RE: [asa] The Spiritual Brain

From: Dick Fischer <dickfischer@verizon.net>
Date: Mon Oct 15 2007 - 21:06:33 EDT

I wonder how many offered a greater than 50% share to the second party.
Years ago I bought a computer that turned out to be stolen. When I
discovered it I called the police and made a report. The cops set up a
sting operation and caught the guy with a trunk full of stolen
computers. When it was all over one of the detectives remarked that
over the years they had received many complaints of stolen computers,
but mine was the first complaint they had received from somebody who
bought one. I'd be curious to know what percentage offered less than
half to the other guy.

 

Dick Fischer

Dick Fischer, Genesis Proclaimed Association

Finding Harmony in Bible, Science, and History

 <http://www.genesisproclaimed.org/> www.genesisproclaimed.org

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Janice Matchett
Sent: Sunday, October 14, 2007 11:30 PM
To: David Campbell
Cc: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: [asa] The Spiritual Brain

 

At 12:49 PM 10/8/2007, David Campbell wrote:

> @ From where did they recruit the people that were chosen to play
this "ultimatum game"? ~ Janice

The twin study recruited large numbers of twins in Sweden, but the basic
game has been tried on numerous people from many places. ~ David
Campbell.

> Only highly ungrateful, covetous mentalities would cut their noses off
to spite their faces and want to "punish" those who they perceive as
having more than they do. ~ Janice

"It's not exactly perceiving that the others have more than they. The
scenario is that a certain lump sum (often cash when people are the
subjects) is available. Person one (not directly met by person 2) makes
an offer "I'll take x% and leave you the rest. If person 1 is greedy
and wants to take most of it for himself, person 2 often rejects the
offer, leaving neither with anything. It's a small-scale example of
imposing perceived fairness on others despite personal cost, and
correlates with greater willingness to share." ~ David Campbell

@ If an individual takes action in attempt to impose his ideas of
"fairness" against one he perceives to be "greedy" that does not
correlate with "greater willingness to share", it correlates with the
unprincipled, unchristian-like actions of a control-freak who "knows
best". (C.S. Lewis' "omnipotent busy-body"/ "do-gooder" legalist)

"Since an individual who rejects a positive offer is choosing to get
nothing rather than something, individuals must not be acting solely to
maximize his economic gain. Several attempts to explain this behavior
are available. Some authors suggest that individuals are maximizing
their expected utility, but money does not translate directly into
expected utility. Perhaps individuals get some psychological benefit
from engaging in punishment or receive some psychological harm from
accepting a low offer." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimatum_game

"Of course, this is a rather simplistic scenario attempting to produce
an easily replicated test of people's inclinations. Foregoing a small
share of the reward in order to punish greed in another could be spite
or a strong sense of fairness or various other motives. Conversely,
whichever chimp was #1 was usually greedy by human standards, but
exactly how they would perceive it is certainly speculative. It's not
amenable to simply labeling the humans as bad and chimp good. I suspect
there are connections to the ability to recognize another individual as
having needs and desires like oneself, an ability apparently largely
confined to humans as far as we know and which is a key part of moral
responsibility." ~ David Campbell

@ Unlike the "do-gooder" Pharisees, the Good Samaritan had the ability
to recognize that even one who may be a greedy thief has "needs and
desires" like himself, and personally took care of the situation out of
his own pocket.

"Based on fMRI studies of the brain during decision-making, different
brain regions activate dependent upon whether the participating subject
"accepts" or "declines" an offer. Since to "decline" means that neither
receives any money, the responder is actually "punishing" the player who
makes a low offer. Punishing activates the part of the brain that is
associated with the dopamine pathway - i.e. it provides pleasure to
punish. Hence, the subjects who refuse and punish in the process,
possibly receive more pleasure from punishment than they would from
accepting a low offer. This is, therefore, an expected utility argument
where the currency is in pleasures received rather than goods or their
associated values in money. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimatum_game

Atheists have a lot at stake, which explains their frantic efforts in
attempting to prove that man is _basically_ good ---or --- at least "in
the process of evolving" into being - what they perceive to be - "good".
I view "games" like this as merely one of their subtle tools.

> "..It seems man's best friend has lost a part of its brain that kept
much of its wolf instincts. On the other hand.. it has gained the
ability to understand pointing. When we point at >something, a fellow
human automatically transfers its attention to the object we point to,
rather than just staring at the hand. So does a dog with just a little
training. Wolves do not,
>and neither do chimps or any other species known to man. ...the
capacity to point and to understand pointing is everything..." ~
Janice

Actually, several species in domestication do this. Tamed foxes can do
the same; wild ones don't. Our eastern painted turtle seemed to learn
to follow our pointing from outside his tank to find a cheerio or bug
(no rigorous experimental setup). Many animals have some way of
communicating that something of interest or concern is in a particular
direction, even if they lack the ability to point. ~ David Campbell

@ ".. wolves performed at chance, while both dogs and puppies performed
well above chance levels."
http://www.interdisciplines.org/coevolution/papers/9/5/printable/discuss
ions/view/1176

 "...the ability to follow a pointing gesture is very rare in the animal
kingdom. Even super smart animals like chimpanzees have a very hard time
with pointing comprehension. ...Dogs, unlike most animals, can be taught
to reliably use the pointing gesture as an indication of the
location of far away objects. This rare ability has been attributed to
their long history of domestication - researchers think that humans
might have selectively bred dogs to understand pointing.
http://www.thedolphinpod.com/index.php?p=transcripts/dolphinsgetthepoint

"Pointing" aside, the "points" I wanted to make by providing this link
http://tinyurl.com/2bp26j were things like this:

Reason is not Intelligence in itself, only an instrument of
intelligence. Few things create more mischief than reason in the hands
of an unintelligent or immoral wonker. .."

~ Janice

==Original Message==
Date: Sat, 06 Oct 2007 12:21:30 -0400
To: <asa@calvin.edu>
From: Janice Matchett <janmatch@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: [asa] The Spiritual Brain

"A possible hint at how our thinking differs from that of animals comes
from the latest Science. In the ultimatum game (participant 1 proposes
a division of stuff; participant 2 either agrees, in which case each
gets the share allotted by 1, or rejects, in which case neither gets
anything), people typically reject offers seen as too unfair, even
though it means that they will get nothing. E.g., most people would
rather get nothing than get 10% when the other person gets 90%. Chimps,
however, acted in maximal self-interest, percieving getting anything as
more important than punishing the greed of the other chimp.
Correspondingly, chimp 1 was generally a poor sharer. A paper just out
in PNAS found that identical twins (humans) were much more likely than
fraternal twins to have the same threshold for agreeing versus rejecting
(both tested as person 2 against an unknown 1). The authors argued that
this indicates a strong genetic influence on our perception of
fairness." ~ David Campbell 01:51 PM 10/5/2007 Re: [asa] The Spiritual
Brain

@ From where did they recruit the people that were chosen to play
this "ultimatum game"?

Only highly ungrateful, covetous mentalities would cut their noses off
to spite their faces and want to "punish" those who they perceive as
having more than they do.

Unlike the ungrateful covetous individuals chosen to play the "game"
above, the innocent animal (the chimp) accepted what God provided to
him.
http://biblebrowser.com/matthew/6-28.htm

It appears to me as if neither the scientists who did the study, nor
those who "fund" such studies, nor the people who played their game --
know how to point OR understand pointing.
 
 "..It seems man's best friend has lost a part of its brain that kept
much of its wolf instincts. On the other hand.. it has gained the
ability to understand pointing. When we point at something, a fellow
human automatically transfers its attention to the object we point to,
rather than just staring at the hand. So does a dog with just a little
training. Wolves do not, and neither do chimps or any other species
known to man. ...the capacity to point and to understand pointing is
everything..." http://tinyurl.com/2bp26j

~ Janice

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Received on Mon Oct 15 21:15:17 2007

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