Can Evolution Explain Morality
Here is a relevant extract:
The conclusion then is quite clear: Evolution explains the existence of moral sentiments but provides ethics with no justification or foundation. In fact, no ethical theory does. So, Ethics doesn't have any foundation outside itself.
'I have been discussing the question whether evolutionary theory is able to
account for the existence in human beings of moral dispositions. The question of
"foundations" is different. This means, can evolutionary theory provide us with
a reason for being moral?... Perhaps morality has no foundation outside
itself... It seems pretty clear that an evolutionary explanation will not
provide a foundation for morality. An attempt would be to say that we
ought to observe morality because moral conduct enhances the survival chances of
our genes. But why should we care about that? We do care about it, perhaps, but
if we don't (or didn't), why should we? Or it might be said that moral
behaviour on my part improves the survival chances of humanity generally (or of
sentient beings generally, or of the planet . . ). The same question arises: if
I don't in fact care about such things, can evolutionary theory give any reason
why I should?'