reply to post by nixie_nox
Even if you remove "has" from your first sentence and replace it with 'may have' then it gains a lot more credibility but still nowhere near
enough to offer real weight to your point. I'm having trouble trying to believe this argument isn't trying just a little too hard.
Your argument suggests it is the very act of sacrifice itself which will later elevate socially elevate their family. That is not the case, never has
been. Any elevation in society has to be taken by force, (obviously not an option in this scenario) or bestowed by the other members of the
Any social elevation fostered by such sacrifice is entirely dependant upon the noble sentiment of others then. So the argument that there exists a
belief in the sentiment of others so deeply rooted and definite that it trumps the very survival instinct of the individual (not a passing belief but
something that will root itself into the subconscious of mankind the world over) and that a biological advantage is absolutely guaranteed to be gained
from such an action seems, at best, delicate.
You may have a point if you take a snapshot of certain recent civilizations but even in the present day Western societies I don't think such an
advantage could be counted on to such an extent. I've seen some very regrettable actions committed by family members after a loved one died, we all
know that even today squabbles break out and wills are fought over by immediate family members. Even in modern times then, in our comparatively
socially advanced civilization this argument doesn't seem to hold much water, far less then when we try to project this understanding into the
subconscious of all mankind at some stage in our ancient past.
The point moves from "So being a hero, has a biological advantage." to 'So being a hero, may have a biological advantage.' at which it seems
reply to post by defuntion
Glad you got a giggle from the ninjas defuntion, it did make me smile when writing.
In reply to you I have to reference the wording I chose. I never suggested that there was any failure on the part of the individual to acknowledge an
underlying motive, that suggests that (there is a recognition by the individual that) such motivation exists but the individual refuses or denies it.
What I meant to reference was the total absence of such motivation as far as the individual was concerned, even after consideration. That is why the
defence was classed as not in plain sight, but rather as hidden.
I'm not sure I would agree that avoiding a negative is the same as a positive but I suppose that is down to the interpretation you choose. In one
way there is a positive side to avoiding a negative – the lack of loss. So there could be classed a similarity between avoiding a negative equating
to a positive. But say for example we use the analogy of a half filled cup: Avoiding a negative, someone taking from the cup, is not the same as
(embracing) a positive, someone filling the cup further. In this example there is loss, no loss and gain - so no similarity. I'm not trying to
obfuscate or avoid any point you may be driving at defuntion, I am genuinely unsure what interpretation to use here.
You ask if the absence of bad is good? Well again (I'm sorry!) that depends on what exactly is meant here. If a dog is being beaten and that
beating stops then, certainly, the absence of that bad thing could be interpreted as a good thing. But alternatively if there is suffering and I do
nothing to increase or decrease that suffering then I wouldn't credit the absence of 'bad' action on my part as equating to a good (positive)
As for "Removing a threat to our happiness is a way of maintaining happiness, so it may be seen as selfish." I can see that, yes. A person may be
fearful of a harsh winter so they slaughter their neighbour to take their grain. Certainly that could be classed as a selfish act. But if one were
to build a wall (for arguments sake, without inconveniencing anyone or anything) to guard against the threat of a flood then the removal of that
threat to happiness, thus maintaining happiness, couldn't be classed as a selfish act. But the relevant words here are 'may be' they can be
replaced with 'may not be' dependant upon the act but, being dependant upon the act they cannot be replaced with 'has to be'. So the act doesn't
have to be a selfish one.
reply to post by Bluesma
Not sure exactly how you're taking up any challenge of mine Bluesma. What you offered is examples of acts which, without time for consideration
(not operating on any subconscious level though because there we are all selfish) were altruistic in nature.