john9blue wrote:yes, but you're missing the point. societal mores still exist to benefit the survival of the group of humans in question. this is the purpose of evolution.
What evolution would really "want" for my genes is if I could kill every male on earth other than me and impregnate as many of the females as I can get around to. The fact that I haven't accomplished this yet is due to the inadequacy of my genetic stock.
What I'm saying is evolution isn't somehow consciously pulling towards the betterment of mankind, it's largely incidental that certain behaviors which we find morally agreeable have also turned out to be evolutionarily profitable. It isn't a "mistake" that male polar bears sometimes eat their own young. For that situation that is what evolution has dictated is optimal.
john9blue wrote:just because something happens due to our actions doesn't mean it's not an evolutionary adaptation. for example, the actions of peacock females have caused the evolutionary adaptation of bright, colorful plumage. adaptation does not just happen in response to the environment or to other species. in fact, since humans are no longer immediately threatened by either of those, our adaptations to the actions of our own species have become even more important for our survival.
I'm saying that there is no significant genetic difference between humans today and humans 3000 years ago. If you took a baby born today and somehow transplanted him in a hunter-gatherer tribe 3000 years ago, 20 years later he would be more than happy to brutally murder the children and women of an opposing tribe and put their vaginas and penises on strings as trophies. The reverse applies as well.
We don't find slavery morally reprehensible today because evolution has changed our brain chemistry, we find it morally reprehensible because of the cultural changes that have occurred. These cultural changes have nothing to do with biological evolution.
BBS wrote:Suppose there's a village where murder is acceptable, i.e. there's no such thing as unjustified killing. I'd imagine that they wouldn't survive for that long.
Suppose there's this other village where there's some rules against unjustified killing. I'd imagine that they would have greater chances of survival.
Is this not an example of variation?
If so, then isn't the moral code of humans part of the evolutionary process?
Yes, but this reasoning only applies to a small subset of our current moral code. To take the most natural extension of your example, the "unjustified" murder would only apply within one's tribe. The murder, rape and torture of a member of any other tribe would be just fine and dandy evolutionarily speaking (baring threats of retribution).
Pinker talks about this. Apparently when monkeys fight for territory and the groups are relatively evenly matched they sort of just jump around and shout until the group that seems weaker gives up and leaves. But it turns out if a group of moneys find just one or two opposing monkeys, the "kindness" ends. They brutally rip them apart and eat parts of their flesh.
Basically evolution "taught" them that when the groups are relatively evenly matched it's bad strategy to get in a fight. But when you have the clear advantage you should take it and kill those fuckers.
So yeah, some evolutionarily beneficial behaviors match with what we think of as moral, but I think this is largely incidental. i.e. what about slavery?