Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Neuroscience and war

Here is a clip from a very interesting article on morality, war and the nature of the brain.

Humans are social primates; we need to live in densely clustered groups. As a result, we've evolved a set of powerful moral instincts that prevent us from hurting each other. Killing makes us feel bad, even when we are killing Sunni insurgents. It's one of the more uplifting facts of human nature: each of us is born with a powerful moral compass, and this compass constrains our behavior. Going to war forces soldiers to void this innate moral compass. Violence is normalized in battle, but violence isn't normal, at least from the perspective of the brain. Thanks to fMRI research, we can now begin to see the neural source of this morality.

Read the rest here


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