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56160Re: [evol-psych] Warfare as suicide

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  • Phil Roberts, Jr.
    Aug 2, 2007
      Irwin Silverman wrote:

      > On Wed, 1 Aug 2007, Edgar Owen wrote:
      >>They die because they are sent there either by force (draftees) or
      > The question is what evolutionary advantage is being served by a
      > cognitive mechanism which renders individuals so susceptible to the will
      > of a leader?

      Here's an explanation I have offered in one of my papers
      ('Feelings of Worthlessness'):

      Explanation #2 (rationality theory): Being the blind
      arational process that she is, Mother Nature instills
      in all her creatures a sense of their own importance
      (or of the importance of their needs) that is rationally
      inordinate. And, as a species reaches a certain stage
      in its rational/cultural/memetic development, its
      members increasingly come to question this inordinancy,
      and increasingly come to require reasons (justification)
      for maintaining it (needs for love, purpose, moral
      integrity, religion, immortality, etc.).

      Presumably, one of manifestations of this need to justify
      one's existence would be a need to be a part of something
      greater than one's self. Also, an increased attentiveness
      to the opinions of others, resulting from our realization
      of our own lack of objectivity where our self-importance
      is concerned.

      What we dedicate today is not a memorial to war, rather it is
      a tribute to the physical and moral courage that makes heroes
      out of farm and city boys and inspires Americans in every
      generation to lay down their lives for people they will never
      meet, for ideals that make life itself worth living. (Bob
      Dole - dedication of WWII memorial)

      In this view, the moral ideals that underlie most human
      conflict is not so much an adaptation as a
      maladaptive byproduct of the evolution of rationality.
      Is this pretty much a non-starter as far as
      you are concerned?


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