reply to post by Welfhard
Yeah, it is a difficult subject to really pin down because of all the levels of selfishness that are possible.
You, your genes, your group, your soul, etc.
It is still a cool discussion. I doubt we will arrive at any final conclusion, this debate has been raging for thousands of years that we know of,
but it is still enjoyable reading and debating it.
Science is bringing us some fascinating information on morality, including selfishness and altruism.
One aspect of it I find most interesting in evolutionary terms are computer generated models of evolution that seem to show that pure altruism cannot
survive. In an altruistic system, it is inevitable in evolutionary terms, that "cheaters" will arise, and attempt to benefit from altruism without
being altruistic themselves. Once this occurs, if the more truly altruistic do not discriminate themselves against the cheaters, the cheaters will
overrun to extinction the pure altruists every single time.
Cancer in the body is an example of the immune system failing to recognize and discriminate against "cheaters" who have arisen in a basically
altruistic group. And we know how that ends if some form of discrimination is not introduced.