Sunday, June 22, 2008

Finding forgotten stash

I don't remember buying it at all, but yesterday I found Madame Bovary's ovaries on my shelf. I remember a fast reading of the first chapter in a bookstory once, but only that it happened; not what was written.  I'm curious now. At the time my interest was picked, I was reading The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature
Ovaries is supposed to be a funny critic of literary classics under a sociobiology lens, and sociobiology is so often taken as a kind of apocaliptic beast. I mean, there are hordes of studies pointing out to evolutionary pressures influencing genetically human behavior, but yet just as many people go against the whole idea from the start, because apparently influence & innate tendencies = determinism, the end of free will, eugenics & politically incorrect. Now I'm having trouble putting the right words out there, but the way I see it, explaining how things came to be in one way or another isn't the same as justifying these things, and even less the same as saying things ought to stay the same. And saying a theory isn't right because you don't think it's pretty isn't refuting. It's sulking.
I believe in Biology. I also believe in Morals, and I think the human brain, created by evolution, is capable of recognizing moral principles and acting accordingly. I know that not everybody agrees with what principles are the right ones (hello, understatement), and that the standards changed along History, but as a whole we're better off now, concerning human rights, for example, than 6 thousand years ago. 
I don't know if this is because cultures are making it up as they go, creating "better Morals" with time, or if the cultures always had a sense of the Golden Rule and just evolve to apply it to a larger monkeysphere
I guess that goes into Philosophy. Are Morals an entity independent of humanity, and we recognize it (or not), or is it a cultural creation? Is the universe good, bad, indiferent, or not even there at all? And there come Kant, Schopenhauer, lots of asian religions and the Matrix. I confess, I never really understood the philosophers...

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