Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id QAA19536 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Mon, 20 May 2002 16:44:17 +0100 Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> From: "Philip Jonkers" <email@example.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> References: <570E2BEE7BC5A34684EE5914FCFC368C10FCDC@fillan.stir.ac.uk> Subject: Re: morality and memes Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 08:30:16 -0700 Organization: Prodigy Internet Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit X-Priority: 3 X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2600.0000 X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2600.0000 Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> 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
> 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?
> fundamentally are morals innate, or culturally produced? If the latter,
> how/why do some spread more than others? Are what we perceive of as
> 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?
Interesting question Vincent. I feel that individual animals living in
solitude know no morals.
That is, they will stop at nothing, including killing or wounding other
animals of their species, to get their
share of food. Social animals are a little different. It simply isn't good
for the species to have no
stop at getting food if it damages the wellbeing of fellow social
group-members. So here's
some set of morals desired however basic and primitive.
Regarding memetically. Morals can be expressed linguistically. So they are
or culturally transmittable. If morals lead to increase in fitness of the
group at hand moralistic memes
may flourish. So yes, morals can very well be memetic and yes they can also
have a biological basis.
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