Biological Morality

Is morality just a piece of meat? I recently read that the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ), is that portion of the brain that helps us make sense of other peoples’ thinking. It is integral in what is called the “theory of mind,” which is the process of how we understand and predict what another person is doing based what we think they think. Judgements of blame and moral responsibility seemed to be processed in this area. An experiment showed that when you “turn off” this area for a while, (though trans-cranial magnetic stimulation), people will judge an action based on its outcome rather than on intention (morality) of the person performing the action. I wonder, if in the future we could “turn up” the TPJ function and increases a person’s moral sensitivity, would we require it for our religious and political leaders, or perhaps those who commit atrocities so they can better understand and lament the consequences of their actions?

Posted June 17th, 2016 in Uncategorized.