It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Fairness is a evolutionary trait in humans

page: 1

log in


posted on Sep, 17 2003 @ 05:32 PM
"In a recent study, brown capuchin monkeys trained to exchange a granite token for a cucumber treat often refused the swap if they saw another monkey get a better payoff: a grape. Instead, they often threw the token, refused to eat the piece of cucumber, or even gave it to the other capuchin after viewing the lopsided deal, said Emory University researcher Sarah Brosnan. She said the results indicate man and monkey may have inherited a sense of fairness from an evolutionary ancestor."

"The trait may have helped species co-operate and survive, Brosnan said. " Why am I thinking of the WTO,recent talks and a sense of fairness?

posted on Sep, 17 2003 @ 05:54 PM
The genetic predisposition to intra-special fairness may well be a desirable imaginary quality, but I (figuratively)asked Mr Darwin and he said, in the voice of Mr Horse from Ren and Stimpy, "No sir, I don't like it".

It is in the realm of Buddhists and karmic law and enlightenment path. Our species has not evolved that way at all, or at least the meek have not yet been placed in the position of inheriting the earth.

On the other hand, I asked Mr Pinker in person one day, "So if it can be shown that a desired social quality is the ability to autonomically disguise the regular non-verbal cues that accompany mendacity, then can such a quality be inherited?" and he responded "Yes".

Just for interest.

posted on Sep, 17 2003 @ 06:08 PM
How certain are they that they discovered something as nobel as "Fairness"?

Could they have discovered "Greed" or "Jealousy" perhaps instead?

Just a thought: Does this somehow include monkey's as capable of "Capitalistic" ideals of living?
Also I wonder if these monkey's now join the human race on the "Judeo-Christian" $H!T-LIST as sinners for "Coveting thy neighbors goods"?

posted on Sep, 17 2003 @ 06:57 PM
Probably because they think monkeys are so simple that they are only capable of basic feelings. They inferred fairnes, btw. Perhaps by jealousy?

posted on Sep, 17 2003 @ 07:10 PM
Yeah, fairness is not equal to selflessness.

It's more protecting your share, a lesser form of greed than taking all you can get.

If the behavioral characteristic heredity hypothesis holds true, then in homo sapiens it is more likely with current social structures that the ability to lie, cheat and steal and get away with it will be passed on more successfully than the ability to evaluate what is "just, fair and right".

People make excuses for this kind of thing all day long. "Human nature", "the strong will survive" etc etc.

But to me it is all fallacy, and a quicker route to extinction the more it progresses.

posted on Sep, 19 2003 @ 03:47 AM
Actually, there's a very strong indication that human beings would not have survived long enough to evolve if it hadn't been for the concept of *cooperation*; The concept that says "a few can accomplish more than one, if all are devoted to the same task".

As a matter of evolution, even the lower life forms (right down to single-celled organisms) show a better chance of survival if they learn to group together; Even if they don't have any kind of intellect to combine their efforts, they survive by "saftey in numbers". So it's not really a matter of "survival of the fittest" as it would be "survival of the most cooperative".

It is a very wise man who understands the concept of "divide & conquer"...But it also indicates less of a tendency for cooperation, which is more harmful in the long run.

posted on Sep, 19 2003 @ 04:02 AM

yes but the more cooperative you are the less you produce individual excellence which in needed to further the group also.

it is a catch 22 isn't it this living business.

me thinks the monkeys are primarily selfish.

in this case if the monkey was starving he probably would have taken the cucumber to eat but hated the other monkey for getting a better deal.

but the scientists have a point because the monkey that got ripped off didn't physically attack the other monkey which he would have done if he felt so wronged without a sense of interdependence.

posted on Sep, 19 2003 @ 06:23 PM

Originally posted by THENEO
but the more cooperative you are the less you produce individual excellence which in needed to further the group also.

Not really...Even individual excellence can be put towards benefiting the entire group. What of the person who has a firmer grip on the concept of organization than anyone else in the group? That person could organize group effort towards benefit of the whole.

The problem is that too many people use "individual excellence" for their own benefit rather than for the good of the whole...The results of such selfishness leads to oppression & suffering for the whole *because* of the individual's greed, envy & jealously.

I'm not talking about full-blown Socialism here...Just the basic concept of people doing what they can to help our fellow human beings. Most of us here at ATS are part of the generation that grew up in the "Me decade" (The idea of "Forget the world...What can I do for me") & some of our younger members have grown up in the so-called X-Generation (the generation that has pretty much given up on improving the world; The idea that "we're on the slide to Hell & there's no way to stop it, so we might as well try to enjoy the ride") anyone who looks around can see what these kinds of attitudes have done to society; It's the general lack of basic consideration for our fellow human beings that have wrought the horrors that are taking place today.

Just having a bit of basic respect & consideration for other people goes a long ways...The problem is getting people (as a whole race) to see this. It's the human's ability to do this is what puts us a cut above the mere animals of this world...The problem is that so few people actually *exercise* this ability is what's screwing up everything.

[Edited on 19-9-2003 by MidnightDStroyer]

posted on Sep, 20 2003 @ 01:30 AM

then why did socialism fail?

only due to outside influence?

to an extent competition fuels excellence it is undeniable.

posted on Sep, 20 2003 @ 09:14 PM
Socialism fails primarily because there's enough greed & avarice in the population that those who seek to dominate rather than cooperate will always be gumming up the works. Cooperation on a large social scale cannot be *forced*...Socialism fails because it's *forced* upon everone in the society. The "organization" nescesary to enforce it creates its own failure; Cooperation must be voluntary by individual circumstance, otherwise dissent is created, which leads to revolution (or a complete breakdown of the "organization" itself).

...That's not to say that, historically speaking, that there *wasn't* any outside influences...

posted on Sep, 20 2003 @ 09:36 PM
I think that I agree with on you on a few levels at least...

In business, my company specifically, we have a desire to attain "Market Share" preferablly MORE than the competition...

This desire, it could be incorrectly identified as greed, allws the "group" to survive and bring MORE people into the group (additional employees) and aid them in survival.

This is the cruxt of capitalism. The BEST and HARDEST WORKING achieve and the incompetent and lazy GRIEVE...

That is a system that WORKS because it allows for indevidual acheivement and recognition of that greater acheivement by more compensation in line with more contribution. This creates a self sustaining culture of greatness.

Socialism FAILS miserably because it allows the LEAST compitent/LEAST contributing(LAZIEST) to receive the SAME rewards as the MOST compitent/MOST contributing which IMMEDIATELY causes the great ones to say "SCREW IT" and ALL creativity/extra hard work to solve extra hard problems evaporates in the wind mediocrity.

It is MANDATORY, in business at least, that ALL players have the GOOD OF THE GROUP at the forefront of the indevidual goals and targets. A collection of supermen who are all aiming at something different will fall to a gaggle of decent performers who are focused bring down the superdudes. Mainly because the super dudes will inevitably begin to fight with eachother over which is the right course to persue, which causes lost time spent toward the wiping out the middle of the roaders.

While the middle of the roaders are closing in on them 100% of the time they are at it. This causes the advantage held by the supers to be so greatly diminished they will lose 99% of the time.


posted on Sep, 20 2003 @ 09:47 PM
That's a very good point MD.

I wonder if alternative schemes can be hatched, like creating a social system where neighbors serve dinner to each other, you know, something to create explicit reliance on others. It would have to be a social system otherwise people wouldn't have a reason to make food for others and let others feed them (social peer pressure, etc.)

There is something wrong with what we are doing in this day and age. I do not know what it is but something needs to change. I suspect it has something to do with accountibility.

posted on Sep, 21 2003 @ 12:01 AM
"Family values" have also been intrinsically linked with material wealth and economic well being and "keeping up with the Joneses" rather than community participation. The church, the state, and the education system all have a role in perpetuating this.

The commodity fetishist culture is reliant on people wanting to flaunt their distinctiveness and superiority in some way. The purveyors of crass commercialism have only recently developed effective models for capitalizing on the spending power of dumbed down disenfranchized youth while not irrevocably breaking down the family unit. It is a delicate balance.

The core philosophy for happiness in this culture (if it describes yours) is very simple. Consume, be silent, die.

posted on Sep, 21 2003 @ 12:14 AM

why is there Greed and Avarice in the population?
just curious about your theory.

new topics

top topics


log in