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We May Be Born With an Urge to Help

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posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 12:00 PM
Times online

The somewhat surprising answer at which some biologists have arrived is that babies are innately sociable and helpful to others. Of course every animal must to some extent be selfish to survive. But the biologists also see in humans a natural willingness to help. When infants 18 months old see an unrelated adult whose hands are full and who needs assistance opening a door or picking up a dropped clothespin, they will immediately help, Michael Tomasello writes in “why we cooperate,” a book published in October. Dr. Tomasello, a developmental psychologist, is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

It seems we are not as bad off as the naysayers would have us believe. If children seem to be born with a sense of social values and an eagerness to help others what part of society might be effecting this negatively?

“We’re preprogrammed to reach out,” Dr. de Waal writes. “Empathy is an automated response over which we have limited control.” The only people emotionally immune to another’s situation, he notes, are psychopaths. Indeed, it is in our biological nature, not our political institutions, that we should put our trust, in his view. Our empathy is innate and cannot be changed or long suppressed. “In fact,” Dr. de Waal writes, “I’d argue that biology constitutes our greatest hope. One can only shudder at the thought that the humaneness of our societies would depend on the whims of politics, culture or religion.”

It would seem we might have the answer within us. Cultivating this inherent disposition to help others might be more effective then law. Relying on our social instincts might be a better way.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 01:07 PM
reply to post by Seiko

that sociable instinct is called intuition . Every soul upon arriving into their next incanration,still holds the charactersitics the universal ONE is all about. The universe is designed this way,we ourselves reached this design through eternal evolution.

It's until the social environment and peopel around have a negative influece on us, that's when many lose theyr kindheartedness,thoguh it can always be retreaved.

Though many peopel are able to feel apathy,not jsut psychopaths, many are able and willing to ignore and be simply selfish.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 03:02 PM
This exact behavior exists in all animal life forms, from ants to humans, no exceptions, i guess its in built mechanism for all species as a from of preservation of its own species. Then again, we as the most intelligent species have nuked our own species in the name of peace and we do kill one another in the name of money and we do fight one another in the name of honor. I guess about know we can see how as perfect as we may seem when in a tranquil state of mind, we can easily become the most destructive mechanism on the face of this planet.

posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 04:39 PM
Thanks for posting this!

It does make you wonder where the widespread attitude of the "zero-sum" game comes from. By that I mean the idea that acting on behalf of others involves sacrificing ourselves, that everything is a trade-off.

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