Where does morality come from?

The clergy will tell you that morality comes from religion. Scientists like Richard Dawkins however, will state that morality is just another strategy used by “selfish” genes to increase the odds of their survival through replication. A moral society favors marriage—a social structure that augments the drive of genes to pass their traits to future generations via the reproductive process and protective care of loving parents.

Is morality the outcome of biological evolution? Or, is it from the revealed wisdom of a Divine Creator?

The evolution of bio-complexity shows a real trajectory towards increased intelligence and consciousness. While neuroscience struggles with the concept of person-level realities (subjective individual consciousness), morality is perfectly suited for the higher-level phenomena of the non-physical mind and human identity.

The neo-Darwinian synthesis of evolution is a physical theory by which species adapt to fill niches within a constantly changing physical environment. But humans have benefited from the exploitation of an entirely different resource—knowledge!

The human mind can distill knowledge from the universe in a way that other living creatures cannot. Furthermore, this knowledge is not only retained within the human memory IT IS ORGANIZED. Rational thought is impossible unless ideas can be arranged and organized into some coherent order.

The next thing to consider is that the human mind can only arrange ideas and information according to personal VALUES!  Morality is a dynamic specially suited for a creature that would evolve first-person phenomenal experience (which includes the cognitive functions of free will and discernment).

Morality, viewed from a faith-based perspective, hints strongly that religion is God’s special strategy by which evolution can continue into a non-physical realm through the proper organization of the human mind and spirit through nobler values.

This non-physical realm is called heaven. When the Lord said that “the kingdom of God is within you” He was making a scientific statement concerning the human heart and mind and that its proper organization extends the biosphere into a pre-geometrical, pre-spatial, spiritual realm.

Religion and morality seem to fill an ontological gap in the evolution of a mind that would need to be exposed to higher principles to help guide it through the non-physical realm of ideas, concepts, and information.

Religion is not a topic abstracted from science or evolutionary theory. Life has evolved to a level of intelligence where values matter! Religious values determine the higher level, non-physical, bio-complexity of the human spirit.

God and science are both necessary for a final theory of reality. My new book, Proving God, will add more flesh to this unique assumption.

Website: http://www.provinggod.com

About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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2 Responses to Where does morality come from?

  1. john locke says:

    Hello, I just read this and would like to observe that it ignores an extremely crucial piece of evidence in regards to morality. Specifically, that morality is found in a wide range of species, not just humans. Everything from ants to dogs to monkeys have moral genetic dispositions. Now, your argument about knowledge and higher principles may make sense for the human intelligence, but it has no bearing on morality in ants and bees. When a killer bee sacrifices itself to protect its hive, it does not do so because it is continuing evolution into the nonphysical realm, it does so because natural selection values protection of the queen, who carries the same genes as he does. Same with ants. Neither the queen or the ants are consciously valuing the survival of their queen, but natural selection values the genes of ants who will help their queen survive.

    Dogs and monkeys do so because it provides a stable society for them to live in. Once again, natural selection values moral behavior in a society. Dogs have not developed complex philosophical reasons to be loyal to the back. They simply are.

    Humans are not any different. Humans develop morals well before they understand what god, religion or philosophy are. They develop morals around the same time intellectually as an animal. A fully grown dog for instance, has an intellence level of a two year old( http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/160242.php ) Babies start grasping moral concepts around the age of 18 months. Simple things like retrieving a pencil that an adult drops, but still this moral behavior precedes anything dealing with god and consciousness.

    Overall, morals are observed in animals who have no interest in the spiritual for clearly beneficial reasons and in humans well before interest in the spiritual for beneficial reasons.

  2. thegodguy says:

    Dear john locke,

    Thank you for your intelligent response. However, God’s divine love and influence flows into ALL living creatures.

    Animals cannot act contrary to their instinctive design – humans can. Therefore, humans need to artificially learn about morality (such as through education). And even when it is learned, morality can simply constitute mere memory-data. So morality in humans must also be a conscious choice.

    When humans choose to live by God’s tenets spiritual love begins to dispose the non-physical mind into a new level of organized structure and order. This order represents a new embodiment for the soul, which allows it to orient its organic processes with that of heaven.

    Of course, this is a discussion that could fill up an entire book. Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

    Spiritually yours,

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