BW: In which case, there is no such thing as ethics. If humans are just "atoms" bouncing against each other in pursuit of equilibrium, then there can be no "guidelines" for human behavior: you always do what you have to do. No human action can be considered altruistic or selfish, since those are motives in the pursuit of beneficial objectives (either for self or others). By your characterization, humans can't chose to benefit self or others, they must do what they are required to do. Whatever they do is "correct" and necessary, so no human action is good or bad. The serial killer is just as good as the creative inventor.
TSW: "... it all depends on the observer’s point of view."
BW: Subjectivism. But that's just an illusion, as you describe it: no action a person takes is motivated by their point of view (about ethics or anything else): every action is necessary.
TSW: Whitehead ('in one of his better moments'): "Every organism requires an environment of friends, partly to shield it from violent changes, and partly to supply it with its wants."
BW: Except Whitehead's characterization isn't consistent with your description. One can't acquire "friends" unless they have good will or respect for your actions. That isn't possible, since none of your actions are chosen, so there can be no relationship based on good will or respect. Anyone "friendly" to you *must* be friendly: they have no choice in the matter. So, Whitehead's premise that all organisms (specifically, people) "need" friends does not require that they *seek* friends, by any means or mode of conduct. By your formulation, they *have to be* friends, irrespective of whether you want them as friends or they want to be friends; totally independent of anything you or they might do or say, intend or desire.
BW: Standing alone, Whitehead's statement is an assertion of natural *selfishness*. He says you only create the illusion of being altruistic because you need others in order to achieve your own security and obtain values from them: selfishness. So, on his statement alone, there are no ethics, only illusion, subterfuge, deception, and exploitation. And you call his statement a "better moment"?
TSW: "Sociobiologists have interpreted this as a genetic rather than a spatial relationship. By their reckoning your genes somehow prompt you to be the most altruistic to those with whom you share the most genes in common."
BW: What they're claiming is not that genes themselves are "little buggers" that motivate altruism, but that having genes in common (being one of a "kind") facilitates "empathy". That is probably true for vertebrate offspring (though not every organism), since children have a natural affinity for their mother (as noted above), who suckles and coddles them. So, they equate survival and pleasure with the maternal (to some degree paternal) relationship ... which automatically gets applied to others of the same "kind" (species). Genes don't "know" or "care" about anything, self or other: they are inanimate chemicals.
BW: Of course, it is true that sentients (conscious vertebrates) "share" more with those in proximity. That's just a physical reality: if they don't ever encounter a particular member of their species, how can they have any "feelings" about them at all?