The NYTimes reports:
… Marc D. Hauser, a Harvard biologist, has built on this idea to propose that people are born with a moral grammar wired into their neural circuits by evolution. In a new book, “Moral Minds” (HarperCollins 2006), he argues that the grammar generates instant moral judgments which, in part because of the quick decisions that must be made in life-or-death situations, are inaccessible to the conscious mind.
People are generally unaware of this process because the mind is adept at coming up with plausible rationalizations for why it arrived at a decision generated subconsciously.
Dr. Hauser presents his argument as a hypothesis to be proved, not as an established fact. But it is an idea that he roots in solid ground, including his own and others’ work with primates and in empirical results derived by moral philosophers.
The proposal, if true, would have far-reaching consequences. It implies that parents and teachers are not teaching children the rules of correct behavior from scratch but are, at best, giving shape to an innate behavior. And it suggests that religions are not the source of moral codes but, rather, social enforcers of instinctive moral behavior.…
And this makes perfect sense. So, here's the question: What will "Yiddishkeit" do when its foolish arguments, like those proposed by Rabbi Avi Shafran, are rendered not simply foolish, but moot? The Brooklyn-Mea Shearim cabal continue to paint Judaism into a smaller and smaller corner. But, perhaps this is a good thing – the more irrelevant these people make themselves, the better.
[Hat tip: Sheyna Rofeh-Filosof.]