A Brief History of Morality


A Brief History of Morality

Morality arose out of the rule, Tit for Tat. Do something bad to me and I’ll do something bad to you. The possibility of retaliation deters a wrongdoer.

Right from the first human, we already knew that it was easier to take the fruits of someone else’s labour than to go out and earn them for ourselves. The strongest would always get what they wanted, right or wrong. That’s how the animal kingdom works.

We can only speculate how this principle became one of respect for another’s property.

Humans are one of very few animals that mate for extended periods. Birds do this, but usually for one mating season only. Hardly any mammals couple off.

At the same time, humans are sexually promiscuous. Marry this with the mating bond and we get a very complicated state of affairs. (Puns intended.)

Alongside the possession of private property, the exclusive sexual bond is a huge source of conflict between humans.

To stop clan members from killing and maiming each other over property and the right of exclusive sexual access to a woman, the clan developed a set of rules. Break the rules and it wouldn’t be just the injured party coming after you. The whole clan would punish you.

It wasn’t only punishment. If you cooperated with the clan, they would cooperate with you. Again, this is only speculation, but public morality probably arose this way.

Clans that practiced these rules became stronger and able to overcome other clans that were disunited by internal strife over property and mates.

What we call morality is simply a system of sanction and reward for the benefit of society.

Moral systems differ strongly between different societies and at different times, depending on the values they place on property and ownership of women. In modern Western society, the ownership of women by men is slowly beginning to fall away, but this is not happening globally.

How does Morality apply to Autons?


About oldfossil

Just because I'm old doesn't mean I'm decrepit.
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