Either through God as outlined throughout The Bible, or through evolution-explanations,
Personally I think those who say there is an evolutionary morality tend to be fundamentalists attempting to make science into belief, and asking how such and such can happen ... rather than why it is moral or not.
Empathy comes into play in human morality because we are a social animal, and we cannot be social without empathy at some level.
Morality is dependent on the individual within their society, and it is fairly easy to conceive that a social animal will have a very different sense of morality than a non-social one, particularly when it comes to killing. What would a tiger's morality be like? Different from ours.
We also see elements of what we see as moral behavior in the interactions of other social animals, particularly social primates and apes - the sharing of food between cages when one has access and another doesn't. And punishments for "immoral" behavior as well.
quote:Researchers studying brown capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) have found that the highly social, cooperative species native to South America show a sense of fairness, the first time such behavior has been documented in a species other than humans.
"It looks like this behavior is evolved â€¦ it is not simply a cultural construct. There's some good evolutionary reason why we don't like being treated unfairly," said Sarah Brosnan, lead author of the study to be published in tomorrow's issue of the science journal Nature.
Only female capuchins were tested because they most closely monitor equity, or fair treatment, among their peers, Brosnan said.
They even have morality police? This kind of gets back to your original point about evolved morality, but I think there is another element to the issue:
Is moral behavior "natural" or is it a-natural?
It seems to me that there is a connotation that the behavior is a-natural, outside of natural behavior, considered for other reasons. Thus "natural" empathy alone is not enough, there needs to be an intellectual element.
Being able to act outside of natural behavior then allows behavior to be evil or ... (is there a real antonym for evil? Good doesn't seem 'good' enough - or is this because we are really more concerned with bad behavior than with good behavior?).
Why do all discussions of morality seem to focus on bad behavior eh?