Morality Essay

Morality Essay

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Morality is defined as a system or code that we humans use to differentiate between right and wrong. This system could be derived from a number of factors: religion, culture, and upbringing. It is difficult enough to determine what an individual's morals are, but going further to determine how we came to possess those morals is even more ambitious. Still, regardless of its difficulty, this subject consumes many philosophers and psychologists. One such moral psychologists, Jonathan Haidt, is theorizing the possibility of evolution causing ones morality. Haidt is a moral psychologist at the Universtiy of Virgina further believes that complex social structures such as religion and politics as well as our need for social structures affect one's personal structure of morals. Haidt is serious about testing his theories, and has traveled across the planet to India to conduct further research. Personally, I have a great interest in philosophy and ethics, and the theory that evolution over time has affected morality today is one theory I have not read about at all.
One idea of great interest to Haidt that prompted much of his research was the concept of moral dumbfounding. Moral dumbfounding occurs when people feel a particular emotion towards something but do not know why they feel that way. To initiate his research on the idea of an evolutionary morality, he began experimenting with this concept of moral dumbfounding. Haidt would test individual's reactions to particular circumstances. For example, Haidt discovered people's instant reactions of disgust to the idea of a starving family forced to cook and consume their pet dog as a meal. Even as I ponder upon that thought, I cringe. Although I personally have some idea why I ...


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... not convincing enough. Plus, the idea of philosophy is related to the concept of human's being able to reason. Thus, each individual should be able to reason their own answer to why our morality is the way that it is. Whether or not Haidt is correct on the matter, morality will continue to puzzle people. If he is correct, than morality will simply continue to change and evolve over time, as the progression of time and change is never-ending.
Haidt like many, including myself, gets caught up in the intangible ideas of morality. He has many thoughts about it, and I believe he is figuring out himself how they all work together. As morality is a result of many factors, it is a natural assumption that evolution is the direct cause of it. I believe just as our morality evolves, so will our perception of morality and our perception of from where morality is derived.

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