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  • MR T
  • Bristol
  • United Kingdom

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Are there any human behaviours that can't be logically derived from selfish gene promotion?

We do it with animals in biology all the time, we study animals and realise that the more closely related they are, the more likely they are to help each other. So why, if humans arose under the same conditions (evolution) should we treat ourselves any differently in study?. Arrogance?

Take sharing between friends, one friend shares with another in a time of excess, so that in a time of inexcess the other might reciprocate. This way both fair better than they would alone. Could this be a 'selfish' act?.


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    Nov 14 2013: Overall, I believe that "arrogance" is the wrong term, as the "selfish gene" has more to deal with self-preservation, the maximization of inclusive fitness, and the preservation of our species as a whole. Please note that I am using the term "selfish" rather loosely, as there really doesn't seem to be an appropriate English word for what really is at play.

    As far as "selfish acts" are concerned, for both self-preservation and the preservation of our species, it is a necessity to act within one's own interest (self-preservation and inclusive fitness), even while accommodating for other's needs and interests (preservation of our species). For example, even altruism could be considered a "selfish" act, as the altruistic individual is still acting within one's own interest (albeit, for the greater good of our species). Even from a psychological standpoint, an altruistic individual is gaining something from such acts (happiness, satisfaction, recognition, etc.).

    Beyond the conceptual framework of the "selfish gene," oxytocin also plays a significant role in our relationships with others. This is especially the case for positive social interactions such as acts of altruism. This Psychology Today article has more information on how oxytocin plays a significant role in acts of altruism: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-moral-molecule/200911/the-science-generosity
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      Nov 17 2013: ...perhaps it should be referred to as the survival-gene.
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        Nov 19 2013: Agreed. I honestly think that the term "selfish" has rather narcissistic implications which are not beneficial to the preservation and propagation of our species. In reality, we act both within our own interest and within the scope of other individual's interests. As many have already pointed out, it's how we are "hardwired."

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