Why do ethics exist? Watch

High Stakes
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I am not talking about religion and "thou shall not murder". Because people did have a sense of morale even before religion.

But why do morale and ethics exist? Would other organisms who shared the same level of intelligence experience a similar kind of morale compass which dictated what is right or wrong?
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VannR
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Hume would argue that moral motivation comes from a natural 'sympathy' which we feel towards others. We naturally find pleasing things which are pleasant and useful to others, and distressing things which are harmful to others, even though they may not have any direct affect on us at all. Acting on this sense of 'sympathy' defines what it is to be moral, and provides us with motivation to act morally.

This is one possible answer to your question, but it is one which I am rather fond of.
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NYU℠
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(Original post by High Stakes)
I am not talking about religion and "thou shall not murder". Because people did have a sense of morale even before religion.

But why do morale and ethics exist? Would other organisms who shared the same level of intelligence experience a similar kind of morale compass which dictated what is right or wrong?
This is the entire question of meta-ethics.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meta-ethics
And: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/metaethics/

In answer to your question, in a more direct manner: It depends on who you ask and which theory the subscribe to.
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