Return to Book Page. Sherrie Lyons Introduction. Let us now imagine that some administrative authority, as far superior in power and intelligence to men, as men are to their cattle, is set over the colony, charged to deal with its human elements in such a manner as to assure the victory of the settlement over the antagonistic influences of the state of nature in which it is set down.
He would proceed in the same fashion Let us now imagine that some administrative authority, as far superior in power and intelligence to men, as men are to their cattle, is set over the colony, charged to deal with its human elements in such a manner as to assure the victory of the settlement over the antagonistic influences of the state of nature in which it is set down. He would proceed in the same fashion as that in which the gardener dealt with his garden.
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Sort order. Shelves: z-ebook , z-library , philosophy , science , thelema. Nugunn Wattanapat rated it it was amazing Oct 05, Victor Cioban rated it it was amazing Dec 14, Jaedan Thandi rated it really liked it Feb 10, Karin rated it liked it Dec 06, Erneilson rated it liked it Jul 27, Jovany Agathe rated it really liked it Dec 05, Mathias rated it really liked it Oct 21, Jaime Glynn rated it really liked it Mar 07, Rebecca McCaffrey rated it it was ok Jun 20, Reader rated it liked it Jul 24, Brit Cheung rated it really liked it Dec 04, Fredrick rated it really liked it Aug 04, Ella Wilson rated it really liked it Jan 08, The former knows no morality, while the latter can exist only within a moral framework.
This fact, Huxley argues, makes utopian and passive ideals both naive and impractical. It is not likely that humanity will rise above the very traits and inclinations which led us to dominate this era of the cosmic process. These entirely human — and long-successful — characteristics must be recognized and restrained if society is to progress:. Since the cosmic process of evolution is amoral, there is no guarantee that good will win out over evil, that human society will thrive rather than fail.
There is no guarantee — there is only the constant struggle of the gardener. Since law and morals are restraints upon the struggle for existence between men in society, the ethical process is in opposition to the principle of the cosmic process, and tends to the suppression of the qualities best fitted for success in that struggle. That which lies before the human race is a constant struggle to maintain and improve, in opposition to the State of Nature, the State of Art of an organized polity; in which, and by which, man may develop a worthy civilization, capable of maintaining and constantly improving itself, until the evolution of our globe shall have entered so far upon its downward course that the cosmic process resumes its sway; and, once more, the State of Nature prevails over the surface of our planet.
For his successful progress, throughout the savage state, man has been largely indebted to those qualities which he shares with the ape and the tiger; his exceptional physical organization; his cunning, his sociability, his curiosity, and his imitativeness; his ruthless and ferocious destructiveness when his anger is roused by opposition. But, in proportion as men have passed from anarchy to social organization, and in proportion as civilization has grown in worth, these deeply ingrained serviceable qualities have become defects.
The fundamental flaw in this philosophy is the mistaken notion of unceasing growth, the wrong belief that evolution is a process by which successful species achieve a perfect state of unending and happy dominance. Huxley knows that there is no such process, and no such guarantee:. Suffice it to say that attitudes and values in society as a whole are constantly changing and the values within the medical profession reflect this.
There is little doubt that we all change with time.
Our tastes, hobbies, political views, and friendships all change. These are a result of experiences, some good and some bad.
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We learn through stories and real events what matters to us, and what does not. There are therefore many ways in which our views, and those of society, can change, and the medical implications of this are part of a more universal phenomenon. Doctors and their patients are part of society and would be expected to change in a similar way. This raises the question as to whether any values are fixed, social or professional, and this is a subject to be discussed shortly. So far some possible changes in values, and how these might affect clinical practice, have been described.
Evolution and Ethics Science and Morals by Thomas Henry Huxley
The next question is whether such changes are simply cosmetic and not really fundamental, in that they do not really change anything and are at the margins of thinking in medical ethics. Has anything fundamentally changed in the last 30 to 40 years, the lifetime of many in clinical practice? The answer, it is suggested, is yes and no. First then, how has it changed? From the examples given above it should be clear that some changes have occurred. So the answer is yes, in the sense that there have been changes in values and in practice.
Some of the best examples to consider would be:. They have changed the way in which we think about persons by changing our attitudes and our behaviour. It has been necessary to rethink our concepts and how we operate them.
It is also clear that some core values have not altered. These are mainly in the area of human rights where, if anything, our affirmation of them has become stronger. Some examples of this would be those taken from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 8 and might include:.
Evolution and Ethics Science and Morals
Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the declaration, without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Article 3. Everyone has a right to life, liberty, and security of person.
Article 5. No one should be subject to torture, or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. To this list might be added those most associated with medical ethics: doing no harm non-maleficence ; a wish to do good beneficence ; the desire to be fair justice , and a respect for the individual autonomy.
From both of these lists, and there may well be others, it is clear that none of these are specific to medicine. They are all aspects of a democratic society. Are there then any ethical concepts which are specifically medical?
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Some of these might include the need to be humane, caring, and compassionate, and to have both calmness and equanimity. Can such values be taught?
If it is accepted that core values change only very slowly, and that there are derived or secondary values which can change more quickly, what are the consequences of this, and can a model be developed to assist in our understanding of how such changes occur?. Changes in scope. Some of the changes observed are not real changes, simply changes in the scope of the value. It has broadened or narrowed.
The changes in the definition of extraordinary means would be an example of this. Or, perhaps a new technique makes us think more acutely about a particular issue. The introduction of the contraceptive pill, which changed attitudes considerably, was no more than a technically simpler method of contraception, but it was a method which put the onus on women rather than men. Xenotransplantation is in essence no different from the use of pig heart valves, and indeed the reason for it slow introduction is not an ethical one, but a technical one, namely the possibility of viral transmission from the animal to the human.
These then are not real changes in values but are a response to new developments in relation to existing ethical issues.
The universality of ethical values. There is an assumption that all values need to be agreed by everyone: that abortion is or is not acceptable; that euthanasia is or is not appropriate.