The Biology of Morality???

The Biology of Morality???

or… The Morality of Biology???

What’s interesting to me here is how the biological explanation sounds like a description of the world based on moral versus immoral people.

I mean, Free Radicals! It’s like Africanized Bees!

I think someone might have an interesting insight about this. I’m not quite there yet, myself. I’m just interested.

Wow, that seems very telling. Though I can draw comparisons by rationalizing, I still can’t help but wonder if this reaction is entirely natural.

Anon, my friend, I think you have blown my mind once again. I’m beginning to think we share many curiosities, and perhaps even common beliefs, regarding nature.

I look at this this way…

Look at the sources of free radicals they list – Pollution of environment, over-exposure, and even some normal, seemingly healthy (or at least not harmful) activities.

I can’t help but draw a comparison between the free radicals and impoverished people who turn to “crime”.

Due to some ‘irregularity’ in environment, some people are left lacking the means for healthy survival, or identity. Of those people, some will inevitably turn to borrowing or stealing to survive – or, even better, to persist. By enabling survival, we affirm persistence, which is an idea passed to offspring (sometimes in copious amounts). However, in doing so, said offspring will adopt these survival methods leading to like-minded survivalists. Thus, the number of thieves increases, continually depleting the resources available; also further damaging, and polluting, the environment from which they were created (eventually leading to a potential collapse).

I believe animals do have some innate capacity for compassion, so we will naturally have people that empathize and concern themselves with helping. In this context, the help is by way of giving/lending people what they need to survive, and their families to persist. Thus, we get organizations like charities (humanitarians), missionaries (idealists), and police to watch/hunt excessive theft. If the thieves/borrowers do not elect peaceful assistance, or such is not made available, their habits may grow increasingly reckless, decreasing the integrity of the overall environment. So, we have our police to essentially “eliminate” them from society via incarceration (…or worse). Some become rehabilitated, some don’t.

This comparison could well be a product of over-rationalization on my part, but…well…it makes sense to me.

A quote that has seriously stuck with me, from one of my favorite philosophers Xun Zi (in agreement with Mencius), seems wholly applicable here: “Environment is the important thing!”

Language like that goes back a long time. Pasteur wrote a lot of tracts about how the peasantry were like bacteria. Multiplying uncontrollably and generally causing a lot of trouble. He was an ardent Monarchist. Or maybe a Bonapartist. I know they are quite different, but I often get them confused because from an outsider perspective what they want is pretty much the same it is just whom they want that is different.

The problem with man is that he has been subjugated by the thought culture which has an immense hold on him and which has created the notion of the self in him. This precludes the living organism’s interacting with nature. That is to say that the self has separated man from nature. Thus man with his self-centeredness leads a duplicate life as a hypocrite, leading himself eventually to destruction.

The biological mechanisms through which each person develops his own behavioral singularity are twofold: his genetic endowment and his evolutionary past. Some of these mechanisms have their roots deep in the evolutionary past of the human genes which human beings have in common with other organisms and which have similar effects on the human species. Other mechanisms are derived from the peculiarities of human genetic endowment. Each individual with his predetermined genetic endowment responds differently to his environment, since each is unique by virtue of his genes.

There is a uniqueness in each of us. Unfortunately society and polity do not accept this disparateness and club us all into one. Each of us has a different potential that has to be expressed and realized in a unique way. In an attempt to establish the equality among men we have suppressed individual peculiarities which are most useful. For, happiness depends on one’s being exactly fitted to nature’s own work. There are many varied tasks in a modern nation. Human types, instead of being standardized, should be diversified , and their cultural differences maintained and exaggerated by different modes of education and life habits. Each type will find its place. Modern society has refused to recognize the dissimilant of the human being and crowded him into four classes – the rich, the politician, the farmer, and the middle class. The clerk, the police man, the teacher, the shop-keeper, or the government employee, and all others, have the same standard of living as the rest of the middle class. Such ill-categorized types are banded together according to their financial position and not according to their individual characteristics. Obviously they have nothing in common. The best of those people who could develop their potentialities are atrophied by the narrowness of their life. In order to promote human progress it’s important to provide those who devote themselves to the things of the mind with the means of developing their personalities according to their innate constitutions. The brutal materialism of our modern civilization is not only opposed to the soaring of intelligence but it also criticizes the nonaffluent gentle weak who look for other things than money and whose ability does not withstand the struggle of life.

The innate natural intelligence of the organism is fantastic. The acquired intelligence is no match to it. For example, the body’s defense mechanism lies in its immune system. In fact, the best organized system in the body is the immune system that functions without our intervention. The immune system has nothing to do with the intellect. It does not work at your will and pleasure. It acts spontaneously to respond to a challenge. It is innovative and it operates in a clearly defined fashion.

On this subject, I have an upcoming talk and I am thinking about referring to cancers as “cellular entrepreneurs”. Rather than partaking in work towards the common good, they go into business for themselves. It may get nixed from the presentation, but I think it is high time someone stepped up to counter the rightist pasteurian dialogue that persists to this day. We must overcome the censorship of the mind!

It is only when we see an analogy as identical to what it represents that we can be accused of reification. For me analogy and metaphor are our human ways of explaining anything we experience. Biological morality? I like it!!! What of the bacteria that help us digest our food? Friendly, or even necessary, enablers as are the organisms that turn wood into sugar for termites.

Thanks for the responses everyone. That was kind of fun. :slight_smile: