[FoRK] Nietzsche's Severe Rationalism

Corinna Schultz <corinna.schultz at gmail.com> on Tue Jan 29 14:20:02 PST 2008

>Thus the question "Why science?" leads back to the moral problem:
>Why have morality at all when life, nature, and history are "not
>moral"?

I don't know what a "properly" philosophical answer to this looks
like, but it seems to me that the obvious answer is that morality is
artificial - we require morality (or something that looks like
morality) in order to exist as a civilization. I suspect that if you
look closely at other social animals, you will see something that
looks like "morality" in their behaviors. The little I know about
Nietzsche makes me think that he didn't think enough about how to
sustain civilization.

Our evolution drives us to sustain society (and therefore
civilization), so evolution forces us to adopt something like
morality. Yes, it's artificial, and therefore arbitrary (but only as
much as things like the physical constants are arbitrary). Morality
doesn't require religion or any other kind of metaphysics. A similar
argument could be made for language. I suspect language and morality
are in the same philosophical category.

I will grant that for some people Truth is a metaphysical concept, but
for me "truth" is more or less equivalent to "reality as it really
is". (And for what it's worth, complete knowledge of the truth is an
asymptote - I don't think we'll ever get there no matter how much we
eventually know.)  I don't know if that puts me in some untenable
philosophical pigeonhole... :)

More information about the FoRK mailing list