So *that’s* where it is

From our materialism uber alles files, scientists announce they have located the piece of meat that is your conscience.

Up till now, it was thought the piece of meat was a cricket named Jiminy. But now Science Knows that this is superstition and that really it’s a piece of meat in your head. No one has yet explained why we have a moral obligation to listen to pieces of meat. But we most certainly do–at least when they tell us not to be racist, sexist, homophobes who wants to poison the earth and do all sorts of other self-evidently evil things. Because this is so much more sound than being a theist who imagines you are bound by some “moral law” from a Transcendent God and that conscience is not a mere epiphenomenon of matter.

Obey the Meat in Your Head. It’s what… the… uh… random swirl of time, space, matter and energy… well, doesn’t *want* or *will* exactly cuz that sounds too much like You Know Who. But anyway, observe PC pieties and don’t locate them in anything higher than human will. Because matter is all you are.

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  • Raymond

    I’m glad you finally understand.

    • Raymond, are you a machine?

      • Raymond

        I am a machine. All the ladies say so.

        • Reminds of the joke:

          Do you smoke after sex?

          I don’t know, I never looked.

  • Marthe Lépine

    Actually they might be on to something. It seems that earlier studies have been able to see what part of the brain is being stimulated by various things such as pleasure, sight, or some emotions, or hunger. It could be that the part of the brain that has just been observed might show some action related to thinking about mistakes. However it would not mean that those parts of the brain actually bring about senses of having made a mistake, or of guilt, are not actually a person’s conscience, but just that it may be possible to see that those parts are being affected in some way by that kind of thinking…

  • capaxdei

    We aren’t only meat, but we are part meat. It would be weird, given what we’ve learned about how the brain is organized, if there weren’t a measurable conscience response of some sort. (Which isn’t to say Science! will necessarily philosophize about the measurements correctly.)

    • Why yes, we also have bone and connective tissue and…

      Oh, you mean that the human body is what matter becomes when informed by a human soul! And that actions of the soul manifest as actions of the body, so actions of conscience could very well manifest in a localized part of the brain. And that, moreover, a material obstacle in the brain might impede the action of the whole person, so that (hypothetically) damage to or disease in this “lateral frontal pole” might cause behavioral changes to a person; and likewise, there may be medical treatments for such damage or disease. So this is good and interesting science, but there is a danger of it being co-opted by materialists who take it as disproof of the immaterial form of the material substance. Now I got ya!

  • Benjamin2.0

    Bill Vallicella picked this up a couple of weeks ago, too. He was amusingly unamused.

  • Materialist argument against Dualists, 1: There is no part of the brain that could be the basis for the faculty you describe, therefore it doesn’t exist, because materialism is true.

    Materialist argument against Dualists, 2: This other faculty you describe is localized in this part of the brain, therefore materialism is true.

    While admittedly not mutually contradictory, this pair of arguments is wearyingly “heads I win; tails you lose” in application.

  • Tom

    Somebody call Ed Feser (cough who is another traditionalist you should mention as a good guy because he is indeed a good guy cough).

  • You have no moral obligation to obey that piece of meat, or any other physical source of morality, unless you want to share this planet with us. If you have some other world to live on totally by yourself, with no need for social interaction with other humans, I suppose you can do what you want. But if you and I intend to live together on this same planet and more or less get along, we have to agree to certain rules to live by.

    Simple as that.