Jorge Moll and the Relationship of Morality to Evolution

The efforts of Jorge Moll, the neuroscientist and his associate, Jordan Grafman neuroscience is finding its place in discussions about morality. According to Moll and Grafman, the brain is a primary force in the act of being good (Loop.frontiersin). When monitoring test subjects who were hooked up to brain scanning devices it was discovered that the same areas of the brain lit up in response to more primitive stimuli like food and sex as well as when thoughts of giving charitably were considered.

According to Jorge Moll and Jordan Grafman who are looking at the brain’s relationship to morality, their brain imaging and psychological study is revealing that morality is hard-wired into the brain. They are likening morality to many aspects of the evolutionary process where traits are transferred from adult to child for generations.

If the simplest animal reactions can judge the transfer of morality through the generations, the example of how rats react to the treatment of other rats is one way to demonstrate this phenomenon. In an experiment conducted by Moll and a team, food is put before one rat. As the rat eats, another rat within his viewing area is shocked each time he eats. The eating rat will forego eating rather than have the other rat be subjected to constant shocks.

Even is less evolved animals, morality may be hard-wired into the brain. It is now considered a possibility that morality has biological roots. The reward center of the brain has been a part of human evolution for a very long time. Many worry that if brain chemistry is the reason people behave morally, then making the right choice or free will would no longer be important. These concepts disturb both scientists and theologians.

Because emotion is often involved in any moral decision we make, the ability to tap into your emotional response to an idea is important. Based on Jorge Moll and team, when patients with ventromedical prefrontal cortex damage consider a moral decision, they lack emotions. They do not go through the same dilemmas a person who experiences emotions would. This fact pointed to the process of deciding the morality of a situation. To consider it, there is a complicated process. Psychopaths feel no remorse or empathy like the ventromedical prefrontal cortex damaged individuals. In both instances, they rely completely on reasoning. Morality doesn’t enter into the thinking, once again highlighting the probability that morality is hard-wired into the healthy human brain.


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