Listen Up, Sir
SciTechDaily gives us an item from the archive today: Richard Dawkins explaining to the future king why scientific reason is a better way of thinking about issues than intuition. As he points out (and it seems so obvious one shouldn’t have to point it out), Hitler and Saddam Hussein and the Yorkshire Ripper had their intuitions too. John Stuart Mill made, mutatis mutandis, the same point in On Liberty a century and a half ago.
Dawkins also points out that nature is not necessarily admirable or something humans ought to imitate in all respects.
No wonder T.H. Huxley, Darwin’s bulldog, founded his ethics on a repudiation of Darwinism. Not a repudiation of Darwinism as science, of course, for you cannot repudiate truth. But the very fact that Darwinism is true makes it even more important for us to fight against the naturally selfish and exploitative tendencies of nature.
A simple but very important point, and one often overlooked. The fact that biologists and evolutionary psychologists think there is good and ever-increasing evidence that there is such a thing as evolved, naturally selected human nature does not have to mean that they don’t think we should fight against our natural selfishness. Mind the gap.