Politics, or group dynamics, do determine what is culturally right but only because, by definition, cultural morality is what a community thinks is right.
There can also be individual morality that is only what an individual thinks is right and may have nothing to do with politics.
But for either individual or cultural morality there must be candidate moralities to pick from. The politics that Teller is talking about is just the process of picking a candidate and not necessarily the process of defining a moral principle.
The only rational means I am aware of for choosing a morality is to first define an over-riding goal of the morality or perhaps a set of goals to be balanced. For instance, many people wish to use the goal of the “well-being” or “flourishing” of people.
The science I am talking about defines a candidate moral principle based only on what science tells us about why cultural moralities and our moral emotions exist, what their primary function is. Science cannot tell us what the function (or goal) of morality ought to be. Only people can decide what the goal of their morality ought to be.
For a community to adopt and practice the moral principle I am proposing as part of their morality because they think it will help them meet their chosen goals is a political process, but the definition of what this particular moral principle “is” has nothing to do with politics, but only with science.
You have a vested interest. :)
I’m certainly no expert so I may be talking out the wrong end.
However, I suspect my personal views of right and wrong were instilled by my early childhood. While very young, people get exposed to moral values. That coupled with personal experiences may develop someone’s personal sense of morals. I think morals are mainly cultural. The influence so subtle a person may not even be aware of it’s influence. I don’t think a person is born with an awareness of morality.
If in that being the case I doubt my personal ideas of morality is scientific. And, regardless of what science says it’s not going to change what I think is right. Whatever science does determine is right it’s still going to end up a political battle over moral behavior to be accepted by the group anyway. I don’t think we are going to find a universal right and wrong. I know everyone would like to know what is right and correct so we can determine definite error in human/our own behavior. However I think humans are an ever evolving complex process for which we are not going to find a universal answer for.
I think the best we can hope for is an understanding of right and wrong through agreement.
No reason in my mind to try and keep up with some religious concept of universal good and evil.
Also I notice the article assumes our DNA makes us selfish. It’s genetically encoded? Is there any definite scientific evidence that backs up that statement?