Scientist Argues Morality Is Innate in Humans

AnneTracker| Many of the details of how religions evolved in societies are unknown, although archaeologists and theologians alike are in a fertile period of discovery and understanding about the origins and of religions and they have adapted in the hands of men and evolving cultures.

Whatever your views of religion, culture and morality, many religious scholars and practitioners agree that man has molded religious practices in his own image. The role of Muslim women at the founding of Islam was argueably much more ‘liberated’ than the tribal laws that proscribed women’s lives in subsquent decades.

via Joanna Mialkowska-Art GalleryCatholic women make a similar argument, citing all the cultural shifts in the papacy and role of priests, who were once married.

Dr. Ilkka Pyysiainen from the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies has just published a paper that will generate debate among religious scholars, clergy and congregations. The heart of this analysis involves the question as to whether moral principles are universal or much be conveyed onto humans. Simply stated, is religious doctrine the main ‘operating system’ for humans, or would they behave in responsibly civilized fashion apart from religion.

The research suggests that intuitive judgments of right and wrong seem to operate independently of explicit religious commitments.

The conclusions of this research project are not designed to impune organized religion. Rather they reinforce the argument that humans have an innate moral structure that exists apart from being shepherded into right action by religious theology.

I originally read the ScienceDaily report Morality research sheds light on the origins of religion, and then read the entire paper The origins of religion: evolved adaptation or by-product? here at Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

This is a lofty subject for Anne of Carversville but our involvement in international (and American) women’s rights causes us to constantly try to understand the role of religion, along with the patriarchy, in advocating suffering, penance, humility among women, along with the assertion that our natures are essentially sinful.

We are therefore committed to learning as much about the science of religion as we can. These are exciting times in religion as cable shows from PBS to the History Channel educate us about the history of religion and what scientific analysis of artifacts teaches us about societies.

Her column isn’t quite ready for prime time yet, but I do want to introduce you to a new blog called ‘Sensual Intrepid’, written by Catherine Isadora.

Catherine and I have communicated for several months now, and she’s agreed to write ‘think pieces’ for Anne of Carversville. Catherine’s first column is Estrogen Meets Testosterone | Whole Brain Revolution.

So on the one hand, I’m moving Sexy Futures to A of C, which decidedly gives it a much spicier flavor, Catherine brings an intellectual dimension to Anne of Carversville that I’ve wanted to cultivate since day one of the website. Anne

Notes: Photo is from work of Joanna Mialkowska of Ireland. Reading Joanna’s website, and seeing more of her visuals, I will post them in Les Artistes Briefs.  Enjoy all the changes in our website.