Programme 3 - Morality | Science & Belief
Programme 3 - Morality
This programme equips learners to consider and respond to these questions:
• Where does the human moral sense come from?
• Is it God given, or something made by humanity?
• How far might evolution play a part in understanding at least some aspects of morality?
Our labelling of some kinds of behaviour as wrong or evil is generally uncontroversial—racism, abusive behaviour, selfish lies, expressions of hated, would all be widely accepted examples. Humanity seems to need some moral guides, rules or principles.
If animal behaviour includes what looks like needless cruelty, then it also includes examples of unselfishness, especially with regard to an animal’s babies!
Science might be useful in tracing and understanding some of our moral thoughts as well: if it is an advantage to a species to practise ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ reciprocity, then is it also possible that higher forms of altruism, love and compassion can grow from our animal nature? Has love evolved?