E O Wilson on Morality: Biologists In, Philosophers F/Off

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E O Wilson on Morality: Biologists In, Philosophers F/Off

Postby Prismatic567 » Mon May 25, 2020 9:21 am

Here is an interesting perspective to Morality and Ethics;

https://www.iep.utm.edu/evol-eth/

Evolutionary ethics tries to bridge the gap between philosophy and the natural sciences by arguing that natural selection has instilled human beings with a moral sense, a disposition to be good.

If this were true, morality could be understood as a phenomenon that arises automatically during the evolution of sociable, intelligent beings and not, as theologians or philosophers might argue, as the result of divine revelation or the application of our rational faculties.

Morality would be interpreted as a useful adaptation that increases the fitness of its holders by providing a selective advantage.

This is certainly the view of Edward O. Wilson, the “father” of sociobiology, who believes that;

    “scientists and humanists should consider together the possibility that
    the time has come for ethics to be removed temporarily from the hands of the philosophers and biologicized
    (Wilson, 1975: Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, 27).


The above exclusion as proposed by E.O. Wilson is most applicable to theose whose approach to Morality are stuck with the dogmatic and unrealistic views of Philosophical Realism and Analytic Philosophy.

E.O. Wilson has controversial views with the priority for sociobiology to dominate on Morality.
I personally do not agree fully with Wilson, but in a small way he got it right with the Big Picture, i.e. sociobiology should be a significant addition to the discussion of morality on an interdisplinary approach together with other fields of knowledge.

My personal view is, philosophy-proper play a meta-encompassing role over all other fields of knowledge. As for morality, it should be grounded on evolutionary psychology and sociobiology and polished with philosophical reasoning.

Views?
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Re: E O Wilson on Morality: Biologists In, Philosophers F/Of

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon May 25, 2020 12:23 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:Evolutionary ethics tries to bridge the gap between philosophy and the natural sciences by arguing that natural selection has instilled human beings with a moral sense, a disposition to be good.
If one believes in current evolutionary theory this is pretty much a given. The problem is what one concludes once one thinks of this.

If this were true, morality could be understood as a phenomenon that arises automatically during the evolution of sociable, intelligent beings and not, as theologians or philosophers might argue, as the result of divine revelation or the application of our rational faculties.
Morality would be interpreted as a useful adaptation that increases the fitness of its holders by providing a selective advantage.
Potentially useful. Or useful so far. And note: that a diversity of moralities arise, and not just in humans, though it is certainly diverse enough already in humans to be an issue.

This is certainly the view of Edward O. Wilson, the “father” of sociobiology, who believes that;

    “scientists and humanists should consider together the possibility that
    the time has come for ethics to be removed temporarily from the hands of the philosophers and biologicized
    (Wilson, 1975: Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, 27).
[/quote]Which can't really be done. Or it is confused to do so might be a better formulation. For all we know tendencies toward moral thinking in humans are detrimental long term. Or there may be many functional moralities that would lead to society thriving but which do not thrive together, and there is no experiment that we can set up to know which is best biologically.

E.O. Wilson has controversial views with the priority for sociobiology to dominate on Morality.
I personally do not agree fully with Wilson, but in a small way he got it right with the Big Picture, i.e. sociobiology should be a significant addition to the discussion of morality on an interdisplinary approach together with other fields of knowledge.
At the risk of sounding like Iamb, could you give a specific example of how this would play out. Like pick a moral issue and show us how sociobiology would be weighed in or rule the discussion or however you see this addition.

We are social mammals, with empathy and a tendency to collaborate. One need not view that as a morality, but these tendencies certainly lead to certain behaviors and heuristics.
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Re: E O Wilson on Morality: Biologists In, Philosophers F/Of

Postby Fixed Cross » Mon May 25, 2020 7:07 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:Here is an interesting perspective to Morality and Ethics;

https://www.iep.utm.edu/evol-eth/

Evolutionary ethics tries to bridge the gap between philosophy and the natural sciences by arguing that natural selection has instilled human beings with a moral sense, a disposition to be good.

A classic concept in Evolution theory.
The reasoning is: where a species reaches a very large number, the mass rather than the individual specimens determines the outcome of conflicts.
Specimens which are agreeable have a lesser chance of being killed off than those who aren't.

If this were true, morality could be understood as a phenomenon that arises automatically during the evolution of sociable, intelligent beings and not, as theologians or philosophers might argue, as the result of divine revelation or the application of our rational faculties.

Morality would be interpreted as a useful adaptation that increases the fitness of its holders by providing a selective advantage.

It doesn't improve fitness, but it does provide a selective advantage.

This is certainly the view of Edward O. Wilson, the “father” of sociobiology, who believes that;

    “scientists and humanists should consider together the possibility that
    the time has come for ethics to be removed temporarily from the hands of the philosophers and biologicized
    (Wilson, 1975: Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, 27).

But it is a very well understood concept.

"Social Darwinism" by the way, is ironically is the precise opposite of this idea.

The above exclusion as proposed by E.O. Wilson is most applicable to theose whose approach to Morality are stuck with the dogmatic and unrealistic views of Philosophical Realism and Analytic Philosophy.

E.O. Wilson has controversial views with the priority for sociobiology to dominate on Morality.
I personally do not agree fully with Wilson, but in a small way he got it right with the Big Picture, i.e. sociobiology should be a significant addition to the discussion of morality on an interdisplinary approach together with other fields of knowledge.

My personal view is, philosophy-proper play a meta-encompassing role over all other fields of knowledge. As for morality, it should be grounded on evolutionary psychology and sociobiology and polished with philosophical reasoning.

Views?

Well I find this curious:

"As for morality, it should be grounded on..."

As "should" is generally a moral indicator, so you are presenting a morality of morality.
The strong do what they can, the weak accept what they must.
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Re: E O Wilson on Morality: Biologists In, Philosophers F/Of

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue May 26, 2020 11:01 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:E.O. Wilson has controversial views with the priority for sociobiology to dominate on Morality.
I personally do not agree fully with Wilson, but in a small way he got it right with the Big Picture, i.e. sociobiology should be a significant addition to the discussion of morality on an interdisplinary approach together with other fields of knowledge.
At the risk of sounding like Iamb, could you give a specific example of how this would play out. Like pick a moral issue and show us how sociobiology would be weighed in or rule the discussion or however you see this addition.

We are social mammals, with empathy and a tendency to collaborate. One need not view that as a morality, but these tendencies certainly lead to certain behaviors and heuristics.

Take for example, 'incest' is generally disgusting and regarded as immoral by society.

This is evident in the higher animals and there are loads of evidence the consequences of incest do not provide evolutionary fitness to the group or species. Such sociobiological evidence will provide empirical evidence to justify such a moral fact as 'incest is not acceptable'.

From the philosophers point of view, all they have is evidence from their own observations or from anthropologists but they don't have more substantial evidence such as those from the sociobiologists.

I view Morality and Ethics in terms of effective Framework and System of Morality and Ethics to guide humans to optimize the well being of the individuals and that of humanity. This is where philosophy-proper play its overall role.
However the moral facts [empathy, altruism, co-operation] that are needed to support the framework are most effectively derived as justified true moral beliefs from evidences of sociobiology [mainly] are other fields of knowledge.
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Re: E O Wilson on Morality: Biologists In, Philosophers F/Of

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue May 26, 2020 11:15 am

Fixed Cross wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:Here is an interesting perspective to Morality and Ethics;

https://www.iep.utm.edu/evol-eth/

Evolutionary ethics tries to bridge the gap between philosophy and the natural sciences by arguing that natural selection has instilled human beings with a moral sense, a disposition to be good.

A classic concept in Evolution theory.
The reasoning is: where a species reaches a very large number, the mass rather than the individual specimens determines the outcome of conflicts.
Specimens which are agreeable have a lesser chance of being killed off than those who aren't.

If this were true, morality could be understood as a phenomenon that arises automatically during the evolution of sociable, intelligent beings and not, as theologians or philosophers might argue, as the result of divine revelation or the application of our rational faculties.

Morality would be interpreted as a useful adaptation that increases the fitness of its holders by providing a selective advantage.

It doesn't improve fitness, but it does provide a selective advantage.

This is certainly the view of Edward O. Wilson, the “father” of sociobiology, who believes that;

    “scientists and humanists should consider together the possibility that
    the time has come for ethics to be removed temporarily from the hands of the philosophers and biologicized
    (Wilson, 1975: Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, 27).

But it is a very well understood concept.

"Social Darwinism" by the way, is ironically is the precise opposite of this idea.

The above exclusion as proposed by E.O. Wilson is most applicable to theose whose approach to Morality are stuck with the dogmatic and unrealistic views of Philosophical Realism and Analytic Philosophy.

E.O. Wilson has controversial views with the priority for sociobiology to dominate on Morality.
I personally do not agree fully with Wilson, but in a small way he got it right with the Big Picture, i.e. sociobiology should be a significant addition to the discussion of morality on an interdisplinary approach together with other fields of knowledge.

My personal view is, philosophy-proper play a meta-encompassing role over all other fields of knowledge. As for morality, it should be grounded on evolutionary psychology and sociobiology and polished with philosophical reasoning.

Views?

Well I find this curious:

"As for morality, it should be grounded on..."

As "should" is generally a moral indicator, so you are presenting a morality of morality.

In morality, there has to be a standard of "what is good" to be justified based on empirical evidence.
Where there are large numbers and if they do not stick to "what is good" eventually the group will be reduced and destroyed.

The idea of 'should' and 'ought' or "no ought from is" used contemporary in Morality is mostly misinterpreted and abused.
In my case of 'should' it denote to arrive at effectiveness, thus one 'should' adopt such and such an approach.
Example, the two pieces of planks should be nailed rather than glued has nothing to do with morality.
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Re: E O Wilson on Morality: Biologists In, Philosophers F/Of

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue May 26, 2020 11:27 am

Prismatic567 wrote:Take for example, 'incest' is generally disgusting and regarded as immoral by society.

This is evident in the higher animals and there are loads of evidence the consequences of incest do not provide evolutionary fitness to the group or species. Such sociobiological evidence will provide empirical evidence to justify such a moral fact as 'incest is not acceptable'.
Many animals will have sex with family members, especially if other options are not easy to come by. And then there are bonobos which have been used to justify incest and even pedophilia.

Animals also, often, have strong hierarchies, which determine things like access to sex adn access to choice food. Many higher mammals have very rigid sex determined roles. Do we now decide that that is moral for us, necessarily? Different groups will often kill members of another group on sight. Should we live in small groups and do that also?

Part of what evolution has given us is neuroplasticity. We don't have to be driven by imprinting and instinct. I don't see how sociobiology clears things up.

Further animals have no birth control. So people wanting to be incestuous could say that procreaction has problems but not the sex itself. They don't need the protections put in place by natural selection.

And further, if natural selection leads to disgust, it obviously does not in all cases, or incest would not be an issue. So one could argue that incest should be an exception but not ruled out.

Please note: I am not in favor of incest, nor pedophilia, just pointing out the problems with this.

https://phys.org/news/2014-12-incest-ma ... roach.html
https://breedingbusiness.com/incest-breeding-in-dogs/

But further, try to take on more common issues: is war good or bad? is abortion? should welfare be provided for the poor? and so on.

While there are some advocates for incest, they remain outsiders and outcasts.
Last edited by Karpel Tunnel on Wed May 27, 2020 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: E O Wilson on Morality: Biologists In, Philosophers F/Of

Postby Fixed Cross » Tue May 26, 2020 4:36 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:In morality, there has to be a standard of "what is good" to be justified based on empirical evidence.
Where there are large numbers and if they do not stick to "what is good" eventually the group will be reduced and destroyed.

So essentially you are saying that what is good is what keeps the group from being reduced and destroyed.
This is at least the positive (positivist) content that we can now derive, and it is how morality works in the eye of the skeptic.

The idea of 'should' and 'ought' or "no ought from is" used contemporary in Morality is mostly misinterpreted and abused.
In my case of 'should' it denote to arrive at effectiveness, thus one 'should' adopt such and such an approach.
Example, the two pieces of planks should be nailed rather than glued has nothing to do with morality.

But why would you use the argument "if they do not stick to "what is good" eventually the group will be reduced and destroyed", if effectiveness is not the concern?

What Im pressing for here: what content other than effectiveness does morality have?
I am not denying that there is such content, but as a philosophical skeptic, I need to see it pressed right from the fruit, so to speak, I don't buy it prepackaged. I don't ever go by labels.
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Re: E O Wilson on Morality: Biologists In, Philosophers F/Of

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu May 28, 2020 6:03 am

Fixed Cross wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:In morality, there has to be a standard of "what is good" to be justified based on empirical evidence.
Where there are large numbers and if they do not stick to "what is good" eventually the group will be reduced and destroyed.

So essentially you are saying that what is good is what keeps the group from being reduced and destroyed.
This is at least the positive (positivist) content that we can now derive, and it is how morality works in the eye of the skeptic.

Specifically I would say, the species rather than a group.
There is no maximum or infinite number to the species but rather the number should be optimal to the situations.
The minimal number in the group is the critical mass sufficient to ensure the human species is preserved and sustained.

To me, morality is defined as;

Morality (from Latin: moralitas, lit. 'manner, character, proper behavior') is the differentiation of intentions, decisions and actions between those that are distinguished as proper and those that are improper.
-wiki


What is proper, i.e. good is justified and supported with intelligence, wisdom, rationality, empathy, compassion, philosophical reasoning and ensuring no 'evil' in included.

The idea of 'should' and 'ought' or "no ought from is" used contemporary in Morality is mostly misinterpreted and abused.
In my case of 'should' it denote to arrive at effectiveness, thus one 'should' adopt such and such an approach.
Example, the two pieces of planks should be nailed rather than glued has nothing to do with morality.

But why would you use the argument "if they do not stick to "what is good" eventually the group will be reduced and destroyed", if effectiveness is not the concern?

What Im pressing for here: what content other than effectiveness does morality have?
I am not denying that there is such content, but as a philosophical skeptic, I need to see it pressed right from the fruit, so to speak, I don't buy it prepackaged. I don't ever go by labels.

In my case Morality [Pure] must be complimented with Ethics [Applied] like as in Science, Mathematics, Geometry and other fields of knowledge.

Within Morality [Pure] we justify what is the ideal-good as a GUIDE-only then rely on Ethics [Applied] to get as close as possible to the impossible-ideal as effectively as possible.
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Re: E O Wilson on Morality: Biologists In, Philosophers F/Of

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu May 28, 2020 6:29 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:Take for example, 'incest' is generally disgusting and regarded as immoral by society.

This is evident in the higher animals and there are loads of evidence the consequences of incest do not provide evolutionary fitness to the group or species. Such sociobiological evidence will provide empirical evidence to justify such a moral fact as 'incest is not acceptable'.
Many animals will have sex with family members, especially if other options are not easy to come by. And then there are bonobos which have been used to justify incest and even pedophilia.

Animals also, often, have strong hierarchies, which determine things like access to sex adn access to choice food. Many higher mammals have very rigid sex determined roles. Do we now decide that that is moral for us, necessarily? Different groups will often kill members of another group on sight. Should we live in small groups and do that also?

Part of what evolution has given us is neuroplasticity. We don't have to be driven by imprinting and instinct. I don't see how sociobiology clears things up.

Further animals have no birth control. So people wanting to be incestuous could say that procreaction has problems but not the sex itself. They don't need the protections put in place by natural selection.

And further, if natural selection leads to disgust, it obviously does not in all cases, or incest would not be an issue. So one could argue that incest should be an exception but not ruled out.

Please note: I am not in favor of incest, nor pedophilia, just pointing out the problems with this.

https://phys.org/news/2014-12-incest-ma ... roach.html
https://breedingbusiness.com/incest-breeding-in-dogs/

The animal examples I used is to show the evolution trend of a sliver of morality within SOME higher animals. This is why we observed those moral traits in SOME animals only.

Since we have evolved from animals, this adaptive traits is inherited by humans. Because humans has self-awareness, intelligence, rationality and higher level of cognition, obvious the human perspective of morality would be higher than those of the other animals.

Whilst those 'SOME' animals avoided incest intuitively, humans are now able to prove scientifically why incest is a negative trait to a tribe and the species.

But further, try to take on more common issues: is war good or bad? is abortion? should welfare be provided for the poor? and so on.

While there are some advocates for incest, they remain outsiders and outcasts.

In the above I wrote the following;

    My Moral Model is, within Morality [Pure] we justify what is the ideal-good as a GUIDE-only then rely on Ethics [Applied] to get as close as possible to the impossible-ideal as effectively as possible.

As such,
is war good or bad?
is abortion?
should welfare be provided for the poor? and so on,
should be dealt within the principles of the above model.

Take 'abortion' for example.
The main "purpose" [inferred from evidence] of the human species is to ensure its preservation and be sustained as long as possible till the inevitable.
Thus 'abortion' if Universalized would in theory will cause the human species to be extinct. [note this is theoretical]
Therefore from the Moral perspective;
Deliberate [not natural] Abortion should not be permitted.
But since this is 'moral' [PURE] it is only a GUIDE and not to be enforced.

On the Ethics [APPLIED] side, the majority of humans lack of impulse control on their sexual lusts thus unwanted births will happen.
Thus it is avoidable from the Ethics [APPLIED] abortion is permissible but should be discouraged as much as possible.
However this moral variance of abortions done must be reduced as close as possible to the ideal.
In this case, humanity must strive to find solutions to improve the impulse control of the average person. This cannot be done now [too late] but towards the future generations in ensuring people enjoy sex but still able to maintain optimal population levels to sustain the human species.

The above approach is applied to all moral and ethical issues.
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Re: E O Wilson on Morality: Biologists In, Philosophers F/Of

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Fri May 29, 2020 1:42 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:The animal examples I used is to show the evolution trend of a sliver of morality within SOME higher animals. This is why we observed those moral traits in SOME animals only.
Fine, but diversity indicates that different approaches can be effective, so we get no clear answer from what other species do.

Since we have evolved from animals, this adaptive traits is inherited by humans. Because humans has self-awareness, intelligence, rationality and higher level of cognition, obvious the human perspective of morality would be higher than those of the other animals.
Seems like it is higher and lower, so far.

Whilst those 'SOME' animals avoided incest intuitively, humans are now able to prove scientifically why incest is a negative trait to a tribe and the species.
Procreation from incest is a problem, but we have ways to avoid that.

But further, try to take on more common issues: is war good or bad? is abortion? should welfare be provided for the poor? and so on.

While there are some advocates for incest, they remain outsiders and outcasts.

Take 'abortion' for example.
The main "purpose" [inferred from evidence] of the human species is to ensure its preservation and be sustained as long as possible till the inevitable.
Thus 'abortion' if Universalized would in theory will cause the human species to be extinct. [note this is theoretical]
Therefore from the Moral perspective;
Deliberate [not natural] Abortion should not be permitted.
But since this is 'moral' [PURE] it is only a GUIDE and not to be enforced.
Building buildings everywhere is a problem. Building them in some places is not. Having fires in some places works, everywhere not so much. Putting some people in prison, but not putting everyone in prison. Giving some people the right to operate on others, but not everyone. Driving on roads, but not everywhere. And so on. Just because something would be bad if done by everyone does not mean it should be forbidden to all.

Further infanticide happens in many social mammals including primates. It is often systematic when males enter a group.

On the Ethics [APPLIED] side, the majority of humans lack of impulse control on their sexual lusts thus unwanted births will happen.
Thus it is avoidable from the Ethics [APPLIED] abortion is permissible but should be discouraged as much as possible.
If we are basing our morals and ethics on primates discouraging impulse control is a tricky conclusion as something moral to do. Of course leaders and even non-leader in packs will enforce certain kinds of control on impulses, though they do this impulsively and often so that they can have sex impulsively with whomever they like.

However this moral variance of abortions done must be reduced as close as possible to the ideal.
In this case, humanity must strive to find solutions to improve the impulse control of the average person.
And again, animals compared to humans are really quite expert in expressing their impulses. So I don't see where this moral judgments that we should control our impulses and that of other people comes from sociobiologically.
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Re: E O Wilson on Morality: Biologists In, Philosophers F/Of

Postby Prismatic567 » Sat May 30, 2020 9:34 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:The animal examples I used is to show the evolution trend of a sliver of morality within SOME higher animals. This is why we observed those moral traits in SOME animals only.
Fine, but diversity indicates that different approaches can be effective, so we get no clear answer from what other species do.

You missed my point.
With the example of animals having some semblance of morality, I was merely showing there is a progressively trend of morality, but I did not imply humans must adopt or follow what the animals are behaving.
I am not relying on this point as a strong justifications for human morality.
Obviously humans with the potential of higher intelligence, rationality and wisdom will have to chart their own moral destiny which will optimize the well being of the individuals and that of humanity.

Since we have evolved from animals, this adaptive traits is inherited by humans. Because humans has self-awareness, intelligence, rationality and higher level of cognition, obvious the human perspective of morality would be higher than those of the other animals.
Seems like it is higher and lower, so far.

Do I have to answer this since animals are still guided more by instincts whereas humans in additional are guided by intelligence, rationality and higher level of cognition.

Whilst those 'SOME' animals avoided incest intuitively, humans are now able to prove scientifically why incest is a negative trait to a tribe and the species.
Procreation from incest is a problem, but we have ways to avoid that.
The difference is humans now understand with evidences [medical, biological, psychological] why incest is a negative trait.

But further, try to take on more common issues: is war good or bad? is abortion? should welfare be provided for the poor? and so on.

While there are some advocates for incest, they remain outsiders and outcasts.

Take 'abortion' for example.
The main "purpose" [inferred from evidence] of the human species is to ensure its preservation and be sustained as long as possible till the inevitable.
Thus 'abortion' if Universalized would in theory will cause the human species to be extinct. [note this is theoretical]
Therefore from the Moral perspective;
Deliberate [not natural] Abortion should not be permitted.
But since this is 'moral' [PURE] it is only a GUIDE and not to be enforced.
Building buildings everywhere is a problem. Building them in some places is not. Having fires in some places works, everywhere not so much. Putting some people in prison, but not putting everyone in prison. Giving some people the right to operate on others, but not everyone. Driving on roads, but not everywhere. And so on. Just because something would be bad if done by everyone does not mean it should be forbidden to all.

Further infanticide happens in many social mammals including primates. It is often systematic when males enter a group.

Where anything is negative if done by all or the majority, then, in theory [note in theory] it be preferable to make it a theoretical rule [policy], it is is forbidden to all.

Take the example of this current threat of Covid19's virus.
Every country at present have laws to ensure no human pass the Covid19's virus to another human as a policy which is actually in theory.
In practice, there will be irresponsible people passing the Covid19's virus to others ignorantly or recklessly.

But if each country at present is indifferent to the threat of the Covid19's virus and pass no laws to forbid all people from infecting others at least in theory, then the infection rates and death will get worst.

So the "Forbidden to All" as a theory [law, policy, maxim] is definitely more effective than no theoretical 'Forbidden to All".

On the Ethics [APPLIED] side, the majority of humans lack of impulse control on their sexual lusts thus unwanted births will happen.
Thus it is avoidable from the Ethics [APPLIED] abortion is permissible but should be discouraged as much as possible.
If we are basing our morals and ethics on primates discouraging impulse control is a tricky conclusion as something moral to do. Of course leaders and even non-leader in packs will enforce certain kinds of control on impulses, though they do this impulsively and often so that they can have sex impulsively with whomever they like.

Note my above point.
I am not basing our moral and ethics in primates at all.

However this moral variance of abortions done must be reduced as close as possible to the ideal.
In this case, humanity must strive to find solutions to improve the impulse control of the average person.
And again, animals compared to humans are really quite expert in expressing their impulses. So I don't see where this moral judgments that we should control our impulses and that of other people comes from sociobiologically.

Again we are not basing our moral and ethics on primates and animals directly.
What we do is to observe human nature and from there extract moral facts as GUIDES for individuals to develop their moral competences.

For example, it is not impossible to survey every normal* human [or a large enough population] to find out whether they will volunteer to be murdered by another human under normal circumstances. The answer is a 'NO' from all normal humans.
* there will be abnormal who are suicidal and the perverts and these are recognized as having mental issues.

From the above we can establish the justified moral facts,
"No human ought to kill another human"

We can do the same for other moral facts [ought or ought-not] from other empirical evidence via sociobiology and other fields of knowledge about human nature and the human species.
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Re: E O Wilson on Morality: Biologists In, Philosophers F/Of

Postby Dan~ » Sat May 30, 2020 11:54 pm

Hi, Prismatic567

I usually feel that most of our qualities can be reduced to DNA.
Nothing is truly random.
Everything is both an effect and a cause.
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Re: E O Wilson on Morality: Biologists In, Philosophers F/Of

Postby Prismatic567 » Sun May 31, 2020 3:30 am

Dan~ wrote:Hi, Prismatic567

I usually feel that most of our qualities can be reduced to DNA.
Nothing is truly random.
Everything is both an effect and a cause.

Yes, where else can all human activities spring from if not from our DNA/RNA then varied by subsequent nurturing factors which in turn and time will effect the DNA/RNA of future generations and so on.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
Prismatic567
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Re: E O Wilson on Morality: Biologists In, Philosophers F/Of

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun May 31, 2020 10:31 am

Prismatic567 wrote:You missed my point.
With the example of animals having some semblance of morality, I was merely showing there is a progressively trend of morality, but I did not imply humans must adopt or follow what the animals are behaving.
Which is essentially MY point. That turning to other species gives us mixed messages and in fact would strongly support morals that most humans would find abhorent. So, it is not clear how we can use sociobiology at all in the generation of morals or in support of any particular behavior. We can cherry pick to support our idea of morality, but then opponents can do the same.


Since we have evolved from animals, this adaptive traits is inherited by humans. Because humans has self-awareness, intelligence, rationality and higher level of cognition, obvious the human perspective of morality would be higher than those of the other animals.
Seems like it is higher and lower, so far.

Do I have to answer this since animals are still guided more by instincts whereas humans in additional are guided by intelligence, rationality and higher level of cognition.
My point was that if humans are 'higher' period, I find it hard to explain the HOlocaust, Stalin's purges, child sexual trafficking, systematic slavery and so on. Hence I said, so far humans seem higher and lower.

Whilst those 'SOME' animals avoided incest intuitively, humans are now able to prove scientifically why incest is a negative trait to a tribe and the species.
Procreation from incest is a problem, but we have ways to avoid that.


The difference is humans now understand with evidences [medical, biological, psychological] why incest is a negative trait.
Medical and biological reasons are immediately eliminated by contraception. Psychological is extremely trick to prove, since most incest does not involve consent. It is generally an adult, usually male, relative with a child. It would be very tricky to demonstrate what happens between consenting adults, especially given the incredible taboo and societal stigma which would also have effects. Again, I am not rooting for incest, quite the opposite. My point is that turning to nature to justify the morality gives us a mixed message and in those species where it is a problem, the problem is related to inbreeding and reinforcement of negative genetic traits, not with the sex itself. It is clear from animals that incest is generally not traumatic psychologically.

Where anything is negative if done by all or the majority, then, in theory [note in theory] it be preferable to make it a theoretical rule [policy], it is is forbidden to all.
If this is true why didn't you respond to the specfic examples I presented? I made
no
argument
that sometimes a rule forbidding everyone
is wrong.

I made the argument that often it is not wrong.

And every single society has many, many, many behaviors that are forbidden to some but not most AND example where something is forbidden to most but not all.
So the "Forbidden to All" as a theory [law, policy, maxim] is definitely more effective than no theoretical 'Forbidden to All".
which is thus a strawman argument.

I never asserted that one should never forbid everyone from doing some X. I pointed out the problem with YOUR logic, that if something would be a problem if everyone did it, no one should do it.

There is no society that follows that 'logic'. Yes, all societies have some behaviors that rule out anyone doing something. But no society follows your logic in general. And with very strong rational reasons.

Note: You did not respond to my examples.
You chose an example of your own, rather than responding to mine.
You refused to admit an obvious mistake.

On the Ethics [APPLIED] side, the majority of humans lack of impulse control on their sexual lusts thus unwanted births will happen.
Thus it is avoidable from the Ethics [APPLIED] abortion is permissible but should be discouraged as much as possible.
If we are basing our morals and ethics on primates discouraging impulse control is a tricky conclusion as something moral to do. Of course leaders and even non-leader in packs will enforce certain kinds of control on impulses, though they do this impulsively and often so that they can have sex impulsively with whomever they like.

Note my above point.
I am not basing our moral and ethics in primates at all.
It seems to me you are not using sociobiology at all. Yet, it seemed like you were asserting that it could be a factor. When the problems with this are pointed out, you act like you are not basing anything no sociobiology at all. That would be fine with me, but then the thread makes no sense.


Again we are not basing our moral and ethics on primates and animals directly.
What we do is to observe human nature and from there extract moral facts as GUIDES for individuals to develop their moral competences.
Which involves no sociobiology.

For example, it is not impossible to survey every normal* human [or a large enough population] to find out whether they will volunteer to be murdered by another human under normal circumstances. The answer is a 'NO' from all normal humans.
* there will be abnormal who are suicidal and the perverts and these are recognized as having mental issues.

From the above we can establish the justified moral facts,
"No human ought to kill another human"
Or more simply: we don't want that to be allowed. No sociobiology. No need to have biologists involved. The title of the thread is misleading.

We can do the same for other moral facts [ought or ought-not] from other empirical evidence via sociobiology and other fields of knowledge about human nature and the human species.
The way you reasoned to a moral - no murder- had NO biology in it at all. None. Not a bit of EO wilsons scientific knowledge played a role in the least. Nothing, zero.

It has Zero to do with Wilson's ideas about selective advantage, and in fact most species advance through many things every single advanced civilization tries to minimize, such as what could be called natural selection. You defend your argument with examples that show absolutely no biologly or sociobiology in their reasoning. When it is pointed out how weak those arguments are, that is.

Come on Prismatic, you can do better than this. I know it.
Karpel Tunnel
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Re: E O Wilson on Morality: Biologists In, Philosophers F/Of

Postby Prismatic567 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:45 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:You missed my point.
With the example of animals having some semblance of morality, I was merely showing there is a progressively trend of morality, but I did not imply humans must adopt or follow what the animals are behaving.
Which is essentially MY point. That turning to other species gives us mixed messages and in fact would strongly support morals that most humans would find abhorent. So, it is not clear how we can use sociobiology at all in the generation of morals or in support of any particular behavior. We can cherry pick to support our idea of morality, but then opponents can do the same.

It is not my claim, but EO Wilson's claim, i.e. as in OP;

OP wrote:This is certainly the view of Edward O. Wilson, the “father” of sociobiology, who believes that;
[list=]“scientists and humanists should consider together the possibility that
the time has come for ethics to be removed temporarily from the hands of the philosophers and biologicized”[/list]
(Wilson, 1975: Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, 27).


EO Wilson specialized in the study of ants and he did not suggest humans do what the ants do specifically, but he extracted generic principles relating to 'species' on why the individual ants or other animals act the way they do in the interest of the survival of the species.

Since we have evolved from animals, this adaptive traits is inherited by humans. Because humans has self-awareness, intelligence, rationality and higher level of cognition, obvious the human perspective of morality would be higher than those of the other animals.
Seems like it is higher and lower, so far.

Do I have to answer this since animals are still guided more by instincts whereas humans in additional are guided by intelligence, rationality and higher level of cognition.
My point was that if humans are 'higher' period, I find it hard to explain the HOlocaust, Stalin's purges, child sexual trafficking, systematic slavery and so on. Hence I said, so far humans seem higher and lower.

There are probable thousands of variables we can compare between animals and humans.
As I had specified, I am comparing in term of specific variables like intelligence, rationality and higher level of cognition.
Obviously if you equivocate different senses or variables, there will be serious contrasts.
Even with empathy and compassion, despite the extremes, in general and on average humans has a higher capacity for empathy and compassion.

The difference is humans now understand with evidences [medical, biological, psychological] why incest is a negative trait.
Medical and biological reasons are immediately eliminated by contraception. Psychological is extremely trick to prove, since most incest does not involve consent. It is generally an adult, usually male, relative with a child. It would be very tricky to demonstrate what happens between consenting adults, especially given the incredible taboo and societal stigma which would also have effects. Again, I am not rooting for incest, quite the opposite. My point is that turning to nature to justify the morality gives us a mixed message and in those species where it is a problem, the problem is related to inbreeding and reinforcement of negative genetic traits, not with the sex itself. It is clear from animals that incest is generally not traumatic psychologically.

You missed my point here, this point has nothing to do with psychology not the sex.
My point is, the resultant of incest is a negative trait to the survival of the species as a whole.
This is why 'incest' should be forbidden to all as a policy, not because of the sex not the psychology, but because "in theory" it has a negative impact to the human species.

Where anything is negative if done by all or the majority, then, in theory [note in theory] it be preferable to make it a theoretical rule [policy], it is is forbidden to all.
If this is true why didn't you respond to the specific examples I presented?
I made no argument that sometimes a rule forbidding everyone is wrong.
I made the argument that often it is not wrong.

And every single society has many, many, many behaviors that are forbidden to some but not most AND example where something is forbidden to most but not all.

As stated above, EO Wilson point re sociobiology is about the CRITICAL acts of the individuals or groups that will effect the survival of the species.

Regarding the examples you give, I don't see any thing which is obviously significant [in theory] as a threat to the species if they are made universal.
Having fires here and not there is not a significant issue to the species.
What is an issue with fire is 'arson' which if permitted universally would [in theory] be a threat to the species.

That is why I introduce the Covid19 threat which is critical than having buildings, fires, here or there.

What is most critical is any act that will kill an individual [murder] or group [genocide].
As such the moral ought forbidden to all would be;
"No human ought to kill another human" to be adopted as a GUIDE.

In practice, there may be situation where it is warranted to end life due to various circumstances. This would be Ethics [applied], not morality [pure].
However humanity must strive to reduce and/or eliminate such acts where it is possible in the future.

So the "Forbidden to All" as a theory [law, policy, maxim] is definitely more effective than no theoretical 'Forbidden to All".
which is thus a strawman argument.

I never asserted that one should never forbid everyone from doing some X. I pointed out the problem with YOUR logic, that if something would be a problem if everyone did it, no one should do it.

Note my point above in relation to what is most critical in relation to the threat of the survival of the species.
Btw, "no one should do it" is merely a policy statement which is not to be enforced as a political law but merely as a moral guide.

There is no society that follows that 'logic'. Yes, all societies have some behaviors that rule out anyone doing something. But no society follows your logic in general. And with very strong rational reasons.

Why not?
Note the UN Convention of Slavery which is a GUIDE with no enforcement and encourage all sovereign nations to ratify such guidelines within their own national laws.


Article 2

The High Contracting Parties undertake, each in respect of the territories placed under its sovereignty, jurisdiction, protection, suzerainty or tutelage, so far as they have not already taken the necessary steps:
( a ) To prevent and suppress the slave trade;
( b ) To bring about, progressively and as soon as possible, the complete abolition of slavery in all its forms.
https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalin ... ntion.aspx


Note: You did not respond to my examples.
You chose an example of your own, rather than responding to mine.
You refused to admit an obvious mistake.

As explained, your examples of here and there [thus not universal] are not a critical threat to the survival of the species.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
Prismatic567
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Re: E O Wilson on Morality: Biologists In, Philosophers F/Of

Postby Prismatic567 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:54 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Note my above point.
I am not basing our moral and ethics in primates at all.
It seems to me you are not using sociobiology at all. Yet, it seemed like you were asserting that it could be a factor. When the problems with this are pointed out, you act like you are not basing anything no sociobiology at all. That would be fine with me, but then the thread makes no sense.

As stated above, it is not my claim but EO Wilson the sociobiology expert who claimed sociobiology with its theories and evidence can contribute to morality.
If you are familiar with 'sociobiology' and with the Principle of Charity, would have recognized my points are related to sociobiology for morality in terms of evolutionary principles in relation to the survival of the species.


Again we are not basing our moral and ethics on primates and animals directly.
What we do is to observe human nature and from there extract moral facts as GUIDES for individuals to develop their moral competences.
Which involves no sociobiology.

Note my points above.
That is what EO Wilson is claiming. You have to read his books.

For example, it is not impossible to survey every normal* human [or a large enough population] to find out whether they will volunteer to be murdered by another human under normal circumstances. The answer is a 'NO' from all normal humans.
* there will be abnormal who are suicidal and the perverts and these are recognized as having mental issues.

From the above we can establish the justified moral facts,
"No human ought to kill another human"
Or more simply: we don't want that to be allowed. No sociobiology. No need to have biologists involved. The title of the thread is misleading.

That is what EO Wilson is claiming.
You have to read his books to counter him on that.
I agree sociobiology can play a role in morality but philosophy-proper should be the overriding subject on morality.

We can do the same for other moral facts [ought or ought-not] from other empirical evidence via sociobiology and other fields of knowledge about human nature and the human species.
The way you reasoned to a moral - no murder- had NO biology in it at all. None. Not a bit of EO wilsons scientific knowledge played a role in the least. Nothing, zero.

It has Zero to do with Wilson's ideas about selective advantage, and in fact most species advance through many things every single advanced civilization tries to minimize, such as what could be called natural selection. You defend your argument with examples that show absolutely no biologly or sociobiology in their reasoning. When it is pointed out how weak those arguments are, that is.

Come on Prismatic, you can do better than this. I know it.

As I had stated, it was EO Wilson himself who claimed it is time for Philosophers [mental mastubators] to step aside and allow biologists to take over the subject of morality as an Applied Science.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
Prismatic567
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