The Evolutionary And Biological Basis Of Ethical Behaviour

I’m sorry, but I don’t think so.

Even very primitive animals can be argued to be altruistic. My favorite example is the Portuguese Man-o-war jellyfish. This animal is actually a colonial organism of many related animals working together as a united whole.

The cnidarians are as primitive as they come, as they don’t have a spinal cord or backbone, and their kind probably existed before the Cambrian explosion.

Yet they co-exist in perfect harmony, sharing resources, etc…

Ants, termites, and bees (more advanced than the cnidarians) are intensely altruistic.

Ethics are nothing more than an advanced form of these tendencies . . . which occur almost anywhere that there is life.

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I agree that our morality like that of other species seems to have its precursors in evolution, in that it is essential that all animals that have evolved to live in societal groups would necessarily need to learn what is and is not acceptable behaviour to that group. It would add a survival benefit to that species.

I just want to know what his assertion means, and what objective evidence (if any) he can cite to support this rather vague claim?

I mean when people used their spiritual outlook to commit ethnic cleansing, or endorse slavery using his own bible, how does that evidence his claim? The Crusades, the Inquisition, the subjugation of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, the Holocaust, etc etc, all these were by Christians or theists with a spiritual outlook, and it is as far removed from what I would consider moral or ethical as it’s possible to get. Then again I believe that the basis for morality is subjective, and cannot be otherwise.

Perhaps my lack of spirituality is why I find causing unnecessary suffering, of the kind theists have done throughout human history, to be morally repugnant?

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