The Moral Sense
Are human beings naturally endowed with a conscience? Or is morality artificially acquired through social pressure and instruction? Most people assume that modern science proves the latter. Further, most of our current social policies are based upon this "scientific" view...
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Are human beings naturally endowed with a conscience? Or is morality artificially acquired through social pressure and instruction? Most people assume that modern science proves the latter. Further, most of our current social policies are based upon this "scientific" view of the sources of morality. In this book, however, James Q. Wilson seeks to reconcile traditional ideas with a range of important empirical research into the sources of human behavior over the last fifty years. Marshalling evidence drawn from diverse scientific disciplines, including animal behavior, anthropology, evolutionary theory, biology, endocrinology, brain science, genetics, primatology, education and psychology, Wilson shows that the facts about the origin and development of moral reasoning are not at odds with traditional views predating Freud, Darwin and Marx. Our basic sense of right and wrong actually does have a biological and behavioral origin. This "moral sense" arises from the infant's innate sociability, though it must also be nurtured by parental influence. Thus, this book revives ancient traditions of moral and ethical argument that go back to Aristotle, and reunifies the separate streams of philosophical and scientific knowledge that for so long were regarded as unbridgeable.
James Wilson has served the Kingdom of God over four decades as educator, pastor, and founder/president of international parachurch ministry PrayNorthState. He envisioned and helped organize Bible Breakthroughs in multiple American states and nations - including Australia - and God gave him vision to organize and lead the first retreat for California legislators. His vision for a California Day of Repentance spanned four states and Canada's British Columbia. It resulted - by God's grace - in cultural shifts with pragmatic impact. He has a special heart for ethnic reconciliation and has delivered plenary addresses to multiple World Christian Gatherings on Indigenous Peoples, but his heart is to engage encouraging relationships with indigenous and immigrant leaders. His blog reaches some four hundred thousand readers. He believes the last Great Awakening is just beginning alongside the End Times Tribulation. He is married to Jillian and is the father of three children.