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According to a major study coming out of Oxford University, everyone everywhere shares seven universal moral rules. In fact, all societies are held together by these seven rules. The huge study of 60 different cultures around the world found that all communities operate under these seven basic moral codes.
“It was the largest and most comprehensive and widespread survey of morals ever conducted, and aimed to find out whether different societies had different versions of morality.”
The study found they didn’t.
Here is what we all share in common – across continents, religions and politics – and value as important:
Help your family.
Help your group.
Return - Favors
Defer - Superiors
Defer to superiors.
Divide resources fairly.
Property - Others
Respect the property of others.
They also found that inherent within this code was caring for frail relatives, passing on property to offspring, going to war if needed to protect the group and respecting elders.
Rules - Cultures - Notes - Dr - Oliver
“These seven moral rules appear to be universal across cultures,” notes Dr. Oliver Scott Curry, lead author and senior researcher at the Institute for Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford. That fact can’t be emphasized enough, much less its significance.
Intuitively, each of us appeals to some sense of right and wrong in our dealings with ourselves, with others and with the world. If we have to get up from our seat for a moment in a crowded venue and someone sits in our place, we naturally say: “Hey, that’s my seat! I was here first!”
Standard - Person - Oxford - Study - Shows
When we do that, we are appealing to some behavioral standard that the other person is supposed to know and accept. And, as the Oxford study shows, there is a surprising consensus from civilization to civilization, culture to culture, as to what is right and what is wrong. When you take the time to study the moral teaching of the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Hindus, Chinese, Greeks...
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