Sense of justice discovered in the brain
We all fundamentally know that we have an inborn moral center. Now there is proof that it is part of our brain. That's why even a young child will wail plaintively, "It's not fair!" No one had to teach him that, it's just there. So what does this say about the prevalent politically correct attitude that there are no absolute rights and wrongs and that everything is relative?
Sense of justice discovered in the brain - health - 05 October 2006 - New Scientist
A brain region that curbs our natural self interest has been identified. The studies could explain how we control fairness in our society, researchers say.
Humans are the only animals to act spitefully or to mete out "justice", dishing out punishment to people seen to be behaving unfairly – even if it is not in the punisher's own best interests. This tendency has been hard to explain in evolutionary terms, because it has no obvious reproductive advantage and punishing unfairness can actually lead to the punisher being harmed.
[...]"Self interest is one important motive in every human," says Fehr, "but there are also fairness concerns in most people."
"In other words, this is the part of the brain dealing with morality," says Herb Gintis, an economist at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, US. "[It] is involved in comparing the costs and benefits of the material in terms of its fairness. It represses the basic instincts."
Psychologist Laurie Santos, at Yale University in Connecticut, US, comments: "This form of spite is a bit of an evolutionary puzzle. There are few examples in the animal kingdom." The new finding is really exciting, Santos says, as the DLPFC brain area is expanded only in humans, and it could explain why this type of behaviour exists only in humans.