Babies Have an Innate Moral Sense


In Bad Boyfriends, I discuss how babies are born with brains hardwired to sense delicate changes in the emotional states of their mothers and others by subtle cues in facial expression, voice, and interaction. Recent experiments seem to show that even one year olds have a sense of fairness and justice, and a desire to help others, before they have been exposed to any significant training. This should not be a great surprise since much of the development of the brain in humans supports social senses — facial recognition, understanding of the internal emotional states of others, and communication. Those who were better wired to do well as tribal members had more offspring, and so these traits became the norm.

Sam Harris has an interesting interview with Dr. Paul Bloom of Yale, who wrote a book discussing these experiments and the innate moral sense of babies and how it is further developed: Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil.

More on education and child development :

Student Loan Debt: Problems in Divorce
Early Child Development: The High Cost of Abuse and Neglect
Child Welfare Ideas: Every Child Gets a Government Guardian!
Tuitions Inflated, Product Degraded, Student Debts Unsustainable
Free Range Kids vs Paranoid Child Welfare Authorities
“Crying It Out” – Parental Malpractice!
Brazilian For-Profit Universities Bring Quality With Quantity
The Affordable, Effective University: Indiana and Mitch Daniels
Real-Life “Hunger Games”: Soft Oppression Destroys the Poor
“Attachment Parenting” – Good Idea Taken Too Far?
Real Self-Esteem: Trophies for Everyone?
Public Schools in Poor Districts: For Control Not Education
YA Dystopias vs Heinlein et al: Social Justice Warriors Strike Again
Steven Pinker on Harvard and Meritocracy
Social Justice Warriors, Jihadists, and Neo-Nazis: Constructed Identities

Leave a Reply