Proud of your lofty Moral standards? Thank evolution.
Posted: 18 September 2016 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I heard an interesting TED Talk today. 

I like it because it supports my perspective that our higher moral values are nothing uniquely human,
instead they are part of the continuum of animals and hominids.

Of course, having the most complex hands driving the most complex brains, creates a large gap between us and other animals,
but only a gap, not a discontinuity.

Morality is embedded in being a social animal.  Although Frans explains it much better!
{I can hear them now: HELL NO WE AIN’T NO SOCIALISTS - AND WE AIN’T NO ANIMALS NEITHER.
Now get back to loading the bombs and making those obscene profits for your masters,
nothing but us humans up here.}

Do Animals Have Morals?
September 5, 2014
Listen· 13:04
http://www.npr.org/2014/08/15/338936897/do-animals-have-morals


About Frans de Waal’s TED Talk

Empathy, cooperation and fairness seem like distinctly human traits. But biologist Frans de Waal explains why other animals might share those same qualities.

About Frans de Waal

Dr. Frans de Waal is a biologist and primatologist known for his work on the behavior and social intelligence of primates. His first book, Chimpanzee Politics, compared the schmoozing and scheming of chimps to that of human politicians. He is a professor of psychology at Emory University and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Center.

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Posted: 20 December 2016 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Came across an interesting article on the topic.  Worth reading if you’re into this stuff.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/12/evolution-of-morality-social-humans-and-apes/418371/

... Chimps show no signs of this ability. “It is inconceivable,” Tomasello has said, “that you would ever see two chimpanzees carrying a log together.” In one of the earliest studies of chimpanzee cooperation, published in 1937, chimpanzees only worked together to pull in a board with food on it after they’d been extensively trained by an experimenter—they showed no natural ability to do it on their own. (Even when chimpanzees do collaborate, there’s been no evidence to date that they have the ability to adopt complementary roles in group efforts or establish a complex division of labor.)

But collaboration didn’t just change the way early humans procured food, Tomasello argues; it also changed how humans understood themselves in relation to others. Specifically, people came to think of themselves as part of a larger unit whose members worked together for mutual gain. They began, in other words, to have what Tomasello calls “shared intentionality.” This, he says, is the subtle cognitive capacity—that difference of degree Darwin wrote about—that sets humans apart from the great apes, the reason why we have developed cultural institutions and engage in large-scale collaborative activities. Sharing intentions means that two minds are paying attention to the same thing and working toward the same goal, but each with its own perspective on that shared reality.

This shared intentionality, Tomasello believes, is the basis of morality. Some psychologists and philosophers break morality into two components: sympathy, or concern for another individual; and fairness, the idea that everyone should get what they deserve. Many animals are capable of the former—a chimpanzee, for example, will behave in altruistic ways, like retrieving an out-of-reach object for another chimp—but only humans, it appears, have a sophisticated understanding of fairness.

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Posted: 21 December 2016 07:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I had always thought that our ancestors had to invent morality when they started living in cities.  As long as they were just family groups or tribal units, they didn’t need it so much.

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Posted: 21 December 2016 08:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Advocatus - 21 December 2016 07:52 AM

I had always thought that our ancestors had to invent morality when they started living in cities.  As long as they were just family groups or tribal units, they didn’t need it so much.

surprised  REALLY?
Are you saying family groups don’t have tensions and politics and one-upmanship ?

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Posted: 21 December 2016 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 21 December 2016 08:31 AM
Advocatus - 21 December 2016 07:52 AM

I had always thought that our ancestors had to invent morality when they started living in cities.  As long as they were just family groups or tribal units, they didn’t need it so much.

surprised  REALLY?
Are you saying family groups don’t have tensions and politics and one-upmanship ?

Family groups and tribes developed morality to protect themselves and their goods. Cooperative families and tribes lived longer. Morality is survival. It’s religion that tries to make it onto something else—and corrupts it.

Lois

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
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Posted: 21 December 2016 09:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Advocatus - 21 December 2016 07:52 AM

I had always thought that our ancestors had to invent morality when they started living in cities.  As long as they were just family groups or tribal units, they didn’t need it so much.

AFAIK moral behavior has been present in our societies since the dawn of Homo Sapiens Sapiens. However its easy to imagine how urban living presented challenges which caused more complex codes of morality to develop.

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