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Old 3rd March 2018, 01:52 AM   #1641
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Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
Interesting thread, thanks. Even better, it supports my position.
How?

I did not read the whole thing, but it seems to be about how technology sometimes is improved in incremental steps, sort of like evolution and how technology is an emergent process of intelligence.

Originally Posted by Tassman
The basic instinct of all living creatures is survival and for an evolved social species such as Homo sapiens, survival of the species individual is grounded in cooperation.
Oh, come on, not again. I'm going to say this every time, but this is wrong.

The survival of the species is a secondary effect that only happens because individuals survive. Individuals do not cooperate for the survival of the species and never have. They cooperate for their own (their genes) survival. This is a scientific fact.
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Old 3rd March 2018, 02:58 AM   #1642
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I am afraid you have not read attentively my comment. Try again, please.



In effect, to deduce “good” from what behaviours better facilitate social cohesion, i.e. our survival is the same than X is a necessary condition of human species existence when X= “social cohesion”.
Therefore, in my argument , you cannot deduce that social cohesion is good from “social cohesion is a necessary condition for the survival of human species” because a lot of alternative propositions need to be commented. Some examples:

(a) Apocalyptic: Human species hopelessly marches toward its end. Sacrifice your own interests to a business without future is stupid.
(b) Ultra-ecologism: Humanity is the true danger to nature. Other species will survive only if humans disappear.
(c) Individual cynicism: the Humanity as a whole I don’t give a darn. Only myself imports to myself.
(d) Nazi-Darwinism: The Humanity as a whole is a false goal. My Nation only is important. My Nation would be great by exterminating the rest of Humanity.
…………………………….
Etc., etc.

These theories are not merely speculative. They have been maintained by more or less broad social groups and individuals such as terrorists, tyrants, exploitative employers, social climbers, ultra-nationalists, ultra-ecologists and other less radical alternatives.

As you can understand, you cannot fight these theories by saying that there is a natural law that imposes cooperation. Assuming they admit this, they already know about it, and it don't affect them at all. You should invent new ways of dialogue or action against them.
As always, you seem to think that we are individuals first and members of a social species second; it’s the other way around. It is nonsensical on your part to talk in terms of “cooperation being imposed”. It is the instinctive starting point. The natural evolution of human behaviour is to ensure the survival of the family and community and cooperation so that the human species survives. Even your little list of nasty tribal aberrations of group living assumes group living to begin with.
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Old 3rd March 2018, 03:17 AM   #1643
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
How?

I did not read the whole thing, but it seems to be about how technology sometimes is improved in incremental steps, sort of like evolution and how technology is an emergent process of intelligence.



Oh, come on, not again. I'm going to say this every time, but this is wrong.

The survival of the species is a secondary effect that only happens because individuals survive. Individuals do not cooperate for the survival of the species and never have. They cooperate for their own (their genes) survival. This is a scientific fact.
Sigh! Homo sapiens have NOT evolved as a solitary species. Some species have evolved that way, we have not. We have evolved as a social species and as such posses the instinctive need to live in groups. Some individuals within the group may be selfish (as you claim we all are) or possess other antisocial characteristics. But, if these prove harmful to social cohesion then the group will remove them from society either by incarceration or some other punitive means.
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Old 3rd March 2018, 03:19 AM   #1644
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Originally Posted by Tassman
As always, you seem to think that we are individuals first and members of a social species second; it's the other way around. It is nonsensical on your part to talk in terms of "cooperation being imposed".
You keep ignoring literally everything that science has learnt about the evolution of social species, humans included.

We are individuals first and members of a social species second.
You cannot deny this, it is a fact.
I wish it wasn't so but it unfortunately is.
I agree we should all cooperate for the good of the species, it would be the ideal, but it won't happen. Evolution did not wire our brains in this way, it cannot, there is no way or mechanism for it to do so.
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Old 3rd March 2018, 03:31 AM   #1645
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Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
Sigh! Homo sapiens have NOT evolved as a solitary species. Some species have evolved that way, we have not. We have evolved as a social species and as such posses the instinctive need to live in groups. Some individuals within the group may be selfish (as you claim we all are) or possess other antisocial characteristics. But, if these prove harmful to social cohesion then the group will remove them from society either by incarceration or some other punitive means.
Then you should be able to link to a published scientific article that says cooperation evolved for the good of the species. I have asked a few times before, can you do this?

Answer:
No. You won't find any, because it cannot happen via evolution and natural selection.
The way evolution, natural selection, reproduction and genes work makes this totally impossible.
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Old 3rd March 2018, 04:30 AM   #1646
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Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
As always, you seem to think that we are individuals first and members of a social species second; it’s the other way around. It is nonsensical on your part to talk in terms of “cooperation being imposed”. It is the instinctive starting point. The natural evolution of human behaviour is to ensure the survival of the family and community and cooperation so that the human species survives. Even your little list of nasty tribal aberrations of group living assumes group living to begin with.
Of course, social norms need to be “imposed” by means of social learning, either reward or punishment. An individual in a natural environment would be something such as an animal without any social norm. See the case of Victor d’Aveyron.

You use “aberration” and “tribal” as evaluative words. If you define “normal” in a mere descriptive way the value disappear. Any dissidence would be also an aberration but not bad on principle. Whereas “normal” behaviours are decided by social values that guide social learning, you can only say that some individuals respect this social norms and others not. If you want introduce a moral assessment you must say why the individuals that don’t follow the majority norms are good or bad.

Note that the cases that I have proposed here and that you consider "aberrations" can be evaluated in a different way whether you consider survival —of the group or the species— as an absolute value or not. Why should it be? This is the question.

Also note that we consider the dissidence against Nazis’ anti-Semitism as indisputably good. But the survival of the human species was not at stake because the extermination of Jews and dissidents was not a menace against the human species as a whole. Without Jews and dissidents the human species had have continued its existence. Our moral indignation has a different justification.

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Old 3rd March 2018, 04:38 AM   #1647
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Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
Sigh! Homo sapiens have NOT evolved as a solitary species. Some species have evolved that way, we have not. We have evolved as a social species and as such posses the instinctive need to live in groups. Some individuals within the group may be selfish (as you claim we all are) or possess other antisocial characteristics. But, if these prove harmful to social cohesion then the group will remove them from society either by incarceration or some other punitive means.
If your opponent denies that the survival of the species or social cohesion are good in itself, you cannot tell him that he is wrong because the survival of the species or social cohesion are good in themselves. Don't you realize that you are simply begging the question?

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Old 3rd March 2018, 07:30 AM   #1648
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Originally Posted by Tassman
Originally Posted by Frank Newgent View Post
Old interesting thread with the theme suggesting natural selection and technological development are indistinguishable...

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...ad.php?t=94834
Interesting thread, thanks. Even better, it supports my position.

I'm sorry, Dave. I think you missed it.
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Old 3rd March 2018, 06:23 PM   #1649
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
You keep ignoring literally everything that science has learnt about the evolution of social species, humans included.

We are individuals first and members of a social species second.
You cannot deny this, it is a fact.
I wish it wasn't so but it unfortunately is.
I agree we should all cooperate for the good of the species, it would be the ideal, but it won't happen. Evolution did not wire our brains in this way, it cannot, there is no way or mechanism for it to do so.
Well yes it did, this is the point.

We live in social units, which in themselves are components of social communities and in turn part of the international global village with structures to maintain social harmony...e.g. the judicial system...and we socialise our children to conform to the values of our communities and be part of the ‘group’. We engage in team sports, build complex cities and maintain symphony orchestras...all of which emphasis the cooperative social nature of our species.

“There is emerging evidence that evolutionary processes have favored the development of complex social behaviors in humans, along with the brain architecture that supports them. The human brain, and particularly the neocortex (which constitutes its outmost layer), is much larger in humans as compared to other primates and mammals of similar size. This is particularly interesting because the neocortex comprises many of the brain areas involved in higher social cognition, such as conscious thought, language, behavioral and emotion regulation, as well as empathy and theory of mind — the ability to understand the feelings and intentions of others. We are, so to speak, biologically hard-wired for interacting with others, and are thus said to be endowed with a “social brain.”

Pascal Vrticka, social neuroscientist – cited: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/pasca...b_3921942.html

“Given the importance of social interactions for humans, it is not surprising that most psychiatric disorders involve some disruption of normal social behaviour, and that in several disorders abnormal social functioning is one of the central symptoms. Examples are autism, social anxiety disorder, borderline personality disorder and schizotypal personality disorder.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2527715/

I don’t know why you and you allies in this discussion are determined to emphasise human individuality vis-à-vis human sociability, but the briefest search on Google will disabuse you.
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Old 3rd March 2018, 06:29 PM   #1650
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
If your opponent denies that the survival of the species or social cohesion are good in itself, you cannot tell him that he is wrong because the survival of the species or social cohesion are good in themselves. Don't you realize that you are simply begging the question?
You're misrepresenting the argument. Social cohesion exists to enable the survival and reproduction of us as social animals, NOT just because it's "good in itself" in the moral sense.
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Old 4th March 2018, 12:09 AM   #1651
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Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
Well yes it did, this is the point.
Your point is wrong, once again, sigh...

Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
We live in social units, which in themselves are components of social communities and in turn part of the international global village with structures to maintain social harmony...e.g. the judicial system...and we socialise our children to conform to the values of our communities and be part of the 'group'. We engage in team sports, build complex cities and maintain symphony orchestras...all of which emphasis the cooperative social nature of our species.
Yes, of course. We are social animals, we evolved to cooperate (amongst many other things), I've said so all along.

Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
There is emerging evidence that evolutionary processes have favored the development of complex social behaviors in humans, along with the brain architecture that supports them. The human brain, and particularly the neocortex (which constitutes its outmost layer), is much larger in humans as compared to other primates and mammals of similar size. This is particularly interesting because the neocortex comprises many of the brain areas involved in higher social cognition, such as conscious thought, language, behavioral and emotion regulation, as well as empathy and theory of mind - the ability to understand the feelings and intentions of others. We are, so to speak, biologically hard-wired for interacting with others, and are thus said to be endowed with a "social brain".
Yes, of course, we are social animals after all. This is obvious.

Originally Posted by Pascal Vrticka, social neuroscientist
Given the importance of social interactions for humans, it is not surprising that most psychiatric disorders involve some disruption of normal social behaviour, and that in several disorders abnormal social functioning is one of the central symptoms. Examples are autism, social anxiety disorder, borderline personality disorder and schizotypal personality disorder.
Yes, of course, we are social animals, does not impact my point at all.

Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
I don't know why you and you allies in this discussion are determined to emphasise human individuality vis-a-vis human sociability, but the briefest search on Google will disabuse you.
Your links do not at all say what you claim, they don't even hint at it, all they are saying is that we are social animals. We all know that.

I'm not determined to do anything. I studied science and biology for many years. I'm a scientist, for me facts always trump feelings.
Why do you persist in making claims that make you feel good instead of accepting the world as it is?

Your claim is that we evolved to cooperate for the good of the species. The fact is that we evolved to cooperate for our own and the good of our genes. Linking to a million articles confirming that we are social will not change this. If we really do cooperate for the good of the species you would not get things like nepotism, tribalism, cheaters and deceivers. Crime would hardly exist, if at all.

There are only two theories (kin and multilevel selection) to explain the evolution of cooperation and altruism. Multilevel selection comes closest to what you are claiming but falls way short of proposing a mechanism for the evolution of traits and behaviors for the good of the species. Even multilevel/group selection has to be to the advantage of the genes housed in the individual. Multilevel selection is not a replacement for kin selection in explaining cooperation, it is an additional factor that can influence the evolution of altruism.

Originally Posted by Wikipedia
In 2010 three authors including E. O. Wilson argued for multi-level selection, including group selection, to correct what they saw as deficits in the explanatory power of inclusive fitness.The response was a back-lash from 137 other evolutionary biologists who argued "that their arguments are based upon a misunderstanding of evolutionary theory and a misrepresentation of the empirical literature".
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
They considered whether groups can have functional organization in the same way as individuals, and consequently whether groups can be "vehicles" for selection. They do not posit evolution on the level of the species, but selective pressures that winnow out small groups within a species, e.g. groups of social insects or primates. Groups that cooperate better might survive and reproduce more than those that did not.
Here is a nice article concerning the two theories:

Kin and multilevel selection in social evolution: a never-ending controversy?

Quote:
We then review two major aspects of the current debate: the presumed formal equivalency of the two theories and the question whether group selection can lead to group adaptation. We conclude by arguing that the two theories can offer complementary approaches to the study of social evolution: kin selection approaches usually focus on the identification of optimal phenotypes and thus on the endresult of a selection process, whereas multilevel selection approaches focus on the ongoing selection process itself. The two theories thus provide different perspectives that might be fruitfully combined to promote our understanding of the evolution in group-structured populations.
Quote:
One fundamental issue that triggered the initial rejection of group selection was the (then naively alleged) claim that it can foster group adaptation (i.e. promote the evolution of traits 'for the good of the group'). Although an evolutionary response to group selection has by now been demonstrated in a variety of laboratory and field studies, the claim that it can foster group adaptation (or any adaptations at all) remains highly controversial.
You could argue that group selection had an impact on our evolution and that tribes that cooperated better and more effectively had an advantage over tribes that did not. That is the best you could do.

When will the facts disabuse you?
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Old 4th March 2018, 12:48 AM   #1652
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Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
You're misrepresenting the argument. Social cohesion exists to enable the survival and reproduction of us as social animals, NOT just because it's "good in itself" in the moral sense.
If you are not arguing that cooperation is the category that makes it possible to differentiate between what human acts are desirable and which are not, I do not know what you are talking about. That social cohesion favours the survival of the species is something that nobody has denied in this forum -not I at least. If you did not mean that social cohesion was the natural version of moral good, that is, something that should be recommended, demanded or praised because it favours the survival of the species, we have been wasting time for days.

If, on the contrary, you have been advocating that cooperation should be strengthened in order to a greater good —the survival of the species—, you consider the latter to be an absolute end that allows you to tell what should and should not be done, that is, what it is good or bad. And this is morality. And now we can return to my comment #1647.

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Old 4th March 2018, 12:59 AM   #1653
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
You could argue that group selection had an impact on our evolution and that tribes that cooperated better and more effectively had an advantage over tribes that did not. That is the best you could do.
I wouldn't take the discussion to this point. The argument of the natural good would work in either of the two interpretations of evolution - genes or species.
At least what interests me is the impossibility of deducing any moral good from the description of any natural behaviour. Because I think that the philosophical discussion is previous to the scientific one in this case.
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Old 4th March 2018, 01:59 AM   #1654
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I wouldn't take the discussion to this point. The argument of the natural good would work in either of the two interpretations of evolution - genes or species.
We are discussing related things from two very different perspectives, you from a philosophical, me from a science perspective.
I'm not very familiar with philosophy so I argue mostly about what I do know about, science, and I do know that no species can evolve cooperation for the good of the species. So although the philosophical argument does apply to both scenarios science does, in reality, rule out one of them.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
At least what interests me is the impossibility of deducing any moral good from the description of any natural behaviour. Because I think that the philosophical discussion is previous to the scientific one in this case.
I agree with the highlighted* and that the philosophical aspect is more fundamental to the discussion than the science.
But.....
If you want to discuss morality and somehow anchor it to realty/science, our evolution seems to me to be the logical place to start.

This is now moving into unfamiliar (philosophical ) territory for me, I'd have to think carefully about it...

To devise a working morality I think that it has to closely align with our natural instincts, if it does not, it won't work. I don't believe a society can be forced to behave against it's natural urges and instincts, however good it might be for the whole. Some might be able to do it, but they won't be happy doing it.

What now? I'm not sure, let me think about it.

* I think it is in principal impossible so I do not know quite what to discuss.
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Old 4th March 2018, 03:12 AM   #1655
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post



Your claim is that we evolved to cooperate for the good of the species. The fact is that we evolved to cooperate for our own and the good of our genes. Linking to a million articles confirming that we are social will not change this. If we really do cooperate for the good of the species you would not get things like nepotism, tribalism, cheaters and deceivers. Crime would hardly exist, if at all.
No, that is NOT my claim, why do you persist in misrepresenting the argument? My claim is actually perfectly in alignment with your own statement in your next post, namely:

"To devise a working morality I think that it has to closely align with our natural instincts, if it does not, it won't work. I don't believe a society can be forced to behave against it's natural urges and instincts".

Exactly. Our morality is grounded in our instincts as a social species, just as the precursors to our morality can be seen in social species like the chimpanzee. Morality is purely functional, it doesn't exist for its own sake.

So we are more in agreement than perhaps you would like.
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Old 4th March 2018, 03:55 AM   #1656
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
To devise a working morality I think that it has to closely align with our natural instincts, if it does not, it won't work. I don't believe a society can be forced to behave against it's natural urges and instincts, however good it might be for the whole. Some might be able to do it, but they won't be happy doing it.
Your statement needs ulterior precisions. Man is guided by two kind of motivations: natural impulses or instincts and learned/cultural impulses, that is to say, natural and social motivation. They usually work together or in conflict. Some natural impulses can either be in inner contradiction or natural and social impulses can fight each other. It is not true that natural impulses are stronger than social ones in every circumstance. Quite the contrary. Socialization of human being is a long process where social motivation reshapes, redirects or even inhibits natural impulses. This is obvious in the case of sexual impulses. No need to go to Freudian psychoanalysis to see it. It is why human being is a social construct more than a natural one. It is why an isolated human being would die in a short lapses of time and, if by some strange circumstances, he could survive he wouldn’t get scarcely any human feature. Tarzan is a novel, only a novel.

Therefore, morality like other cultural features, has its roots in natural impulses, of course, but it is above all a social-independent impulse, for good or evil.

NOTE ADDED: Realize that this is nothing extraordinary. In unnatural learning circumstances a lioness can breastfeed a deer, which is not very natural to say. There are quite a few known cases of this. Anyone who has antagonistic species such as cats and dogs at home will know that.

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Old 4th March 2018, 05:42 AM   #1657
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Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
No, that is NOT my claim, why do you persist in misrepresenting the argument? My claim is actually perfectly in alignment with your own statement in your next post, namely:

"To devise a working morality I think that it has to closely align with our natural instincts, if it does not, it won't work. I don't believe a society can be forced to behave against it's natural urges and instincts".

Exactly. Our morality is grounded in our instincts as a social species, just as the precursors to our morality can be seen in social species like the chimpanzee. Morality is purely functional, it doesn't exist for its own sake.

So we are more in agreement than perhaps you would like.
No, no, I do like it. I agree with much of what you have said.


If you go back through the thread though, you will notice, I never objected to anything you said about morality or how it is based on our evolution as a social species, I do agree with you. I only commented on specific statements I believe to be factually incorrect.

Statements like:
Originally Posted by Tassman
Morals are derivatives of biological and evolutionary principles the basis of which is the survival of the species.
Originally Posted by Tassman
Evolution occurs at the biological level NOT at the level of competition within the species.
Originally Posted by Tassman
[altruism/cooperation]It is a primary effect.
This does not mean I disagree with everything you said. I should have made it clearer.

I think this is the root of our disagreement:
Originally Posted by Tassman
As always, you seem to think that we are individuals first and members of a social species second; it's the other way around.
There is no doubt that we are individuals first and members of a social species second. Observation and experiment not only confirms this, science even explains why it is so and how it happened.
This does not mean we would rather live as individuals as opposed to in a society. The opposite is obviously true, we are by nature social, no man is an island.
But the foundation of our cooperation and altruism is kin selection, the basis of which is "selfish genes".

You also said:
Originally Posted by Tassman
We ARE a social species, with all that entails.
What it entails to me is that you should not start with cooperation and altruism as the foundation for morality, since pure altruism and selfless cooperation is opposed to our natural instincts.

I have to get some stuff done, back later, cheers.
Will get back to you David, just no time right now.
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Old 4th March 2018, 09:46 PM   #1658
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
What it entails to me is that you should not start with cooperation and altruism as the foundation for morality, since pure altruism and selfless cooperation is opposed to our natural instincts.
Well what it entails to me is that altruism, empathy, and gratitude all underpin moral behaviour. Whilst we are naturally selfish these qualities evolved as a method of restraining individual selfishness and building more cooperative groups, which are essential to our survival.
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Old 6th March 2018, 02:34 AM   #1659
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Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
Whilst we are naturally selfish these qualities evolved as a method of restraining individual selfishness and building more cooperative groups, which are essential to our survival.
I sort of agree but I would change it to "these qualities evolved as a method of restraining individual selfishness and building more cooperative related groups.
Evolution does set some limits though.
Do you know about Hamilton's rule?

rB>C

  • r is the relatedness of the recipient to the actor, defined as the probability that a gene picked randomly from each at the same locus is identical by descent.
  • B is the additional reproductive benefit gained by the recipient of the altruistic act.
  • C is the reproductive cost to the individual performing the act.
This means that genes can only increase in a population when Hamilton's rule is true, else those genes will be selected against and decrease in frequency within the population.
IOW, altruistic acts should only occur when the altruist gains a reproductive advantage greater than the cost of the altruistic act.
This is what evolution hardwired into our brains and this is indeed how humans interact and cooperate.

Kinship and altruism: A cross-cultural experimental study

Quote:
We show that individuals from two different cultures behave in accordance with Hamilton's rule by acting more altruistically (imposing a higher physical cost upon themselves) towards more closely related individuals. Three possible sources of confound were ruled out: generational effects, sexual attraction and reciprocity. Performance on the task however did not exhibit a perfect linear relationship with relatedness, which might reflect either the intrusion of other variables (e.g. cultural differences in the way kinship is costed) or that our behavioural measure is insufficiently sensitive to fine-tuned differences in the way individuals view their social world. These findings provide the first unequivocal experimental evidence that kinship plays a role in moderating altruistic behaviour. Kinship thus represents a baseline against which individuals pitch other criteria (including reciprocity, prosociality, obligation and a moral sense) when deciding how to behave towards others.
Just keep in mind that we are all part of the Bell curve and this is how the average person behaves and for very good reasons.
In our evolutionary history humans who were 'too selfless' and 'too altruistic' would have been selected against, in accordance with Hamilton's rule, since they would compromise their own reproductive success.

The reverse is of course also true, since we are social animals.
Humans who were 'not selfless enough' and 'not altruistic enough' would also have been selected against, making us more cooperative.
IOW evolution has achieved an optimal balance between selfishness and selflessness, based on reproductive success.

Hamilton's rule sets a hard upper limit to how far cooperation and altruism can evolve and evolution and natural selection cannot cross that boundary to reach rB=C and never will rB<C.

This has implications on the size of the groups humans evolved to cooperate in. Again evolution had to achieve a balance.
A larger cooperating group would always outperform/overpower a smaller cooperating group, all else being equal. But if the group is too large and relatedness too small, Hamilton's rule kicks in and over time cooperation breaks down.
We seem to have evolved to live in groups of around 150 individuals, this is known as Dunbar's number.

Originally Posted by Tassman View Post
Well what it entails to me is that altruism, empathy, and gratitude all underpin moral behaviour.
You are focusing just on what you judge to be the good and ignoring the rest of human nature. It also entails exploitation and deception to an even larger degree.

Hamilton's rule also has a dark side. It predicts that individuals should not cooperate with unrelated individuals* and unrelated groups, in fact, if you could find any way to exploit them it would be to your advantage and the more selfish you acted towards them the better for yourself and your group.

This results in the conflicting moral frameworks I have mentioned a few times earlier in the thread and that you denied. Humans have evolved to cooperate with the in-group and oppose and exploit any out-groups. This is human nature the "good" and the "bad" are part and parcel of the same package and present in every human.
You cannot fixate on one and ignore the other.

Now some good news as I see it.
Evolution has found no foolproof way of giving the individual a way of directly judging relatedness, although pheromones and smell have been shown to have an effect. People consider the family they grew up in as related, even though they might in reality not be, evolution can be fooled. The same principle applies to the group.
In modern life this often results in confusion and conflicting emotions. People have a natural instinct to mentally classify others as belonging to either the in-group or the out-group. Diverse criteria are used for this classification depending on the group under consideration, therefore a person could at the same time be in your in-group and your out-group.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
It is not true that natural impulses are stronger than social ones in every circumstance. Quite the contrary. Socialization of human being is a long process where social motivation reshapes, redirects or even inhibits natural impulses.
Agreed.
I think culture can push cooperation past Hamilton's limit, whereas evolution must fail.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Some natural impulses can either be in inner contradiction or natural and social impulses can fight each other.
I think problems arise when they do fight each other and the fighting should be minimized if possible.
The more they conflict, the more individuals in society will not conform to them but you will never be able to eliminate all conflict.

I'm not sure where I'm heading with this, but it seems more like a way to structure society so that good morals will naturally dominate bad morals.


* Another evolutionary balancing act grounded in instinct. Humans want to cooperate with related individuals and groups but want to reproduce with unrelated individuals.
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Last edited by Cheetah; 6th March 2018 at 02:39 AM.
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Old 7th March 2018, 01:11 AM   #1660
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
(...)
This is what evolution hardwired into our brains and this is indeed how humans interact and cooperate.

Kinship and altruism: A cross-cultural experimental study

(...)
This has implications on the size of the groups humans evolved to cooperate in. Again evolution had to achieve a balance.
(...)

Hamilton's rule also has a dark side. It predicts that individuals should not cooperate with unrelated individuals* and unrelated groups, in fact, if you could find any way to exploit them it would be to your advantage and the more selfish you acted towards them the better for yourself and your group.

This results in the conflicting moral frameworks I have mentioned a few times earlier in the thread and that you denied. Humans have evolved to cooperate with the in-group and oppose and exploit any out-groups. This is human nature the "good" and the "bad" are part and parcel of the same package and present in every human.
You cannot fixate on one and ignore the other.

Now some good news as I see it.
Evolution has found no foolproof way of giving the individual a way of directly judging relatedness, although pheromones and smell have been shown to have an effect. People consider the family they grew up in as related, even though they might in reality not be, evolution can be fooled. The same principle applies to the group.
In modern life this often results in confusion and conflicting emotions. People have a natural instinct to mentally classify others as belonging to either the in-group or the out-group. Diverse criteria are used for this classification depending on the group under consideration, therefore a person could at the same time be in your in-group and your out-group.

(...)

I think problems arise when they do fight each other and the fighting should be minimized if possible.
The more they conflict, the more individuals in society will not conform to them but you will never be able to eliminate all conflict.

I'm not sure where I'm heading with this, but it seems more like a way to structure society so that good morals will naturally dominate bad morals.


* Another evolutionary balancing act grounded in instinct. Humans want to cooperate with related individuals and groups but want to reproduce with unrelated individuals.
The conflict between natural and social impulses is unavoidable because it is the basis of human civilization. You cannot set up a culture with the natural impulses towards sex and aggression that are usual in the animal world. Of course you cannot maintain any culture without sexual impulse and some kind of a (low) amount of aggression. Therefore social culture is the result of making social impulses predominate over the natural impulses.

Some theories hold up that social impulses are only modified natural impulses. Maybe. But in fact, they have become independent and stronger.

What is absurd is to say that moral good is reducible to natural impulses regulated by evolutionary laws. Maybe they were natural in its origin but they are not now.

Take the article you have quoted Kinship and altruism: A cross-cultural experimental study . According with the abstract — I have not read more of it—, kinship is an evolutionary force that improves the social performances of small groups. Albert Camus caused a strong controversial when he was receiving the Nobel of literature and said: “If I had to choose between my mother and justice, I would chose my mother” because he was mixing different things. You can suppose that natural impulses to kin cohesion continue to act in culture but the question is how much they weight in contemporary societies. The answer is easy: almost nothing. Family is absolutely unstructured in contemporary world . The force of ancient kin consisted in continuous contact and social exchange. Today we have not any contact with distant relatives.Moreover, between parents and sons neither. Individuals find effective cohesion in other wider social groups. This is a good example of how social conditions inhibit natural impulses.

Is morality a mere substitute of kin cohesion? Absolutely not. Morality is a social product. It functions in a different way that natural impulses because it is individually internalized. Individuals feel that a moral imperative as an inner force that can be opposite to collective morality in some circumstances. This is specifically human and makes the big difference between shame and guilt. The first reinforce collective rules; the second fosters inner responsibility.

Ultimately, the UDHR is not a chimpanzee’s rule.
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Old 7th March 2018, 03:03 AM   #1661
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Short and dirty as in without evidence as such:
#Metaphysics as a minimum; the rest of reality is what is not your mind.
#The base rule for all knowledge in practice is that you treat the rest of reality as being fair; your experience of a monitor, which you read this on, means that there is a monitor independent of your experience of a monitor.
#Your mind itself is epiphenomenal, it doesn't do anything on its own. You always do something with your brain/body. There is no you in itself, the you is made up out of experiences.
#You always test/check what you can do.

#There are 4 main categories of doing and derived combinations:
1-External as with your body, either passive trough sensory input or active through trying out what you can with your body in relationship to the rest of reality. (Natural science as an observable and testable explanation)
2-Cognitive in the formal sense; logic and math. (Philosophy as thinking about thinking and natural science as probability and prediction)
3-Instinct, feelings and emotions. (Psychology and philosophy as morality and ethics)
4-Does reality add up? How do I make sense of reality?; i.e. a world view! (Religion even as a non-religious human)

There are more categories, but the one you must always include is causality.

So here it is, there is no one overall unified system/methodology possible because the 4 categories do not add up. They don't add up because of subjectivity. Subjectivity is the causation which is based upon biology and the replication of the fittest gene. In philosophy it is: "Man is the measure of all things: of the things that are, that they are, of the things that are not, that they are not." Measure is the subjective justification of morality and ethics and religion and it has no objective referent, because morality and ethics and religion is caused by the replication of the fittest gene.
Of course, because we as individuals rely on other humans we can achieve inter-subjectivity, but just because we agree subjectively on a given set of morality/ethics and religion doesn't make it objective.
The idea of objective justification for all humans is not possible because all moral and ethical and religious justification is (inter-)subjective.

With regards
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