Do morality and ethics exist independent of humankind like, say, gravity?

3 thoughts on “Morality

  1. I’ve seen my cats exercise what appears to be kindness to one another. I have, from time to time seen inter-species kindness and cooperation. We may be the problem in the mix.

  2. This subject interests me immensely. There is good data now to suggest that morality is innate. Even infants seem to understand fairness and it has been demonstrated within other species as well, especially primates.

    Studies involving the Trolley Problem that I discussed recently seem to show that some moral intuitions are the same across cultures, age groups, genders etc. which suggests they are innate rather than learned. Of course some of the things that end up in our moral toolkit are learned and cultural, but it seems there is a subset of ethics that we’re hardwired to have.

    The larger question you ask (“independent of humankind”) is really intriguing. Ethical reasoning is a product of consciousness and our best scientists haven’t been able to figure out what consciousness is. There is reason to believe that consciousness may exist independently of the material world, and that it may not be limited to humans only (in the narrowest sense). Maybe we don’t have consciousness (and therefore ethics). Maybe consciousness has us!

    Fascinating topic! Thanks for giving me some good stuff to wonder about this morning.

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