Moral Reasoning


I recently read this post by someone on FB.

“I sincerely wish more people understood how much “willpower” is actually just dopamine regulation. That our in/ability to do everything we need to is almost exclusively brain chemistry and has nothing to do with moral character.” 

I don’t know how accurate that statement is but it made me ask the question, if it’s all biology or chemistry is there really any morality that we can claim or even criticize another for not having?

High moral reasoning associated with increased activity in the human brain’s reward system.

According to a new study [2017] individuals who have a high level of moral reasoning show increased activity in the brain’s frontostriatal reward system (the striatum is a region of the brain within the limbic system which is important for aspects of trust, relationship, dopamine reward and addiction), both during periods of rest and while performing a sequential risk taking and decision making task. The findings,  published in the journal Scientific Reports, help us to understand how brain function differs in individuals at different stages of moral reasoning and why some individuals who reach a high level of moral reasoning are more likely to engage in certain “prosocial” behaviors—such as performing community service or giving to charity—based on more advanced principles and ethical rules.

I’m posting this on the Religion forum because morality is integral to the discussion of religion.

Is morality really only down to what reward we get for behaving in a moral way? And by definition, that morality would have to be arbitrary and subjective.

And if so, if it’s only chemistry,  how on earth did we come to any kind of consensus of what morality should or would look like outside of an ultimate authority? And who gets to define morality?

And how did we get to the point, as we have in many religions, that defines morality as that which pleases God,  those ethical laws imposed by God upon humanity, violation of which warrants divine retribution. Who would randomly choose such a system? Where is the dopamine in that?

Romans 2:15

They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.

Romans 12:1-2

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Proverbs 14:12 

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.




R&I – Rawr

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