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By Robert A. Hinde

Do-unto-others-as-you-would-have-them-do-unto-you. Who may disagree with this "Golden Rule?" We regard it because the foundation of an absolute and common morality. And but it truly is thought of applicable to kill the enemy in warfare; for a businessman to do the easiest for himself; for a attorney to argue professionally for a place he may for my part reject. Are the ethical principles we are living through extra versatile than they appear before everything sight? In Bending the foundations Robert Hinde doesn't keep on with the much-trodden direction of philosophizing approximately what's correct and simply. as a substitute, he makes use of an technique grounded within the behavioral sciences to discover the character of morality, what humans really do, what they suspect to be correct, and what values they carry, and the way those positions got here to be. any such deeper knowing of morality, he argues, as a made of organic and cultural evolution, and altering with social surroundings, holds out desire that we will stay away from catastrophe and steer society in the direction of peace and fairness within the twenty-first century.

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Extra resources for Bending the Rules: Morality in the Modern World - From Relationships to Politics and War

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For instance, in some societies masculine assertiveness and feminine modesty are valued, and parents try to bring out these qualities in their children, while in others gentleness and compassion are given higher priority for both sexes. ) Teaching the child the difference between good and bad behaviour is only part of the process: myths and stories illustrating moral issues can play an important part. In addition, children learn from example, and from the atmosphere in which they are living. 21 Ethical Principles and Precepts While the foundations of morality are laid in childhood, parents are not the only influence on moral development.

29 The influence of powerful individuals may be more subtle than that. Take the conventional harming versus not helping problem. Suppose a doctor could save five ill patients if he killed a sixth healthy patient and distributed his healthy organs amongst the sick ones. Should he do so? One person would die but five would live. 30 Harman31 has suggested an explanation for this. All individuals in a society would be better off if everybody desisted from harming others. But if there were a suggestion that everyone should help others in need, the powerful would be called on to help more than those less well provided for.

In looking after their children, parents are ensuring the survival of individuals who behave in much the same way as they do and are likely to pass on a similar complement of genes. Thus looking after one’s children is in keeping with the dictates of natural selection. Clearly children share genes with their parents to the same extent as parents share genes with them. Children who look after their parents are ensuring that individuals with a similar genetic constitution to themselves are better able to have further children and, pragmatically, such children are also increasing the disposition of their parents to look after them.

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