In his books "Why" and "Conversations with chatGPT: Exploring the Theory of Morality and Existence," William Search presents the Moral Compass Theory, which posits that humans and other animals possess an innate sense of morality that guides their behavior. Moreover, this theory suggests that the very purpose of our existence is the growth and development of this moral compass. Various examples and experimental findings lend strong support to this theory, illustrating the presence of moral sentiments across species and circumstances.
Moral Sentiments in Non-Human Primates
The story of Mozu, the handicapped snow monkey, serves as a powerful example of the Moral Compass Theory in action. Mozu's troop displayed empathy and understanding for her limitations, adjusting their behavior to accommodate her needs. This incident illustrates the presence of a moral compass in non-human primates, which guides them to act with kindness and compassion.
Empathy and Altruism in Laboratory Experiments
The experiments involving macaques, mice, and common marmoset monkeys further bolster the Moral Compass Theory. Macaques in Masserman's study were willing to endure hunger rather than cause pain to their peers, suggesting a strong moral compass that prioritized the well-being of others. Similarly, mice displayed proto-empathy, with their sensitivity to pain influenced by their cagemates' experiences.
The altruistic behavior of common marmoset monkeys in laboratory settings, providing food to others without the expectation of reciprocity, is another manifestation of the Moral Compass Theory. These examples indicate that various species possess an innate sense of right and wrong, motivating them to act in the best interest of their fellow beings.
Early Manifestation of Moral Sentiments and the Neurological Basis
The innate moral tendencies exhibited by human infants and young chimps further validate the Moral Compass Theory. Their willingness to help others without reward indicates a deep-rooted sense of morality that emerges early in life.
The neurological basis of moral thinking and feeling, exemplified by Phineas Gage's case, reveals the connection between brain structure and moral behavior. Gage's personality transformation following his brain injury demonstrates the importance of specific brain regions in maintaining a functional moral compass.
The Growth of Moral Compass as the Purpose of Existence
According to the Moral Compass Theory, the evolutionary process has shaped our morality, encouraging individuals and societies to refine and expand their understanding of right and wrong, empathy, and compassion. The growth of the moral compass offers numerous advantages to species, particularly in terms of social cohesion and cooperation. By developing a strong sense of morality, individuals are more likely to work together, share resources, and protect each other, thereby increasing the chances of survival and reproduction for the entire group.
Throughout our lives, we encounter numerous experiences and interactions that challenge our understanding of right and wrong, compassion, and empathy. By navigating these situations and reflecting on our actions and beliefs, we continually refine our moral compasses, contributing to the overall growth of morality within our societies.
The growth of the moral compass serves as a unifying force that brings people together and creates a foundation for our existence. It shapes our laws, cultures, and social norms, enabling us to coexist and collaborate for the greater good.
In conclusion, the Moral Compass Theory presents an intriguing perspective on the purpose of human existence, emphasizing the central role of morality in our lives. By embracing the growth and development of our moral compasses, we not only advance as individuals but also contribute to the betterment of our societies and the world as a whole.