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date: 19 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Moral norms and values are key features of human essence, that provide the standards against which behavior is evaluated. Some moral norms and values are universally endorsed (e.g., “do no harm”), others can be more specific (e.g., “eat no meat”). Professional, cultural or religious groups and communities often define their own unique system of moral norms that true group members are expected to adhere to. These are used to identify ‘proper’ group members, regulate the behavior of individuals, and sanction those who transgress them. This is functional to the extent that such guidelines help provide groups and their members with a unique and distinct social identity. Yet they can also constitute a source of social tension and intergroup conflict. This hallmark feature of human morality represents an important challenge to contemporary societies.

Keywords: intergroup conflict, moral behavior, morality, moral norms, moral values, social identity, human essence, human behavior, social groups, social tension

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