Nature and Morality

“There is no morality in nature. No good, right, duty or obligation are written into the fabric of things. There is no way of inferring from how things are to how things ought to be. The Talmud says that had God not revealed the commandments, ‘we could have learned modesty from the cat, industry from the ant, marital fidelity from the dove, and good manners from the rooster’. But equally we could have learned savagery from the lion, pitilessness from the wolf and venom from the viper. Every civilisation has a way of identifying and pre-empting disastrous patterns of behaviour, some way of establishing boundaries, of saying, ‘Thou shalt not.’ In mythological societies the work is done by the concept of taboo. In the Judeo-Christian heritage there is the Divine command. There are certain things you do not do, whatever the consequences. That is what was lost in the modern age…”

“When nothing is sacred, then nothing is sacrilegious. When there is no Judge, there is no justice. There is only effectiveness and the will to power.”

The Great Partnership, Chapter 6, p. 108