Saturday, May 07, 2016
Is basic human nature virtuous?
I think the definition of moral virtue can relate directly to human nature, which certainly is not “evil.” But the general sociobiological definition of human nature needs to be applied in defining virtue. I think this even includes the religious ethos.
The ancient world---and not really the modern world---seems to have reflected the sociobiological understanding of virtue in human nature, where manly patriotism was defined as a virtue. Aristotle wrote about virtue as a means between two opposed vices, such as courage as a mean between rashness and cowardice.
Human nature basically includes deep preferences for kin and group, including the ethnic group, and this relates to the patriotism mentioned above as virtuous. Individualism only comes in secondarily, since group-selection is the real origin of altruism.
As to religion, I expand Aristotle's ideas that all knowledge comes from the senses to include knowledge of our material evolution toward Godhood, which activates life itself, and then adapts to outside evolution and selection.
So basic human nature is virtuous.