Re: Practical Benevolence, group selectionism (was Re: CEV specifies...)

From: Stefan Pernar (
Date: Mon Apr 28 2008 - 06:33:42 MDT

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 7:23 PM, Tim Freeman <> wrote:

> --- Stefan Pernar <> wrote:
> > You can find my paper on friendliness called 'Practical Benevolence -
> > a Rational Philosophy of Morality' at:
> >
> From: Matt Mahoney <>
> >In section 1.7 you state that existence is preferable to non-existence,
> >and that existence is defined as the ability to be perceived. From
> >this you conclude that it is the agent's interest to ensure continuous
> >co-existence.
> >
> >This is the crux of your argument. I believe it is flawed. Evolution
> >does not define existence as the ability to be perceived. It only
> >matters that your genes are propagated.
> So far, so good. If you've quoted Pernar correctly, you seem to have
> a valid argument against his point of view.

Yes he has and point well taken. Please see earlier post.

>Humans have a goal of being perceived by other humans. This is called
> >"ego". Tribes whose members desire attention have a competitive
> >advantage because ego leads to sharing of information, a common
> >language, reciprocal attention and friendship, and ability to organize
> >into companies and armies.
> This is less good. You're advocating group selectionism here.
> Apparently group selectionism is a rare event and individual selection
> is much more common:

The group selection debate is far from over - particularly on a non-genetic
level as I have written about earlier:

Also see:

Joe Heinrich:
David Sloan Willson:

Particularily: Wilson, D. S. and E.O. Wilson (2007). Rethinking the
theoretical foundation of sociobiology. Quarterly Review of Biology, in

My definition for existing is admittedly improvable.

Many thanks,


Stefan Pernar
3-E-101 Silver Maple Garden
#6 Cai Hong Road, Da Shan Zi
Chao Yang District
100015 Beijing
Mobil: +86 1391 009 1931
Skype: Stefan.Pernar

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