Mar. 20, 2007

Scientist Finds the Beginnings of Morality in Primate Behavior - New York Times

Here's a story that hit me like a gift from the intellectual gods! For some time now I have been making attacks on the right-wing as social deviants rather than the social Darwinists they so cynically claim as justification for wealth and class disparities, this despite the strong tendency of these same right-wingers to be anti-Darwinist. This is typical of what I have asserted is a species wide psychiatric disorder; one that was initiated by the vast change in environmental stimuli that has become mankind in only a few thousand short years, as compared to the millions over which morality developed among small groups of blood relatives, with the most distantly related faces being nonetheless so familiar as to be virtual relatives in any case. But the invention of agriculture unleashed massive wealth disparities for the first time ever. Agriculture led to writing and number systems needed to account for the excess in foodstuffs. This all coalesced into a division of the clan into labourers and craftsman, soldiers and smiths, all having special skills and crafts, some obviously being more useful than than others. But man, being thehighly adaptable species it is, naturally uses the proven strategy of variation in approaches to solving any particular dillemma faced by the tribe. In short, social tendencies, sexual attraction by certain members tocettain mebers was seized on by mankind as an adaptive advantage. This selection of varu\iation is so assertive in many animals that even sexual preference has come under the umbrella of social variation. It is obviously a very important tool in the adaption reportiore, as has been shown in "game theory" repeatedly. The more highly evolved primates would act on altruistic motivations rather than the old solitary predator "junk DNA"...genes that either stayed dormant for virtually all of his social evolution, or more likely were sent to the outer ring of the clan gathering place to act as warning to the others upon hearing their screams when attacked by wolves or other predators. But then came agriculture. Now man could express selfishness using hoarding abilities impossible before money and writing/accounting evolved out of neccesity to keep track of the excess. Now traits that brought banishment and death to a person so selfish as to actually let his fellow clan-member starve was suddenly being rewarded with wealth. This wealth triggered another cascade or runaway gene to express itself harmfully in mate-selection processes that were also unprepared for hoarding on such a scale. Here again, hoarding bought power, and power triggered genetic attraction traits previously meqnt to serve a related, but mre reasonable genetic trait looking to improve the likelihood of offspring survival. So where does that leave us? It may be that gene-therapy technology is the answer to the unequal pace between the evolution of social priorities and technology. Certainbly the antiquated "animal-like" predatory and selfish genotype we now call the right wing cannot be allowed to continue running amuk with their pre-socialized approach to the environment. Just the global warming issue alone should more than illustrate my assertion that the urge towards elitism and wealth disparity indicative of right-wing ideologues shows them to be incapable of a simple insight like war in a nuclear age is to be avoided at all costs....and yet their there are acting out animal drives by war-profiteering, territoriality as "nationalist zeal and patriotism" "my god can beat up your god" brinkmanship now being played out on a species-wide level. The resentment that history has repeatedly shown us to be greatly resented by modern socialized mankind. The thinking, non-militaristic, empathic man is obviously the way of species survivability. Just as ethics are not derived from religion, egalitarianism is not derived from Marx. Our natural inclination as a socialized species is the source of Marxism today, not the other way around. Sharing is a primary social attribute that is being abused by the right-wing, a group whose genetic impulse to gather and hunt has become unregulated by the natural environment that once governed it's excess; now the rational and empathic qualities that characterize left-wingers are going to have to assert themselves---perhaps, even probably violently if their is going to be a mankind to evolve back into a genetically synchronized internal/external whole. Finally, it stands as a simple testament to the advanced nature of the left-wing progressive tend to be intelligent, rational and wise, I submit having knowledge of the actual state of decay and now imminent doom resulting from the free-market capitalism the right advances as superior to whomever is gullible enough to listen to their self-serving rhetoric, which may ultimately serve as man's suicide note. Scientist Finds the Beginnings of Morality in Primate Behavior - New York Times: "Biologists are allowed an even smaller piece of the action by Jesse Prinz, a philosopher at the University of North Carolina. He believes morality developed after human evolution was finished and that moral sentiments are shaped by culture, not genetics. “It would be a fallacy to assume a single true morality could be identified by what we do instinctively, rather than by what we ought to do,” he said. “One of the principles that might guide a single true morality might be recognition of equal dignity for all human beings, and that seems to be unprecedented in the animal world.” Dr. de Waal does not accept the philosophers’ view that biologists cannot step from “is” to “ought.” “I’m not sure how realistic the distinction is,” he said. “Animals do have ‘oughts.’ If a juvenile is in a fight, the mother must get up and defend her. Or in food sharing, animals do put pressure on each other, which is the first kind of ‘ought’ situation.” Dr. de Waal’s definition of morality is more down to earth than Dr. Prinz’s. Morality, he writes, is “a sense of right and wrong that is born out of groupwide systems of conflict man"

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