View Full Version : Natural Laws & Human Hopes

James Brody
June 3rd, 2006, 07:13 PM
So went the title of a neat little book by Max Otto, some 40 dusty years ago. Not sure what it was about...

"The ideal of equal civil rights is completely independent of biological reality. In no way can any inference about moral codes be gleaned from the natural world." Carey N. 2006

Larry Arnhart wrote a sleeper on "Darwinian Ethics" and Paul Thompson (Ed.) (1995) Issues in Evolutionary Ethics. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, pp. 41-76, is a fine compilation of Huxley and some other moralists.

My own bias:

- The Commandments are as evolutionary as anyone could want. Give 'em a look! Hierarchy first and then a bunch of rules for communal peace that were encoded for groups of strangers rather than small tribal clusters.

- Most religions have striking similarities and even predictable differences. The orientals, smarter than us in some ways, have vegetation gods; the animal spirits infested much of preChristian Europe, and the sky gods came from those lunatic Middle Easterners.

- I can tell some "just so" tales about Darwinian reasons that it's immoral that I chase a 16 year old: I won't live long enough to protect my kids and old sperm isn't much more valuable than old eggs. Thus, only the young fools would diddle with an old dude unless he had bucks and young sons.

But enough of my prattle!