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Morality is Dictated by Nature

What gives morality a subjective character is the realization that it tends to vary from person to person. From behavioral observation of Man, it is apparent that what one person considers moral can be radically different from that of others. However, an average moral code exists among populations and is naturally shaped by experience.

As a species persists, its development will evolve naturally towards more successful modes of survival. This is the underlying reason for the extreme growth rate of the human population over the last few thousand years.

As with most social animals, human morality - a code of acceptable and unacceptable actions - is built through common teachings and interactions with other individuals and serves as a guide to personal behavior - a tool to maximize the probability of survival. When enough individuals agree on a moral issue, a population will tend to enforce obedience through various measures - such as shunning, physical abuse, banishment, imposition of extra duties, etc.

In order to operate outside of the prevailing moral code, one must hide behind lies and deceit. This is why propaganda is employed by the State and why thieves often put on a facade of honesty. Over time, experience causes a moral code to grow - making it more difficult to work against the grain of popular opinion.

As morality becomes more sophisticated, so do attempted schemes to defeat it. Imagine if the US Central Government had to acquire all of the money it spends through direct taxation rather than through debt and use of the insidious inflation mechanism provided by the Federal Reserve. Do you suppose all Americans between 15-64 could/would dole out over $18,000 per year on average to maintain the behemoth? If that were the case, wouldn't the thievery be much more obvious to the People?

Humanity is evolving and so is Our list of acceptable and unacceptable actions. It is a natural process. We live and We learn. Our moral code will continue to change in ways that will optimize Our ability to survive. Nature ultimately dictates morality.

In the practical limit of long time scales and faithful propagation of knowledge, human experience becomes more complete leading to a moral code that becomes capable of diagnosing an ever expanding array of situations. Very similar to the approximation of an infinite sum by a finite sum, as the number of terms - amount of experience - is increased the approximation will asymptotically approach the true value.

In the most stringent practical sense, the existence of an optimal moral code is an objective reality, and one of its primary properties must be an inherent respect for Human Nature.




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Question: isn't the only

Question: isn't the only reason there is a need for experimentation, governance, etc., is because people are inherently prone toward being 'bad'? We don't have to define 'bad' exactly,we know what is implied. People are not naturally what we would call 'good.'

Whether you give this an evolutionary interpretation, or a religious one, both agree on the facts. I think its notable that modern biology and evolutionary psychology line up nicely with the collective wisdom of human experience (religion) about man's basic state. The religious call it 'fallen,' the scientist calls it our animal nature which reflects the element of conflict and competition that is fundamental to nature.

It is the utopian who disagrees with both, and pretends there is a good human nature, and then casts a villain in the role of explaining why human goodness is suppressed (the state, government, religion, money, capitalism, the patriarchy, Christianity, the Jews, Europeans.... the list goes on).

No

The reason is not that people are inherently bad. The reason is that everyone thinks that everyone besides themselves (and people they personally know and like) are inherently bad.

This is the same type phenomenon where everyone thinks everyone else is dumb. How many times have you heard someone say, "people are so dumb"? I've met quite a lot of people over the years, and taught math and science to quite a few, and in my experience, people aren't dumb in general.

You're right that people

You're right that people generally think others are worse and dumber than they are. But haven't you ever met someone who always assumes the worst in others because they''re judging by how they would act in the others shoes? There are good people and bad people. But there are enough bad people and dumb people to make it difficult to live without safeguards from their violence and stupidity. That's why governance and experimentation and finding ways of coping and organizing people and making them behave is necessary.

Some of it is due to ignorance and lack of information. But how much? We have the internet now with all this free information. It remains to be seen how many people take advantage of it, and those who do, whether they come to agree even on the facts let alone the solutions to the facts. It's impossible to tell yet whether information alone will overcome the tendency toward faction and forming blocs of interest, identity and conflict. If 'alternative' political movements are any indication, we can expect a good deal of the latter along with any of the former.

...

"It's impossible to tell yet whether information alone will overcome the tendency toward faction and forming blocs of interest, identity and conflict."

The evidence is all around you. How many Americans know and get along with people from other places (other races) compared to 50 years ago? For instance, are the children of today more or less racist than previous generations?

Well the internet didn't

Well the internet didn't impact any generation before mine, so it wouldn't have anything to do with any reduction in racism, unless you're contrasting twenty-somethings with teens.

I treat all others fairly and without prejudice, I sure didn't learn it from the internet. I don't see any evidence at this point that the majority of people have improved the quality of the information they consume overall, either news or entertainment.

It's a net positive, but I am not seeing a sea change in which information frees society from the control of organized minorities. I don't think that's how it works. I think the social system is still organized and controlled more or less smoothly from above in America. But the internet is still young, it is definitely making it more difficult to suppress information and ideas form those who seek it out. It is making it more difficult for the ruling class to establish consensus through a singular mass media line.

But whether that net positive is sufficient to make 'the people' free from 'the elite' simply by its presence, as a social fact, going forward, that no elite will be able to control the system because of the availability of information, I don;t see that. I think those that benefit from the free information online are also a minority, perhaps slightly larger than the present ruling group, but not comprising the whole 'people' of voting adults.

Also, it's easy to point out moral declines as well as advances since information has started to flow more freely (printing press through now). Certainly the killing of civilians in war has come back with a vengeance since mass media and democracy arose. We're back on par with pre civilized standards of war when it comes to the civilian body count.

It is not a moral advance for half of children to be raised with one parent, with court ordered exclusion of the other in many cases, and where the child is doped up full time to 'behave' while the single parent as to be away to scratch by money for garbage food, or for her own dope.

It's not a moral advance for kids to salivate over killing virtual people for half the day by themselves after leaving brainwashing camp.

It's not a moral advance for kids to shoot up other kids a few times a year every year.

I could go on. Pointing out a few instances of moral advance, or of moral decline, doesn't seal the argument over whether the information age has caused a fundamental change in the political calculus of ruling the people.

9/11 is a good example, in that the information is so rock solid, yet the position is still in the minority. Social forces are still very strongly applied which make it disadvantageous for the majority to adopt disbelief in the official story. For many it is a practical calculation, for many others its emotionally impossible.

So you admit that people are becoming

more tolerant of differences such as race over time?

In addition, do you think traditional monarchy will ever come back (given the people are able to retain current knowledge)? Or, will different forms of the State have to continuously change in order to lord over the people successfully?

I don't know that people

I don't know that people 1,000 years ago where particularly concerned with race, dwalters. Seems like a thing that crept up and ran its course and is back to where it was before, rather than a linear moral advance. Certainly antiquity and the middle ages were not focused on race. And today there remains a lot of ethnocentrism which seems on the rise around the world even as it declines among some in the West. So no I wouldn't agree that humanity has a experienced a linear advance in its tolerance level to racial differences over time. We are just on the backside of an unusual upspike in racial intolerance that culminated in the 19th and 20th century. It is still more prevalent than in say, the late roman empire, or the middle ages. Racism is a characteristic of modernity, not pre modernity.

Show me some evidence...

Certainly antiquity and the middle ages were not focused on race.

It is still more prevalent than in say, the late roman empire, or the middle ages. Racism is a characteristic of modernity, not pre modernity.

Not just racism either. I spoke of tolerance in general.

I thought it was just

I thought it was just generally known that the ancient world and middle ages were not interested in race, I mean the ancient world was incredibly cosmopolitan, the Roman empire was not at all exclusionary of peoples and cults and gods, Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic world as well, as well as the middle ages, the Roman universality carried over with the Latin tongue as lingua franca. There was religious conflict between Islam and Christianity, but it wasn't racial, nor was the antiSemitism racial but a mutual religious exclusion; the ideas and philosophies of that era were not racial or even materialistic, and there was great cultural interchange of styles, thought, and attempts at universal belief on both sides. Race and thoughts about marking people off by their breed are modernity's dirty laundry, and fit better with the hard headed naturalistic worldview of the secular era, and its interaction with indigenous peoples and cultures they encountered.

This isn't praise or condemnation of these people, it's just a fact they weren't focused on this stuff. They had their own ways of defining and categorizing people, whether better or worse isn't the point. But nationalism and racism emerged alongside modernity, and its democracy and secularism. The point is that there isn't any linear progression to be seen here, just change.

Well it could be generally

Well it could be generally known even if it was inaccurate. It is generally known that 19 hijackers from al qaeda pulled off the event of 9/11.

But... is it inaccurate? again, you post a wiki link instead of form an argument from your knowledge. What's the deal with that? so now I'm supposed to read an entire wiki entry, which on its face doesn't even argue your side, and then refute those footnotes i disagree with?

but you're right, racism was far worse when north african bixesuals ruled the roman empire, and when north african philosophers spread a doctrine called Universal (catholic) to irish and britons. that was a much more racist time than when eugenicists exterminated "undesirables" decades after the scientific and rationalist enlightenment.

Conversing with you is mostly a waste of time...

Many times, it seems that you don't even have a view of your own - rather you simply adopt views opposed to those you choose to engage. Then, you selectively ignore questions and points and instead focus on things such as lingual technicalities.

Collectivism - including racism - has been around likely before recorded history. There is no way for you to so definitively conclude that it hasn't. Besides, my point was about tolerance in general. I used racism as a mere example of collectivism that is on the decline - and will continue to decline as time goes on.

Here is a question that you ignored:

Do you think traditional monarchy will ever come back (given the people are able to retain current knowledge)? Or, will different forms of the State have to continuously change in order to lord over the people successfully?

BILL3 is concerned about Man boobs....

methinks he is here as an intentional distraction.
what he probably represents. is the best of the best of official government disinfo agents.
yes, he is the best that they can do.

no, he does not have a view of his own. his only purpose is to wear others down, sap their energy.

we have our very our sycophant!

I agree

I think it may be high time to ignore his trolling.

That's unfortunate.

It was you who threw out a challenge for debate in this thread when I was happy to ignore it. Up til now you've been focused on the ideas and arguments, and lots of people have said they liked reading our exchanges. It's a shame that you should now resort to a line of personal attack that should be beneath you.

interesting, I sense this also with his rhetoric.......

.................

kind people rock

that post was on request,

that post was on request, just a joke response to Ed Ucation telling jrd "bill is probably making a post about how people with man boobs shouldn't be allowed to vote." it was just a joke, man, lighten up. also, a sycophant is like a follower of a powerful person who sucks up and always flatters and stuff, you don't seem to know what the word means.

yes, I called you a parasite.

with "man boob" issues.

It's certainly a waste of

It's certainly a waste of time if you're not willing to learn. But I am pleased that you're less engaged in personal attacks in this exchange than our last, that is improvement.

Avoiding questions once again

Do you think traditional monarchy will ever come back (given the people are able to retain current knowledge)? Or, will different forms of the State have to continuously change in order to lord over the people successfully?

Oh, I thought this was a waste of time.

Well many places still have traditional monarchy, while many many more have untraditional (non hereditary) rule by one person, and many more than that have one party rule without a clear head.

What I know does not exist is an place that is not governed by an elite. The closest thing might be like Switzerland, but even in a place like Switzerland there is a ruling class. That is the nature of society, and always will be.

Now, for the kind of answer you are really looking for: I think it is entirely within the bounds of possibility, if not probable, that some countries or states that are today run democratically or with an unstable one party rule might be run by a hereditary principle at some point in the infinite future. Rome went from kings to republic to Caesars, followed by centuries of European hereditary monarchy.

History is fluid, it is not a linear progression.

In the short-term perhaps

but at long time scales, there is a natural progression.

Not only will it become more complicated to rule masses of people over time but it will also become more expensive. With adequate knowledge on the part of the people, ruling would become prohibitively expensive (ie exceed the productive capacities of the people from which the wealth to do so is being siphoned). Look at how expensive it has already become. The world is already becoming financially bankrupt at a rapid rate due to this reality.

Contrary to popular opinion, I don't know the future.

If history is our guide, there isn't any linear progression, rather there is fluidity and cyclicality. The future will probably be the same. I don't even know what long run and short run are supposed to mean. All of recorded human history is a pretty short run, and for all we know the future won't be any longer. Anything can happen. You seem to know much more about the future than you do of the past.

I like to refer to it as foresight

What I spoke about in the previous comment:

With adequate knowledge on the part of the people, ruling would become prohibitively expensive (ie exceed the productive capacities of the people from which the wealth to do so is being siphoned). Look at how expensive it has already become. The world is already becoming financially bankrupt at a rapid rate due to this reality.

is very logical and is supported by current evidence. You can ignore it if you like but that doesn't change it.

A prediction is worth even

A prediction is worth even less than an opinion.

Phxarcher87's picture

you always know

the ideas are getting up there when the latters and formers come out.

i guess that's why ron paul always talks about the power of ideas. what are the best ideas for a free society with liberty and what models in life have shown to make the best most respected and prosperous?

i think the deduction of evolution leaves one with chemicals and dna if you simply try to define the human body. and if you go from there chemicals cannot be good/bad they just are. good and bad are moral, iv never seen a chemical be moral...

did you know what dna stands for?

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" - Mark Twain

Ya, you never wanna bring out

Ya, you never wanna bring out the latters and formers too early in a debate, haha.

But you're right that DNA and the whole materialistic worldview can't really discuss morality in objective terms. For a lot of reasons weve already gone over, but for a final reason which hasn't been mentioned, in that materialism embraces determinism, so that no decision is freely made, everything being the material result of the immediately prior state. So we're just watching the film reel going by, thinking that we're acting agents, when we're not.

Well, that's a whole other can of worms.

I think what dwalters is saying is that morality, even if its not objective, is still broad enough and powerful enough that it shouldn't matter if its really objective or not. As long as society evolves in the direction of less force, more cooperation, etc., that is a moral advance, even if it flows from our interests and the survival of the best modes of behavior, selected by nature for their material success.

The question is whether such moral advance is occurring or not.

Phxarcher87's picture

if we know the solution to

if we know the solution to our problems why are we asking questions?

iv moved past that, and see what historically works and benefits everyone; dr. paul from his head down to his toe. (non intervention, true weights and measures, viewing everyone as a creation of God hens-forth the non-violence for adults and little people in the womb)

im not worried on the political name given but what makes him tick and how can i share his tickyness.

solutions should be the focus of (dealing) with a problem not the problem itself. (analyzing) the problem is ok, for the sake of (prevention) but imagine if your parents focused on the problem you committed and not the solution or the future of you not doing it again.

i guess what i'm getting at is, that cleaning supplies do very little in a house of swine.

if you could show the swine a better way of living and convince them the cleaning supplies will benefit them and their guests then the focus should be not on how dirty they are, but what changes are imminent.

austrian economics do little good in society when the society as a majority is a den of thieves.

the absence of God as well as the misguided who follow him iv deducted is the root of the problem, but the solution has not changed from 2014 years ago and that is to Love.

our moral homeostasis is off balance do to the lack of Love.

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" - Mark Twain

Survival of the Fittest -

Survival of the Fittest is what dictates morality in Nature - there is no such thing as any "inherent respect" that does not bow itself before something of greater power there. Expecting to find the basis for an "optimal moral code" without objective guidance, expecting to find something that is subjective and not absolute, is inviting the opinions of a clever master over a witless slave. What you are essentially saying is that the weak should simply bow down and accept whatever the strong decide is right - not surprisingly, the exact moral system we are currently living under today.

What I find written in this post, then, is an elegant mash-up of Hegelian dialectic and the psychological progression of Nietzsche's Herd Morality. Yet, both this method and observation are only at the possible disposal of the human race - elevated above Nature with the ability to understand and create beyond their physical environment, living a dual existence. Anyone who believes that this ability somehow occurred because of Natural Selection is denying the empirical and scientific evidence in favor of their own faith and convictions of atheism.

To shirk the responsibility of mankind - a being above mere animal - is the easiest way to win the favor of your human handlers after all.

Survival of the fittest is rooted in self-interest...

It is self-interest - for example, profit motive - that makes society overall more productive and raises the standard of living.

Your criticism is in-line with common criticisms of the Austrian School of Economics. Many emotional folks from the Left have said, "You free-market people want to sacrifice the poor and underprivileged for the sake of survival of the fittest." However, it is my experience that most Austrian economists subscribe to free market principles - at least in part - because it is the system which offers the greatest amount of success to society; that is, self-interest (without use of coercion) tends to produce beneficial results for entire societies.