The Not Quite Adventures of a Professional Archaeologist and Aspiring Curmudgeon

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A bit more on morality

I saw this article today, and it discusses, in a limited and simplified way, the origins of moralty in our evolutionary history, while briefly referencing the role that culture plays in moral reasoning and development.

The article simplifies the discussion rather greatly, and there is reason to be skeptical of some of the specifics. However, the interesting point is that it discusses morality as a function of our brains in rather the same way that other judgements - about beauty, flavor, and tempurature - are.

No doubt this view will make some folks uneasy (I can already see one particular commenter coming up with some strawman reasons why this is the work of godless heathens who lack any redeeming qualities), but if this view, certainly more complex and modified, is valid, it is important to understand, as it will hold clues regarding how we can continue to function as a population as we move farther from our evolutionary roots as hunter-gatherers on the savannah.

1 comment:

Evan Davis said...

Great article. It's funny to see a different name put to it. The LDS folk just call that the "Light of Christ." Which is, put simply, the underlying driving force that causes people to make moral judgements. This can be overrided by reason and it works the same way as the article describes. I'll probably have to blog about it.