Arguing From Within

I was talking to a friend about ethical systems and was brought up on the fact that as ethics are in my brain, and my brain has evolved through natural selection, any system of ethics is flawed because physics, upon which we are all based, would not recognise ethics being largely governed by forces and a certain degree of luck (at least luck certainly pertains to living beings).

My first reaction was to defend the fact that all knowledge as we have discovered it has been uncovered by the brain and it was  a bit unfair to critique ethical systems just because the universe might not contain any. I also added that perhaps evolution is all about ethical systems simply because they don’t exist in nature, though I did point out some ethical behaviour is found in the broader animal kingdom.

At which point the argument fell into a  discussion about lady luck and how ethics are anthropomorphisms we project upon life especially in my criticism of the principle that life feeds on life, which since it is natural and since my brain is personal, cannot be held to account for any ethical system I devise.

I find this point of view nihilistic and unedifying. It does loop rather satisfyingly – nature -brain -nature. I hold that ethical behaviour is  universal but I am not going to convince my friend.

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