Re: Objective morality?

From: Jef Allbright (
Date: Fri Aug 25 2006 - 08:06:30 MDT

On 8/25/06, Keith Henson <> wrote:
> Humans have a sense of what is moral. Like all such psychological traits
> it is the result of evolution.
> On that basis, one can predict that what we consider moral is that which is
> good for the survival of our genes or a side effect of evolution in hunter
> gatherer bands where the people around us tended to be related (inclusive
> fitness).
> What is good for the survival of genes is environmentally influenced if not
> determined. So what we consider moral should be flexible to the
> environmental situation.
> I could provide and analyze lots of supporting examples. But can anyone
> think of a counter example where this is not true?

For optimum moral decision making, the choice of specific actions
should be as local as possible, while the general principles guiding
the decision-making should be as universal as posssible.

Examples include parents who, seeing the bigger picture, treat
different children differently in response to what the children may
see as identical misbehaviors.

The (limited) leeway given to judge and jury in carrying out the
(sometimes erroneous) laws.

The (some would say paradoxical) moral acceptance of the theft of food
by a starving person, or the killing of another in response to a grave
threat to self.

So Keith, depending on context, I would agree with your assertion
about actions depending on context. ;-)

- Jef

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