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A Case for Inherent Morality
#1
A Case for Inherent Morality
I think that morality is inherent for the simple reason that I believe it became inborn through the process of natural selection. That is, I believe there was a time when morality was not particularly inherent. However, I believe that at that time those who preferred to be good were better equipped to survive. That is, I believe that they were  better able to work together to care for their young and each other, to hunt and gather, to build and manufacture, and to defend themselves. I believe that this lead to them becoming more numerous and prosperous than those who did not prefer to be good and that they eventually eliminated in self-defense a great many of those who did not prefer to be good. I believe that over time, as the good parented the overwhelming majority of children they passed on to them the genes that made them prefer to be good in the first place. I believe that this resulted in the vast majority of people today having an inborn feeling that it is right to be good and wrong to be bad.
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#2
RE: A Case for Inherent Morality
I think that it's hard to base ideas about permanent and inseparable things in population genetics. They change.
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#3
RE: A Case for Inherent Morality
(June 19, 2021 at 4:33 pm)JohnJubinsky Wrote: I think that morality is inherent for the simple reason that I believe it became inborn through the process of natural selection. That is, I believe there was a time when morality was not particularly inherent. However, I believe that at that time those who preferred to be good were better equipped to survive. That is, I believe that they were  better able to work together to care for their young and each other, to hunt and gather, to build and manufacture, and to defend themselves. I believe that this lead to them becoming more numerous and prosperous than those who did not prefer to be good and that they eventually eliminated in self-defense a great many of those who did not prefer to be good. I believe that over time, as the good parented the overwhelming majority of children they passed on to them the genes that made them prefer to be good in the first place. I believe that this resulted in the vast majority of people today having an inborn feeling that it is right to be good and wrong to be bad.

It’s possible, I suppose. But it’s equally likely that it’s more of a social construct than a genetic one. In other words, those qualities you mention (cooperation, defense of the group, etc) have been found to be so useful to society, that they are inculcated rather than genetically inherited. This would explain why parents expend so much effort on teaching their children to be ‘good’.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#4
RE: A Case for Inherent Morality
(June 19, 2021 at 5:13 pm)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote:
(June 19, 2021 at 4:33 pm)JohnJubinsky Wrote: I think that morality is inherent for the simple reason that I believe it became inborn through the process of natural selection. That is, I believe there was a time when morality was not particularly inherent. However, I believe that at that time those who preferred to be good were better equipped to survive. That is, I believe that they were  better able to work together to care for their young and each other, to hunt and gather, to build and manufacture, and to defend themselves. I believe that this lead to them becoming more numerous and prosperous than those who did not prefer to be good and that they eventually eliminated in self-defense a great many of those who did not prefer to be good. I believe that over time, as the good parented the overwhelming majority of children they passed on to them the genes that made them prefer to be good in the first place. I believe that this resulted in the vast majority of people today having an inborn feeling that it is right to be good and wrong to be bad.

It’s possible, I suppose. But it’s equally likely that it’s more of a social construct than a genetic one. In other words, those qualities you mention (cooperation, defense of the group, etc) have been found to be so useful to society, that they are inculcated rather than genetically inherited. This would explain why parents expend so much effort on teaching their children to be ‘good’.

Boru

Certainly people are also taught to be good but my experience has been that young children are happy innocent things. There is no doubt that they are broadly viewed this way by society.
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#5
RE: A Case for Inherent Morality
I disagree with the term. If a human child is raised in isolation (eg. wild child) will it display or behave with inherent morality? History says no. Morals are the product of environment more than genetics.
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#6
RE: A Case for Inherent Morality
(June 19, 2021 at 6:20 pm)JohnJubinsky Wrote: Certainly people are also taught to be good but my experience has been that young children are happy innocent things. There is no doubt that they are broadly viewed this way by society.

Have you ever read about Noam Chomsky's views on language acquisition? 

His studies show that newborn children have no language, but they have a strong active tendency to pick up a language. There is a kind of space or structure in the mind which is there for language, and it gets filled up fast. After a short time if they don't have a language it would be some kind of disability. 

My suspicion is that morality works the same way. It is natural to be born without morality, but it is unnatural to stay without one for very long. And as with language, the morality you pick up is the one you see around you as a little kid.
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#7
RE: A Case for Inherent Morality
(June 19, 2021 at 6:20 pm)JohnJubinsky Wrote:
(June 19, 2021 at 5:13 pm)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: It’s possible, I suppose. But it’s equally likely that it’s more of a social construct than a genetic one. In other words, those qualities you mention (cooperation, defense of the group, etc) have been found to be so useful to society, that they are inculcated rather than genetically inherited. This would explain why parents expend so much effort on teaching their children to be ‘good’.

Boru

Certainly people are also taught to be good but my experience has been that young children are happy innocent things. There is no doubt that they are broadly viewed this way by society.

Children may very well be ‘happy innocent things’, but there is - as yet - no way to tell if this happy innocence is learned or inherited.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#8
RE: A Case for Inherent Morality
Morality?  What's that?
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#9
RE: A Case for Inherent Morality
(June 19, 2021 at 7:28 pm)Ranjr Wrote: Morality?  What's that?

It’s like pornography - difficult to define, but you know it when you see it.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#10
RE: A Case for Inherent Morality
Oh, I get it.  It's when the waitress knows from the way I look at her not to flirt with me.  Flirt with my wife.  I love morality.
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