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Author Topic:   morality, charity according to evolution
macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4039 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 12 of 243 (310331)
05-08-2006 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Hyroglyphx
05-08-2006 1:16 PM


Re: The evolution of morality
our competitors are other species. we want our own species to survive. it is evolutionarily accurate to assist those in our social group. if we help them, their existence will help ensure ours.
simply because we now avoid pregnancy has no bearing on our evolutionary roots. we have of late separated ourselves from our animal selves. this means nothing.

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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4039 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 16 of 243 (310397)
05-08-2006 7:05 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Quetzal
05-08-2006 3:22 PM


Re: The evolution of morality
we're no longer really in competition with anything. but again, this doesn't affect history. we are great hunters. once upon a time we were in competition with great hunters. now, we aren't. but when we were, we lived in small groups and the idea was to ensure the survival of the group and to be better at hunting than, say, lions.
so now we no longer have competition and we've become idiots enraged with our technology and all we do is kill everything around us.
none of this affects the fact that once upon a time we evolved altruism in order to ensure the continuation of the species. but we're not alone. many mammals adopt orphaned offspring and such things. our societies and morals built from these norms and now they have extended from simple group altruism to good samaritan parables. it went from biological evolution to cultural evolution.

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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4039 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 19 of 243 (310427)
05-08-2006 10:30 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Quetzal
05-08-2006 8:44 PM


Re: The evolution of morality
This is where I disagree, I think. Altruistic behavior evolved probably to insure continuation of our own individual genetic legacy - which was extended early on to the genes of our close kin (google on Trivers, "reciprocal altruism"). We have not yet come close to anything resembling an instinctual (not really the right word) desire to continue the species.
Beyond the kin level, altruism today is still pretty much limited to identity-groups (nationstate, religion, girl scout troop, etc). Even supposed "extreme acts" of altruism (the person who jumps in the river to save the complete stranger) can be explained as representing a cultural altruism limited to place: sort of "this guy is in my {space}, therefore is a member of my group, therefore should be saved". I'm not sure I can back this up with hard science, but to me it is a natural extension of the kin selection/cultural group selection model. Just a bit larger scale.
well. the purpose of the altruism is to further the species, immaterial of the fact that we only exercise it within groups. if our group survives, thus the species. the altruism needn't be expressed species-wide.

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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4039 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 21 of 243 (310461)
05-09-2006 8:13 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by EZscience
05-09-2006 7:51 AM


Re: The evolution of morality
read the rest of the post.

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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4039 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 32 of 243 (310518)
05-09-2006 1:39 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by EZscience
05-09-2006 12:55 PM


Re: The evolution of morality
the point of procreation is to continue the species. the point of altruism is to ensure the survival of the group in order to procreate. therefore, the ultimate purpose of altruism is to continue the species. it doesn't matter if it is aimed at the species or just the group.

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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4039 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 35 of 243 (310532)
05-09-2006 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by EZscience
05-09-2006 2:03 PM


Re: 'Good for the species' is not a valid evo explanation
i'm not talking about personal intentions. i'm talking about reality. if groups procreate, the species will continue. that's all i'm saying. this is called ultimate goals.

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