Friday, October 05, 2007

In Defense of Moral and Ethics Without the Need for God

Human beings are defined, as in accordance with the entire universe in which they inhabit, by their constant and unremitting quest for survival maintenance: that is, maintaining their present form, while almost paradoxically moving toward a more advanced and therefore more secure form by constantly mutating, re-arranging their molecular structure into more efficient and effective combinations.

In their constantly evolving movement through the molecular universe into better and better (read, 'higher') life forms, humans (the large molecular 'group' we belong in) have evolved a set of group tactics and behavior logical to their common end: they have discovered and codified rules of common interactive behavior, called morals and ethics, which aid their cause of evolution and not devolution; by maintaining cohesive and constructive interrelationship structures to advance the common species ongoing-ness-needs. Man is a social animal for a purpose: and his common rules of group morality and ethics rebounds to aid the observing individual in his quest for survival; Adam Smith's economic theories (serving-self-serves-the group-serves-the-self) expanded to the universe.

Where is God in all this? Is He still to be considered the originator, the source of all moral precepts and ethical concepts, or is He to be seen as merely the 'Johnny-come-lately' marketing director, who has lent His name to the overall 'human species survival firm' late in the game, to help the firm better sell evolutionary-based (and therefore logical) morals and ethics to the evolutionary buyer?

In actuality the firm really didn't need a marketing director because the group-survival value of morals and ethics would have 'sold themselves' in the long run, because the products are intrinsically valuable. However, the species of humans realized in the midst of the game that its survival quest products, morality and ethics, could move 'off the shelf' more quickly and the entire species would benefit from the products if and when when the 'sales pitch' could be affixed to a more easily identifiable entity or concept: called it God (or Gods).

In this line of thinking, morals and ethics are self-perpetuating; they need no transcendent- or God-basis to justify their existence; they stand firmly on evolutionary logic; the logic of constructive and inescapable value to human evolution and happiness; happiness being defined as the intrinsic sense of inner satisfaction and peace when one is acting in one's best overall interests. Something like: "Being good--moral and just and fair--is it's own best (and smartest) reward."


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