How Humans Are Hard-Wired to Treat Each Other

3 10 2009

“So easy a caveman could do it” sells insurance on tv as laissez faire capitalism good for us all. A new congressman boldly goes where no Dem has gone before, calling out GOP obstructionists and greedy antisocial insurance companies as “foot-dragging, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals” this week. [see six-minute mark into video]

And today, the Wall Street Journal takes on the killer-ape “survival of the fittest” theory as unfit to intelligently explain human behavior.
[see 11 new Science papers on these 4.4 million year old hominid fossils here]

Are humans hard-wired to be ruthlessly competitive or supportive of one another?
. . .The once-popular killer ape theory is crumbling under its own lack of evidence . . . towards increasing evidence for humans as cooperative and empathic. . . people do not always adhere to the profit principle.

We care about fairness and justice and sometimes let these concerns override the desire to make as much money as possible.

JJ is having some Saturday morning conjecture with her coffee:
1) This ought to help the Foundation Beyond Belief help all life human and animal;

2) This is scientific evidence that the Golden Rule is natural law written into the universe, not get-out-of-hell-free currency for man-made economies and governments to control;

3) Daniel Pink’s six human and humane economic behavioral mindsets are larger than ourselves and fit into this science:
empathy
symphony
story
meaning
design
play;

3) This should bode well for real change in our real world — economic, education, health care, even war and peace. You might even say it’s predestined! 😉

. . . [W]e are getting used to findings of remarkable human empathy, such as those by neuroscientists that reward centers in the brain light up when we give to charity (hence the saying that “doing good feels good”) or that seeing another in pain activates the same brain areas as when we are in pain ourselves.

Obviously, we are hard-wired to be in tune with the emotions of others, a capacity that evolution should never have favored if exploitation of others were all that mattered.
Frans de Waal, a professor of primate behavior in the psychology department at Emory University, author of “The Age of Empathy.”

Major Snooking around on both competitive and cooperative creatures, particularly as applied to homeschooling families:
Individualism AND — not versus — Institutionalism

Never Mind Blacks, Immigrants, Gays — Kill the Pagans!

How gay is America and why does it matter?

Getting her third cup of coffee JJ just saw a good place to start emphasizing real family values and community over killer-ape economic warfare : Forever Family

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5 responses

13 10 2009
JJ

New Secular Place for Giving and Giving Back:

Arianna Huffington: Announcing HuffPost Impact: Where News Turns Into Action

I’m thrilled to announce the launch of HuffPost Impact, our new section devoted to service, causes, and giving back. This section holds a special place in my heart. It’s an idea I’ve been pursuing in one form or another for over 15 years. Back in 1993, I pitched the idea of creating C-SPAN 3, a channel devoted 24/7 to the work of nonprofit groups and giving back. I pictured people being able to tune in at any time and see programming that moved them, and inspired them to take action.

That was before I recognized the power of 24/7 engagement made possible by the Internet — so that with a click and a link we can not only learn all about a cause but also immediately take action… and make an impact.

That’s what we’re launching today. Check out HuffPost Impact — and get involved.

25 02 2010
Blackwater, Google and Whales, Oh My « Cocking A Snook!

[…] because of what they have in common (with each other, *not* with us) they hurt us over and over and over, incapable of stopping themselves, of caring or even […]

23 07 2010
Can a Dog Receive Communion or Would You Complain? WWJD? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] how in the end the way we treat any of those is all about OUR humanity, not theirs. Not to mention how we treat each other, as enemy rivals or extended family and friends . . . Can a dog receive communion? It was the […]

29 01 2011
JJ

We humanize the inhuman because WE are so human, not because it is. Our very human “affection for connection” is both good and good for us so I wouldn’t want to change it, but it can hurt us too — even when the inhuman is at its best, never mind at its worst. Take Sherry Turkle for example:

. . .She’s concerned about robots that want to be buddies, implicitly promising an emotional connection they can never deliver.

The argument represents a skeptical turn for a researcher who was one of the first humanities scholars to take human interactions with computers seriously as an area of study. . .the most chilling moment in the Kismet study came when the robot was at its best: when a child left the MIT lab feeling that she had had a deep moment of connection.

Kismet can’t reciprocate friendship, after all, or prepare kids for the more dynamic experience of interacting with people.

29 01 2011
JJ

Universities are not themselves human either, although like robots and Wall Street they are human creations, of and for and by humanity’s hand.

The Unvirtuous Truth About the Virtue of Harvard:

If they’re not careful, the unruly and immensely powerful forces of wealth and aspiration will break them apart.

It’s said that the wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it an unscalable wall. That some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. Such truths were well known to those who stamped “Veritas” on the Harvard seal hundreds of years ago. The university needs to learn them again and to get back to the simpler, smaller, more important task of helping people learn.

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