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Gravetemplar
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:39 pm 
 

It also doesn't really matter how strong you are, nature always has ways to bite your ass. How long before you get sick, you get an infection, etc? This whole survivalist lone wolf mentality is pretty dumb, there's a reason the life expectancy in 1800 was 40 years.

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Osore
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:21 pm 
 

Ilwhyan wrote:
Quote:
"These are desperate times, the odds are stacked against us, surely the day will come when the wolf is let loose? When he wakes
from his slumber and awakes the beast in man, and he shatters the bonds that bind him and makes one last stand... for all times."
End of All Times (Martyrs Fire)


This is a pretty common theme in black metal. Clandestine Blaze has a song saying pretty much this exact thing, although it's even more explicit about it.

I think there's a fallacy that some people, like perhaps Averill and Aspa, fall for. One of humanity's greatest weapons in the struggle for survival and supremacy has been cooperation and the self-denying altruism that humanity still displays in contemporary times when faced with wide-spread disasters. One human can only be so strong, but several humans helping each other out can be extremely resourceful. In survival scenarios, lone wolves get killed first. It's not a trait that every person has - perhaps not Averill, and not Aspa I would wager - but many enough do that it allows communities of people to work together to overcome adverse conditions.

Warriors have their place, but given too much power they will lead to ruin.

Altruism is short-sighted. Anthropocene is a disaster, yet people are not ready to act quickly against it. It's a paradox because on both extremes we are going against ourselves, against the Anthropocene. Those two extremes are 1) voluntary human extinction program (which will never happen, unfortunately) and 2) the non-preventable ecocidal situation in which we are now. We are going to extinct ourselves sooner or later. Even if we inhabit Mars, the Sun will be the last nail in our coffin. I'm not optimistic about people escaping far enough from the Red Giant. Even people who don't hold this absurdist perspective on humanity and think we are the best that universe has to offer have to admit that our altruism is weak on the long run, as it requires immediate sacrifices. People learn by imitation and it has been observed that even babies have a bias towards differences, which is why I think this way of socialisation makes people prone to be parents and extend their sex drive to a biological conclusion. You see, we are not born with a desire to become parents, yet the majority of people feel good to fit in society and have children, which is why it is difficult to completely change the paradigm and teach people that reproduction is bad for us, while sex isn't (after all, it is primarily practised for hedonistic reasons).

Only when a virus starts to shatter politicians' thrones and threat is imminent, they are ready to act in order to save their asses, while putting on a pathetic performance about doing everything to save the lives of people. For anyone familiar with the current situation in Serbia, namely the new wave of infections that happen after the elections, this model will sound painfully transparent. Nietzsche's will to power is evident, although I don't agree it's a primordial instinct and it's open to debate whether (and in what circumstances) it becomes prioritised.

It has been debated a lot about selfish behaviour and how it might have resisted the potential evolutionary pressures (game theory - tit for tat strategy, to give some hints). As there is not a single adequate (anthropological and biological) evidence about evolution of neither altruism nor selfishness in people, it is the safest to say that we are social species and watch things from that context. However, that doesn't mean altruism is innate, but it does mean that human is not a solitary creature. In order to be able to realise our mental capacity, we need to socialise from birth, learn the language, etc. Obviously, it's not ethical to make feral children, but it's still an interesting thought experiment which demonstrates that people "raised" like some products in a factory devoid of interhuman contact (resembling the opening pages from Brave New World) are devoid of characteristics that make them human and that we think make us distinct from other animals.

The mentioned wolf motif in black metal is probably connected not to the idea of a man who can be independent to the core and thrown like a frog's egg into the water, unprotected and unfed by anyone, but to a romanticised idea of a man who breaks the chains of society and finds comfort in seclusion and solitude. The other is the idea of a wild, bestial man, which comes from their observations of cruelty in people who wage wars and do all sorts of atrocities while at the same time are blindely anthropocentric and keep us on a pedestal, as a crown of evolution, which is laughably dumb. Either way, drawing a straight line between ultimately solitary species and people is fallacious, as well as saying that bestiality is innate, because nature/nurture dichotomy is false. I'm stressing this because that kind of reductionism is common in black metal and any other superficial lyrics. Any deeper lyrics are more linguistically complex for me (English is my second language) and reading stuff like ''evil, satan, fire, death'' is a waste of time, unless you are religious and find references interesting, which is definitely not my case.

In short, my intention was to show that one human is almost equally incapable as entire humanity when looked from ecological perspective, which determines our lives and lives of future generations. We excel at causing cancers, but we don't have "the cure". By elongating life expectancy (mentioned in the previous post), we accelerate global disasters. Planet Earth was absolutely fine when only a thousand people lived here. I don't see the benefits of overpopulation. Every benefit is personal (you are going to get a medicine, people you care about are going to live longer), and thus selfish, and neither benefit is for the humanity and biosphere. We are able to think on a big scale, but we hesitate to act and make sacrifices. This unsolvable issue bothers me a lot.

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Ilwhyan
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:20 am 
 

Very good points - it's hard to speak of survival when humanity is actively setting up the framework for our own extinction, and that of countless species alongside. It was also short-sighted of me to use as a measure of our species' success the ability to even get to the point where we're able to wipe out most life on Earth with incredibly destructive weapons, when a humanity that's regressed into tribalism and warrior culture might well survive till the Sun dies by virtue of not advancing technologically. That said, a truly anti-social humanity would never have survived stone age, I would think.

Social is a much more accurate and better word, yeah. Altruistic sacrifice is only a small part of that. But I wanted to stress that part, because that's inherent to human social behaviour in crisis situations, and it's especially antithetical to the "beast within man" nonsense that some of these black metal lyricists yearn for.
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Osore
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:57 pm 
 

This is what I wrote in an essay (in translation): Hobbs' comprehension of bestial human nature manifests more indirectly and insidiously, through the hot breath of narcissistic psoglav* in sheep's clothing.
*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psoglav
In other words, our bestiality lies in our hypocrisy. It's not like we are born to be serial killers, and society menages to suppress it. The other extreme would be that people are born good, which is also open to debate. As a moral relativist, I often find frustrating to read contrasting opinions about goodness and people trying to see what they wish to see. It's easy to fall into traps of some observations on human infants and other primates, but the really hideous was to see some people think moral code is written in our genetic code. Biological determinism is only a few steps away from eugenics, and we still hear some echoes from that gruesome WWII.

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InnesI
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:44 pm 
 

Nice posts Osore. I don't agree with everything but that is as it should. I think the most important aspect, when reading metal lyrics, is to realize that the lyricists are seldom well read or informed and also that they generally aren’t poets that can express truly deep thought in short and powerful wordage.

But there are interesting seeds, often which deals with heightening the individual in one way or another. But to think the way they want do it is common to all individualist lyrics is not right. Sometimes it is based on the beastly man, drawing inspiration on the satisfaction of instinctual emotions. In other lyrics its about a divine separation (either from other people or a spiritual force one wants to oppose).

My guess is that many have read Nietzsche (probably superficially since half of the extreme metal band seem to believe he was a nihilist – the opposite is true). But I do see how other versions of the strong individual have sought its way into metal lyricism. Thorough for example but also Stirner, Jünger and some stoicism even. Although I doubt many have actually read about this. My guess is that most have picked it up from here and from there in the general culture.

And few people who advocate the strong individual will want to abolish society or co-existence. Generally not even (philosophical) egoists want to do this. They just say that society has another driving force than selflessness. They generally don't say it is de facto wrong to help other people (or even to be opposed to taxes, a strong state etc). We can see this in Rawls theory of the "veil of ignorance" and positive freedoms (argued for as the best way for people to develop themselves - hence in some way non-altruistic). And of course we have his opponent in Nozick who leant more towards negative freedoms.

And on the debate on mans inherent goodness or out inherent evilness there is a nice discussion within Confucianism about this. There is no consensus as to if we are born generally good or generally evil. And reading the arguments both have valid points. Quite different from the Abrahamitic faiths where Judaism and Islam views man as being born good while Christianity views man as being born with evil in them (of course called sin).

As for the topic at hand I did listen to one more episode of the podcast. Quite a lot worse. Alan did touch on some interesting points (how a change in drug culture changed street violence in Ireland) but podcasts with just one person generally fails unless they plan it out as a lecture.

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Osore
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:40 pm 
 

InnesI wrote:
I think the most important aspect, when reading metal lyrics, is to realize that the lyricists are seldom well read or informed and also that they generally aren’t poets that can express truly deep thought in short and powerful wordage.
For those reasons, I think it's always better to take good poems from established writers for lyrics. We need a metal lyricist who can compete for The Nobel Prize.

InnesI wrote:
And on the debate on mans inherent goodness or out inherent evilness there is a nice discussion within Confucianism about this. There is no consensus as to if we are born generally good or generally evil. And reading the arguments both have valid points. Quite different from the Abrahamitic faiths where Judaism and Islam views man as being born good while Christianity views man as being born with evil in them (of course called sin).
For me it was more interesting to approach that question from philosophy of science because it seems far closer to the answer than religion, which requires you to believe in claims which validity is impossible to be tested empirically.
When I had philosophy in secondary school, I touched upon very few philosophers and got the impression that the oldest they were, the more ridiculous and useless they appear in contemporary times. My professor was a false liberal who did nothing at the class except talking about stupid things like gazing directly at the rising sun is good for you. He might have gotten blind by now or had to change his glasses a few times.

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InnesI
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:24 pm 
 

Osore wrote:
For me it was more interesting to approach that question from philosophy of science because it seems far closer to the answer than religion, which requires you to believe in claims which validity is impossible to be tested empirically.
When I had philosophy in secondary school, I touched upon very few philosophers and got the impression that the oldest they were, the more ridiculous and useless they appear in contemporary times. My professor was a false liberal who did nothing at the class except talking about stupid things like gazing directly at the rising sun is good for you. He might have gotten blind by now or had to change his glasses a few times.


Sounds like you just had a bad teacher.

I'm not sure empiricism is the way to go to judge moral facts or claims. In many ways I think philosophy can and should reach beyond. And it will always go beyond empiricism when we talk values and definitions of the same. But obviously there has been a ton written on it in the philosophy of science and that is not my area of study do I don't know much about it.

In regards to confucianism though it really is a quite down to earth kind of philosophy (or religion depending on your definition). While the abrahmitic faiths are based on just that, faith, in regards to mans goodness or badness in birth confucianism is actually much more philosophical it its core. Which is probably why the range differs so much depening on which confucian thinker one reads. I believe the two opposing philosophers were Mencius and Hsun Tzu. Worth looking into them both. I did in the form of and excellent book called A Short History of Chinese Philosophy by Fung Yu-Lan.

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Osore
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:26 pm 
 

InnesI wrote:
I'm not sure empiricism is the way to go to judge moral facts or claims. In many ways I think philosophy can and should reach beyond. And it will always go beyond empiricism when we talk values and definitions of the same.

Absolutely. The problem is some supporters of moral objectivism try to find moral truths in biology or claim that they are universal, which is a delusion of mass cultural values, if you ask me. Jesse Prinz is a philosopher who defends moral relativism and has interesting books and articles (even about punk). I am fascinated by the ability of people like him to process so much facts and critically analyse them, and he also has a ''lab'' where he does experiments. Nowadays philosophy is close to psychology, sociology and biology and works by filling the gaps in those field, and it's very intriguing since those questions are the most difficult. Elliot Sober and D.S. Wilson are the biggest names in philosophy of biology. Garvey's Philosophy of Biology is a good introduction, although I don't agree with him thinking we might instinctively know what's good or bad.
These two articles are precious (Dahl A, Killen M. A developmental perspective on the origins of morality in infancy and early childhood. Frontiers in psychology. 2018 Sep 20;9:1736; Kagan J. Three unresolved issues in human morality. Perspectives on Psychological Science. 2018 May;13(3):346-58), having in mind that evolutionary ethics is still in trend. :roll:

InnesI wrote:
In regards to confucianism though it really is a quite down to earth kind of philosophy (or religion depending on your definition). While the abrahmitic faiths are based on just that, faith, in regards to mans goodness or badness in birth confucianism is actually much more philosophical it its core. Which is probably why the range differs so much depening on which confucian thinker one reads. I believe the two opposing philosophers were Mencius and Hsun Tzu. Worth looking into them both. I did in the form of and excellent book called A Short History of Chinese Philosophy by Fung Yu-Lan.
I've heard about it being more philosophical. Thanks for the recommendation, I'll put this book on my to-read list. ;) We sorely lack Eastern thinkers and artists in our Western-based educational system. Even in history I remember Japan being mentioned only in the context of WWII, and China was left out completely.

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InnesI
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:49 pm 
 

Osore wrote:
Absolutely. The problem is some supporters of moral objectivism try to find moral truths in biology or claim that they are universal, which is a delusion of mass cultural values, if you ask me. Jesse Prinz is a philosopher who defends moral relativism and has interesting books and articles (even about punk). I am fascinated by the ability of people like him to process so much facts and critically analyse them, and he also has a ''lab'' where he does experiments. Nowadays philosophy is close to psychology, sociology and biology and works by filling the gaps in those field, and it's very intriguing since those questions are the most difficult. Elliot Sober and D.S. Wilson are the biggest names in philosophy of biology. Garvey's Philosophy of Biology is a good introduction, although I don't agree with him thinking we might instinctively know what's good or bad.
These two articles are precious (Dahl A, Killen M. A developmental perspective on the origins of morality in infancy and early childhood. Frontiers in psychology. 2018 Sep 20;9:1736; Kagan J. Three unresolved issues in human morality. Perspectives on Psychological Science. 2018 May;13(3):346-58), having in mind that evolutionary ethics is still in trend. :roll:


I think there are some biological roots to morality - as in how we humans function will also become a part of what kind of behaviour we will generally prefer in a given situation. So there is a base in biology (and a number of other things as well like geography, society, climate etc) but the end result will differ quite a lot.

I have come to really like Aristotles version of virtue ethics. It is not static and stale but it is not purely relative either. It always seeks the golden road in between two extremes. So if one extreme is cowardise and the other is rashness the golden road would be courage. And that is static. Courage is always better than the other two. However what courage is depends on the situation, the person(s) involved, time etc. So the courageous thing might be to stop a robbery in a situation where you can clearly handle the robber by yourself. It would however be rashness do do the same action but if the robber were hevaily armed, or outnumbered you etc. In that situation courage might be something else (get help, call the police or whatever).

It's sort of like having the cookie and eating it at the same time if we are to critique the system but I also think that is its strength.

Quote:
I've heard about it being more philosophical. Thanks for the recommendation, I'll put this book on my to-read list. ;) We sorely lack Eastern thinkers and artists in our Western-based educational system. Even in history I remember Japan being mentioned only in the context of WWII, and China was left out completely.


Well every religion has strong philosophical writings but what is interesting with confucianism is that it is so based in societal traditions. Quite secular in many ways. There is no definite teaching of anything divine even though traditional chinese spirituality can be part of it (the way of heaven, ancestor worship etc).

I don't think its strange that we don't read much about chinese philosophy. We should start with our own culture tradition first because without knowing where we come from we would probably not realize how we actually relate to others. But yes, chinese thinkers are very interesting. So if you're interested I can only encourage you do look more deeply into it.

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Osore
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:44 am 
 

InnesI wrote:
I think there are some biological roots to morality - as in how we humans function will also become a part of what kind of behaviour we will generally prefer in a given situation. So there is a base in biology (and a number of other things as well like geography, society, climate etc) but the end result will differ quite a lot.
Do you think about ought implies can, namely, that we shouldn't feel obligated to do things that are impossible for us to do, like inhaling water instead of air in order to take oxygen? I would like to hear an example. For me, moral attributes (good/bad; (un)acceptable...) depend on the context and don't have biological basis. Moral reasoning - the ability to ascribe those attributes to different objects - does have biological basis in a way that it was enabled due to enlargement of brain size in people, which was a precondition for our intellectual capacity to expand. There is a consensus that brain size evolved as an adaptation, although there are multiple hypothesis, but there's no agreement upon moral reasoning. I'm inclined to think it's a spandrel (byproduct of evolution), rather than adaptation. It's difficult to show how polygenic traits have evolved and it's wrong to dismiss environmental component in a phenotype variance and claim that all differences come from genetic variance. There was an experiment with kittens who were devided in two groups after birth - one was with mice, and the other group was growing up like ordinary cats, watching their mother killing mice. I think it's obvious which cats never hunted mice in their life. Dogs were bred in order to select some behavioural traits, but it's also worthless without appropriate environmental stimuli. In people, everything is much more complicated due to our brains being very plastic; also, brain development isn't finished until we are between 18 and 21 years of age.

InnesI wrote:
I have come to really like Aristotles version of virtue ethics. It is not static and stale but it is not purely relative either. It always seeks the golden road in between two extremes. So if one extreme is cowardise and the other is rashness the golden road would be courage. And that is static. Courage is always better than the other two. However what courage is depends on the situation, the person(s) involved, time etc. So the courageous thing might be to stop a robbery in a situation where you can clearly handle the robber by yourself. It would however be rashness do do the same action but if the robber were hevaily armed, or outnumbered you etc. In that situation courage might be something else (get help, call the police or whatever).

It's sort of like having the cookie and eating it at the same time if we are to critique the system but I also think that is its strength.
I'm glad you realise that it's context-dependent. Sometimes median value is not the best and we want it to lean closer to the extreme.

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InnesI
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:23 pm 
 

Osore wrote:
Do you think about ought implies can, namely, that we shouldn't feel obligated to do things that are impossible for us to do, like inhaling water instead of air in order to take oxygen? I would like to hear an example. For me, moral attributes (good/bad; (un)acceptable...) depend on the context and don't have biological basis. Moral reasoning - the ability to ascribe those attributes to different objects - does have biological basis in a way that it was enabled due to enlargement of brain size in people, which was a precondition for our intellectual capacity to expand. There is a consensus that brain size evolved as an adaptation, although there are multiple hypothesis, but there's no agreement upon moral reasoning. I'm inclined to think it's a spandrel (byproduct of evolution), rather than adaptation. It's difficult to show how polygenic traits have evolved and it's wrong to dismiss environmental component in a phenotype variance and claim that all differences come from genetic variance.


I think there are capabilities and things that make us work that we are born with more or less. We can see that babies are born with both self interest and care for others. So usually morals tend to be based on a reasoning that tries to accommodate both. We are also born with fright and so morals usually developed in a way to make behaviour that frightens others to be wrong. But this is the very basic connections anyone can draw.

There are well researched theories into this as well. A really excellent book called The Righteous Mind (by Jonathan Haidt) explains, from a scientific perspective, why people lean towards different spectrums on the political scale (in this book loosely based around what is called right and left wing politics from an American perspective but it can be applied to any value system). He comes up with the elephant theory. I recommend the book highly. Here’s a YT video where he explains this idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24adApYh0yc

There’s also developments In psychology which deals with this. Psychologist Erik H. Eriksson develops a theory based on humans developing a certain virtue corresponding to different psychological (and bodily) stages. So as babies we experience on the scale of trust and mistrust and therefore develop hope. Pre-school age we experience on the scale of initiative and shame and develop a virtue of dedication. And on it goed. This is more theory based than Haidt though. https://www.simplypsychology.org/Erik-Erikson.html

Nils Uddenberg has also written a book called Inheritance Virtue (freely translated by me from the Swedish word Arvsdygd). I haven’t read it yet but is does delve into virtues, where they come from, what is nurture and what is nature in the values we stand by etc.

But obviously environment plays a big role as well. We are definitely shaped socially and even by the weather conditions (people who have lived in colder places with long winters usually have quite different traits compared to those in warmer climates). I don't believe this is inherent in our natures as people but it is actual nature influencing the way we live our lives. And the difference is probably smaller now when we have so much to combat these things (electricity, machines, transportation etc). But this is obviously dependent on other things as well such as anything social you can imagine (family, culture and the like).

Quote:
There was an experiment with kittens who were devided in two groups after birth - one was with mice, and the other group was growing up like ordinary cats, watching their mother killing mice. I think it's obvious which cats never hunted mice in their life. Dogs were bred in order to select some behavioural traits, but it's also worthless without appropriate environmental stimuli. In people, everything is much more complicated due to our brains being very plastic; also, brain development isn't finished until we are between 18 and 21 years of age.

I'm curious as to the expermient. Did the "mouse cats" never actually start hunting mice?

There is a great example from the Swedish zoo Kolmården on this. They tried for years and years to socialize their wolves by bringing them up with feeding bottles away from their biological parents. The reasoning was that their caretakers would be viewed favourably by the wolves, maybe even as the alpha of the group. They went so far as to allowing visitors of the park into the wolf enclosure and maybe even pet them. As you can imagine there were many incidents that happened but that were toned down until 2012 when a woman was actually killed by the wolves. It leads me to believe that while the wolves were probably more comfortable with the humans, and perhaps less dangerous to us generally, they still had that wolf instinct inside of them.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... r-zoo.html
https://www.tv4play.se/program/vargatta ... %C3%A5rden (a great Swedish documentary – but only in Swedish and only with Swedish subtitles).


Osore wrote:
I'm glad you realise that it's context-dependent. Sometimes median value is not the best and we want it to lean closer to the extreme.


That's just the thing. With the flexible scale, to be measured in every context, the extreme in one context is not the extreme in the other. Hence there is not time when being on either extreme is the right thing do do (since it is per definition to much or to little of something). However what is extreme in situation A might be the golden road in situation B.

I am quite intrigued with how rigid this system is at the same time as its very flexible.

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Osore
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:57 pm 
 

InnesI wrote:
I think there are capabilities and things that make us work that we are born with more or less. We can see that babies are born with both self interest and care for others. So usually morals tend to be based on a reasoning that tries to accommodate both. We are also born with fright and so morals usually developed in a way to make behaviour that frightens others to be wrong. But this is the very basic connections anyone can draw.

I would rather say that we are born with capacities/predispositions/probabilities to develop certain behavioural traits like moral judgement and altruism. Apart from mutations, which represent de novo genetic variability, environment can alter heritable material in more subtle way, by acting on epigenetic code. Genes always express themselves due to environmental changes, which don't have to be outside of an organism or a cell. During prenatal development, environmental niche is the immediate surrounding of certain cells and genes composed of number of different transcriptional, paracrine and other factors. Like I said, it is difficult to draw a straight line from genotype to phenotype in case of quantitative traits. This is why scientists always fail to prove that homosexuals are born that way. It's a nice illustration for why nature/nurture dichotomy is false (I would give some credibility to exotic becomes erotic hypothesis as a possibly involved factor).

When it comes to the experiments on babies, there's a whole chapter entitled The Moral Baby on the internet and it's very easy to believe that we are born good, unless you think about the lack of adequate genetic evidence and the fact that all experiments of that kind inevitably lack negative control, which would have been non-socialised babies. I think they are prone to make prosocial choices because they are socialised since birth. If you think as a baby, it goes against your logic to choose non-altruistic puppet or a puppet who refused to play, but it doesn't mean you are born good. It could mean you are born with predisposition to act in prosocial ways if you are stimulated to do so in your upbringing. There was also an experiment based on public goods game in which they found that people automatically (instinctively) choose altruistic acts, and need more time to decide to act selfishly, which is thought to be reflective. The catch lies in the fact that the former applies only to people who display altruistic behaviours with their partners in everyday life, which shines the light on the environment.
Spoiler: show
I've already shared these two articles which support what I said more broadly: Dahl A, Killen M. A developmental perspective on the origins of morality in infancy and early childhood. Frontiers in psychology. 2018 Sep 20;9:1736; Kagan J. Three unresolved issues in human morality. Perspectives on Psychological Science. 2018 May;13(3):346-58


InnesI wrote:
There are well researched theories into this as well. A really excellent book called The Righteous Mind (by Jonathan Haidt) explains, from a scientific perspective, why people lean towards different spectrums on the political scale (in this book loosely based around what is called right and left wing politics from an American perspective but it can be applied to any value system). He comes up with the elephant theory. I recommend the book highly. Here’s a YT video where he explains this idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24adApYh0yc

There’s also developments In psychology which deals with this. Psychologist Erik H. Eriksson develops a theory based on humans developing a certain virtue corresponding to different psychological (and bodily) stages. So as babies we experience on the scale of trust and mistrust and therefore develop hope. Pre-school age we experience on the scale of initiative and shame and develop a virtue of dedication. And on it goed. This is more theory based than Haidt though. https://www.simplypsychology.org/Erik-Erikson.html

Thanks for the information, it's elegantly explained. ;) Psychology is very interesting and in some way shows our need to classify and simplify things. It's very difficult to make a unifying theory of the mind because of the vast differences in personalities and factors which influence them.
I'm concerned because Haidt in his book cites E.O. Wilson, a notorious sociobiologist. D.S. Wilson is much more reasonable, but both lack evidences for their theories.

InnesI wrote:
But obviously environment plays a big role as well. We are definitely shaped socially and even by the weather conditions (people who have lived in colder places with long winters usually have quite different traits compared to those in warmer climates). I don't believe this is inherent in our natures as people but it is actual nature influencing the way we live our lives. And the difference is probably smaller now when we have so much to combat these things (electricity, machines, transportation etc). But this is obviously dependent on other things as well such as anything social you can imagine (family, culture and the like).

It's interesting how colder climate makes people more productive and as a result their societies are more advanced when compared with countries between Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. It's evident even if you take only Europe into consideration. I assume the impact of heath on blood pressure affects us more significantly then light deprivation during winter, which is solved with electricity.

InnesI wrote:
I'm curious as to the expermient. Did the "mouse cats" never actually start hunting mice?

I saw about this experiment in a script and it says it was done by Berkowitz and none of those ''mouse cats'' ever hunted mice. I couldn't find the actual paper, but here's the one involving cats and rats, so the answer to your question is: ''All kittens raised in the same cages with rats never killed their cage-mates, though 3 out of 18 killed other kinds of rats. Of 11 non-rat-killing kittens 9 became rat-killers after seeing other cats in the act of killing rats.'' (Kuo ZY. The genesis of the cat's responses to the rat. Journal of Comparative Psychology. 1930 Oct;11(1):1.)

InnesI wrote:
There is a great example from the Swedish zoo Kolmården on this. They tried for years and years to socialize their wolves by bringing them up with feeding bottles away from their biological parents. The reasoning was that their caretakers would be viewed favourably by the wolves, maybe even as the alpha of the group. They went so far as to allowing visitors of the park into the wolf enclosure and maybe even pet them. As you can imagine there were many incidents that happened but that were toned down until 2012 when a woman was actually killed by the wolves. It leads me to believe that while the wolves were probably more comfortable with the humans, and perhaps less dangerous to us generally, they still had that wolf instinct inside of them.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... r-zoo.html
https://www.tv4play.se/program/vargatta ... %C3%A5rden (a great Swedish documentary – but only in Swedish and only with Swedish subtitles).

Sadly, I don't speak Swedish.
Wolves have strong hierarchy, territoriality and lack of tolerance for intruders, which is why the attack doesn't come as a surprise. Plus, I'm not sure if those people were real alphas in the eyes of wolves. It's extremely difficult to get on top of hierarchy and there's a constant threat of being overthrown. There was certainly something that made them agitated and prone to attack. Expecting from a wild animal to suddenly behave like a dog is unrealistic. Brains are probably hard-wired or predisposed to run certain types of behaviours, probably more in other animals than in people. It is so complex and involves various brain sections with overlapping functions, hence why we cannot identify biological basis which runs the phenotype more precisely, let alone its countless underlying genes.
You have probably heard about feral child Oxana who grew up spending the majority of time with dogs. People found her walking on all fours and making inarticulate sounds instead of words, but she was able to re-learn the language since she was exposed to it before her parents start neglecting her severely. However, she is still considered to be mentally retarded.

InnesI wrote:
Osore wrote:
I'm glad you realise that it's context-dependent. Sometimes median value is not the best and we want it to lean closer to the extreme.

That's just the thing. With the flexible scale, to be measured in every context, the extreme in one context is not the extreme in the other. Hence there is not time when being on either extreme is the right thing do do (since it is per definition to much or to little of something). However what is extreme in situation A might be the golden road in situation B.

I am quite intrigued with how rigid this system is at the same time as its very flexible.


Quote:
Aristotle presents his virtues as middle-points, between unlikable extremes. This elegant framework makes his traits appear like natural equilibrium. Because they lie in the middle, virtues appear healthy and natural, just as satiety lies between starvation and overindulgence. But this is all an illusion. While some of Aristotle’s traits probably exist, his dimensions may not. The traits that he placed in the middle of two extremes may actually reside at the poles. For example, Aristotle puts truthfulness in the middle of a range that extends from self-aggrandizing boastfulness to self-effacing bashfulness. But truthfulness might actually be an extreme in a dimension that extends from honesty to dishonesty. The traits we value may be inelegantly distributed across the dimensions of personality. Some might be in the middle, and some might be near the ends. Once we realize that the virtues have a messy distribution along dimensions of character this seductive story begins to sound like a Siren call, beckoning us onto the rocks.
Prinz J. The emotional construction of morals. Oxford University Press; 2007 Nov 22.

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