Reality about Human Morality
Outline of Project Areas
The idea of the “Reality about Morality” is to challenge the widespread presumption that ethical systems and morals are imparted to humankind by some form of divine being or power.
We will build a straightforward foundation of scientific reality concerning the subject -- reality which is empirically substantiated.
Most of us have lived in a culturally religious milieu long enough to know that simply presenting scientific evidence won't necessarily change minds. Presenting a sound scientific explanation for the origins and presence in society of individual and group morals will be necessary but not be sufficient to quickly change social values. It is going to require all the dedication and resources the constituency can muster to confront one of society’s most deeply and broadly held beliefs.
However, as the Enlightenment did not happen overnight; neither will the scientific explanation concerning morals immediately easily take hold. However, in a sufficiently bright spotlight of truth, faith in an error has an opportunity to crumble. Individual Brights everywhere, armed with the “raw material” of scientific reality about morality in a suitable form, can work within their personal and local spheres of influence toward altering understandings.
At the Internet hub, The Brights’ Net, coordinated actions can take place to engender change within education, across media, and in the public at large. Brights will be collaborating and trying to subvert a false social belief that undermines brights everywhere. This is consistent with the broad civic aims of The Brights’ Net to improve the social and civic situation of persons whose worldview is free of supernatural (see the purpose statement at the home page). To the extent we are successful, we will also be advancing authentic public understanding of human nature on behalf of persons of all worldviews, not just brights. Such is sorely needed.
We are counting on many Brights to become involved at a point where project needs may match their expertise, interests and time, and on all who can to help financially support the overall enterprise. In a nutshell, here is what is initially planned for this adventure. No plans are cast in stone, of course. Refinement is expected!
Project Area A involves developing, in the form of a declaration, a scientifically defensible listing of statements regarding the naturalistic origins of morals. The declaration will be short, but it will cover the evolution of biological and social morals, starting from pre-human origins to the present. [Completed]
Project Area B involves scientists in authenticating each statement in the declaration with citations and comments. [Completed]
Project Area C [revised] entails development of a public roll-out of the final declaration statements presented in several languages - an infographic accompanied by brief explanatory material with original studies and recommended readings made available online [Completed]
Project Area D [revised] entails planning for the design and development of presentation and instructional materials suited to varied target audiences (through illustration and examples as necessary)
Project Area E involves the development of volunteer mentors and individuals schooled in how to present and explain the concepts to others, laying groundwork for presenting to journalists and media a reclaiming of morality.