Moral values are things held to be right or wrong or desirable or undesirable. While moralityis sometimes described as 'innate' in humans, the scientificview is that a capacity for morality is geneticallydetermined in us, but the set of moral values is aquired, through example, teaching, and imprinting from parents and society. Different cultureshave very different moral value systems. Moral values, along with traditions, laws, behaviour patterns, and beliefs, are the defining features of a culture.
Nationalistsbelieve that a societyneeds one culture to hold it together, as has tended to be the case historically, and that 'multiculturalism' is not desirable as it tends to lead to conflict.
In Evolutionary psychology, moral values are seen as part of cultural evolution. They reduce conflict within the group and make reciprocal altruismpossible. They are one mechanism by which the 'Tragedy of the commons', in which selfish individuals spoil things for everyone by taking more than their fair share, might be prevented.
Moral values are enforced by peer pressure, conscience, disapproval, shunning, and only in some instances by law. They were effective in small communities before laws were formalised. They can also be sustained by the concept of 'status', which used to be measured in terms of honour, fairness, and honesty, before it was degraded by consumerisminto a show of wealth and power.
The term "moral values" was brought to public attention and acquired significance as a political slogan when pollsters included it for the first time in U.S. presidential exit polls. Many voters who voted for George W. Bushreportedly cited "moral values" as their reason for voting for Bush instead of John Kerry.
- Evolutionary psychology
- Tragedy of the commons
Categories: Science| Psychology| Evolutionary psychology| Sociology
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It uses material from the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral+values Wikipedia article Moral values.