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I found this idea of classifying moral behavior fascinating so I thought I'd share it to discuss. Reciprocity and social exchange for example, are some of the more interesting behaviors: gift giving, being 'fair', resolving made me think about how we learn as children in the games we play, for example. []

By mojo55017
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It’s an interesting article and I think Curry has undertaken some great research to collect the data. I must agree with Bloom that there is more going on such as the neurobiology, cultural exchange etc. but excellent foundation for further analysis.


Morals are based on the complexities of good and evil.

Antifred Level 7 Mar 13, 2019

But the terms 'good' and 'evil' are socially constructed. Wouldn't you agree? I suppose that's another area of debate.

@mojo5501 To some degree you could say they are socially constructed.

Consider a thesaurus and what popular concensus is for things considered synonymous or not with good and evil.

Then look on my profile for discussion room called "There is good and there is evil."

If your inclined to read posts already in thread and comment feel free.

@mojo5501 I would say so. Popular consensus doesn't mean the terms have concrete meaning outside of our species and our made up constructs or even just one community. Just look at the difference in language in Americans and the British, and please excuse the example, but "fag" means two completely different things in both societies. If we go deeper into philosophy, people like Hitler believed the things he was doing were "good" for society and the human race as a whole. What if there is a planet out there, or a multiverse where every possible outcome will occur, and one of the planets has a majority of psychos living on it? Popular consensus would say that their way of thinking was "right" or "good". What if they manufactured children that were non-psychos just to use them at the current moment or when they get older just to fulfill their desires of what psychos do in terms of killing and torturing mentally to get their "high"? It's almost like saying people who have certain kinks are doing it wrong because they are probably a minority. Is being a "plushie" bad because the popular consensus is that they're "weird" or "sick"? So yeah, I agree with you. People look at me like I have three heads when I tell them there is no such thing as good and evil outside of our own made up construct. Most of the matter in the universe is in chaos. Is that good or bad? Or neither?

@Piece2YourPuzzle Order is as I explained in my thread duscussion room. Is something in large part synonym with good. But as one looks, Hitler had order to his military but mostly considered a bad cause other than population control in general.

@Piece2YourPuzzle oxymoron good evil, evil good conflation.

universe is ordered chaos. there is order and laws of universe and periodic table of elements but there is a lot of random and uncertain.

@mojo5501 morality is fluid

@Freespirit64 morality is fluid? that is subjective. Once someone called a fart, righteous. fart is gaseous.

@Freespirit64 Well I see it differently...if there are universal moral codes than they are not fluid. There is something either innate or learned early in life (perhaps cultural) that cues us as humans into moral behavior...on the social level, not personal/psychological level. Maybe on the individual level we may call this fluid I suppose.

@mojo5501 pleasure and pain, ease and struggle are good and evil related factors. when something is flowing with the norn it flows with the fluid. Crossing the norm flow or even going directly up river is more of a struggle.

@mojo5501 ok I agree with that. I call it 'The universal law of common human decency'. But there's not many rules. Basically, live and let live in a nutshell. But I'm pissed off right now at this fucked up world with it's fucked up people and willfull ignorance. People do make morality fluid. They change it to suit themselves. Governments do it daily.

@Piece2YourPuzzle nothing to do with the post but just a humorous aside. Once when in North Carolina I said “Just going out for a fag”. I got a most peculiar set of looks from my companions!

@mojo5501 you can look thru a thesaurus to get some of the social construct of good and evil. You can also look on my group thread I created called "There is good and there is evil" listed on my profile.

@Antifred Okay, I will check out your post.


That is interesting but I still prefer the classification from Jonathan Haidt in his book "The righteous Mind":

According to Jonathan Haidt's research there are five components of morality.

Fairness / reciprocity.
Caring / Helping (avoiding harm).
In-group loyalty.
Respect for Authority.
Sanctity of purity.

Matias Level 7 Mar 13, 2019

It depends.
If you read The Selfish Gene you will see that these characteristics opens a lot of space to invasion of deviants. The deviants will make the system unstable and put the population in crisis, but until there they prospered a lot.
The first rule, to protect family can be extended to protect extended family, then protect tribe.
Nationalism tries to turn the whole nation into your tribe, and now there is an effort to turn the whole mankind into one tribe/family.

Pedrohbds Level 7 Mar 13, 2019

I have a problem with some of those 'moral values'. They sound Christian (John Locke was a minister). There is too much me and mine in these. To me true morality needs to remove the personal gain from the equation. I know it is disputed that altruism exists but I believe it does and feel one must strive for a higher order which often involves not letting emotions get in the way of reason.


It is interesting that the 1st moral trait that was mentioned has to do will helping family, which might at least in part due to an evolved tendency to favor members of one's own group over others. The Moral Intuitions we ascribe to culture may be already entailed in how we are biologically constituted as humans.

cava Level 7 Mar 12, 2019

I have a real problem with anyone saying anything about "morals".
#5 is also complete bullshit.
I really don't like anyone laying out what anyone else "should" be doing.
I don't trust their judgment more than my own, and I KNOW what I
SHOULD be doing. I do not need to be told, by anyone.

KKGator Level 9 Mar 12, 2019

Yes, that one does seem out of step in today's world. I think it is meant to mean that in situations where a problem arises in a community, we defer to those with superior knowledge about the issue. As a behavior of the group...not to be meant on an interpersonal level. Or at least that is the way I am understanding that one. As an example, in the medical field...I will defer to people with the training and skills to treat me. But I understand how that word resembles 'submission', and most of us don't like to think of being THAT.

I think the author of the article has novice level life experience and has read many books and never applied the actual knowledge to real life scenarios.

@KKGator I agree. Also, I'm not sure about #2. I could probably be lumped into many "groups". I'm an Atheist, but don't consider this (website) my group, necessarily. Then there's the groups within groups.

I don't know..... maybe the author saw a chance to make a quick buck by appealing to people's better sides and inquisitive nature. That seems to be the "in thing" these days, write a bunch of horse shit and get compensated handsomely for it.

@mojo5501 I feel that the list is about how morality "is" rather than how it should be.

@Fernapple I'm not particularly crazy about anyone telling me about "should".

@Fernapple Well, I suppose that could be arranged by somebody with that purpose. The purpose of this particular article was to focus on what was found to be 'universal'. Not particularly a moral handbook. And that does beg the question, do we humans needs a moral handbook so that we know how to treat each other and to resolve disputes without violence or harm?

@mojo5501 We've had the "handbooks". Granted, they're primarily religious texts, but they failed as well.
"Moral handbooks" always fail.

@KKGator And here, I have to dispute your 'always' kind of thinking. The future is what we make it and this statement from the article is what inspired me to share it in the first place: "“Everyone everywhere shares a common moral code. All agree that cooperating, promoting the common good, is the right thing to do.” Just because something failed before doesn't necessarily mean it will never work in the future. At least we can agree that mutual understanding is a goal to strive for, right?

@mojo5501 I understand what you're saying, and I shouldn't have used the word "always".

However, I have no illusions about achieving "mutual understanding".
I don't believe humans are capable of it. It's a nice concept, and I'm sure it makes many people "feel better" about the future, because they believe that striving for that particular goal is something that may eventually happen.
I do not share that hope.

I don't have the same faith in humanity that it seems you, and others, do.
I also don't see it as being "negative", just realistic.
I have no hope for the betterment of humanity. Most definitely not in my lifetime.

@mojo5501 not so sure about the “everyone, everywhere” remark. I don’t see the common good being promoted by Cardinal Pell, Jimmy Saville, etc.


I am not as gung-ho about social reciprocity as I used to be. Largely because too many people have taken my generosity as an excuse to use me in some way. For reciprocity to BE reciprocity, it has to be consistently returned or at least truly appreciated.

Just yesterday my wife and I were asked to drop everything we were doing and drive two hours to another city on a supposed errand of mercy for a hospitalized friend. It turned out that the crisis was manufactured and had more to do with sparing his parsimonious and self-absorbed adult daughter and son in law unwanted expense or personal involvement. I missed a whole day of work that will put me off balance the rest of the week, because of this. I won't make the same mistake again, and I am unlikely to trust future situations like this as readily. I don't think that makes me immoral, just educated.

mordant Level 8 Mar 12, 2019

Well, yours' is a perfect example of a moral rule that got broken...and it will affect the way you behave in the future as an individual. Rather than uniting or cooperating, you will not trust the motives of the people who have 'burned' you in the past!

@mojo5501 The truth is that it's taken a lifetime for me to get here. My usual pattern is to cool off and get suckered and used some more. I'm just getting too old for hope to keep triumphing over experience.

Of course it's not all negative. But I am sad to say, the preponderance has been negative.

Couple that with the fact we've had 3 cancer diagnoses in our neighborhood in the past year, one of them already gone and the other two not looking good, one stroke and a physical collapse plus this emergency open heart surgery I describe above, on the spouse of the deceased cancer patient -- and this isn't even a senior living community or something. So there's an overwhelm factor that comes into play, especially in the age of Trump with its constant undertone of alarming incompetence and baroque graft and cruelty.

I feel like I'm doing damn good just keeping my head up in this environment.


Nonsense. The dominant male monkey gets the best fruit and free access to all the females.

dahermit Level 7 Mar 12, 2019

Well, you're probably (hopefully) joking there. Primate studies show that many females in ape communities will prefer the males who aren't aggressive or greedy with food distribution. Cooperation is really a big part of social group behavior...sharing, reciprocating, grooming......

@mojo5501 "... Primate studies show..." Show me the links. Also, note that different primate species have different social norms...Bonobos vs. Chimps for instance. Humans are generally a nasty species.

@dahermit The work of Frans de Waal demonstrates that a lot of the stereotypes about apes are simply wrong. The violent male, the submissive female...for example. And yes, the difference between chimpanzees and bonobos are widely known. I will mention the book "Chimpanzee Politics" as an example of an insightful book about social interactions in primate groups. Much of de Waal's work points to the kind of behaviors that are pro-social...not aggressive. And some of them mirror what we would call a moral framework in its simplest form. How conflicts are avoided or dealt with, how sharing and grooming will tighten social bonds, how stressful it is to be the leader of the community...that kind of insightful information that is gathered by closely studying the behavior of social animals.

@mojo5501 Yeah...and chimps do not "go hunting" other tribes of chimps to eat, and do not ever snatch away babies from the mothers in their own tribes and eat them. Yup, prosocial behavior in chimps to be sure. Just because de Waal did not see it does not mean it wasn't happening...Goodall did.

@dahermit You obviously have a point to make and you've made it.


Being brave needs to be defined. I like to refer to it as being afraid and accomplishing a goal regardless. Most think being brave is having no fear. Which is more than foolish.

azzow2 Level 8 Mar 12, 2019

Yes, true bravery is to overcome one's fears and act despite them.

Yes, I agree. I didn't really understand what this sentence in the article even meant: "resolving conflicts through contests which entail “hawkish displays of dominance” such as bravery ". That seems like an odd and limited definition of bravery to me. That sentence needs some serious dissection. Can anybody explain that?

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