MattD: your posts remind me of an interesting book I read a while ago called "Buddha's Nature", which was a sort-of screed of sociobiology and suggested that Buddha was one of the first sociobiologists. The author's notion was that our moral choices are based out of a brain that's an neurochemical cocktail mixed by the evolutionary bartender- sociobiology, basically. He then went on to suggest that Buddha was aware of this in a philosophical sense, and thus recommended that we all step out of ourselves every now and then and pay attention to how our body and mind automatically responds in a situation.
Not that Buddha would have used words like "neurochemical", of course. He might have instead suggested that our emotional responses are like clouds passing in the sky; it's so easy to see them and mistake them for the sky itself- but they aren't the sky, they're just passing through.
Ooooh. Deep! =)
My point in mentioning that is to suggest that sociobiology, if redeemed as a legitimate theory of moral development, should still simply serve to encourage us as individuals to "step out" of our chemically reactive natures, and become aware how much of our passion, our love and hate and rage and pity are controlling us instead of the other way around.posted by hincandenza at 10:37 PM on May 21, 2001
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