• tim wood
    5k
    logic of the universe.Thomas Quine
    I suppose there can be logic in the universe. But I have no idea what the "logic of the universe" is. If by such you mean physics, I at least do not find morality therein. So. I have to ask you to make it clearer to me than it is as I find it.
  • Janus
    9.2k
    I believe you are charitable. And indeed you must be if you think of the universe as a sociable kind of place, Eddington's description of its strangeness in mind. .tim wood

    I wasn't suggesting the universe is social, but parts of it, i.e. social organisms, are. So, the logic of sociality would be inherent in those.
  • Thomas Quine
    63
    I suppose there can be logic in the universe. But I have no idea what the "logic of the universe" is. If by such you mean physics, I at least do not find morality therein. So. I have to ask you to make it clearer to me than it is as I find it.tim wood

    The universe proceeds along a recognizable trajectory, the laws of physics are called "laws", not because they are written in some universal statute book but because they appear to be obeyed pretty reliably throughout the universe, stars are formed, planets are formed around them, some planets form an atmosphere, some are stable enough to maintain water, some undoubtedly contain the essential ingredients of life. Cosmologists say that galaxies evolve, solar systems evolve, and planets evolve.

    One of the physical laws appears to be that those things that have whatever it takes to survive tend to persist, and those that do not tend to go extinct. Persist or perish.

    Life arose from things that had the necessary qualities to be able to persist in the face of a madly swirling and ever-changing environment. Once life got a foothold, those qualities that allowed lifeforms to better adapt to their environments tended to persist through generations, in other words, those qualities that enabled the lifeforms to flourish tended to persist. Darwin was able to identify this logic. It's called evolution, and it is an expression of the logic of entities governed by physical laws interacting with each other over time.

    It's called a logic because it proceeds in a systematic, logical fashion, following observable and reliable laws - he universe does not jump about in an absurd or illogical fashion. This logic is what allows most scientist to infer that if life evolved on earth, it probably evolved on other similar planets as well.

    Now why I would argue that the evolution of morality is an expression of the logic of the universe is that moral precepts arise like any other entity or lifeform, and if they are adaptive and serve their purpose they tend to survive, and if they are maladaptive or harmful to human flourishing, such as human sacrifice to the Gods, they tend to die out.

    We should not view moral information as very different from genetic information. A universal moral code is not fundamentally different from DNA. Both are forms of information that will survive across generations if they help the organism to flourish, and will be discarded if they don't. This was Dawkins' insight when he came up with the concept of the "meme".
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