Re: Fw: Friendliness and blank-slate goal bootstrap

From: Yan King Yin (
Date: Tue Jan 20 2004 - 01:51:53 MST

From: Samantha Atkins <>

>> > Ever since the emergence of life on earth (our understanding
>> > of which is a bit murky) everything that went on in the
>> > biosphere fits very well the description offered by
>> > evolution. So how can we have an objective morality
>> > unless it is self-same as evolution?

>Everything in the biosphere does not fit very well with "the
>description offered by evolution". Evolution explains some
>of the aspects of the biosphere, nowhere near all. That is
>no reason for an assumption that morality must be "self-same"
>(whatever that means) as evolution. The birth of morality
>in evolving intelligence creatures is tied up in evolution.
>But this does not mean that morality, or ourselves for that
>matter, are limited to what can be attributed to evolution
>for all time.

I think the correct thing to say is that the evolutionary
theoretical framework is compatible with whatever went on
after the emergence of life up to the present, and that
there is no evidence whatsoever to seriously challenge
this view. It's also true that evolutionary theory (in its
present stage of progress) is not yet powerful enough to
*describe* the emergence of morality to a high accuracy,
other than qualitative descriptions such as those offered
by evolutionary psychology. Which is compatible with what
you said. No problem.


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