A Basis for Morality
From both political (social, cultural) and genetic directions, the human is on a collision course with extinction. The worldwide cultural issues must be settled before the genetic problems can be properly approached. The cultural problem may be settled through social integration, in turn allowing a tight mobilization of the species to solve the genetic issues. Cultural integration requires a consistent, dependable and provable moral and ethical value system.
A basis for proper (moral, ethical) human behavior must be determined without reference to opinion, conjecture, spirituality, imagination, philosophy, political ideology or any other form of dogma since these have no real foundation, are inconsistent, and cannot uniformly satisfy the needs of the human. Real (factual, scientific) knowledge is consistent and has real basis. If the human is to survive, the real knowledge uncovered in the sciences must be used as a basis for a uniform human ethical and moral behavioral system, thereby freeing the human for full attention to species survival.
THE NEED FOR A CONSISTENT MORAL SYSTEM
Within the human sub-cultures across the earth there is a chaotic mixture of personal behavior systems. All descended from ancient tribal cultures and are based on opinion, conjecture, spirituality, philosophy, imagination, political ideology and other forms of dogma. Since the bases of these behavioral systems are variable, the resulting behaviors are also variable. These differences in behavior can be quite severe. Acceptable behavior in one sub-culture is often viewed with loathing by another. Individual movement between sub-cultures can be quite difficult, often requiring several generations to make the transition. If an individual moves into one sub-culture from another sub-culture and makes no attempt to change his behavior to match the new, he remains an outcast. Due to variations in language and behavioral systems, worldwide human interaction and communication suffers, often to the point of warfare. The productivity (intellectual advancement, invention) of the species is thereby diminished by the amount of intellectual assets lost in dealing with these variations, a loss that could be eliminated through a uniform ethical and moral behavior system.
Why is a uniform ethical and moral behavior system needed across the species? The answer is two-fold. One lies in current social problems which are so severe that war and terrorism may well end the species, if large scale deprivation and massive infectious (social) disease epidemics do not perform that function first. The other lies in a current but not yet realized genetic problem which is even now closing in on the extinction of the species.
During the two million years of human development as Homo erectus, tribes were small and isolated, and the entire worldwide population of the species was quite small. Each tribe developed genetic and social differences. These differences were in both outward appearance and inner neural mechanisms. Each tribe developed unique behaviors, dress, customs and speech. In some cases the difference was so marked as to become racial rather than ethnic differences. Each tribe was economically isolated and self-sufficient. Although some trade between tribes was probable, it was inconsequential to the survival of the tribe. Even then tribal conflict was common and, in fact, may have been a major factor in the intellectual and social development of the human during that period.
These tribes still exist, though now swollen in population and geographically overlapping. Some geographic areas contain many tribes within the same boundaries. Geographic isolation, once so necessary for controlling conflict, has essentially disappeared with huge overlapping populations and modern transportation. Communication has become even more chaotic with the advent of voice, video and digital communication via the internet and satellites. Different languages and customs, as well as other tribal behaviors, become quite troublesome. Cheek to jowl, the human struggles, often violently, to retain its individual tribal identity. As the population expands, tribal conflict can only become worse.
Another major problem is the lack of human goals. Evolution formed us with no plan in mind. As a product of evolution, the human also lives without knowing its use or purpose. It would be helpful in developing a uniform moral and ethical behavioral system based on real knowledge, to first determine, if possible, the proper goals for the human species. (For human goals see A Philosophy)
What is the end purpose of life? Of the human? Perhaps the answers to these questions will never be known, but, through a study of life itself, and the development of the human through evolution, a real process may be established. Like an arrow with a shaft that is 4.5 billion years long, it points in the direction that each species must inevitably follow, or it, as a species, will perish. In the event that the human should become extinct, all life will likely eventually perish, for if the development of intellect by life is not sufficient for its survival, then the extinction of life itself is likely inevitable.
Species other than the human also have their developmental directions. The cheetah and the antelope are good examples. Each has been getting faster over the past millions of years. If, for any reason, that development should slow in either species, the result would be disastrous to that species. If the antelope should gain on the cheetah in its development of speed, the cheetah starves. If the cheetah should gain on the antelope in its development of speed, the antelope may be over-hunted to extinction. Each must continue developing in its own direction, or perish. Eventually one will falter and cease to exist.
The race facing the human is far different from that of the cheetah or antelope. The human is faced with a race in time with the very evolution which developed it. The major essence of the human developmental direction has been the ever-increasing application of the intellect to human behavior. The intellect has been quite successful in nullifying environmental effects. That feature has made the human the most successful mobile species on earth. However, in doing so, it has damaged its own evolutionary controls, resulting in a steady and rapid degradation of the human intellect. The only way this degradation can be reversed is by human intellectual intervention in and control of its own evolution. This, alone, is a mammoth undertaking for the species.
For the determination of proper human behavior based on real knowledge it is necessary to build a chain of evidence for use as a basis. This evidence must begin with the first life and extend through the dawn of Homo sapiens sapiens. It must contain the mechanisms of life and the process by which life evolves into its various forms. Having established the formation of life and its development process, there are obvious conclusions that may be drawn concerning proper human behavior. If the conclusions thereby drawn are proper, they carry the authority of the underlying real knowledge and may be disputed only by denying that real knowledge.
THE SURVIVAL OF LIFE
Life (DNA, the underlying structure of all life) began on earth about 4.5 billion years ago. It has competed with the environment and survived for that period. Life survives. It survives by competing, in many cases even with itself. Life can be shown to be universal. There is only one life and all living things share in that life (see OneLife). Although the organisms (biological mechanisms, species) developed by life in competing are mortal - they face natural death - life (DNA) is immortal, since it does not face natural death.
In its survival, life has developed many functional forms (organisms, species). Each of these forms competes to survive. That competition commonly includes: (1) competition with the external environment, (2) competition between species and (3) competition between individuals within a species. Evolution is a natural process in life. All modern species evolved from other prior species. All species either develop into other species or, failing to survive, become extinct (see Evolution).
Each species is a self-replicating group of organisms. Homo sapiens sapiens (the modern human) is one of these (see The Evolution of the Human for a chronicle of the evolutionary path from the ancient primate to the modern human). In its present (natural) form, the evolution process is a senseless one, without planning or goals. The opportunity for organism change (mutation accidents in the DNA replication process) is largely a matter of chance. The selection of those changes for permanency in the gene pool is also largely determined by chance, though tending to favor those changes which enhance survival. Evolution is a reactive system since the evolving life forms develop to survive in an environment which they do not control.
Within a given species, and other factors being equal, the survival of the species depends on the behavior (culture) of that species. If it fits the current collective environment and the species does not become extinct, then the overall behavior of that species is good (normal). In a like sense, the behavior of the species is the summation of the behaviors of the individuals within that species. Since the culture of a species is the sum of the behaviors of the individuals within that culture, then the appropriateness of the individual action can be evaluated in terms of the characteristics of the culture.
The process of evolution is senseless and merciless. Among other deficient and undesirable characteristics of natural evolution, it creates species that are deadly to other species. The resultant competition (often deadly) between species adds another dimension to the environment which shapes a particular species. Life makes no distinction. Since it does not reason and has no inherent direction, it merely creates life-forms. It is then the competition between life-forms and the competition between the life-forms and the physical environment that determines the set of life-forms which have the best survival. Although not by design, this system insures that all possible physical life-forms and all possible combinations of life-forms are tested for survivability.
Life, in its myriad creations, has tried a multitude of survival mechanisms. In the case of the human species, the distinguishing factor is intellect. The question remains unanswered whether this is the ultimate form, the one which will shape all life-forms for ultimate survivability, thereby achieving immortality for life itself. Until that question is answered, each species must develop in its assigned notch and seek survivability for itself. If the human should not be the answer to the survival of life, care must be taken that the failure of the human does not harm life. In choosing between behavior alternatives, the survival of life is paramount. The survival of the species is next in importance. The survival of the individual is the least important. Since it can be assumed, however, under present conditions, that the survival of the human species is the best chance for life itself to survive, then it is reasonable to assume that the survival of the human species must take precedence in all decisions. Since the human cannot survive without many other forms of life, those other species necessary for the human to survive will carry the same priority.
A SURVIVAL CULTURE
For the first 180,000 years of species existence, the modern human (Homo sapiens sapiens) was a tribal/warrior/hunter. He still is. The hominid has been a tribal animal for the past four million years, the human (Homo) for the past two million years. Tribal behavior is instinctive. All social drives (care of children, cooperation, compassion, tool and weapon invention, territorial defense, language, dress, song, dance, art, competition, etc.) can be shown to be based on instinct, though the final form and execution is influenced by intellect. All of these facets of culture are directly related and interdependent and most exist in some form in all of the higher organisms. All modern cultures are based on these social drives. The details of culture may be quite variable from group to group, depending on the group viewpoint.
Whereas technology requires factual knowledge, and therefore is uniformly applied from group to group, all cultural studies are based on dogma of one sort or another. Whereas in technology a truth is a truth, in culture a truth is a matter of group opinion, and, in fact, is quite variable even within a given group.
Individual social behavior within a particular cultural group becomes a matter of accumulated dogma (opinion, philosophy, conjecture, hearsay, imagination, etc.), to be applied under a given set of circumstances. It is no wonder that every possible behavior may be found in one culture or another.
The question is asked: If there are necessary behavioral rules, why can't they be expressed in the same objective manner as our technology - thereby ending the cultural variability? Such a resulting culture would be knowledge based instead of dogma based - a uniform intellectual culture instead of many dogma based cultures. It would go a long way toward developing a benign culture under which all humans could live productively while being free of the tribal conflicts (war, terrorism, genocide, ethnic and racial bigotry, etc.) now prevalent.
All species have immoral individuals, though the individuals in many species do not have the intellectual capability of understanding it in order to correct it. All individuals in every species have some immoral behavior. Evolution is not a planned (engineered) process. It makes no attempt to build the optimum individual.
It is quite probable that life will never be of consequence in the universe. Chances are it will sputter for a while then disappear, possibly not even lasting until the demise of earth itself. A glimmer of hope for an effect on the universe by life exists in the human intellect. The universe has no purpose. It only exists. Intelligent design is a new concept in the universe. Until it developed in the human there was no intellect to endow the universe with purpose. To bring about purpose in the universe, it must be modified.
The human adapts the materials around him to his own needs. Yet the power of his intelligence is still in its infancy. Perhaps a redesign of the total ecosystem on earth would be a worthwhile task someday. Or consider our solar system. There is enough useless debris in our solar system to construct a thousand earths in a ring around the sun - just another real estate project. Then there is the human. Having been created by a process employing trial and error, one without goal or purpose, the human is beginning to realize that his own design has serious flaws. The human intellect is also an excellent tool for designing the human. It is very likely that future Homo species will be designed by man rather than by the idiocy of a merciless and chaotic evolution.
Therein lies the hope in the future of life. As it survived in competition with the environment, it created a species of life that possesses the creativity of intelligence. That special quality must be protected and nourished. The survival of the human species becomes paramount. All other forms of life that are compatible with and needed by the human species fall under the same need for protection.
The intellectual capability in the human is superimposed over an instinctive behavioral system. The development of the human over its four million year history produced an intelligent warrior/hunter/explorer. The human became brave, smart, tenacious and capable of surviving under terrible mental and physical conditions, but had little time or need for objective intellectual pursuits. The instinctive system is primarily concerned with the current real environment, both social and physical, and it takes precedence over objective thought, even to the extent of commandeering the intellect for the furthering of instinctive (subjective) needs. Only when the instinctive system is at ease can the intellectual system function objectively. Creative thought is simply not available when the instinctive system is activated by such things as: fear, hunger, dread, greed, lust, outrage, etc.
Although the primary loyalty is to the human, any behavior concerning other species which are compatible (we don't need to protect the HIV virus for example) and which can effect the survivability of the the human (and man does not live by bread alone) falls within this definition of morality.
A GENETIC CHALLENGE
The human is a definable biological survival mechanism, one developed to modern form some 200,000 years ago, in an environment that can also be defined. Its expected individual behavior may be determined from a study of that dynamic interactive system. A culture (behavioral system) developed from this real knowledge would be an intellectual culture. All prior dogma must give way in case of conflict.
The distinguishing feature of the survival pattern developed by evolution in the human species is the ability to modify and control natural (instinctive) behaviors with intellectual considerations. The intellectual component of human behavior has been very successful in solving human environmental problems. Unfortunately that very success has distorted the natural evolutionary process resulting in a destructive evolution that will degenerate the human species into extinction unless order is brought by human intervention. This intervention will require great invention and dedication. The survival and fulfillment of the human species, therefore, depends on the continued development and use of the human intellect, which, in turn, may only be achieved through proper human behavior.
The primary behavioral controls for all mobile species are reactive. Under these controls, current behavior is a direct result of current environment. These controls are called instincts. Superimposed over these instincts in the human, and largely in competition with those instincts, are various intellectual controls. These developed as modifiers to the instinctive controls (see The Human Brain) because they provided more optimum survival behavior than available with the raw instincts. The human substitutes intellectual control for instinct, when determining proper action (behavior). That substitution is called 'self-discipline' or 'self-control'.
From the beginning, the human has used its intellect to make its lot easier. Rather than endure the stresses of the environment, it first invented clothing, shelter, and hunting tools. Later it invented agriculture, manufacturing, medical care and compassionate cultures. All of these subsidized deleterious mutations that would have otherwise been culled by the environment.
A new field in human ethics is dawning, one concerning human intervention in the genetic structure of the human. Surely we need not suffer the thousands upon thousands of genetic defects now resident in our gene pool. A large portion of those defects are neural and therefore adversely effect the community culture. Conceivably this intervention could become quite extensive even to the point, in the far future, of the creation of a new human species to replace our own. Modern sub-cultures (group behavior systems) are based on dogma. Most of these will strenuously object.
Many modern philosophers on the subject predict dire results from tampering with the human DNA configuration. Most objections are on ethical grounds. Some of these fears are quite valid. Many call for extremely limited or no intervention. What they all fail to see is that we have no choice. We will either gain engineering control over our evolution or we will become extinct. That is fact. It is as simple as that. And the timing is critical. We do not have a lot of time left to bring human evolution under control. Even now the social structure of the world is degenerating rapidly. If we fail to gain engineering control before the degeneration collapses our society, the human will become history.
The area of concern in the behavior of the human is the degeneration of the human instinct due to conflict with the developing human intellect. The following is a quotation from The Degeneration of Man. For more detailed background on this subject refer to that study.
The human species has developed an unusual and deadly evolutionary process. The natural process of evolution, a process which has produced many wondrous life forms, depends on 2 factors: (1) a defective replication process which produces offspring with various, almost random, genetic afflictions, most of which are damaging to the organism, and (2) a demanding and harsh environment which quickly eliminates those changes which are not beneficial, allowing only the few which are beneficial to survive. This process constantly improves the survivability of the species at the cost of much suffering and death. Evolution is a merciless, trial and error process without goals or plans. A species which suffers the pain of a harsh environment will have a high birth rate, high death rate and short life, but its gene pool will be tightly maintained by evolution. If the environment becomes, or is changed to be, benign, deleterious mutations which would have been eliminated from the gene pool will instead be subsidized by the benign environment and allowed to propagate through the species. A species in fat city is a degenerating species.
Note: Wars, famine, natural disasters, and disease epidemics have little effect on evolution since there is no selection for individual survivability.
Modern social degeneration is occurring as the result of reverting to damaged instincts. The process that brought this about is not reversible - we cannot return to the jungle. It is not that the human species is degenerating back to the base primate configuration, it is degenerating toward an inability to survive. The species must develop out of this condition through its own intervention in the process of evolution or it will become extinct. If the human species is to become viable in the long term it must be through use of its intellect.
Will the human species be able to advance in its ability to control its own evolution rapidly enough to gain control before the degenerative nature of a one-sided evolution reduces the species to uniform incompetence, thereby leading to its extinction? It appears to be a close race.
The ethics and morality of a given human behavior may be evaluated in terms of the effect of the action with respect to the survivability of life, the species and the individual, in that order. A given behavior may have an end value that ranges from quite damaging through a neutral result to one which is invigorating or life enhancing.
In order to apply the general conclusions about morality and ethics to real life decisions, it is necessary to segment the field of ethics into at least four main groups of ethical consideration:
The ultimate survivability of life is paramount. Any action which damages the general survivability of life is ethically neutral only if accompanied by associated repair action and the diligent development of ways to avoid that action completely. Any less coordinated action is unethical and immoral. To be positively ethical even further steps must be taken. If pollution is generated, for example, there must be efforts to minimize the amount, to clean up that which is accidental or unavoidable, and to develop processes and procedures to eventually eliminate the pollution itself.
Once having considered the effects of the behavior on life, the next consideration is to the survival and well-being of the human species. Here again the same evaluation procedure applies. There can be no exceptions on the trade-off between the survival of the human species or subcultures thereof and the overall survivability of life itself. Life takes precedence. If the human should become extinct (due to its own foolishness) care must be taken that life survives and in fact is not harmed in its survival.
Once having considered the effects of a given human behavior on life and the species, the next consideration is to the survival and well-being of the human individual. Here again the same evaluation procedure applies. There can be no exceptions on the trade-off between the survival of the human and the overall survivability of the human species and life. Life takes precedence. The human species is next in importance. The individual is least important. Still, it must be remembered that for life to survive, the human must survive and for the human to survive the individual must also. With a reasonable and proper culture, one based on real knowledge and designed for the productivity of man, the human should be relatively safe and should enjoy a fulfilling life of accomplishing more than his share toward the survival of life and the human species. Any other action would be immoral, unethical and perverted.
The ethics of a particular genetic intervention may also be evaluated using the above steps. The primary intervention effort should be directed toward improving the species gene pool, with first effort directed toward a high and consistent species intellect and uniform and correct instincts. All other work is of lesser importance and is therefore lesser in ethics and morality. The lowest priority, and therefore the most unethical would be intervention directed toward an individual solely for purposes of vanity, a form of genetic plastic surgery.
The primary worry in a free enterprise world would be the development of genetic intervention methods that would add value only to a select family tree (those with power or money). Such effort would further widen the current gap between the have and have-nots. Without question, such work, unless it clearly leads to a future benefit for the entire species, would be unethical.
A second worry would be in a socialist world, where under government guidance there would be development of genetic intervention methods that would enhance the power of the state. This would also be entirely unethical.
In the beginning there will be much experimentation primarily aimed at correcting the genetic problems of an individual. Most of this work will be valuable for where it leads but is of little value for the work it accomplishes since to be universal it would need to be applied to every human, present and future. Far more ethical to spend the same time working on a universal correction that can be fed into the gene pool, one which will propagate to future generations.
READER'S COMMENT:You're missing many aspects of the human condition needed in order to comprehend morality and the purpose to human life.
Those missing aspects are deliberately missing. The human condition, desires, wants, goals, history and needs are not relevant in the establishment of human morality. In spite of current cultural practice, morality is not a matter of polls. Man-made morality is an oxymoron. If he makes it up to suit himself then follows it, it is not a moral action. It is man that needs the rules to follow. The idea that a study of man can provide morality standards for himself is intellectual incest.
We are creatures of the universe and we must fit within its processes. If human behavior fits these natural processes, the human as a species might survive. If human behavior works contrary to these processes, the human as a species is certain to become extinct. The interface between the human and the universe, is the same as all life. It is a process called evolution. We are now operating contrary to that process. If we continue to do so we will become extinct and the definition of morality becomes moot.
The product of evolution and its process on life is survival. Within that life are specie. Within each species there are individuals. Within the survival of life there is order. It is the survival of life which is paramount, the survival of the species which is next in importance (many survive for millions of years) and the individual organism, although it struggles to survive, it does not. It is my contention that human behavior is based (or could be based) on intellect, therefore, morality should be based on the behavior he should take and that action is not contingent on what he wants, what he thinks he needs, how he feels about it, how hard his childhood was, what his skin color or sexual preference is, etc. The universe was not created for the human to do with as he pleases (although if the human does as he should it is possible that he may control the universe sometime in the future).
And finally, there is no purpose for the human species at this point in time. Living a fun life is not a purpose. Doing what comes naturally is not a purpose. The human as the product of a natural process has no more purpose than the rest of the universe, which is zero. The universe is and does. The human is and does at the present time. Purpose and value are human concepts and do not apply to natural processes. They may, however, in the case of the human. The human has intellect and with that intellect he often modifies natural processes to his own use. When he does so, he modifies nature and thereby gains value and purpose. That action is natural to the human, but novel in the universe. The human may do the same with himself, and gain intellectual control over the evolution of his form, intellect and culture . In fact, if he does not, he will become extinct. If he does, then by his own action he will have created his own value and purpose.
READER'S COMMENT: What I question is calling most people "reaction" machines. It is generally understood that only psychopaths are true "reaction" machines, and the mental health community is careful to reserve the psychopath label for adults in this genre, most likely because they recognize that most children start off with behavior that would be classified as psychopathic in adults. The rationalization is that such children shouldn't be blamed, because the process is "unthinking". If we continue to have brutal murders by children, perhaps the psychiatrists will have to re-evaluate their position on this.
AUTHOR'S REPLY: A behavior response to only current sensory conditions is an extremely primitive neural mechanism response, one found only in the most primitive of mobile organisms. All of the higher animals use past experience as an important part of their behavior decisions. The behavior of the human, as with many other species, is in response to current conditions as perceived in the context of past experience. In the case of the human species, this past experience includes both past training and education as well as past hands-on experience. That's why proper training and experience is so important for the young. Even in the case of apparently human instigated behavior, a sudden invention of behavior with no apparent driving force in the environment, the need for that behavior was the product of past experience and current environment, and it was expressed in an appropriate environment and time. It was, therefore, reactive.
Modern psychology and psychiatry are still laboring under the illusion that the human uniquely possesses some form of undefinable 'spiritual' component, one which is modified by environment from person to person to form the psychopath, the genius or the imbecile. In fact the human is a highly complex biological mechanism, one produced with no planning, engineering or quality control, and is, therefore, widely variable. Though reactive, the human is highly variable in its reaction (behavior) and produces a wide variability in environmental assessment and behavioral response.
Children are born, if normal, with the proper thinking and memory apparatus but with clean slate memories - zero experience. As they develop (gain experience) and are taught, they gain that other half of the necessary total environment for proper behavior decisions. Most children know they should not hurt other children by the age of four or five. If they are strong enough to kill, they are old enough to be punished for doing so.
READER'S COMMENT: Reference your argument about restricting education to the hard sciences. The weakness in that position is that it ignores the needs of children for aids to growth and maturity. Some of that process includes something extra beyond the study of facts. Receptors into the brain do include senses such as ordinary touch. Again, the missing element is interactive feedback.
AUTHOR'S REPLY: A general knowledge of the hard sciences (biology, astronomy, chemistry, physics, mathematics) is essential for a human to understand its relationship with the universe. These need not be taught as rote subjects. Each applies to the very basis of human thought. There is a vast difference (or should be) between teaching these subjects for purposes of orientation and teaching them as a skilled life's work. Even the hard sciences can be made quite palatable to the younger ones by emphasizing relationships (how they directly relate to the student) rather than hard facts.
There are many subjects other than the hard sciences that may be taught truthfully, such as law, history, geography, languages, architecture, economics, commerce, and, of course, all of the trades. Then there are communications skills, that are a must for in-depth teaching.
The schools are also charged with training the student in proper social behavior. This is a time consuming task but one infinitely necessary.
It is totally beyond me why there is a widespread belief that truth cannot be taught with the same sensitivity, empathy, kindness, consideration, etc. as fiction, fantasy, opinion, conjecture and dogma.
READER'S COMMENT: I wish you well in your philosophical endeavor. In the end, I think the social utility of morality proves its value to human society - but deeper explanations escape me.
AUTHOR'S REPLY: If what I am writing is indeed only another philosophical endeavor, then I have failed. Although often quite enlightening and inspiring, a philosophy is no more than imagination and conjecture, even from the most brilliant of philosophers. Even if many philosophers agree on a particular human behavior, there is no real knowledge expressed. Another group may have the opposite opinion and their opinions are as valid. The human mind cannot create real knowledge, it can only discover it.
I seek to move behavioral rules to a plane far more factual, one based on known fact, one devoid of opinion, one that cannot be denied without denying the underlying real knowledge. My approach is to base moral behavior on real and accepted fact. If it is properly done so, my 'philosophy' is no more of a philosophy than an arithmetic times table.
I do admit it takes 'technical' knowledge to find 'deeper explanations'. One must analyze a mechanism before prescribing its proper maintenance and care. Such knowledge requires an investment in time and effort. If modern psychology was a science rather than a philosophy it would be able to answer our questions for us. Unfortunately, modern psychology is quite archaic, a pseudo-science based on philosophy rather than on science. It is easy to find polar opposites in opinion among the psychologists. It is impossible to find polar opposites in a science (one based on fact) such as chemistry or physics.
In the meantime writers on both sides of every social fence can only argue based on opinion. Such writing is the dogma of our time. We have more than enough dogma already. Yet this discourse is leading our society, a contradictory discourse based on opinion, imagination and conjecture on both sides. No wonder our world wide chaotic human culture.
READER'S COMMENT: ......how arrogant!!!!!! To believe that because the human should become extinct, all life is likely to also become extinct! The human is only one species. If it fails, another will take its place. And under what kind of convoluted reasoning is it certain that intelligence is the only solution to immortality for life?
AUTHOR'S REPLY: Life is finite. It has finite restrictions in its construction. There are a finite number of methods (survivable DNA combinations) available for life to survive. Physical characteristics such as: faster, stronger, more vicious, more offspring, offspring who need no help, offspring that need extensive help, etc. have all been used. Behavior characteristics such as tree dwelling, burrowing, cannibalism, group coordination, isolation, etc. have all been used. Construction techniques such as fixed, mobile, external skeletons, internal skeletons, no skeletons, fur, scales, feathers, hair, etc. have all been used. These have been tried in millions of combinations over billions of years. Most such combinations (species) have already perished. All were developed for the very narrow benign conditions here on earth, and are restricted to those conditions. If any life should prevail that long, when our sun fails and our earth becomes a cinder, it will cease to be.
To survive, life must not only solve its problems here on earth; but life, itself, must be carried to the stars. None of the above techniques do more than sustain a species for a short time. All of these techniques have one thing in common, the organism is still at the mercy of the physical environment. Even intellect is not peculiar to the human species, but it has gained enough strength in the human to modify the environment and the ability to proceed along that path.
Human intellect not only has the power to modify the environment, it has the power to modify the human itself, and thereby escape the inevitable extinction that all natural species will endure. Perhaps there is some other power which evolution has not yet invented, one not yet imagined, one that is superior to intellect. But, intellect is here now, and it can do the job. If the other one comes along, we will bow out of the way since the survival of life, not the human, is paramount.
READER'S COMMENT:Darwinian evolution shows that human ethics have evolved during human development and that it continues to evolve to this day. He has shown how behavior has been modified by evolution over the ages. The very basis of evolution is that something is changing. How can you say that there are absolute rules?
AUTHOR'S REPLY: I have recently read two texts on 'Darwinian natural right': The Biological Ethics of Human Nature by Larry Arnhart and Taking Darwin Seriously by Michael Ruse. Both are interesting. The subject matter is much the same in both. Both authors are excellent in their research and in their presentation. If you are interested in how cultures evolved from a historical perspective, either text is excellent.
Unfortunately, although Darwin visualized the evolution process, he did not have the knowledge of genetic structure and function that we have today. He understood how form and function evolved from the standpoint of the organisms but he was ignorant of the molecular process by which that evolution functioned. He could tell the story of how it occurred in historical terms, but he had no inkling of the molecular mechanism and its functional laws. The same applies for his profound ideas on the evolution of culture (where a culture is the collection of behaviors - the ethics and morality - of a group).
My text is not interested in how culture (behavioral rights and wrongs) developed under the combined physical and social environment of the human over its development period. Nor is it interested in its future forms if allowed to evolve naturally from the present condition into the cultural future. It is deeply interested in what the culture of the human (and therefore its proper individual behavior) should be given the physical reality of its evolutionary mechanism and its fit in the universe. It projects a cultural eugenics for the intellectual control of the evolution of culture in the same manner that eugenics projects an intellectual control of the evolution of the human form. The history of both the form and culture of the human shows a chaotic evolution that was mindless and without goal or purpose. It provided a cut and try process which thrived on death and misery. Intellectual control of both gives the human species an evolution that is planned and reasoned, one which provides the species with goals and fulfillment as opposed to blind survival.
So in this text I have recognized the idiocy of natural evolution in providing the human species with both form and culture. All of its form and cultural ills are caused by this idiot process. I have recognized that the human is intellectual and therefore capable of analysis, goal setting, and planning. Bringing the two together so that the human can work toward optimizing both its form and its culture is now the challenge I offer.
Biologists have learned to move from the organism to the molecular level in their analysis of life forms. The form of the organism is controlled by the molecules in its DNA. Those who seek wisdom in the behavior of the human must do the same. Once having ascertained the rules for proper behavior of the human through determining the basic forces of life on a molecular level, an analysis of the history of culture from that viewpoint is entirely different. It shows the direction and magnitude of human cultural error that was caused by the natural (idiot) process of cultural evolution. The two texts cited show an expected direction for human culture, instead that history should be viewed as a chronicle of cultural error, something to use to learn what not to allow our culture to experience.