The morals that we deal with in our every day lives deal with the judgment of the goodness or badness of specific actions that we partake in and display the depth of our human character. The morals that humans live by have developed because an undeniable need for humans to live by a code of laws. Some believe that the morals that shape society have changed over time through the process of evolution while others believe that our moral standards do not exist because of science but because of other sources. And others feel we have no moral capacity.
Frans de Wall illustrates the idea that our morals have been shaped through the process of evolution in his essay, "The Ape and the Sushi Master." De wall discusses the two types of ethics in society as being, "functional altruism," and "nature, red in tooth and claw" and how they have been affected by evolution and have influenced society. Functional altruism is defined as the process in which, "one individual gains from another actions- does not necessarily rest on tended kindness, in which someone else's well-being is the goal" (de Wall, 652) The idea of "nature, red in tooth and claw" is the exact opposite of functional altruism, it is the survival of the fittest, the struggle to survive through the competition of resources between animals.
The morals that are instilled in a person are not given to us at birth, rather they are taught to us as we grow up and develop in society. Each person varies in the morals that they believe in. This helps arise the question: are humans good because they choose to be or are they like this because of they that they are taught? De Wall touches upon this question in his essay when he explains idea of committing an act to save someone when your owe life is at risk. He stated, "Even if rewards come after in the form of a medal or a moment on the evening news, this is of course never the motive" (p654).