With the school year in full swing I had the opportunity to go down to Virginia Tech and have conversations with students about whether truth exists.
In six years of doing this today is the first time a student unequivocally rejected collective survival of the fittest. Darwin claimed that an organism could survive in two ways. First, individually which is to say that an individual tiger can exhibit the necessary qualities in a conducive environment to stay at the top of the food chain and survive. The second way was for an organize to pass on its genes to another of its kind. This is called collective survival. In this case, a tiger may have tiger cubs and then die in a clash with another tiger shortly thereafter. In this case the tiger survived collectively through its genes but perished individually in dying to another tiger.
Today I had a student completely reject collective survival and opt for a purely subjective pain vs. pleasure moral matrix. That said he had considerable trouble dealing with evils like rape and slavery once he allowed his experience of pain and pleasure to be the ultimate standard for what is moral.
All in all I was able to speak with 7 students across two hours. It’s always a blast.