Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Worldview of a Darwinian

Well, here we are again Mr disproportionately-large-torso!  At a point of philosophical divergence, a point we find ourselves at way too often, though I must admit I enjoy squashing your feeble attempts at logic.

In his last post, the fart-maker said that "of course humans are the most superior animal on the planet".  His argument was entirely based on the idea that because we can currently overpower all other life forms (not on an individual basis, but as a whole) on the planet, humans are the most superior species.

While from an evolutionary standpoint, he may have a point, I take issue with several of his arguments. First, why does being more powerful in this sense equate to superiority?  Being superior is defined simply as "being better in some way".  But that "some way" can be anything!  Certainly various animals are better than us in at least several ways.  I won't go into this too much because it detracts from the point of this post.  But last time I checked, animals never got themselves on the verge of self-annihilation by designing super-weapons that could destroy themselves.  Animals seem to be pretty good at not almost causing their own extinction. Are we really superior???  

My second issue with the fart-sniffer (btw, fart-sniffer = follow-up insult to fart-maker) is that he carries a very Darwinian view of the world.  If you are unfamiliar with Darwinism, it is basically the idea that given a set of environmental conditions, the species or group that is most able to adapt to that environment or that already has capabilities that allow it to live in said environment will survive and reproduce.  Obviously, humans are on Earth right now, and while we have been here for a very short while as was eluded to in Background Dominated's post, evolution has given us the ability to overpower any other species on the planet (though, again, I take issue with this equating to superiority!).

Now, bird-brain (who may very well be less evolved than the Orcas I talked about previously) makes the claim that humans are not morally responsible for the survival and care of animals.  Why?  His answer - "because Darwinism" - we evolved to use animals in the manner that best serves our needs.  So why not, right?   

I must disagree.  You can call me a hippy or a tree-hugger or whatever, but just because humans evolved to be a certain way does NOT mean we HAVE to be that way!  One could make a very strong argument that war, corruption, and greed, are all some form of Darwinian concepts.  That is to say, those who are more powerful in one way or another tend to stay in power because they have the means to do so.

As a result of this concept, countries that develop better weapons and stronger militaries are justified (at least in the view of Darwinism) in invading and controlling weaker countries.  But the question remains - is this the moral thing to do?  Why cause the suffering of others just because we have evolved (either socially or biologically) to have that ability?  

One good thing that evolution has given us is a sense of compassion for other living creatures.  And it is this compassion that I appeal to here.  We have the ability to not let our more primal instincts take over and instead have a sense of compassion.  Given the choice, I vote for compassion.

All right - enough of this preachiness!  Everyone is of course entitled to their own viewpoint, and I am not going to sit in judgment over anyone (well, except torso-super-sized).  Personally though, I prefer a more optimistic view of human nature!

1 comment:

  1. For those reading the blog, I have updated this post from what it was before and removed all phrases of the form "social Darwinism". The concept I am referring to here is NOT what is now associated with social Darwinism, i.e., eugenics, genocide, the Nazis, etc.. I apologize to anyone who was offended - it was my intent to use that phrase differently. However, I don't think it came off that well. In any case, I hope that the post is now clearer.

    And of course, as much of a turd-nugget as Background Dominated is, I would never think of him as a cruel, genocidal madman.... or anything remotely close!