How the science of morality can answer our questions about morality

Science tells us why our cultural moral norms and our moral sense exists. The ability to explain all the superficial chaos of this diverse, contradictory, and strange data set leaves the door open for science to fully explain all with #3.
Of course, explaining it in ways that convince people to accept that explanation as truth could still be quite difficult.

Life at conception is not supported at all by scripture, but may be it is a little harsh, what the religious reich’s views are worse on that 12 year old girl raped by her father.

The shame is on the religious who make the 12 year old have that baby and die during childbirth, IMO.

And can you tell us the science concerning that 12 year old raped by her father? Can you tell us the science of her psychological state, especially when forced to carry that child? Can your science explain any 12 year old girl’s state of being after her father rapes her, whether she conceives or not? You totally miss the psychology of incest and rape victims with your statements.

Because there isn’t any truth to it.


I am disappointed you think my ideas are BS.

In part because, otherwise, I agree with you. For example:

I agree:

“… the unborn are not infants.” Proponents of abortion bans intentionally conflate infants and blastocysts, zygotes, and fetus to gain that outrage of harming babies.

With what I understand your position to be: Abortion laws are a means of controlling and exploiting fertile women. Moral norms can both be a means of an ingroup exploiting an outgroup as well as markers of membership in an ingroup.

After God formed man in Genesis 2:7, He “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and it was then that the man became a living being” (I am not so confident in your interpretation of how Jews interpret that.)

“It isn’t moral to force a 10 or 12 year old incest victim to carry her father’s baby to term, especially when it could kill her.”

So, I am a bit puzzled.

Keep in mind that I am describing how science can help resolve moral disputes about, in particular, extremist abortion prohibitions. Perhaps that is the source of our miscommunications.

I am not describing how to resolve a dispute about abortion with you. I am not sure we would have differences. I doubt we substantially differ in our views on abortion rights.

If you have more convincing arguments for extreme right-wingers than my science-based “Explaining and shaming”, please don’t keep them to yourself.

My “Explaining and shaming” arguments still look promising to me.

I am still puzzled by where you think I disagree with you.

Perhaps it is because science can tell us why moral norms exist and how they work but science cannot tell us what we ought to do or value?

That circumstance is just the way our universe appears to be.

Perhaps you think we should somehow derive what we ought to do from what ‘is’. No one has been able to convincingly do that in 2500 years.

If you want to resolve disputes about what we ought to do (a topic outside of science), I have been careful to say we should consult the wisdom of moral philosophers, perhaps as The Problem of Abortion and the Doctrine of the Double Effect by Philippa Foot.

Where I am coming from is that moral disputes about extremist abortion positions appear to be largely impervious to such philosophical arguments. Perhaps a bit of science about why people can sincerely believe in the morality of such obviously immoral (to us) reasoning could help. Hence my suggested approach of “Explaining and shaming” based on the science of morality.

I think you’re putting some power in this “E&S” thing that isn’t there. People who hold illogical moral stands believe they are the ones who need to do the “E&S”. They think it makes sense to quote something ancient as justification, and don’t much care for counter arguments. Tradition, as a value, also has some power to increase cooperation and hold tribes together, and this has scientific backing, so any argument that says science can override illogical moral has to deal with all of the pros and cons, and that’s when it becomes political.

I think you are picking only the science-based arguments that you like, and saying they be used to accomplish goals you like. Is anti-abortion really extreme? It’s been around for a long time. It is an “end” for something that was begun. Choosing the exact week or day of the beginning of a “life” is not settled. That was a weakness of the Roe decision that left it open to being rescinded.

The problem is that Nature has no morality, its fundamental amoral tenet is that ;
“in nature, life must take life in the interest of life itself”


It’s not my interpretation.

How so? You believe it’s moral?

Then why don’t you state your views instead of quoting pseudo-science.

Yes, I do. Don’t allow them to make the laws and don’t allow them to destroy a little girls mental and physical health or worse, kill her by forcing her to have the incest baby. The science is the psychology. The psychological damage such things do to girls, not to mention what rape does to women.

I don’t think you can explain or shame the brainwashed, who truly believe that their deity so ordained the rape/incest and therefore the girl/woman must have the baby, even if it kills her. To them, it’s “God’s will” and they have no choice. You can’t reach that and they will believe that with their dying breath. Shaming them only makes them cry, “You’re hurting me!” Then spew something stupid from the Bible or about what they believe their god wants. They don’t believe science. They don’t care about science. All they care about is “God’s will” and they must follow it. “It’s God’s will the little girl was raped by her father and unless there is a sign from God, the child stays in that situation. If the girl gets pregnant by her father they have no choice. The girl must have the baby, maybe even die, because that’s God’s will.” They don’t care about anything else, except “God’s will.” Therein lies the BS. Somehow I don’t think you were raised in an ultra conservation brainwashed home, where “Christ is the head of the house” “Man cannot serve two masters” and women must be subservient to both God and her husband, as well as the children. Thus, the man of the house can do what he damn well pleases, because that’s what “God said”. I can even give you chapters and verses, if I must. I really do not want to do that.

No, the science you are referring to, without any references, doesn’t relate to the psychology of abuse and rape/incest. You have no idea what you are talking about with your so-called science. I can give you references on how religion is abusive and can cause trauma. I can also give you references on how rape/incest cause mental health issues, including anorexia. You have no idea about the science.

No, you have no clue and no idea. Even poverty in the U.S. can cause psychological issues. Poverty and racism can cause psychological issues too. It’s not just about the oppression of women, but it is the oppression of women and people of colour. Laws like anti-abortion laws, Jim Crow, laws against interracial marriage, etc all often mixed with religion are nothing more than control of others. These laws can cause psychological harm too. In 1968 Loving v Virginia changed one of the oppressive and damaging laws which oppressed on controlled people, especially women and people of colour. In the early 70s women changed another oppressive and controlling law, which gave women the right to have an abortion. The religious reich and far right law makers (mostly men) reversed that law in an effort to control women. It’s nothing more than control- control that can kill people., mostly women.

I’m not talking philosophical. I’m talking psychological, which IS science, but you don’t seem to get that.

So, there’s science to how they manipulate people? Is that what you’re saying?

If you are talking about religion, there is psychology to how it can be abusive and traumatizing. It’s called Religious Trauma Syndrome. Marlene Winell is an expert one the subject. She, Valerie Tarico, and other psychologists have studied this subject and just in the last few years RTS was coined for the trauma religion can cause and how.

This link is a start and even “God Virus: How Religion Infects Everything” written by Dr Darrel Ray, another psychologist, has also focused on how religion can be damaging, especially in matters of sex. I’ll give you CFI’s link about him:

I can go on and on about this topic and back it up with psychology and the psychologists who have researched and studied it.

Not sure exactly how this relates to morals.

Valerie Tarico’s link on CFI: Valerie Tarico | Center for Inquiry

Marlene’s professional site: Recovery from Religion |

Another site concerning religious trauma, that also includes sexual abuse as one of the causes of trauma:

I can continue. The thing is we aren’t talking established cults. We are talking Evangelism doing these things and if this what the social morals are based on, then they must be changed.

He brought religion into it or someone did and that truth is, not even the Golden Rule trumps so called religious “morals”. It is religion that brought about anti-abortion laws. This is what causes trauma and if that is morals of “what is”, we cannot allow it to continue and must reinstate Roe v Wade. We cannot allow the anti-abortionists, who generally form their ideals or “morals” on their little book. It is not “what is” and cannot be “what is”. The anti-abortionists just want to control women (as well as others) and that is not morals of society as a whole, if it’s moral at all, but yet he is presenting it that way. To allow that to be the “moral” of society is cause only more trauma for more women.

Yes, he did bring religion into it with this post:

Relevant to abortion as a moral issue, science can tell us that

  1. “Do not kill” exists as a heuristic (a usually reliable rule of thumb) for a socially enforced strategy to increase cooperation.
  2. People have a special concern for infants due to our evolutionary history.
  3. Combining 1) and 2), extremist “All abortions are murder!” positions persist as a moral norm in some subgroups regardless of the harm such prohibitions produce. They persist because it is attractive as an emotion-triggering (Think of the babies!) marker of membership in a more ‘moral’ subgroup. Abortion prohibitions can be a particularly convenient marker norm because it allows people (such as the Senate candidate Herschel Walker) to self-identify as a ’good’ person by focusing on one extremist marker strategy aspect of moral behavior. It is a particularly attractive marker strategy when (for men for example) it does not affect them personally and its extremism generates enough ‘noise’ to distract others and even themselves from their other grossly immoral behaviors.
  4. The related value question “How much should we value a potential human life?” is an ought question for moral philosophers that is beyond the domain of science.

In his very first post, he stated:

B For example, the science of morality can explain and help resolve many moral disputes about:

  1. Why the Golden Rule summarizes morality.
  2. Why the Golden Rule is a heuristic (a usually reliable, but fallible, rule of thumb) rather than a moral absolute.
  3. When it is immoral to follow the Golden Rule.
  4. What moral guidance can science provide when it is immoral to follow the Golden Rule.
  5. The arbitrary origins of food and sex taboos such as “eating pigs is an abomination” and “masturbation is a sin”.
  6. The shameful origins of moral norms such as “homosexuality is evil” and “women must be submissive to men”.
  7. How the goalposts of good and evil were fixed at the beginning of time.

Number 6 leads us to the religious views that was put into law to control women and people of colour, even homosexuals. The same crap was used to establish laws against same sex marriage:

We are experiencing a massive failure in communication.

I am talking about 1) the science of morality’s species and biology-independent understanding of morality as solutions to cooperation problems and 2) how that understanding of what moral norms are and how they work can be helpful in resolving moral disputes.

If that is of no interest to you, then you don’t have to comment.

OK so you are saying that the religious moral norm is for women to submit as a solution to cooperation problems is morality and science? This religious view of women is one form of cooperation, but it is also damaging and as a form of morality, it only creates a hierarchy, where men are in control based on religious ideology.

This is what you call moral and cooperation as quoted from one of your posts? Religious ideology? This takes us right back to psychological trauma, not morality at all. Where is your science to back this up as being morality based on science? How is it good and reliable science and not pseudo-science? Who and what are your resources? I’ve given some of mine as to why what you are saying is damaging and not morality, but rather religion imposed on others in order to control them.

Are you objecting to explaining to people who hold views like “homosexuality is evil” and “women must be submissive to men” that these norms from their religions were based on shameful exploitation? Why would you object to that?

No, I am not. However, I did say they are so brainwashed, they will not listen, even block out what you have said. If you read “The God Virus” by Darrel Ray, you will find they have ways of blocking out what you are saying or even become accusational as a means to defend their stance. It’s very difficult to break through this wall.

Even so, I get the feeling you are saying society is based one these so-called “morals”. I’m saying if that is true, then it misses the science that these so-called “morals” are psychologically and even physically damaging. They cannot be perpetuated.

Once again, we agree that

  • “Homosexuality is evil” and “women must be submissive to men” are damaging to the people who are exploited.

  • We have a moral obligation (an obligation not originating in science) to argue and agitate against them.

I’ve dedicated the last 15 years of my life to figuring out how to add another tool for use in just such arguments. Do we need another tool? Yes. Just look at the recent passage of anti-abortion rights laws.

I believe I have found such a tool in the science of morality. It explains why such repellent ‘moral’ norms exist, why people can think of them as moral, and how they work. I think that could be useful.

Maybe you should also add the tools that I linked to because it would provide help for those who have been traumatized. Also reading these psychologists books could also help with your arguments. RTS is a serious issue, especially when it comes to women, the LGBT, and people of colour. Start with Darrel Ray’s book.