ETHICS: Ethics in a void

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Thu Jan 25 2001 - 14:12:13 MST

On Thu, Jan 25, 2001 at 11:41:11AM -0500, Michael Lorrey wrote:
>There are also
>taboos, like incest, murder, rape, theft, etc that are universal to all
>cultures. These taboos wouldn't be universal if there were not some
>objective basis for them.

These are not universal taboos. Many cultures and ancient tribes and
civilizations practiced incest, murder, rape, theft, etc. Incest was
often used to keep royal, priestly or tribal blood lines pure.
Murder was common-place between warring factions, and was often
ritualized into their religions. Rape was rarely seen as a taboo
since woman often did not have rights in many societies. (Only
raping someone else's woman was seen as a crime of property theft.)
Theft itself was commonplace between different tribes or warring
nations. Not only would I argue against these taboos being
universal, I daresay the reverse was true. Incest, murder, rape and
theft probably were more common historically than today.

Harvey Newstrom <>

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