Anthropologists from the University of Oxford believe there are seven components or rules of human morality that can be found in all societies.
…help you family, help your group, return favours, be brave, defer to superiors, divide resources fairly, and respect others’ property, were found in a survey of 60 cultures from all around the world.
An article about this study can be found here: Seven moral rules found all around the world.
The study itself can be found here: Is It Good to Cooperate? Testing the Theory of Morality-as-Cooperation in 60 Societies.
The study concludes that the universal basis of human morality is cooperation.
Among the seven rules, bravery is defined as a moral virtue in defense of one’s group, an ultimate form of cooperation that may result in death.
Deference to superiors seems to be a virtue that supports group hierarchy.
Both bravery and deference to superiors indicate that fighting within and between groups is common.
In today’s world, obviously, many people and most Americans do not live in tribes or stable neighborhoods, so our groups have become nebulous, abstract, bound more by belief and imagination than tribal and clan and familial bonds.
In this respect, the study shows why politics—and other subjects touching on group identity—can become so polarized and so difficult to discuss rationally.