Sunday, 24 June 2012
Have We Evolved to Cheat?
If we believe that the chimpanzee is our cousin, we have no objective basis for being honest. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
“Cheating is typical. In our experiments, we find that people can cheat a little and still feel good about themselves. That is a perfect example of irrationality,” says Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioural economics at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina in New Scientist.
It is no secret that Darwinian evolution and irrationality are close relatives. An irrational worldview gives rise to irrational thinking and irrational deeds.
In a world where many people think that they have evolved from simpler beings in the space of hundreds of millions of years we would not be surprised that people do occasionally cheat. In the evolution model, there is no absolute standard of morality.
The history of Israel suggests that the problem of bad morality stems from a rejection of the laws that God has given us. The Book of Judges ends with a very sad story and a sad comment: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit” (Judges 21:25, NIV).
Unfortunately, we are witnessing the very same story in our days.
Lawton, Graham. 2012. How much cheating is alright? New Scientist 2869:30-31.