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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Morals

Where do morals come from? Do they come from religion? Did we not have morals before religion? If the humans are genetically programmed to pursue survival/self-interest then why do many people don't always pursue self-interest? Is it because it is immoral in many cases? Why do some people have high morals and others don't? Some priests are molesting children and some poor people who don't have enough to eat are sharing their meals with strangers. Some atheists have higher morals than many religious people. Why is there so much diversity in human behavior? What do morals have to do with empathy? Are morals local in nature? I give money to the local art museum knowing that the same money can save many lives in Africa. How is art more important than saving lives? Are my morals confined to my neighborhood? Love thy neighbor and don't care about the world outside your neighborhood? What if all the money that goes into arts and culture in the developed world went to educating, providing food and healthcare to the poorest in the world? Is the personal connection we feel towards something we can see that compeles us to do something about it? Does the nation create a boundary around what you should care about? Are morals contextual or universal? For the first time in the history of mankind, the world is connected with information technology i.e. information flows freely among national boundaries. Does that change the nature of morals? You can ignore things you are not aware of. But, now we know what is happening in the world, people are dying of hunger, lack of water, electricity, basic healthcare, etc. Are we to do nothing about it? Do we need to redefine morals now that the world is interconnected?