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eBook The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule (Holt Paperback) ePub

eBook The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule (Holt Paperback) ePub

by Michael Shermer

  • ISBN: 0805077693
  • Category: Psychology and Counseling
  • Subcategory: Fitness and Nutrition
  • Author: Michael Shermer
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks (January 2, 2005)
  • Pages: 368
  • ePub book: 1263 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1379 kb
  • Other: lrf lrf lit rtf
  • Rating: 4.6
  • Votes: 675

Description

Michael Shermer is the author of The Believing Brain, Why People Believe Weird Things, The Science of Good and Evil, The Mind Of The Market, Why Darwin Matters, Science Friction, How We Believe and other books on the evolution of human beliefs and behavior.

Michael Shermer is the author of The Believing Brain, Why People Believe Weird Things, The Science of Good and Evil, The Mind Of The Market, Why Darwin Matters, Science Friction, How We Believe and other books on the evolution of human beliefs and behavior. com, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and an adjunct professor at Claremont Graduate University.

From bestselling author Michael Shermer, an investigat. This book was a great attempt at explaining the origins of morality and ethics through evolutionary processes. After reading this book I can proudly say I an atheist (or non-theist) with morals that aren’t arbitrary or selfish. Evolution can explain altruistic behaviors. Rather than promoting the binary attributes of good-evil and guilty-not guilty he proposes a sliding scale of desirability, the way we read a range of temperatures in terms of personal comfort.

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you. ― Anne Lamott. and process plant applications presented at Materials Congress 98 Frontiers in Material Science and Technology. Systems Thinking, : Managing Chaos and Complexity: A Platform for Designing Business Architecture.

Michael Shermer is the author of The Believing Brain, Why People Believe Weird Things, The Science of Good and Evil, The Mind Of The Market, Why Darwin Matters, Science Friction, How We Believe and other books on the evolution of human beliefs and behavior

Michael Shermer is the author of The Believing Brain, Why People Believe Weird Things, The Science of Good and Evil, The Mind Of The Market, Why Darwin Matters, Science Friction, How We Believe and other books on the evolution of human beliefs and behavior. He lives in Southern California. Библиографические данные.

The book was published by Henry Holt and Company.

Psychologist and science historian Shermer explores how humans evolved from social .

Psychologist and science historian Shermer explores how humans evolved from social primates to moral primates, how and why morality motivates the human animal, and how the foundation of moral principles can be built upon empirical evidence. From bestselling author Michael Shermer, an investigation of the evolution of morality that is "a paragon of popularized science and philosophy" The Sun (Baltimore). A century and a half after Darwin first proposed an "evolutionary ethics," science has begun to tackle the roots of morality. Henry Holt and Co. Book Format.

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From bestselling author Michael Shermer, an investigation of the evolution of morality .

From bestselling author Michael Shermer, an investigation of the evolution of morality that is "a paragon of popularized science and philosophy" The Sun (Baltimore)A century and a half after Darwin first proposed an "evolutionary ethics," science has begun to tackle the roots of morality. As he closes the divide between science and morality, Shermer draws on stories from the Yanamam?, infamously known as the "fierce people" of the tropical rain forest, to the Stanford studies on jailers' behavior in prisons. Other readers will always be interested in your opinion of the books you've read.

From bestselling author Michael Shermer, an investigation of the evolution of morality that is "a paragon of popularized science and philosophy" The Sun (Baltimore)

A century and a half after Darwin first proposed an "evolutionary ethics," science has begun to tackle the roots of morality. Just as evolutionary biologists study why we are hungry (to motivate us to eat) or why sex is enjoyable (to motivate us to procreate), they are now searching for the very nature of humanity.

In The Science of Good and Evil, science historian Michael Shermer explores how humans evolved from social primates to moral primates; how and why morality motivates the human animal; and how the foundation of moral principles can be built upon empirical evidence.

Along the way he explains the implications of scientific findings for fate and free will, the existence of pure good and pure evil, and the development of early moral sentiments among the first humans. As he closes the divide between science and morality, Shermer draws on stories from the Yanamamö, infamously known as the "fierce people" of the tropical rain forest, to the Stanford studies on jailers' behavior in prisons. The Science of Good and Evil is ultimately a profound look at the moral animal, belief, and the scientific pursuit of truth.

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Flas Flas
The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule by Michael Shermer

"The Science of Good and Evil" is an interesting book on the study of morality. It's the study of why humans do what they do, particularly on the social level. Best-selling author and self-proclaimed skeptic Michael Shermer takes a scientific approach to the question of morality. The book specifically deals with the origins of morality and the foundations of ethics. A very sound book published in 2004 that holds up quite well. This solid 368 page-book is broken out into the following two parts: Part I. The Origins of Morality, and Part II. A Science of Provisional Ethics.

Positives:
1. A fascinating topic in the hands of a master of his craft.
2. A well-written, well-researched, engaging and accessible book. Excellent!
3. Great use of charts and scientific research throughout the book.
4. Shermer is a great communicator. He is a deep thinker with a knack of conveying profound ideas to laypersons. He is not afraid to share his experiences in order to give life to his theories.
5. Thought-provoking look at morality from many angles, particularly scientific ones. "This is why a scientific analysis of morality can be more fruitful than a philosophical one."
6. Shermer has earned my trust over the years. He is genuine, he takes a scientific approach but he is not afraid to tell you how he feels. "Here we cut to the heart of what is, in my opinion the single biggest obstacle to a complete acceptance of the theory of evolution, especially its application to human thought and behavior, particularly in the realm of morality and ethics: the equating of evolution with ethical nihilism and moral degeneration."
7. Shermer lays down his thesis and goes to work, "My thesis is that morality exists outside the human mind in the sense of being not just a trait of individual humans, but a human trait; that is, a human universal."
8. The why and how of morality. Shermer covers eight main ideas that encapsulates his interesting theory: moral naturalism, evolved moral sense, evolved moral society, the nature of moral nature, provisional morality, provisional right and wrong, provisional justice, and ennobling evolutionary ethics.
9. The history of the golden rule.
10. The evolution of morality. "In the last 10,000 years, these moral thoughts and behaviors were codified into moral rules and principles by religions that arose as a direct function of the shift from tribes to chiefdoms to states."
11. An interesting look at war and violence. Many great examples. "In this latter sense I claim that there is no such thing as evil. There is no supernatural force operating outside the realm of the known laws of nature and human behavior that we can call evil."
12. Free will and the problem of determinism. The fascinating history. How it relates to the law.
13. Science and theories that pertain to violence. "One of the fundamental tenets of science is that a theory should be able to explain the exceptions to its generalizations. This is a problem for the computer-game theory of violence, as it is for the other theories."
14. Absolute morality, relative morality and provisional morality. Always an interesting discussion. "There is a middle way between absolute morality and relative morality that I call provisional morality."
15. Religion and how it relates to morality. "The belief that one's faith is the only true religion too often leads to a disturbing level of intolerance, and this intolerance includes the assumption that nonbelievers cannot be as moral as believers."
16. The happiness, liberty, and moderation principles. Many case studies: adultery, pornography, abortion, cloning, and animal rights. Interesting stuff.
17. Shermer's interesting conversion to Christianity and deconversion. "...there was a slow but systematic displacement of one worldview and way of thinking by another: genesis and exodus myths by cosmology and evolution theories; faith by reason; final truths by provisional probabilities; trust by verification; authority by empiricism; and religious supernaturalism by scientific naturalism."
18. A quote fest, "Absolute morality leads logically to absolute intolerance."
19. An interesting look at Ayn Rand's philosophy of objectivism, a form of fixed Aristotelian philosophy.
20. The four tenets of scientific provisionalism: 1. Metaphysics: Provisional Reality. 2. Epistemology: Provisional Naturalism. 3. Ethics: Provisional Morality. 4. Politics: Provisional Libertarianism.
21. Two great appendices.
22. Notes and bibliography.

Negatives:
1. So much has happened since 2004, particularly in the field of neuroscience. The book is dated in those areas but still holds up well.
2. The scientific study of morality is in reality in its infancy, this book is a great start but there is still ways to go. In other words, it's not as science heavy as Shermer may make it out to be.

In summary, I really enjoyed this book. It holds up fairly way for a book that was published in 2004. The scientific study of morality is in its infancy and the book suffers a bit due to the limited scientific knowledge in the field of neuroscience. In other words, the book is not as strong scientifically as one would like but Shermer makes a very strong case nonetheless. Shermer is an excellent author and though this is not his best work, it's a good read and comes highly recommended!

Further suggestions: "The Believing Brain" by the same author, "SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable" by Bruce M. Hood, "Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique, "Hardwired Behavior: What Neuroscience Reveals about Morality" by Laurence Tancredi, "Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality" by Patricia S. Churchland, "The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature" by Steven Pinker and "The Brain and the Meaning of Life" by Paul Thagard.
Hellblade Hellblade
"For most people killing one human being is repulsive, killing millions can become routine."

"You do not have to give people a reason to be violent, because they already have plenty of reasons. All you have to do is take away their reasons to restrain themselves."

These are a couple of assumptions from some of the researchers Shermer uses. The premises are very interesting. Perhaps there is not no more famous example than the Prisoner/Guard experiment. Shermer does a brilliant job discussing it in light of Nazi Germany.

(You should also understand Shermer is a strict materialist, he is upfront that he believes evolution explains life and he has no belief in God or supernatural events. He does share these perspectives, so be aware some of his discussion moves into taboo areas for many people, i.e. faith. Or as he puts it, Is it possible to know if there is a God or not? To quote Shermer, "My answer is firmly negative.")

Back to the experiment, it was held at Stanford University. Everyone involved was a student. The so called guards were given sunglasses, a whistle, club and cell keys. The "prisoners" were stripped searched and given uniforms. The experiment was to last 2 weeks, it was ended on day 6. Some "prisoners" were suicidal, some "guards" were cruel and meted out punishment in overdose, using food and light deprivation. Everyone was shocked at the personality changes when students were given new, albeit false, identities. The change took only SIX DAYS.

What are we all capable of? More so, what are we capable of being influenced to do, especially by an authoritative figure or high pressure group and in light unknown consequences? You might be surprised. Shermer has some answers to consider.
Topmen Topmen
The Science of Good and Evil is the third book of a series by Michael Shermer. The first book was Why People Believe Weird Things, and the second book was How We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God.

The substance of this book is discussion of morality and ethics, with view towards science to give some guidance on the origins (evolution) and function of morality. Shermer does not promote moral relativism, but something close to that in some people's minds. His main premise is that there is a general morality on almost any subject that most people would agree upon. That is, it would apply to most people, most of the time, in most circumstances.

Of course, that does mean that the desire of many people to have an absolute standard of morality may go unfulfilled, but that is expected by anyone that has given this much thought. An example is in the case of lying. Is it always bad to lie? Certainly it is for most people, most of the time, in most circumstances. However, could there be exceptions?

One of the standard examples of how it is okay to lie is when a greater harm can be avoided by lying, such as a case in World War II: Jews were hid in people's houses, so they would not be discovered and destroyed in whatever imaginative way the Nazis were using at the time. When the Nazis knocked on the door, would it have been morally right to tell the truth and reveal the presence of the Jews hidden inside?

Another example like that is the woman that is being beaten by her husband, and flees her own house, coming to yours begging for shelter. Would you allow her entry? Most of us would. What about when her husband knocks at your door asking if you'd seen her? Would you tell the truth?

These are just two examples from the questions of morality regarding truth telling (not necessarily given in the book, but the ideas behind both are in the book). The idea is that sometimes circumstances preclude the norms of morality because of a greater moral need. It would be okay to lie if the potential for harm is greater if the truth were told. This applies to many things in our lives.

Shermer does discuss the principles behind "The Golden Rule," and shows the lineage of the rule, far predating Jesus and the New Testament. It is a simple common sense way of evaluating whether something is moral or not. Shermer mentions the "ask first" policy - ask someone else how they would feel if you did a certain action, and it will help you decide whether it is moral or not. Sometimes, just thinking about asking another person will help you get the answer you are seeking (a thought experiment).

The ideas in the book, you can see, promote a morality that takes into account the human being:

"The false choice of either all bad or all good does not depict the subtleties and nuances of human behavior." - pg 82.

"One bad act does not an immoral person make." - pg 83.

In other words, there is not simply an evil person or good person, any more than there is an evil essence or good essence. Humans are just humans, and sometimes we do things that are judged as good, and sometimes we do things that are judged as evil.

As far as being good without God or gods, "would you commit robbery, rape, and murder, or would you continue being a good and moral person" if it were proven beyond any reasonable doubt there were no god? "If the answer is that you would soon turn to robbery, rape, or murder, then this is a moral indictment of your character, indicating you are not to be trusted because if, for any reason, you were to turn away from your belief in God (and most people do, at some point in their lives), your true immoral nature would emerge and we would be well advised to steer a wide course around you. If the answer is that you would continue being good and moral, then apparently you can be good without God. QED." -- pp 154, 155.