The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule
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.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Diwanna - LibraryThing
This was the first book that I've read that attempted to take a scientific and statistical approach to understanding morality and Good and Evil. I really enjoyed the first chapter and the last chapter ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing
Worthwhile reading, but not one of Shermer's best. Read full review
ONE LONG ARGUMENT
THE ORIGINS OF MORALITY
TRANSCENDENT MORALITY HOW EVOLUTION ENNOBLES ETHICS
WHY WE ARE MORAL THE EVOLUTIONARY ORIGINS OF MORALITY
WHY WE ARE IMMORAL WAR VIOLENCE AND THE IGNOBLE SAVAGE WITHIN
MASTER OF MY FATE MAKING MORAL CHOICES IN A DETERMINED UNIVERSE
A SCIENCE OF PROVISIONAL ETHICS
CAN WE BE GOOD WITHOUT GOD? SCIENCE RELIGION AND MORALITY
HOW WE ARE MORAL ABSOLUTE RELATIVE AND PROVISIONAL ETHICS
HOW WE ARE IMMORAL RIGHT AND WRONG AND WRONG AND HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE
RISE ABOVE TOLERANCE FREEDOM AND THE PROSPECTS FOR HUMANITY
THE DEVIL UNDER FORM OF BABOON THE EVOLUTION OF EVOLUTIONARY ETHICS
MORAL AND RELIGIOUS UNIVERSALS AS A SUBSET OF HUMAN UNIVERSALS