"From a review of the anthropological and evolutionary literatures [Edge.org]
... there were three best candidates for being additional psychological foundations of morality [embedded video]
, beyond harm/care and fairness/justice
. These three we label as ingroup/loyalty
(which may have evolved from the long history of cross-group or sub-group competition...); authority/respect
(which may have evolved from the long history of primate hierarchy, modified by cultural limitations on power and bullying...), and purity/sanctity
, which may be a much more recent system, growing out of the uniquely human emotion of disgust
, which seems to give people feelings that some ways of living and acting are higher, more noble, and less carnal than others.
"...It might seem obvious to you that contractual societies are good, modern, creative and free, whereas beehive societies reek of feudalism, fascism, and patriarchy. And, on balance, I agree that liberal contractual societies such as those of Western Europe offer the best hope for living peacefully together in our increasingly diverse modern nations (although it remains to be seen if Europe can solve its current diversity problems).
just want to make one point, however, that should give contractualists pause
: surveys have long showed that religious believers in the United States are happier, healthier, longer-lived, and more generous to charity and to each other than are secular people. Most of these effects have been documented in Europe too. If you believe that morality is about happiness
and suffering, then I think you are obligated to take a close look at the way religious people actually live and ask what they are doing right." [$1000 prize for those who can expand or refine the five foundations, scroll down to #2. Previously]