*puts on devil’s advocate pinstripe suit* Why is this not a case for social darwinism?
Evan Cudworth

Why not a case for social darwinism:

Due to the idea that we “ought” to care about others because of the system of rights and duties in the capabilities approach…and because without this aspect, I think part of what I’m arguing is that the pursuit of something greater is meaningless. If we only had the best and brightest pushing forward without carrying anyone else along, that would not be fulfilling what I see as their moral ‘duty’ to others.

Is this the best way to push in time and resources:

I think it is, but the darwinist would likely reject that moral condition. I think without it, I would say the larger project is inherently ‘for’ everyone and ‘by’ everyone. I guess the answer here is pretty much the same as above…but I very deeply disagree with the idea that social darwinism is a good thing, insofar as we can avoid it, we should help others, particularly those less fortunate — from a darwinian perspective, because they might have hidden capabilities that could push the species-project forward in unexpected ways.

“Ultimately, we are in competition with “nature” (i.e. time). You seem undecided: should our goal be to limit human suffering in the time we’re here, or simply to survive as long as possible?”

I think for me it is both — the capabilities approach discusses limiting human suffering insofar as we have the ability and resources to do so. Regarding the time issue, I think that the two goals are not necessarily incompatible. I think that species-survival is directly tied to our ability to care for others and that caring for others is not just philosophically justified, but practically useful and more utilitarian in the long run.

Additionally: I think in some ways my appeal to this in the essay is overtly emotional, and it is great to work through them on a utilitarian level — I did this myself mentally but I think I didn’t extract them very well in the essay.

Thanks for these questions! Tackling them was helpful.

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