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Humans have a “moral thermostat”

April 6, 2009

From Ed Young‘s blog:

Humans have a moral thermostat; if they believe they are morally righteous individuals, then they are less likely to act in altruistic ways – possibly because they feel they have already established themselves as morally upright (which is what evolutionary psychology explains as an aid in the struggle for survival – the image of “niceness” enables other humans to act helpfully towards those perceived as “nice”, with the subconscious and sometimes conscious desire to be helped in return)

And if humans feel they are not being moral enough? They act morally, for the same reason as above.

Human morality is hence inclined by notions of selfishness and is contrary to humanity’s notion that altruistism or any kind of morality has an “inherent and intrinsic value that goes beyond the mechanical process of our existence”. It doesn’t. Humans are animals, first and foremost. And beyond that they are just nasty (eg; they defecate), vicious (they  breed and then enslave other animals), cruel (they kill and devour almost anything else that lives!) and domineering monsters (biologically the fittest) .

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From → Science News

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