[ExI] evolution of morality

Ben Zaiboc ben at zaiboc.net
Sat Sep 17 15:10:15 UTC 2022

On 14/09/2022 23:28, bill w wrote:
> Even those of us who don't know much of history, like myself, know of 
> horrible practices (as we see them today) that people loved in the 
> past, such as public hangings, burning at the stake, drawing and 
> quartering, people being eaten by lions and more and more.
> Does anyone here think that any of these will become widely popular in 
> the future? I cannot see it.  Clearly human nature has not evolved, 
> but morality has, and such things as tolerance of homosexuality and 
> intolerance of pedophilia will increase and not retrogress.
> This is all bottom up: no authorities have made rules or laws that 
> require us to change our minds about morality,  This is evolution.  
>  bill w

No, that's not evolution. I'd be inclined to call it current fashion, 
peer pressure, or societal trends. Absolutely no reason why it couldn't 
go back, as far as I can see. I suspect it won't, and of course hope it 
won't, but people in general just aren't that enlightened. For most 
people, I reckon the reason they don't kill gays and enslave women, or 
enjoy public displays of violence towards other humans, is that their 
neighbours don't, rather than that it's inherently bad. Look at the 
places where those things do happen. Do the people do anything to 
prevent it? No. They take part, or at least allow it to happen. Many 
many people want these things, they just can't have them (in most of the 
western world, at least, most of the time, for now, and that could 
easily change).

When we see spontaneous mass objections to people being stoned to death 
in muslim countries, chinese citizens rising up against the human rights 
abuses by their government, the russian people removing their corrupt 
leaders, africans deposing their evil bishops, etc., etc., then I'll be 
persuaded to change my mind. That would be brilliant, but I can't see it 

Even in your own country, I'm sure you know there are plenty of people 
who would gladly kill gay people, athiests, women who want abortions, 
etc., if they thought they could get away with it. The fact that they 
can't is probably due more to random historical events than evidence of 
increasing morality in humans.

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