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Altruism: Genetic or Cultural Evolution?

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posted on Oct, 24 2009 @ 10:53 PM
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October 23rd, 2009
The origins of altruism, the willingness to make personal sacrifices for the benefit of others often unknown to us, has perplexed evolutionary social scientists and biologists for years.

Why do people willingly to go to war, give blood, contribute to food banks and make other sacrifices often at considerable risk to themselves and their descendents? Evolutionary explanations based on both genes and culture have been proposed for this human behavior, which is unique among vertebrates.

In all likelihood, it is evolutionary forces acting on socially learned behavior (culture), a group of UC Davis researchers argue in a paper published this month in the

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences



www.physorg.com...


Very interesting question, we may be predisposed, people do good behind the scenes all the time and expect nothing in return.




posted on Oct, 24 2009 @ 11:07 PM
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True altruism is incredibly rare, almost to the point of non existance.

People give blood to feel like they have done 'good' or because a loved one has been saved in the past by a blood tranfusion.
People go to war to protect their own.
Give to food banks so they can pat themselves on the back and feel 'good'.

Honestly i can think of maybe 2 or 3 things in history that could be considered altruistic and thats about it.
IMO People do good things either to feel better about themselves or because it furthers their own agenda.



posted on Oct, 24 2009 @ 11:18 PM
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reply to post by Aquarius1
 


What about asking something from GOD, doing something for GOD and expecting something in response? Does that count as Altruism? For example I know Muslims who give thousands of dollars in charity yet still never tell anyone, the Mosques count these huge sums of money and they don't know where it came from, but the individuals who do it, do it for the sake of GOD, and for the sake of doing good, gaining positive points to give them advantage in the day of judgment as they believe.

So does this sort of behavior count as Altruism?



posted on Oct, 24 2009 @ 11:51 PM
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reply to post by oozyism
 


I am not buying that, it reminds me of 72 Virgins or whatever number it is. If anything counts I think it would be doing something from the heart without expectations, it could be as simple as helping an elderly person put groceries in the car. People to things for others everyday without giving it a thought..if you believe in a creator and hope doing good will get you to heaven, so be it.


I associate altruism with spirituality not religion.



posted on Oct, 25 2009 @ 03:06 AM
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I have given money to a friend simply because I knew she needed it. I did not expect anything in return except to see her not so stressed over money. I suppose it does not count as altruism though since her suffering ended which in turn made me feel better. Although that was not the goal.



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 01:27 AM
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Originally posted by Aquarius1
reply to post by oozyism
 


I am not buying that, it reminds me of 72 Virgins or whatever number it is. If anything counts I think it would be doing something from the heart without expectations, it could be as simple as helping an elderly person put groceries in the car. People to things for others everyday without giving it a thought..if you believe in a creator and hope doing good will get you to heaven, so be it.


I associate altruism with spirituality not religion.

WOW the 72 virgins have been propagated further than I could imagine, amazing don't you think? That the only thing you know about Islam are the negatives, it is like concentrating the negatives in your way of life, Westernism.

So you say people will help an elderly because? I have seen people help elderly persons before, but why? It is for public image don't you think? Hence cultural norm. Plus you can get hooked up with a single mother easily by showing such characteristics.

From what I know, no one does anything without asking for something in response, whether it be acceptance within a society or material gains, it is all the same.

Islam in the other hand is probably one of 'the way of lives' which requires its followers to give without expecting anything in return, at least in this life. That being said, makes true Muslims the only true Altruists.

Yes we have seen people helping people, but if you don't have a belief system which pushes you to live for the next life, you won't be obliged to be an Altruist, it is as simple as that.

Give yourself as an example, are you an Altruist? What have you done which makes you an Altruist?

I can say I'm an Altruist, at least to some extent, for example I have given Charity without anyone knowing it was from me, therefore I don't expect anything in return, from anyone, in this Universe. That is pure, that is raw. What I have seen in Western society is alot of charity, but have you seen the size of those checks lol?

Take this to the bank


[edit on 26-10-2009 by oozyism]



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 10:42 AM
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reply to post by oozyism
 




WOW the 72 virgins have been propagated further than I could imagine, amazing don't you think? That the only thing you know about Islam are the negatives, it is like concentrating the negatives in your way of life, Westernism


I was trying to make a point oozyism, I did comparative religious studies and think I know a thing or two.



posted on Oct, 26 2009 @ 03:18 PM
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Altruism is selfless concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and a core aspect of various religious traditions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Sikhism, and many others. Also, altruism is a key aspect of many humanitarian and philanthropic causes, exemplified in leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Gandhi and Mother Teresa. This idea was often described as the Golden rule of ethics. Altruism is the opposite of selfishness.

Altruism can be distinguished from feelings of loyalty and duty. Altruism focuses on a motivation to help others or a want to do good without reward, while duty focuses on a moral obligation towards a specific individual (for example, God, a king), a specific organization (for example, a government), or an abstract concept (for example, patriotism etc). Some individuals may feel both altruism and duty, while others may not. Pure altruism is giving without regard to reward or the benefits of recognition and need.

en.wikipedia.org...


Giving alms to the poor is often considered an altruistic action in many cultures and religions



French philosopher Auguste Comte coined the word altruisme (with meaning 3) in 1851, and two years later it entered the English language as altruism. Many considered his ethical system - in which the only moral acts were those intended to promote the happiness of others - rather extreme, so meaning 1 evolved. Now universal in evolutionary theory, meaning 2 was coined by scientists exploring how unselfish behaviour could have evolved. It is applied not only to people (psychological altruism), but also to animals and even plants.

www.altruists.org...



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