Sharpshooter, on 06 August 2012 - 11:13 AM, said:
A good story needs a bad guy to rally against, and a hero to rally around.
That and all the other mumbo jumbo in the Bible tells you, that it's simply a book of fictional stories.
Good things in the world = God/Good
Bad things in the world = Satan/Evil
Every man-made mythology has a Superman/Lex Luthor character.....Christianity is no different in its characters and or its makers.
Morality + Ethics versus Immorality + Unethical Behaviour is present and within the inherent capability of everyone.....and religions have simply put those lessons into story form that were easy to tell and spread and use to control the behaviour of society and individuals within it.
We've moved beyond those antiquated simplistic stories into more complex moral and immoral territory with a set of laws and ethical standards in order to shape/reward/punish certain social and individualistic behaviours.
Religions didn't invent morality or ethics, and they don't have the last best word on it.....they were part of the evolution of them, while neither being the starting point, nor the final destination.
Evolution See also: Evolution of morality
, Evolutionary ethics
The development of modern morality is a process closely tied to the Sociocultural evolution
of different peoples of humanity. Some evolutionary biologists, particularly sociobiologists, believe that morality is a product of evolutionary forces acting at an individual level and also at the group level through group selection
(though to what degree this actually occurs is a controversial topic in evolutionary theory). Some sociobiologists contend that the set of behaviors that constitute morality evolved largely because they provided possible survival and/or reproductive benefits (i.e. increased evolutionary success). Humans consequently evolved "pro-social" emotions, such as feelings of empathy or guilt, in response to these moral behaviors.
On this understanding, morality is not absolute, but relative, and constitutes any set of behaviors that encourage human cooperation
based on their ideology to get ideologic unity. Biologists contend that all social animals, from ants to elephants, have modified their behaviors, by restraining immediate selfishness in order to improve their evolutionary fitness. Human morality, though sophisticated and complex relative to other animals, is essentially a natural phenomenon that evolved to restrict excessive individualism that could undermine a group's cohesion and thereby reducing the individuals' fitness.
On this view, moral codes are ultimately founded on emotional instincts and intuitions that were selected for in the past because they aided survival and reproduction (inclusive fitness
). Examples: the maternal bond
is selected for because it improves the survival of offspring; the Westermarck effect
, where close proximity during early years reduces mutual sexual attraction, underpins taboos against incest
because it decreases the likelihood of genetically risky behaviour such as inbreeding
The phenomenon of 'reciprocity
' in nature is seen by evolutionary biologists as one way to begin to understand human morality. Its function is typically to ensure a reliable supply of essential resources, especially for animals living in a habitat where food quantity or quality fluctuates unpredictably. For example, some vampire bats
fail to feed on prey some nights while others manage to consume a surplus. Bats that did eat will then regurgitate part of their blood meal to save a conspecific
from starvation. Since these animals live in close-knit groups over many years, an individual can count on other group members to return the favor on nights when it goes hungry (Wilkinson, 1984) Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce (2009) have argued that morality is a suite of behavioral capacities likely shared by all mammals living in complex social groups (e.g., wolves, coyotes, elephants, dolphins, rats, chimpanzees). They define morality as "a suite of interrelated other-regarding behaviors that cultivate and regulate complex interactions within social groups." This suite of behaviors includes empathy, reciprocity, altruism, cooperation, and a sense of fairness.
In related work, it has been convincingly demonstrated that chimpanzees show empathy for each other in a wide variety of contexts.
They also possess the ability to engage in deception, and a level of social 'politics'
prototypical of our own tendencies for gossip
Christopher Boehm (1982) has hypothesized that the incremental development of moral complexity throughout hominid
evolution was due to the increasing need to avoid disputes and injuries in moving to open savanna and developing stone weapons. Other theories are that increasing complexity was simply a correlate of increasing group size and brain size, and in particular the development of theory of mind
abilities. Richard Dawkins
in The God Delusion
suggested that our morality is a result of our biological evolutionary history and that the Moral Zeitgeist
helps describe how morality evolves from biological and cultural origins and evolves with time within a culture.
Main article: mirror neurons
Mirror neurons are neurons in the brain that fire when another person is observed doing a certain action. The neurons fire in imitation of the action being observed, causing the same muscles to act minutely in the observer as are acting grossly in the person actually performing the action. Research on mirror neurons
, since their discovery in 1996,
suggests that they may have a role to play not only in action understanding, but also in emotion sharing empathy
. Cognitive neuro-scientist Jean Decety
thinks that the ability to recognize and vicariously experience what another individual is undergoing was a key step forward in the evolution of social behavior, and ultimately, morality.
The inability to feel empathy is one of the defining characteristics of psychopathy
, and this would appear to lend support to Decety's view.
 Neuroimaging and stimulation
The explicit making of moral right and wrong judgments coincides with activation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex
(VMPC) while intuitive reactions to situations containing implicit moral issues activates the temporoparietal junction
Stimulation of the VMPC by transcranial magnetic stimulation
has been shown to inhibit the ability of human subjects to take into account intent when forming a moral judgment.
Similarly VMPC-impaired persons will judge an action purely on its outcome and are unable to take into account the intent of that action.
Neuroscience has also looked at the phenomenon of so-called moral luck:
A father who leaves his child by the bath, after telling his child to stay put and believing that he will stay put, is judged to be morally blameworthy if the child drowns (an unlucky outcome), but not if his child stays put and doesn't drown. . . . Yet these judgments may also seem paradoxical. After all, . . . everything from the agent's perspective was exactly the same, including what the agent thought would happen, and what the agent himself did. In general, we expect that morality should not depend on luck.
The brain areas that are consistently involved when humans reason about moral issues have been investigated by a quantitative large-scale meta-analysis of the brain activity changes reported in the moral neuroscience literature.
In fact, the neural network underlying moral decisions overlapped with the network pertaining to representing others' intentions (i.e., theory of mind) and the network pertaining to representing others' (vicariously experienced) emotional states (i.e., empathy). This supports the notion that moral reasoning is related to both seeing things from other persons’ points of view and to grasping others’ feelings These results provide evidenced that the neural network underlying moral decisions is probably domain-global (i.e., there might be no such things as a "moral module" in the human brain) and might be dissociable into cognitive and affective sub-systems
"These are the things to keep in mind. These are not just academic exercises. We're not analyzing the media on Mars or in the eighteenth century or something like that. We're dealing with real human beings who are suffering and dying and being tortured and starving because of policies that we are involved in, we as citizens of democratic societies are directly involved in and are responsible for, and what the media are doing is ensuring that we do not act on our responsibilities, and that the interests of power are served, not the needs of the suffering people, and not even the needs of the American people who would be horrified if they realized the blood that's dripping from their hands because of the way they are allowing themselves to be deluded and manipulated by the system."
Jesus didn’t say yes to everyone. I mean Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it is not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia
Tony Abbott......Current Australian PM