Born to Be Good
by, 05-17-2011 at 11:40 AM (946 Views)
Just last week I was lecturing to my students on the connection between genes and morality, so I'll probably mention the following article from today's New York Times in tonight's lecture at the University of Ottawa.
"Human beings, Haidt argues, are “the giraffes of altruism.” Just as giraffes got long necks to help them survive, humans developed moral minds that help them and their groups succeed. Humans build moral communities out of shared norms, habits, emotions and gods, and then will fight and even sometimes die to defend their communities.
Different interpretations of evolution produce different ways of analyzing the world. The selfish-competitor model fostered the utility-maximizing model that is so prevalent in the social sciences, particularly economics. The new, more cooperative view will complicate all that."
Moral codes may have their roots in the genome, which in turn was probably shaped by our moral choices.