sunnmama: That's a question that can only be answered by studying each instance of an alleged mistranslation. Certainly some things in the Tanakh/OT were historically mistranslated, and I'm sure there are still Christians who still believe some of the mistranslations. But many alleged mistranslations have now been corrected, and other alleged mistranslations are the product of much scholarship and debate--after all, just because someone Jewish says it's a mistranslation doesn't make it necessarily so, any more than I can claim utter dibs on the true meaning of Heavenly Creatures
just because I live in NZ and am familiar with the culture in which it was constructed. You know? Being Jewish gives a valuable insight into the text, but not infallibility. On some translation issues, I believe the Jewish interpretation is simply wrong; but that is something you'd have to research for yourself. There are oodles of commentaries and lexicons out there which can help.
|(1) What constitutes the "necessary data for constructing a complete worldview"? What data is necessary, what data is not, and how does one determine that distinction?
'Complete' is unfortunately a fuzzy term, but basically the criteria is: can the worldview provide the tools for discovering as much as we can about the nature of things (ontology)? For instance, if a worldview's first principle denies or does not allow for the possibility of scientific inquiry, it obviously isn't a very complete worldview. If it has no explanation for basic questions about humanity, such as death, life, morality etc, it is not very complete (people are going to think about these things, and if their worldview can't provide the answers they'll look to some alternative worldview). Logic is inherent in any worldview which makes the slightest sense, but even though it tends to be presupposed by the presupposition (because of being a) fundamental to our natures and b) necessarily true), a good first principle ought to encompass the concept of logic within itself.
|(2) Am I correct in thinking that the laws of logic as referenced in this thread are the same as/derived from the greek tradition?
Pretty much, although Greek logic had a lot of add-ons about rhetorical style and so forth. The six most basic, axiomatic laws of logic are:
--the law of noncontradiction
--the law of excluded middle
--the law of identity
--the law of commutativity
--the law of distributivity
--the law of associativity
|(3) Do other cultures outside the western tradition have an argument/reasoning process that is similar to the laws of logic?
Because those laws of logic is necessarily true, every society will have an intuitive understanding and acceptance of them to a large extent. Ye olde bushman, Inuit or ancient Egyptian would all look at the sun and know that it's the sun, not the sun and the not-sun at the same time and at the same sense; and if you tried to convince any of them that they should let your conquer their nation because blue fish happy twig ffffff4846737, they'd look at you as though you were nuts because you weren't making sense.
I don't know whether the system was formalised
in non-Western cultures, though.
|I'd be interested in knowing how you think it is flawed. From a scientific perspective, it's very rational.
Out of curiosity, does this mean there's actual scientific data supporting it--one fossil which is slightly more moral than the last, as it were? A 'morality gene' which has been shown to have evolved? In my discussion of this on another board my opponent (an atheist) didn't present any evidence of this (I did ask); she seemed to think morality simply must have evolved because she denied any other possible source for it, ie. God. She wasn't the brightest star in the heavens though, so she may have been missing some data. Anyway.
To start off with (and correct my understanding of evolutionary theory if I'm wrong, this is way out of MY league!): the way evolution works, traits which contribute to survival win out. Usually only one or a few individuals starts off with this advantageous mutation, not the whole group.
Unfortunately, morality as we understand it is very often not conducive to survival, especially when not all the members of the group share the same morals. If Stereotypical Caveman 1 and Mutant Moral Caveman 2 are after the last succulent gazelle on the block, Mutant Moral Caveman 2 isn't going to survive to pass on his mutant moral genes if he sits back and says 'SC1, you have it; I'm really not hungry'. If he has any survival sense whatsoever, he'll club his neighbor on the head and eat the gazelle himself. Possibly followed by the caveman, if he's into that kind of thing.
Yes, that's a crude example.
But really, morality is just not that conducive to survival! Morality is stopping to help your fallen comrade; survival is running the heck away from the tiger. Morality is not sleeping with your best friend's wife; survival is spreading your seed around as many women as possible (well, not these days, but you know). Morality is saying 'We don't have to fight'; survival is sucker-punching the other guy before he knocks you out. Morality is 'Let's divide the spoils equally'; survival is 'I get the good stuff'. Heck, even today, unscrupulous UAVs get ahead in life, and morality is often an encumbrance to success; how much more so in a more 'primitive' age, in which survival depended on a cave or a woman or a piece of fruit which you and the other guy wanted?
So the very nature of morality precludes it being developed as a survival trait.
A further and more basic problem, though: if you define 'morality' as 'a trait which contributes to survival', which is the only way it can be described under a purely evolutionary worldview, you lose all morality in the word 'morality'. If a man, or a group of men, finds it is conducive to his survival to rape, how is that not morality? Saying 'because it's wrong' is using a non-evolutionary framework to define the word--it implies there is an objective standard of rightness and wrongness against which an action can be measured.
Or, if a man or group of men finds it is conducive to survival to eat Goji berries, how is that not morality? 'Well, it's not about.... morality...'. See? Again, to define the term, you have to use the terms 'right and wrong' (or 'good and evil' or whatever), which presupposes a non-evolutionary worldview
. To put it simply, the word 'morality' itself loses all meaning under a strictly evolutionary (naturalistic, purposeless) worldview.
Thirdly, defining morality by evolutionary terms means that an action is only 'wrong' insofar as it does not contribute to survival. At an individual level, killing 80% of the world's population might be very good for survival, as it would free up resources for the killer. At a group level, killing off the weak/deformed/sick/old/barren might again benefit survival for the group. Not for the individuals killed, of course, but evolution is about survival of the fittest--under an evolutionary worldview there is nothing sad (or happy either) about the deaths of the weak; they just are
. Working under strictly evolutionary terms, which deny purpose and meaning, one cannot say that anything we consider evil is 'evil', or even that anything good is 'good'. Indeed, the purposeless of evolution is such that even the survival of the species cannot be described as 'good'--in logical terms, that is called 'deriving an ought from an is', and is a fallacy. 'If I cure cancer my species will survive' does not logically imply 'Therefore I should cure cancer'. You need a second proposition--'My species surviving is a good thing' in order to achieve a valid syllogism, and the evolutionary worldview prevents that. It was not 'good' or 'bad' that the dinosaurs died out, they just did; it would not be 'good' or 'bad' if all Australians were killed through genocide, it just would be
Whoa, that was long...