Created from Animals
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Created from Animals

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  37 ratings  ·  4 reviews
An account of the relevance of Darwinism to ethics. The author explains the development of Darwin's ideas, and how natural selection can paradoxically foster altruistic rather than egoistic tendencies, setting out the implications for conventional religion and ethics.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 28th 1999 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1990)
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Betsy Brown
Collection of essays I picked up in college during an environmental ethics course. I have generally found essays somewhat dry but this book is fascinating in it's arguments. For example, the section on the differences between humans and animals yields this:"How could anyone seriously believe that animals do not feel pain? After all, we have virtually the same evidence for animal pain that we have for human pain......So, on what grounds could anyone possible say animals are insensitive to pain?"...more
G0thamite
Well, here is one man who understands the implications of Darwinism, without fear. (So also Peter Singer) Rachels rightly understands that Darwinism leads to the rejection of theism as a basis for moral values. In the same way, it leads to a rejection of human dignity and a "rights" basis for morality.

So, now that we have dispensed with God, we definitely suffer a de-valuing of human significance. Since Darwin, we now see that man is just a more sophisticated development of the animal kingdom, a...more
Nathan
What can I say? Nearly sums up my world view and the natural conclusions one draws when recognizing our progenitors are in fact close at hand and all around us. Reminds us also of the great humaneness of Darwin and just how strikingly beautiful his temperament was to those he knew and even the non-humans he encountered [his trigger-happy youth notwithstanding]. Whether Rachels' thoughts on moral individualism were articulated perfectly or likely to be adopted any time in my lifetime will remain...more
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James Rachels, the distinguished American moral philosopher, was born in Columbus, Georgia, and graduated from nearby Mercer University in 1962. He received his Ph.D. in 1967 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, studying under Professors W. D. Falk and E. M. Adams. He taught at the University of Richmond, New York University, the University of Miami, Duke University, and the Univers...more
More about James Rachels...
The Elements of Moral Philosophy The Right Thing To Do: Basic Readings in Moral Philosophy Problems from Philosophy Introduccion a la Filosofia Moral The Truth about the World: Basic Readings in Philosophy, 2nd Edition

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