Is it inherent in our makeup, like an instinct? Or does it have to be learned?
Nothing is 100% biological or 100% learned. It is a combination. You have to be born with the potential, and you have to have the experiences and instruction to develop it.
Morality in nature is (almost) exclusively limited to survival or not. That applies to both the species and the individual with the result that some of what we see and apply to animal morality is actually survival of the species. Lack of common cannibalism, for instance, is the result of survival of the species.considerations and not true morality.
With intelligence, humankind has invented it's own morality, but it does not come naturally. There are very, very few "morals" that are universally accepted, which would indicate that morals are a function of culture and not nature or species.
Really, is kindness not universally accepted? Arn't ethics are morality based on kindness?
Explain that to one tribe preparing to make war on another.
Or to the adults performing genital mutilation of their children.
Or to the people stoning a young girl to death for going to school.
No, ethics and morality are not generally based on kindness; they are, in a very general manner, based on getting what you want. You want control over women, you mutilate them and make sure they remain ignorant while declaring it the moral thing to do. You want others to treat you in a particular way so you will treat them in the same manner in the hopes it will be returned.
This just shows that people choose to ignore morality. They still know right from wrong.
People CHOOSE to be cruel.
That is only true if you assume that YOUR morality is somehow superior to THEIR morality.
Throughout history morals have changed periodically; they never remain static. They also vary widely between cultures and lands, but unless you choose to show that one set results in better species survival then it cannot be said that any one is superior.
We all have our own set of morals, and we all think them best. It was once considered moral to kill escaped slaves or, a little further back in time, muslims. Some find it moral to murder a fetus; some find it moral to murder a surgeon removing an unwanted growth from a womb.
We will never, ever, all agree on what is right or wrong; we can only agree that anyone not following our own moral system is wrong.
Some people choose to be cruel. People of all faiths can sometimes do cruel things even because of their faith.
A sense of kindness can be warped so that the person doing or asking for genital mutilation think they are doing the right thing. And yes, It's all about your ability to fit into the tribe. The other tribe being wiped is beneficial for the individual in the other tribe genetically.
"You want others to treat you in a particular way so you will treat them in the same manner in the hopes it will be returned."
Exactly, except that it isn't "warped"; it is just different. We consider it warped because it doesn't agree with what we believe to be right.
I understand your viewpoint of kindness, but to me kindness is an altruistic quality, not something that we do in expectation of compensation of some sort.
Yes, and children start to show kindness before kindness can be taught. We can be taught that somethings are good for the tribe.
Children equally show cruelty before it can be taught, so that could be argued either way,
Exactly! We are taught our morals from those around us.
I suspect that you're actually wrong about kids showing kindness before they're taught; that teaching begins long before they are physically capable of showing any kindness. It isn't overt, but merely by watching and experiencing the actions of others the child is learning.
Yes, they are based on kindness, but weighted heavily to kin groups and the local community. And sometimes culture develops so that you have to do some bad to avoid something even worse happening. Parents doing genital mutilation don't hate their kids. The do what they feel they have to for the child to be accepted and find a spouse, just like modern Americans circumcising their babies or nagging them about weight until they become anorexic..
You're right of course - those parents don't hate their kids and will likely consider the mutilation a kindness.
Many morals, however, don't stem from that at all. Stoning the young girl cannot be considered kind, and neither could murdering an escaped slave. These, along with countless other actions collected under the cloak of "morality" are simply to maintain the status quo and the power of those on top.
I would really have to agree with this. But I think there are some universal morals that have just been lost over time due to imperialism by technological societies..
Live and let live.
by Hope Alexander7 years ago
I ask this after I received what appeared to be a remarkably stupid yet long winded comment to one of my hubs written on female genital mutilation. The commenter said that it was fine and should be an accepted practice...
by janesix3 years ago
I say we are born knowing right from wrong. People KNOW they are doing something wrong, and yet choose to do it anyway.Our moral compass is a gift from God.Morals are inborn in my opinion.Discuss.
by lucieanne5 years ago
There has recently been a debate on a radio station about female genital mutilation, which I find abhorrent. Why is this practice acceptable on religious grounds, when it is ultimately child abuse?Why don't Jehovah's...
by Captain Redbeard5 years ago
Richard Dawkins poses the theory that studying the bible for its literature content is a great thing. However we should not follow its teachings. He feels that ones moral standards should not come from this book or any...
by SpanStar4 years ago
Compared to people in the past would you say modern-day people are more moral than those since the days of Pharaoh up until present day?The crimes of modern-day man are too numerous to list here.
by CH Elijah Sadaphal9 months ago
Recently, while reading The Magic of Reality (2012) by Richard Dawkins, I came upon this interesting proclamation in the chapter titled, “Why Do Bad Things Happen?”:"Bad things happen because things happen....
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