Re: [asa] Altruism and ID

From: PvM <>
Date: Sat Jun 09 2007 - 21:19:19 EDT

Well said Jack.

On 6/9/07, Jack <> wrote:

> You really are missing the point.

> Altruism has evolved through biological evolution. That is to say through
> random variation and natural selection. What you don't understand is that
> yes, the gene is the focus of evolution. If a gene improves survivability
> it gets passed on. New genes come about randomly through various processes,
> and sometimes those genes produce a change in behavior. Of course the
> entities that exhibit this behavior do not call it altruism, only we humans
> call it that. Nevertheless the behavior fits our definition of altruism.

And unsurprisingly people have observed the altruistic behavior of
humans and animals and wondered as to its origins.

 From Wikipedia

<quote>The word "altruism" (derived from French autre "other", in its
turn derived from Latin alter "other") was coined by Auguste Comte,
the French founder of positivism, in order to describe the ethical
doctrine he supported. He believed that individuals had a moral
obligation to serve the interest of others or the "greater good" of
humanity. Comte says, in his Catechisme Positiviste, that "[the]
social point of view cannot tolerate the notion of rights, for such
notion rests on individualism. We are born under a load of obligations
of every kind, to our predecessors, to our successors, to our
contemporaries. After our birth these obligations increase or
accumulate, for it is some time before we can return any service....
This ["to live for others"], the definitive formula of human morality,
gives a direct sanction exclusively to our instincts of benevolence,
the common source of happiness and duty. [Man must serve] Humanity,
whose we are entirely." As the name of the ethical doctrine is
"altruism," doing what the ethical doctrine prescribes has also come
to be referred to by the term "altruism" serving others through
placing their interests above one's own.</quote>

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Received on Sat Jun 9 21:19:34 2007

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