Re: virus: Morality

Duane Hewitt (
Tue, 27 Feb 1996 06:45:14 -0700 (MST)

On Tue, 27 Feb 1996, Lather. Rinse. Repeat. wrote:

> I am an "amoralist" because I do not believe in the existence of a purely
> objective standard of right and wrong. However, I do live more-or-less
> according to a set of _subjectively determined_ guidelines which I call
> "a code of ethics".
> As for atheism, I have a difficult time seeing how an atheist could
> believe in an objective standard of morality.

Why not?

If an atheist believes that there are laws that govern behaviour like
there are laws that govern physics then it becomes a matter of
discovering what those laws are.

Let me suggest that such a law is Natural selection. This occurs on many
levels. It occurs on the level of genetics and on the level of ethics.

Certain combinations are more likely to survive and propagate. Now if one
is able to discover why these combinations are able to do so then you are
uncovering "what is". Now "what ought to be" is not necessarily identical
to "what is" but recognizing your constraints gives you apoint of departure.

Duane Hewitt