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Biology, culture and trust

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  • Jim
    Bill, Let we respond to these remarks in your recent posts: The efforts of man, even in collectives, can and are hobbled and broken by forces of nature. So
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1 3:55 AM
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      Bill,

      Let we respond to these remarks in your recent posts:

      "The efforts of man, even in collectives, can and are hobbled and broken by forces of nature. So the pedigrees and nuclear families work sometimes and fail sometimes. But as Stephen Stills says "What we can't do is to try something new" .See how we hate the polygamists and hippie collectivists.

      A whole damn planet away and we simple, hunter gatherers communicate and cause change. Trust is something beyond faith and I just do not go there. I ask you to think of Darwin and the effects of isolation evolution."

      I think the central difference between our outlooks if that you look to biology as the science that reveals human nature and the place to find the answers to the problems facing us in the world today, whereas I prefer to look to culture, ethics and politics.

      As you say, we are all descended from the same set of ancestors who left Africa so many thousand years ago, so in theory our biology is pretty much the same – give or take the odd genetic marker for skin colour and lactose intolerance.

      But look at the range of societies we have around at the moment – what great differences there are. And at the individual level, look how different people can be.

      Even if most of us prefer serial monogamy, there are many individuals, and the odd whole society, who/which have embraced polyamoury. Even the odd society which has been based on matriarchy.

      I don't think our genetic make-up condemns us to a certain sort of existence. Environmental factors are much more influential in the development of character than genetic factors. And if environmental factors have such an influence, then ethics and politics must be the central forces for change – for good or for bad – in the future.

      The future is very much up for grabs and it is in our hands.

      A second fundamental difference between us is that I think trust is an essential element of the good life. I think trust is essential for a meaningful relationship, for a healthy family environment, and for a flourishing society. I agree that to put one's trust in another person, involves a risk – but, like you, I think risks are often worth taking. I agree if an individual keeps betraying the trust put in him, then a time must come when trust in that person should be withdrawn.

      Jim
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