Moral Development, Culture and Humanitarianism

Hosein Diba

Hossein Diba*

it is clear that the fundamental human rights and humanitarian legal principles are based on ethical values and moral rules. The most recent researches in anthropology, social psychology and moral psychology have shown the influences of culture on moral judgments and moral emotions. So there are strong evidences for the relationship between culture and human and humanitarian laws. This article aims to explain the psychological mechanism of the formation of humanitarians‘ beliefs by forming moral judgments and moral emotions in different cultures.
There are two different approaches to explain how and to what extent culture is effective in making moral judgments and moral emotions. The first approach is a cognitive one which claims that humans are reasoning beings and that they reason within a realm that we can label moral about welfare, justice, and rights in ways that involve concerns with dignity, worth, freedom, and treatment of persons. The alternative view emphasizes feelings, and the conception of morality in this approach is that conscience is formed and regulated by feelings and emotions.
The most popular theorists in the former approach are Lawrence Kohlberg and in the latter are Antonio R. Damasio and Jonathan Haidt. It is also important to know what the religious approach in this subject is and what the major conclusions of these studies are for expanding the human and humanitarian laws in the world.

*Dr. Hossein Diba is head of the moral education Department of the Academy of Islamic Sciences and Culture, Qom- Iran. (

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