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George.
09-18-2007, 07:39 AM
Even if you believe that morality comes from God, it appears to get to us through evolution.


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/18/science/18mora.html



Where do moral rules come from? From reason, some philosophers say. From God, say believers. Seldom considered is a source now being advocated by some biologists, that of evolution.
...
“We have a complex animal mind that only recently evolved language and language-based reasoning,” Dr. Haidt said. “No way was control of the organism going to be handed over to this novel faculty.”
He likens the mind’s subterranean moral machinery to an elephant, and conscious moral reasoning to a small rider on the elephant’s back. Psychologists and philosophers have long taken a far too narrow view of morality, he believes, because they have focused on the rider and largely ignored the elephant.
...
Dr. Haidt combed the literature of anthropology and psychology (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/diseasesconditionsandhealthtopics/psychology_and_psychologists/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) for ideas about morality throughout the world. He identified five components of morality that were common to most cultures. Some concerned the protection of individuals, others the ties that bind a group together.
Of the moral systems that protect individuals, one is concerned with preventing harm to the person and the other with reciprocity and fairness. Less familiar are the three systems that promote behaviors developed for strengthening the group. These are loyalty to the in-group, respect for authority and hierarchy, and a sense of purity or sanctity.
The five moral systems, in Dr. Haidt’s view, are innate psychological mechanisms that predispose children to absorb certain virtues.



But religion is still important in this view:



Dr. Haidt believes that religion has played an important role in human evolution by strengthening and extending the cohesion provided by the moral systems. “If we didn’t have religious minds we would not have stepped through the transition to groupishness,” he said. “We’d still be just small bands roving around.”

Religious behavior may be the result of natural selection, in his view, shaped at a time when early human groups were competing with one another. “Those who found ways to bind themselves together were more successful,” he said.
...
“I first found divinity in disgust,” he writes in his book “The Happiness Hypothesis.”

The emotion of disgust probably evolved when people became meat eaters and had to learn which foods might be contaminated with bacteria, a problem not presented by plant foods. Disgust was then extended to many other categories, he argues, to people who were unclean, to unacceptable sexual practices and to a wide class of bodily functions and behaviors that were seen as separating humans from animals.

George.
09-18-2007, 07:44 AM
We can do evolution, religion and politics in one thread: :D



They found that people who identified themselves as liberals attached great weight to the two moral systems protective of individuals — those of not harming others and of doing as you would be done by. But liberals assigned much less importance to the three moral systems that protect the group, those of loyalty, respect for authority and purity.

Conservatives placed value on all five moral systems but they assigned less weight than liberals to the moralities protective of individuals.

Dr. Haidt believes that many political disagreements between liberals and conservatives may reflect the different emphasis each places on the five moral categories.
...
Extreme liberals, Dr. Haidt argues, attach almost no importance to the moral systems that protect the group. Because conservatives do give some weight to individual protections, they often have a better understanding of liberal views than liberals do of conservative attitudes, in his view.

Dr. Haidt, who describes himself as a moderate liberal, says that societies need people with both types of personality. “A liberal morality will encourage much greater creativity but will weaken social structure and deplete social capital,” he said. “I am really glad we have New York and San Francisco — most of our creativity comes out of cities like these. But a nation that was just New York and San Francisco could not survive very long. Conservatives give more to charity and tend to be more supportive of essential institutions like the military and law enforcement.”

Greg P H
09-18-2007, 09:16 AM
Ist chakra consciousness functions at the literal level. Lizard brain, fight or flight... 'Do un to others', eye for an eye, genetic response, basic survival.

2nd chakra consciousness incorporates the first, but adds reason, judgment (of self and others), and social awareness. This is where ego becomes dominant. "Morality" is something taken on from the 'outside', but it's relative to the social world that one grows up in. The monkey brain.

Most of the world is functioning at one these first 2 levels of awareness.

Discernment, amorality (authenticity) doesn't begin to develop until the 3rd chakra awareness, but the seeds are in the lower levels.

ishmael
09-18-2007, 09:27 AM
Does anyone here have the skinny on what is called "junk DNA"? As I understand it though the egg heads claim to have decoded the human genome there's a bunch of DNA that doesn't seem to do anything. Because it's not readable they call it junk. Hubris?

As to the golden rule being written into our DNA you sure could fool me.

SamSam
09-18-2007, 09:43 AM
Because conservatives do give some weight to individual protections, they often have a better understanding of liberal views than liberals do of conservative attitudes, in his view.This guy is obviously some kind of conservative lunatic and is full of it. ;) Just kidding. Calm down.


FWIW, I'm not sure I buy the 'natural selection' argument... since evidence of 'organized' religion only goes back a few thousand years, no where near enough time.Yes , but worship goes way back. Pagans worshipping the Sun and Moon, the Seasons, Stars etc. Maybe way back to them damn monkeys, like in "2001, A Space Odysey", worshipping (fearing) the Obelisk. That's where organized religion comes from, I believe. The idea of "God" is a relatively modern twist to an old story, putting into overdrive the power obtainable over people, through myth.

Keith Wilson
09-18-2007, 10:02 AM
. . . there's a bunch of DNA that doesn't seem to do anything. Because it's not readable they call it junk. Hubris? Nah. "Junk" DNA is sometimes extra damaged copies of ordinary genes, but a lot of it is pure junk - genetic parasites if you will; DNA that codes for nothing except making more copies of itself. Remember, genes that are good at making more copies of themselves become more common. Some do this by helping to build an organism that can live and reproduce; some do this by just copying themselves. Shortsighted, sure, but as long as the organism works OK, it doesn't do much harm.

George Roberts
09-18-2007, 10:25 AM
"junk" DNA appears to not be all junk. Some has been shown to have subtle effects - regulation of genes.

But genetics is getting complicated. It appears that OH groups can attach to DNA. The attachment can shut down or activate genes. The attachment is caused in part by environment - food. The attachment is in part reversible.

Layers and layers and layers.

Paul Pless
09-18-2007, 10:32 AM
Uh oh.... I can see it now: 10 pages, 1500 posts, largely from George, SamF, Keith, PatCox, peb, and a few others (including me) :DA predestined debate, no doubt.:eek:

Keith Wilson
09-18-2007, 10:42 AM
Quite right, George. It's very complicated, and more layers are being found all the time. Interesting stuff.

George.
09-18-2007, 02:03 PM
It's rather obvious that 30,000 genes wouldn't hold enough bits of information to blueprint a cell - let alone a complex organism with inherited cultural propensities.

Tanbark Spanker
09-18-2007, 02:52 PM
http://store.adventuresunlimitedpress.com/store.lasso?sub=detail&sid=1497072F63A2FAC&item=23076

Keith Wilson
09-18-2007, 03:07 PM
It's rather obvious that 30,000 genes wouldn't hold enough bits of information to blueprint a cell - let alone a complex organism with inherited cultural propensities.DANGER! - Creationist Misquotation Alert! - DANGER!

George.
09-18-2007, 03:17 PM
God of the Gaps alert... :D