Monday, 20 February 2012

Our March Meeting

The Biological Basis of Morality

This is the subject for the Hastings Humanists next meeting,
at The White Rock Hotel 7 to 9 pm, Thursday 8 March,
presented by Stephen Milton.

If our sense of morality was not handed down to us in tablets of stone from
an omnipotent God, then where did it come from?

Stephen will argue that we have developed principles for co-operation
over millennia because they gave us a survival advantage. Through a process
of Darwinian natural selection they have become embedded as an intrinsic
part of our human and social makeup and this forms our moral code. We
‘instinctively’ value fair play, have a strong sense of right and wrong, and
a host of other rules for living in a community.

Some of the recent science that explains these processes:-
· Games Theory suggests that collaboration works better than outright
· Oxytocin which NeuroEconomist Paul Zak calls the ‘moral molecule’
· Mirror Neurones and their role in enabling us to feel empathy

But what might it all imply for ideas of criminal responsibility, social
organisation and or even economic fairness in society???
The normal lively debate will follow.

There should also be a report of the East Sussex SACRE meeting due to be held on 29 February at which a Hastings Humanist observer will be present.


  1. will there be a video recording of the event? I have just found out about it but unfortunately I can't come tomorrow :(

  2. Stephen has produced a PDF but we cannot at present publish it here. We are looking into the possibilities of an improved website.