Evolution follows a very simple rule: genes live on only if passed on. Clearly then, the organisms that prevail in nature are those who are able to pass on their genes; those that are best able to protect themselves and their offspring. Since all the creatures are the result of such a harsh process, they are adapted to serve themselves – or, rather, their genes. This is interpreted as meaning that we measure the payoff of actions in promoting oneself and one’s position. And, as much is true, we always try to maximize the payoff of something. But, from a simple rule one can get a complex system. Continue reading
Recently I started to read the book “Natural Justice” by Ken Binmore, and in his introductory chapter he talks about the evolutionary basis for morality. For his part this is meant only as an introduction of sorts, and therefore the exposition is shortened and simplified, and so it would be unfair to criticise it too harshly for avoiding some issues. But, it did get me to think about some common presentations and arguments from evolution that I feel are too much of a simplification – especially if the goal is to make ethical and political claims based on human nature. I will in this article raise some general questions considering how one argues from and presents evolution, and in particular I will present important concerns about the focus on religious beliefs, that is beliefs containing deities or the divine, by certain atheistic groups. Continue reading
Why does there not exist individuals who deeply believes in certain Gods, with a complete mythology around it about creation, traits, morality and so on, that is completely detached from the beliefs of any other person on earth? Religion does not exist without society.
Viewing religion only as the belief in a supernatural being begs the question why all religions say something about why’s and what’s. Christianity is not the belief “God exists and Jesus is his son”, and Islam is much more than “There is only one God, and Muhammad is his prophet”; they are ways of life and ways of thinking; they are law, philosophy and community.
Why has Christianity changed so much over the years? Because society changed, and a religion separated from society is like a foetus taken from the womb. It dies. When a human dies, the body remains, but we can all agree – the essence of person is gone. When religion is separated from society, its essence is gone. One can never get to know a person by studying the body, and one can never get to know religion by studying it separated from society. One can never understand why one is loved by one’s mother and cherished by one’s friends by looking at the body, and likewise one can never understand why people would believe in religion when looking at it separated from society.
Creative work can be considered as the only obvious trait which makes human and animal different. We seem to know everything about it: early and modern history, common definition, manifestations. But we are still too far away from an understanding of what creation essentially is. Why do we have desire to create? Where do ideas for the creation come from? What is creative and what is not?
We measure everything on the scale of the universe, of God, of nature, and of humanity, and when we find that we are nothing on these scales, we somehow get disappointed. But we have not become less; these scales are not our scales and how could we then measure anything by them? – The only scale is personal, and here nothing is larger than Life.
We must admit it, we are animals. The separation between human and beast has only been made because we cannot stand the thought of our lives being as empty as the animal’s: a struggle for survival – for the sake of survival. But truth does not care about our opinion. It seems we already know this truth. It must have shined on us bright as the sun when we admitted as a fact that we are a result of evolution. Good thing evolution equipped us with all the tools for denial and to con ourselves – con-Man… Continue reading
The downfall of all potential to change is the lack of urgency or necessity – or lack of belief. It must be apparent to the self-aware person that society is flawed. The cheap answer is that it will always be flawed since humans are flawed (errare humanum est), but that was equally true in medieval times – yet we have moved beyond that. The modern crisis is one of apathy, leisure, emptiness and old habits. How do we motivate ourselves against this? It seems such a motivation would be a solution in itself, but easy solutions are always hard to accomplish. What is easy for us? – this is one of many questions we must tackle.