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All Human Behavior and Thought is Biologically Motivated

All Human Behavior and Thought is Biologically Motivated

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Published by Jay Chakravarty

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Published by: Jay Chakravarty on Jan 19, 2012
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01/19/2012

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All human behavior and thought is biologically motivated, meaning that it directly or indirectly enhances survival or reproduction.

Morality is no exception. While morality may be expressed in various ways, such as through religion or positive law documents, the spirit of morality is derived from intuitive altruistic thought patterns that have proved evolutionarily advantageous for humans in the past. Selfserving acts such as killing, stealing, or adultery, that would have disrupted the social cooperation early humans depended on to survive, are those which have become universally judged as immoral. Being good to others and reaping the reciprocal rewards proved a better survival strategy than acting selfishly and dying as a result of reciprocal losses at the hands of others (I hit you, you hit me, and we both get hurt). Religion is no more than a vehicle by which morality can be simplified into an explicit form (10 commandments, 10 Buddhist precepts) and by which additional incentives are provided for moral altruistic action by the prospect of divine judgment and the afterlife. Logic, which tries to quantify morality, ignores morality s qualitative intuitive characteristics. (Would you push someone in front of a car in order to prevent the car from hitting five other people farther down the road? While such an action follows sound logic, my guess is that few would consider it right ) On the most fundamental level, morality has developed as a way of eliminating acts that detract from the social synergy we have required for survival in the past.

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