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56462Re: [evol-psych] Warfare as suicide

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  • Phil Roberts, Jr.
    Aug 11, 2007
      Phil Roberts, Jr. wrote:

      > Irwin Silverman wrote:
      >> Like all nations' codes of honor, the Nazi's stressed loyalty to
      >>the state, obedience to leadership, territorial defense, personal sacrifice,
      >>courage, etc. I believe that the Nazi example makes Wilson's core point - that
      >>so-called codes of honor can be and are regularly distorted to justify all
      >>manner of evil.
      > Distorted? Evil? This sounds like someone who is making a
      > judgement about the code of honor of the Nazi regime based
      > on something that transcends the specifics of any concrete
      > code. But that's my point, precisely.
      > What do you suppose that standard is, and where do you
      > suppose it comes from?

      Since Irwin has not responded, I will offer my own response
      to this question, one which is one of myriads of implications
      of the single simple premise that 'feelings of worthlessness'
      are a maladaptive byproduct of the evolution of rationality.

      The standard I believe Irwin was referencing in his judgement
      that the Nazi code of honor is "distorted" and "evil" is
      an implicit theory of rationality in which 'being rational'
      is simply a matter of 'being objective'. And the reason why
      this standard transcends all concrete codes of honor, morality,
      etc. is simply because objectivity itself is never fully
      captured in a concrete belief system about values just as
      it is never fully captured in our scientific theories about
      truth (i.e., the interminable ammendability of our scientific

      This should not be confused as either a skepticism or a
      relativism in which anything goes. In much the manner I assume
      we have "good reason to believe" that the theory of relativity
      constitutes an increase in cognitive objectivity relative to
      Newtonian mechanics, I suspect we have "good reason to believe"
      that the moral code of those who did
      everything to assure the destruction of the Nazi death camps
      constitues an increase in valuative objectivity relative to
      the moral code that created them. But I think we should also
      accept that this relatively more objective moral code is not
      itself the culmination of morality, but merely a stage in our
      ongoing discovery of what morality/rationality "is".


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