Date: Sun May 14 2006 - 17:14:16 MDT
Quoting Keith Henson <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
> At 10:35 PM 5/14/2006 +0100, m.l.vere wrote:
> >Quoting Keith Henson <email@example.com>:
> > > At 12:31 PM 5/13/2006 +0100, you wrote:
> > > >Quoting Keith Henson <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
> > > Can you give a reasonable account of how "emotion compassion" other than
> > > that directed to relatives would have improved reproductive success
> > > for the genes building brain structures for it to become common?
> >Sure, firstly the emotion of compassion is a direct cause of cooperation.
> >Those who had others cooperate with them would have a survival advantage.
> >compassionate would be more likely to recieve reciprocal cooperation.
> I am sorry, but evolution just does not work that way. As an example, take
> a hypothetical stone age human with great compassion for other humans, so
> great that he gives all he has to hungry people he meets on the way back
> from a hunt and his kids starve as a result. The next generation has less
> of this quality.
Its a question of balance and degree. Your argument is the reason why most
people today do not show that level of compassion.
> People *do* engage in reciprocal cooperation because it is in *their*
> interest (and the interests of their genes) to do so. There is a *vast*
> literature on the subject. Try "Robert Axelrod" or "tit for tat" in Google
> to access it by the ton. Serious studies have found that humans have
> special mental circuits to detect cheaters and even mechanisms to punish
Sure. But that doesnt mean they dont feel compassion as well. Not all the
time, and often not as strongly as they feel other things, but they do feel
compassion. It takes a lot less intelligence to cooperate based on emotional
compassion, than it does to figure out when to cooperate solely based on self
interest (which people obviously also feel). Thus compassion is an
> >apparently selfless compassion may well have been an advantage in mating.
> Mating is only a small part of "reproductive success." Perhaps you mean
> finding a mate? Even having a lot of kids is not success if none of *them*
> have children. In such examples of the hunter-gatherer life style (the
> EEA) as have been studied, bringing back a lot of meat is the most likely
> way to get more nooky. Not "selfish compassion." This is well known. I
> can show you how to research it if you need help.
Sure, but ceteris paribus, compassion helps - so there will be slight
selection pressures towards it. No reason why you cant both bring back lots of
meat *and* show *some* compassion.
> > > I am not sure what you mean by "emotional social conformity" much less
> > > *that* would have contributed to reproductive success.
> >When people feel an emotional need to act/think in a similar fasion to
> >arround them. Doing so would a) speed up learning - survival advantage,
> >and b)
> >make cooperation easier - again survival advantage.
> Half the tribe runs off a cliff and is killed by the fall on the rocks
> below. Is it a survival advantage for the rest to follow?
Again, its not total. It exists to a certain extent, and is in
conflict/balance with other emotions. But it does exist because in the
*majority* of situations it is a survival advantage.
> Now I make the case in URL I cited up thread that there are times where
> xenophobic memes take over the minds of a tribe's warriors and as a result
> they go out on a do or die mission against the tribe in the next
> valley. But they are doing it in a situation where from their gene's
> viewpoint, there is little other choice.
Sure, again, compassion is not total, and only manifests under certain
conditions (as this is the most survival advantageous way). However, in modern
society, the conditions are almost always those which manifest compassion.
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