August 24, 2003

The Moral Sense Test

"Most of our moral intuitions are unconscious, involuntary, and universal, developing in each child despite formal education. When humans, from the hunter-gathers of the Rift Valley to the billionaire dot-com-ers of the Silicon Valley generate moral intuitions they are like reflexes, something that happens to us without our being aware of how or even why. We call this capacity our moral faculty. Our aim is to use data from the MST, as well as other experiments, to explain what it is, how it evolved, and how it develops in our species, creating individuals with moral responsibilities and concerns about human welfare. The Moral Sense Test has been designed for all humans who are curious about that puzzling little word ought about the principles that make one action right and another wrong, and why we feel elated about the former and guilty about the latter."

I'd suggest that, whatever their conclusions from the results of the Moral Sense Test, they will be based on the presupposition that morality is a derivative property of Nature. C. S. Lewis sees "Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe", where Natural Law is conferred on Mankind, not emergent from the genes only.

What's the "so what?" Failing to find any common currency, to discover any common human moral roots from within or without, we seem likely to continue the rapid slide down the slippery slope of moral relativism we've been travelling with increasing speed for the past half-century. How 'ought' we to live in this world?... a question worth asking, and not a new one. Some of the older answers are well worth revisiting. And I would mark the issue as 'urgent'.

Posted by fred1st at August 24, 2003 06:35 AM | TrackBack
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