Archive for May 3rd, 2019

Evil Is Most Human, So Sometimes It’s Smarter To Be Most Evil. Therein One (Evil) Spring For Morality

May 3, 2019

Theologians and those who want a world they can understand in its entirety, claim there must be one single, ultimate source in the long and lengthening chains of causes and effects.

And there is one such an ultimate source of everything alive: biological evolution. It’s logical, and it’s alive (bio)! Like the proverbial god! Just more logical!

Science finds ultimate foundations: the axioms of science. Right, as science becomes deeper and more truthful, those axioms change, improve, as they become ever more explanatory.

From the axioms we presently have, biological species arise. Clearly, each species’ behavior is attuned to its survival. That’s exactly the fundamental definition of morality. Thus, one could define the fundamental morality pertaining to each species, as the set of behaviors which ensure its survival. (Morality comes from “mores”, one’s disposition, itself related to the Germanic word “mood”.)

The worst evil is most human. Just as being all too human, is most evil. Yes, headaches all around. Even for Satan.That morality, fundamentally, as given by evolution, human ethology, is made to insure survival, may sound too simplistic, but there, just there, is the default morality, even in humans. It (nearly) means sometimes anything goes, and we feel best about it. It means we are made to feel moral, when anything goes.[1]

This observation has huge consequences. First it means that many behaviors legitimately viewed as monstrous (like the usual suspect, Hitlerism), are actually normal, deep down inside… They are just answers to existential threats. Thus one is not dealing with pathology, not with a disease, but with life threatening circumstances. Second, to react optimally to such situations, one should work on those initial threats. Third, by piling up existential threats, as we are doing now with wild abandon, we are feeding future monstrosities.

Is that all there is to say about morality’s fundamentals? Of course not. Love is essential… considering younger humans are fully dependent for the first decade of their lives. However, ever since the Great Mother deity, and Diotima of Mantinea, that subject has been well covered. The other leg, evil’s foundation, I just mentioned, and it better be understood, lest the great statue of humanity collapses in dust… [2]

How cosmic is that all? Well, life probably didn’t originate in the Solar System…. As it has been recently revealed, that interstellar objects go through said system, and apparently collide with Earth frequently. If morality arises from the simplest mechanisms  ensuring survival, panspermia makes it so that it is then a cosmic phenomenon. 

Patrice Ayme

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[1] This why WWII Germans kept in fighting for Hitler, even after it was clear the Nazi regime was monstrous. (Had it been made clearer, they may have stopped.)

[2] Part of the understanding of evil enfolds the connection between ecology and apparently inhuman monstrosity. Turns out the latter ensures the survival of the former, hence the species. The devil is not just in the details, sometimes it’s in the logic.