A Brief History of Moral Evolution

Morality is a body of behavioral standards or principles derived from a particular philosophy, religion, or culture.  More recently, it can derive from a behavioral standard that a person believes should be universal (i.e., personal morality).

Progressive morality practiced today is inadequate because of its dependence on who or what gets to define good and bad behavior through the action of moral relativism (see below).  This inadequacy is reflected in the fact that it can operate in an inconsistent manner over time and eventually lead to large-scale social instability.

To achieve a "stable" moral standard less subject to the vagaries that arise from the actions of moral relativism (which is the guiding principle behind most of progressivism — i.e., do what makes you feel good), the following analogy is helpful:

Morality is to a society as the operating system is to a computer.  Since an efficient operating system provides optimum interoperability among applications running at the same time, the same should be required of morality when it is applied to all individuals "interoperating" within a society.  Morality could also be viewed as the "operating system" that governs a society, which makes it an extremely important societal feature that should be protected.  This suggests a new kind of morality.

Morality is the body of behavioral standards that provide optimum economic and social benefits to a person living within the society, while simultaneously providing the same optimum benefits to the whole society — benefits that give the whole society the ability to adapt and flourish in response to changing social circumstances from both within and without.

Moral relativism is the view that moral judgments are true or false only relative to some particular viewpoint (for instance, that of a culture or a historical period) and that no viewpoint is uniquely privileged over all others.  It has often been associated with other claims about morality: notably the thesis that different cultures often exhibit radically different moral values, the denial that there are universal moral values shared by every society, and the insistence that we should refrain from passing moral judgments on beliefs and practices characteristic of cultures other than our own.

Moral relativism is often expressed by progressive individuals acting mostly out of emotional self-satisfaction, while the governing social (i.e., national) moral standards are either ignored or rejected.  When personal morality determines behavior across ever-increasing swaths of society, the underlying moral basis of that society (as expressed in its social morality) is destroyed.  Individual acts of moral relativism are analogous to breaking chemical bonds within a solid.  When enough bonds are broken, the solid (i.e., the society) falls apart and eventually turns to dust.

Informational man: We are conscious beings embodied in a material form.  That embodiment requires all information to pass across a material boundary via the five senses to reach the consciousness within.  This consciousness must put all outward passing information across this same boundary as well.  Given the limited information-carrying capacity of this boundary, errors of interpretation and judgment can arise.  This error build-up is compounded by the ambiguity of language.  Therefore, to survive, a given consciousness is forced to use imperfect information to build an internal construct of the external world around it, that construct also includes the self-image of the consciousness embodiment within as well as an imperfect model of the consciousness of other individuals who interact with it.  Hence, mankind is inherently limited over time and space (i.e., fallen) due to the limited information-carrying capacity of the material boundary.  Also, the restriction to one human lifetime limits the accumulated knowledge within one individual.  These "mortal" limitations necessitate using culture (history) to acquire, accumulate, and store mankind's knowledge base over time for the benefit and survival of future generations that form the society.

Social stability among conscious beings requires a common and stable moral standard, but mankind is not able to reliably produce one entirely within itself because any body of ideas (including moral ones) cannot be validated using the same moral standard (if you will, a Gödel's Theorem applied to morality).  When morality is personalized through the action of moral relativism, moral inconsistencies develop between individuals and between groups formed by them, or worse, a morally relative standard may reign, such as the progressive movement.  True validation of a body of moral standards must come from social experience carried down through history, and it must be maintained and enforced from outside the society by nature and by nature's God.  The moral enforcer of our common morality was God (or the concept of God) for thousands of years.  When God (the first moral compass of Western civilization) was removed from the public square and replaced by man and his moral relativism, it put mankind on a path of moral decline.

Moral evolution: We have explored how societies are governed by their moral principles, and it's expected that when different societies come into social contact, there will be competition and even war.  History has shown that this competition for the same limited earthly resources drives an evolutionary moral development process within societies, much like in nature among different species occupying and competing within the same ecological niche, and that the stronger of the two societies or individuals (as reflected in their moral standards) will be the one that survives.  In the face of history, one moral standard has withstood the test of time (well over 2,000 years) in spite of internal strife and external inter-societal conflict, and that is the Judeo-Christian one.

This moral standard has essentially civilized humanity wherever it is practiced throughout the world.  Due to its successes and longevity, it is also the one most subject to competition by less capable and less evolved societies governed by different moral standards.  Finally, a loosely coupled group operating without a common morality will evolve and develop one due to the competition arising from the actions and successes of "personal" morality operating within the group to eventually become accepted by the entire group with each success it delivers to the society — i.e., to become the morality of the entire society.

Moral evolution and Marxist philosophy: From a moral evolutionary perspective, Marxism imposes a class system on a society that reflects a rich/poor and oppressor/oppressed hierarchy, supposedly enforced by an "inferior" social moral standard operating within a "capitalist" society.  In reality, it is an unnecessary construct promoted to bolster a discredited and decadent philosophy, because the cause for these differences actually stems from the division of labor, which no technologically advanced civilization can function without, with class and ensuing class conflict being an effect rather than a cause.  So the essential premise of Marxism is wrong because of its confusion between cause and effect (which is a common problem with Marxist polemicists down through history).

Other Marxist platitudes include "from each according to ability, to each according to need," a principle for government overreach and tyranny over the individual if ever there was one.  It also punishes the productive and rewards the unproductive, which damages the underlying moral standard of a society by degrading its ability to compete with other societies as it degrades the moral character of those subject to it.  Another is "the ends justify the means," which morally justifies election fraud.

Marxism fails as a moral standard for two major reasons: it punishes the productive by state appropriations of private wealth, and it rewards the economic non-participants (i.e., promotes economic parasitism).  Hence, Marxism provides a weak, suboptimal, and unsustainable social moral standard for any society that adheres to it. 

Marxist Critical Theory does not provide any real social moral standard of its own, nor does it supplement existing moral standards, other than to directly or indirectly criticize whatever social moral standard exists at the time, and it relies on moral relativism to make false claims or false moral equivalences that are intentionally destructive to the moral foundations of its target society and to the personal moral character of leaders who do not toe the progressive line.  Essentially, the practitioners of Critical Theory operate without any moral standard at all, and hence they should be deemed an amoral group recognized as domestic enemies (Cicero's enemy within).  It is their amoral character that empowers them to weaponize the morality of their opponents against them or to use "inverted" morality to destroy them (Rules for Radicals).  For these reasons, Marxism should be rejected in all its manifestations.

William Hamilton is the pen name for a STEM professional working in the greater New York metropolitan area.

Image via Max Pixel.

To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.