The evolution of morality???

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Charlie - posted on 10/24/2010

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Well i dont believe in god , i have a mind that i trust , not saying that those who believe in god dont but anyway ....



I wouldnt do any of those things because i value family , i value loyalty, love and monogomy , i value human life so it would be against my morals to do any of the before mentioned things and god or any religion has nothing to do with how i came to the decision of what values i hold dear and base my morals on .



Of course there are people with shitty morals and it has very little to do with whether or not religion was involved and everything to do with the nature of biology and the nuture of their upbringing for some that includes religion but it is not indictive of how they develop their morals .



We are a highly social species, using social structures like monogamy, family, clan, and tribe. Our ancestors were using these structures at least 500,000 years ago. If you were suddenly plucked from your life and sent back in time to live with people in Indonesia about 15,000 years ago (or even Ethiopia 150,000 years ago), you would be able to figure out what is going on. The basic social roles, responsibilities, and civil rules would seem somewhat familiar to you, and you'd fit in pretty fast.

Cultural anthropologists have long recognized how all human societies have similar basic norms of moral conduct. Marc Hauser, professor of evolutionary biology at Harvard University, has just published a paper about additional studies showing that people’s moral intuitions do not vary much across different religions all around the world. From an evolutionary perspective, that means that human morality is very old -- old enough to pre-date any religion that exists today. Furthermore, basic morality is highly resistant to religious influence -- most people easily reject religious rules that violate their basic moral intuitions. Rather, religions all tend to confirm and support human morality, because that essential morality sustains our schemes of social cooperation.



You mention animals and yet there are animals such as non human primates that display behaviors that are indistinguishable from what we’d call morality. Clearly, they did not get those behaviors from any kind of religion.

Jenny - posted on 10/19/2010

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Morality is a part of memetic evolution. It stems from tribe mentality when we used to work together for a common goal. Now that we live more isolated lives we can see it disappearing which is logical since we are not using it to pass down to future generations.

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Desiree - posted on 10/24/2010

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Loreen yes I do, because a good amny of them don't have a concsiounce and that comes from experience. Think about what concsiounce do you have if you can leave your elderly mother alone in an old age home and never visit her, or when you choose your friends over your family or better yet have an affair get caught red handed and year down the road say you have never done anything like that and your marriage has never been in trouble and then say that men or women who do have affair should be drawn and quartered. Where are the morals in that. Morals and Concsiouse are 2 very different things. You may have the morals but not the concsiounce to follow through. Yes Humanity unfortunately is exactly that Humanity. And the only thing that sepperates us from the animals and Angles in heaven, is the fact that God gave us the greatest gift ever and that id Freedom of Choice.

Charlie - posted on 10/24/2010

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I think you give humans far less credit for their own consciousness.

Desiree - posted on 10/23/2010

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Morality has everything to do with religion because every single one from Paganism to Christianity has taught it. Without the priests we as humans would never have had the morals or the teaching of what is right or wrong. Paganism teaches the morality of life and nature that work together. Christianity, Jewdism and Muslim teach the the moraility of human on human. Where do you think we would be today if another person had not said you know what we need rules to structure the world. So we have written a book with those rules in it.The 2 very definetily go hand in hand.

Johnny - posted on 10/19/2010

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It was an interesting article, although I found many of his arguments to be beside the real point. I think that the only way in which religion could be the source of morality is if that religion was actually the guide to the "one true path". I do not believe that any man-developed religion could possibly do that. I am an agnostic, so I struggle to find any meaning in these arguments that state that God definitely exists and defines our moral compass or that god definitely does not exist, and our moral compass is entirely defined by our evolution. I do partially agree with Jenny, memetic evolution, and I do think that there is evidence to suggest that many of these "moral concepts" are contained in our DNA somehow. But neither these answers, or the idea that there is one "truth" that we can know and follow really add up to the whole enchilada. There's some interesting reading suggestions in the comments following the article though, I'll have to do a bit more thinking on this.

Charlie - posted on 10/19/2010

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Religion is nit the source of morality , morals are based on what we as people value for example i value monogomy therefore it would be against my morals to cheat , i value human life therefore i will not kill these are beliefs a simple human with a well developed sense of empathy and conscience can form on their own.

Jessica - posted on 10/19/2010

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I agree! God is like a bed time story of the boogie man so the kids stay in bed and behave. Morals and all around goodness would be even more prevailent without the bed time stories of God, imo. God not needed for a moral world. :)

[deleted account]

I think that's WAY too long to read. I'm lazy and Roxanne's napping so I'ma lay on the couch and have a snooze of my own. Be back later.... ;)

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