[ExI] evolution of morality

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sat Sep 17 16:58:58 UTC 2022

Ben, I think you have to look at the whole culture.  The examples you give
are all from strongly authoritarian countries, where dissent can be
punished severely and conformity is required.

Clearly, there is no evolution of culture like Darwinian evolution - that
is people have not changed in terms of their genome.  So we can be as
violent as we ever were.

And some people would love killing gays etc.  But they are out of step with
their cultures.  As Pinker pointed out in The Better Angels of their
nature, evolution of culture has changed the expression of violence of the
last several hundred years.  Of course we still have people like Idi Amin
but he's a big exception.  bill w

On Sat, Sep 17, 2022 at 10:12 AM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> 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
> happening.
> 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.
> Ben
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