Hans Blix once wrote, something on the lines, that the so called intelligence communities, or if you will, espionage agencies, have a tendency to presume the worst when they do not have enough information to be certain. This is because the agencies will not be blamed, if nothing bad happened, but if something really terrible did happen, the politicians will blame these agencies for not doing their job good enough, that the bad stuff might have been prevented, or avoided. For example the US intelligence agencies, reported their government, that Saddam Hussein might be concieling weapons of mass-destruction. They thought they had good reason to assume such weapons were there, as they had sold him this stuff years ago and they had done nothing when he did used it against the Kurds. The Iraqi delegates claimed they had destroyed all of their chemical weapons, but how do you prove the negative? That you no longer have any even though you used to have them. The espionage agencies even went as far to make wild guesses, that the Iraqi army had trucks in wich they had concieled these secret laborotories, as if they had never taken any notice on the quality of roads in Iraq. They made a positive claim, without any other evidence than far fetched inference, almost believed in their own fiction and passed it as valid info to the men in power who in turn were all too eager to beleive it without any actual evidence. As a result reacting to a possible bad thing created a nother. Was that typical of humans?


What do you think of a person who has strong emotional fears about a person who has a different perplexion? Is the fear justified, if these emotions are based on experiences of people with different perplexion? Are such emotions a justification for actions or pre-emptive actions against anybody? Could those experiences be used to rationalize the issue and as such justify an action if the fear element was removed? Perhaps they could, but would it be moral? What is morality other than a method of conduct between human individual and her/his environment including other humans? Does it have other goals than to make the existance of the individual among other such individuals and within the environment bearable?

The same failed logic as in the “intelligence” community seems to apply also to metaphysics. People assume all sorts of nonsensical stuff by inference, just in case it might be true. Morals and ethics seem to be treated as some sort of natural laws, that govern our reality. And gods are percieved to have given us these exeptional gifts, just because it might be true, that there are invisible, inaudible and tasteless gods, as we do not see them, hear them, or even taste them. And even though some “holy scriptures” claim to be revelations from these gods, they present next to nothing as evidence for the truth value of the revelations. It is funny how those scriptures often enough forbid people from testing the existance of their gods, but even highly religious people do it all the time. They pray for signs and then what ever happens, weirdly enough often quite natural phenomenons even according to the stories, they accept as the confirmation of their faith. Much like the “intelligence” agencies.

But morals and ethics are not natural laws that obligate us in any way as we can clearly see from the fact that there are both totally immoral people and mutually contradicting interpretations of morals and ethics. What is good and what is evil is considered an important piece of information for us to use in our conduct with each other and with the rest of reality just to get by and to be harmed as little as possible. So, how to go about to determine what we should consider good and evil and why?

By putting trust in some particular cultural heritage, like a particular set of commands from an alledged god? Then how to determine whose god is for real? One can not say a particular god is true, because this god repersents more moral conduct, than the other gods before the existence of this god is established by some reliable method. It would be simply stupid to assume a particular god is true, because this god best reflects the emotional responses of this or that person, because – as we know – such responses are directly linked and often enough a result of particular cultural heritage. However, this is exactly what people do.

A nother option might be to try to establish a reasonable method of determining as objective as possible ethics and morals. The most natural explanation of good is human wellbeing and the most natural explanation of evil is human suffering. You might think I have excluded animals, but I have not. Human wellbeing is dependant on the environment of the human individual and socieity and our empathetic feelings, that are the result of our evolution to be one of the social species. That environment includes animals. In addition our compassion includes animals, and if we are cruel to animals, it may harden us to be emotionally cold and even cruel also towards humans. Being cruel to humans has it’s reprecussions, if not always, often enough though, to make it a poor way of conduct and as such immoral.

What is moral can then be derived directly from why we value morals. If we value morals because it is the description of human conduct best suited for the most basic need of human individual to survive without excessive suffering ie. with highest possible wellbeing. The reality of the grand scale issue demands the individual to accept, that other individuals have the same basic needs and shall ultimately make the existance of the individual a painfull experience, if their needs are not reflectively recognized. The intuition, or instinct, that quickly and without complex contemplation interpretes us this reality in any given situation is called empathy. Most social animals have it, as it is a powerfull, though not necessary, tool for a species to survive and reproduce.

Now, people often also percieve reason and emotions as two totally separate entities, but they are just parallel elements of any mind. Some minds are more inclined to analythical thinking and some are more inclined to intiution, we call instincts when we refer to animal minds. Our wellbeing is directly affected by our emotions, but our emotions do not dictate what is true in reality surrounding us. Humans are the species on this planet, that seems to hold the most analytic mind. That places us in a way unique position, that we are able to percieve far beyond the immidiate results of our actions and inaction. It then results, that we as the social animals that we are, can feel and can reason responsibility of not just us as individuals, but of others as well. We call this compassion. Humans are well capable not only feeling and reasoning empathy for their immidiate blood relative carrying the same genes, but human species in general carrying the same genes and being dependant on the wellbeing of other humans, animals and even inanimate objects.

There is nothing supernatural, or otherwise unnatural about this issue. Like in most cases it might be, that we will never be able to achieve the absolute moral. Simply because what we do not know, we do not know. Any new information may change our perception of any issue totally. But by most objective information, we may be able to achieve the best possible morals. Our morals is a result of us and our cultural heritage engaged in constant evaluation of reality. It would be too simplistic, only to restrict morals and ethics as methods to survive, but hat is what they originally derive from. In contrast, it would be curious to aks why people percieve their gods to be moral = to have an attribute, that in us is obviously a result and a manifestation of our natural evolution. Our evolution has complicated things for us by granting us more and more complex ways to survive and progress our species, but it has also, by complicating things, lead to all sorts of stuff, that is not necessary, or even always beneficial to those purposes, but no less a part of us. The very fact, that we are not single minded creatures only aiming for one, or two purposes, tells us of the great random and natural processes of evolution. The same evolution, that has given us the superstitious mind, that jumps to conclusions just in case the worst case scenario is true. The very wellspring from wich religions derive from. Some religions are more honest, in being affraid of what might be the worst case scenario, and sometimes the human mind in order to cope with such terrible prospects tries to protect itself – for very natural reasons – creates a religion in wich in addition to the terrible things that might be true, there manifests typical wishfull thinking. This is then often referred to as faith.

Most of the great philosophers of history had no clue about the evolution, and even the later ones with some information of it have been burdened by magical thinking from their theistic cultural heritages. Perhaps, that is why they have concluded (and still do) all sorts of metaphysical constructs of the mind, to explain what is actually perfectly natural.