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Re: Re: [PublicPopForum] Morality and altruism

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  • aditmore@juno.com
    Thanks for backing me up on altruism. What applies to races, but doesn t excuse, also applies to a biological class like fellow mammals. Humans bond more
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2009
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      Thanks for backing me up on altruism.
      What applies to races, but doesn't excuse, also applies to a biological
      class like fellow mammals. Humans bond more emotionally to pet mammals
      than to fish because fellow mammals, more broadly fellow members of the
      same biological class, share more genes than members of different
      biological classes, like humans and fish or humans and bacteria. Thus
      animals, including humans, are more likely to act in the interests of
      related species than of distant species, and this behavior is consistent
      with genetic interests, contains a genetic reward, and is therefore not
      altruism.
      This may apply also to a cleaner fish cleaning parasites from a shark.
      If they are both fish then they would share a limited and approximate
      genetic interest because they are in the same class.
      Two more notes. If a behavior contains a reward in an afterlife,
      as in Christian behavior, it is also not altruism. To qualify as
      altruism a behavior must have no reward, personal or genetic, physical or
      reputational, in this life or any other.
      Sociobiology does mean that racism is normal and anti racism is
      abnormal, but as I began with domestic abuse and sabotage of
      contraception, being normal does not make it right or excusable as all
      morality, everything right, is abnormal, about as common as
      schitzophrenia, which, like altruism, also does not serve genetic
      interests, but does exist. It does, however, make racism permanent,
      something that would rise again biologically, even if it were culturally
      eliminated. Thus the fight against racism is perpetual and the dream is
      just that, a dream.
      -Al

      ------------------------------------------



      Hello again guys and girls!

      I personally don't believe that altruism exists, but rather that it is an
      extension of our own selfishness because helping another it indirectly
      helps ones self if they are closely related. It has been proven
      empirically by Dr. Rushton (Book: Nationalism and the Genetic Similarity
      Theory) that people are more likely to show "altruism" towards family and
      friends, while more likely to show selfishness towards strangers, which
      is what one would expect.

      Altruism may well be a word we use to describe the interaction between
      kin relationships as it benefits our selfish nature to keep our allies
      strong because they offer comfort and protection.

      When it comes to personal survival (or avoiding prison) our simplistic
      idea of self-sacrifice (altruism) goes out the window. Most people would
      like to think they wouldn't tattle on a family member, but it depends on
      the circumstance, or perhaps more accurately, on the potential penalty of
      the circumstance. If one knew a family member killed someone and one was
      innocent it may force them to change their position if they was accused
      of the crime because if the penalty is life imprisonment or death the
      potential penalty may be too high and the potential gain too little for a
      net benefit to be given in said situation.

      In most circumstances we always put ourselves first, directly or
      indirectly, but there seems to be one exception is when ones child is
      involved. Why do parents sacrifice themselves for their children? While
      it seems like the noble thing to do, the best solution, assuming
      evolution is correct, would be to save ones self because you can always
      have more children and if you die there aren't any guarentees that the
      child will be able to save themselves afterwards anyway.

      My biology teacher always used to say that self preservation comes before
      reproduction in the genetic 'order list' but yet the sacrifice of ones
      life for ones child seems to be a strong one. I am told there is
      something quite unique when you have a child, you form a bond like no
      other. It's like there is something connecting you not just biologically
      but in other ways too. There are instincts and feelings you've never had
      that come out.

      Perhaps one day when I have children of my own I will know what that is
      like and I will be able to write more about it but it does leave me with
      many questions in the mean time, such as:

      Why do people miss their pet animals but don't care as much about their
      pet fish? Is it because we spend more time with them, forming neural
      pathways that expects them and so makes us "miss" them when they are not
      around?

      I must admit find this philosophical discussion to be quite interesting.
      You might like to read the book 'The Selfish Gene' by Richard Dawkins.

      As for the definition of morality and ethics, this too interests me. I
      have heard many good ways to describing the difference and a few come to
      mind, the first being:

      "An ethical man thinks about cheating on his wife, the moral man would
      never think about it."

      The second was:

      "Ethics change as we do, morality changes as society does."

      A third, which is a joke borrowed from a Marilyn Manson song said:

      "Morality is relative to the size of your steeple".

      Regards,


      Alex Fogerty
      ____________________________________________________________
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