Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wow! It's been so long

I have not posted in months but there is no time like the present.

This is an excellent article, and while I have not seen the primary research article, I hope it is done well enough to warrant serious consideration. This is interesting because of what it suggests--namely that altruism and a sense of fairness may have evolved in primates. One of the common arguments in favor of the existence of a god is that humans are moral and altruistic and that this trait could not have evolved. However, if you think about the types of animals primates are, I think it is entirely plausible that altruism could have evolved naturally. We are social creatures, and social creatures cannot exist together without at least some rudimentary sense of fairness and altruism. Hopefully more work like this will continue to come out and more firmly establish the roots of human altruism and fairness.


Ralph Dumain said...

Good to see you back, and to see blogs like this slowly proliferating.

Here's a discussion group on Atheist Nexis that might interest you:

"Black Freethought"

m17hr4nd1r said...

I can't believe it took them so long to think of this. Organisms can be viewed in terms of value to the community, and as a general rule, monkeys and their various cousins are community oriented. Disabling, killing, removing property, engendering hostility, these damage a community. Thus, avoiding this is an adaptive behavior. We just need to test it empirically, but we cant, ethically.

Litesp33d said...

Altruism in animals is well researched and documented. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altruism_in_animals
Humans are social creatures so it is natural for us to help and support one another. We do not need to be told this. That is one reason why soldiers have to go through a type of brainwashing process to enable them to kill other humans called military training. It also explains why so many soldiers have severe mental illnesses after returning back from war. Killing our fellow beings is the un-natural thing to do. And so I do not know how religion can claim the moral high ground when their so called god inspired holy books ESPECIALLY the bible has so much killing from genocide to individual murders both committed by god directly or under gods command.

christianslayer said...

I have had people tell me that I can not deny the fact that the good qualities I posess had to come from early religious teachings.As if religious teachings are the only ones responsible for whatever bit of civility exist in our lives.My reply is that i am the way I am in spite of the religious teachings I was subjected to as a child.The lies and threats found in the bible were meant for children.This is the reason why when people continue to follow the bible's words in their adulthood,they become the hateful,arrogant,selfish and judgmental creatures that most Christians are.I cannot stop remembering a disgusting scene of a mob of jews in the middle of times square(NY city) celebrating the murder of Palestinians while a Christian(Obama) running for President sat by and said nothing on behalf of those being slaughtered.Once a person puts a religious label on him or herself,that person looses all connection to humanity.

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