Essay on Ethics: Natural Law and Social Darwinism

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Wesleyan University
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Human beings have been able to make use of the natural world for everything from structural resources to agricultural needs and pharmaceuticals. Every individual has been a specialist in changing their lives and the environment in which we live. When it comes to social interactions and behaviors, some philosophers believe that we are able to mirror the natural world for better or for worse. The essay, further discuss this idea and explore how the article What Is Race and What Is Racism? on how Social Darwinism and racism has impacted natural law and rights and my perception towards them.

In deliberating the relationship of social Darwinism and natural law, there are two sides of my belief that are at a constant struggle. The first side state that these relations cannot be simply rationalized since human race is not just a group of animals surviving on earth with a major intention of reproducing and eating (Quist-Adade, 2017). Human beings are the most intelligent life form on the planet earth and they are capable of so many incredible works that we cannot rest to a primitive train of thought by allowing the weak individuals on the planet to perish as the active ones are pushing forward.

Through my compassionate and reasoning side, I am amazed by the connections that exist between social Darwinism and natural. However, my unsympathetic and calculating half is not totally surprised with the relationship that is existing between the two. Just imagining if we fulfill the achievement of every individual taking care of everybody, benefits for every individual, healthcare for all and no thousand deaths from diseases and illness, the word population will achieve an exponential growth. The population will be too much and this will be great threat to not only the human race, but also the whole planet. In addition, mass conflict will arise to not only the scare resources, but also to the basic needs such as food. As a result of the looming challenge of overpopulation, it is my perception that everything happens for a reason, considering both good and bad (Quist-Adade, 2006). Natural disasters, illness, accidents and human conflicts are worse yet they fall under the life aspect that keeps the world balance. Most wont welcome such kind of thought, though I feel like survival for the fittest is a significant for us to learn from nature.

Critically, one of the features of What Is Race and What Is Racism? article is the relationship between racism and social Darwinism. Surprisingly, Charles Darwins theory was covered by Morphed and Herbert Spencer into a belief and a theory that some specific individuals are much more superior to other individuals when the focus is made on their physical characteristics (Singh & Burns, 2006). Technically, the idea that the simple difference is the skin color, genetic makeup, ethnicity or social class could make an individual more superior than another one is ludicrous. Ideally, one of the common examples is the superiority conflict that was experience based on the supremacy of whites over blacks throughout 1800s and 1900s.The article drew a conclusion that was based on the ideology of the supremacy of the white individuals throughout 1800s and 1900s. Drawing from the conclusion of the article the ideology that was brought by the white supremacy was generated from social Darwinism, sexist and classist theory based on the pillar of survival of the fittest. With the need for survival for the fittest in our natural society, there is no great conviction that such behavior are resulting to ethnicity and racism, and for any theorist or even a scholar to end up with this theory then it is quite absurd. One should always possess the drive and the push to excel in everything they are doing in life and such should never happen at the expense of another individual, hence considering the human consciousness that one should treat others the way they expect themselves to be treated. Surprisingly, racism is still one of the most disturbing elements in the current American society, and it is shocking that the issue still exists today even after the existence of social Darwinism application.

However, after taking a look at the article, social Darwinism has moved to the direction of a supportive path, I believe that there is a definite place for survival for the fittest view point, in that in a society, it is my honest opinion that survival for the fittest is a necessary trait that every individual should possess at one point. In this case, however, there is a definite place for survival of the fittest mentality in our societies and in every society it is important for individuals to possess these traits (Collins, 2004). Based on the assumption of social Darwinism theory, stating that some races and societies are born with superior genes while others are inheriting inferior genes. This makes me have a less support to the theory.

Making comparison between Charles Darwins theory to social Darwinism, I feel like social Darwinism was based on the same principles of evolution and a simple level of referring to the adaptability of individuals and their resourcefulness when it comes to survival and facing struggle. Realizing this after reading the article makes me have a negative view on social Darwinism as one of the most applicable theories to date.

In the article, What Is Race and What Is Racism? social Darwinism view has made me to have a different view on natural rights of humans and the overall natural law and the challenge to adopting such theory on a large scale. According to Manderson, (2013), Manderson focused on natural law as the moral law inspired by nature. It is identified that if humankind ended up going for actions in which they find in nature, then chaos will exist on a large scale. This will hence result to people taking whatever they want from anyone on the basis of what they are capable of doing and what they desire. However, if we were to adopt social Darwinism into our current culture, our past would turn out to be our present and soon be forcing us to return to the era of forced labor laws and even slavery.

In reference to the article What Is Race and What Is Racism? it offers a clear and detailed example of how the notion of social Darwinism and race came about, it is also clear on the fact that natural rights and natural law can face distortion when mixed with wrong ideas.


Collins, P. H. (2004). Black sexual politics: African Americans, gender, and the new racism.


Manderson, D. (2013). Judgement in the Law and the Humanities. Revista Forumul

Judecatorilor, 43.

Singh, S. P., & Burns, T. (2006). Controversy: race and mental health: there is more to race

than racism. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 333(7569), 648.

Quist-Adade, C. (2017). Race, Racialization and Racism. In From the Local to the Global (pp.

303-324).Sense Publishers.

Quist-Adade, C. (2006). What is 'race' and what is 'racism'? (2). New African, (447), 68+. Retrieved from:

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