I read posts here that call different things, "harmful to humanity." Others call something, "good" or "bad" or "evil."
A very simple question, who gets to decide the definition of "harmful to humanity" and what is there critieria? The same for "good," "bad," and "evil?" These are not material terms. If everything is material isn't there just "is" and not these moral declarations if one is being thoroughly atheist?
Help me understand your position so I am fair and honest about the views. Thanks.
I am not sure if I have explained this very well, as it is a complex issue with many different aspects and opinions, but I hope I have helped!
@ Amy - I loved the way you explained it. Great post! What you said about the lions was so funny.
Humans are the only species on our planet that have the concept of good and evil, and that is only because we are more highly evolved than any other creature (i.e.: we have developed a frontal lobe). There is no such thing as theft, murder, rape, incest, embezzlement, drug abuse, etc., in the animal kingdom.
The only thing constant when it comes to good and evil is the WORDS. Beyond that, plenty of disagreement as to definition and application.
I'm guessing that you dismiss the theft, murder, rape, incest, embezzlement (of a sort), and even drug abuse occurring in the animal kingdom because animals are, comparatively, idiots?
When you declare humans "more evolved," that is sheer speciesism. A creature like a cockroach is at the pinnacle of its evolution. It has existed largely unchanged since 10's of millions of years ahead of even the dinosaurs. You can say they reached an evolutionary dead end if you like, because they aren't as smart as people, but being smart doesn't seem to have much survival value for a species. For individual people from time to time, perhaps, but our species is already circling around the drain. If there were a global thermonuclear exchange tomorrow that wiped mankind off the face of the earth, plenty of "lesser" beings would continue on.
Who's so f***'ing smart now?
Wow, Unseen - sounds like you woke up on the wrong side of the floor --
Just being realistic. To a fault, perhaps.
First, none of this would mean anything to an animal because they lack a frontal lobe. They cannot reason. Are they stupid? I never said that. I was simply trying to convey that we have a frontal lobe and they do not, therefore we do things like reason and make decisions. This reasoning and decision making is where the concepts of good and evil were born.
Second, how do you presume to know that the cockroach, as a species, is at the end of its evolutionary progress? Everything evolves differently; even human evolution has had stops and starts. There is no one at the controls, so who's to say when/if their evolutionary progress is going to start up again. Sure, they may be at the end of their evolutionary path in the world as it is now, but everything changes - including our environment - so who's to say that one day the world won’t change in some way as to allow the cockroach to evolve once again? Maybe even into reasoning beings? Yes, this sounds like sci-fi, but we really don't know what’s going to happen in the future. That sort of thinking is not usually present in the atheist "world".
I don't really want to argue, but I think you misconstrued what I was trying to say a bit. Perhaps you just like to be contrary, I don't know you, so I won't assume anything. I just didn't see any reason for your obvious negative attitude in what I thought was a rational discussion with intelligent people.
(H)ow do you presume to know that the cockroach, as a species, is at the end of its evolutionary progress?
"Pinnacle" means the peak not the end. But a pinnacle is a summit, not a limit. Just as a mountain can have a summit and continue to surge upward, a species be at the pinnacle of its existence and have some growth ahead of it. For all I know in a couple billion years there will be an intelligent species which evolved from the cockroach.
However, the current form is so well adapted it probably won't evolve much further. You see, evolution is driven by changes in the environment which eliminate the genes of animals unable to adapt.
One of my favorite movies. Of course, it's impossible in our world. Exoskeletal creatures can't grow that large. The largest insect, a beetle, is still smaller than a chihuahua. I suspect if the planet had far less gravity...
Actually, from what I've read, in my day - i.e., the day of the archaeopteryx - flying insects existed as large as a condor, but fed off of smaller flying insects, but proto-birds evolved and fed off of the smaller insects, thus reducing the available food supply, which in turn, reduced the size of the larger insects. That story has been passed down in my family for countless generations, so it must be true.
If you would research further, you'd find that the air was quite a bit more oxygen rich in past aeons, allowing for giant insects and other giant creatures.
"During the Carboniferous and Permian periods, atmospheric oxygen concentrations were significantly higher than they are today. Prehistoric insects breathed air that was 31-35% oxygen, as compared to just 21% oxygen in the air you're breathing as you read this. Atmospheric oxygen is the single most limiting factor on insect size." (source)
Actually, I've read that same paragraph, but I can't accept that it is the single most limiting factor. I haven't the time, and certainly not the inclination, to re-locate research and bring it to the board, but studies show that an abundance of available food allows for a size increase in all animals, and is the primary reason that humans are no longer limited to being 4-feet tall in heels.
Thank you Unseen, I love to "learn something new every day"! Or, in this case, something very old.