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Sustainability, Spirit & Community

How the Universality of Evolution 2.0's Meta-Principles and Other Factors Defeats the Naturalistic Fallacy Argument

On this website that forwards Evolution 2.0 (and on many other websites forwarding evolutionary science,) we will no longer be restricted or silenced by voices misusing and misapplying the philosophic value argument called the Naturalistic Fallacy, particularly on how evolutionary fact/values can help evolve human values in more optimal and sustainable ways.

Our organization Universe Spirit and many others organizations and evolutionary leaders will continue to dynamically forward the vital discussion on how to use evolution's systemic core values, meta-principles and universe-scale processes to improve our world! Here is Why. In essence, the Naturalistic Fallacy basically says that a scientific fact by itself cannot ever create a legitimate "ought to" or "should do this" type of value.

Evolution's meta-principles as well as problems inherent in the Naturalistic Fallacy will be shown below to overcome the argument against using evolutionary fact/values made within the Naturalistic Fallacy. For those of you interested in lofty, philosophic arguments, the numerous counter arguments from several different parties for using the facts of the meta-principles of evolution to create legitimate "ought to" and "should" type values is found below.

The Primary Supra-Structural Argument:

Our primary and most important structural argument begins by attacking the unstated presumption of the Naturalistic Fallacy that --- the Naturalistic Fallacy automatically, inherently and inevitably applies to ALL things and challenges. This primary structural or contextual challenge to the ultimate applicability of the Naturalistic Fallacy is based upon the following concepts:

a.) The known universe and its physical laws (deep reoccurring patterns,) are the over-controlling evolutionary meta-system in which all other things are fully embedded. Unlike the inherent, unqualified and absolute relativity used as a pre-conditional, unstated and invisible assumption in the Naturalistic Fallacy, the universe as a whole system is not a relative thing or framework.

This is because the universe is the only "text without any other known relative context framing it." The universe when seen and used as an integrated whole evolutionary system defeats all relativistic based counter arguments like the Naturalistic Fallacy most basically because --- the universe when seen and used as an integrated whole evolutionary system is the only, real and true exception existing relevant to all other sub-universe-scale things, sub-systems and relativities.

As such, it is the sole exception to the field of normal relativities to which the Naturalistic Fallacy usually applies. In the end, the non-relativistic universe scale when seen and used as a whole meta-system, effectively transcends and lies outside of the applicability of the normal relativistic foundational basis of the Naturalistic Fallacy.

The Secondary Self-Contradictory Argument:

b.) The Naturalistic Fallacy argument is itself internally self-contradictory and paradoxical. It claims itself to be a philosophic axiomatic fact, law or rule, which itself creates a value, which is that --- it is bad or,  one "ought" not to use a fact to create a value or an "ought to," a "should" or a "good." It subtly and actually does what itself says you cannot do.

Conditional Arguments:

c.) If some reoccurring deep pattern (a law,) in the universe's over-controlling evolutionary meta-system is found to be universally or near universally used, present and factually true, it also by its role as the over-controlling meta-system must be an over-controlling and guiding appropriate value that can be legitimately used for effectively manage every thing and sub-system embedded within the meta-system. It logically follows that one must either align with that reoccurring deep pattern of universe evolution or be unwillingly or unknowingly over-controlled and managed by it.

This infers that if something is a reoccurring deep pattern at universe-scale to the whole system of the universe, this deep reoccurring pattern (law) effectively transcends our current relative good or bad or "oughts" or "shoulds" by its true universality for appropriate and controlling application and --- it therefore can and should legitimately be used as a universal evolutionary value or goal derived from universal or near universe reoccurring deep pattern facts that are inherent within the over-controlling whole system of the universe

d.) If something forwards reproduction and survival (maintenance,) of the part or whole, it is a recognized "core good" on the most basic of evolutionary terms. Therefore, if certain of these universe evolutionary core reoccurring patterns are found to increase individual, group or system sustainability (time-extended reproduction and survival,) they also "ought to" and "should" be legitimately followed and by inference, must be good and legitimate universal values to help direct our societies as well.

e.) The concept of the Naturalistic Fallacy was created when our science could not yet perceive the existence or the universality of many of the current facts of the universe's whole system of evolution. It was constructed when absolutely everything was seen as being relative and having a context and a perspective.  We can now measure, perceive and analyze these whole universe system facts as never before.

Now by having the big picture of the evolving universe as a whole system it shows us what was previously considered the relative values of good and bad, "ought to" and "should" --- could now also have an additional universal or near universal value recognized for them. This is because these previously considered relative values of good and bad, "ought to" and "should" are now also being and acting as deep reoccurring evolutionary patterns (laws.)

Due to the advances of science we now know that the universe as an integrated whole system has no presently known outside or supra-universe context or framing and no known inherent perspective.  As such, once again the universe is the only exception to the rule of "being relative to something else."

Additional Arguments Against the Validity or Usefulness of the Naturalistic Fallacy by Other Evolutioneers:

1.) John Stewart created the following argument It is found in Part 4 of his brilliant Evolutionary Manifesto:

"The Naturalistic Fallacy is widely (but wrongly) accepted as ruling out the use of evolutionary facts to found human values and
ethics.

The Naturalistic Fallacy notes that it is impossible to derive any value or ethic from a set of facts alone. To derive a value, a set of facts must include at least one value, and to derive that value requires at least one other value, and so on, ad infinitum.

On this basis, the Naturalistic Fallacy does not only rule out evolutionary ethics that are based solely on facts. It also rules out all other approaches to human values that are not based on at least one value that is taken as given (i.e. that is groundless and without ultimate justification).

But the Naturalistic Fallacy does not rule out a set of values that is based on at least one value that is taken as given. It is a consequence of the Naturalistic Fallacy that all existing sets of human values must be of this type, whether or not the holders of those values realize this. So evolutionary values are not ruled out by the Naturalistic Fallacy if they contain at least one value that cannot be ultimately justified by facts. The Naturalistic Fallacy only rules out sets of evolutionary values that are based solely on evolutionary facts.

But what of a human who rejects evolutionary values on the basis that they cannot be derived by facts alone? Such an individual might argue that he or she is not prepared to accept evolutionary values if that means accepting a value that is given and without ultimate justification. If the individual applies the same approach to any other set of values, he or she will reject them all as well. Like any set of values, they must be based on at least one `given' value.

Such an individual would be paralyzed, without values or goals to guide action. I have never heard of an individual who has taken the Naturalistic Fallacy seriously enough to take it to its logical conclusion in this way. To do so would be a form of mental illness, quickly ending in death. But this would not concern such an individual. He or she would not value life. While individuals who adopt such a position consistently would be temporary, individuals who do so inconsistently are more common. Many individuals use the Naturalistic Fallacy in this way to reject the possibility of evolutionary values, and then blithely live their life according to other values that would clearly fail the test they applied to evolutionary values.

So humans (like all other organisms) cannot live or function without values that the organism takes as given and that are not derivable solely from facts. Reason is very useful for finding means to satisfy our values, but cannot establish our ultimate values. As a result evolution has ensured that we have an abundance of `given' values. These existing `given' values can be combined with evolutionary facts to derive systems of evolutionary values that do not fall foul of the Naturalistic Fallacy. The Naturalistic Fallacy does not rule out the derivation of `oughts' from `oughts'.

Because humans hold a wide variety of `given' values, it is possible to construct many sets of evolutionary ethics that are
each founded on at least one `given' value that is currently held by some humans. But if a set of evolutionary values are to achieve widespread acceptance amongst humans they will have to be founded on `given' values that are capable (at least eventually) of being widely accepted by humans.

Evolutionary psychology is in a unique position to contribute to the development of such a system of evolutionary values, even while it remains limited to a Darwinian evolutionary psychology. In my view however, the main basis for a viable evolutionary ethic will not be the requirements of evolutionary success 50,000 years ago when humans lived in small tribes. Instead it will be based on the requirements of future evolutionary success. But the implementation by humans of such an evolutionary ethic would require the development of a psychological capacity to transcend their biological and social past.

The above in supra-structural, self-contradictory and conditional arguments against the Naturalistic Fallacy defeat using the naturalistic Fallacy argument against the use of the facts of the meta-principles of evolution as values "oughts" and "shoulds" to help guide both the individual and society."

2.) David Sloan Wilson author of Darwin's Cathedral and numerous other books and papers and has done a paper with Eric Dietrich and Ann B. Clark on "The Inappropriate Use of the Naturalistic Fallacy in Evolutionary Psychology." Click here to see their full arguments and paper.

In Brief Summary:

All of the above arguments also indirectly help to answer serious questions like; why ought a reoccurring deep pattern at universe-scale to the whole system of the universe be legitimately used as a universal evolutionary value or goal or, why ought you be concerned that ignoring such a deep reoccurring pattern of evolution might lead to personal failure or the destruction of humanity or, even why ought you should value the survival, flourishing and sustainability of humanity at all?  

If you have any suggestions on how to further improve this argument or have an argument of your own challanging the Naturalistic Fallacy. please send them to (manage@universespirit.org).

Important Reading and Links:

We invite you to begin exploring the many life and world improving implications and possibilities for our future which understanding the deep reoccurring processes and meta-principles of Evolution 2.0 creates. Start by reading the following links:

A.) Progressive Evolution

B.) The Universe Evolutionary Worldview

C.) For the Full FAQ on Evolution 2.0, click here.

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