“By four-thirty in the morning the priest was all cleaned up. I felt a lot better. I always did, after. Killing makes me feel good. (…) It's a sweet release, a necessary letting go of all the little hydraulic valves inside. (…) It has to be done the right way, at the right time, with the right partner—very complicated, but very necessary.”
Dexter, Darkly dreaming Dexter (Jeff Lindsay)
Can immoral behavior sometimes turn out to be moral? What mechanisms underlie morality? The above quotation is taken from a scene in the American TV series “Dexter.” Dexter is a respected employee at the Miami Metro Police Department, and a family man. However, at night Dexter doubles as a covert serial killer, applying his own moral code and murdering assassins whom the legal system has failed to condemn or catch. To what extent can a murder be considered necessary or even moral? Dexter's code includes clear examples of moral paradoxes that are not yet well understood. Does Dexter's brain work in the same way as the brains of other people? Researchers in moral neuroscience have tried to find domain-specific structures and processes that shed light on what morality is and where it is in the brain, if in fact it is there at all.