Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Did you open your eyes?

AKAImBatman (238306) writes | more than 6 years ago

User Journal 34

In a recent post on the topic of altruism being hardwired into the human brain, I challenged others to think about the theological implications of this. As the article suggested, many people jump to the conclusion that science is disproving the existence of a higher being. I used the exact opposite extreme to point out how

In a recent post on the topic of altruism being hardwired into the human brain, I challenged others to think about the theological implications of this. As the article suggested, many people jump to the conclusion that science is disproving the existence of a higher being. I used the exact opposite extreme to point out how silly that is.

Here it is again, but this time with the bolding reversed:

I figured it would be fun to respond with a similarly goofy argument:

It seems to me that if man is hardwired with an sense of altruism and a desire to believe in a super-being, there can be no other answer to this question than the existence of a Creator.

The question is, how many of you got the message? How many of you jumped to disprove a statement that did not need to be disproven in the first place?

Slashdot is composed of some of the smartest people in the world. Yet sometimes the smartest people can close their minds. The truth is that science does not prove or disprove religion. It cannot do that as it only concerns itself with the universe at hand.

Faith-based religion is not science. Let's not treat it as such. But science is not faith-based religion. Let's not make the mistake of mistreating it, either.

cancel ×

34 comments

Personally (2, Insightful)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 6 years ago | (#19315515)

I have always felt that Science and Religion answer similar, but very different questions, and exist for very different reasons. Other than human fallacies, there is no reason why the two cannot simply amicably co-exist, if not even aid each other to a certain extent.

Re:Personally (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19316779)

Science deals with "what", faith deals with "why".

Re:Personally (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319791)

I call bullshit on this.

"Faith" is not a quality, it's simply an expression of human naiveness. Religion doesn't give answers to "why", it invents them without logical explanation and then calls for blind belief.

Re:Personally (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319929)

What you say is true in a lot of cases.
OTOH, science has yet to provide any logical explanation for existence, either. When I mentally set aside, briefly, the internal affirmations that drive me, I'm left with a Darwinian outlook that proceeds directly to nihilism.
Rejection of faith as "blind belief", for me, would be a pretext to support whatever hedonistic motives I "feel" at the moment. All "life" is pure chemistry. Moral equivalence rules. The altruist is "morally" equivalent to the mass murderer, as either "dies" and returns to component atoms, no?
No doubt I'm missing something here.

Re:Personally (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19320695)

OTOH, science has yet to provide any logical explanation for existence, either.
That science hasn't explained mass or given a better explanation for existence than the anthropic principle doesn't mean we should invent supernatural beings to explain it. It's no more than a "God of the Gaps". The greeks didn't understand thunder and lightning, and they invented Zeus to explain it. I am confident in our ability, given infinite time, to explain everything. Whether or not we can do so in non-infinite time is still a big question of mathematics :-) But just because science cannot explain certain things doesn't mean it never will, or that we should invent explanations. Once science does get there and explains it, you get ridiculous situations like Creationism vs Evolution where some people continue believing the made-up explanation.

When I mentally set aside, briefly, the internal affirmations that drive me, I'm left with a Darwinian outlook that proceeds directly to nihilism.
That is, often, the first conclusion reached. But once you have a clean philosophical slate, you can start building a rational ethical system for yourself, and give meaning to your choices and actions instead of allowing people who died 2000 years ago to do so for you.

Rejection of faith as "blind belief", for me, would be a pretext to support whatever hedonistic motives I "feel" at the moment. All "life" is pure chemistry. Moral equivalence rules. The altruist is "morally" equivalent to the mass murderer, as either "dies" and returns to component atoms, no?
But one's influence on the rest of the Universe remains after one's death. Whether alive or dead, One's contribution to the progression and survival of one's species, planet or Universe remains. Realize that your are a portion of the Universe, and that time is but a way we have to rationalize change, and suddenly altruism becomes acting in one's best self-interest, and one's legacy and contribution to the Universe while our consciousness is whole can be seen as eternal.

Re:Personally (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19320965)

I am confident in our ability, given infinite time, to explain everything.
This, too, constitutes a belief system. ;)
While I have great respect for the human mind, and greater still for all minds acting in concert, these minds remain finite.

you get ridiculous situations like Creationism vs Evolution where some people continue believing the made-up explanation.
Concur that the debate is a distraction. If you want to treat the Bible as a poetic, declarative statement about reality, fine. Evolution remains a moving target. I honestly don't feel we've more than scratched the surface of the implementation of life.

once you have a clean philosophical slate, you can start building a rational ethical system for yourself
This, too, constitutes a belief system. ;)
"Ethics" is an intellectual greased pig. How does the concept escape a subjective character? The lure of some sort of 'scripture' as a basis for directing life is that the 'scripture' has some objective claim going on, so long as the tautology doesn't choke you. ;)
Saddam Hussein considered himself ethical, from the tidbits I've seen in print.
IOW, I am personally uncomfortable setting myself up as an arbiter of 'ethics', as it looks like the road to megalomania.

But one's influence on the rest of the Universe remains after one's death.
This, too, constitutes a belief system. ;)
You capitalize Universe. Do you imply some broader scope for Reality, and some maintenance of state therein? Sounds suspiciously theistic to me.

Disclaimer: this is a serious, dispassionate discussion for me, and I'm in no way baiting you.

Re:Personally (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321915)

I am confident in our ability, given infinite time, to explain everything.

This, too, constitutes a belief system. ;)
Maybe. I tend to see belief or faith when you think something is true with no evidence or rationality behind it other than fallacious ones. My confidence in this case is, I dare to say, more informed and rational.

I honestly don't feel we've more than scratched the surface of the implementation of life.
Can't argue with that. But that's the beauty of science: it can change. Change is built into the system. "Revealed" truth is static. Rational examination of a belief system is heavily discouraged. Rational examination of scientific theories is encouraged.

once you have a clean philosophical slate, you can start building a rational ethical system for yourself

This, too, constitutes a belief system. ;)
Not if the statement is informed by personal experience. I examined my "beliefs" individually until I was left with... nothing. Then I tried to figure out what my reason could come up with to fill the void. Maybe you'd call it a belief system, but to me what's important and what is repeatable isn't so much the results as the process. Someone else might come up with a different world-view and a different ethical system, which would be the point: the ability of each individual to reason for itself and figure out his/her view and place in the Universe.

Saddam Hussein considered himself ethical, from the tidbits I've seen in print.

IOW, I am personally uncomfortable setting myself up as an arbiter of 'ethics', as it looks like the road to megalomania.
Then those who created religions were clearly uber-megalomaniacs: they were advocating "universal" system of ethics that everyone should follow... I am only suggesting each person should have his own system of ethics, rationally derived, informed by logic, science and philosophy.

I'm not saying you should ignore every teaching of every religion. I'm saying it's possible to analyze and take what YOU think is rational and right in the teachings of various religions or philosophies, leave the extraneous "supernatural" components, and construct your own "personal religion". So you would replace a blind belief in someone else's process (which might have been rational and topical in his society and informed by the knowledge of his time, but is most likely not quite "up-to-date") with something in which you can have confidence, having arrived at rationally, and which you could re-examine and re-evaluate as necessary, as conditions change, as science progresses, as you gain knowledge, as your experience informs and teaches you.

What makes people "ethical monsters" can happen to atheists or religious people; a blind conviction that YOU are right: absolutely, unconditionally. That "God" is on your side, that you are perfect, that the ends you are seeking justify any means. Such a conviction is a lot more common in religious people, obviously, but no one is immune to such a fallacy. Only way to protect against it is to be aware of it, and teach people to recognize and not fall into such a fallacy. Crazy people will be crazy though, and will often invent and believe anything to rationalize their delusions.

Re:Personally (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322167)

Then those who created religions were clearly uber-megalomaniacs: they were advocating "universal" system of ethics that everyone should follow... I am only suggesting each person should have his own system of ethics, rationally derived, informed by logic, science and philosophy.
I'm not saying you should ignore every teaching of every religion. I'm saying it's possible to analyze and take what YOU think is rational and right in the teachings of various religions or philosophies, leave the extraneous "supernatural" components, and construct your own "personal religion". So you would replace a blind belief in someone else's process (which might have been rational and topical in his society and informed by the knowledge of his time, but is most likely not quite "up-to-date") with something in which you can have confidence, having arrived at rationally, and which you could re-examine and re-evaluate as necessary, as conditions change, as science progresses, as you gain knowledge, as your experience informs and teaches you.
What makes people "ethical monsters" can happen to atheists or religious people; a blind conviction that YOU are right: absolutely, unconditionally. That "God" is on your side, that you are perfect, that the ends you are seeking justify any means. Such a conviction is a lot more common in religious people, obviously, but no one is immune to such a fallacy. Only way to protect against it is to be aware of it, and teach people to recognize and not fall into such a fallacy. Crazy people will be crazy though, and will often invent and believe anything to rationalize their delusions.
I fully agree with everything you've said.
The most painful Christians are those who subscribe to their doctrines uncritically.
>Then those who created religions were clearly uber-megalomaniacs
Oh, they're just leaders. The fact that so many attract large followings says more about the sheepishness of people than it does about the leaders themselves. Broaden your perspective to include politics, culture, and advertising, and I think you'll come away saddened at the lack of critical thinking in the lumpen proletariat.

Re:Personally (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19323093)

Oh, they're just leaders. The fact that so many attract large followings says more about the sheepishness of people than it does about the leaders themselves. Broaden your perspective to include politics, culture, and advertising, and I think you'll come away saddened at the lack of critical thinking in the lumpen proletariat.
Oh I know. The uber-megalomaniac moniker was just a hyperbole to contrast with your comment.

We need to replace religious teaching with teaching critical thinking. Then maybe we'll find demagogues have less effect on people.

Re:Personally (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19324003)

We need to replace religious teaching with teaching critical thinking.
As the sage noted: "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."
Subsequently, the peeps were again enslaved.
Thus, Devo answered the sage: "Freedom from choice is what you want."
In the contemporary dialogue, there is as much fascism on the left as the right. So maybe the terms 'left' and 'right', themselves, should be scuttled.

Re:Personally (1)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19320909)

When I mentally set aside, briefly, the internal affirmations that drive me, I'm left with a Darwinian outlook that proceeds directly to nihilism.

Can you not function as a nihilist? Does despair drive you to adopt these affirmations? I think this article should come as good news to you then, because this is an honest chemical reason for you to elevate society, rather than a rationalized philosophy created under false pretenses to stave off madness.

Perhaps this is why we as a species developed this pleasurable altruism response. When we recognize that each and every one of us is much better off due to the gains made by (and shared by) society, it makes sense that "giving" yields a pleasurable response. Without society, we'd still be eating berries naked, grunting and hiding in caves, with a life span of perhaps 15-20 years.

Or maybe this altruism endorphin is simply overbroad and originally developed only to provide positive feedback on caring for our own progeny, or for juvenile members of the species? Even so, we do recognize that it takes a village to raise a child, so selfless giving to support the whole village fits with evolutionary pressures.

I think articles like these give a ray of hope -- as long as it "feels good" to elevate the species as a whole, some of us will keep doing it. Especially if the final end leads to a "return to our component atoms", it makes the journey, not the destination, all the more important.

Re:Personally (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321485)

Can you not function as a nihilist? Does despair drive you to adopt these affirmations? I think this article should come as good news to you then, because this is an honest chemical reason for you to elevate society, rather than a rationalized philosophy created under false pretenses to stave off madness.
Hm.

I think articles like these give a ray of hope -- as long as it "feels good" to elevate the species as a whole, some of us will keep doing it. Especially if the final end leads to a "return to our component atoms", it makes the journey, not the destination, all the more important.
I dunno. Maybe I'm cherrypicking here, but I can't see how you've done anythong other than substitute a rationalization for a rationalization.
If you think of life as a protocol stack, the chemistry is the TCP/IP layer and consciousness is at the HTTP layer. Analogies, similies, and metaphors are like a thing that sucks, no?
While I don't dispute what's going on down in the weeds, and also enjoy the feeling of well-being stemming from a workout, that still doesn't help answer the question of why I should be excellent to my neighbor, as opposed to a twit. What is the motive? How does that karmic loop get closed? Where is the state of the karma managed?
While not imposing the need to fret about these questions on everyone else, I'm simply not content to ignore them.

Help me here:

Sed quis debuget ipsum debugatorem?
The -NE particle is used to signal a question in Latin.
So we have: "But who debugs himself of the debuggers?"

Re:Personally (1)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19328651)

Oh, sure, "blame it on chemistry" is just as much a rationalization as anything else, I'm not arguing that. But I think Occam's razor suggests grasping for metaphysical meaning is a lot more complex (and therefore a lot less likely) than accepting that a few chemical signals make you feel good about helping others.

In case you couldn't tell, I'm a "happy nihilist," or perhaps that's the same thing as a "humanist" (I don't know, I really haven't studied Humanism.) Either way, I've accepted that this is it -- we really are nothing more than the sum of our atoms and charge states. There's no salvation or punishment beyond the grave. No deep truths, we're pretty much just animated chemistry labs.

But as a member of society, I still do believe in the concepts of "good" and "evil", at least as they pertain to society, just not as some metaphysical beings who some people anthropomorphise as God and the Devil. It's very much a Keep It Simple philosophy: be nice to other people and they're usually nice to me; be nice to other peoples' children in the hopes that they'll be nice to mine; be happy with everything I've got because it could be a whole lot worse.

I see karma as nothing more than the sum of my scores amongst the memories of those whom I've helped or harmed. With the advent of the written word, recording heroic or dastardly deeds has been able to affect karma over time and distance; these days the internet can distribute and amplify it faster than ever before.

So why would I want to make such a simple viewpoint more complex with religious trappings that are ultimately a waste of everyone's resources and time? I don't, of course, but a lot of people seem to be under the impression that this life has no meaning unless there's an afterlife, or that someone who isn't religious can be anything but "evil".

Thus most religions frighten the hell out of me, because most of their books start with the same concept: this book is the One True Word of God, and people who do not accept it are inferior. Enslave them, stone them, put them to the sword, and you'll arrive in heaven with four score and seven virgins, a front-row seat by my nephew plus three free movie passes or something like that. Buddhism, I get along with, because they've pretty much adopted a live-and-let-live attitude. Non-fundamentalist churchgoers are fine, too. They're not out there pounding on doors, gathering the unbelievers for sacrifices. But the fervently religious, those who write or interpret the religious stories into actions against the non-believers, those are the scary ones. And there seem to be a lot of them out there today.

Re:Personally (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19335457)

In case you couldn't tell, I'm a "happy nihilist," or perhaps that's the same thing as a "humanist" (I don't know, I really haven't studied Humanism.) Either way, I've accepted that this is it -- we really are nothing more than the sum of our atoms and charge states. There's no salvation or punishment beyond the grave. No deep truths, we're pretty much just animated chemistry labs.
But as a member of society, I still do believe in the concepts of "good" and "evil", at least as they pertain to society, just not as some metaphysical beings who some people anthropomorphise as God and the Devil. It's very much a Keep It Simple philosophy: be nice to other people and they're usually nice to me; be nice to other peoples' children in the hopes that they'll be nice to mine; be happy with everything I've got because it could be a whole lot worse.
I dunno. While your approach seems fairly common, I always get the feeling this approach is trying to have it both ways.
Hence my protocol metaphor. If we keep the physical things confined to the physical, and let the metaphysical ride on top of the physical, we can at least be very explicit where we depart from the objective, scientifically provable, and enter the subjective realm.
Keeping that distinction firmly in place is key, for me, in operating as a geek in society while internally being just about as right-wing a fundamentalist Christian as they come.
It's all love, baby.

Re:Personally (1)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19336345)

I always get the feeling this approach is trying to have it both ways.

No, it's much simpler than that. I see things only one way. Just as the Christians are so sure they're right, and the Moslems are so sure they're right, and the Jews are so sure they're right, and the Hindus and the Mormons and the Zoroastrians and the Wiccans, I'm equally sure I'm right. The difference is I don't need to pile complex unprovable metaphysical philosophies on top of my "better living through chemistry" approach. All I need to do is to be nice to other people and enjoy any reciprocation I get. It all works just fine for me.

It's all love, baby.
Exactly!

Re:Personally (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19336539)

Excellent. Now, back to the translation of your sig...

Re:Personally (1)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19338793)

Now, back to the translation of your sig...
Ha! I'm not a Latin speaker, nor have I ever taken Latin. I kind of hacked this together from "sed quis custodiet ipsos custodies?" ("but who is watching the watchers?") and I hoped it would transliterate to "but who will debug the debuggers?" But Latin has no nouns nor verbs for debuggers, and so I've taken random advice from people around the net trying to tweak the forms of the words. My first cut was something like, "sed quis debugiet ipsos debuggers," but that drew the first reactions from people who obviously knew more about it than I did. I once found some old language translation software that does English to Latin, but that choked on any words not in its dictionary, and I quickly gave up on it.

So, (assuming you speak Latin like a Roman senator,) what's your advice?

Re:Personally (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19338885)

I thought you might be meaning that. Truth is, I had two years of Latin in High School in the mid-80s. I'm completely unqualified to advise you on your translation.

Re:Personally (1)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19339251)

OK, so I fessed up. What does your sig mean?

Re:Personally (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19344481)

Are we not men? We are Devo.
The Romans put the -ne particle on the first word to signal a question, and used the verb to end the sentence.
The whitespace (in all modern Western writing) is due to Charlemagne, so I should punt them ASCII 32s for greater authenticity. ;)

Re:Personally (1)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19347615)

OK, I get it now. I was confused thinking viri was the meant "life" or "alive" because I had once heard "virus" meant "little life", which was completely wrong -- virus actually means "poison" or "toxin". (The word I was actually thinking of was vivi.) So I went looking just now and I found that viri is the plural of vir, meaning "men".

Alles ist klar.

Re:Personally (1)

theckhd (953212) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319795)

Keep in mind that it wasn't always this way. Early on, faith dealt with both "what" and "why," because science wasn't advanced enough to explain the "what" part. This is why we have creation myths in most religions, and why most ancient religions had myths to explain the source of natural phenomena.

As science advanced it became able to explain more and more of the "whats," shifting them from the faith domain to the science domain. This is the origin of all the great battles, if you want to call them that, between science and faith (to cite the obvious examples see Galileo, Copernicus, Darwin, etc.).

Today, science is capable of explaining almost all of the "what," which is why we can clearly make the distinction between it and faith. But try using that defense in Galileo's time, when they're threatening to have you jailed for heresy for stating that the Sun doesn't revolve around the Earth.

Re:Personally (1)

theckhd (953212) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319815)

I should probably add that "what" and "why" aren't the best terms to use for this distinction, since as a physicist I think that science explains "why" in the sense that it finds the underlying physical processes that cause the "what." But I've stuck with it to keep it consistent with the parent.

A better set of terms might be "why" and "for what purpose" for science and religion respectively, since generally in Physics we don't usually attribute a purpose to physical laws.

Re:Personally (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19320009)

A splendid point.
Considering the "for what purpose" aspects of reality forms a good feedback loop (my undergraduate degree was control theory).
Speculating wildly, I'm not confident that physics will ever discover the "rock bottom" of reality. My gut feel is that the reality we perceive bubbles up from an infinte regress of smaller components. Because God hold His cards close to His chest.
Nevertheless, let us keep digging, for therein lies entertainment.

Re:Personally (1)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19320963)

You make a strong case for a "+1, Troll" moderation.

their eyes can't see (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 7 years ago | (#19316099)

How about this:
Atheists think science disproves religion. Which is logically impossible. Therefore, atheists are unreliable as interpreters of science.
 

Faith-based religion is not science. Let's not treat it as such. But science is not faith-based religion. Let's not make the mistake of mistreating it, either.
If we could only also not treat faith-based science as science.

Re:their eyes can't see (1)

br0ck (237309) | more than 7 years ago | (#19320635)

Does a Christian attempt to disprove the existence of Zeus, pink unicorns, all the teachings of the Dharmic religions like reincarnation and karma, or even Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny? The answer is no. The reason is because most Christians were raised with a certain set of beliefs that dismiss these things as illogical and silly. Atheists are generally the same way and aren't wont to spend their time trying to disprove things that obviously do not exist.

Now say you have an agnostic scientist that wants to determine if God exists, created man, listens to their quintillions of thoughts per day, and then keeps them alive after they die just to reward or punish them for all eternity. Well, since science works through testable hypotheses, the scientist would perform experiments to try to prove the existence of a deity and to try to validate stories of the Bible. After many thousands of such experiments all fail, the religious scholars would continue to say that this means nothing because God is making the experiments fail because He would not allow such experiments to succeed since mankind must prove it's devotion by blind faith in order to reach heaven. At this point an honest agnostic would likely realize that God, Zeus and, yes, even the Flying Spaghetti Monster are all equally plausible and not worth any additional thought or experimentation.

Re:their eyes can't see (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19323283)

Does a Christian attempt to disprove the existence of Zeus, pink unicorns, all the teachings of the Dharmic religions like reincarnation and karma, or even Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny? The answer is no.

That's right. Because it's much more useful to prove them.

(crowd: say what?)

Bear with me for a moment. Far too often, perfectly good history is thrown away as myth rather than separating the fact from fiction. In many cases, the fictional account becomes the accepted one. (e.g. It was accepted by many that the Lusitania was secretly carried large munitions unless Richard Ballard disproved this finding in 1993.) Therefore, here's some food for thought...
  • The gods of Olympus bear a great deal of resemblance to the Nephilim portrayed in the Bible. If one takes the Book of Enoch into account, the parallels between the Greek "ages" and the early Biblical accounts of the world are surprising. Could these "gods" or "Sons of Gods" be records of another Homo species that appeared physically superior to our ancestors?
  • "Pink Unicorns" are an invention intended to make fun of religious beliefs. However, the concept of a unicorn is a descendant of the idea of a monohorned animal. It is listed in many cultures, with Biblical records referring to a mighty beast called the Re'em with a horn or horns. In looking for a horse-like animal with a protruding horn, one does not need to look any farther than a Woolly Rhinoceros [wikipedia.org] for a possible example of a creature that might have inspired ancient records.
  • Santa Claus was a real person known as Saint Nicholas. The story of Saint Nick has been exaggerated and extended over the past thousand or so years by parents looking to keep their kids behaving. The red suit was introduced by the Dutch (a red bishop's suit), and eventually morphed into the version we see today.
  • The Easter Bunny has a similar story, going from a symbol of spring fertility to eventually becoming anthropomorphized into a creature that delivers goodies to kids. Part of the evolution of the character came from the blending of the Christian Easter holiday with the pagan holidays of springtime. The colored eggs came from Christian symbolism over the death of Christ, but eventually came to laid by the symbol for fertility: A hare. The hare eventually morphed into a bunny (probably because no one made an effort to differentiate the two), giving us the modern form of the creature.

Part of the Design Specs (1)

Pejorian (258646) | more than 7 years ago | (#19316287)

Of course hard-wired morality is compatible with ID. If I was designing a sentient being, I'd make it feel good to do good.

Another interesting article I saw recently said that researchers have found that people with high testosterone get pleasure from seeing angry faces. That suggests that testosterone hard-wires for bad behavior. Interesting, no?

Really? (1)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 7 years ago | (#19317513)

Slashdot is composed of some of the smartest people in the world.
Are we on the same Slashdot? .org, right?

I dunno... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#19319691)

Slashdot is composed of some of the smartest people in the world.

Given that any story here on any scientific topic instantly devolves into a stream of "But I thoght teh world was only 6000 yeares old hahahaha!" (OK, that, and generic, clueless complaining about patents)...

I'd question 1) "the smartest people in the world" and 2) the need for you to troll on that particular topic.

Re:I dunno... (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322083)

1) "Some" of the smartest people. Not *the* smartest. Certainly, Slashdot has its share of idiots, but it also has a lot of very intelligent folks hanging around. :-)

2) From the article:

The research enterprise has been viewed with interest by philosophers and theologians, but already some worry that it raises troubling questions. Reducing morality and immorality to brain chemistry -- rather than free will -- might diminish the importance of personal responsibility. Even more important, some wonder whether the very idea of morality is somehow degraded if it turns out to be just another evolutionary tool that nature uses to help species survive and propagate.

People make too much of science vs religion (1)

athloi (1075845) | more than 7 years ago | (#19396943)

I've always thought that if there was a Creator, science is a great way to explore the playground he/she/It left here for us. Some of the greatest naturalists and explorers (Muir, Audubon, Emerson) agree on this point. As someone with a background in logical argument, I also question the sanity of anyone thinking a single article "proves" or "disproves" the existence of a deity, and suggest to many that we expand our view of what a deity may be. No matter how hard we try, we still haven't found the central organizing principle of this universe.

Re:People make too much of science vs religion (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19397053)

Precisely. Very eloquently put, too. ;-)
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...