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Conservatism and Human Exceptionalism

This post is going to be more for the benefit of myself than my viewers, but I am going to publish it anyway and hope that I get some feedback while I work out the kinks in my theories.

The entire conservative movement is based on the idea of homosapien exceptionalism.

Humanity itself is seen by conservatives as a oft-times devinely created being, and each human life is by extension seen as a philosophical end in and of itself.This is a viewpoint that is in accord with Humanism, which first came into the canon of Western thought around the time of Christianity’s reformation, and in turned paved the way towards Liberalism.

I look at the philosophical evolution of Humanism into Liberalism as social egressions from tyranny and the rule of man, in the same tradition as what we now call the Progressive movement. The relentless social march towards enfranchisement, self determination, and ultimately spiritual enlightenment has always been obstructed by the entrenched interests of the old order, who use there position of power and privilege to extract economic rent from the outgroups. The questioning of this system is ultimately what has driven mankind to struggle against it, and this drive to question is also the essential action that defines Scientific Skepticism.

I believe that scientific skepticism is currently incompatible with homosapien exceptionalism, insofar as homosapien exceptionalism is itself a distinctive philosophy from Humanism. My reasoning for this is that, based on science, we have evolved from lower lifeforms through processes known as natural selection, and that carbon-based life itself has little conceptual difference from computer code: we are simply a set of behavioral instructions that have been let lose to evolve within the operating environment of our universe.

If a human life is somehow demarcated as “special”, or rather as an end in and of itself, where do we draw the line as to what constitutes a human? Is it some special gene or cognitive function? Because in either case, we share many genes with chimpanzees and many cognitive functions with them as well. Furthmore, there would have had to be some sort of evolutionary threshold that was crossed which would differentiate the exceptional man from the unexceptional animal.

Or if you prefer to think that ALL lifeforms have some form of sanctity, we are undeniably living in a horrendously immoral universe.

I personally am more of an agnostic nihilist when it comes to ethics and morality, but I am also comfortable arguing from the aforementioned “all life is sacred” position; that all life has a certain type of sanctity and is philosophically an end in and of itself (most likely my affinity for Buddhism plays a role in my comfort with this position) follows logic. But the exceptionalism of homosapiens is logically impossible: we are either as worthless as bacteria, or bacteria are as mighty as us. To assume otherwise is to believe that there is some type of evolutionary threshold that must be attained before life is sacred, which I cannot prove to be, but believe to be, impossible, because of the genetic subtleties and nuances of different human beings, and at the same time the relative similarities between the different species.

Categories: Philosophy
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