[lbo-talk] Altruism

c b cb31450 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 12 12:57:48 PDT 2011


Ravi wrote:

"Helping others at no cost to oneself is generosity, but altruism implies sacrifice, yes? We can happily disagree on that - I was merely pointing that it is a very clear and usable definition (from Sober/Wilson) and addresses all the criticisms raised by sceptical biologists."

I really sometimes wonder what science would be like if most scientists were women or if it were created in a different culture.

For example, to see altruism as involving sacrifice only makes sense if you take the division between self and other as absolute. I have never experienced it as such. With most people, especially the ones I care about, it feels more like a continuum, and it actually makes me happy to do things for them, with them, etc... It doesn't feel like their gain and my loss; it feels like an overall gain.


^^^^^ CB; Yes , the contiuum might be something like self-sacrificing/generous/selfish.

The other thing is that in the human origins as communists and original human solidarity - one for all and all for one, sharing ,social labor, motherhood as implied by Joanna - doing for others increases an individual's survivability. The original human discovery - significantly obliterated by class divided society - is self-lessness is selfish.

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