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Love Thy Neighbor: The Evolution of In-Group Morality

  1. Dec 25, 2004 #1

    I just completed reading a very interesting article called "Love Thy Neighbor: The Evolution of In-Group Morality," by Professor John Hartung. Here is the link to the full article: http://members.aol.com/toexist/ltnhome.html His basic premise is that through the evolutionary processes of Inclusive Fitness and Riciprocal Altruism, various population groups evolved an in-group morality psychology in which altruism is directed towards their own group to the detriment of out-groups. This behavior is then linked to much of the genocides and xenophobic behaviors of humans. From what he states, this behavior is innate and he takes a pessimistic view regarding the future human outcomes of this.

    But, he does suggest that the only solution to this would be to actually change the genetic/biological makeup of humans that cause such xenophobic/genocidal behavior.

    Anyway, I found the article very informative and would highly suggest reading it.

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 25, 2004 #2
    It is indeed, actually the mechanism seems to be very obvious. One can observe it at the school yard as well. The defence of the ethnic group as relic of the survival of the fittest instinct. The us against them, the enemy whomever he is. Me, the hero, fights the enemy and gain tremendously in social status, which is my desire. I only need an excuse. The Qu'ran and the Bible offer me such an enemy image of the heathens or the other religion, but so does "Das Kapital" of Karl Marx against the Capitalists and "Mein Kampf" of Hitler against the Jews. Hence, it's not limited to religion. The clash of the civilisations.

    And apparently it's terrible difficult to recognise, whether or not we are involved in such a process. Many decent and rational humans shouted "Jawohl" when Hitler yelled "wollt ihr den totalen Krieg?". Are we recognising that pattern nowadays?

    Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, a genocide wolf disguished in ideal sheep clothes.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2004
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