Evolution of the Moral Code Essays

Evolution of the Moral Code Essays

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Evolution of the Moral Code

"Morality is the herding instinct of the individual."    -Nietzsche

Within the depths of your imagination, two tribes exist. Peaceful hunter-gatherers, they are exactly equal in every respect. All of the variables in their environment are the same or cancel each other out. Their birth and death rates coincide exactly, their resources and location are so similar that they could be the same tribe.

They remain in this state of equality, completely unaware of each others' existence, until one day a fight erupts in both tribes at the same time which heats to the point where one member of the tribe kills another in anger. Amidst this, something unusual happens: for the first time, a split occurs in the behavior of the tribes. The first tribe frowns upon the behavior, convenes a meeting of tribal elders, and decides to punish the individual. The punishment is severe and public, the individual justly reprimanded for his heinous crime.

In the second tribe, the action is seen as natural. The argument exploded into anger, a perfectly natural emotion, and escalated to the point where it was a life-or-death situation. No punishment is handed down, and the tribe continues to live.

As time passes, the tribe which punished the murder sees few further murders, instead keeping its strict standard and severely punishing any such transgression. The looser tribe sees more murders, as it is perfectly accepted, a part of their moral code. Or rather, an accepted standard not mentioned in their moral code. Time passes. The difference does not cause the end or severe decline of either tribe.

At some point, the tribes become aware of each other, and find it necessary for the purposes of this illustra...

... middle of paper ...

...essary if we replace it with the realization that morals are in place that we may live together.

In this theoretical case, the hypocrisy of religion is subtracted with the outdated morals no longer needed to keep the outdated system intact. The important morals will remain, and religious crimes will end, such as much of the seemingly endless religion-fueled fighting in the Middle East.

Religion must, in the end, go, to be replaced by simple ethics and respect. Unfeasible? Wholly. But on the individual level, at least acceptance can be learned and perhaps passed on, and eventually, the outdated, humanized view of God will be replaced by love.

For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself; for in case we live, we live to the Lord, and in case we die, we die to the Lord; so whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

-Romans 14:7-8

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