56278Re: [evol-psych] Warfare as suicide
- Aug 5, 2007Irwin Silverman wrote:
> On Thu, 2 Aug 2007, Phil Roberts, Jr. wrote:Yes. His view on social development is interesting. However, I
>>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?
> I'm with you on the need to identify with something larger than
> self. I am a great fan of Erik Erikson's analysis of the travails of
> adolescence in these terms.
think it is misleading to refer to the emotional difficulty we
often encounter in adolensence as an "identity crisis". The
problem is not that we don't know who we are in adolesence, its
that we CAN'T ACCEPT who we are, i.e., of low stature, etc.
This is different from a great ape, in all likelihood, in that
in man it has an emotional component not present elsewhere in
nature to any significant degree, in that it is injurious
to the ego (self-worth) to perceive one's self as an underling.
Compare this to what a great ape probably experience, i.e.,
frustration at not being able to access physical necessities
with no ego/self-worth manifestations whatsoever. It is
a mistake, IMHO, to equate the pecking order we find in
nature where only physical needs are involved, with our own
insatiable appetite for self-significating experience in
which difficulties have resulted
in suicide being the second leading cause of death in college
students, at least according to a recent television report.
Humans are not animals, and the reason why EP is not taken
seriously is because too many EPers think we have to assume
they are in order to qualify as a scientist. There is
nothing scientific about the assumption that the introduction
of rationality into natural selection doesn't bring along
with it it's own dynamics.
> I don't go along, however, with theBut our competitive nature has a lot more to do with
> "maladaptive byproduct" notion. Our so-called moral ideals
> are a large part of our politics and competitive nature.
ego/self-worth than with physical needs. When Mary Collins
dumped me for another guy when I was twenty-one, I had to
be monitored for suicidal behavior per instructions from
my shrink. That makes no sense whatsoever in evolutionary
terms. Rather than curling up in a ball and wishing I was
dead, I should have had an even stronger urge to compete
for females. My competition with other
males had very little to do with my physical needs, but
rather with my EMOTIONAL need for evidence that I was
of worth, in this case in the estimation of a significant
other where the reflection on my self-worth was all the
> E.O. Wilson put it this way:And yet, most of us would agree that the codes of honor of
> " Human beings are consistent in their codes of honor, but
> endlessly fickle with reference to whom the codes apply.
> The genius of human
> sociality, in fact, is the ease with which alliances are
> formed, broken
> and reconstituted, always with strong emotional appeals
> to rules believed
> to be absolute (On Human Nature, 1978, p.163)"
the Nazi's were less honorable than those of most modern
cultures. There seems to be a standard over and above
the specific codes that guides us.
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