Is morality an illusion produced by evolution?

To believe the theory that morality is just an illusion produced by the mindless and undirected forces of neo-Darwinian evolution, you also have to believe that everyone in the entire history of the human species who ever struggled with moral deliberation was in reality expending expensive, calorie-burning cognitive effort thinking about something that doesn’t exist and that therefore could have played no role whatsoever in producing minds adapted to think about it.

Namely, moral reality.

And on top of this absurdity you have to believe that human beings then somehow evolved—again, utterly randomly, with nothing in the environment to influence the process—the meta-ethical capacity to understand that morality is “really just an illusion.” That moral life is a “consensual hallucination.” Which is a belief that completely undercuts whatever adaptive efficacy the theory claims morality had in the first place by “revealing the truth” that it is irrational to believe anyone is bound by real moral duties.

So not only is the sophisticated neo-Darwinian meta-ethical leap of “seeing morality for what it is” devastating to morality per se, it also cuts off any retreat to consequentialism as a fallback justification for insisting that anyone is still bound by moral duty, i.e., “We should still believe in morality even though we know it’s an illusion because morality produces good consequences.” No. You can’t fake it like that. Every rational person knows that illusions impose no duties because illusions aren’t real.

As “knowledge” of the “realization” that morality is an illusion spreads, the force of the idea of moral duty is diminished in proportion. Those are bad consequences, not good consequences.

The whole thing just seems like a wet hairball of mutually undercutting assertions that should be abandoned immediately. For the sake of civilization.

It’s just a colossally dumb theory.

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