eigenstate says that under “evolutionary eithcs,” we are ethically obligated to do whatever is “adaptationally advantageous.” Which led to this exchange:
Barry: “If our environment somehow changed so that torturing infants for pleasure became adaptationally advantageous, would we then have an ethical obligation to torture infants for pleasure?”
eigenstate: ” yes”
In that same thread eigenstate writes:
The priorities – the values that we are wired with, are not “good” or “bad” or “ethical” or “unethical” by some external-to-humans rule . . . These priorities are not “set by God” or a function of some superstitious notion of deities and their moral dicta. Humans as a social group in real environments do not survive when cheaters proliferate. Some marginal number of cheaters can be supported in the tribe, but too many cheaters and not enough producers and the group’s survival is threatened. So groups that enact social contracts and rules that punish cheater are ones that survive and reproduce. There’s nothing magical about “cheating is bad”; it’s just a practical problem for the group if it’s unregulated, so successful human lineages (those whose progeny are living today) are conditioned by the environment to regulate cheating.
So there you have it. There is no good or bad. There is only what helps us survive or not, as a group. And some number of cheaters can be supported by the tribe. And it can support some number of liars. And it can support some number of murderers, rapists, robbers, child pornographers . . .
Cheating, lying, murder, rape, robbery and child pornography are not bad as such. Indeed, the concept “bad as such” is meaningless. The tribe can support some level of all of that. Cheating is not the problem. Only “too many cheaters” is a problem. Rape is not the problem. Only “too many rapists” is a problem. Even torturing an infant for pleasure is not bad as such. Only “too many” infant torturers is a problem. Madness. God help us; there are people running around spouting this insanity.
I do have to hand it to eigenstate though. He has captured and articulated the essence of the concept I was elucidating in Psychopath as Ubermensch or Nietzche at Columbine and Follow Up on Psychopath as Ubermensch. How so? Well, he has taken materialist ethics to their logical end. There is no good. There is no bad. Only “too many” is harmful. Any given individual can count on the rest of us to follow the rules against murder, rape, etc. and he can do whatever he damn well pleases.