The Evolution of Morality

Are right and wrong hard-coded into you?According to some, the answer is yes.

Who doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong? Yet that essential knowledge, generally assumed to come from parental teaching or religious or legal instruction, could turn out to have a quite different origin… [P]eople are born with a moral grammar wired into their neural circuits by evolution… [T]he grammar generates instant moral judgments which, in part because of the quick decisions that must be made in life-or-death situations, are inaccessible to the conscious mind.

(The aricle, by the way, is titled An Evolutionary Theory of Right and Wrong, which is highly misleading. Namely, no successful predictions have been made yet using this set of ideas and as such it is still only a hypothesis.)

Recently I’ve been thinking about the logic of morality. In a recent Wired article, and atheist philosopher expressed concerns about the necessity of a god or some sort of theology in order to create moral guidance. While I disagree with him — I’m of the belief that morality can generally be come to via logical conclusion — to say that the subject is simple is an outright lie, and to say that it is difficult is a still major understatement.

Nevertheless, this article is rather interesting in that it points to another realm of morality: primordial, as opposed to logical or imposed.

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