Becoming Human: The Evolution of Morality


What does it mean to be human? Is it merely our physical characteristics which define us? Or is it something deeper? Some might say that without morality, We are nothing more than animals. Perhaps That which we considered to define us is Not that unique at all Perhaps like everything else about us It is just a product of evolution Morality itself is a loaded term But, to simplify Morality can be segmented into the concepts of “is” and “ought” Evolution granted humanity the ability to think morally Or at least have feelings considered to be moral intuitions But human thought Pushed us from that position upwards and onwards This video will focus on the questions surrounding Where this sort of human ‘intuition’ came from Rather than answering philosophical questions Of how humans ought to behave Every trait an organism possesses Is subject to the harsh realities of natural selection From hair color To the amount of webbing between digits To functions of the brain Psychology is as much variable to natural selection As physical characteristics are Becacuse the psychology of animals can be fine tuned The more advanced a creature is mentally The more that is up to influence from natural selection The reliance on other organisms for survival In a larger familial, or even social structure Can lead to the development of a different psychological makeup Which can help animals interact with their group In a more beneficial way for survival A sort of framework for morality It is Simple A group member who does not add to the overall fitness of the group Is less likely to spread on their genes One who does add to the group To a certain extent, will spread on their genes Therefore, an organism which balances ‘selfishness’ and ‘altruism’ will have the highest fitness It is even beneficial in a gene-survival sense To sacrifice oneself for family or a group member because Even now, in a world full of strangers in which altruism would not necessarily increase an individual’s fitness A phenomenon such as this can be explained For the hundreds of thousands of years Humans have evolved, small tribes were the norm So it would be beneficial to behave altruistically towards most people you interacted with This also leads into another point about environment Humans were adapted for an environment Set from 1.8 million to 10,000 years ago Mostly in an Africa Humans were not evolved for living in the confined Crowded spaces of the modern city Which is only around 6,600 years old So natural selection may have yet to catch up to technology This solves some of the confusion surrounding how Evolution could explain altruistic behavior However, it has been over 400 generations Since humanity’s environment of evolution, So it is not surprising that humans’ mental processes Have evolved considerably since then Due to natural selection Even still, the general framework for morality Which is this sense of balance between selfishness and altruism Is still ingrained within humans today For the evolutionary morality Development of language enhanced the formation of morality in big time Based on Joseph Poulshock’s thesis language lets the group survive through natural selection With a stronger bond and moral code Before the species uses language The concept of morality still existed to form a group But inefficient physical punishment was needed To teach and pass it down to the group members However, the language let people learn what is right and wrong much easier than before For example, when one group member smashes other with the rock He would get punished. But, without the language It is hard to know what behavior led one to get punished it could be the tool he used Or could be the choice of a victim was wrong It takes more time and cost to pass down the exact agreed moral code among the group On the other hand, with the language Every group member is able to acknowledge the right and wrong behaviors And they also can punish the selfish one with more efficient way There is other famous theory that our concept of morality has evolved With the behavioral strategies Such as tit for tat and golden rule Tit for tat is eye for eye behavior that treats others like others treated you And golden rule is behavior that treat other like you want to be treated These rules that one should treat other like one would want to be treated And should not behave selfishly because they would be treated same Were the base of the morality that what we ought to do and ought not to do This aspect of morality started from natural selection continued to evolve even now days It is easily observable that with the social media Where people are so passionate with punishing those Who are behaving unethically and rewarding those who behaving altruistically It is higher stage than tit for tats or golden rules People are watching each other really closely to behave morally For example, #MeToo movement and all the social movements People put their best effort to seek and dig up the group members that behave against the moral code And do not hesitate to punish them verbally, judicially, and even physically On the other hand, for the people who behave altruistically People are willing to make the donation for them and spread the words out voluntarily The concept of morality developed with the behavioral strategies and it has not ceased to evolve All in all, our fundamentals of morality are a product of evolution. They arose from many factors including The necessity for group survival, our advanced social structure, language, and behavioral strategies Human cognition then took the reigns of morality and has begun steering it in a different direction While simultaneously evolving along the way Its a complex topic And it is okay to not fully grasp it quite yet But consider this Maybe what it means to be human is not
merely our evolved sense of morality But rather Our ability to create our own

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