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Questions I have for Evolutionists, Q5

August 29, 2007

Question: 5

At what point of human evolution did morality become an actual thing? Somewhere along the line of the evolutionary process, which is us evolving from the primordial oceans to our present human state, moral rights and wrongs have evolved as well (according to the naturalists who says morality exists).

If someone were to stick a knife in what is now our current evolutionary state, human beings, this is considered by many to be morally inappropriate. Yet it doesn’t seem too likely that there would be much concern if someone were to have stuck a knife in the ancient primordial oceans, the state in which we evolved from. Therefore, at what point along the evolutionary process, going from a liquid existence within the primordial oceans to a walking human being, ought morality be taken into account? Or, what point along this process ought sticking knives in matter be deemed morally intolerable according to Evolutionists?

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11 comments

  1. We humans should be humble about our record of not killing each other. I think no mammal kills more of it’s own kind than we.

    The rest of the answer depends on the definition of morality.

    Basic “don’t kill your neighbour” is very old.
    Tit for tat “morale” is observed in a lot of mammals and birds. Getting advice about what to do or not out of old tales is human and some tenthousand years old, I would guess. It was there when humans began to write stuff down. .


  2. What is killing in your worldview? Killing is just when bags of matter stop moving. Kind of like popping a balloon.

    Cats kill mice for fun, and a female praying mantis will eat the male after sex. Should we lock these animals up in prison according to your logic? Or aren’t we permitted to do likewise to each other?


  3. If you feel that and are only hindered from killing the people and other organisms around you by what’s written in an old book, I am very sorry for you.

    Killing is a thing that belongs to life. Up to now today I have eaten a lot of kids of wheat and rye plants, some very promising offspring of a soy plant processed to margarine, cheese made from stolen milk which belonged to the kid of a cow and so on.

    So I kill – but I limit it to the amount I have to do to keep me alive.

    But if I see a beetle on the way before me I don’t step on it. I avoid meat as far as I can because I don’t think the way cattle is treated is ethically responsible. But I eat a steak from an organically grown cow with pleasure.

    Cats don’t kill mice for fun. Their instinct tells them to do so and they do it even if they are fed up with tinned meat.

    The praying mantis. What could the male do better than be eaten by the mother of his kids and so give all his energy to them? Wouldn’t you talk with admiration about a man who had given his life for his kids? Of course, he knows nothing about it. She neither. But the trait of eating the male has shown to be successful.

    Should we lock these animals up in prison according to your logic? Or aren’t we permitted to do likewise to each other?

    Why do you mix behaviour of animals with ours, which is controlled by conciousness? We have a choice, they not.


  4. you said, If you feel that and are only hindered from killing the people and other organisms around you by what’s written in an old book, I am very sorry for you.

    I don’t account for morality by a book. Did you randomly pick this accusation out of a hat to use against me?

    you said, The praying mantis. What could the male do better than be eaten by the mother of his kids and so give all his energy to them? Wouldn’t you talk with admiration about a man who had given his life for his kids?

    So women are free to eat their husbands for energy? Wow. Sign me up for your worldview and line of reasoning!


  5. You said “Killing is just when bags of matter stop moving. Kind of like popping a balloon.”

    That is either your opinion – then my comment is justified because you gave me no other clue about you not being a mass murderer as your Christian faith.

    Or you implied insultingly that to be my opinion – and then I had the right to slap back.

    Do you see a third possibility? Then please explain and I’ll apologize.

    Where is the source for your morality? A deep feeling for what’s “right” and “wrong” and added a lot of stuff that your parents have told you? On top a nice layer of rules that you have made up by yourself or taken from your peers?

    For your comment on the praying mantis I repeat my question from above:

    Why do you mix behaviour of animals with ours, which is controlled by conciousness? We have a choice, they not.

    This behaviour is perfectly adequate for that species. Do you really think that human morality should be valid for an insect?

    We do the same – in a different way. Why do good fathers work long hours to get money for college instead of having a good time with the buddies? And risking their own life for the (own or other) kids is also not unheard of.

    It’s done by men of all faiths and atheists too. How do you explain that?

    BTW, I left the women out because your example was the male mantis.


  6. I think there’s somewhat of a language barrier between us and our conversation isn’t very intellectually satisfying. I’m just going to agree to disagree with you now instead of later. Thanks for posting though.


  7. You are right, it’s not very intellectual satisfying, but because you are not taking part in a “discussion”.

    Part of a discussion is to use the reply of the other in a whole as a base for the answer. You just pick out one single strain and discard the rest.

    If asked to clarify a statement one does in a discussion. You haven’t done that in one of the five incidents above.

    If you are not willing or able to discuss, why do you invite discussion by posting such blog entries?


  8. “Where is the source for your morality? A deep feeling for what’s “right” and “wrong” and added a lot of stuff that your parents have told you? On top a nice layer of rules that you have made up by yourself or taken from your peers?”

    Let’s try this one. One single answer. And no chickening out.

    BTW, that’ where I think my morality comes from.


  9. Again, thanks for posting. Take care.


  10. This question is both way more complex than I think you realize yet even stupider than the “hearing” question.

    According to Richard Dawkin’s theories, empathy evolved because animals that take care of other members of the group help the entire group to survive. Animals that are too selfish are detrimental to the entire group, and therefore punishing or even exiling them is beneficial. And many females are actually attracted to males who show empathy, and of course, females who ok after their own children are more likely to have surviving children.

    They actually did this experament; they put 2 rats n a cage next to each other, they gave one food and tortured the other one. The one with food did not eat, instead, it squeaked for his freind. Rats have empathy.

    Other than that, morality is subjective and varies from culture to culture and has little to do with Science. It is, figuratively speaking, evolving though. Sex and those who are different are becoming more and more acceptable while violence, opression and harsh punishments are becoming less and less acceptable.


  11. I kept this reply because you were more serious in your response. It’s a nice try. But you beg the question as to what is “beneficial” and how that matters if all we are is matter in motion.

    Science can’t account for what “ought” to be the case, in terms of how we ought to behave. It can only account for what is.

    If morality is really subjective, then your first part of your reply is moot. But even if it’s subjective there’s no morality. There is only the illusion of it, or pretend morality, which is ultimately arbitrary and meaningless.



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