Bending the Rules: Morality in the Modern World - From by Robert A. Hinde

By Robert A. Hinde

Robert Aubrey Hinde is a recognized zoologist and peace activist, being the chair of the British Pugwash, an foreign clash solution association based by way of Joseph Rotblat (a contributor to this ebook) and preeminent thinker Bertrand Russell. He was once mentor to either the developmental psychologist John Bowlby and the primatologists Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey. Hinde describes this ebook as an program of evolutionary biology and psychology to ethical concept, with the purpose of revealing the chance and immorality of struggle.

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Extra resources for Bending the Rules: Morality in the Modern World - From Relationships to Politics and War

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The purveying of religious systems in most societies has been the responsibility of the religious leaders, who make moral pronouncements for which they claim divine authority. Secular leaders also often claim divine authority to lend force to their decisions. In insisting on the absolute nature of the precepts that they purvey, they can threaten the transgressor with dire punishment in this life or the next. Once status relationships have been established, the force of authority can be so powerful that it can be used to cause individuals to act in ways contrary to their moral beliefs.

GROUP LOYALTY A final issue here, of central importance to most of the later chapters, concerns the felt importance of belonging to one or more groups. Humans have always lived in groups—originally probably mainly limited to close relatives, but subsequently elaborated into enormous, complexly organized societies. As noted earlier, living in a well-integrated group was advantageous to group members in furthering group endeavours, especially those in which numbers counted (at least up to a point).

Competition between males for females is therefore stronger than that between females for males, and males tend to be larger and stronger. Male aggressiveness and assertiveness have therefore been selected for. Machismo traditions and protectiveness towards women are in harmony with this, for men not only compete for mates, but also must protect their mates from the attentions of other men. A female knows that the child in her womb is her own, but a male can be cuckolded. Thus extra-pair mating by a female in a monogamous or polygynous society may result in the male expending parental care on infants that he has not fathered.

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