Re: virus: Genetic Ethics (was Cow)

Joe E. Dees (
Tue, 25 May 1999 01:29:43 -0500

From:   (Brett Robertson)
Date sent:      	Tue, 25 May 1999 00:36:52 -0500 (EST)
Subject:        	virus: Genetic Ethics (was Cow)
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> Yes, I think that ethics relate to genetics.
> Yes, I think the similarity in the two concepts resolves to a common
> assumption-- that one might describe reality from the perspective of the
> survival of species over individuals.
> This is to say that "ethics" relate to "intersubjectivity"... which is
> also to say that there can be no individuals in a group.
There can be no individual without a group from which the individual may stand apart.
> Thus,
> Darwinian "genetics" (mutual destruction, or *competition*, and
> evolution through "mutation").. *genetics* is about self-negation
> (paradox) and a resulting anti-intellectualism (force becomes supreme
> through cognitive paradox/ self negation for group... and an emotional
> "truth" prevails, ie. love and will overcome logic resulting in violence
> and mutual destruction... thereby requiring *ethics* as an external
> logic for controlling emotions).
Competition and co-operation are both important forces in evolution through natural selection (cf. THE EVOLUTION OF COOPERATION edited by Robert Axelrod; also see SOCIAL EVOLUTION by Robert Trivers).
> On the other hand, MEMETICS is about mutual cooperation, and replication
> through logic (suggesting the *mutation* which might overcome Darwinian
> Genetics/ ethics). That is, historical logic allows that the best MEME
> is that whose pattern is most cooperative and thus which most easily
> passes from one (like) host to another.
Strange, since Susan Blackmore's book claims that the self is a memetic fiction (I disagree with her on this, her Zennish predilections, and her entire parallelism with Behaviorist dogma).
> So perhaps memetics is about the survival of the *individual*
> (exemplified by the survival of ideas begun by individuals which then
> spread to others). Thus, if "morality" is that which contrasts from
> ethics (such that morality is a good idea which spreads, uh i dunno);
> then, memetics IS about morality and...
> The discussion of ethics is a much less valuable way of talking about
> memetics than is morality.
Memetics is NOT about morality; it does not matter to a meme whether it is "good" or "bad", only how efficiently it replicates (actually, this doesn't even matter to the meme, memes not being self-aware, but it matters as to whether the meme does or does not survive and perdure).
> Brett Lane Robertson
> Indiana, USA
> MindRecreation Metaphysical Assn.
> BIO:
> ...........
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