Monday, May 13, 2013

Spontaneous Orders are Naturally Occurring Processes

Humans discover far more than they invent. When we participate in spontaneous social orders, we participate in the discovery of knowledge, morals, and wisdom. But it very much goes against our arrogance as a species to admit that we are less inventors than discoverers. Humans did not invent property rights, markets, language, or morals. Rather, we have instincts for those things, which socially evolve in spontaneous orders.

As entrepreneurs, humans discover new ways of doing things that are more efficient and less expensive.

As scientists, humans discover the laws of science.

As participants in common law, we discover new laws (as legislators, humans invent legislation -- much of which is in direct violation of discovered common law). It is notable that discovered law abides by rule of law and equality under the law.

As participants in the moral order, we discover new morals. Indeed, morals are rooted in our sentiments (they are instinctual); at the same time, it is evidence our morals evolve over time. One can thus argue that morality is a discovery process, that we discover new morals, and, thus, expand our moral worlds.

We could not learn morals if we did not have a moral instinct. We could not teach morals if those we taught did not have a moral instinct. (Sociopaths are evidence of this.) If we did not have moral instincts (built in empathy and sympathy and a sense of justice), we could not have invented them. How would we know to? How would we know that the good is good to have?

The same is true of common law -- built as it is on our instinctual sense of justice and fairness. Legislation is merely the rigidification of law. It is legislators coming along and taking credit for what has already been discovered through common law (that is, for just legislation -- there is plenty of cronyist legislation which violates common law, equality under the law, and rule of law).

Free market economies are naturally occurring systems emergent from natural human interactions. The same is true of science, most of our institutions (property rights, family, etc.), morals, philosophy, religion, the arts and literature, technological innovation (the specific technologies are invented, but we have an instinct to invent, and we have a social order that rewards invention -- and not just economically), money, etc. The opposition to spontaneous social orders like market economies comes form the same psychological source as opposition to biological evolution and cosmological evolution. Humans evolved to associate order with an orderer. Theological creationists and intelligent designers think this is true of cosmological and biological evolution; social creationists and intelligent designers (who are oddly often a-theological) think this is true of social evolution.

Order requires a hands-on orderer, according to standard human psychology. This is why the fight to get widespread acceptance for evolutionary processes -- whether physical, biological, psychological, or social -- is ongoing.
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