De Waal's work with bonobo chimps has facinating information about
primate cultures.  His work Peacemaking Among Primates is a great book
for finding the roots of many social customs in our ancient past.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/067465921X/103-7153482-6367068?v=glance&n=283155




--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "authfriend" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>
> --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "curtisdeltablues"
> <curtisdeltablues@> wrote:
> >
> > I believed that ethics and morals were like natural laws that came
> > from God to mankind through the scriptures in each culture.
> >
> > Now I believe that we choose our ethics while shaped by our reason
> > and our social contract with others.  Much of this was created in
> > our primate past as we learned the value of the group and the
> > behaviors necessary to live together.
> >
> > I think under each point of view some people act ethically and some
> > do not. I don't know which is more effective for helping people act
> > in a kind way towards others.  I just know what point of view I
> > hold and I do my best from that perspective.
> >
> > So what do you believe?
>
> I think the scriptural ideas of morality reflect the
> ethics of the cultures for which the scriptures were
> written.  I think there *may* be some innate human
> sense that shapes and reinforces ethical behavior,
> and is perpetuated because it's been found to work, but
> where that sense came from, I couldn't say.  I wouldn't
> rule out that it comes from an inherent "orderliness"
> (in the very-big-picture sense) from which the
> universe emerged and which humans intuit.
>
> But the "rules" put forth in scripture that are said
> to have been laid down by God I think are just a
> (relatively clumsy) approximation of what we intuit of
> that "orderliness."
>
> With that one caveat--that ethical behavior may arise
> from some intuition of an abstract "natural law" (but
> coming through humans, not some divine lawgiver)--I agree
> with everything else you said.
>







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