Hedonism

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MrEmu
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Hedonism

Postby MrEmu » Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:35 am UTC

I have noticed, reading through these fora, references to some sort of self sacrifice or another. Examples of this include supporting taxation for welfare at ones own expense and vegetarianism on moral grounds. I would argue that no such thing as self sacrifice (going against ones best interest) truly exists and humans are completely and unfailingly hedonistic. Hedonism is a philosophy that generally states people will pursue the path that will generate for them the most pleasure (or which they believe will generate the most pleasure). 1

I believe that "self sacrifice" does not disprove this because of the reason behind said sacrifice. When someone sacrifices something, they are motivated either by the positive feelings they get from some the satisfaction of some sort of moral set or because it is subordinate to some other thing of greater returns. Sacrificial actions which generally do not generate these returns, such as burning money or cutting off limbs, are extremely uncommon, thus supporting this hypothesis. Agreement? Dissent? What do you think?

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Re: Hedonism

Postby Dark567 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:54 am UTC

Well to be a little nitpicky hedonism is the philosophy that pleasure is the ultimate importance, not that it is the only thing we are capable of, just that we should follow it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedonism

What it seems like you are arguing for is psychological egoism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_egoism Which states that humans are only capable of doing what (we think)benefits us individually.
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Re: Hedonism

Postby snails » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:20 am UTC

MrEmu wrote:Hedonism is a philosophy that generally states people will pursue the path that will generate for them the most pleasure (or which they believe will generate the most pleasure).


People seek pleasure, but they also act to avoid negative feelings. Hedonism gives the connotation of seeking short-term pleasure while ignoring potential future regret. And of course, most people do not act this way.

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Re: Hedonism

Postby Clumpy » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:25 am UTC

But isn't part of becoming a good person learning to achieve greater and greater levels of enjoyment from building up others?

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Re: Hedonism

Postby Arete » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:44 am UTC

You do not get to decide who's a troll, or how they should be spending their life. As for this:

Current citation: most of China, making your McDonald's happy meal toys. [Insert EFZ of your choice here]. This is a 20th C example for both the US (esp. Great Depression) and Europe (post War periods).

Or:

Investigate the largest Gothic Cathedral in Milan, and the time it took to build. Literally generations. Although you can argue that "Heaven = ultimate hedonism", I don't think the reason was that simple.

Or:

2% [WWII epoch, prior to psychological training of soldiers] of humans are "good at killing". 1% of these are psychopaths, the other 1% are interestingly enough at the opposite end of the spectrum - extreme empathic types. Literally great at killing because they wished to protect their 'pack' of those close to them. In WWII, it is estimated that only 20-25% of combatants actually fired at the enemy. (Citation: 'On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society' by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (ISBN 0-316-33011-6). This has issues, mostly due to being based on Marshall's work. However, it was enough for the military of most nations to invest heavily into psychology research into the issue)

And yes.. this was common enough in the 20th Century, in both Europe and America.

History shows us that only declining Empires have problems with hedonism ;)

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Re: Hedonism

Postby SunAvatar » Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:47 am UTC

You can make a case for descriptive hedonism if you redefine "pleasure" to mean "whatever it is humans strive for," but short of that I don't think it has a leg to stand on. Frankly, I just don't think the human brain is reliable enough to do something like maximizing expected pleasure. At a minimum, to consistently maximize anything we would have to consistently be rational.

I could invent hypothetical scenarios involving direct neural stimulation and such, but I don't think that's really necessary. I mean, you yourself describe "vegetarianism on moral grounds" and "supporting taxation for welfare at one's own expense" as examples of self-sacrifice. If you then claim that self-sacrifice doesn't exist, you are saying either
  • there are no ethical vegetarians, or
  • ethical vegetarians really only act that way because it makes them happy.
Now, I'm not saying the latter is necessarily false, but what are your grounds for believing it? Is there something in particular about their behavior that makes you suspect it?

Or consider the skeptic who says, "It's not about choosing beliefs that make you happy, it's about finding beliefs that are true." Is this person mistaken about her own motivations? Will she really be happier to find out her favorite hypothesis is false? It seems unlikely---if she failed to find that out, she wouldn't realize it.

Or consider the alcoholic who only becomes angry when he drinks. Does he continue drinking because he enjoys being angry so much?

Maybe I will use a contrived hypothetical example after all. Suppose that Omega, a super-intelligent, super-powerful, super-honest being from space, offers you a deal: he will murder all your loved ones and replace them with indistinguishable "zombie" replicas, then rewrite your memory so that you don't recall this happening. (You will forget the instant you agree to the deal.) Then he will give you a million dollars and a spaceship.
  • Do you think accepting the deal maximizes expected pleasure?
  • Do you think anyone will actually accept the deal?
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Re: Hedonism

Postby MrEmu » Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:02 am UTC

Perhaps I misunderstood Hedonism, but in my defense the primary definition by Wikipedia doesn't mention short or long term goals. Upon further review, Psychological Hedonism, given as part of Psychological Egoism above, seems fairly representative of what I'm thinking.

To Clumpy: Doesn't that basically support what I'm saying? That our measure of a "good person" is how much that person is driven to do "good" things by the emotional rewards they receive from doing so?

Arete wrote:Stuff

This is not a counter example to what I said. People chose to kill the enemy because it made them less unhappy than their fellow soldiers dying. How could you even consider this as contradictory to what I said? Simply put, if both options are bad, (Psychological) Hedonism dictates that people will chose the option which they feel is less detrimental to their happiness.

Edit: The problem here is that people can propose half sentence "counter examples," each of which takes about a 2 or 3 sentence response. I don't have all day people. Anyway, bringing memory modification into the scenario is obviously going to change things. I guess in that situation, the defense of Hedonism lies in that it isn't a perfect maximisation, it is a maximisation in terms of what variables that person takes into account at that time. Omniscience would also alter the outcomes of people's decisions because they could see with perfect clarity all of the variables required to maximise their happiness. In this situation, I would say that the immediate idea of killing off all ones family would be uncontemplable to the point that even if overall happiness would (might) be greater if accepted, the individual would be basically forced to think in the extremely short term and decline.

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Re: Hedonism

Postby TheAmazingRando » Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:24 am UTC

I would tend to agree with the author, and have argued about this at length with a friend of mine, though the context of the discussion was a bit different.
SunAvatar wrote:I could invent hypothetical scenarios involving direct neural stimulation and such, but I don't think that's really necessary. I mean, you yourself describe "vegetarianism on moral grounds" and "supporting taxation for welfare at one's own expense" as examples of self-sacrifice. If you then claim that self-sacrifice doesn't exist, you are saying either
there are no ethical vegetarians, or
ethical vegetarians really only act that way because it makes them happy.
Now, I'm not saying the latter is necessarily false, but what are your grounds for believing it? Is there something in particular about their behavior that makes you suspect it?
I think happy is sort of a simplistic way to believe it. Pleasure is more general, or maybe even just a lack of pain or stress(physical or emotional, including guilt). They have their convictions (eating animals is wrong), wherever they may have gotten them from, and therefore by not eating animals they don't experience the guilt that opposing their own morals causes them.
Or consider the skeptic who says, "It's not about choosing beliefs that make you happy, it's about finding beliefs that are true." Is this person mistaken about her own motivations? Will she really be happier to find out her favorite hypothesis is false? It seems unlikely---if she failed to find that out, she wouldn't realize it.
This person cannot be happy with a belief that she isn't convinced is true, and finds the uncertainty uncomfortable. This is something that I've seen in my own life in regards to religious belief: whether or not I would be happier believing and being uncertain about it (which can cause stress), or not believing at all. The motivation is to find truth, but the motivation behind the drive to find truth is pleasure (content, peace of mind).
Or consider the alcoholic who only becomes angry when he drinks. Does he continue drinking because he enjoys being angry so much?
Alcohol is an addicting substance, and provides a degree of "pleasure" to the brain when that addiction is fulfilled. This immediate stimulus, and the pleasure of appeasing the craving for it that the body creates, may temporarily exceed (in the mind of the drinker) the long-term pleasure that may come from abstaining.
Maybe I will use a contrived hypothetical example after all. Suppose that Omega, a super-intelligent, super-powerful, super-honest being from space, offers you a deal: he will murder all your loved ones and replace them with indistinguishable "zombie" replicas, then rewrite your memory so that you don't recall this happening. (You will forget the instant you agree to the deal.) Then he will give you a million dollars and a spaceship.
Do you think accepting the deal maximizes expected pleasure?
Do you think anyone will actually accept the deal?
I think it varies from person to person. In the long-term it maximizes pleasure, but in the short term it causes extreme displeasure (defying the superego by indulging in one of the most strongly-condemned vices: greed at the expense of one's family, and creating a terrifying situation that the individual, even if they are unaware of it later, will be aware of as the decision is being made) which will probably, to the individual, outweigh the pleasure of the consequences.

I've tried, and I can't imagine any situation where a person would make a decision they believe would cause them more pain than pleasure, accounting for the fact that immediate pain and pleasure are weighted more highly than distant pain and pleasure.

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Re: Hedonism

Postby MrEmu » Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:32 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:I've tried, and I can't imagine any situation where a person would make a decision they believe would cause them more pain than pleasure, accounting for the fact that immediate pain and pleasure are weighted more highly than distant pain and pleasure.

I pretty much completely agree, but I would like to add that not all decisions count the immediate more strongly than the future. While this is true of impulsive decisions, any amount of analysis applied to a decision is going to even out or possibly reverse this.

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Re: Hedonism

Postby SunAvatar » Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:37 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:I think happy is sort of a simplistic way to believe it. Pleasure is more general, or maybe even just a lack of pain or stress(physical or emotional, including guilt). They have their convictions (eating animals is wrong), wherever they may have gotten them from, and therefore by not eating animals they don't experience the guilt that opposing their own morals causes them.

But how does the vegetarian decide eating meat is unethical in the first place? How does acquiring convictions increase one's pleasure? Indeed, how does she decide to act ethically in the first place? If the single supergoal is "attain maximal pleasure", then there is no particular route from this to a subgoal of "act ethically." Since refraining from eating meat is not a primitive, instinctual pleasure, there ought to be no way for it to become pleasurable at all.

Or consider the skeptic who says, "It's not about choosing beliefs that make you happy, it's about finding beliefs that are true." Is this person mistaken about her own motivations? Will she really be happier to find out her 8favorite hypothesis is false? It seems unlikely---if she failed to find that out, she wouldn't realize it.
This person cannot be happy with a belief that she isn't convinced is true, and finds the uncertainty uncomfortable. This is something that I've seen in my own life in regards to religious belief: whether or not I would be happier believing and being uncertain about it (which can cause stress), or not believing at all. The motivation is to find truth, but the motivation behind the drive to find truth is pleasure (content, peace of mind).

I find it hard to argue this point. While I don't think pleasure is really the motivator here, I can't argue with any certainty that knowing one has been diligent in truth-seeking is not the greater pleasure. (Though it seems that taking enough drugs to dull one's sense of incredulity might be a greater pleasure than that.)

Or consider the alcoholic who only becomes angry when he drinks. Does he continue drinking because he enjoys being angry so much?
Alcohol is an addicting substance, and provides a degree of "pleasure" to the brain when that addiction is fulfilled. This immediate stimulus, and the pleasure of appeasing the craving for it that the body creates, may temporarily exceed (in the mind of the drinker) the long-term pleasure that may come from abstaining.

If I understand, you are saying that the alcoholic is simply momentarily mistaken about what will give him greater pleasure; he is systematically misjudging the data. But in this case, the alcoholic
  • does not think of himself as maximizing his expected pleasure;
  • does not act in a way that actually maximizes his likely pleasure; and
  • does not intend to maximize his expected pleasure (I have testimony from several alcoholics that the intent begins and ends with "get shitfaced").
Incidentally, why did you put "pleasure" in scare quotes above? Generally this indicates that you don't think the word is precisely right, and you are distancing yourself from it. Do you feel that the thing the alcoholic is maximizing is not quite pleasure in the normal sense? If so, how does your explanation support your argument?

Maybe I will use a contrived hypothetical example after all. Suppose that Omega, a super-intelligent, super-powerful, super-honest being from space, offers you a deal: he will murder all your loved ones and replace them with indistinguishable "zombie" replicas, then rewrite your memory so that you don't recall this happening. (You will forget the instant you agree to the deal.) Then he will give you a million dollars and a spaceship.
Do you think accepting the deal maximizes expected pleasure?
Do you think anyone will actually accept the deal?
I think it varies from person to person. In the long-term it maximizes pleasure, but in the short term it causes extreme displeasure (defying the superego by indulging in one of the most strongly-condemned vices: greed at the expense of one's family, and creating a terrifying situation that the individual, even if they are unaware of it later, will be aware of as the decision is being made) which will probably, to the individual, outweigh the pleasure of the consequences.

You imply that the problem here is merely quantitative----that that moment of anticipated extreme displeasure just happens to outweigh the decades of wealth and exciting space travel ahead. Does this mean that if I munged the details around enough (maybe a billion dollars instead of a million, maybe Omega only kills one or two of your loved ones, maybe you are doped up with diazepam at the time the offer is made so that you don't feel displeasure so strongly) then I could lead you to say, "Yes, it is only rational to take the deal"?

I've tried, and I can't imagine any situation where a person would make a decision they believe would cause them more pain than pleasure, accounting for the fact that immediate pain and pleasure are weighted more highly than distant pain and pleasure.

Even if this is true (which it usually is), it doesn't mean that pleasure is the goal. In fact, making pleasure the sole supergoal leads directly to the hedonist's paradox: if we attain pleasure from doing what we value, but our only value is pleasure, then in order to attain pleasure we must first attain pleasure.

At any rate, the thesis is looking more and more trivial. MrEmu, since you imply you are criticizing those who call for self-sacrifice, you must think this is impossible somehow. Yet if pleasure is such a vague notion that it can be associated with anything at all, then the sort of "sacrifice" you call impossible can be caused just by teaching people to value, and therefore take pleasure in, being taxed more for their wealth, or giving away their services to the needy, or whatnot.
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Re: Hedonism

Postby MrEmu » Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:58 am UTC

SunAvatar wrote:At any rate, the thesis is looking more and more trivial. MrEmu, since you imply you are criticizing those who call for self-sacrifice, you must think this is impossible somehow. Yet if pleasure is such a vague notion that it can be associated with anything at all, then the sort of "sacrifice" you call impossible can be caused just by teaching people to value, and therefore take pleasure in, being taxed more for their wealth, or giving away their services to the needy, or whatnot.

I don't intend to criticise those who call for self sacrifice, the term merely brought me to think about the idea. My point was that since the sacrifice was the greater pleasure, it was not really a sacrifice at all in the traditional sense. In the case of the alcoholic, I think it is important to examine the temporary physical and emotional downsides to not drinking in addition to the upsides. There are obviously symptoms of withdrawal, along with what I imagine to be some sense of displacement that comes with such a lifestyle change. The physical draw and desire to return to normalcy must also be accounted for.

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Re: Hedonism

Postby TheAmazingRando » Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:59 am UTC

I'll comment on the rest later, but I used "pleasure" in quotes because I never thought it was the perfect word for it (since it has connotations that don't quite fit), and the sort of pleasure caused by responding to a chemical addiction is a bit different than doing something that makes you happy, since a lot of it is just about making the uncomfortable cravings go away.
SunAvatar wrote:You imply that the problem here is merely quantitative----that that moment of anticipated extreme displeasure just happens to outweigh the decades of wealth and exciting space travel ahead. Does this mean that if I munged the details around enough (maybe a billion dollars instead of a million, maybe Omega only kills one or two of your loved ones, maybe you are doped up with diazepam at the time the offer is made so that you don't feel displeasure so strongly) then I could lead you to say, "Yes, it is only rational to take the deal"?
It is quantitative, or at least it may be. I don't think it could ever be "only rational" to make the deal, I think it depends on the individual and what they value, but I think there could be a situation where the reward could be great enough that someone would take it, if they consider that reward to outweigh the negative aspects (if, for example, they don't have any deep connections with anyone to begin with, or they could use the reward to do something very positive, etc.) I think where that point is (and whether it even exists) would vary from person to person, there would never be a situation where you could say "no rational person would deny this" because people place different values on different things.

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Re: Hedonism

Postby u38cg » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:42 am UTC

My suspicion is that each individual has two competing utility maximising functions, one social and one personal. This explains why we can reconcile competing against each other within a group (for a mate, say) and still risk our lives defending our co-competitors against an external threat. So yes, we will do whatever the currently winning function "tells" us to, so in that sense I agree with the OP's argument.

The relative strengths of these functions are normally distributed, and so occasionally we get both selfless individuals who work only for the group, and nihilistic individuals who are out only for themselves.
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Re: Hedonism

Postby General_Norris » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:51 pm UTC

I don't think Humans can seek anything else but their own happiness. However we are not omniscient so we don't know how to achieve it.

When you sacrifice for a friend you are acting in such a way you think will make you happier (Even if logically, you will be dead and thus, not happy). A friend is that person whose happiness you deem necesary for your own happiness.

Humans, not being just rational beings but also having an irrational part distort in their mind the weight of each action. Not studying is not the logical action because studying for that exam is very important, but , in your mind those thoughts are distorted and youu think it's better to play videogames. You seek happiness in an imperfect way.

Very aristotelian thought in the end.

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Re: Hedonism

Postby u38cg » Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:26 pm UTC

I'm a big believer in evolutionary psychology. While risking your life for a group member might be bad for you, it is a good thing for the group as a whole if everyone is prepared to take such a risk.
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Re: Hedonism

Postby Zamfir » Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:36 pm UTC

u38cg wrote:I'm a big believer in evolutionary psychology. While risking your life for a group member might be bad for you, it is a good thing for the group as a whole if everyone is prepared to take such a risk.


Which is exactly the opposite of evolutionary psychology...

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Re: Hedonism

Postby u38cg » Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:47 pm UTC

Not really. It's not hard to find examples of evolution that are bad for the individual, but good for the species as a whole. There's no reason that doesn't extend to psychology as well.
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Re: Hedonism

Postby folkhero » Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:24 am UTC

To the OP: is there any human behavior that would make you rethink or reject your theory that humans never self-sacrifice? It seems like any time you saw a candidate for self-sacrificial behavior you would be able to explain it away by saying that the person derived some greater satisfaction from the alleged sacrificial behavior. It seems to me that this theory is essentially unfalsifiable which means it can't really tell us anything about people. I guess it can serve as a lens through which one can look at the world, but it seems to be an especially cynical way to look at things.
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Re: Hedonism

Postby Clumpy » Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:59 pm UTC

MrEmu wrote:To Clumpy: Doesn't that basically support what I'm saying? That our measure of a "good person" is how much that person is driven to do "good" things by the emotional rewards they receive from doing so?


I don't think so, mainly because the alternative (a world where people are unmoved by helping others out) sounds terrible. Your logic seems to rule out altruism as a given. It's the free will debate again - do our actions matter if you completely remove them from any context? If it still takes character and effort to do something and then results in positive feelings as a sort of reward, it's still a test of character. I'm always glad when I exercise but have trouble getting off my butt to do so.

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Re: Hedonism

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:51 pm UTC

u38cg wrote:Not really. It's not hard to find examples of evolution that are bad for the individual, but good for the species as a whole. There's no reason that doesn't extend to psychology as well.

Evolution doesn't happen at the species level, though. In any population of self-sacrificing individuals, it's the one that does this the least that will tend to be most successful. So that one will tend to spread its genes around.
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Re: Hedonism

Postby u38cg » Sat Aug 22, 2009 10:38 am UTC

Not if their expense comes at the success of the group. You might obtain a temporary advantage, but that's not much use if you are subsequently eaten by a lion because there aren't enough men around to protect the village from attack. As usual, Wikipedia has more.
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Re: Hedonism

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:32 pm UTC

It still doesn't seem like an ESS, if a single mutation can destroy the group.
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Re: Hedonism

Postby u38cg » Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:27 pm UTC

Of course humans come in a range of self-absorptions: there are the people who spend all their time doing stuff for other people, and those who are strongly narcissistic. Just because one person turns out to be dangerously self interested, doesn't mean the group will instantly fail.
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Re: Hedonism

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:11 pm UTC

But if others are blindly self-sacrificing "for the good of the group", then one dangerously self-interested person *could* destroy that group.

The fact that they don't in human societies is evidence that the premise is wrong.
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Re: Hedonism

Postby Seraph » Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:28 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
u38cg wrote:Not really. It's not hard to find examples of evolution that are bad for the individual, but good for the species as a whole. There's no reason that doesn't extend to psychology as well.

Evolution doesn't happen at the species level, though. In any population of self-sacrificing individuals, it's the one that does this the least that will tend to be most successful. So that one will tend to spread its genes around.

True, but when different populations start competing with each other, the self-sacrifing individuals could easily have an advantage. If I were in a small stone-age tribe, then odds are that I am pretty closely related to (and therefor similar to) the other members of the tribe. This means that even if I don't/can't have children the fact that I am willing to sacrifice myself for the good of my tribe would improve the odds that people like me would flourish.

But if others are blindly self-sacrificing "for the good of the group", then one dangerously self-interested person *could* destroy that group.

Self sacrificeing "for the good of the group" isn't going to be blind. In general one is more similar to the people in their "group" then the world as a whole, therefor a sacrifice for the group is likely a sacrifice for people that one has atleast somethign in common with.

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Re: Hedonism

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:44 am UTC

Kinship altruism is a separate issue, because it can still in a way be considered part of the personal utility function.

u38cg was claiming that we'd also evolved a separate social one "for the good of the group". Not "for the good of my own genes/memes in other group members", but for the group itself.
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Re: Hedonism

Postby Zamfir » Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:12 am UTC

Not if their expense comes at the success of the group. You might obtain a temporary advantage, but that's not much use if you are subsequently eaten by a lion because there aren't enough men around to protect the village from attack. As usual, Wikipedia has more.


Your first wiki article is mostly about purely theoretical constructs, with one example of a brian worm with a highly weird life style that might fit one of the theoretical constructs. There is no suggestion at all that group selection is seen as a major, well-documented phenomenon.

It's important to rseperate truly evolutionary altruistic behavior, where an individual helps the group at a cost to itself, and social 'altruistic' behavior where an individual helps the group because it will be kicked from the group otherwise. There is every reason to assume that humans are evolved to be exceptionally good at the last, but that also includes an extremely developed 'score keeping' system to check whether the people around you are doing enough to help the group and you.

Now, it might be the case that people who are biologically inclined to help the group in their own interest will from time to time tend to help the group even beyond their own interest. But that doesn't necessarily mean that there was an evolutionary pressure in that direction. It could just be an unavoidable side effect of the tendency to help the group to help yourself.

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Re: Hedonism

Postby Seraph » Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:08 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Kinship altruism is a separate issue, because it can still in a way be considered part of the personal utility function.

u38cg was claiming that we'd also evolved a separate social one "for the good of the group". Not "for the good of my own genes/memes in other group members", but for the group itself.

While kinship altriusm and "for the good of the group" are seperate issues in theory, the pratical mechanisms that result in those behaviors are going to confuse the two. Before civilizations came around people tended to oragnize themselves into groups based to some degree on kinship (eg bands or tribes), which ment that a mechanism that evolved to result in "for the good of the group" behavoir (eg. say the desire to try and protect children) is still fairly likely to result in me helping someone who is more related to me then average. So if you're willing to say that kinship altruism has a possible benifit from an evolution stnadpoint, I don't see how you can't then say that benifit could also be realized by a "for the good of the group" type behavior.

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Re: Hedonism

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:58 pm UTC

The relatedness coefficient for second cousins is only about 1/32, which means that it's only really worth helping people that distantly related to you if the benefit to them is 32 times the cost to you. Give your life to save 32 second cousins, and you break even evolutionarily...
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