Notices
Results 1 to 24 of 24
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By StevePenk333

Thread: An argument that evolutionary theory demonstrates the truth of moral nihilism. Rebuttals?

  1. #1 An argument that evolutionary theory demonstrates the truth of moral nihilism. Rebuttals? 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    23
    Certainly not an original point, but this is the conclusion I've come to from my readings in philosophy and science (tiny bit of psychology too). Would be interested to hear any counterarguments:

    In human evolution, we have developed certain ingrained traits that help us survive as a species. For example, when we see a child in pain, we are evolved to to help. Many other facets of our social life seem to be based on these primitive instincts: for example, we can see that taller men, who would be stronger and more able to fight in primitive societies, are given social advantages (Sad News For the Vertically Challenged: Tall Men Are Happier And Richer, Study Says | Discoblog | Discover Magazine).

    Much of this social organisation can be described by the theories of Eusociality and Kin Selection (Eusociality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), basically saying that we co-operate in groups, with the weakest/genetically inferior members of humanity helping superior specimins to breed at the expense of their own chance at breeding. Also see the mechanistic 'sexy sons hypothesis' (Sexy son hypothesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) which posits that females are attracted to certain qualities in males, which causes a cycle whereby those with most 'attractive' features pass on their genes, ad infinitum.

    (as an aside - it's not uncommon in British society to hear people bitterly complain that those with 'real jobs' are paid pittance compared to beautiful 'celebrities'. Eusociality would perfectly account for this seeming injustice)

    Now, when we are under the influence of these instincts, we have a tendency to make moral judgments. Perhaps the masked terrorist who kills a hostage is an 'evil' man. Perhaps the banker who rips you off is a 'bloody bastard'. What science tells us is these emotions are caused by chemical and hormonal responses in the body, which have evolved over time to maintain human social structure, ensuring the genes do not die out.

    Socially, it is taboo to refer to obvious facts, for example that certain people are less sexually desirable than others. There's quite a good parody of this phenomenon available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2Eqk2Uppe4:


    To conclude:
    In the wake of modern science, where so much of our behaviour and moral decision-making has been linked to genetics, is there any place for inherent moral judgements? If not, then surely this is the definition of nihilism.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    56
    That we are pushed around by the laws of physics does not preclude the existence of moral principles, so it does not imply nihilism. It does, however, make it very difficult to believe in moral absolutism.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by nano View Post
    That we are pushed around by the laws of physics does not preclude the existence of moral principles, so it does not imply nihilism. It does, however, make it very difficult to believe in moral absolutism.
    Hmm... what form would such principles take? If not absolute rules, such as found in the ten commandments ('thou shalt not...') or other religious texts, couldn't they only take vague, meaningless forms like 'try and be a good person' or 'try and be nice to people'? One need only take a cursory glance at history to see countless people who believed they were doing 'good' but were, from the perspective of others, entirely evil (for a modern example, see the controversy in the West over Sharia law)

    It has been argued by anthropologist Marvin Harris that much of the rule-making found within human societies originates in the necessity for survival; for example

    "Harris addressed such questions as why Hindu cows are sacred and eating beef is taboo, whereas in most of the Western world beef is enthusiastically consumed; and why so many religions proscribe the eating of pork, while Christianity does not.

    Harris believed that the fundamental answers to questions such as these lay in the practical problems faced by societies in their formative stages in making best use of scarce resources." (source Marvin Harris - Telegraph)

    He cites as example the fact that, over time, Indian culture came to revere cattle through purely economical considerations.

    This seems to indicate that social rule making is based, at root, on the survival of the species, not on any 'moral principle'. Though within culture we make moral-sounding statements like 'it's wrong to kill people', the subtext would be that killing someone would cause some problem to the social fabric; either through loss of their labour, creativity, etc, or grief caused to other family members, in turn causing those family members to be less productive'.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    56
    What form do you expect moral principles to take?

    The problem with moral nihilism is that it depends on the notion that a moral principle is only meaningful if it exists in objective reality. Of course, if you take this view then science indeed connotes moral nihilism. But do you take this view yourself? Must something exist in objective reality to be meaningful?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by nano View Post
    What form do

    you expect moral principles to take?

    The problem with moral nihilism is that it depends on the notion that a moral principle is only meaningful if it exists in objective reality. Of course, if you take this view then science indeed connotes moral nihilism. But do you take this view yourself? Must something exist in objective reality to be meaningful?
    Depends what you would mean by meaningful. To say, 'this cake is delicious', whilst not objective, will have meaning to the person consuming the cake, eg their subjective feelings in the moment of eating the cake would change, and probably cause some behavioural changes too. Indeed, a cake may be manufactured in a certain way that elicits a positive reaction from the vast majority of human beings, but there are likely to be many who still feel the cake is disgusting. Therefore the statement has no *inherent* meaning

    Similarly, moral statements are not *inherently* meaningful, and not based on fixed principles. I find this study interesting:

    How Does Power Effect Moral Decision Making - Yahoo! Voices - voices.yahoo.com - those in positions of power create moral 'rules', and those lower in the social heirarchy are bound to follow them. This would seem to tie in perfectly with Nietzsche's conception of master/slave morality, whereby subservient humans internalise the commands of powerful people as the 'right' thing to do. It's just Pavlovian conditioning - following the rule of those in power gets us good rewards, so we internalise it as 'right'. When the leaders of our societies change the rules, we change our morality. How often do you hear people whining that powerful people are 'above the law'? The real joke is that the laws themselves are, and have always been, the diktats of powerful people. They were *never* based on any inherent principle of the universe or 'God'

    edit: that last statement was a bit of a tangent, and not directed at your arguments.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    56
    Can you give a single example of something that is 'inherently' meaningful?

    When someone says that 'raping children for fun is wrong' the nihilist gets caught up on the fact that 'child', 'rape', 'fun' and even 'right versus wrong' are concepts that exist only within the human mind. As such, the statement is not intrinsically true and does not exist in any objective sense. I would certainly agree with this but I am not a nihilist for the following reason: I do not believe that a moral principle needs to be inherently meaningful - objectively true - in order to exist. It is as real to me as any inherently meaningful statement could ever be and so I take a pragmatic approach and accept it as such.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by nano View Post
    Can you give a single example of something that is 'inherently' meaningful?

    When someone says that 'raping children for fun is wrong' the nihilist gets caught up on the fact that 'child', 'rape', 'fun' and even 'right versus wrong' are concepts that exist only within the human mind. As such, the statement is not intrinsically true and does not exist in any objective sense. I would certainly agree with this but I am not a nihilist for the following reason: I do not believe that a moral principle needs to be inherently meaningful - objectively true - in order to exist. It is as real to me as any inherently meaningful statement could ever be and so I take a pragmatic approach and accept it as such.
    Hm, you are probably right on the first point. Whilst my first instinct would be to go to 'physical reality exists objectively, and physical laws are proved by the scientific method', this can always be countered with the nuclear option of 'but how do you really know anything? Isn't your viewing of, and thinking about, scientific evidence, still a subjectively perceived phenomenon?'.

    Personally, my approach, having realised that all moral 'truths' can't be definitively said to be so, is to vary my moral positions to whatever suits me. Of course, due to the limits of the human mind, eg feelings of guilt and cognitive dissonance when you violate internalised ethical principles, there's only so far you can push it without going insane. Most people seem to do this subconsciously anyway, to some degree, by the process of rationalisation. I suppose my nihilistic understanding of morals allows me to realise this feature of my psychology for what it is, and have greater control over it.

    As an example: I do not rape children for fun. This is because A) I have no wish to do so and B) if I did have a wish to, I would fear the punishment society would level at me. But when I see in the tabloids that a 'sick monster' has raped a child, I am not going to waste a second of my day being outraged by it. I simply do not judge him or care what he did.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    56
    You and I have exactly the same views. Although I would add C) I would not rape the child due to empathy/fear of guilt.

    It should be noted that law-makers tend not to make decisions based on some deluded sense of absolute morality but rather take a pragmatic, usually utilitarian, approach.

    "If a person is stupid, we excuse him by saying that he cannot help it; but if we attempted to excuse in precisely the same way the person who is bad, we should be laughed at."
    - Schopenhauer
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    23
    Mmhmm, you're right C would be a big factor too. This is quite an unsettling realisation to come to; my sense is that, when we are children, we cannot understand this distinction. When our brains flood with hormonal response, we can't differentiate between truth and feeling - so a murderer is a 'bad man', and we think of this as an absolute fact.

    With all this in mind, it is not terribly difficult to see that the combination of intelligence and psychopathy is a perfect recipe for rising to the top of a society. If one was intelligent enough to manipulate the emotions of other, more empathetic people, without being discovered, as well as lacking the self-limiting empathy mechanism...

    rather makes a mockery of the whole idea of karma doesn't it
    Last edited by StevePenk333; June 29th, 2012 at 09:39 PM.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    56
    Do you find that your (quasi-)nihilism affects your love life? For a long time I found it difficult to take the idea of 'love' seriously having realised that it's purely hormonal and is merely a driving force for successful reproduction. In fact, it's something I still struggle with on occasion.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by nano View Post
    Do you find that your (quasi-)nihilism affects your love life? For a long time I found it difficult to take the idea of 'love' seriously having realised that it's purely hormonal and is merely a driving force for successful reproduction. In fact, it's something I still struggle with on occasion.
    Oh yeah, for sure. When you're in the initial throes of a love affair, it's almost like your brain will refuse to admit, on an emotional level, the possibility that you will eventually break up or start to hate each other, despite all logical thought (and science!) telling you this is an entirely possible outcome. I suppose bitter experience *sob* has taught me to be a little bit more mercenary with relationships.

    It's harder not to notice the subtext too, like, for example, that the whole 'dating' thing is at core a way for a woman to test my willingness to be a provider for her and potential offspring. It's funny how often, and how soon, the 'so what do you do for a living' question comes out :P
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    If one was intelligent enough to manipulate the emotions of other, less empathetic people, without being discovered, as well as lacking the self-limiting empathy mechanism...
    You don't even have to be manipulative. Rude people earn more anyway.
    Mr and Mrs Rude in the workplace
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Ascended Member Ascended's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    3,492
    I think that whilst evolution plays it's part the moral sense of the nation still has and very often overcomes any evolutionary advantages one person may have over another. This is especially demostrated by the way in women choose their partner. In general, this is a generalisation, women a less interested in physical attributes than moralistic veiws. You could have two men competing for the same woman and one bigger stronger and more inteligent but if she found out he was a racist his chances would be out of the window. Modern life is full of examples of how we judge and disciminate against others based on moral judgements, and whilst evolutionary physical attributes may have a more immediate impact on the way others treat us I would say in general that it is the moral judgements people make about our opinions and actions that are far more powerful.

    Just to give you another example there was a case in the UK that was reported around the world, in terms of global significance it had virtualy none, it was when a woman put a cat in a wheely bin. The cat was trapped inside for several hours. This woman was subjected to total public outrage at her actions that no evolutionary advantages could have prevented. In general people do have strong moralistic veiws but these sometimes get overshadowed by the events that happen around us. There is also the idea that moral veiws go hand in hand with religion which is completely false.
    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

    Bertrand Russell
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    8,416
    Quote Originally Posted by nano View Post
    Do you find that your (quasi-)nihilism affects your love life? For a long time I found it difficult to take the idea of 'love' seriously having realised that it's purely hormonal and is merely a driving force for successful reproduction. In fact, it's something I still struggle with on occasion.
    It wouldn't be fair to say it's really "purely" hormonal--there's plenty of other psychological factors involved.

    I'm glad c) was mentioned since it seems to be common in human cultures as one of the later stages of moral development. (e.g. Kohlberg' and others).
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    56
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    It wouldn't be fair to say it's really "purely" hormonal--there's plenty of other psychological factors involved.
    Granted, I was using 'hormonal' in a very loose sense. Nevertheless, part of the difficulty of love - for me at least - is in identifying what psychological needs are driving it and whether they should be satisfied. An example of a bad reason to pursue a love interest is loneliness or sexual lust, although these are to an extent unavoidable.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by nano View Post
    Do you find that your (quasi-)nihilism affects your love life? For a long time I found it difficult to take the idea of 'love' seriously having realised that it's purely hormonal and is merely a driving force for successful reproduction. In fact, it's something I still struggle with on occasion.
    It wouldn't be fair to say it's really "purely" hormonal--there's plenty of other psychological factors involved.
    True enough, but I cannot see that all these factors cannot ultimately be boiled down to the survival and reproduction of the species. Could you give some examples of such psychological needs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    I think that whilst evolution plays it's part the moral sense of the nation still has and very often overcomes any evolutionary advantages one person may have over another. This is especially demostrated by the way in women choose their partner. In general, this is a generalisation, women a less interested in physical attributes than moralistic veiws. You could have two men competing for the same woman and one bigger stronger and more inteligent but if she found out he was a racist his chances would be out of the window. Modern life is full of examples of how we judge and disciminate against others based on moral judgements, and whilst evolutionary physical attributes may have a more immediate impact on the way others treat us I would say in general that it is the moral judgements people make about our opinions and actions that are far more powerful.

    Just to give you another example there was a case in the UK that was reported around the world, in terms of global significance it had virtualy none, it was when a woman put a cat in a wheely bin. The cat was trapped inside for several hours. This woman was subjected to total public outrage at her actions that no evolutionary advantages could have prevented. In general people do have strong moralistic veiws but these sometimes get overshadowed by the events that happen around us. There is also the idea that moral veiws go hand in hand with religion which is completely false.
    To refer to the example of the old lady and the cat; I would argue that the true cause of the commotion was that she demonstrated cruelty, or the disregard for the wellbeing of the cat. This would point to an underlying attitude that, if widespread, would be threatening to the social fabric, as it shows she has not internalised social values like kindness and consideration for others as the 'right thing to do'.
    So whilst people may condemn her actions, there is no inherent 'truth' to the fact that her actions were wrong.

    As for the argument that women commonly disregard physical attributes on moral grounds, I am not so sure. It is not uncommon to hear of violent killers in jail receiving marriage proposals and love letters. Furthermore, head to any nightclub and see who is receiving the most attention from the opposite sex; it certainly won't be those with the strongest moral character in any sense. Of course, it goes without saying that individuals who severely violate social norms may face social exclusion - an interesting example might be seen in this folk song: Steeleye Span - Blackleg miner - YouTube . The song is about a man who breaks the picket line during the miners' strike, and one of the lyrics is "There's not a woman in this town now, will look at the blackleg miner.". This could be an example of women in a community making a conscious decision not to consider a man who has acted against the interests of the community.

    I would also like to challenge this statement you made: "I think that whilst evolution plays it's part the moral sense of the nation still has and very often overcomes any evolutionary advantages one person may have over another ". I feel that the theory of eusociality shows that evolutionary advantage in humans is derived from forming societies, *not* by purely individual evolutionary advantage. The exception would of course be those outliers who have exceptionally high genetic potential, such as those with large amount of wealth or those who are exceptionally beautiful. We can see such people often get away with anti-social behaviour that would result in jail terms for the less fortunate. I would describe what you call the 'moral character' of a nation as a body of rules that ensure better survival prospects for the collective. Or as Nietzsche put it, a 'collective will to power'.

    Perhaps I should have clarified more what I meant by moral nihilism; to me, this would mean that moral statements are not true. They are used as methods to organise human society, and are not indicative of any universal principle of justice.
    Ascended likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    8,416
    True enough, but I cannot see that all these factors cannot ultimately be boiled down to the survival and reproduction of the species. Could you give some examples of such psychological needs?
    I was address specifically the hormonal part-- just being with someone for example might have given us a survival advantage because it improved a chance to detect the leopard in the grass. You and I might also agree to walk together through a dangerous woods for the same reason without hormonal fear or attraction to one another. And yes, I agree that our intellect, emotions etc are products of past natural selection--just like the behavior of every other organism.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Forum Bachelors Degree
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    493
    Quote Originally Posted by StevePenk333 View Post
    To conclude:
    In the wake of modern science, where so much of our behaviour and moral decision-making has been linked to genetics, is there any place for inherent moral judgements? If not, then surely this is the definition of nihilism.
    There is a long way to prove moral nihilism true.
    Theres a long way to prove any moral system true.
    The thing is we cant help making moral judgements.
    Trying to put the blame somewhere else is...Er ...Not moral!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    30
    What you posted was a geneaology of morality. It has nothing to do with normative claims.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Forum Bachelors Degree
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    493
    Quote Originally Posted by Philovitist View Post
    What you posted was a geneaology of morality. It has nothing to do with normative claims.
    Hi! Please adress your statements: What StevePenk333 posted was a geneaology of morality. It has nothing to do with normative claims.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    23
    I had to look up 'normative claim' but now from what I understand (thanks Wikipedia, fountain of all knowledge), it would be a statement such as "children should eat their vegetables".

    I would argue this is not 'true' as it is an 'is' not an 'ought', and is not preceded by an 'if'.

    'If children's parents wish for them to live long and disease-free lives, then a wise course of action is to give them vegetables' - there is truth content in this statement verifiable by scientific evidence. But without 'if' statements attached, normative claims could be complete nonsense. 'All cats should inhale frogs' begs several questions - why? how? wait... what?!"

    I would put forth that the vast, vast majority of human norms that are actually found and practiced in human society relate, or are derived from the drives to survive and reproduce healthy offspring, or maintaining the social structure necessary for people to reproduce successfully en masse. 'Don't play in traffic'. 'A man should never beat a woman'. 'children should eat vegetables', etc.

    I can think of some counter-examples. Normative statements that are not survival related are commonly found in advertising; 'if you want to have the best time of your life, you should visit Miami!'. 'Cool people buy Prada bags!' (you can tell I am not a marketer). I would explain this by the fact that advertisers have been systematically researching how to influence human behaviour and emotion, and have become extraordinarily adept at it. This can be read, not as counter-evidence to the dominance of our survival drives, but rather as evidence of how said drives can be exploited. You may have noticed that many, many advertisements feature pictures of attractive human beings. This plays on our inbuilt drive to seek mates with high quality genetic potential.

    As such, in recent years in Western society, innumerable nonsensical normative statements and beliefs have permeated the culture.
    Richard Dawkins has tentatively described these with his theory of 'memetics', which would state that an idea will proliferate, not due to its truth content, but its ability to take hold of the minds of the human beings in a given environment. FOR EXAMPLE: take the product 'Vitamin Water'. It's mostly water and sugar. However, certain elements of its packaging and marketing play on inbuilt human drives to trick the brain into accepting it as something that should be put in one's mouth. The fruit-like colors likely remind our evolved brains of the colours of nutritious fruits from past eras, for example. The upshot of this is that many people will hold a vague association in their mind between Vitamin Water and the good health that is needed to successfully reproduce. They are therefore more likely to purchase the product.

    Furthermore, as people are 'social learners', once an idea has taken hold in society, people will adopt it as truth simply because other people do. In lieu of accurate information that we are capable of understanding ourselves, we look to others for answers. An argument that this behaviour evolved from our tribal past would be easy to make; if one member of a primitive tribe began screaming and running in a certain direction, others would be likely to follow, sensing that said individual has perceived a source of danger. An experiment to try yourself - stand still in a crowd and look upward with a confused/alarmed look on your face. Others are likely to look towards the same area to see what you are looking at.

    My slight worry with arguments like these is that I may fall into the trap of 'evolution did it' as an easy explanation. In other words, that I may be observing the world around me and using confirmation bias to fit everything into evolutionary theory. However, the sheer amount of human behaviours that *do* fit the mould so neatly, as well as the overwhelming scientific evidence for biological evolution, lead me to the conclusions drawn above. Therefore, normative statements are not truths, and arise as survival mechanisms. QED


    (I have been dying to use QED at the end of an argument for so long. If someone could confirm for me that I did it right I would be enormously grateful).

    QED.

    Q E D.
    Last edited by StevePenk333; July 4th, 2012 at 03:30 PM.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    927
    Just an opinion.

    Moral nihilism holds true because every act we do (Defined good or evil) is equally meaningless as our whole existance will only be a brief moment in a cosmic timescale. In what will be a blink of an eye (again, on a cosmic scale) the earth will be gone and every action will be forgotten forever. Since our lives are forfeit even before we are born - everything we put value in is in fact equally meaningless.

    Any action wheter "good" or "evil" is pointless on a large scale. Therefore current values are also worthless.

    All will die and be forgotten. So nomatter if I spend my life helping others or killing others - none will be there to judge at the end of time. All life will be equally eradicated by the cold vast universe. Every action we make a futility. Good? Evil? HUman terms made by people under the delusion that life or how you live it matter in any way.
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    Forum Bachelors Degree
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    493
    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    Just an opinion.

    Moral nihilism holds true because every act we do (Defined good or evil) is equally meaningless as our whole existance will only be a brief moment in a cosmic timescale. In what will be a blink of an eye (again, on a cosmic scale) the earth will be gone and every action will be forgotten forever. Since our lives are forfeit even before we are born - everything we put value in is in fact equally meaningless.

    Any action wheter "good" or "evil" is pointless on a large scale. Therefore current values are also worthless.

    All will die and be forgotten. So nomatter if I spend my life helping others or killing others - none will be there to judge at the end of time. All life will be equally eradicated by the cold vast universe. Every action we make a futility. Good? Evil? HUman terms made by people under the delusion that life or how you live it matter in any way.
    You might be right, you might be wrong...because you cant prove anything either way! What happens if you are wrong? If you being disillusioned have been acting in a way you shouldnt have acted had you known it mattered what you did? I think your view that you must in the end get rewarded for doing the right thing is...well...greedy! Do what you feel is right and dont expect any rewards...just feel proud of yourself.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    Forum Ph.D. stander-j's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Winnipeg
    Posts
    856
    Quote Originally Posted by StevePenk333 View Post
    Much of this social organisation can be described by the theories of Eusociality and Kin Selection (Eusociality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), basically saying that we co-operate in groups, with the weakest/genetically inferior members of humanity helping superior specimins to breed at the expense of their own chance at breeding. Also see the mechanistic 'sexy sons hypothesis' (Sexy son hypothesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) which posits that females are attracted to certain qualities in males, which causes a cycle whereby those with most 'attractive' features pass on their genes, ad infinitum.
    This I can make a rebuttal for:

    The Sexy Sons Hypothesis is part of a cycle, that much is true.. But there something known as 'Frequency-Dependent Selection'. As the number of available men decreases, the sexy son strategy becomes more effective. When the number of men increases the restricted mating strategies become more effective. Meaning that it is actually a balancing act, maintaining roughly equal numbers between the population of men and women. Imo, quite the opposite of moral nihilism, as the whole goal is to maintain balance - then again, I don't think it's comparable.
    "Cultivated leisure is the aim of man."
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Evolutionary argument against Naturalism
    By termina in forum Philosophy
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: January 8th, 2011, 03:49 PM
  2. Novel Evolutionary Theory
    By Teisixi in forum Biology
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: October 28th, 2009, 07:16 PM
  3. What is Moral Folk Theory?
    By coberst in forum Philosophy
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: July 17th, 2009, 04:47 AM
  4. Evolutionary theory (of man) challenged!!!!
    By scientstphilosophertheist in forum In the News
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: August 9th, 2007, 03:26 PM
  5. Replies: 3
    Last Post: May 25th, 2007, 02:49 PM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •