Sunday, May 15, 2016
Reviving religion and politics through the natural rights of sociobiology
Sociobiology defines the natural rights inherent in human nature in a universal and non-contingent way. A relativity of values is this way dispelled. History or historicism is not rejected but placed in a secondary position, as nurture is not rejected but is placed in a secondary position to nature.
The science of evolution from Charles Darwin to Edward Wilson supplies an increasingly precise basic definition of human nature, which is universal and can and should be applied to virtues and values in religion and philosophy. Human nature has been affirmed throughout human history as being kin-centered, gender defined, age-grading, heterosexual marriage-making, hierarchical, ethnocentric, even xenophobic, and religious-making, among other things, with group-selection as the primary unit of selection.
The meaning of history requires first the meaning of the biological origins of social behavior. To ignore biology is to fall into abstraction and symbolism, as too many theologians and philosophers do. We do not legitimately stand outside of biology, so we cannot stand outside of history. Even so, history is secondary to the exigencies of biology, and the moral relativism of people like Nietzsche and Heidegger are not valid.
But this doesn't mean that the abstractions of Plato, and more recently Leo Strauss, correctly affirm a universal natural rights. They affirm the abstractions of Truth and God which are in reality unrelated to living biology and evolution. Religious and philosophical ascetics have almost always blocked biology in defining spiritualism, Godhood, or truth.
We need not fear what happens to religion and philosophy when biology and sociobiology enter the worldview, especially when we see life as activated by the sacred drive to evolve in the material world to supermaterial Godhood. Virtues and values can be directed toward this evolutionary refinement of biology, not to the killing of biology.
Politically, sociobiology does not lead to fascism or to neoconservatism, it leads more likely to a sociobiological constitutionalism, not unlike the American Founders envisioned. Real human nature and natural rights relate very well to primary group-selection, with individual selection as secondary, which is affirmed in the constitutional separation of powers and states, or better in regional ethnostates. In the natural configuration of ethnostates human nature can be free to be as it is, kin-selecting, group-selecting, and even xenophobic, while being protected by federalism. Real religion can help life evolve toward Godhood in a variety of environments, which are harmonious with natural rights and real human nature.