Showing posts with label mores. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mores. Show all posts

Friday, May 5, 2017

Cultural Immune Systems.

Notes from Phædrus

Rober M. Pirsig
An Inquiry into Morals
Bantam Books 1991
(KXXX - pages in Kindle edition.
Notes from
Michael Shermer.
The Believing Brain
Henry Holt and Company, 2011
Page references from
Advance Readers edition


 What it always means is that you have hit an invisible wall of prejudice. Nobody on the inside of that wall is ever going to listen to you; not because what you say isn't true, but solely because you have been identified as outside that wall. A cultural immune system.  K58 
It was classical nineteenth-century science and its insistence that science is only a method for determining what is true and not a body of beliefs in itself.  K59 

Patterns of culture do not operate in accordance with the laws of physics .   How are you going to prove in terms of the laws of physics that a certain attitude exists within a culture? K60

The trouble was that man ins't suited to this kind of scentifec pbjective study.  Objects of scientific study are supposed to hold still. ...Man doesn't do this. Not even savages.61
As a fiscal conservative and a social liberal ...I have close friends in both camps, and over the years I have observed the following: no matter what the issue is under discussion, both sides are equally convenced that the evidence overwhelmingly supports their position.  I am sure it does because of the confirmation bias, or the tendency to seek and find vonfirmatory evidence in support o already existing beliefs and ignore or reinterpret disconfirming evidence.  AR259

A work in progress.  I am in the process of reading Lila.  More quotes and finally analysis and commentary to follow.  

Monday, July 20, 2015

Give me the child until 7 ...

The cerebral cortex, that which makes humans sapient, isn't fully developed until two and is overdeveloped at that point until about 8yo.  It is extremely plastic in those years and much of what is necessary for social living is learned in those years.  The mores of the tribe via the family are essentially set by 8.  Or why the Jesuit's mantra is "Give me the boy until he is 7 and I will give you the man."
The "Whys" begin at two and the answers will largely determine the mold the brain of the child will conform to.  Authoritarian answers: "Because I said so," or "Because God says so," will condition the child to expect to be told what to do and not think for hermself.  Social conforming answers: "Because people expect you to do that,"  "Jesus will love you if you do that,"  "Our family or tribe does it that way" will condition the child to be aware of social cues to behavior but allow for some flexibility as social cues are seldom consistent.  Child centered answers: "Because you will be happier if you do it that way," "Because it is good for you," "You will have more friends if you do it that way" will condition the child to take responsibility for herm actions and consider the effects on self and others of behavior. 

These are but points on a continuum with lots of overlap generally centering on social conformance.  We are after all a social animal.  There are of course outliers on both ends, extreme self-dependence, and fundamentalism but most will be socially conforming. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Assault on Fraternities - Sexual Variety

Holy shit, folks. Check out reference at beginning of this Toronto S**t piece on what SAE really stands for in many circles.


Sexual Assault Exaggerations are news.  Where is the most likely place to be sexual assaulted today? At the festivities around professional sports events.  Why isn't that news? D'uh.  Where is another likely place to be sexually assaulted? A church social  Why isn't that news? D'uh. Let’s look at the Military.  Why isn't that news? D'uh. What's left? Colleges.  When are you most likely to be sexually assaulted on campus? Game Day! Why isn't that news? D'uh.

Hey, college fraternities throw parties that women attend.  Everybody hates fraternities because they weren't tapped.  Now we got news.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Alive with Stories

 “When you’re ready to wake up, you’re going to wake up, and if you’re not ready you’re going to stay pretending that you’re just a ‘poor little me.’ And since you’re all here and engaged in this sort of inquiry and listening to this sort of lecture, I assume you’re all in the process of waking up. " Alan Watts

 I was born awake and never was put to sleep by dogma.  I never had that rude awakening to find out that God, the divine and everything else was just a story.  Stories to help me learn how to be a better person and contribute to my chosen society but stories nonetheless with some truth and lots of garbage. 

My society is relatively demanding, one must think rationally and independently, one must constantly be aware of the mores of the society and comply with them intelligently rather than dogmatically, and problems must be resolved reasonably for all involved.  The stories are there to help, even the religious ones, but none of them can tell me what is right or even what to do.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Atheist Living

It is almost impossible to not be moral and compassionate if you are an atheist as there is no alternative.  You have no choice but to do the very best you can for the expanding circle of people that you consider your chosen society.  It isn't so much having an apple fall on your head, we can't always be so lucky or so smart, but we do what we can to make it probable that those that are can take advantage of it.  Education, critical thinking, and creative attitudes can all be encouraged, and certainly exploring top level thinking like the existentialists is important to being able to take advantage of those opportunities. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Source of Wisdom


In a modern working society there is no single source of wisdom. All profound thinkers have been examined by peers and then the profound thoughts are further winnowed by thoughtful people who are the intellectual leaders of the society. The result is a society which integrates the wisdom of all and benefits not only those who choose to be a part of it, but the larger society of which it is a part.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tribal Moral Law

atheism is NOT a "worldview" - Beliefnet

All moral law is ultimately the mores of the tribe. That which allows the face group of the tribe to function. The tribe may adopt a moral law giver in the form of a shaman or imaginary super shaman, but either will of necessity codify the mores of the tribe: Be nice to members of the tribe, protect the children of the tribe, respect the leaders of the tribe and protect the traditions and lore of the tribe.

In the modern world tribes are larger than a face group, and dispersed among other tribes in the society, but have common tribal values. Some are built around a religious tradition, others are built around business traditions, and another is based around the traditions of the university community. The university communities are typically split into the scholars and the warriors, and loyalties to each group carry beyond the campus with the warriors transferring loyalties to professional warrior teams, either sport or military.

The above is grossly stereotyped of necessity, there are major differences within each 'tribe.' Religious groups in particular are split into smaller and smaller groups some as small as a parish, each with its own mores and most with it's own higher moral law giver providing an absolute higher moral law for the tribe. Of course it is too much to expect that these absolute higher moral law agree on much of anything except that they are right and all the other absolute higher moral law givers are wrong.

It should be noted that there are atheists in most of the tribes, and the atheists generally adopt the world view of the tribe with the exception that the absolute higher moral law giver, if there is one, is an imaginary myth.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Tribe as the Human Evolutionary Unit.

What is the Purpose of Religion? - Beliefnet

As the human evolutionary selection unit is the tribe, as long as tribes were small enough and cohesive, a god was a useful entity to take the responsibility of leadership from the tribal leaders. 'Hey, it isn't me making bad things happen, it is God. I only take credit for the good things that happen.' Religion codifies the social necessities of tribal cohesion, providing the moral and social rules that allow the tribe to function. Another important function of religion is to codify and preserve the stories that transmit those moral and social rules. Humans are story telling animals and the stories told in the gatherings are the way the mores are transmitted and preserved.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Nails in the Religious Coffin: Sex, Drugs, and Contraception

Nails in the Religious Coffin: Sex, Drugs, and Contraception - Beliefnet

Controlling sex and drugs is certainly a huge issue for humanity. Which is the Achilles heel of religion. Religion wants the only source of extacy to be God or at least Herm humble representative on earth that little vuvuzela in the fancy dress in the over decorated balcony. Having fun in bed? God will send you to hell! A little too much booze at the party? Better spend a lot of time in the confessional.

The other related nail in the religious coffin is female contraception. If you can't keep them barefoot and pregnant, why on earth would they want to go to church and listen to all that sexist garbage.

Atheism's contribution to these issues is not so much providing answers, as exposing the religious answers as BS and stinking BS at that. Atheists have a variety of social groups that they can choose to provide the moral and ethical guidance on these issues. These days governments are as useless as religion for this purpose.

It will be interesting to see if social media will ultimately provide this function. The churches certainly think so. Every church has its Web2.0 network up. Some universities are trying to fill the gap for non-believers. Music and arts groups are also providing social networks outside the churches. Atheist groups are hopeless, they can't even agree on what an atheist is let alone what moral and ethical socialization should be for an atheist. See the Blag Hag discussion of gender issues at an atheist gathering

My guess is that self selected Facebook groups will emerge as the socializing force for the non-religious.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Morality as Face Group

Please Critique My Idea Of God - Beliefnet:

"Managing my life for the good of my chosen society is more basic than a call by God on my conscience. Humans as highly intelligent and extremely social animals are genetically programmed to learn all they can about the customs and mores of their tribe or social group as defined prehistorically by those whose faces they encountered on a daily basis. There could be no thought of violating these customs and mores, as doing so would cause banishment and a solo human was a dead human. This is the basis of conscience, not some big daddy in the sky. As tribes got larger and the face groups dispersed, myth and lore took the place of customs and mores, and the shamans in charge of maintaining the myth and lore found that an imaginary superface as part of every group, inevitably in the image of the group was very useful to enforce the precepts of the myth and lore. Hence the evolution of your First Cause, traditionally referred to as God. As shamans and God became more powerful and manipulative many of the conscience functions and exceptions to them became the province of God. Do what God tells you to do began to override the do what is right of the conscience. Especially when God got to be Maitre d'Hotel of the afterlife, and doing what God tells you to do became the cumshaw.

The reason I feel the need to take control of my life is twofold. The first is as you note the conscience but in the original sense of internalized customs and mores of the face group. The world is too big to be a face group these days but if we choose carefully there are a group of people whose customs and mores we can internalize. That group will look a lot like our family and close friends even when extended to people we probably will never meet. My group consists of intelligent, well educated, self actualizing people who are capable of and interested in making changes to the relevant society of intelligent, well educated, self actualizing people. Most of us have found God and gods of any form limiting and dysfunctional to our society.

One of the results is the second reason for ignoring God, that is that the only life that counts is the one that begins with birth and ends with death. It is the only one we can be sure of, and Pascal's wager fails on the plethora of possible God bets each with different rules for living. So we live as if the only important contribution we can make is by living according to the best interests of our chosen society. The agnostics among us suggest that if God is the Maitre d' in the afterlife that is all Hesh would care about anyway."