Re: ESSAY: 'Debunking Hippy-Dippy moral philosophy'

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Tue Jun 15 2004 - 19:13:06 MDT

At 07:49 PM 6/15/2004 -0400, Keith Henson wrote:

>Was the suicidal defense by the Greeks at Thermopylae against the Persians
>in 480 BCE a moral act? Yes from the viewpoint of their genes.

I suppose you mean `of their replicators'. Which ones? If genes, this
presumably has to be framed as `which alleles'? Most of our genes are held
in common, Greeks and Persians alike, not to mention by lots of cows, flies
and algae. How about the celebrated brother-against-brother wars that are
notoriously the most bloody? Sometimes desperate defense is fueled by
phenotypic self-interest (me! me!), sometimes by ideology (meme!),
sometimes by constellations of genes actually ubiquitous but activated
conditionally by circumstances that shift, for each individual, by the hour.

Damien Broderick

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