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Survival of the Kindest - Dhamma Wheel

Survival of the Kindest

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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cooran
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Location: Queensland, Australia

Survival of the Kindest

Postby cooran » Sat Dec 12, 2009 5:29 am

Hello all,

I found this interesting:



Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are challenging long-held beliefs that human beings are wired to be selfish. In a wide range of studies, social scientists are amassing a growing body of evidence to show we are evolving to become more compassionate and collaborative in our quest to survive and thrive.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 155309.htm

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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pink_trike
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Re: Survival of the Kindest

Postby pink_trike » Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:19 am

Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Cittasanto
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Location: Ellan Vannin
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Re: Survival of the Kindest

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:10 am

there has been research into altruism in animals, some are mentioned in documentaries about Darwin!

there is a 'theory' that when humans began to communicate more effectively (talk and use sign language etc) that they ganged up on the bullies of the group and got rid of them, or at least put them in there place. I don't think it is necessarily true, but it would depend how much of a bully the individual was, I think anyway, and I am saying theory loosely as I am not sure if it was accepted, or discarded.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Michael_S
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Location: USA

Re: Survival of the Kindest

Postby Michael_S » Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:11 am

Hi all-
Interesting ideas in this study. Of course their hypothesis will be challenged, as all should be.
As a professional archaeologist, it is equally interesting to me how widespread is the desire of
modern folks who live in the world of consumerism and "individualism" to believe in a mythical past
when humanity was ostensibly far more humane. The past few centuries spawned notions of the "Noble Savage"
who possessed few of the faults we seem to have. Maybe its a desire for an actual Garden of Eden type of existence to have once existed.

However, the first colonizers of the western hemisphere did observe practices which they found
lacking in what we would call altruism or perhaps compassion. Yet hey also observed practices which
they believed exceeded their own capacity to have concern for others. Its difficult to make generalizations
about our species in this regard. Usually, people of the same small cultural group or band of hunter-gatherers acted
in the interest of the group, but held little regard for members of neighboring unrelated groups particularly when
in competition for sustenance resources. Even within a small group of hunter-gatherers, infanticide was common.
Eskimos (when first encountered by Europeans) killed female infants to some degree owing to the population
disproportion between males (not enough) and females (too many). Men went on long trips to hunt for food and
were often lost to the dangers of climate or accidental injury. Men killing other men over wife-stealing was also
known among Native Americans.

Yet at the same time there have been many accounts of great aid rendered to early colonizers of the Americas
by the native peoples. Again, generalizations are difficult to make and no doubt local conditions and customs
determined the degree of altruism. I agree that we are hard-wired to be cooperative and altruistic. It can
certainly be difficult to cultivate these qualities in the world of consumerism and competition.

Sorry. Can't provide citations for any of this stuff. My personal library contains about 2,000 books!
I'll be the rest of my lifetime reading them all and wished I'd taken notes on a lot of them.

Metta (every human language contains an equivalent way of expressing this word)
-Mike


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