Started by Inevitable Droid, December 27, 2010, 12:31:27 PM
Quote from: "Wilson"Tribalism is in our DNA, all right. It evolved during hunter-gatherer days.
QuoteCompassion, cooperation, altruism, and a lot of characteristics I consider positive evolved so that one group would have a better chance at survival than other groups that didn't have as much of those qualities.
QuoteBut it was also important to the survival of that group that it not have those same feelings toward those outside their group. If you feed outsiders, or act to protect them, that could be bad for the survivability of your own group. So we developed this line that divides "us" and "them". That's what tribalism is, and it has persisted to the current time.
QuoteAll of us feel a sense of community with certain people and little or none toward others. Nationalism, sports fandom, religion, you name it. I even feel a slight kinship with my fellow freethinkers here. And selective empathy is not always bad; placed in a situation where our lives or those of our families are at stake, almost all of us would not hesitate to defend ourselves against an aggressor; he would be on the other side of that compassion line. Religious ties are indeed one way that some people define their "circle of empathy" or whatever you want to call it. That's why suicide bombers consider it moral to kill infidels; they are on the other side of the compassion line.
Quote from: "Inevitable Droid"Compassion and altruism are genetic, I'm sure, but they aren't what I mean by tribalism.
Quote from: "Wilson"Quote from: "Inevitable Droid"Compassion and altruism are genetic, I'm sure, but they aren't what I mean by tribalism.It seems to me that if we have developed general feelings of kinship towards others in our group - with all that implies - and have no such feelings of kinship toward those in a competing group, that's the essence of tribalism. And I agree that we should encourage expansion of our circle of kinship to include everybody who isn't a direct threat to us.
Quote from: "Inevitable Droid"Now, let me say that there are people whose compassion and altruism isn't centered on tribe at all. They exhibit compassion and altruism toward anyone they encounter.
QuoteI think that evolutionary survival forces could have created a genetic "tendency" toward an individual's psychological acceptance of a tribe's traditional beliefs and practices.