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Is there anything moral about evolutionary biology?

 Perhaps [biologists] can eventually do what philosophers have never managed, and explain moral behavior in an intellectually satisfying way.

Claims were made decades ago with the emergence of sociobiology, when E.O. Wilson suggested that “the time has come for ethics to be removed temporarily from the hands of the philosophers and biologicized

So what is the origins of our capacity for moral judgment or of various associated emotional and behavioral dispositions. If someone says to in that accusatory way 'well, you are not being moral'  s/he is more likely to be concerned with the justification of moral principles or the source and nature of obligation. However obligation has a history and its moral element is suffused and permeated by by vested interests.

When it comes to morality, the most basic issue concerns our capacity for normative guidance: our ability to be motivated by norms of behavior and feeling through judgments about how people ought to act and respond in various circumstances (Joyce 2006, Kitcher 2006a,b, 2011, and Machery and Mallon 2010)

Is this human capacity for a moral capacity  a biological adaptation, having perhaps conferred a selective advantage on our ancestors by enhancing social cohesion and cooperation?

If so, then it would be part of evolved human nature to employ moral judgment in governing human behavior, rather than a mere “cultural veneer” artificially imposed on an amoral human nature (de Waal 2006).

Such intriguing questions arise at the intersection of morality and evolutionary biology. Researchers are also interested in the possibility of more specific forms of evolutionary influence. Are there, for example, emotional adaptations that influence the very content of moral judgments and behavior?
For example, many of us believe that among our various moral duties, we have special and stringent duties toward family members. Might this ‘moral intuition’ be attributable, at least in part, to an evolved tendency to favor members of one's kin group over others, analogous to similar traits in other animals? I mean
Why do elephants grieve?Image result for elephants grieving
and they do.

Even where moral beliefs are heavily shaped by culture, there might be such evolutionary influences in the background: evolved psychological traits may have contributed to the shaping of cultural practices themselves, influencing, for example, the development of “family first” cultural norms that inform our judgments. Similarly with a tendency more generally to favor members of one's own group (however defined) over outsiders. Does this justify the indigenous populations
in US and Europe being hostile to out of control immigration, does that not have evolutionary leanings and justification? Evolution proceeds in an orderly fashion and not from disorder and chaos.

Or is morality to be  understood and accepted as a set of empirical phenomena to be explained: it is an empirical fact about human beings that we make moral judgments, have certain feelings and behave in certain ways.   Think Clintons, Scaramoochi et al

Moral philosophers tend to focus on questions about the justification of moral claims, the existence and grounds of moral truths, and what morality requires of us. These are very different from the empirical questions pursued in the sciences
Descriptive Evolutionary Ethics: appeals to evolutionary theory in the scientific explanation of the origins of certain human capacities, tendencies, or patterns of thought, feeling and behavior. For example: the appeal to natural selection pressures in the distant past to explain the evolution of a capacity for normative guidance, or more specifically the origins of our sense of fairness or our resentment of cheaters i.e monkeys cheating on each other
Image result for monkey cheating
  1. The Empirical Sense of ‘Morality’
People coming from a scientific perspective, who are interested in descriptive evolutionary ethics, speak of morality as something to be explained scientifically—as in familiar talk of “how morality evolved”. Here ‘morality’ refers, as noted earlier, to a certain set of empirical phenomena, such as the observed capacity of human beings to make normative judgments, or the tendency to have certain sentiments such as sympathy or guilt or blame, or certain ‘intuitions’ about fairness or violence. Just as we can inquire into the origins and functions of other traits, such as human linguistic capacities, we can inquire into the origins and functions of the various psychological capacities and tendencies associated with ‘morality

  1. The Normative Sense of ‘Morality’
In contrast to the above, there is a very different use of the term ‘morality’ in what may be called the normative sense. Consider the question: “Does morality require that we make substantial sacrifices to help distant strangers?” Such a question arises from the deliberative standpoint as we seek to determine how we ought to live, and it is a normative rather than an empirical question. We are not here asking an anthropological question about some actual moral code—even that of our own society—but a normative question that might lead us to a new moral code. When we use ‘morality’ in the normative sense, it is meant to refer to however it is we ought to live, i.e., to a set of norms that ought to be adopted and followed.[2]

What does morality require of us? Does morality have a purely consequentialist structure, 
as utilitarians claim.

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