Wednesday, October 6, 2010

In the beginning there was?

Have you ever wondered how or where we humans attained our moral behavior? Are morals built into our D.N.A. tried and tested over millions of years of evolution, perfected by the survival of human kind? Instinctive like removing your hand away from a flame. Are morals God/s given? or are morals learnt via peers / parents / teachers based on the current zeitgeist not based on religions teachings?

I think everybody in the world has an opinion on how we become moral, or not in some cases. Religious people will say that morals are taught from the word of God/s. More scientific people may argue that we evolved our morals for the survival of future generations. Others may believe that morals have nothing to do with religion or science and are based on teachings passed down from generation to generation.  

I want to know where our moral behavior comes from and if morals change depending on our demographics. I want to know if social stereotypical views on morality hold true. I want to know if religion, race, age,  education, employment status  play a part in our moral behavior or if it’s something much deeper than that, ingrained into humanity itself.

I am going to create an experiment that tests the morality of different demographics to see if there is a difference between these demographics or find out that we are all them same.

I need to create a moral dilemma that I can use to test the participants of the experiment. The dilemma needs to be real, something that will have an actual effect on the participants. Asking questions will not be good enough as people will be more likely to lie or not take part. I obviously don’t want the participants to do something dangerous that could lead them into trouble but I do need the participants to really question themselves, search deep within their heart. There needs to be a choice between selfish or selfless behavior. I know this experiment needs to involve money, but how? How do I get participants to have a real moral dilemma over something of value (money), when I have no money and I want everybody on the Internet to be able to take part in the experiment?...

The Experiments Moral Dilemma:
If you came into some money would you:
  • Give it to charity 
  • Keep it for yourself? 
The experiment needs to be anonymous and needs to involve real money. 
In my next blog I am going to outline the rules of the experiment and explain exactly how I intended to get everybody in the world who has access to the internet to get involved.