Re: There is No Altruism

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Thu Mar 24 2005 - 17:49:41 MST

At 08:55 AM 24/03/05 -0800, p3 wrote:
>I don't think I'd take oblivion for any purpose, even
>to save ten other people. Although I'd really love to
>be that philosophical, I just can't pay my life for
>ideals like utilitarianism.

For ten random other people, that's the correct evolved response.

However, would you die to save ten of your kids? (Or a mix of 10 kids and

The answer is much more likely to be yes.

>However, the question of oblivion to save every other
>human is different... since living without a single
>other person would mean death anyway (I don't think I
>alone could engender the apotheosis), it's really just
>a question concerning whether or not I really want
>those extra forty years... or however long my natural
>body has left.

There are certainly practical reasons for not wanting to be the last human

But then, "every other human" includes your entire family and (from a
genetic viewpoint) that's worth saving even if it costs your life.

An exception might be made if you had no co-lateral relatives at all.

BTW, take this business the way gene selection did, we have traits that
were selected because they *usually* worked better than alternative traits.

So expect exceptions.

Keith Henson

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