According to the above article, morality is just a sophisticated way of cooperating. Although the writing above seems elaborate, it all seems to boil down to that. I find that hard to accept.There is also a lack of scientific/ sociological evidence to back up the assertions of an initial biological and subsequent philosophical refinement to morality. The road use analogy was once used by someone I met on a bus. In this, he was advocating anarchy, and stated that if for example there were no laws, drivers would be free to drive both safely and happily. How glad I was that he was not driving the bus I was in on that occasion.
This is in response to the article, "Where does morality come from, if not God?"
I'd like to parse through this in pieces.
According to the above article, morality is just a sophisticated way of cooperating. Although the writing above seems elaborate, it all seems to boil down to that. I find that hard to accept.
I'm sorry? I thought there'd be some followup as to why finding it hard to accept is relevant, but the next sentence starts with "There is also...", so apparently not. The purpose of the site isn't to solve your incredulity. It's to explain what the atheist position tends to be (more or less).
There is also a lack of scientific/ sociological evidence to back up the assertions of an initial biological and subsequent philosophical refinement to morality.
That wouldn't surprise me, given we're talking about millions of years of development prior to recorded history. Morality doesn't tend to fossilize.
On the other hand, we can study the morality that "evolved" during recorded history, and it doesn't mean we can't examine the current situation for information. Nor does it mean we can't perform double/triple blinded studies that study morality.
... and we have zero data that suggests any supernatural source has made any influence, so we're bound to assume it any more than we'd assume that aliens taught us morality.
It's like with Abiogenesis - all the evidence we have points towards a physics/chemistry based emergence of life, and no evidence to the contrary. We don't know exactly how yet, but we have narrowed it down considerably.
The road use analogy was once used by someone I met on a bus. In this, he was advocating anarchy, and stated that if for example there were no laws, drivers would be free to drive both safely and happily. How glad I was that he was not driving the bus I was in on that occasion.
I think this person is wrong, based on an extremely vague, second-hand description of a conversation of which I wasn't a part... for what it's worth.
This response confused me, and I had to think about it a bit. I wasn't sure how it was countering what the article said. I then realized .. and it's my fault to a degree. You're missing the forest for the trees... but it's because the article pointed at a tree.
The article discusses "rules of the road", which implies strictly-enforced government laws. What I'm talking about would still largely exist without any laws or government backing it up. Suppose tomorrow all traffic laws are gone. Would you still drive on the right-hand side of the road (assuming you're in one of those countries)? Most people would, I suspect, but not because of any legalities... but because it helps traffic flow more smoothly. It wouldn't take long before people came to a consensus about how to behave in this regard.
If traffic lights became suggestions instead of requirements, people would still likely abide by them, as they would at 4-way stop-sign intersections. Roundabouts/traffic circles would still function the same way.
You might say "yeah but that's not traffic law then, now is it?" It's all the same thing, whether we're talking about a non-enforced set of agreed behaviors, or enforced by police. Whether we collectively hire police to enforce the rules is incidental to what I'm explaining. I'm talking about the fact those rules emerge from our interactions in the first place.
It's the spontaneous emergence of a consensus agreement among the members of a group about how to behave, so they can best get along with each other.. whether we're in a valley, or on a road.
That's why the article about the "rules of the road" starts with "A good analogy is..." It's not about proving secular morality with traffic laws.. it's about eliciting your understanding of what we're trying to describe, based on something you already (hopefully) understand.
So my takeaway from this is that I should update the article to clarify this misunderstanding.