Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

Discussions for education, teaching & parenting.

Moderators: Blip, The_Metatron

Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#81  Postby NineOneFour » Mar 12, 2010 11:06 am

thedistillers wrote:
Gawdzilla wrote:
thedistillers wrote:Well tell me, if atheism is true (ie, if there is no such Person as God), how do you distinguish between a good parent and a bad parent? According to what standard is it wrong to beat your children, if a secular education is based on the "what doesn't kill you make you stronger" point of view?

Christ on a Crutch! Don't these people ever get tired of the "you can't be moral without religion" crap? The lameness is strong in this one.


The issue is not that the atheist can't be moral. It's that whatever morality the atheist follow, there is no rational reason for other people to follow the same moral values. If your children want to live their life in the image of darwinian evolution, there is no rational argument from a secular point of view to stop them.


Oh how little you know.
Citizen of the (future) People's Social Democratic Republic of Cascadia.
cascadianow.org

For help managing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), go here. I am able to manage it, and so can you.
User avatar
NineOneFour
 
Name: Yes, I'm an asshole.
Posts: 20906
Age: 51
Male

Country: Cascadia
Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#82  Postby NineOneFour » Mar 12, 2010 11:07 am

thedistillers wrote:
CookieJon wrote:So thedistillers, do you admit that you have no idea why killing the weak and feeble is not a nice thing to do, other than it says so in a book?

That's the impression of you I'm left with (apart from that of being someone who starts a fight then runs away cowering, since you never answer anyone's questions)


For the record, theists believe that the moral law is written in their heart. So it's not because it says so in a book that I know that X is not a nice thing to do.


LOL, no you don't.

You believe gays are evil because the Bible tells you so.

Atheists believe in the golden rule, which existed before Christianity and will exist long after your religion is a mere cult.
Citizen of the (future) People's Social Democratic Republic of Cascadia.
cascadianow.org

For help managing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), go here. I am able to manage it, and so can you.
User avatar
NineOneFour
 
Name: Yes, I'm an asshole.
Posts: 20906
Age: 51
Male

Country: Cascadia
Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#83  Postby NineOneFour » Mar 12, 2010 11:07 am

thedistillers wrote:
CookieJon wrote:
thedistillers wrote:How about you answer my comment?


How about YOU answer a comment... anyone's will do!


Hum what do you think I'm doing since half an hour?


Intellectual masturbation, chiefly.
Citizen of the (future) People's Social Democratic Republic of Cascadia.
cascadianow.org

For help managing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), go here. I am able to manage it, and so can you.
User avatar
NineOneFour
 
Name: Yes, I'm an asshole.
Posts: 20906
Age: 51
Male

Country: Cascadia
Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#84  Postby Calilasseia » Mar 12, 2010 11:26 am

Oh look, having run away from the shredding of your canards in other threads, you've spawned another thread based on tiresome canards. Which will probably end the same way. Ho hum.

Let's take a look at this shall we?

thedistillers wrote:One of the outrageous claims made by some fundy atheists is that a religious education is a form of child abuse.


You mean that you don't regard it 'abusive' to teach children that mythology counts for more than reality? Oh, but you're a supernaturalist, you would think this wouldn't you?

Oh, and since you've erected the "fundy atheists" bullshit, I'll deal with that in due course, once I've addressed your other specious apologetic fabrications.

thedistillers wrote:But all parents who educate their children share a set of values to their children regardless of their worldview!


Except that some of us encourage our children to develop the means to think for themselves, instead of simply expecting them to conform mindlessly to whatever norms happen to be extant in society. So that they are in a position to develop better norms in future. But then, I don't expect someone who thinks that 3,000 year old mythology is unconditionally and eternally true, despite the evidence to the contrary, to understand this concept.

thedistillers wrote:One could claim that a secular education is based on "reason" (unlike a religious education)


And this brings us back to that question you keep evading. Namely, what is "reasonable" about uncritical acceptance of unsupported blind mythological assertions? Which is all that you, and every other supernaturalist, has to bring to the table.

thedistillers wrote:but if there is no such Person as God, then there is no objective morality, purpose, or value.


And that's precisely the point. A point that is established evidentially by an inconvenient fact, inconvenient, that is, for supernaturalists such as yourself. Namely, that your book of myths never once condemned slavery, and in several places accepted it as a social norm. Serious attempts to abolish this inhuman practice only emerged in the 19th century. So, for 2,000 years, the text of your mythology, and as a consequence, its ethical assertions, remained unchanged, but after 1,800 years during which this was the case, humans suddenly decided that slavery was a flagrant breach of basic human rights. Now they couldn't have decided this on the basis of your mythology, because the text of your mythology didn't change during that time, and indeed, in places, your mythology condones slavery. Consequently, those humans who decided that slavery was bad, must have obtained the idea somewhere else, even if they mistakenly thought, as a result of not having read your mythology properly, that your mythology supported their view that slavery should be abolished. Because whilst abolitionists were working toward the end of slavery worldwide, and indeed, some were claiming that your mythology guided them to work toward this, other supernaturalists, most notably in the slave states of the USA, were arguing that the same mythology made slavery a virtue, and that black people were inferior to white people. Indeed, the Ku Klux Klan was not only an explicitly religious organisation, but was also explicitly creationist. I suspect this will be another of those inconvenient facts that you will pretend do not exist, whilst propagandising for your mythology-based masturbation fantasy.

But, having taken that detour through slavery, and why it's an embarrassment for your mythology-based world view, I'll now return to ethics. That example demonstrates that human ethics is not static: human ethics evolve with time and advancing knowledge. Indeed, some humans are now wrestling with ethical issues that the authors of your mythology were incapable of even fantasising about. Modern day humans are wrestling with questions that were completely unknown to your Bronze Age nomads and their narrow, parochial world view, as couched in their tedious mythology. Which means that the idea of a single, unchanging, teleologically directed and monolithic set of ethical precepts applicable to the entire universe for all time is rendered untenable by reality once more.

Indeed, it is even worse than this, because ethical precepts only make sense when there exist ethically aware beings to take notice of them, and choose either to obey or disobey them. The only evidence we currently have for such beings centres principally upon ourselves, though recent primate research has alighted upon some fascinating connections between human minds and those of other primates with respect to this, which doesn't surprise those of us who paid attention in science classes. For most of the history of the observable universe, ethical beings have not existed, which means that ethical precepts were meaningless during that era. Indeed, travel far enough back in the history of the universe, and neutral atoms could not exist in their present form, so the idea that an unchanging set of ethical precepts was applicable back then is absurd in the extreme, especially a set of precepts purportedly focused upon the behaviour of beings who were not to appear on the scene for another 13.59 billion years or so.

In short, the hard evidence from reality renders the notion of an unchanging set of ethical precepts, valid for all time, and handed down by an invisible magic man, absurd and fatuous. The hard evidence is that we are the beings responsible for developing ethical precepts, and that our ancestors chose, in the past, during a period of ignorance, to wrap up those ethical precepts in entirely superfluous supernatural packaging because they didn't know any better, and because they inherited from their hominid ancestors a tendency to project their own intentions upon the outside world. In short, those distant ancestors compared compelling events taking place in the natural world to their own manipulations of that world, assumed that natural events were the products of the same sort of intentionally directed action upon the part of some sentience as their own actions, and invented invisible sentient entities to fill the gap. And, reflecting the sort of social hierarchies that are extant in primates, including ourselves, they then assumed that those invisible sentient entities that they invented were bigger, more powerful yet invisible versions of themselves, and that as a consequence, those bigger, more powerful yet invisible versions of themselves had the power to decide who did what in the social hierarchy as well. In short, they decided that the rules of behaviour extant in their social groupings were there because the big hard dominant ape in the sky put them there. Religion, at bottom, is nothing more than this phenomenon with added pretensions of intellectual sophistication grafted on. This is what the cumulative evidence from reality tells us, be it papers on the evolution of ASPM and FOXP2 in the human lineage, the large number of papers extant with respect to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, or the papers on primate behaviour. Which means that we decide our ethics, as we did over slavery, that we decide what has value, and we ascribe purpose to what is around us. Invisible magic men are superfluous to this endeavour.

Moreover, since we are the arbiters of the ethical precepts that are applicable, the onus is on us to develop those precepts in accord with the evidence supporting which of those precepts are valid, and which are to be rejected because they fail to deliver the requisite goods. Your mythology is nothing more than a snapshot of an early part of this development process, and to pretend that the precepts contained therein should be enforced universally, that unquestioned conformity thereto should be demanded, is absurd and fatuous in the extreme.

Now, having addressed the teleology/ethics canard in detail, I know what's going to happen next, you're going to erect a pile of bullshit to the effect that the absence of your beloved magic man renders the whole pursuit of ethics null and void. The above has more or less taken care of that nonsense, but I'll indulge you, if only for the sake of amusement.

thedistillers wrote:So according to what ojective [sic] standard are secular values reasonable?


Try because we have evidence that those values are reasonable, because we have evidence of what happens in societies where they do not hold. You have heard of the Inquisition, haven't you? On the other hand, in secular societies, we don't set fire to people for believing in the wrong myths. We simply regard their fetish for myths as quaintly amusing, except when adherents thereof posture hubristically as being in a position to enforce conformity thereto. That is when supernaturalism starts becoming dangerous. It's not as if evidence is lacking here - human history is littered with the wreckage accruing from malign supernaturalist meddling in policy.

thedistillers wrote:If God does not exist, then a parent could decide for example that we should live our life in the image of darwinian evolution, and kill the weak. Why would it be wrong?


Oh look, it's that tiresome strawman caricature that is the favourite of every propagandist for mythology-based masturbation fantasies. First, there are millions of organisms that are "weak" by our standards, yet which happily occupy their niches without any problem, but then Darwin himself understood that all that is needed for an organism to survive is sufficient competence within its niche. Second, since primate parental instincts are also a product of evolutionary forces (and if you have to ask why, then you obviously never paid attention in a basic biology class), your nasty little caricature above, erected for wholly duplicitous apologetic purposes, would be in violation of those parental instincts. I've kept tropical fish that exhibit parental instincts mocking your palsied little apologetic caricature above, and those tropical fish almost certainly don't possess a belief in your particular species of invisible magic man. Once again, reality mocks your apologetic fabrications wholesale.

thedistillers wrote:It seems to me that if Christianity is true, then a secular education is a form of child abuse, for children are not being told the Good News, and are being educated according to a set of random values, based on worldview with no objective morality, purpose or value.


You really love those farcical caricatures of genuine secular thinking, don't you? But then you're merely here to propagandise for a mythology-based masturbation fantasy.

Children being taught about reality is a good deal less "abusive" than being force-fed mythological bullshit, and told that they have to conform to its precepts or become part of an everlasting lava barbecue.

thedistillers wrote:Well tell me, if atheism is true (ie, if there is no such Person as God)


Still parroting this apologetic faeces are you? Despite the fact that you have been told repeatedly that atheism does not erect postulates of its own, therefore your robotic parroting of the "if atheism is true" is meaningless?

As for the existence of your invisible magic man, YOU are the one asserting this to be the case, so it's time YOU either put up, and presented proper substantive evidence for this, or shut up.

thedistillers wrote:how do you distinguish between a good parent and a bad parent?


Try "one who teaches those children to understand certain basic human rights, and apply them to others".

thedistillers wrote:According to what standard is it wrong to beat your children, if a secular education is based on the "what doesn't kill you make you stronger" point of view?


Except this utterly spastic caricature of secular education you have erected is so far removed from reality as to be beneath deserving of a point of view. Why is it so hard for you to accept, that NOT forcing people to conform to your mythology is a basic human right that they are entitled to expect? This is the whole point of genuine secular education, in case you hadn't worked this out, as opposed to your foetid little caricature thereof - to present children with the facts about the world, including what assertions different mythologies erect about the world, and allow them to decide on the basis of those facts whether or not they are going to accept those assertions. But then you think everyone should be forced to conform to your mythology and its blind assertions, so it's hardly surprising that you regard giving people a choice with respect to this to be anathema.

thedistillers wrote:How about you answer my comment?


How about you answer all the outstanding questions awaiting you in your other trainwreck threads? Not to mention the questions arising from what I've written above? Such as:

Why is it "abusive" to teach children the facts about the world, and allow them to choose whether or not to accept the unsupported blind assertions of your mythology, instead of being forced to conform thereto?

thedistillers wrote:Well, my "Why do atheists trust science?" thread was hijacked by a muslim friend.


Which you happily took advantage of as an ejector seat to bail out of the thread, because your magic-addled arse cheeks were being stir-fried in rationalist napalm and served to you on a platter in a reality-based hoy sin sauce.

So, I'll ask the above question again, fully expecting you to evade and dodge that question in advance:

Why is it "abusive" to teach children the facts about the world, and allow them to choose whether or not to accept the unsupported blind assertions of your mythology, instead of being forced to conform thereto?

thedistillers wrote:That's just one example.


You've been asked to provide a precise citation that someone, other than a duplicitous propagandist for supernaturalism, has ever stated that a secular education is based upon "what doesn't kill you make you stronger". Especially in the light of what a secular education is actually about, as opposed to your defamatory and blatantly false caricature thereof. Now, are you going to provide a citation as requested, or is this another piece of apologetic bullshit you're merely going to assert, but never support with real evidence?

thedistillers wrote:The question is: why would that parent be wrong?


Well first of all, this assumes that your blatantly false caricature of 'secular education' bears any connection to reality, which it doesn't. So that on its own renders your question null and void, because it's based upon a deliberate and mendacious fabrication. Plus, it would be wrong to apply this fabricated caricature of 'secular education' to a child because we have evidence that doing so would damage that child. We have evidence that brutality damages children. What part of the word "evidence" do you not understand?

thedistillers wrote:According to what objective standard is it wrong to base an education on that principle?


Try the fact that we have evidence that it would be wrong to base an education upon your fabricated caricature.

thedistillers wrote:Atheism fundamentalism


Is a duplicitous apologetic fabrication invented by propagandists for mythology-based masturbation fantasies.

thedistillers wrote:is the most radical sect of the Church of Atheism


Another duplicitous apologetic fabrication erected by propagandists for mythology-based masturbation fantasies. Exactly how can one have a "church" based upon NOT accepting uncritically unsupported mythological assertions? The very notion is farcical in the extreme.

thedistillers wrote:fundy atheists


Who do not exist. They are a specious apologetic fabrication erected by duplicitous propagandists for mythology-based masturbation fantasies.

thedistillers wrote:believe that religion is the root of all evil


Actually, the reality, as opposed to your duplicitous apologetic caricature, is that the critical thinkers here regard the postulate that supernaturalism exerts a malign influence upon human affairs and policy decisions to be evidentially supported. No "belief" involved. We leave "belief" to supernaturalists.

thedistillers wrote:and want to stop parents to educate their children according to religious values.


Correction: we want children to be taught about so-called "religious values" honestly, including the inconvenient facts that supernaturalists prefer to avoid addressing, such as the account I've presented above with respect to slavery.

thedistillers wrote:I'm not saying that society has to function that way


No, you're merely erecting the duplicitous apologetic fabrication that your blatant and specious caricature reflects 'secular values', when it doesn't.

thedistillers wrote:I'm saying that if some people want to function that way, who are we to say that they are wrong


Once again, try because we have evidence that children are harmed by the sort of brutality your specious caricature version of 'secular education' would imply?

thedistillers wrote:if atheism is true?


Still parroting this apologetic faeces, are you? Despite having been presented with the rigorous formulation of atheism repeatedly?

thedistillers wrote:The issue is not that the atheist can't be moral.


Poppycock. We can smell a specious supernaturalist canard being erected from light years away. It's not as if the posters here lack experience of this.

thedistillers wrote:It's that whatever morality the atheist follow, there is no rational reason for other people to follow the same moral values.


Other than the fact that evidence from the real world supports those values?

Oh, but then, that's something you reject, because as a supernaturalist, you think that when reality and doctrine differ, reality is wrong and doctrine is right.

thedistillers wrote:If your children want to live their life in the image of darwinian evolution, there is no rational argument from a secular point of view to stop them.


Well this assumes from the start that your specious and typically mendacious caricature of evolution is anything other than a specious and mendcious caricature. Fortunately, those of us here who bothered to pay attention in a science class KNOW that what you are presenting is a specious and mendacious caricature.

Even assuming that this specious and mendacious caricature bore any connection to reality, once again, we have evidence that applying your specious and mendacious caricature of evolution as the foundation of an 'education system' would inflict damage upon children, and that would be the rational reason for not doing so. But then paying attention to evidence from the real world is something that is anathema to supernaturalists, who prefer to pretend that the world conforms to mythological blind assertions, and that said assertions are somehow "supported" by apologetic fabrications.

thedistillers wrote:For the record, theists believe that the moral law is written in their heart.


Which is why they all flunked Anatomy 101.

thedistillers wrote:So it's not because it says so in a book that I know that X is not a nice thing to do.


Except that if you wish to assert that ethical principles are an innate feature of human beings, then this means that they were present before your mythology was written, and consequently do not arise therefrom. Which means that your mythology is superfluous to requirements. Congratulations on shooting yourself in the foot quite nicely with respect to the need for your mythology.
Signature temporarily on hold until I can find a reliable image host ...
User avatar
Calilasseia
RS Donator
 
Posts: 22091
Age: 59
Male

Country: England
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#85  Postby rJD » Mar 12, 2010 11:37 am

Calilasseia wrote:... other supernaturalists, most notably in the slave states of the USA, were arguing that the same mythology made slavery a virtue, and that black people were inferior to white people. Indeed, the Ku Klux Klan was not only an explicitly religious organisation, but was also explicitly creationist. I suspect this will be another of those inconvenient facts that you will pretend do not exist, whilst propagandising for your mythology-based masturbation fantasy.

Amongst many other points, can it be too long before it is claimed that the KKK aren't "Scottish"? :shifty:
I was "jd" in RDF, and am still in Rationalia.com

"Wooberish" - a neologism for woo expressed in gibberish, spread the "meme".

Image
User avatar
rJD
RS Donator
 
Name: John
Posts: 2934
Male

Country: God's Own Country
European Union (eur)
Print view this post

Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#86  Postby justanillusion » Mar 12, 2010 11:50 am

Church of Atheism


:rofl:

Wrong thread! Where's the one for "most absurd claims"?
<<used to be MindWarrior on RD.net>>

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
Sun Tzu
User avatar
justanillusion
 
Posts: 83
Age: 44
Female

Czech Republic (cz)
Print view this post

Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#87  Postby NineOneFour » Mar 12, 2010 12:33 pm

justanillusion wrote:
Church of Atheism


:rofl:

Wrong thread! Where's the one for "most absurd claims"?


I already went there to post this thread and someone had beat me to it already!
Citizen of the (future) People's Social Democratic Republic of Cascadia.
cascadianow.org

For help managing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), go here. I am able to manage it, and so can you.
User avatar
NineOneFour
 
Name: Yes, I'm an asshole.
Posts: 20906
Age: 51
Male

Country: Cascadia
Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#88  Postby CookieJon » Mar 12, 2010 12:56 pm

Church of Atheism


This one gets me every time... is "church" supposed to be an insult from the churchies, or what? What gives??

Conused. :think:
User avatar
CookieJon
RS Donator
 
Posts: 8384
Male

Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#89  Postby Gawdzilla » Mar 12, 2010 1:10 pm

CookieJon wrote:
Church of Atheism


This one gets me every time... is "church" supposed to be an insult from the churchies, or what? What gives??

Conused. :think:

The God-Botherers can't imagine someone who doesn't have a church of some kind or other. They're limited to their own imaginations and fail to comprehend that you can live without the Great Sky Fairy's nose up your butt.
Chief Engineer on the Derail Express.

Geoff wrote:Not that I've anything against paedophilia, but it does leave one open to accusations of catholicism...


This space for rent.
User avatar
Gawdzilla
 
Posts: 3217
Age: 70
Male

Mongolia (mn)
Print view this post

Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#90  Postby mark1961 » Mar 12, 2010 2:44 pm

xsmooth_criminalx wrote:
mmmcheezy wrote:

Don't worry thedistillers, I got this shit:

xsmooth_criminalx, :nono:
You should know those people aren't REAL CHRISTIANS!


Well, my bad. On my defense, however, what's real doesn't really seem to matter to them. So you can understand why I have a hard time distinguishing the "real" Christians from the imaginary ones...
:grin:


"mmmcheezy" Was being ironic I guess...

I think she's invoking a classic variation of the "No True Scotsman" argument-defining someone as being something else for an arbitrary or irrelevant reason. That only true Scotsmen only have salt on their porridge and people who don't can't possibly be Scotsmen in the case of this metaphor.

Bad Christians are bad because they aren't doing it right. If they did of course then the "Spirit Of The Lord" would fill their hearts and protect them from doing their evil deeds. They ignore or in most cases can't imagine what would seem to me the obvious conclusion that there's no "Spirit Of The Lord".

It's a common way in which the religious and atheists talk past each other without understanding at all what each is on about.
User avatar
mark1961
 
Posts: 957
Age: 59
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#91  Postby mmmcheezy » Mar 12, 2010 4:16 pm

mark1961 wrote:
xsmooth_criminalx wrote:
mmmcheezy wrote:

Don't worry thedistillers, I got this shit:

xsmooth_criminalx, :nono:
You should know those people aren't REAL CHRISTIANS!


Well, my bad. On my defense, however, what's real doesn't really seem to matter to them. So you can understand why I have a hard time distinguishing the "real" Christians from the imaginary ones...
:grin:


"mmmcheezy" Was being ironic I guess...

I think she's invoking a classic variation of the "No True Scotsman" argument-defining someone as being something else for an arbitrary or irrelevant reason. That only true Scotsmen only have salt on their porridge and people who don't can't possibly be Scotsmen in the case of this metaphor.

Absolutely correct!
Irony doesn't translate well via text, thought, does it?
Bad Christians are bad because they aren't doing it right. If they did of course then the "Spirit Of The Lord" would fill their hearts and protect them from doing their evil deeds. They ignore or in most cases can't imagine what would seem to me the obvious conclusion that there's no "Spirit Of The Lord".

It's a common way in which the religious and atheists talk past each other without understanding at all what each is on about.
http://www.rantingnraging.tumblr.com

I'm not larger than life, I'm not taller than trees
User avatar
mmmcheezy
RS Donator
 
Posts: 4171
Age: 33
Female

Country: USA
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#92  Postby DavidNewman » Mar 12, 2010 4:23 pm

No.

/thread
Well maybe it's not gonna be my weekend, but it's gonna be my year.
User avatar
DavidNewman
 
Posts: 64
Age: 30
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#93  Postby Nebogipfel » Mar 12, 2010 7:48 pm

thedistillers wrote:
For the record, theists believe that the moral law is written in their heart. So it's not because it says so in a book that I know that X is not a nice thing to do.


It's interesting that there are also evolutionary explanations for altruism and morality. So the moral law is written in our genes rather than in our hearts. And I can't think of a better reason than that for being moral :)

But it's interesting that while a great many theists might hold that the moral law is "written on their hearts", individual theists have taken widely different views on what is moral.

In fact if you boil away the religion-specific bits of morality, what's left seems to be what secular humanists manage to come up with on their own, without any divine help.
Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion
-- Carl Sagan
User avatar
Nebogipfel
 
Posts: 2085

Country: Netherlands
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#94  Postby El Driver » Mar 12, 2010 9:04 pm

thedistillers wrote:If God does not exist, then a parent could decide for example that we should live our life in the image of darwinian evolution, and kill the weak. Why would it be wrong?


It would be wrong because I said it's wrong. I believe that morals are subjective.
Jesus died for your sins, not mine.
User avatar
El Driver
 
Posts: 5
Age: 31
Male

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#95  Postby Calilasseia » Mar 12, 2010 9:08 pm

Nebogipfel wrote:
thedistillers wrote:
For the record, theists believe that the moral law is written in their heart. So it's not because it says so in a book that I know that X is not a nice thing to do.


It's interesting that there are also evolutionary explanations for altruism and morality. So the moral law is written in our genes rather than in our hearts. And I can't think of a better reason than that for being moral :)

But it's interesting that while a great many theists might hold that the moral law is "written on their hearts", individual theists have taken widely different views on what is moral.

In fact if you boil away the religion-specific bits of morality, what's left seems to be what secular humanists manage to come up with on their own, without any divine help.


And with respect to some of that evidence for an evolutionary and biological basis you've just mentioned above, I think it's apposite to post this. Not that TD will even bother to acknowledge the existence of this post, and the scientific papers it contains, because he manifestly prefers to think that the world conforms to the strictures of his mythology, as was revealed in another thread when he erected the farcical statement that scientific papers I presented there were "irrelevant". He thinks that the blind assertions of his mythology constitute fact, and that all one needs to do is exercise sufficient cunning with respect to the business of apologetic fabrication, and that constitutes "proof" of his beloved mythology. Reality, however, says something different, not that supernaturalists take notice of it when it dares to do other than genuflect before their wishful thinking. However, since several here will be interested in the evidence supporting an evolutionary and biological basis for ethical thinking, I shall now proceed to present it.

First of all, the only evidence we have, of creatures producing an abstract concept of ethics, and devising conceptual frameworks within an intellectual field of endeavour devoted to these, centres upon humans. We have evidence that humans have written treatises on ethics. We have NO evidence that any other entity has produced treatises on ethics or formulated ethical ideas. Any statement that an invisible magic man is responsible for our ethical constructs is mere blind assertion, not least because the postulate that this invisible magic man even exists is a blind assertion. As a direct consequence, the observational evidence supports the notion that morality is a human invention.

One of the more interesting developments from neuroscience supernaturalists in particular have apparently missed out on is this. Humans (and indeed other primates) possess a part of the brain known as the ventromedial pre-frontal cortex. It has been demonstrated experimentally, courtesy of cases of brain injury to this region, that this part of the brain is the very part of the brain responsible for our capacity to engage in ethical decision making. When that part of the brain is damaged, ethical decision making is manifestly impaired. In other words, we have an organic and biological basis for our capacity to act as moral beings. An interesting and relevant paper is this one:

Characterisation Of Empathy Deficits Following Prefrontal Brain Damage: The Role Of The Right Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex by S.G. Shamay-Tsoory, R. Tomer B.D. Berger and J. Aharon-Peretz, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 15: 324-337 (2003)

Here's the abstract:

Shamay-Tsoory [et al[/i], 2003 wrote:Impaired empathic response has been described in patients following brain injury, suggesting that empathy may be a fundamental aspect of the social behavior disturbed by brain damage. However, the neuroanatomical basis of impaired empathy has not been studied in detail. The empathic response of patients with localized lesions in the prefrontal cortex (n = 25) was compared to responses of patients with posterior (n = 17) and healthy control subjects (n = 19). To examine the cognitive processes that underlie the empathic ability, the relationships between empathy scores and the performance on tasks that assess processes of cognitive flexibility, affect recognition, and theory of mind (TOM) were also examined. Patients with prefrontal lesions, particularly when their damage included the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, were significantly impaired in empathy as compared to patients with posterior lesions and healthy controls. However, among patients with posterior lesions, those with damage to the right hemisphere were impaired, whereas those with left posterior lesions displayed empathy levels similar to healthy controls. Seven of nine patients with the most profound empathy deficit had a right ventromedial lesion. A differential pattern regarding the relationships between empathy and cognitive performance was also found: Whereas among patients with dorsolateral prefrontal damage empathy was related to cognitive flexibility but not to TOM and affect recognition, empathy scores in patients with ventromedial lesions were related to TOM but not to cognitive flexibility. Our findings suggest that prefrontal structures play an important part in a network mediating the empathic response and specifically that the right ventromedial cortex has a unique role in integrating cognition and affect to produce the empathic response.


Another apposite paper is this one:

The Role Of The Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex In Abstract State-Based Inference During Decision Making In Humans by Alan N. Hampton, Peter Bossaerts and John. P. O'Doherty, The Journal of Neuroscience, 26(32):, 8360-8367 (9th August 2006) (full paper downloadable from here)

Here's the abstract:

Hampton et al, 2006 wrote:Many real-life decision-making problems incorporate higher-order structure, involving interdependencies between different stimuli, actions, and subsequent rewards. It is not known whether brain regions implicated in decision making, such as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), use a stored model of the task structure to guide choice (model-based decision making) or merely learn action or state values without assuming higher-order structure as in standard reinforcement learning. To discriminate between these possibilities, we scanned human subjects with functional magnetic resonance imaging while they performed a simple decision-making task with higher-order structure, probabilistic reversal learning. We found that neural activity in a key decision-making region, the vmPFC, was more consistent with a computational model that exploits higher-order structure than with simple reinforcement learning. These results suggest that brain regions, such as the vmPFC, use an abstract model of task structure to guide behavioral choice, computations that may underlie the human capacity for complex social interactions and abstract strategizing.


Likewise we have this paper:

Another apposite paper is this one:

Characterisation Of The Decision-Making Deficit Of Patients With Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Lesions by Antione Bechara, Daniel Tranel and Hanna Damasio, Brain, 123: 2189-2202 (2000)

and also this one:

Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Activation Is Critical For Preference Judgements by Martin P. Paulus and Lawrence R. Frank, NeuroReport, 14(10): 1311-1315 (28th March 2003)

However, the one I'd really like to concentrate upon from here on is this one:

Impairment Of Social And Moral Behaviour Related To Early Damage In Human Prefrontal Cortex by Steven W. Anderson, Antoine Bechara, Hanna Damasio, Daniel Tranel and Antonio R. Damasio, Nature Neuroscience, 2(11): 1032-1037 (November 1999)

Here's what this paper says:

Anderson et al, 1999 wrote:The long-term consequences of early prefrontal cortex lesions occurring before 16 months were investigated in two adults. As is the case when such damage occurs in adulthood, the two early-onset patients had severely impaired social behavior despite normal basic cognitive abilities, and
showed insensitivity to future consequences of decisions, defective autonomic responses to punishment contingencies and failure to respond to behavioral interventions. Unlike adult-onset patients, however, the two patients had defective social and moral reasoning, suggesting that the acquisition of complex social conventions and moral rules had been impaired. Thus early-onset prefrontal damage resulted in a syndrome resembling psychopathy.


Indeed, further research in this area has established an interesting fact: if the pre-frontal cortex is damaged in childhood, before a child has begun to learn basic ethical precepts, that child becomes a sociopathic adult, incapable of responding to any impulse other than instant gratification of wants and desires, regardless of the cost to that person or others affected by said behaviour. If the damage occurs in adulthood, the behaviour is still antisocial, but is accompanied by feelings of guilt because ethical precepts have already been learned, and knowledge of this affects the individual adversely in terms of guilt feelings after the fact. Plus, when subjected to testing in a clinical environment, adults with pre-frontal cortex damage can give appropriate responses to questions about appropriate behaviour in social settings, but are unable to act upon this knowledge, and continue to be driven by immediate gratification, even when they know that this behaviour is self-defeating. The pre-frontal cortex has also been implicated as the origin of fear memories in normal individuals, as of 2006 (courtesy of researchers at the University of Toronto). Modern data with respect to this relies upon functional MRI scanning, which can track brain activity in real time, and those brain imaging systems have found a startling correlation between reduced activity, reduced volume and reduced interconnections with other brain subsystems, and individuals falling into the following categories:

[1] Sufferers of unipolar depression;

[2] Persons subjected to repeated high-intensity stress (e.g., battlefield shock cases);

[3] Incarcerated criminals;

[4] Diagnosed sociopaths;

[5] Drug addicts;

[6] Suicide victims (survivors of suicide attempts have been imaged via fMRI: successful suicide victims have had the pre-frontal cortex directly measured by dissection).

Therefore there is a biological basis for ethical behaviour in humans, and work on the great apes is being performed in anticipation of finding corollary brain activity related to socialisation and the establishment of behavioural 'norms' within great ape social groupings.

The pre-frontal cortex is regarded as being implicated in the presence of empathy not just in humans, but on other mammals too, though this work is in its infancy and detailed, robust findings have yet to be published. However, given what has been verified empirically in cases of pre-frontal cortex injury, scientists anticipate that empathy will also be found to be correlated with healthy functioning of the pre-frontal cortex.

Additionally, I have since found that pre-frontal cortex damage is implicated in schizophrenia, courtesy of this page from the Society for Neuroscience. Again, it refers to brain imaging studies, this time in humans and other primates.

A letter to Nature is also apposite here (link), viz:

The psychological and neurobiological processes underlying moral judgement have been the focus of many recent empirical studies1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Of central interest is whether emotions play a causal role in moral judgement, and, in parallel, how emotion-related areas of the brain contribute to moral judgement. Here we show that six patients with focal bilateral damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC), a brain region necessary for the normal generation of emotions and, in particular, social emotions12, 13, 14, produce an abnormally 'utilitarian' pattern of judgements on moral dilemmas that pit compelling considerations of aggregate welfare against highly emotionally aversive behaviours (for example, having to sacrifice one person's life to save a number of other lives)7, 8. In contrast, the VMPC patients' judgements were normal in other classes of moral dilemmas. These findings indicate that, for a selective set of moral dilemmas, the VMPC is critical for normal judgements of right and wrong. The findings support a necessary role for emotion in the generation of those judgements.


Indeed the pre-frontal cortex appears to be involved in a surprising amount of decision making. This page on depression covers this in some detail. This page also reports a study from the British Journal of Psychiatry, which notes structural differences in the pre-frontal cortex that are observed between socially well-adjusted individuals and pathological liars, and a parallel reversal of those differences in persons with autistic spectrum conditions (who have been observed for many years as possessing a considerably reduced capacity to lie and fabricate - there are numerous peer reviewed studies with respect to this, from researchers such as Professor Uta Frith and Dr Simon Baron-Cohen).

A peer reviewed paper that can be accessed that discusses several of these findings in detail is this one, in which the connection between pre-frontal cortex damage and increased pursuit of immediate gratification is experimentally verified. This article from the American Journal of Psychiatry also covers the relation between pre-frontal cortex damage and schizophrenia.

So, looks as if the basis for morality is organic, and has precious little to do with any invisible magic men.

Moving on, I'd like to introduce everyone to Endal. Endal is a Labrador Retriever. In other words, a dog. This dog has repeatedly demonstrated not only intelligent behaviour (Endal has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to operate a chip and pin ATM cash machine) but has also engaged in the sort of self-sacrificial behaviour that supernaturalists wish to claim is ONLY possible as a result of whatever magic man they happen to believe in. Now, last time I checked, Labrador Retrievers didn't possess any concept of 'god', nor are they noted for having generated amongst themselves anything resembling a 'religion'. On the other hand, since dogs are social animals that adopt a hierarchical structure amongst themselves, and work co-operatively with the dominant animal in the social group, this behaviour is readily explicable in entirely natural terms.

Likewise, I'd like to introduce everyone to Binti Jua. She can be seen in action here. Binti Jua is a female gorilla living in a zoo. Now, once again, as far as I am aware, gorillas don't have a 'god' concept, and haven't manifested behaviour compatible with the development of a 'religion'. However, Binti Jua rescued a 3 year old human child who had fallen into her enclosure, and carried the boy to safety where zookeepers could collect him and pass him on to waiting ambulancemen. I think it's safe to say that Binti Jua hasn't read any holy books lately, and as a consequence, her behaviour is explicable entirely in naturalistic terms, namely that she is a social primate with a sense of empathy for creatures resembling herself that is the product of an evolutionary process.

We humans are capable of grafting additional abstract ideas onto our empathic actions as a consequence of our genetic inheritance of a large cerebral cortex. We are capable of inventing ideas that seem at first sight to have no parallel among other animals, but that incident cited above is not regarded as exceptional by scientists who work with primates and study their social lives. Moreover, both gorillas and chimpanzees have demonstrated a capacity for communication with humans via language. We share more with those other apes than the glib accounts of old mythologies would have us believe, and that shared heritage is being elucidated on a more and more detailed basis with the passage of time. Indeed, detailed observation of other primates reveals that they too possess that brain structure I cited above - the ventromedial pre-frontal cortex. It is larger in humans, because it underwent the same expansion as the cerebral cortex proper in our particular lineage (for more on this, look up the ASPM and FOXP2 genes, about which I say more in detail here), but we share that structure with the great apes. We share many of the genes coding for its formation and wiring. And, we share many of the behaviours that this part of the brain is responsible for. In our case, the greater size and greater connectivity with the cerebral cortex proper makes other, newer behaviours possible, but we are not unique in this respect.

Our entire concept of ethics is, basically, another example of emergent complexity in action - emergent complexity made possible by the biological features described above. We can choose to act in a manner that either harms or helps our fellow humans, depending upon whether we give precedence to short-term or long-term goals. But that capacity does not require any supernatural input for explanation - we are increasingly untangling the biological and neurological basis for our behaviour, for our possession of, if you will, a conscience, and that is tied intimately into our heritage as descendants of gregarious apes.

So, combine this with the scientific papers above I've cited with respect to the ventromedial pre-frontal cortex, and I think it's safe to say I've provided plenty of evidence to back up the hypothesis that the products of human thought have an organic basis, and once again, that reference to any invisible magic men is entirely superfluous to requirements.

I wonder what apologetic nonsense will be erected by TD to hand-wave the above away? :)
Signature temporarily on hold until I can find a reliable image host ...
User avatar
Calilasseia
RS Donator
 
Posts: 22091
Age: 59
Male

Country: England
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#96  Postby xsmooth_criminalx » Mar 12, 2010 9:11 pm

mark1961 wrote:

"mmmcheezy" Was being ironic I guess...

I think she's invoking a classic variation of the "No True Scotsman" argument-defining someone as being something else for an arbitrary or irrelevant reason. That only true Scotsmen only have salt on their porridge and people who don't can't possibly be Scotsmen in the case of this metaphor.

Bad Christians are bad because they aren't doing it right. If they did of course then the "Spirit Of The Lord" would fill their hearts and protect them from doing their evil deeds. They ignore or in most cases can't imagine what would seem to me the obvious conclusion that there's no "Spirit Of The Lord".

It's a common way in which the religious and atheists talk past each other without understanding at all what each is on about.

LOL I know that. I was just playing along with it. :grin:
You've been HIT by, you've been STRUCK by, a Smooth Criminal~
User avatar
xsmooth_criminalx
 
Name: Christelle
Posts: 268
Age: 29
Female

Country: USA
Spain (es)
Print view this post

Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#97  Postby Gawdzilla » Mar 12, 2010 9:39 pm

thedistillers wrote:
For the record, theists believe that the moral law is written in their heart. So it's not because it says so in a book that I know that X is not a nice thing to do.


Gee, "believers believe". I'll call CNN.
Chief Engineer on the Derail Express.

Geoff wrote:Not that I've anything against paedophilia, but it does leave one open to accusations of catholicism...


This space for rent.
User avatar
Gawdzilla
 
Posts: 3217
Age: 70
Male

Mongolia (mn)
Print view this post

Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#98  Postby The_Metatron » Mar 12, 2010 9:51 pm

You sure do like your fucking strawmen, don't you, thedistillers?
I AM Skepdickus!

Check out Hack's blog, too. He writes good.
User avatar
The_Metatron
Moderator
 
Name: Jesse
Posts: 21078
Age: 58
Male

Country: United States
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#99  Postby mark1961 » Mar 13, 2010 4:29 pm

xsmooth_criminalx wrote:
LOL I know that. I was just playing along with it. :grin:


Excellent! :grin:

Was really explaining things to a wider audience than us.
User avatar
mark1961
 
Posts: 957
Age: 59
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Is a secular education a form of child abuse?

#100  Postby Nebogipfel » Mar 13, 2010 8:51 pm

Fascinating post, Cali :cheers:
Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion
-- Carl Sagan
User avatar
Nebogipfel
 
Posts: 2085

Country: Netherlands
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

PreviousNext

Return to Parenting & Education

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest