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 Alexander 9 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 because it was similar to people in the West drinking alcohol, just another...
by lucieanne 6 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 witnesses get charged with manslaughter when they allow someone to die for...
by Dan Harmon 15 months ago
According to the article here, a Michigan doctor has been arrested and charged with the genital mutilation (18 U.S.C. 116) of two young girls, making false statements and other crimes. The "surgery" was apparently carried out in a Detroit clinic.Seems like a truly monumental battle...
by janesix 5 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 lanablackmoor 5 years ago
Do you think religion compels morality, or does morality determine religion?Obviously the relationship is somewhat multi-directional for most people, but I'm wondering which you think is more powerful. Do people usually choose a religion that aligns with their preexisting morality? Or do they...
by adethewura 7 years ago
Do you support Female Genital Mutilation?
Copyright © 2018 HubPages Inc. and respective owners. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc. HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.
|HubPages Device ID||This is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.|
|Login||This is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.|
|HubPages Traffic Pixel||This is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.|
|Remarketing Pixels||We may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.|
|Conversion Tracking Pixels||We may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.|