a reply to: Sly1one
Hmm on trial again the "selfishness" of humanity lol...interesting how in this instance there is a theoretical acknowledgement of selfishness
on one end (the child crying to prevent sharing mom and dad) and an outright dismissal of the selflessness on the other end when parents decide to
accommodate the child instead of get their freak on...But then again maybe even quieting of the child is selfish...
Take comfort. It is not as terrible as all that.
selfish, of course. They have to be in order to survive and propagate, because there is only so much available food and water, so
many available sexual partners, and so on. Competition is built into nature. You see it in every area of biology, animal or human.
But many higher organisms are also altruistic, at least in special circumstances. They take care of their young.
And social species, those that live in groups, are altruistic towards more distant relatives, and sometimes even toward non-kin. There are situations
in which cooperation is a better survival strategy (from the genetic point of view) than competition. Nature has responded to this by giving social
animals the behaviouristic tools to exploit such situations.
People place a high moral value on unselfishness — in the abstract — because it has high material
value when it is exercised by others in
our favour. We all want others to be as altruistic as possible towards us, so we talk altruism up highly; if you think about it, then, we value
unselfishness for selfish reasons.
We value selfishness more highly, of course. We don't normally admit it, because it would not be to our advantage to show our cards to the rest, but
it is still the case. There are a few self-sacrificing individuals whose moral sense outweighs their better judgement. We celebrate their deeds, give
them posthumous military decorations, canonize them, or write epics about them. Then we pocket the advantages they have handed us and move on. Their
fame lives on for generations, but their genes have lost the great competition of life.
Unless, of course, they took care to have children before they wore themselves down or got themselves killed for our sakes.
edit on 27/4/14 by Astyanax because: of I, me, mine.