According to him, the criterion of good and evil for man is the same as the one for animals, meaning that good is one that assists in the development of life and evil the one that hinders such development it is beyond doubt that biological laws have an effect upon human conduct. For example, no ideal which is destructive of life would be considered ethical.
Ethics is Not Based on Biology:
But the foundation of ethical ideals is not a biological principle. The safety of life and its development are necessary for men but they can never be his ultimate ideals. Man has developed from the annual level but the two are very different.
Animals change, with the environment but man has changed the environment with the help of scientific power and has evolved a civilization in which biological laws do not act.
For example, it is a biological law that the strong survive while the weak are annihilated, but in the human societies the weak children, women and infirm are cared for and often able young people are sacrificed for this purpose.
As Aristotle has said, ethics searches for those special functions of human beings not found in the animals. In fact it starts at the point when the differences between man and animal arise.
Man is an animal and will thus be affected by biological laws. But he is a rational animal and his conduct will be governed by intellectual laws, not only by biological laws.
Difference Between Ethics and Biology:
Actually, it is essential to remember the differences between biology and ethics, when talking of their relation. Roughly, they are as follows:-
1. Difference in nature:
Biology is a positive science while ethics is a normative one. Thus, whereas biology is related to facts, ethics is concerned with ideals and values. Biology describes facts, ethics gives decisions upon volitions.
2. Difference in Scope:
The scope of ethics is more comprehensive than that of biology. It includes all other activities of man, not only biological activities.
3. Difference in Outlook:
Biology looks at man as a mere living being. Ethics treats him as an intellectual and self conscious being.
The above points of the difference between biology and ethics must have made it clear that in spite of inter relation; ethics cannot be treated as founded in biology.