Human morality Essay
Morality has often been associated with the roles performed by the concept of nature and nurture in relation to the source of moral dispositions. It has been expressed that evolution has provided human beings preconditions of morality, yet it is solely during engagement with an individual’s culture that these preconditions are converted to pure morality. Evolution considers human beings as one of the animal species and thus it is not easy and simple to detach ourselves from the rest of the other biological species in terms of our morals and conducts (Crawford and Salmon, 2004).
The concept of morality is thus not an essential part of being human, but its presence makes us adjust to our environments, as well as act in a rational way. Morality also allows human beings to care for other individuals, as well as experience the feeling of wanting something. More importantly, morality provides us an additional characteristic—to want to be decent individuals. There has been significant debate with regards to the implications of morality and that of the concept of evolution coined by Charles Darwin.
It has been described in the history of Social Darwinism and the concept of eugenics that it is possible to choose which genes should further proliferation in the next generations and those genes that confer undesirable traits be left out to go extinct in the human race. This concept of eugenics has been attempted in eradicating future generations of criminals as well as sickly individuals that carry heritable medical disorders.
Unfortunately, morality is also influenced by the concept of Social Darwinism, wherein there is huge misinterpretation of the theory of evolution, especially that of the concept of fitness. One major issue of misinterpretation is that the followers of Social Darwinism strongly equate the word good to the condition of being highly evolved. Hence any individuals that are not behaving in a lawful manner such as criminals are immediately classified as individuals that belong to a lower level in the taxonomy of human evolution.
This concept should thus be revisited so that the term fitness be only associated with physical fitness of an organism as it evolves through time. It should also be known that the fitness of an organism is strongly influenced by an environment, wherein an organism that lives in a harsh environment learns to survive in cruel ecological conditions, and in the case of human beings, in poor social and environmental conditions.
Moral dispositions among human beings evolve through the process of natural selection, hence the results of evolution are simply considered to be that of the selfish trait. It is generally accepted that the human brain is comprised of structures that have evolved to follow that “either-or” way of thinking, wherein the mind is put in a blank non-thinking conditions and the rest of the functions of the brain are at an innate condition.
There are also some genetic misinterpretations with regards to human nature, wherein there is so much attention on the transmission of intelligence and other superb human capabilities that is known be better understood that there is also a concept of determinism wherein an individual carries this need to be compassionate to other individuals because they feel a certain peace and tranquility in their bodies, including the brain and the heart. Thus there is an interaction between the environmental and the genes of an individual, resulting in the personality of an individual to sacrifice his own benefits for the good of others.
The concept of eugenics thus can not be fully applied to human morality because this concept is affected by multiple factors, mainly by the genetic makeup of the individual, as well as the environmental effects on the physiological brainwork of an individual. Thus, it is very simple for an individual to refrain from stealing even if he is aware that stealing will provide him a source of funds for himself. Reference Crawford C and Salmon C (eds. ). (2004): Evolutionary Psychology, Public Policy and Personal Decisions. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 19 April 2017
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