Secular Calvinism

Australia is one of the most secular of developed nations. At the last census, 22% of people marked “No religion” as their affiliation, and the attendance at religious services weekly dropped to 16%, from a high in 1950 of 44%. So why is it that a sizeable minority (around 30%) of Australians oppose gay marriage, Read More…

On tribalism

Humans evolved in tribes, our species’ equivalent of the general primate troop structure. This meant that members of the tribe benefited from shared resources, the protection of the group and the inherited knowledge of the tribe. It also meant that we will natively and naively defend our group against others, and demonise the other groups. Read More…

Philosophical works that inspired me

I have been mulling over the philosophical works that were of most influence upon me when I was developing into the warped and twisted thing I am now. Add your own in the comments.: Herbert Marcuse, One Dimensional Man. This book got me interested in philosophy and social issues. I was 16 when I read Read More…

Morality and Evolution 7: Conclusion

[Morality and Evolution 1 2 3 4 5 6 7] So far I have made out the following arguments: Evolution does in fact debunk moral realism, as the fitness bearer for a moral claim is the agent in relation to others in their group, not the truth of the claim There is no Milvian Bridge, therefore, from success due to actions Read More…

Morality and Evolution 6: Moral dispositions

[Morality and Evolution 1 2 3 4 5 6 7] In any field that has statistical variation, it is necessary to isolate the variables. Biology is all about statistical variation of populations, and so we must expect that any account of morality that is based upon biology will have variation along a number of axes. Here I wish to sketch out Read More…

Morality and Evolution 5: biology and culture

[Morality and Evolution 1 2 3 4 5 6 7] I should note that there is no set historical sequence implied in the levels 0 to 4, apart from the fact that we were primates before we were humans, so some sort of historical transition from 0 to 1 must occur before any of the others. Each layer contains the contexts Read More…

Morality and evolution 4: Is morality fitness-enhancing?

[Morality and Evolution 1 2 3 4 5 6 7] If we agree that morality enhances fitness, because it enables cooperation, several questions arise: what sort of fitness enhancement does it provide and to what? In short, what is the selection process tracking? To say that morality provides a foundation for social cohesion and the consequent benefits that accrue is not Read More…