Sunday, September 11, 2011

Morality without religion

Who else has been told that without religion, they and their family must not have any sense of morality? Maybe I should phrase it the other way--who has not been told that they are immoral or amoral because they don't believe in a god?

To me, it's obvious that following basic moral rules would be evolutionarily beneficial. People are naturally social creatures, and so any behavior that harms the group is going to be rejected. The rejection of the person's behavior likely leads to the expulsion of the offending person from the group. That person is now far less likely to reproduce or even survive, and is probably used as an example of what not to do. Voila! Morality sans religion or god.

Well, now there is a new study on morality in babies. Using puppets, the researchers show that babies prefer the 'good puppet' that did not steal a toy over the 'bad puppet' that took the toy and left. Babies certainly do not believe in a god or even think about religion, yet they know that stealing is bad.

Morality--so easy a baby could do it!

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