Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Moral beings visit distant shores ... what ensues?

Interesting piece on humanity's moral development through the ages: is it functional and practical? Is it purely based on reason?

If the former, does it include intimations of enlightenment, alongside general moral progress?

Wright says that we choose to humanize others at first purely for functional reasons: it allows us to engage in win-win exchanges. But he notes that alongside this kind of development, we also gain at least some small aspect of increased humanity, increased enlightenment. And over time, that evolution leads to more compassion and humanity in and of itself.

P.S. On the path to enlightenment, the practice and action of loving kindness is important. So maybe at first it's only functional and pragmatic -- maybe even self-serving. But over time, especially if we can be aware of it and of ourselves, it becomes something reasoned, something chosen, as peopl understand why we are doing something.

But the action is the first step, and that's good.

Our job is to also take the next steps for moral advancement, as well as having a peaceable society and a planet we want to live on.

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