RE: There is No Altruism

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed Mar 23 2005 - 14:40:13 MST

I agree with Robin: altruism exists, though it's not terribly common.

There are limits to the power of natural-selection-based reasoning to
explain the structures, dynamics and behaviors in complex organisms.

Purely natural-selection-based reasoning leads one to the conclusion that
there should be no "true altruism", only apparent altruism based on obscured

But the evolution of complex forms involves self-organization as well as
natural-selection, and it would appear that in the case of human evolution,
self-organization has led to the creation of some "true altruism" alongside
the copious self-interest-masquerading-as-altruism...

-- Ben G

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf Of Robin Lee
> Powell
> Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2005 4:34 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: There is No Altruism
> On Wed, Mar 23, 2005 at 02:26:43PM -0500, David Massoglia wrote:
> >
> > It has been interesting to see the chats concerning the
> > self-proclaimed altruism of Eleizer and the differing view
> > proposed by Robert Ettinger (originator of the Cryonics
> > Organization in Michigan).
> >
> > The purpose of this is to either debunk the self-proclaimed view
> > of altruism or find a view that altruism really exists. I am
> > clearly leaning to the view of Ettinger and that all claims of
> > altruism relate to self-interest or self-values. If true, the
> > claims of altruism would be stated as personal values.
> I decided that altruism existed, reversing a long-standing
> philisophical view of mine, when I realized that if someone offered
> me a beneficial Sysop Scenario for all of humanity (or something
> equally beneficial) in return for me personally suffering eternal
> torment, I'd accept it.
> There are certainly ways to argue that this is self-interest on my
> part, but it seems like hair splitting to me. If it looks like a
> duck, and it quacks like a duck, I say it's a duck.
> -Robin
> --
> ***
> Reason #237 To Learn Lojban: "Homonyms: Their Grate!"
> Proud Supporter of the Singularity Institute -

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:51 MDT