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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: Great discussion folks!!

    I hate to be the one that presents what may be a highly simplistic post here,

    BUT ....

    I LOVE my wife unconditionally,
    I LOVE my family Unconditionally,
    I LOVE helping others unconditionally,

    Now I'm sure that the greatest of debaters may state that I'll be loving these people in view of the love that I get in return, and also for the phenomenal feelings that I experience as a result of the love that I give.

    I guess that unless a human being has experienced receiving unconditional love, reading all the scientific textbooks in the world will not get that person one step closer towards understanding it.

    May I suggest that selfishness may not be a gene nor a scientific theory, but simply a choice?

    If selfishness is primarily centred around 'GETTING', whereas unconditional Love is primarily centred around 'GIVING', surely the human behaviour of unconditionally loving others is as much a choice as what being self consumed is.

    Giving is looking outwards at others, whereas getting is looking inwards at the self.

    Perspective is based upon our beliefs, and our beliefs are based upon our experiences.

    Plato stated once that opinion is merely the medium between sheer ignorance and insightful understanding, therefor the opinions that people have about love or about selfishness could only ever be based upon their direct personal experience.

    Love Wins the debate guys.
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      Nov 14 2013: It sounds like you LOVE for the LOVE of LOVING Kain.......I LOVE it, and I also think/feel it is a choice which is much more enjoyable than the alternative:>)
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        Nov 16 2013: Hello Sweet Colleen. Good to see your lovely face again.
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          Nov 17 2013: Hello Sweet Vera Nova.....always nice to "see" you as well:>)
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      Nov 14 2013: I agree with you that many people lead a life based on giving and on loving.
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      Nov 14 2013: Great post, and I definitely agree with you. Overall, I don't think that the gene-centered view of evolution is intended to downplay or otherwise replace "love" or "altruism," but it does shed some light on why such feelings are critical for the survival of our species. Regardless, these are very real feelings. Unconditional love truly exists.
    • Nov 14 2013: Kain,

      I like your notion that 'it' may be simply a choice... I would like to incorporate something you mentioned with and idea I like a bit... so to complement what you said and share something enriched by it...

      To give or to get isn't the question; the question be how to share whats about as each chooses what to cultivate.
      I choose to act pro wellbeing... that is I choose to love and care about wellbeing .

      perspective/ beliefs/ experiences are often based upon each other... thus ...

      "Perspective is based upon our beliefs, and our beliefs are based upon our experiences"... and our experiences are based upon a combination of what happens what we think about it (before during and after) and the stories told around it.
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      Nov 16 2013: What can be more playful and deceiving than a human mind creating its highly emotional beliefs? My mother loved me madly, my lovers loved me "to death", my friends still say they sooo love me.

      But in reality they only "loved" their own creations, and fantasies in their own minds, glued to some image of me they so liked. They never really understood me, never sensed what I really needed and tried to achive, in stead they did "for me" things that I often suffered from.

      Must say that those who can keep up with their dreams, without trying to "adjust" their real love-ones to their own ideas, are rarely lucky, and the reward is that they stay pleasantly blind… Often people open their eyes and face the difference between their created image, and reality. Then they get upset, aggressively angry, even self-destructive.

      I was lucky to experience unselfish love myself, but not for people. I love the cat - and I'm gladly ready to give my life for him. He was and still after his death, remains my great teacher of wisdom that can only be possible through ultimate openness, he taught me instant communication without words within any distance, self-independence and irreversible respect for other's independence, and at the same interactiveness based on a mutual sense of union, impossible to replace by any technology.
      • Nov 16 2013: Vera,

        "Often people open their eyes and face the difference between their created image, and reality. Then ..."
        ... they choose what to do... some as you stated "...get ..." a certain way.... and then some choose the better course of action... at times that means keeping the vision focus as one advances ... and at times that means reversing their course as one advances onward... I understand (well for the time being I realize that I believe I understand and would have to validate if what I understand corresponds to what you understand). You stated "They never really understood me, never sensed what I really needed and tried to achive, in stead they did "for me" things that I often suffered from". I have experienced such instances as well as the other kind: where they did really understood me, sensed what I really needed and tried to achieve, they did "for me" things that I often suffered from, which I nor them needn't suffer from. I to am lucky to experience love... I sense that 'the cat' isn't a little kitty though you do see it as a little kitty... if only everyone could understand "the wisdom than can only be possible through ultimate openness" and as you sort of said instant communication without words (and with words) within any distance, self-independence and irreversible respect for other's independence, and at the same interactiveness based on a mutual sense of union, with or without technological crutches...

        In response to your first question : a human mind actually creating highly emotional beliefs and realities beneficial to everything and everybeing...
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          Nov 17 2013: Thank you for your thoughtful post, Esteban. I like what you're saying very much.
          In any case I help everyone I know, and am very driven to truly help people I do not love, even cannot stand.

          I do this even when my "action of mercy" does not make any common sense in my life, when I let people easily take from me what they want, without any gratitude.
          One guess - I feel my help works towards some sort of "universal peace" (or goodness) that is beyond myself, that is beyond any individual life.
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          Nov 18 2013: Esteban, Just love the way you think!
      • Nov 17 2013: Vera

        my definition of love: a conscious choice pro well-being

        from what you wrote you seem to me to fit into that definition when you help others.
        In a way love isn't about their gratitude or a business interchange one does with the other (our collaboration for whatever they give us back in return) Love is about a conscious choice one chooses... if the other chooses to love or to hate (accept reject) thats up to them... one choose to do what one does because one choose todo what one does.... one feels and knows each ones contribution towards what be taking place...

        For now there are still winer-loser dynamics at play, for now there still are predator-and-prey... there will come a time when this will change once and for all; there will be shared interchange of winners collaborating to cultivating abundance and diversity of life... the dynamics of sustainable-desirable-congruen with the ways of life agriculture. Even businesses will realize that ROI will cease to be the driving force for what they do... A sustainable business has an infinite ROI its just a matter of time to meet a given profit. Note the relationship plants-gardeners each helping the other to flourish with life... recycling the other's waste into stuff the other employs, breathers, eats...

        BTW sometimes we need to care for others even the people who cannot stand ... (yea I know i am using a bit different meaning than the one you likely intended)... they may surprise us and tell an entertaining story (or be part of one).
    • MR T

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      Nov 18 2013: I think under the assumption that everything has a cause. So for me, that's all very nice but 'love' is an unsatisfying as an explanation for why people act the way they do, as it doesn't explain anything.
      • Nov 19 2013: Mr T

        I too think under the assumption that everything has a cause/reason... (an amusing side-road that I just want to point at without getting into : one ought to determine the cause why for some individuals " 'love' is an unsatisfying as an explanation for why people act the way they do, as it doesn't explain anything" when maybe it does explain quite a bit)

        In a comment I made previously one of the underlying ideas was: individuals choose what to do, often they claim its dew to something ...when in fact it just was what individuals choose to do. I consider 'love' to be a conscious pro well-being choice individuals make; thus the notion that 'love doesn't explain anything' seems out of tune - though I do think to understand why someone would claim it. What I am trying to say is that 'the explanation' for why people act the way they do need not determine if people will inquire further into the matter, hold that that explanation isn't an explanation, would find it satisfying or find it satisfying, hold that the explanation is an explanation and still inquire further into the matter and the reasons and causes and other particularities involved.

        I think that there are human behaviors that stem from ideological beliefs and which do not stem from selfish gene promotion ... well, unless we are considering 'gene promotion' to include meme self-replication.

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