Thoughtful Responses • Save The Species • The Trolley Debate Rolls Forward • On And On And On With God • Points of Cosmic Order • Delightfully Disconnected
Dear Editor: Professor Di Norcia in ‘Ethics on the Brain’ in Issue 87 is only able to draw his conclusion “Morality is a truly successful evolutionary strategy” by a very selective choice of evidence and definitions of words. First, he writes, “There are six primary emotions: anger, fear, disgust, surprise, sadness and happiness.” Well, sadness is commonly contrasted with joy, not happiness. He also does not say whether the amygdala responds to positive emotions, which is quite important when he links the emotions in the brain to the ‘fight or flight’ impulses. Only by ignoring the positive emotions can he justify his suggestion that “a sense of moral duty can be… based on a fear of punishment, harm or loss.