An Introduction to Evolutionary Ethics

By Scott M. James | Go to book overview

Part II
From “What Is” to “What
Ought To Be”: Moral Philosophy
after Darwin

The truly dangerous aspect of Darwin’s idea is its seductiveness.

(Daniel Dennett, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea)

The move is effortless. We make it half a dozen times a day. And it’s almost always unconscious. We hear “all natural,” “nature’s own,” “naturally grown,” and we think good. Why? To say it’s because we’re suspicious of the artificial only reignites the question: Why do we regard what’s natural as better for us than what is artificial or unnatural? Maybe we assume that our bodies (and our minds?) evolved under, if you will, “all-natural conditions.” So if we are the product of nature, it only makes sense that we should use “natural” products, no? We assume a kind of harmony must exist between the conditions that led to our being the way we are and the kind of things that can support our being the way we want to be.

Innovation is no doubt exciting. But too much innovation too quickly unnerves us. Consider some responses to genetically modified foods. Or cosmetic surgery. Violations of nature! When in vitro fertilization became a viable reproductive option in the 1970s there was (and in some corners there remains) a critical backlash. Some of the criticism was measured: Do we know what the long-term health risks are? Will the public discriminate against “test-tube babies”? But some of the criticism went much deeper: Do we know how this affects our very humanity? Arguably, the issue that inflames the most passionate response of this kind is human cloning. The bioethicist Leon Kass does not dawdle around the edges, but goes right for the heart of the matter: “We are repelled by the prospect of human cloning … because we intuit and feel, immediately and without argument,

-117-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
An Introduction to Evolutionary Ethics
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 228

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.