The Evolving Species Moral.
Nothing is final before it is finished.
Moral started to develop when people lived in small groups,families, as a set of basic rules for behaviour when living together ;When the groups were growing,becoming tribes ,the rules of engagement became more complex because possible contacts were more diverse ,relations became more varied and fluid. Also inter-tribal behaviour appeared at the same time but this was experimental at first when knowledge about the other tribe was vey scarce, but after a while ,probably due to some economical necessity a kind of cooperation seemed to benefit both partners and step by step the morals of several tribes became modified into a more complex more general moral.The evolution of the morals followed the paths of explorations of the tribes and later nations ,on the level of nations often consisting of millions of people there also developed a culture ,linked to but different from the moral. The interactions between culture and moral are many,for example science influences knowledge and understanding of nature thus interfers with morals ,arts may support or deviate from existing morals and may also lead to fashions and trends,even in moral! Obviously the role played by language in the evolution of morals cannot be overestimated ,in particular the fine tuning of language stimulated by scientific developments as well as deeper emotional analysis of events provides a continuous enrichment that in turn provokes critical reconsiderations of moral points of view . We are now in the stage of development halfway the survival moral of individuals or small groups and the more altruistic philosophy of the herd mentality; regional cultures behave as “enlarged individuals”,first the instinctive emotions and ideas are the same as before but applied in a larger context,then the new context forces new ideas and emotions to be considered preparing for the next level in the evolution of moral. This evolution is linked to the biological evolution,which is much slower but some effects may be active over a period of thousands of years ,but mainly to the social evolution following the historic events . It has been observed that great wars slow things down for a while but later when peace returns there is a strong revival socially and structurally.
Our ideas of moral start to converge to a universal moral ,that is one that grows in the direction of validity for the species ,for the whole humanity.
Moral developed in humans and is an agreement for cohabitation between humans and humans only. Animals do not have the same or comparable morals ,they have some instinctive rules for living together and behaviour with respect to other groups or predators or species where there exists some kind of symbiosis. They certainly do not have thick books on law and international laws regulating business and economy. As I said morals develop along the path followed by explorations and humans have explored the whole world so only they can come up with some utopian idea like a world-wide moral and justice system. A brown bear killing a salmon has no moral feelings about that ,but humans watching such a scene might be shocked about the evil characteristics of nature ,sometimes referred to as “creation”. Like morals,the distinction between good and bad is only made by humans, it does not apply to events in the universe except solely in the interpretation of humans with respect to their positon in the universe.
All tribes in the world have some kind of morals ,it cannot be avoided because chaotic ways of living together would waste enormous amounts of energy ,some organization of activities in the “group” must exist before we can actually talk about a group,not just a set of people living independently next to one another but not “together”. I stated we are in transition from the survival moral to the herd moral but we have not yet reached the herd moral!The modern technology opened the door to virtual communication and a new kind of “loners” living in group,or rather the virtual group. Can this disjunction in reality but contact in the virtual world have a changing effect on the evolution of moral?Yes, no doubt about that! The virtual contact is perhaps broader than the real contacts but it may be much more superficial and accidental .Meeting other cultures virtually does not create the same deep contact as visiting and living in the other culture ,information about other ideas is less traceable and verifiable in the virtual world. It is not clear that it is unavoidable but it seems to be true now,by just observing the recent developments,that virtual contacts are indeed broader but more superficial and generating less empathy and solidarity. The media are transforming too,rapidly,going digital .This is an opportunity that should not be missed to create a trustworthy source of global information in the virtual world that provides in depth analysis of events and trends independent from political groups and lobby groups ! If this fails then the evolution of world-wide herd moral may come to a stop ,virtual groups,very volatile in definition and composition,may feel dissociated from the real society they live in ,several “virtual morals” may arise and create conflict with social morals in reality.Add to that a growing distrust in politics and governments and a chaotic future suddenly seems real! So far our moral was build on real social contact,the aim was to cohabitate and cooperate in future plans for development of society for the global benefit . Can this be realised if a growing part of the population dissociates from their neighbors and deal in virtual contacts all over the world but even without knowing who the contact really is ? In principle the virtual development can be harmless as long as humans stay humans ,and why shouldn’t they,but there is some small danger…small but not zero!
the need for developing morals could be a genetically defined property of humans and it could be planted in our system by an external force ,we do not know . The question of why we want to live together seems to have a perfectly natural answer ,for greater safety and better chances on survival. Usually predators do not live in herds ,at most in small groups ,but this could be a temporary situation in their evolution. We are top-predators now but we were never really like that and now it is our technology that made us strong, the situation now is that we should only fear ourselves. That is exactly an important reason to strive for that world-moral ,from nationalism to alliance-moral and global moral of the species. The way is still long but we can dream of empatic thinkers on a clean planet with all food and energy problems solved and animals and vegetation living freely ,living in world-wide solidarity.
Meanwhile …talk to your neighbor!