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Bending the Rules

The Flexibility of Absolutes in Modern Life

Bending the Rules by Robert A. Hinde
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Do-unto-others-as-you-would-have-them-do-unto-you. Who would disagree with this 'Golden Rule'? We regard it as the basis of an absolute and universal morality. And yet it is considered acceptable to kill the enemy in war; for a businessman to do the best for himself; for a lawyer to argue professionally for a position he would personally reject. Are the moral rules we live by more flexible than they seem at first sight?In Bending the Rules Robert Hinde does not follow the much-trodden path of philosophizing about what is right and just. Instead, he uses an approach grounded in the behavioural sciences to explore the nature of morality, what people actually do, what they believe to be right, and what values they hold, and how these positions came to be. Such a deeper understanding of morality, he argues, as a product of biological and cultural evolution, and changing with social environment, holds outhope that we can avoid disaster and steer society towards peace and equity in the twenty-first century.
OUP Oxford; October 2007
288 pages; ISBN 9780191578731
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Title: Bending the Rules
Author: Robert A. Hinde