggressive behaviors are triggered.
All the basics that became 'feelings' are there already:
Hungry/Satiated/Attract/Repulse/Aggressive/Horny/Content.

The basic (feed / breed) / (flight / fight) responses in simple NSs are present in all more complex animals. The NS has evolved and more bits got added on etc.

Nervous System:
Periferal + Central
Perfiferal = Autononic + Somatic
Autonomic = Parasympathetic + Sympathetic

Our Autonomic NS corresponds to that of the nematode, with the Parasympathetic NS taking care of the (feed & breed, rest & digest) bit and the Sympathetic with (fight / flight, attract / repel).

Well-being is sort of like an evolutionary road-map specifying which behaviors were successful in which situations. It's disturbance is the motivation that triggers the appropriate behaviour in the appropriate conditions, leading to the success of genes.
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Old 12th September 2019, 12:50 AM   #604
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Originally Posted by Lithrael
They’re trying to see what kind of conclusions you could draw IF you used x or y, whether it’d lead somewhere useful to use x or y.
Yes, I need help.
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
An objective basis is not the same as a universal basis.
Yes, I see.
Universal basis it is.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
On the existence of a universal basis it can mean two things: that it is a basis that all men accept in fact or that it is a basis that all men should accept.
The first is a factual question.
Yes, factual.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Let us suppose that the universal basis is well-being. This would be like saying that all men put well-being above all else. Let us suppose that this is true, that it is not.
They do. It is.
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
A distinction should be made between personal well-being and the well-being of others.
I want to start with personal well-being because the well-being of others is a naturally and necessary emergent behaviour in social animals directly driven by genetic success.
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Old 12th September 2019, 07:29 AM   #605
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
Yes, I need help.

Yes, I see.
Universal basis it is.


Yes, factual.


They do. It is.

I want to start with personal well-being because the well-being of others is a naturally and necessary emergent behaviour in social animals directly driven by genetic success.
Well-being: the state of feeling healthy and happy.

If we include happiness: social animals do not seek happiness. Happiness is a human concept. It involves things like typically human emotions or the global evaluation of goals that are not animal behaviours. It cannot be said that an animal is in love or that it has fulfilled the project of its life. Only health remains.

As a concept limited to health.
"All animals seek health" is not a universal factual statement. Male gorillas are sacrificed for females and offspring. The female squid dies to take care of the eggs. Humans sacrifice for others. They even sacrifice or mortify themselves for an ideal project, such as achieving eternal life or sacrificing themselves for their homeland.

Therefore, it is a fact that the pursuit of well-being is not a universal behaviour.

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Old 12th September 2019, 09:52 AM   #606
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See my definition and explanations above of what well-being is in this context. It boils down to acting freely.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
"All animals seek health" is not a universal factual statement.
No, but well-being is.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Male gorillas are sacrificed for females and offspring.
How?
Do you mean infanticide? They do it out of their own free will.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The female squid dies to take care of the eggs.
Out of her own free will for her own well-being. It's what they want to do. Evolution makes them want to do it because it leads to the success of their genes.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Humans sacrifice for others. They even sacrifice or mortify themselves for an ideal project, such as achieving eternal life or sacrificing themselves for their homeland.
Also out of their own free will (unless forced) for their own perceived well-being. Even when placed or forced into a totally crap situation, people still make the choices they perceive as the least bad of the bunch, out of their own free will.
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Old 12th September 2019, 10:30 PM   #607
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
See my definition and explanations above of what well-being is in this context. It boils down to acting freely.


No, but well-being is.


How?
Do you mean infanticide? They do it out of their own free will.


Out of her own free will for her own well-being. It's what they want to do. Evolution makes them want to do it because it leads to the success of their genes.


Also out of their own free will (unless forced) for their own perceived well-being. Even when placed or forced into a totally crap situation, people still make the choices they perceive as the least bad of the bunch, out of their own free will.
I can't go on if you don't clarify before what you mean by well-being. It seems that you don't like my definition. Why?
Maybe some questions will help.

It seems you define well-being as "to have success". But it is not clear what success you are speaking off. Personal success? Species success? Survival success? Immediate success?

It would be better to leave aside the free will issue for the moment. Now I am trying to precise your concept of well-being.

NOTE: Male gorillas sacrifice themselves in order to defend females and offspring. No cannibalism.
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Old 12th September 2019, 11:17 PM   #608
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"Well-being is evolution's way of triggering the appropriate responses."

"Even when placed or forced into a totally crap situation, people still make the choices they perceive as the least bad of the bunch".


The first sentence does not fit the second. One thing is that what the organism does is what is best for the species and another is that what the human being does is what he evaluates as best for him, according to his beliefs. The martyr who sacrifices himself to obtain eternal life is not doing anything that responds to the goals of evolution. The businessman who fires half the company staff to make a profit is doing nothing that favours evolution. They are culturally motivated behaviours that involve a subjective assessment of the relationship between means and ends.

Your concept of well-being is contradictory or limited.
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Old 13th September 2019, 08:55 AM   #609
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Well-being is not exactly the right word.
What I mean is the means evolution uses to goad the animal into engaging in the correct behaviour. An animal acting of it's own free will engages in different behaviours that were successful in it's ancestors in different situations. Evolution triggers the correct behaviour by making the animal experience an evolved feeling, with the correct behaviour alleviating the feeling, or engaging in the correct behaviour feeling 'good'.
Give me some time to think, I will elaborate.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
NOTE: Male gorillas sacrifice themselves in order to defend females and offspring. No cannibalism.
Doesn't matter, they do it of their own free will.
Males who aggressively protect females and offspring where more successful in the past. It's always a balancing act for evolution, be aggressive enough to come out on top, but not so aggressive as to get yourself killed.
Social context changes things because getting yourself killed to ensure the survival of females and offspring directly contributes to the success of your genes, since some of your genes are in the offspring.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
One thing is that what the organism does is what is best for the species...
No, that never happens. Evolution cannot work that way.
Organisms always do what evolution has selected for as being the best behaviour at propagating the genes in their personal genome.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
...and another is that what the human being does is what he evaluates as best for him, according to his beliefs. The martyr who sacrifices himself to obtain eternal life is not doing anything that responds to the goals of evolution.
Yes he is.
Self preservation is evolution's number one drive. You can't reproduce unless you live long enough. He believes he is getting eternal life. He is wrong.
Self preservation, the promise of eternal life, is a major, probably the number one reason for the success of some religions.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The businessman who fires half the company staff to make a profit is doing nothing that favours evolution. They are culturally motivated behaviours that involve a subjective assessment of the relationship between means and ends.
People want possessions, power and prestige because evolution equipped us with those drives. None of them are culturally motivated. Those behaviours get you ahead in society, which for social animals equals genetic success.
Throughout our evolutionary history as social animals, driven individuals, leaders who through whatever means, gained power and prestige contributed and inordinate amount of genes to the next generations. All those behaviours lead to genetic success in a social setting.
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Old 13th September 2019, 12:22 PM   #610
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Evolution makes a lot more sense when you look at it from the POV of genes instead of organisms.
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Old 13th September 2019, 11:31 PM   #611
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Text deleted due to repetition. Sorry.

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Old 13th September 2019, 11:48 PM   #612
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
Well-being is not exactly the right word.
What I mean is the means evolution uses to goad the animal into engaging in the correct behaviour. An animal acting of it's own free will engages in different behaviours that were successful in it's ancestors in different situations. Evolution triggers the correct behaviour by making the animal experience an evolved feeling, with the correct behaviour alleviating the feeling, or engaging in the correct behaviour feeling 'good'.
Give me some time to think, I will elaborate.
If we no longer talk about the concept of well-being, it would be important to know what we are talking about. I will wait for your new proposal.

Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
Doesn't matter, they do it of their own free will.
Males who aggressively protect females and offspring where more successful in the past. It's always a balancing act for evolution, be aggressive enough to come out on top, but not so aggressive as to get yourself killed.
Social context changes things because getting yourself killed to ensure the survival of females and offspring directly contributes to the success of your genes, since some of your genes are in the offspring.


No, that never happens. Evolution cannot work that way.
Organisms always do what evolution has selected for as being the best behaviour at propagating the genes in their personal genome.


Yes he is.
Self preservation is evolution's number one drive. You can't reproduce unless you live long enough. He believes he is getting eternal life. He is wrong.
Self preservation, the promise of eternal life, is a major, probably the number one reason for the success of some religions.


People want possessions, power and prestige because evolution equipped us with those drives. None of them are culturally motivated. Those behaviours get you ahead in society, which for social animals equals genetic success.
Throughout our evolutionary history as social animals, driven individuals, leaders who through whatever means, gained power and prestige contributed and inordinate amount of genes to the next generations. All those behaviours lead to genetic success in a social setting.
My knowledge of evolutionary theory is not very broad. As far as I know, the theory of the selfish gene is by Dawkins and is not accepted by all biologists. The original Darwinian explanation is that the struggle for survival is at the level of species and individuals.
Extending this theory to human beings is complicated because important cultural interferences intervene. This is recognized even by the most ardent supporters of social biology. With a few exceptions.

Although certain biological impulses may subsist, they have been transformed in such a way that they no longer make much evolutionary sense. You recognize this yourself when you say that the behaviour of the Christian martyr is "wrong. That is, it is contrary to the supposed evolutionary principle that you preach.

It doesn't matter if the "wrong" behaviors are many or few. From the moment they exist, you cannot say that the evolutionary principle is a factual universal law in the human species.
Therefore, the moral rule cannot be defined in terms of a universal factual law that does not exist. Moral law will have to be defined in terms of cultural oppositions between individuals or social groups and cannot be resolved on the basis of the theory of evolution, which operates at other levels.
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Old 15th September 2019, 03:12 PM   #613
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
Well-being is not exactly the right word.
What I mean is the means evolution uses to goad the animal into engaging in the correct behaviour. An animal acting of it's own free will engages in different behaviours that were successful in it's ancestors in different situations. Evolution triggers the correct behaviour by making the animal experience an evolved feeling, with the correct behaviour alleviating the feeling, or engaging in the correct behaviour feeling 'good'.
This is a good parallel to the ‘crave fat and sweets’ part of the natural basis for how we want to eat. How would we show an example of how this gets misdirected in a modern setting?

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Old 15th September 2019, 09:59 PM   #614
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Originally Posted by Lithrael View Post
This is a good parallel to the ‘crave fat and sweets’ part of the natural basis for how we want to eat. How would we show an example of how this gets misdirected in a modern setting?
The obesity epidemic in almost all developed countries is yet another example of how the laws of evolution no longer work in today's society. They have been diverted by the cultural environment that has created its own laws. This epidemics don't exist in natural environments.
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Old Yesterday, 01:10 AM   #615
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the laws of evolution still work, but the conditions have changed.
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Old Yesterday, 10:06 PM   #616
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
the laws of evolution still work, but the conditions have changed.
The laws of evolution work in a natural environment. Man has created an artificial environment. Here the laws of evolution don't usually work or are strictly suppressed. For example, natural selection. In human societies weak and ill individuals survive that in a natural environment would be eliminated. For example, in human societies we send the best to wars and preserve the weak. Another example: we keep the chronically ill alive. In doing so we allow the survival of harmful gens that in a natural environment would be suppressed.
We avoid many natural behaviours that in society seem revolting although they may be biologically fitting. The main cause is that the human environment is not strictly selective.

Note that the correct name for the evolutionary mechanism is "natural selection".
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Old Yesterday, 11:28 PM   #617
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
As far as I know, the theory of the selfish gene is by Dawkins and is not accepted by all biologists. The original Darwinian explanation is that the struggle for survival is at the level of species and individuals.
Darwin didn't know about genes. Evolution where the 'unit of selection' is the organism is known as Darwinian selection.
It is excepted that evolution operates at multiple levels.
If a single gene supplies an organism with a trait that results in reproductive success the unit of evolution in that instance would be that gene. Most attributes are the result of gene complexes though, not single genes which makes it more complicated.
The only real criticism of evolution operating on the genetic level is that it's the phenotype that's under pressure in the real wold, not the genotype.
Doesn't really matter though, genes are obviously incredibly important and although nurture and the environment does have an indisputable influence, no matter how you raise an animal with chicken (or human) genes, it will turn out a chicken or die trying.
I think selection is generally accepted to occur at the genetic, cellular, organism and group levels; as well as cultural and epigenetic.
Selection mechanisms at the species and higher levels have been proposed but never proven, I think the proponents are going extinct.
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Extending this theory to human beings is complicated because important cultural interferences intervene. This is recognized even by the most ardent supporters of social biology.
Yeah, you can't be too specific.
As I've said, you have to look at humans as a whole when studying behaviour. We are verrrrry similar to each other genetically in comparison to most species.
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Although certain biological impulses may subsist, they have been transformed in such a way that they no longer make much evolutionary sense.
No, they make perfect evolutionary sense.
As The Great Zaganza said it's the environment that has changed while the evolved drives have remained the same. As all species we are best adapted to the past environment, there is a lag between environmental change and natural selection catching up to new conditions.
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
You recognize this yourself when you say that the behaviour of the Christian martyr is "wrong. That is, it is contrary to the supposed evolutionary principle that you preach.
You misunderstand. His belief is wrong, not his behaviour. His behaviour makes sense as I explained.

Evolution cannot deal in absolute objectives. Evolution cannot make absolute rules like 'don't kill yourself' or 'spread your genes'.
It's just not possible, the animal knows nothing of genes, it cannot. All evolution can do is reward good behaviour and punish bad behaviour, measured by gene success. That is why sex feels good. That is why mates look/smell/sound good. Why being hungry or thirsty (or getting damaged) feels bad and eating and sex good.
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It doesn't matter if the "wrong" behaviors are many or few. From the moment they exist, you cannot say that the evolutionary principle is a factual universal law in the human species.
Therefore, the moral rule cannot be defined in terms of a universal factual law that does not exist. Moral law will have to be defined in terms of cultural oppositions between individuals or social groups and cannot be resolved on the basis of the theory of evolution, which operates at other levels.
You are confusing the 'study of human social evolution and it's impact on our morals' with the 'universal morality' we are also discussing.
Human morals are totally a result of our social evolution, you cannot deny that. Cultural differences between different human societies are insignificant when viewing the species as a whole.
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Old Today, 12:01 AM   #618
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Oh, well-being, yes.


A combination of mental and physical well-being, I'm sure you know what I mean. Doing the things that evolution rewards, free will.
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