In The Selfish Gene and again in his television programme The Genius of Charles Darwin, Dawkins argues that we have an evolved intuitive sense of right and wrong, what he calls a "lust to be nice. It has been hard-wired into us from the time we lived in close kinship groups". Dawkins poses himself a puzzle. Whereas animals display reciprocal altruism, where you groom my back and I groom yours, nature is basically self-interested. The selfish gene is the self-promoting gene in a long run battle to survive. So we can explain reciprocal altruism quite easily in biological terms as a survival strategy to make sure my close family help me in time of difficulty so that our genes survive. But what of non-reciprocal altruism? What of the overwhelming empathy we feel when someone cries, and the desire to jump into a swollen river to save a drowning stranger, who will never repay us? Dawkins calls this moral sense, the desire to sacrifice self for strangers as "a misfiring of our selfish genes". They misfire because they arise from self-interest, the reciprocal altruism of the kinship group, but then get applied to everyone around us. "Our misfiring selfish genes mean we do not ape the nastiness (punishing stars) of nature…we rise above our origins", Dawkins argues. Dawkins sides with the Roman Catholics - we have the moral gene which means we "transcend our selfish genes". The selfish gene, the self-promoting gene, has given us both reciprocal and non-reciprocal altruism. Like many Christians today, Dawkins argues goodness is innate to humankind, an evolved innate sense of right and wrong. Note too, there is zero mention of the conscience throughout the Old Testament. First mention is with Democritus, at the time of Socrates, after the last Old Testament book. In modern Hebrew, it is our compass, our "northern star", our "hidden treasure" as Jesus speaks about. It's because the law can be seen to be within all people, the conscience G4893 bears witness within them, and their "reasonings" logismos G3053 at the judgment will either accuse them G2723, or excuse them i.e. defend them. To Defend is to give an account, a legal plea, on behalf of one. Romans 2:15 John 8:7 Note Jesus's words "Let the one without sin, cast the first stone." They all left, starting with the eldest. Where are your accusers? G2725 Accusers are those that rise up (in the assembly) against you. Categorize you, reduce people to boxes. Has no one condemned you, given judgment against you. G2632 Check out the word "nice". Dawkins talks about people having a "nice" gene. late 13c. "foolish, ignorant, frivolous, senseless," from Old French nice (12c.) "careless, clumsy, weak, poor, needy, simple, stupid, silly, foolish" from Latin nescius "ignorant, unaware" literally "not-knowing" from ne- "not" + stem of scire "to know" (see science). "The sense development has been extraordinary, even for an adjective" says Weekley - from "timid, faint-hearted" (pre-1300), to "fussy, fastidious" (late 14c.), to "dainty, delicate" (c. 1400), to "precise, careful" (1500s, preserved in such terms as a nice distinction and nice and early), to "agreeable, delightful" (1769), to "kind, thoughtful" (1830). "I am sure," cried Catherine, "I did not mean to say anything wrong; but it is a nice book, and why should I not call it so?" "Very true," said Henry, "and this is a very nice day, and we are taking a very nice walk; and you are two very nice young ladies. Oh! It is a very nice word indeed! It does for everything." [Jane Austen, "Northanger Abbey," 1803] TAKE 7: THE ANSWERS ACCORDING TO RICHARD DAWKINS
Re Satan. 20 Jan 2015 - If Satan wanted to discredit religious faith, he'd invent the history of the Middle East. But it's no invention, and it's still going on. The great struggles in the Middle East are tinged with religion: Sunni supremacists in the Islamic State, Shia supremacists in Tehran, Arabs and Jews waging war on one another over the old mandate of Palestine, to name just a few. And yet, not so long ago, many Middle Eastern states were using the language of socialism, nationalism, and even communism - "isms" that brook little competition from religion. Inconsistent, yes, but also truth of a wider trend: once upon a time, many Arab states were actively switching their social glue from Islam to modern ideologies. Consider the national anthem of the United Arab Emirates, whose notes were penned in 1971 and whose lyrics were written in 1996. Full of socialist and nationalist language, the anthem extols work, Arabism, and the Emirati homeland. The Egyptian Constitution of 1971 cried out for Arab unity, while Qaddafi's Green Book in Libya was an odd hodgepodge of nationalism and socialism. Algeria practiced Algerian socialism until the 1990s; the largest party today in Tunisia, Nida Tunis, draws heavily from secularism and socialism. Officially Arab socialist states included Mubarak's Egypt, Saddam's Iraq, and Assad's Syria. Even after a communist coup in 1971, Sudan continued to pursue socialism. Once the United States fretted it was losing the Arab world to communism; now, hardly anyone even mutters the world "socialism". Richard Dawkins and the god of the Old Testament expanding on the answer of the chap with one talent Mat 25:24 "…jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully." Psalm 14:1 (first half) Hebrew: The fool has said in his heart, "No Elohim" Latin: dixit stultus in corde suo "non est Deus" Hebrew word for fool: naw-bale'; a primitive root "to wilt" generally, to fall away, fail, faint. Causatively, to despise i.e. belittle. Psalm 14:1 (second half) They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good. Psalm 14:2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. There is none who does good, No, not one. Psa 14:6 You shame the counsel of the poor, But the LORD is his refuge. Psa 14:7 Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD brings back the captivity of His people, Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.
- Worst habit? Seizing any excuse to divert from the task at hand.
- Greatest fear? That the world might cease to respect reason.
- The line that stayed with you? The line between truth and falsehood.
- Biggest regret? The loss of friends.
- Favourite room? Room to manoeuvre.
- The artwork/song you wish was yours? Here, There and Everywhere by Lennon and McCartney.
- If you could solve one thing... The evolutionary significance of consciousness. conscious (adj.) c. 1600, "knowing, privy to" (poetic), from Latin conscius "knowing, aware," from conscire "be (mutually) aware," from assimilated form of com "with," or "thoroughly" (see con-) + scire "to know" (see science). The Latin word probably is a loan-translation of Greek syneidos.
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