Simon Paynton
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Simon Paynton's Discussions

Question for Evolution and Natural Selection brainiacs

Started this discussion. Last reply by Gregg RThomas May 29, 2016. 86 Replies

How valid is this model?  The situation I'm trying to describe is the way in which the biological drives to thrive, survive and reproduce have become so incredibly strong and universal within the…Continue

Christian prison chaplain 'forced to resign' for condemning homosexuality

Started this discussion. Last reply by Simon Paynton Nov 10, 2015. 15 Replies

What do you think about this? …Continue

How do you think clearly?

Started this discussion. Last reply by matt.clerke Nov 3, 2015. 40 Replies

It seems to me that everyone here is good at thinking.  I believe that thinking clearly is an essential life skill.  Truth is an essential component of morality.  Morality relates to the reality of…Continue

What does it mean to have integrity?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Simon Paynton Sep 21, 2015. 25 Replies

I'm putting together a little article about integrity.  Have a think about it.  What does integrity mean to you, and what does it mean not to have integrity? This is as far as I've got.  I think it's…Continue

Tags: morality, integrity

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Latest Activity

Simon Paynton replied to Dr. Bob's discussion 'Does Secularism make things worse?'
"“Unfortunately, church and spirituality are not high priorities for Black Lives Matter, and the ethics of love, forgiveness and reconciliation that empowered black leaders such as King and Nelson Mandela in their successful quests to win over…"
16 hours ago
Simon Paynton replied to Dr. Bob's discussion 'Does Secularism make things worse?'
"It's an interesting question.  It seems plain that politics in the West has become more tribal and competitive.  We also see characters on the right wing like the malignant narcissist Milo Yiannopoulous and his supporting army of…"
Tuesday
Simon Paynton replied to Reg The Fronkey Farmer's discussion 'Sunday School March 19th 2017' in the group Sunday School
"It seems that the Western definition of a person is any discrete entitity to which we grant rights.  There may be all kind of reasons why we grant rights to an entity.  Apparently, in Eastern societies, a person is a human being with a…"
Tuesday
Simon Paynton replied to John Smith's discussion 'Why are atheists & humanists still behind religions in caring for the socially excluded?'
"That said, there are animals such as chimpanzees and bonobos (our closest relatives) who form long-lasting friendships and in these circumstances, it is likely to be consciously known by the animal that helping one of their friends will bring a…"
Monday
Simon Paynton replied to John Smith's discussion 'Why are atheists & humanists still behind religions in caring for the socially excluded?'
""evolution has done this work, and animals are just left with the psychological motivation to help"  - evolution says, "help those close proximity to you, or those within your social group, because in the long run, you depend on…"
Monday
Simon Paynton replied to Reg The Fronkey Farmer's discussion 'Sunday School March 19th 2017' in the group Sunday School
""If he were alive today his philosophy would not have him concerned with animal welfare in modern farming or medical research."  - I suspect that because times have changed, he would have been influenced by modern ideas to consider…"
Monday
Simon Paynton replied to John Smith's discussion 'Why are atheists & humanists still behind religions in caring for the socially excluded?'
"What we get in the Bible is all in poetical language.  Jesus was trying to put across in words a "magic power" existing throughout nature that he ascribed to God, that brings health and happiness if you tap into it.  So of course…"
Monday
Simon Paynton replied to Reg The Fronkey Farmer's discussion 'Sunday School March 19th 2017' in the group Sunday School
"I think it is interesting to consider the idea of "personhood" by looking at a continuum of species from "more sophisticated" to "less sophisticated".  I am following the Western model of personhood in which people…"
Sunday
Simon Paynton replied to John Smith's discussion 'Why are atheists & humanists still behind religions in caring for the socially excluded?'
"I've read The Selfish Gene, which is where I got my ideas about the genetic imperative to thrive as well as survive and reproduce.  "Humans care sacrificially for their children or siblings and decreasingly so for aunts, uncles or…"
Sunday
Simon Paynton replied to John Smith's discussion 'Why are atheists & humanists still behind religions in caring for the socially excluded?'
""the genetic imperative and the behaviour of an organism are not the same thing"  - do you like sex?  Do you want to live and not die?  Do you enjoy being happy?  Are you a narcissist, or a psychopath?  In many…"
Sunday
Simon Paynton replied to John Smith's discussion 'Why are atheists & humanists still behind religions in caring for the socially excluded?'
""unscientific, Romantic"  - it's not unscientific or romantic to say that every individual living being possesses, within them, biochemical and behavioural motivations solidly and imperatively aimed at thriving, surviving and…"
Sunday
Simon Paynton replied to John Smith's discussion 'Why are atheists & humanists still behind religions in caring for the socially excluded?'
"I think the key to understanding this situation is "dominance hierarchies".  Within a social group of a social species, individuals are forced to compete with each other for resources and mates.  The way to settle this…"
Sunday
Simon Paynton replied to John Smith's discussion 'Why are atheists & humanists still behind religions in caring for the socially excluded?'
""survive into adult hood"  - to do this, an animal needs to be healthy (= to thrive).  A sick animal is less likely to survive and therefore less likely to reproduce.  This is the level of behaviour that is driven by…"
Sunday
Simon Paynton replied to John Smith's discussion 'Why are atheists & humanists still behind religions in caring for the socially excluded?'
"I think the religious idea of "God's love" has a lot to do with why religious people are so good at looking after marginalised people.  "God's love" comes in two distinct varieties:  1)  unconditional and…"
Saturday
Simon Paynton replied to John Smith's discussion 'Why are atheists & humanists still behind religions in caring for the socially excluded?'
"More precisely (from what I've been reading), the paradigm in Eastern cultures is for the person to be defined in terms of their relation to and position in society, rather than as a separate individual, as in the West, and for their individual…"
Mar 14
Simon Paynton replied to John Smith's discussion 'Why are atheists & humanists still behind religions in caring for the socially excluded?'
"I disagree:  I think it is trying to please the supernatural "origin of goodness" (i.e. God) which inspires Christians and other religious people to go the extra 100 miles basically out of the goodness of their hearts.  Having…"
Mar 13

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Atheist
About Me:
Astronaut.
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47-52
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In a Relationship
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Exploring
The religion you left
Was never a part of one
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Simon Paynton's Blog

Fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 7:56am 0 Comments

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

― Genesis 2:17



If we interpret this sentence in a certain way, it tells us almost everything we need to know about personal morality.

We normally talk about the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Fruit = consequences.  

Good and Evil can be seen as Good and Bad ― Liking and…

Continue

Mathematics of altruism

Posted on July 27, 2012 at 12:56pm 0 Comments

http://plus.maths.org/content/does-it-pay-be-nice-maths-altruism-part-i

Mathematical evidence that cooperation evolves naturally as a successful strategy.

This is one of the most interesting things I've read for a long time.  Don't worry, it's not too mathematical.  I recommend printing it out if you want to read it. 

I believe we need to know why these things…

Continue

Comment Wall (23 comments)

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At 10:43am on October 8, 2014, Erock68la said…

Thanks for the friend request.

At 5:01pm on March 27, 2014, Justin said…

ok thanks for letting me know man

At 11:17pm on March 25, 2014, Justin said…

Thanks for accepting my friend request. Anyways, I was wondering, how did put a music playlist on your profile?

At 2:04pm on October 4, 2013, Keenan Fry said…

Thanks for the invite, happy to be on Think Atheist!

At 6:29pm on July 6, 2013, ɐuɐz ǝllǝıuɐp said…

Thanks, these are the ones I have left.

At 11:52am on June 30, 2013, ɐuɐz ǝllǝıuɐp said…

Thanks ((^_^))

At 7:51am on June 30, 2013, ɐuɐz ǝllǝıuɐp said…

Thanks for the video , I share you some of my work

At 7:47am on June 30, 2013, ɐuɐz ǝllǝıuɐp said…

interesting, thank you

At 12:10pm on November 28, 2012, Anne Guevarra said…

Thank you! :)

At 8:34am on November 28, 2012, Maya Komrik said…

I meant, HE studies your stuff

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