Lynne said ���I am also interested in talking about the difficulty of coming up with "the ethical good" without contamination from cultural norms.���
I have a richly developed theory of the ethical good. It has come from much thinking and hundreds of conversations with people. In my opinion a theory of the ethical good must be based on an evolutionary perspective based on the minimization of energy in the production of all functions that nourish the Darwinian fitness of ourselves and our progeny.
Cultural norms are of two varieties, those that contribute to our shared fitness and norms that do not do that. Unfortunately there are at least a hundred philosophical essays required to clear up just the obvious problems with the concept. I have a whole book titled ���The Temptations of Evolutionary Ethics.��� By my standards it is one straw man attack after another with not one single point made having any validity when compared with a proper theory. However, it is not easy to communicate exactly how and why a valid theory of evolutionary ethics would survive the majority of possible criticisms. I clearly cannot do it here and I need to be cautious about allocating time to attempting to communicate it.
We might be able to take some time in private or with a very small group from our community to explore a theory of the ethical good.