Genetics and Morality
When Hitler indoctrinated his Nazi subordinates to hate Jews he needed a rationale. If he said all Jews were evil he needed an explanation as to why they were all evil. His explanation was genetics. Jews were an inferior and evil race. Aryans were a superior and good race.
Can genetics make us good or bad? Genetics code defines the lamb and genetic codes the tiger as well, certainly genetics have a large influence on behavior. The following is a poem by William Blake which makes one realize just how amazing this is.
It would seem that genetics that can code for the tiger and the lamb can code for good and evil. Yet there are good and evil people from the same race. The Nazis were evil but there are many good Germans. There are good and wicked people from all ethnic groups and from all races. Factors that make a person good or evil include his personal choices. Supposedly we have free will to make moral choices regardless of our race. Upbringing, cultural and other environmental choices influence the moral decisions we make. Our goodness or wickedness can change and so is not a fixed genetic quality. Hitler made Germans become more evil. Some evil people reform and become good. Whether or not genetics can give us a predisposition one way or another would require experiments to determine. To the best of my knowledge no one has found a morality gene. It is likely there are genes that make people more aggressive and that could translate itself into violence but it could also translate itself into aggressive behavior toward accomplishing good.
|Tiger and tiger roar is from Blue Mountain Arts (with permission)|
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