Being human is different because of morality.


“I entirely… adhere to the view of those writers who say that of all the differences between man and the lower animals, the moral sense or conscience is by far the most essential,” wrote Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man and Selection about Sex, which was published in 1871. I raise the topic of whether morality is influenced more by culture or biology. Whether the character is biologically determined can be applied to the capacity for ethics (i.e., the tendency to categorize human behavior as right or wrong) or the moral standards people accept as the standard for directing their behavior. I contend that while moral standards are byproducts of cultural evolution, the ability to ethics is an essential quality of human nature. Humans have a moral sense because three prerequisites for ethical behavior must be present for them to function biologically:

(i) have the capacity to foresee the effects of one’s behavior;

(ii) The capacity to assess values; and

(iii) The capacity to decide amongst various options. Not because it is adaptive in and of itself, ethical behavior evolved as a necessary byproduct of man’s exceptional intellectual prowess, a characteristic directly favored by natural selection. In other words, morality did not develop as an adaptation but as an exaptation. However, moral codes are products of cultural evolution, which explains the variation in cultural norms among cultures and how they have changed through time.

Animals, by nature, are humans descended from non-human predecessors. However, the characteristics of our “bodily frame” and the abilities that result from it also demonstrate that humans are a distinct species of animal, a distinct species of ape, with unique features, among which the moral sense is one and, if we are to agree with Darwin, the most significant one. According to Steven Pinker, morality is not simply any old psychological problem because it is closely related to how we view the purpose of life. What makes each of us feel like reasonable human beings is moral goodness. I shall look at morality in this essay as a crucial quality among those that make up “the difference of being human.” Indeed, the evolution of morality is in question.

Human Individuality

The upright posture and giant brain are two distinguishing characteristics of human anatomy. Birds are bipedal, but their backbones stand horizontally rather than vertically (penguins being a small example), and kangaroos’ bipedalism lacks erect posture and differs significantly from ours. We are the only vertebrate species with bipedal movement and an upright stance. Additional morphological changes to the backbone, hipbone, foot and other body parts accompany erect posture and bipedal walking.

Moral Conduct

For the time being, moral behavior shall be defined as the activities of a person who considers their actions’ effect on others. For instance, David Copp offers the following definition of morality: “[W]e can interpret a person’s moral ideas to be the beliefs she has about how to live her life when she considers in a compassionate way the impact of her life and decisions on others.” Similar definitions of altruism include “unselfish respect for or devotion to the wellbeing of others.” However, altruism is typically understood to entail paying the price for the benefit of others, so I shall use the term in this context. Furthermore, “altruism” is frequently based on the actions of social insects and other animals, in which no intention is required and instead results from genetically predetermined activities. Biological altruism, also known as altruism, differs from moral altruism, also known as altruism.

Perspectives on Morality

People have moral ideals, which means they agree with the criteria by which their actions are classified as either good or wicked. Although some norms, like not killing, not stealing, and honoring one’s parents, are ordinary and possibly universal, the specific criteria by which moral actions are judged vary to some extent from person to person and from culture to culture, value judgments regarding human behavior are passed in all cultures. This universality raises two related problems: if morality is innate to humans, adding another aspect to our biological makeup, and whether ethical standards may have developed independently of religious and other cultural traditions.