Re: morality and memes

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Mon May 20 2002 - 15:40:47 BST

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    From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    Subject: Re: morality and memes
    Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 07:40:47 -0700
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    >Came across this definition of morality in a book about journalism
    >& Beauchamp's 'The Virtuous Journalist') whilst doing something entirely
    >un-memetics related the other day. They define morality as a set of
    >'culturally transmitted rules of right and wrong conduct that establish the
    >basic terms of social life'.
    >Despite being an artefact-meme supporter, this piqued my interest. Can
    >morals be culturally transmitted, if so, how? If so, are they memes? More
    >fundamentally are morals innate, or culturally produced? If the latter,
    >how/why do some spread more than others? Are what we perceive of as innate
    >values, actually environmentally specific- which I mean in a way distinct
    >from culturally specific (e.g. isolated communities favouring polygamy due
    >to a gender imbalance).
    >I'm not sure what my own views are at this point in time, but it raised
    >these questions in my mind.
    >Any takers?
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    It sounds like we're back to that old arguement: is it nature or nurture. I
    thought that was resolved a long time ago. It's both. Both genes and memes
    act on the mind and body to produce attitudes and ideas that help us live
    together in ever larger societies. Without both, I don't think it would
    happen. Within the individual, the values created are the result of input
    from both the emotional and environmental forces that shape the person from
    the day he/she is conceived. Within society, memes fight in the
    battleground of the mind pool for survival and dominance. That, at any rate
    is my concept of the overview. Other views are welcome to compete. ;-)>


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