Re: virus: Morality

Peter Hultman (
Tue, 27 Feb 1996 21:00:42 +0100

>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.

Even if you know what the laws of the universe are, what's right and wrong
(morally, I don't mean true or false) still depends on your personal goals
for yourself, other people and the universe in whole. I think morality
depends on free thinking, self conscious creatures (if there exists any),
for example I don't think you can define what's right and wrong from an ants
point of view (probably not even what's good and bad for it since it doesn't
really have any goals in life.)