Questionable Motives

May 9, 2010

Do we derive our morality from religion?

Filed under: Biology,Harris,Morality,Religion,Science — tildeb @ 7:03 pm

No. We do not. Without question all the evidence points to the inevitable conclusion that morality (necessarily) precedes religion. If morality precedes religion, then from where does it come? The answer may surprise those who automatically disagree with Sam Harris’ latest offerings that we can use science to determine the ought from the is: morality originates from our biology.

I have come across many such child development studies over the years: indications that morality – a knowledge to differentiate between right and wrong – is present in very young children long before any exposure to religious beliefs that supposedly teach us this difference. This old canard – that we derive morality from sources like the bible – is the basis upon which many people allow an area of biological expertise to rest with theology as if theodicy is the natural home for studying this (innate) trait. But we know that religious inquiry is an oxymoron and reveals nothing not previously assumed to be true. The study of morality as an expression of biology can only be enhanced by further scrutiny of scientific inquiry.

This long (7 pages) article (for a newspaper) supports this notion yet again with children one years old and explains how they tested and what results they gathered.

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