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What binds people together (?)

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Shush, you. Fucking retweeting yourself lol

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7 hours ago, sologdin said:

nothing. what is so 'terrifying' about it having nothing to do with anatomy? (see how condescending it is to impute an unflattering emotional state to an interlocutor when it was not present, at all, in the presentation and is not warranted by the colloquy?  maybe edit it away next time?)

I really don't see any condescension either way. If I made a wrong reading of your tone or your meaning - simply point it out and I'll try to correct it. Without implying condescension.

7 hours ago, sologdin said:

why speak in metaphor? where is the scientific precision that the subject warrants?

Sigh...I only used that phrase because you yourself quoted it from Kalbear's post. It's simple and straightforward, so I assume everyone will understand my meaning.

7 hours ago, sologdin said:

i cannot. am not sure who this 'we' happens to be; it does not appear to be a very cautious collective. to be very severe, the argument presented here draws upon historical rather than genetic evidence. the inference strikes me as unwarranted, similar to inferring the non-existence of black swans from the repeated observation of white ones, or inferring a normative principle from empirical evidence. 

Yeah...that's how inductive reasoning works. If you get repeated evidence for A, you'll assume A is indeed correct, unless you have some good reason to believe otherwise. Else you couldn't prove or disprove existence of anything: you couldn't infer the non-existance of unicorns from repeated observation of non-unicorn animals.

So, overall, are there some evidence that morality is at least in part hardwired in brain - yes. Is there evidence to the contrary - that morality is completely taught - no, as far as I know. So I don't see how would it be logically fallacious to assume the former as truth. Of course, if you have proof for the latter case - please present it. 

8 hours ago, sologdin said:

i.e., it sounds as though two sets of experiments were conducted, and that the second was contaminated with data from the first.  all the second tells us is how that data may be administered.

Ok, maybe I didn't clarify enough in my first post. There was no two sets of experiments. When I said that A knew that B would reject the "unfair" offer, I thought it was clear that A used his innate moral sense of fairness to see that e.g. 90-10 offer will be considered unfair and assume (correctly) that B will be outraged to even hear it suggested; hence he refrained from making such an offer in the first place.

8 hours ago, sologdin said:

although inferring 'natural' from historical evidence is unwarranted, more significantly 'pretty much' is not a cultural universal, which kills the claim ab initio.

I really didn't come here to dabble in semantics, and my knowledge of English is not good enough to know how strong of a claim wording "pretty much" describes. So I'll put it in simpler terms: every society that I know of, and every society that psychologists I know of who researched that subject - like Haidt and Pinker to a lesser extent - has some universal principles for its morality: fairness, care, purity etc. Yes, they may differ on opinions about
"what is pure" or "what is harmful", but core principles remain the same. I won't go into much depth, Kalbear already did it in his response. Of course, should you have any counterarguments which prove the opposite, I'm all ears.


6 hours ago, Kalbear said:

For me, I think nationalism is an obvious growth from the monkeysphere. Because you cannot hold in your head all of the people of a city, much less a nation, your brain has to do stereotypes - and when people who speak like you, wear clothes like you, groom like you, and care about the same things like you exist, your natural inclination is to say 'that person is good because I am good'. These are markers of being in the same tribe, basically, and play on that ingroup feeling. 

I understand your argument here and don't disagree with it much. My point was that "traditional" in-group feeling was based on personal knowledge of your fellow in-group member: he was a part of your tribe; or a colleague; or a freind - in any case, someone whom you knew and interacted on a regular basis; and your "in-group" sentiment was based on that personal relationship the two of you shared. I find it remarkable achievement of human psyche that that same in-group feeling started (in case of nationalism) being based not on personal knowledge of said individual, but on the fact that both of you belong to some vague abstract concept, such as state or religion.


7 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Also, the idea that nationalism didn't exist until the 19th century is farcical, as is the idea that racism didn't exist until recently. Perhaps not racist with respect to a specific skin color, but racism with respect to where people were from has been something recorded for a long time. Racism is a byproduct of the human need to dehumanize people that are being treated inhumanely. It is as old as slavery and war. 

Nationalism (in the way we today understand the word) is indeed a recent invention - for it is based of a presumption that all inhabitants of some country share a connection, a bond that unites them into a greater whole known as state. For the most of human history, such a feat was impossible: you could maybe invoke a sense of national pride in e.g. Spanish noble or perhaps a citizen; but majority of population was made of farmers and peasants who couldn't care less about some abstract entity which doesn't influence their daily lives at all. They could perhaps feel a sense of belonging to a local community or some other kind of local-patriotism, but that's as far as it went. Some common connection based of a fact that all of them are part of Spanish nation was non-existent. Peasant from Leon felt no common ground with peasant from Aragon whatsoever. Only in cca 19th century did countries became strong enough, and technology advanced enough for rulers to reach all of their subject and instill in them a sense of common national belonging.

As for racism, it's indeed old and common - what I said was that it was not universal; that it was far from norm. Some societies were racist, others weren't. I questioned whether something sporadic (such as racism) could be considered an offshoot of something well-established and universal (such as monkeysphere).

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