C L A R K  S O R L E Y

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Humans are animals. They are eating, sleeping, fucking, pissing, shitting beings. Short of death their animal nature is never transcended. It is always present at the base.

A good human is more than a base animal however. Humans have a whole bunch of add-ons. They have morality, they have talent and intelligence, they have life-plans and perspective and they make agreements. I would define a good human as one rich in add-ons.

The problem with the add-ons however is that they are contingent. The animal nature is not. The question is not whether one behaves like an animal: selfish, unreflective, lacking in morality et al. Humans are these things and are at base always these things. These are the givens. The question is what else are they? How far does their morality go when it comes to influencing actions? How well integrated is their moral intelligence when they make decisions about which way to go? How quickly will they dump their high-flown ethics under pressure and fall back into animal behaviour?

In my experience the add-ons are fragile and readily aborted. A pressing imperative would be how to best make these add-ons deeper seated rather than have them always at the mercy of the animal nature. Maybe not possible.

a good human is one rich in add-ons



philosophy • 24.03.10