Reddit Reddit reviews The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology

We found 47 Reddit comments about The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology
The Moral Animal Why We Are the Way We Are The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology
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47 Reddit comments about The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology:

u/[deleted] · 15 pointsr/TheRedPill

A very indepth introduction to evolutionary psychology by Leda Cosmides and John Tooby:

A collection of some university evolutionary psychology notes and modules:

Pop science Evolutionary Psychology book recomendations:

The Moral Animal

The Red Queen

The Mating mind - and a Summary

The Evolution of Human Sexuality - Most comprehensive of the books, a bit more academic than the others. Written by one of the founders of evolutionary psychology.

u/shachaf · 12 pointsr/AskReddit

A few that come to mind:

  • Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre, by Keith Johnstone. Discusses many things in the context of improvisational theatre, such as human interaction, creativity/spontaneity, stories, perception, and teaching.
  • The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are, by Robert Wright. Evolutionary psychology. Puts some concreteness, even obviousness, to many irrational human behaviors.
  • The Mind's I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul, edited by Hofstadter and Dennett. A selection of texts on consciousness, and reflections by the editors. Some is fictional, some non-fictional.
  • The Tao is Silent, by Raymond Smullyan. Eastern philosophy in an Eastern way by someone who thoroughly understands the Western perspective on things.
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, by Robert M. Pirsig. No one has mentioned this book so far, so I feel like I should; although it did not affect me directly in the way some of the other books here did, it certainly planted some ideas for "independent rediscovery" later on. Some things I've only thought of some time after reading it and then made the connection. This is Taoism from a Western perspective. I'll read it again in a few years and see how it's different.
  • The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence, by Josh Waitzkin. A book about learning that says some important things quite well. I read this only a few days ago, but it's influenced my perspective on learning/teaching (and doing in general), so I thought I should add it to the list.
u/killmeathalo · 7 pointsr/answers

Besides Sperm Wars, I also read and enjoyed The Moral Animal when I started to get interested in the subject.

u/itsamillion · 6 pointsr/AskALiberal

In no particular order:

  • The Moral Animal. Robert Wright.
  • The Open Society and Its Enemies. Karl Popper.
  • Albion’s Seed. D. H. Fischer.
  • *Zero to One.* P. Thiel.
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X.
  • Critique of Pure Reason. I. Kant.
  • A Treatise on Human Nature. Hume.
  • The Death of the Liberal Class. C. Hedges.
  • A Theory of Justice. Rawls.
  • The Origin of the Work of Art. M. Heidegger.
  • The Denial of Death. E. Becker.
  • American Colonies. A. Taylor.
  • The Selfish Gene. R. Dawkins.
  • Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis. Sigmund Freud.
  • The Hero with a Thousand Faces. J. Campbell.
  • The Birth of the Artist. Otto Rank.
  • Modern Man in Search of a Soul. Jung.
  • The Feminine Mystique. Betty Friedan.
  • Sexual Personae. Camille Paglia.
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People. D. Carnegie.

    Sorry I got tired of making links. I’m on my phone.
u/peter-salazar · 4 pointsr/evopsych

From Robert Wright's brilliant book "The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology." You should buy it.

> The pair-bond hypothesis was popularized by Desmond Morris in his 1967 book The Naked Ape. This book, along with a few other 1960s books (Robert Ardrey's The Territorial Imperative, for example), represent a would-be watershed in the history of evolutionary thought. That they found large readerships signaled a new openness to Darwinism, an encouraging dissipation of the fallout from its past political misuses. But there was no way, in the end, that these books could start a Darwinian renaissance within academia. The problem was simple: they didn't make sense.  {55} 
> One example surfaced early in Morris's pair-bonding argument. He was trying to explain why human females are generally faithful to their mates. This is indeed a good question (if you believe they are, that is). For high fidelity would place women in a distinct minority within the animal kingdom. Though female animals are generally less licentious than males, the females of many species are far from prudes, and this is particularly true of our nearest ape relatives. Female chimpanzees and bonobos are, at times, veritable sex machines. In explaining how women came to be so virtuous, Morris referred to the sexual division of labor in an early hunter-gatherer economy. "To begin with," he wrote, "the males had to be sure that their females were going to be faithful to them when they left them alone to go hunting. So the females had to develop a pairing tendency."2
> Stop right there. It was in the reproductive interests of the males for the females to develop a tendency toward fidelity? So natural selection obliged the males by making the necessary changes in the females? Morris never got around to explaining how, exactly, natural selection would perform this generous feat."
> Maybe it's unfair to single Morris out for blame. He was a victim of his times. The trouble was an atmosphere of loose, hyper-teleological thinking. One gets the impression, reading Morris's book, and Ardrey's books, of a natural selection that peers into the future, decides what needs to be done to make things generally better for the species, and takes the necessary steps. But natural selection doesn't work that way. It doesn't peer ahead, and it doesn't try to make things generally better. Every single, tiny, blindly taken step either happens to make sense in immediate terms of genetic self-interest or it doesn't. And if it doesn't, you won't be reading about it a million years later. This was an essential message of George Williams's 1966 book, a message that had barely begun to take hold when Morris's book appeared.

And also this:

> How have societies over the years coped with the basic sexual asymmetry in human nature? Asymmetrically. A huge majority --- 980 of the 1,154 past or present societies for which anthropologists have data --- have permitted a man to have more than one wife.71 And that number includes most of the world's hunter-gatherer societies, societies that are the closest thing we have to a living example of the context of human evolution.
> The more zealous champions of the pair-bond thesis have been known to minimize this fact. Desmond Morris, hell-bent on proving the natural monogamy of our species, insisted in The Naked Ape that the only societies worth paying much attention to are modern  {90}  industrial societies, which, coincidentally, fall into the 15 percent of societies that have been avowedly monogamous. "[A]ny society that has failed to advance has in some sense failed, 'gone wrong,' " he wrote. "Something has happened to it to hold it back, something that is working against the natural tendencies of the species. ..." So "the small, backward, and unsuccessful societies can largely be ignored." In sum, said Morris (who was writing back when Western divorce rates were about half what they are now): "whatever obscure, backward tribal units are doing today, the mainstream of our species expresses its pair-bonding character in its most extreme form, namely long-term monogamous matings."72
> Well, that's one way to get rid of unsightly, inconvenient data: declare them aberrant, even though they vastly outnumber the "mainstream" data.

Buy the book!

u/FreyjaWannabe · 4 pointsr/ScienceBasedParenting
u/SharmaK · 3 pointsr/atheism

Daniel Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea is all about evolution.

Robert Wright's book Moral Animal: Science & Evolutionary Psychology and his other books provide a treatment that is modern look at why we are as opposed to what.

As to your last question, you should also do your own research into science. You'll find that the fields out there are rich, and generally consistent with each other and even when they disagree, they agree on the method science.

u/jowblob · 3 pointsr/philosophy

I got a lot out of The Moral Animal, by Robert Wright.

From what I recall, Wright says that status for the sake of survival powers all of our human interactions, and that our human interactions operate on a tit-for-tat basis, and that we, along with other animals, have an innate sense of this, which constitutes our basic morality.

I think the author went on to say that love, as in empathy, was the answer, of how to transcend the animal in man.

Personally speaking, the feel-good empathetic compassionate all-loving agape approach is wonderful in theory. But in the real world, I've had to fight a lot for fairness (to exchange what both parties agreed upon, only to have them try to short-change me, hence the fighting). And I've reasoned that my empathy comes in the form of not hating or vilifying the cheating bastards as evil, and that they're simply dumb, don't see that it's in their self-interest to do what's best for both of us, and it works against them to do what they feel is better for themselves in the short run.

Fighting for mutual self-interest while maintaining empathy as much as possible in the aftermath, I can stand behind something like that.

u/travistee · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

A few books have changed my life. Most directly these two:
The Now Habit and Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life

On a personal level of how I view the world Man's Search for Meaning by Vikto Frankl and The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology have helped me to understand the people in the world around me.

Spiritually, Siddhartha and the Book of John in the New Testament have helped me to be a better human being.

u/potatoisafruit · 3 pointsr/TrueReddit

Yes, that's the biological determinism argument.

The Moral Animal is great reading on the topic. I don't buy all the book's assertions, but it's provocative.

u/AlwaysUnite · 3 pointsr/atheism

Genetic and Memetic evolution. Robert Wright has some good books on this. Particularly The Moral Animal

u/drizzl · 2 pointsr/atheism

This book describes exactly what you're looking for pretty well

u/t0xyg3n · 2 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Robert Trivers studied and researched this subject extensively

Robert Wright wrote a great book about it call "The Moral Animal"

u/sdvneuro · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion

A couple of good books that look at this:

The Moral Animal
by Robert Wright

The Origins of Virtue
by Matt Ridley

by Patricia Churchland

Ridley looks specifically at the evolution of cooperation. Wright considers a broader range of questions - for instance he looks at sexual mores and customs - ie. polygyny and monogamy, why men care much more about sexual fidelity than women do, etc. If I had my copy here I could probably find some more to point out and provide some of his ideas.... It's a great book (I also highly recommend his book Nonzero). Churchland specifically gets into the neuroscience of morality.

u/redroguetech · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

Ah, Reddit, where so many ignorant people with no expertise downvote those who explain things, without bothering to check if maybe, just maybe, they're actually correct, then announce their own ignorance to the world as if it's an argument.

I recommend The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology by Robert Wright. It's uses pretty simple explanations.

u/LegHairDreadlocks · 2 pointsr/CasualConversation

I fell asleep before I could reply.

Here's the book. The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology. There are probably better ones on the subject. This one is quite old. My favorite book of all time is The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. I re-read it in its original Spanish every few years to keep Spanish skills sharp. I bought a copy used from amazon and it came signed! How cool is that? I'm usually a scifi reader and House of the Spirits is really geared more towards female readers, I think, but I just love it. What are some of your favorite reads?

My buddy just got a job for google as a sales engineer. He's working on selling an AI product to train yards to augment and/or replace the visual inspection they have to do on the trains every so often. They'll have hi-res cameras pointed at the train that will be able to recognize things like stress fractures in hitches and such. I think within the next decade, intelligent machines will become increasingly ubiquitous. And in the wrong hands we'll likely see some darker uses of the technology. It will be interesting to witness!

Anyway, you mentioned you're traveling this summer. Where are you going?

u/giant_flying_turtle · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

I took a class on evolution last semester which used this book:

Easy to read, and teaches the concepts very clearly. I would definitely recommend it.

u/kiss-tits · 2 pointsr/Anthropology

My favorites are:

u/urboro · 2 pointsr/TiADiscussion

Rapists often are drunk as fuck, what the fuck are you talking about, man, WHAT DOES ANYTHING HAVE TO DO WITH VIETNAM?!

I just don't get your social science (or Tumblr Cliffs Notes) outlook, some men have wildly overdeveloped sado-masochistic urges, which supports the "power" argument, but are you male? Men can view getting-off as a trivial thing, although the dignity of a human female is hugely contingent on her ability to choose her own mates, and it's nothing to trivialize.

I suggest everyone here just get into evolutionary psychology:

u/Nauvoo_Legionnaire · 2 pointsr/mormon

Given the cultural mores of the day I imagine being part of a polygamous relationship in the US would be difficult. But for those who assume that polygamous relationships are automatically inferior to monogamous ones, consider that polygamy was practiced for much of human history and is still practiced in many parts of the world today. Consider that a monogamous relationship may seem as unnatural a thing to some people as a polygamous relationship does to you.

For anyone interested in evolutionary explanations for polygamy, check out Robert Wright's, "The Moral Animal." It's a fascinating read.

u/Dwarfdeaths · 2 pointsr/BetterEveryLoop

> actually just doing it 100% for the social points

Then you realize that we are evolved to deceive ourselves about our own motives as well. I recommend The Moral Animal by Robert Wright if this kind of thing interests you.

u/MetaMemeticMagician · 1 pointr/TheNewRight


Darwin’s Enemies on the Left and Right Part 1, Part 2 (Blog Post)*

The History and Geography of Human Genes (Abridged edition) – Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza
The 10,000 Year Explosion – Gregory Cochrane
Race, Evolution, and Behavior – Rushton
Why Race Matters – Michael Levin


Intelligence and Mind

The Bell Curve – Charles Murray
The Global Bell Curve – Richard Lynn
Human Intelligence – Earl Hunt
Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence – Robert Sternberg
A Conflict of Visions – Thomas Sowell
The Moral Animal – Robert Wright
The Blank Slate – Stephen Pinker
Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature – Murray Rothbard (essay)



Real Education – Charles Murray
Inside American Education – Thomas Sowell
Illiberal Education – Dinesh D’Sousa
God and Man at Yale – William Buckley
Weapons of Mass Instruction – John Taylor Gatto
The Higher Education Bubble – Glenn Reynolds



u/EuphemisticallyTrue · 1 pointr/TheBluePill

I don't have a bias if you have evidence contradicting my claim I would seriously consider it. To make my case more clear compare the distribution in table 3 and 4 in the paper. If you don't under stand statistics take a statistics course.

If you want to understand the evolutionary theory read this book:

u/JustMid · 1 pointr/amiugly

>I challenge you to go make an instagram account using photos of a slightly above average female and follow some people from your local university, check how many messages you'll get from dudes attempting to sleep with you. In modern society, women are given the choice of men and men are meant to pursue, it's just how society is structured and honestly, I don't have any issues with it.

I don't have to. I've seen the "men" from my sister's Tinder. The men on Tinder are complete dog shit and it took her years to find a guy who didn't want to bang her in the first 2 weeks. You probably wouldn't call it sexist if I started pointing out how men act as well. Obviously things are to be taken by a case by case basis, but stereotypes exist for a reason and it baffles me when people ignore factual evidence just because it doesn't sound nice.

>If you're a male who knows they're attractive or at least average, you shouldn't have any issues with it either, the system is designed for you.

I do have issues with it because everything feels superficial. I hate the concept of attraction. I hate falling prey to biology by only being able to date women I find attractive. I don't like knowing I could be with a girl who wouldn't consider me viable if the bone on my face grew a little differently, and that it applies vice versa as well.

>As for women who respond to the messages of men attempting to sleep with them, I don't think it's very classy, I won't refuse a date with them or not pursue them for a relationship but casual sex has never been a focus of mine and I don't want it to be a focus of my partners at any point.

It disgusts me because I was raised that sex had value to it and you should really save it for someone you think you'd be with. I know that this view is probably retarded, but I'm unable to let go and get over it.

>As the video progresses past that point, it becomes really horrible towards women. The video essentially objectifies women and assumes they all act this way because it's something hard-wired into their biology.

These things are hardwired in our biology. There are studies that people just don't even bother with because it's not "nice". I recommend actually reading books/studies instead of virtue signaling. Here's a great one pertaining to this very subject:

Obviously we don't all act a certain way or I would literally be fucking as many women as possible rn as my biology demands.

>I thoroughly disagree with a majority of that video, it's almost complete B.S, uses data which is highly criticized and generalizes women as not humans but robots or predictable objects.

Yeah highly criticized because it's not a nice thing to say. You're also criticized if you mention 13% of people committing over half of violent crime in America. There are tons of variables that come into play which can explain these statistics, but that doesn't matter because just talking about them is "wrong" in modern society. Also where are your sources to any of your claims other than trying to be in the moral right? Most of humanity is pretty predictable or conglomerates wouldn't have their power.

>If I was you, I wouldn't go expressing these opinions in public, keep it to yourself and your close friends. You seem some concrete in your ideas and I won't try to change them but it's highly recommended you keep these thoughts to yourself. I have no issues with you willingly committing suicide, just make sure you don't hurt anyone when you decide to do it.

Lmao I don't need the lecture from someone whose brain isn't even close to being fully developed. I've handled myself quite fine in life. My depression stems from society failing to meet expectations. That's my fault for guzzling the toxic knowledge of the world for a decade and placing my perfectionism on the world. Unfortunately my friends will be hurt by my suicide, but my mom would not be able to handle it so I have to wait for her to die of old age. Or did you mean hurt like physically hurt because incels are the new buzzword and are all considered violent although you're technically incel yourself?

u/bucknuggets · 1 pointr/atheism

It sounds like you're heading down the exact same path I did 30 years ago. Keep your mind open, keep thinking and you'll get through this and be better off soon.

I became an atheist when I was 18. I didn't know any other atheists and felt isolated and targeted by an extremely anti-atheist culture. But more importantly, I felt a sense of loss & depression that I no longer had a moral & ethical anchor.

This lasted about a year. By the end of that time I shrugged off the zealots that hated me, and realized that I already had a built-in moral compass that I could trust. Books like "The Moral Animal" validated my feelings by explaining how our morals are the outcome of evolving within tribal societies. Additionally, I felt my overall stress level dropping as the world simply made more sense - I was no longer trying to fit the square block of reality it ito the round hole of christian theology.

As Morpheus said, "Welcome to the real world"

u/toblotron · 1 pointr/Freethought


This is an amazing book about that:
The Moral Animal

u/argleblarg · 1 pointr/AskReddit

See also Robert Wright's books The Moral Animal and Nonzero. I can't recommend that guy's stuff enough.

u/follier · 1 pointr/science

You had to ask... =)

They used to measure skulls to measure intelligence, and gauge behaviour. (Big skulls = smart, passive, kind; small skulls = dumb, violent, primitive). They also tried their best to show that Europeans had the biggest skulls. Of course, the data didn't always pan out, but bless their colonialist hearts, they kept on a'tryin. They also measured hands for ingenuity, feet for athleticism, etc. A paper like this would read: "Why do men have bigger feet? Because they had to go out of cave to hunt mammoths, while women evolved big mouths and butts because they sit around all day complaining."

Eventually they "scienced up" and had to actually show evidence linking morphology and their pet speculative theory. That is why anthropology today is very interested in how cultural beliefs and biases affect how we analyse the world - 'cause they were victims of it for so long.
edit: more if you're interested --
An introductory text to Evolutionary Psychology that the authors of the study apparently skipped.
The Biological Basis of Human Behavior (compilation of essays)
Myths of Gender
Deviant Bodies (Compilation)

u/SawyerAlexander · 1 pointr/philosophy

This is the first official episode of the Chameleon Philosophy Podcast. This episode of the podcast covers the intersection of evolutionary history and moral thought. I cover many different thinkers who will be linked below. This podcast also goes into the fundamental disagreements of utilitarian theory and moral pluralism on the subject of human emotions and their importants within our own ethics.

If you have any comments or questions please email me at [email protected]

Tamler Sommers:

Robert Wright:

Peter Singer:

Jonathan Haidt:

Bob Frank:

William MacAskill:

u/ElimGarak · 1 pointr/atheism

> You are unfairly mischaracterising my position once again. Deal with what I say, not with what you wish I had said.

Then express yourself more clearly.

> It's about delineated controlled tests.

Which you still refuse to specify. Hmm... I wonder why... I've asked you for them several times, quite explicitly. Let me try again. What would you accept as evidence that prayer doesn't work? What test would you do to prove or disprove all your religious mumbo-jumbo?

> That is why holy-men getting ill isn't acceptable scientifically. It's an anecdote.

Actually it's a very simple test that verifies that you are talking nonsense. Either prayer works or it doesn't. If it worked, then holy people and children that believed in the "right" god would not die from various accidents, hunger, and crappy diseases. However, they quite demonstrably die from those diseases all...the...time... Which means that you need to adjust your "hypothesis" because it doesn't fit the real world. For it to be an actual hypothesis worth consideration it must describe the world better than alternatives. Yours doesn't come even close.

There is no need to run a statistical analysis when this is so patiently obvious. That's like doing a 10,000 people survey, asking them whether the sky is green with purple polka dots. The test is very simple - you look up.

Here the test is also very simple. Really religious catholics die from accidents and diseases all the time, every day, by the millions. Yes, even children. Who did not sin because they haven't had a chance to. Yes, even priests and holy men (the non-child molesting kind). Yes, even people who live extremely virtuous lives and really-really-really believe in your god. Done.

> Educate yourself.

ROTFLMAO!!! That's pretty hilarious coming from you.

> have rejected God and thus you have relinquished any claim to morality

<giggle> No seriously, I just LOLed. You did NOT just say that. Did you?

> on that basis how do you propose to question the ultimate morality of God's plan?

WOW. You ARE uneducated. You've never heard of the most common concepts in these debates. If you were ever any type of atheist you must have suuuuucked at it.

Here, read this book, The Moral Animal - that should explain to you where morality comes from.

> You want to have your cake and eat it too. You can't.

Actually yes, I can. Unlike you, I don't have to be threatened with torture in order to not be a murderer. Morality comes not from god, not from religion, but from various biological and psychological sources. Please read up on the subject of biological, social, and evolutionary sources of morality before accusing people of being immoral for not believing in your god.

Also, here are some poignant images & quotes for you to ponder while you consider this question:

BTW, I find it rather amusing that you still refuse to take responsibility for your claim that children in 3rd world countries die because they are sinners. That's a pretty fucked-up worldview you've got there.

u/Zedmor · 1 pointr/MachineLearning

Well it's not a most interesting part, you right, thinking are reading about why is that so and how it was created by evolution is most interesting! Here's another great book on this topic:

u/jpw93 · 1 pointr/askpsychology

While evolutionary psychology is considered a "new" subfield of psychology, it has its origins in Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species. Darwin argues that, in the future, psychology will be based on a foundation which is, "of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation." An excellent foundation for evolutionary psychology begins in The Origin of Species.

Regarding newer works, I would recommend Robert Wright's The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology. This is an excellent encapsulation of how evolutionary psychologists primarily interpret moral behavior in both humans and non-human animals alike.

I would also check out Jerome Barkhow's incredible work The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. I recommend this book if you're looking to understand why human intelligence is fundamentally distinct from other species, and how evolutionary forces shaped human culture.

Happy reading!

u/disposableboyfriend · 1 pointr/PurplePillDebate

Books about evolutionary psychology. Two that come to mind:

u/Frooids · 1 pointr/TheMindIlluminated

If I may add a book recommendation:

Check out Robert Wright's "The Moral Animal". It's an evolutionary psychologists view on what's behind our perception of morality, especially around topics concerning sexual relations.

Imho a must read for anyone considering any kind of relationship (or already being in one).

Be well.

u/EndOfTheUniverse · 1 pointr/seduction

I understand your questions, and unfortunately I'm just not qualified to answer them, though I have an inkling of the correct answers. I'm just a guy who read a book, who read the arguments for this theory, considered the counterarguments and concluded the author was correct. I don't exactly have all the time in the world to memorise and deeply study evolutionary psychology do I?

If you really really want to know where I'm coming from check out The Moral Animal (link to amazon here), I have an ebook copy if you want, pm me for it.

u/browwiw · 1 pointr/IAmA

I know I keep popping up with links and not questions, but here's another one: read 'The Moral Animal' by Robert Wright.

It's a very good introduction to the concept of evolutionary psychology and the instinctual underpinnings of human nature. Natural selection has made us 'good' to each other. Family ties and altruistic reciprocity are damned fit means for survival and getting your genes into the next generation. Kind of clinical, I know, but it does explain why it's good to be good without the need for a supernatural supposition.

Also, check out John Stuart Mills' 'Utilitarianism' for a more philosophy based argument for secular morality.

u/fuzzo · 1 pointr/PhilosophyofScience

the moral animal and non-zero by robin wright.

u/VVHD · 1 pointr/atheism

Does your friend have cognitive problems? Or is he plain stupid? does he actually hear the shit he says? quick answer on the 7 points:
1- Logic might have a philosophical definition, does not make it wrong. Neither does having two sets of conflicting evidence, it simply demonstrates that the we have little understanding of the original problem.
2- bullshit, or any other type of shit you can call it. There are many levels of decision making, and some emotional. However do tell a football fan that his team sucks, and you'll see an emotional reaction and argument instead of a rational one. For that matter tell a theist why he is wrong.
3- it is ethical just like everything else, please read "the moral animal" and then let's talk:
4- Wishful thinking does not make up reality. Just because you want it to be true, does not make it so. Grow up!
5- Partially true and supported in the book above, we can discuss this for a long time and get to no conclusion. What does that have to do with god???
6- A fact is a fact a truth can be interpreted. Maths is a fact, their religious interpretation of the truth is another thing.
7- then why the fuck are you trying to convince other people of your point of view????

u/EvilVegan · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

I haven't read that much on the subject really. :/ I read The Moral Animal about 15 years ago. and I pieced together the rest from debates and thought experiments. I'd be surprised if the science hasn't expanded dramatically (or been abandoned) since.

I view memes as a higher-level meta/pseudo-virus. They require a linguistic framework and memory, and they spread much like viruses; once they take hold they modify the host to spread themselves. They mutate and are subject to selection pressures. The host occasionally suffers trauma due to the meme (either from cognitive dissonance or stress).

I find them fascinating but I haven't spent much time doing actual research.

When I look at early Christianity in historical context I can see the individual memes forming/competing and see which ones are most capable of surviving. You see the early Christians with their strict lifestyles losing memetic ground to the less difficult Pauline doctrine. You see the introduction of self-correcting logic that makes the hosts avoid rational thought and/or criticism. You can also see it in the Old Testament as a single deity among many becomes an overdeity, to the point the other deities are ret-conned out/absorbed, and the claims that are questionable are dropped in favor of the esoteric or vague.

It's kind of awesome.

Within what I'm discussing they're a huge factor, but only in the later stages. The linguistic framework has to be there to facilitate faster replication; and that requires some sort of relatively common morality to keep people together long enough to develop shared languages.

u/tuna_safe_dolphin · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Read this book - The Moral Animal - it's kind of an intro to sociobiology and evolutionary psychology. It totally changed the way I look at humanity.

u/lehyde · 1 pointr/TrueAtheism

Those 7 habits do sound good. (For a treatment of the art of making good decisions from an atheist, scientific viewpoint, see also this.)

You seem to be struggling with emotions and morality. Maybe a book on evolutionary psychology would help you.

u/Jess_than_three · 0 pointsr/funny

I can't speak to that specific issue, but as far as evolutionary psychology in general goes, I'm not sure there's a more awesome introduction to it than Robert Wright's The Moral Animal. :)

u/catz_with_hatz · 0 pointsr/PublicFreakout

You make some good points about our nature that I will have to read up on. Have you read The Moral Animal? I picked it up a few years ago, but have not gotten around to reading it.