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Charles Darwin

on morality



It must not be forgotten that, although a high standard of morality gives but a slight or no advantage to each individual man and his children over the other man of the same tribe, yet that an advancement in the standard of morality and an increase in the number of well-endowed men will certainly give an immense advantage to one tribe over the other. There can be no doubt that a tribe including many members who, from possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, obedience, courage, and sympathy, were always ready to give aid to each other and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection.


From The Descent of Man, 1871.