A Darwinian Commonwealth

A reader with the craggy but Caledonian name of Craig writes:

“From a human perspective the laws of nature (e,g, gravity) could be held higher than man made laws.”

This prompts the question of what role, if any, the study of nature would have in shaping laws and customs.

One might be tempted to argue that laws and customs should “follow the science” as the saying goes, allowing an objective standard to overturn local law or custom found to defy that standard.

In a godless world, one could therefore point to certain Darwinian considerations as laws above human law, and claim that those habits which promoted the prosperity and fertility of one’s own family, bloodline, and race, would therefore be an objectively verifiable moral code — and such a code would have authority to override or overwrite any legal code or custom opposing it.

Rules against sodomy and contraception would be confirmed by a Darwinian Code, as these decrease fertility, and, I suppose, so too would rules against educating women, or allowing them to select their own bridegrooms.

Men with successful genes keeping harems after the fashion of Solomon or eastern sultans would seem to be in order, as would be the sterilization or extermination of the unfit, or, more to the point, competitors from other bloodlines or races.

Miscegeny laws would deter the admixture of master race blood with lesser races.

Naturally, all things being permitted in war, all things would likewise be permitted in the War of All against All which is another name for the survival of the fittest, so that it would be morally permitted, if not required, to lure alien tribes or other races into lowering their guard with promises of trade and friendship, and then to enslave or kill them once one had the upper hand.

Deception being a necessary part of this, all fashion of dishonor and treason would be morally permitted, provided it proved useful.

But the increase of the slave population may prove a threat to the power of the Pharaoh, or whatever head of state is charged with maintaining our utopia of Eugenic Darwinism, so throwing the firstborn boy of every slave family to the crocodiles would seem to be a laudable act of high moral caliber.

Without a God to visit one with ten plagues for this enormities, why not?

Please note that these exact things, from the genocide of slaves to eugenics to miscegeny laws to the reduction of women to breed animals if not to harem slaves, are not only commonplace among pre-Christian societies, among pagans, and among barbarians, but in one form or another continually revive in the midst of Christians nations in opposition to them, in the form of various radical, utopian, or socialist movements in the Twentieth Century, and currently.

The irony here is that many an agnostic or atheist who looks to nature to find a source of moral behavior, is unduly selective in finding cooperative behaviors among ants or pack animals, and unduly blind to competitive behaviors and predation.