The Evolution of Morality and Religion

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Overview

Donald Broom argues that morality and the central components of religion are of great value, and presents two central ideas. He asserts that morality has a biological foundation and has evolved as a consequence of natural selection, and that religions are essentially the structures supporting morality. Many philosophers and theologians write about morality and its origins without reference to biological processes such as evolution. Likewise, biologists discuss phenomena of importance to human morality and religion without taking account of the thoughts of others on these subjects.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"One would not expect to see such an ambitious book in ethics and the philosophy of religion written by a veterinarian, even an academic one. But in addition to knowing a great deal about animals and a lot about evolutionary biology, Broom has read extensively in the writings of ethicists, philosophers, biologists, and psychologists, especially those who believe evolutionary theory has something to contribute to an understanding of human morality." - The Journal of Religion Don Browning, University of Chicago
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521821926
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/4/2003
  • Pages: 259
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald M. Broom is Colleen Macleod Professor of Animal Welfare in the Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge.

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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Concepts and codes of living; 2. Cooperation, altruism, reciprocal altruism; 3. Biological capabilities needed for altruism and morality; 4. Ideas about morality; 5. The origins and value of religion; 6. Other views about the origins of morality and religion; 7. Social and political consequences of this biological view of morality and religion; 8. Conclusions; Indexes.

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