Check out a great conversation between Peter Singer and Robert Wright on an episode of Bloggingheads! Starting with the reissue of Singer’s book The Expanding Circle: Ethics, Evolution, and Moral Progress, they go on to discuss how moral arguments have evolved, how human reasoning is linked to moral progress, wondering if aliens would share our morality, and the highs and lows of being a philosopher.
Be sure to re-read your copy of The Expanding Circle for more food for thought on morality as universal or relative, tied up with questions about whether morality is biologically or culturally based:
The shift from a point of view that is disinterested between individuals within a group, but not between groups, to a point of view that is fully universal, is a tremendous change — so tremendous, in fact, that it is only just beginning to be accepted on the level of ethical reasoning and is still a long way from acceptance on the level of practice. Nevertheless, it is the direction in which moral thought has been going since ancient times. Is it an accident of history that this should be so, or is it the direction in which our capacity to reason leads us?