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The Science of Good and Evil: Why People…

The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and…

by Michael Shermer

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Worthwhile reading, but not one of Shermer's best. ( )
  quantum_flapdoodle | Apr 25, 2011 |
This was the first book that I've read that attempted to take a scientific and statistical approach to understanding morality and Good and Evil. I really enjoyed the first chapter and the last chapter of this book. The middle was hit or miss for me just because I wanted more statistical information and less description. Michael Shermer definitely knows his stuff and presents some plausible ideas on where human morality came from and where it must go for our species to survive. I also really liked the suggested reading list and list of basic human traits that exist in all cultures around the world. Definitely a good read. ( )
1 vote Diwanna | Aug 2, 2010 |
A really seriously beautiful look into this huge and well travelled subject.

What can Shermer add to the huge pile of debate and polemic already out there on this topic? Rational inquiry based upon evidence. This makes his contribution very different to most. Evolutionary theory, morality and determinism are examined thoughtfully.

Next he examines the religious claims on this topic and develops "provisional ethics" as a rational alternative to blind faith and obedience.

If only more folks would prefer thinking about morality rather than judging others based on the morality they think has been dictated to them, then I think the world would be a far better place.

So go and read this, and then think about it. ( )
1 vote psiloiordinary | Nov 10, 2009 |
A scientific examination of moral and immoral behaviour.
  Fledgist | Sep 1, 2007 |
very nicely done and researched. shermer poses some very interesting theories on why human's treat each other the way they do. much of it is from an anthropological sense. i got a lot out of it.. ( )
  stipe168 | Jan 10, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805077693, Paperback)

From bestselling author Michael Shermer, an investigation of the evolution of morality that is "a paragon of popularized science and philosophy" The Sun (Baltimore)

A century and a half after Darwin first proposed an "evolutionary ethics," science has begun to tackle the roots of morality. Just as evolutionary biologists study why we are hungry (to motivate us to eat) or why sex is enjoyable (to motivate us to procreate), they are now searching for the very nature of humanity.

In The Science of Good and Evil, science historian Michael Shermer explores how humans evolved from social primates to moral primates; how and why morality motivates the human animal; and how the foundation of moral principles can be built upon empirical evidence.

Along the way he explains the implications of scientific findings for fate and free will, the existence of pure good and pure evil, and the development of early moral sentiments among the first humans. As he closes the divide between science and morality, Shermer draws on stories from the Yanamamö, infamously known as the "fierce people" of the tropical rain forest, to the Stanford studies on jailers' behavior in prisons. The Science of Good and Evil is ultimately a profound look at the moral animal, belief, and the scientific pursuit of truth.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:51 -0400)

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