Hands up who loves babies
Hands up who know s the difference between right and wrong
No think about it, who REALLY knows the difference between right and wrong
Oh dear, not so many hands
Well don’t worry. It seems that all you need to do is to consult a 6 month old baby. According to a group of American scientists the notion that babies are born in a moral blank state is now questionable, and they believe, after 10 years of study, that 6 month old baby may be able to not only tell the difference between good and evil, but to comprehend the true meaning of right and wrong
At first, when I heard about this I began laughing, as it seemed a ridiculous notion, but then I began thinking about the possible consequences of such a belief as it rolled out, within the child and then adult, over the years. That is when I stopped laughing, and almost began to cry.
Why is it that after so many thousands of years physical and mental development, and please note all you creationists that I do not use the word evolution, that we still seek simple answers to unanswerable of extremely difficult problems.
STEPHEN [rising and looking at him steadily] I know the difference between right and wrong.
UNDERSHAFT [hugely tickled] You don’t say so! What! no capacity for business, no knowledge of law, no sympathy with art, no pretension to philosophy; only a simple knowledge of the secret that has puzzled all the philosophers, baffled all the lawyers, muddled all the men of business, and ruined most of the artists: the secret of right and wrong. Why, man, you’re a genius, master of masters, a god! At twenty-four, too!
It is true that this quote is from a play and therefore a work of fiction, but how many of us adults can genuinely come up with a set of values that apply to all life for all time? Personally I can’t think of one universal moral, and I can’t think of anything which can follow such a rule.
Up until recently it was believed that the rule of “no water no life” was an absolute certainty, but now even that is now a matter of debate within the scientific community by the potential of methane based life forms on planets such as Titan
Don’t get me wrong, I almost hope that babies do have some grasp of morality, and maybe do have an answer to one of the greatest unsolved problems of all time, as look at the mess that we have made of things so far. It would be wonderful, and it would potentially solve so many sociological, philosophical, and legal problem that all to often bedevil us, but it is the simplistic assumptions behind such research that scare the pants of me.
The scientists may be correct in their assessment, or their conclusions may be wholly erroneous, that is for far greater minds than mine to decipher and decide, but I personally believe that such questions and interpretations are almost unimportant when viewed alongside our incredibly complex relationship with the world around us
To my mind there are no easy answers, unless you are a child, and the world is not an eternal playground based on simple black and white imagery without any shades of gray. That is my only my view however. I’m no expert, theologian, physicist, behavioral scientist or philosophical genius, so I readily accept that I might be wrong
So it is that I offer everyone a chance to prove me wrong. What are your views though on this subject. What are your views on the points below .
- Do babies understand morality, and the difference between right and wrong?
- Are there any universal rights and wrongs, and is there such a thing as universal morality?
- Do we view the world as if we had the eyes and mind of our children?
- If we do so, is this so wrong?
Thank you for reading this post folks, and a real thank you to all those who are following me, and should you find this and other posts interesting. I’d love to hear your comments and views
Let’s end on a less contentious note though with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, I hope you enjoy the video below