Friday, 29 November 2013

Morals in society: Are they needed?

Animals teach each other what is permissable within their societies and what is not. We too as humans teach our young to develop compassion and morals. This is all part and parcel of keeping society trundling along within constructive parameters. If a behaviour or activity drains too much from the resource pool of the all, or the individual, then usually these variables are actively suppressed generation upon generation. Moral structure to me seems essential for any kind of cohesive society to succeed and continue to be a winning thread within a sea of evolving social constructs. Ultimately the most efficient few social constructs that extract the most productivity from their subjects are the ongoing winners monetarily; and perpetually as they are looked upon by others with jealous eyes as being the best model to deliver the highest standard of livings for any given populous. Protection of the collective and of the productive contributors to the successful collective will always require "moral" social structures. This isn't to say that everything is perfect or that social constructs on the other side of the fence are morally respected by the big-wigs of the the "morally" sound leading ways. But any system of humans must have moral aspects of respect and humanity these days to keep up with the times and to gel the collective together from within.

Any society is so complex as to offer multitudinous exceptions and seeming hypocritical aspects of its nature, but the fundamental drive is a positive one as it is to try and better the environment humanity exercises its mental muscles within. This in itself drives a moral collective ideal that underpins modern world culture . . . in my opinion.

If a collection of beings had an innate moral faculty built-in to realise they shouldn't eat each other then they would not have the need to learn such a concept of compassion. You could say then that from a human perspective they have no need for morals as a concept as they exhibit collective-perpetuating characteristics by rote. But this wouldn't negate the need for moral behaviours to exist whether they are aware of them or not, or label them as such or not. Morality is a line of what is and isn't acceptable and the line can be drawn to many different degress but a line I suggest must be drawn to stop animals from innately ripping apart another animal if they are to live in a collective.
If the lack of morality was in itself a naturally selected attribute, as in by mindlessly devouring anything around it the animal somehow furthered its individualistic and/or collective cause (whether the collective's size is only the cells collected within an individual, or a collection of such "individuals") then maybe a lack of morality would be a plausible mode. But what of "biological morality" where cells and organelles follow a set of "moral" rules to not pince resources or attack and devour neighbouring cells etc. etc. and so on. Morality would seem to be an innate prerequisite for biology to evolve systems at all let alone into sentient existence . . ?

Even insects have to not feed members of their own hive to their young, as a general rule. There is always a system of morality whether it is conscious or hardcoded. There has to be lines that aren't crossed for any society to function.

And again I reiterate that biological systems themselves rely upon just such a hardcoded morality. Cells within the body that lose their ability to follow the rules create cancers etc.

That isn't to say one couldn't seek to construct a system where an amoral framework functioned on some level . . . but I fear any such system would be swallowed up by competing modes that did exhibit moral-type behaviours . . .

1 comment:

  1. It's cool that you write about this because it's something that we should be thinking about a lot more regularly. I'm teaching a history course this school year, which is new to me, and I'm trying to approach it as a subject that's a mix between human systems and human nature. If we factor in the ebb and flow nature of things, I think we find that amoral human nature is more or less a byproduct of a particularly strong human system (one that's been reinforced over time, one that people "believe" in) and a particularly strong ebb. Simply put, when things are bad people go bad. Is that an oversimplification?