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Evolution and Morals

Scott Anderson

As a first point, I find it preposterous how some claim that acceptance of the Theory of Evolution requires an ethical code derived from the theory. Besides the fact that, as a scientific theory of what is and was, it has nothing to say about what should be, the idea is just silly. I also accept Einstein's Theory of Relativity, but I have no intention of building a morality out of gravity. Indeed, gravity is far more relevant to my day-to-day operations than where life on Earth came from, and if you brought a halt to gravity, all hell would break loose. If you bring a halt to evolution . . . well, I live in Mississippi, so I already know what that's like.

However, evolution can provide an interesting perspective on ethics, but only as a supplement to good sense. This contradicts the fundamentalist view that evolution demands animal-like behavior . . or does it? I forget who it was, but someone once stated a thought that I'd been working with in a sharp, cohesive way.

It went something like, "Yes, we're animals. Some fundamentalists say evolution says we should act like animals. But the fundamentalists say this as if we ought to act like an animal other than a human being."

How should a human being act, in my opinion? I'll give you a quick rundown, a summary. You will, no doubt, disagree, but this is merely a summary of a much more extensive argument. Keep that in mind.

As a starting point, it should be noted that other animals operate with a high level of instinct. Human animals (and some of our closer primate cousins) don't get much instinctual behavior written in. Instead, we learn.

Very few species exist by killing members of the same species. We are no exception. Sure, we have wars and street fights, but we are better defined by our ability to help one another in times of trouble, to our mutual advantage. From the perspective of evolution, it's a very logical thing to do.

Humans don't have claws, fangs, or armor. We are not capable of extraordinary speeds on foot. What we do have is the most capable brain on this planet, judging by our knowledge and technology.

It is this conscious mind that allows us to survive.  Each person uses their mind to act, and this can happen in any one of four ways.  One, a person can act strictly for their own survival.   Two, they can act strictly against their own survival.   Three, one can act for their own survival, and against the survival of others.   Finally, one can act against their own survival, and for the survival of others.    The latter options revolve around other persons . . . the first two revolve around the individual himself.

Of the four choices, two are suicidal, and one is homicidal. And because the survival of the body is so wrapped up in the mind, I do not make much distinction between the body and the mind, for neither can exist without the other. Therefore, suicide or homicide of the brain and the ability to think is similar to suicide or homicide of the body. If you prefer not to use such extreme terms such as suicide and homicide, just think "injury".

If your goal is to live, you cannot commit suicide. If your goal is to live, you cannot allow someone else to commit homicide against you. If your goal is to live fully, self-injury is to be avoided, as is allowing others to injure you.

We thus end up with the position of using your mind for your own survival. How can you use your mind for your own survival? Easy . . . you must think to act, and you must act to live.

Living is, therefore, being independent. You use your mind for your own survival. This requires an independent mind controlling the independent body. We thus require freedom to keep the body alive and uninjured, for an unfree mind, where force or fraud alter thinking, is an injured mind, and thus an injured body. To keep the body alive, you must obtain food and other resources. You can do this by hunting and farming, trade, or theft. All these involve property. (If you have read and understood Locke, this paragraph will make more sense). Theft, however, cannot be considered proper, for that is the taking of other's property, which is the work other bodies, other minds, have done. It is injury to the mind and body of others. You can thus either hunt and farm, or trade. I prefer the latter, myself, but that's just me. And trade cannot be performed by any who are not equals, nor can it be forced. If so, it is not free trade by free and independent consenting persons.

An important point involves such ideas as honesty and integrity. To avoid injuring yourself, you must be honest with yourself. To avoid injuring others, you must be honest with them, or else you are engaging in fraud. To avoid being injured, you must try to make sure others are being honest with you.

Integrity is the best way to do this. Intellectual integrity allows you to examine your own mind, your own ideas, and self-correct if necessary. It also keeps you from doing something you know to be wrong, such as injuring others (assuming this is a principle you hold to). Intellectual integrity also allows you to certify others in your own mind. Listening to them, examining their reason and logic, will allow you to determine their intent.

Justice is to be defined as avoidance of unnecessary or undeserved injury between individuals. This is a quick-and-dirty definition, but will suffice for this quick-and-dirty rundown. Thus, theft is an injustice. Fraud is an injustice. Murder is an injustice. Even violation of another's sovereignty over their own lives and affairs is an injustice. Intellectual dishonesty is an injustice to oneself. To perform these things wilfully and knowingly, and knowing that they are wrong, is to be evil.

How does this tie in to creationism? Creationists seek to eliminate the mind, to invalidate our knowledge of the world and our use of it to our own advantage, and have no concept of intellectual honesty or integrity (Dr. Snelling, I presume?). This they do simply to peddle the 2500+ year old myth called Genesis, so they don't have to face the real world.

That is why creationism is evil. That is why the active creationists are evil. Some creationists are merely that way because they are ignorant. . . they don't know. But others, such as Morris, Hovind, and Ham, are to be considered evil. Silly and stupid, too, but primarily evil.

Such gentlemen as I've mentioned above also enjoy claiming that the theory of evolution is directly responsible for such things as communism, Nazism, racism, and anything else they wish to label as evil that day.

Unfortunately for their position, communism is best represented in, and espoused by, the very Bible they seek to support. In the New Testament, it is stated that all were to hold property in common, using as they had need. Hitler shows us in Mein Kampf his strongly Christian underpinnings for his beliefs, ways, and practices. Racism, besides having existed for quite some time before 1859, is defended by most U.S. white supremacist groups as being Biblically based in the events shortly after the flood, when the three races of man, as descended from the sons of Noah, were punished or rewarded based on an inadvertent viewing of a blitzed Noah's bare ass. Add to this the fact that the race idea is null and void in modern anthropology . . . they refer to it as a purely cultural classification.

Now, I can and do condemn communism, Nazism, and racism on purely ethical grounds, based on reason, logic, and good sense. These are the exact same grounds I condemn creationism and fundamentalism on. Evolution is therefore, once again, secondary to the dictates of ethics, reason, and good sense.

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