The science of good and evil. [The Science of Good and Evil] 2022-12-23

The science of good and evil Rating: 9,2/10 1342 reviews

The concept of good and evil has been a subject of philosophical and religious discourse for centuries. At its core, the question of good and evil is concerned with determining what actions and behaviors are morally right or wrong. While different societies and cultures may have varying definitions of what is good or evil, there is also a scientific basis for understanding these concepts.

One approach to understanding good and evil from a scientific perspective is through the study of moral psychology. This field seeks to understand how we make moral judgments and how our moral values influence our behavior. Research in moral psychology has identified several factors that contribute to our sense of moral responsibility and our evaluations of good and evil. These include our emotions, our social and cultural context, and the ways in which we process and evaluate information.

One key aspect of moral psychology is the role of emotions in our moral judgments. Emotions, such as empathy and compassion, can lead us to act in ways that are seen as good, while negative emotions, such as anger and resentment, can lead us to act in ways that are seen as evil. In this sense, good and evil can be seen as the products of our emotional responses to different situations.

Our social and cultural context also plays a significant role in shaping our moral values and understanding of good and evil. The values and beliefs of the groups and communities to which we belong can influence our moral judgments and actions. For example, in some cultures, certain actions, such as lying or stealing, may be seen as morally wrong, while in other cultures, these same actions may be seen as acceptable or even necessary.

Another important factor in our moral judgments is the way in which we process and evaluate information. Our brains are designed to quickly and efficiently process information, and this can lead us to make judgments that may not always be completely rational or objective. For example, we may be more likely to view an action as good or evil based on our initial emotional response to it, rather than considering all of the relevant facts and circumstances.

In conclusion, the science of good and evil is a complex and multifaceted field that encompasses a wide range of factors, including our emotions, social and cultural context, and the way in which we process and evaluate information. Understanding these factors can help us to better understand and navigate the moral complexities of the world in which we live.

[The Science of Good and Evil]

the science of good and evil

Exacting revenge acts as a deterrent against attacks, cheating or freeloading. Mutually incompatible religious traditions now take refuge behind the same non sequitur. Although our species is arguably the most complex on earth at least in terms of brain and behavior, especially as expressed in social systems , we are nonetheless animals, and as such we are not exempt from the forces of evolution. Given this qualification, however, peace should reign in the valley of science and religion … and the sheep shall lie peacefully with the lion. If there is no God, then how are we to deal with evil on the scale of the Holocaust? Conversely, when society lacks a mechanism to defend people's rights, "parents teach their children to cultivate a tough reputation and not let anyone get away with messing with them," McCullough says.

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The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule by Michael Shermer

the science of good and evil

Saying that the brain is wired for both virtues and vices "tells us nothing more than what everyone already knew," says Alan Wallace, a Buddhist scholar and president of the Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies. These generalizations are all well and good, but they get you only so far. Michael Shermer tackles two of the deepest and most challenging problems of our age: 1 The origins of morality and 2 the foundations of ethics. At this point in our moral evolution, after all, we have yet to agree upon even the most obvious precursor to moral development—that our children should be educated to think critically and independently. The Science of Good and Evil picks up where How We Believe left off. If our well-being depends upon the interaction between events in our brains and events in the world, as it surely does, then there will be better and worse ways to secure it.

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The Science of Good and Evil

the science of good and evil

It is a word many people use to delude themselves. In his 2008 book "Beyond Revenge: The Evolution of the Forgiveness Instinct," he argues that both forgiveness and revenge "solved critical evolutionary problems for our ancestors. He contends that human morality evolved as first an individual and then a species-wide mechanism for survival. Science has always been in the values business. The framework of a moral landscape guarantees that many people will have flawed conceptions of morality, just as many people have flawed conceptions of physics. Religion came of age approximately 5,500 years ago in the environs of the Fertile Crescent of western Asia as tribes coalesced into chiefdoms, and finally, into states. Although writing for a general audience, Shermer should have known better than to attempt to construct a complete moral edifice from such delicate timbers.

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The Science of Good and Evil: Excerpt » Michael Shermer

the science of good and evil

The Devil Under Form of Baboon is a history of the evolution of evolutionary ethics and the background to the scientific study of moral behavior, starting with Darwin and working our way to the latest findings from evolutionary psychologists. The responses confirmed Shaver's hunch. Since April 2004, he has been a monthly columnist for Scientific American magazine with his Skeptic column. Out of this, he develops the principles of what he calls a "provisional ethics" that "is neither absolute nor relative," that applies to most people most of the time, while allowing for "tolerance and diversity. Moral and Religious Universals as a Subset of Human Universals, supplements Chapter 2 in providing additional evidence of the evolutionary nature of our moral behavior in the form of human universals related to religion and morality.

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Review of: The Science of Good and Evil » Internet Infidels

the science of good and evil

She pet a rat. Want or desire are healthy. I demonstrate that evolutionary ethics can be ennobling and morality transcendent by virtue of the fact that the deepest moral thoughts, behaviors, and sentiments belong not just to individuals, or to individual cultures, but to the entire species. Sulloway and I on why people are moral. Since we are, first and foremost, animals, the findings from all these fields are applicable to the study of human moral behavior, although humans are unique in the fact that the most advanced primates — chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans — show only the most rudimentary forms of moral behavior, or what I call the pre-moral sentiments. But few people say they would kill a healthy man in order to distribute his organs to five patients who will otherwise die, even though the logic—kill one, save five—is identical: a region in our emotional brain rebels at the act of directly and actively taking a man's life, something that feels immeasurably worse than the impersonal act of throwing a switch in an air duct. How We Are Moral, reviews the various absolute and relative ethical systems that have been developed throughout human history, showing the strengths and weaknesses of each one, and concluding that because of the complexity of human society and culture, no single ethical system can be all encompassing or thoroughly consistent; this chapter also presents a science of provisional ethics that is neither absolute nor relative, arguing that moral principles can be applicable to most people, in most circumstances, most of the time.

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Saints and Sinners: The Science of Good and Evil

the science of good and evil

Men cannot remain children forever…. The greatest barrier to greater generosity, at least in the wealthy West, is that "people think they're in a world of scarcity and living on the edge," says Christian Smith of Notre Dame University, who has studied what motivates people to give. Vampire bats share food and follow the principal of reciprocity. In contrast, people who are anxious about their own worth and competence, who avoid close relationships or are clingy in those they have tend to be less altruistic and less generous, psychologists Philip Shaver of the University of California, Davis, and Mario Mikulincer of Bar-Ilan University in Israel have found in a series of experiments. When I ask why we are moral I am asking the question in the same manner that an evolutionary biologist might ask why we are hungry to motivate us to eat or why sex is fun to motivate us to procreate. In general, most people's moral sense capitulates in the face of authority, as Milgram showed.

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The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and ...

the science of good and evil

However, the existence of multiple peaks on the moral landscape does not make them any less real or worthy of discovery. Prologue — One Long Argument: An apologia pro vita sua Our whole dignity consists in thought. Which is extremely dangerous in that it allows anybody to believe anything, and could in the end in the global extinction of humans, because if everbody were relativists, they would act only in the interest of themselves, which would eventually lead to possible destruction of humanity in that society cannot function on purely selfish motives. Other principles include the "happiness" principle "always seek happiness with someone else's happiness in mind" , the liberty principle "always seek liberty with someone else's liberty in mind" and the moderation principle "when innocent people die, extremism in the defense of anything is no virtue, and moderation in the protection of everything is no vice". Of course if you are deluding yourself nothing will work. That is, this book tackles two deep and essential problems: 1 The origins of morality and 2 the foundations of ethics. Shermer shows how these motives came into being as a product of both our evolutionary heritage and cultural history, and how we can construct an ethical system that generates a morality that is neither dogmatically absolute nor irrationally relative — a provisional morality for an age of science that provides empirical evidence and a rational basis for belief.

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‎The Science of Good and Evil on Apple Books

the science of good and evil

People who are emotionally secure, who view life's problems as manageable and who feel safe and protected tend to show the greatest empathy for strangers and to act altruistically and compassionately. We are hungry because when our blood sugar is low our hypothalamus detects this drop and is stimulated to release chemicals that cause a sensation of hunger, motivating us to consume food. Transcendent Morality, presents an answer to the challenge that without a transcendent source of validation for most people this is God all ethical systems are reduced to moral relativism or moral nihilism. The Why and the How of Morality The study of morality is, at its core, the study of why humans do what we do, particularly on the social level, since almost all moral issues revolve around how we interact with others. How We Are Immoral, examines a number of principles that help us tell the difference between right and wrong, then applies these principles to a number of ethical issues, including truth telling and lying, adultery, pornography, abortion, cloning and genetic engineering, and animal rights. On average, older experienced bats fail one night in ten, younger inexperienced bats fail one night in three.

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