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View Full Version : In light of all the religious discussion here on the CB


Fitswimmer
09-19-2007, 11:23 AM
I thought you might find this article interesting: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/18/science/18mora.html?em&ex=1190347200&en=6df574f0948f0c22&ei=5087%0A

Here's the first part-I don't want to copy/paste the whole thing because it's long, but you can get it at the link.

At first glance, natural selection and the survival of the fittest may seem to reward only the most selfish values. But for animals that live in groups, selfishness must be strictly curbed or there will be no advantage to social living. Could the behaviors evolved by social animals to make societies work be the foundation from which human morality evolved?

In a series of recent articles and a book, “The Happiness Hypothesis,” Jonathan Haidt, a moral psychologist at the University of Virginia, has been constructing a broad evolutionary view of morality that traces its connections both to religion and to politics.

Dr. Haidt (pronounced height) began his research career by probing the emotion of disgust. Testing people’s reactions to situations like that of a hungry family that cooked and ate its pet dog after it had become roadkill, he explored the phenomenon of moral dumbfounding — when people feel strongly that something is wrong but cannot explain why.

Dumbfounding led him to view morality as driven by two separate mental systems, one ancient and one modern, though the mind is scarcely aware of the difference. The ancient system, which he calls moral intuition, is based on the emotion-laden moral behaviors that evolved before the development of language. The modern system — he calls it moral judgment — came after language, when people became able to articulate why something was right or wrong.

The emotional responses of moral intuition occur instantaneously — they are primitive gut reactions that evolved to generate split-second decisions and enhance survival in a dangerous world. Moral judgment, on the other hand, comes later, as the conscious mind develops a plausible rationalization for the decision already arrived at through moral intuition.

Moral dumbfounding, in Dr. Haidt’s view, occurs when moral judgment fails to come up with a convincing explanation for what moral intuition has decided.



It explains why we have such a hard time explaining why we think something is morally wrong and it also dispels the notion that ONLY religious people can be moral.

Any thoughts?

mickeyfan2
09-19-2007, 11:31 AM
I have always felt that morality did not require one to be religious. Religion like laws can make a person who has immoral thoughts do the right thing. Morality comes from weighing your wants with the wants and needs of others and then doing what is best for the majority. There will always be a percentage of the population that laws, religion or something else will not deter them from doing something bad.

For example, I might get made at you and want to punch you, but then realize that my punching you will cause you injury and will not fix the reason I am made at you. So I don't punch you. Some might not punch since they would go to jail. Others will do it because they "win" in their book.

JennyMominRI
09-19-2007, 11:35 AM
I have always felt that morality did not require one to be religious. Religion like laws can make a person who has immoral thoughts do the right thing. Morality comes from weighing your wants with the wants and needs of others and then doing what is best for the majority. There will always be a percentage of the population that laws, religion or something else will not deter them from doing something bad.

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I agree. I have never felt religious = Moral.. That is not to say that one cannot derive morality from religion or from a book.. I derive some of my morals from a book.. I certainly had morals before that. I know some athiests that I feel are very, very moral