Are we, as Richard Dawkins suggests, sacrifices to our genes, or do we have a choice in the matter?
The question that arises is how far do we take the sacrificial equation? For instance Dawkins portrays us as:
"Survival machines--robot vehicles." The Selfish Gene, Oxford University Press, Great Britain, 1990.
But doesn't that remark present a subtle, double entendre? After all, if we are the 'robots' he implies, then we can't change, lacking the conscious, self-knowing ingredient ncessary to actively influence or alter our evolutionary course? This, of course, puts us on the same level as automatons and simple, mindless organisms.
Dawkins wrote: "We are survival machines--robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes."
My question is, what does this say about Dawkins' sense of self-awareness and control? Perhaps he is the robot who feels locked into a power beyond himself--dare we call it a genetic God? His comments all seem to hint that "the devil made me do it," the deus ex machina, the ghost in the machine that is responsible for his behavior, and somehow is keeping him from acting responsibly to address his own issues on consciousness and self-control.
This idea sets a dangerous precedent, because if we buy into it, the right to "free will" must be thrown out the window. Let's face it, altruism requires action on our part--to change the world in a constructive manner, takes persoal action. If we are controlled by a selfish gene that demands sacrifice without compensation, then the results of the sacrifice would be in vein. Would you not agree with this contention?
Dawkins does not include, as far as I know, any recognition of the importance of numinous transformations of consciousness and the Maharishi effect, that encounter with the Divine which produces an epiphany and changes our direction in life from a selfish mode, to one that produces extreme acts of selfless-sacrifice to others or to the world as a Whole.
In its place he writes about a male mantis that is eaten by the female during copulation to insure the continuation of the species. Unfortunately, this example doesn't include any participatory insights into the male's consciousness of the role he plays in the act. In fact,the interpretation almost comes off sounding suspiciously misogynistic--
More specifically, the ultimate question that unfolds, is what part in our genetic evolution do we play? Isn't there something positive in us that influences the future to change the course of human history--wasn't that trait implicate in Darwin's assumptions that evolution has a goal; that of survival--survival for what and at what price, seems the bigger quest; maybe that information was a part of his little known studies of sexual selection and/or love.
What is the ultimate implication here; that we change just for our individual self-fulfillment, or is it ultimately based on the interconnectedness between self, species AND THE PLANETARY WHOLISM IMPERATIVE?
Somehow I think that beneath it all, God has managed to emerge from this thinking unscathed, though we as a species have certainly managed to sastify our own selfish demands.
With human conscientiousness~
author of: UFOs: GOD FROM INNER SPACE