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Re: The Origin and Nature of Virtuous Action

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  • Matt Moran
    ... Could this evolutionary, default, auto-pilot explanation help us somehow in forgiving and not being bitter against those whose actions are contrary to
    Message 1 of 28 , Jun 2, 2007
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      --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, Grant Sterling <gcsterling@...> wrote:
      >
      > At 09:17 AM 5/31/2007, Daniel Strain wrote:
      > >I think there are certain behaviors that are useful and fruitful for
      > >human beings to engage in. This is due to (1) the logistics of life
      > >and our environment, and (2) the responses of other human beings
      > >around us. These factors, (1) and (2) could be called the 'ways of
      > >Nature' although Nature certainly includes more than what happens to
      > >be good for humans.
      > >
      > >Over time, those human beings who had an instinctive predisposition
      > >toward the more fruitful behaviors were more successful and carried on
      > >more of their genes to future generations (this is, incidentally,
      > >supported by various evolutionary ethics computer simulations). Thus
      >
      > There are many behaviors for which we have an
      > inclination, perhaps based on the evolutionary
      > forces of our past. However, we have the ability to consciously
      > regulate those behaviors, and omit the ones that do not
      > serve our interests _now_. Thus, to use my usual example,
      > someone may be sexually aroused by an underage girl, but
      > decide that it is not appropriate to engage in sex with her.
      > [Even if she is old enough to bear children.] Or I may be sexually
      > aroused by a woman to whom I am not married, and judge
      > that sex with her is inappropriate, etc.
      > So just because some behavior was evolutionarily advantageous
      > to our ancestors, in my view, gives us _no_ reason to engage in
      > that behavior now.


      Could this evolutionary, default, 'auto-pilot' explanation help us
      somehow in forgiving and not being bitter against those whose actions
      are contrary to reason? And, at times, pursue actions contrary to our
      'well-intended and well-reasoned' interests?

      Thanks,
      Matt
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