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Why Everyone (Else) is a Hypocrite 9, 10: Morality and Contradictions/is for the Birds


Chapter 9 points out the inconsistencies in our moral judgments. Basically, we have our moral judgments, then come up with reasons afterwards to justify them. Kurzban leaves it as an open question why we feel so strongly about certain things. The next chapter is a sketch of how evolution might favor certain moral feelings against or for polygymy that would not necessitate the agents to actually know why they have those feelings.

Kindle Notes:

People seem to judge acts first, and search for justifications and victims afterwards, which strongly suggests that one coherent set of principles isn’t driving moral judgments (3690).

the explanations people give for being in favor of prohibiting drugs are like the explanation split-brain patients give when they say “the shovel is for cleaning the chicken coop.” It’s a reason fabricated by the press secretary of the mind that is not the real reason for the view (3817).

The modules that cause behavior are different from the ones that cause people to voice agreement with moral rules. Because condemnation and conscience are caused by different modules, it is no wonder that speech and action often conflict (3962).

in a species in which individuals can constrain others’ behavior with rules, you’d expect evolution to act to cause members of the species to favor rules that serve their reproductive interests even if they don’t know this is why they’re endorsing these rules (4059).

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