NB: Event is on FRIDAY, (not the usual 2nd wednesday of the month)
Man the Moral Animal: The biological roots of morality (PART 1)
Following his very popular talks last year , we're delighted to have Graham Bell returning as our speaker this month.
This talk expands further and this time concentrates on the naturalistic nature of morality and its biological origins in humans, and is part 1of the talk (with part 2 coming in May).
This also has a connection to Graham's talk last year on humanism ( what are 'Humanistic' ethics, where do they come from?, Where ought they come from?), and will also provide facts and alternative theories about the freewill vs determinism debate. MORE BELOW, INCLUDING SOME INTERESTING VIDEOS
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Graham Bell is a retired Physics teacher, and is part of LAAG's Organisers Team.
MORE ABOUT THE EVENT
The origin of moral values has been the subject of almost endless dispute. One tradition suggests that they may be the thoughts in the mind of God; another that they are eternal philosophical truths to be reached by rational reflection; and a third that they are social conventions. In this talk, Graham Bell presents the scientific view that the precursors of morality evolved of necessity in all species of social mammal; and that, although human morality has evolved to become much more complex and sophisticated, its roots lie here.
As a consequence of the agricultural revolution and beginning human settlement some 10,000 years ago, community size and density increased requiring additional social and moral rules, this time not derived directly from biology, to enforce greater group cohesion. It is clear that organised religion emerged many tens of millions of years after morality. Possibly religion built upon morality by expanding social scrutiny of individual behaviour to include supernatural agents, reaching its zenith in monotheism by reducing the 24/7 surveillance of human behaviour and thought to that of a single ‘policeman in the sky’.
There will be insufficient time in the talk to present some evidence. To see how psychologists test the apparent moral discernment of babies aged only 3 months, watch this 13 minute video.
For a demonstrations of moral behaviour in animals, watch this 17 minute video. The last 3 minutes are quite unmissable!
£5 non members/ Guests/ non RSVP'd
£3 LAAG members, £2 NUS (RSVP'd)
- People who are no shows more than twice in a year (from September 2013 onwards) will not be eligible for discount, so please update RSVP's ;-). Obviously this doesn't include if you are a no show unavoidably- we're aiming this at discourtesy and/or laziness only ;-)
- RSVP facility will close automatically, at 17:00 on the day of the event. ★★ If you have a genuine issue after that time, or are a 'maybe' for some reason, no worries of course but please comment in the boxes below & that'll be just fine.
- This is guide only & we won't be draconican, but it is a courtesy that shouldn't need to be asked for, especially when it possibly denies others from attending fully booked events.
19:00- 19:20 General arrival upstairs (please get drinks and order any food DOWNSTAIRS first)
19:30 Discussion /Talk starts PROMPTLY, till latest 21:30 (but flexible)
Social time, drinks & nibbles, till 22:30
The route to the Devereux Pub from Temple station is very easy and only 5 mins - but we've shown it on the photo below as it can be a bit tricky to find the first time - it involves a pedestrian route going through a covered stone flight of steps.
MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT:
- Feel free to add your own questions or comments in the comments boxes below (these comments boxes are for pre and post event discussion TO DO WITH THIS PARTICULAR MEETUP - please use the forum to start discussions about anything else)
- Though these midweek events are usually structured talks/debates/discussions, they are nevertheless fairly informal; so the bar is usually open upstairs in the break and feel free to order food and have it during the event (simple but pretty good we've been told).
- We start the discussion promptly at 19:30. As a courtesy to others, please try to turn up by 19:20 ... if at all possible :-) If a late arrival can't be helped, no worries, just come in quietly :-)
- The usual end time for discussion is 21:30pm, but this is flexible if people want to continue with the discussion, and usually we have some social time afterwards until 10:30pm (or until the pub closes!)
The meetup fee goes towards costs of running the group and activism.