Re: [sl4] Weakening morality

From: Charles Hixson (
Date: Thu Feb 12 2009 - 13:43:07 MST

There's one more thing. The action taken needs to be seen as for the
advantage of all who are involved in the effort. This is especially
noticeable when one notices where vaccination efforts run into trouble,
but I believe that it's a general principle.

When people don't see that the centrally decided upon action is to their
benefit, they are often reluctant to push the effort, and will do no
more than they must. This is a clear cause of inefficiency in
accomplishing the centrally decided upon goal. Threats as motivation
only work to the extent that actions are taken to avoid the threat.
This is one of the primary reasons that subservient peoples always
appear stupid. It not to their benefit to appear otherwise.

Note that I'm not claiming anything about conscious intent. Much of
this is accomplished via social controls rather than individual
decision. E.g., children of "the Flatlands" around here are in physical
danger if they do much better than average in school tests. The danger
comes from their classmates who don't like being shown up.

Stuart Armstrong wrote:
> And yet the more cohesive societies in the world are (in general) the
> less productive, weakest and poorest. You can nit-pick - Norway versus
> Somalia - but cohesion, or societies acting as one, does not seem to
> be much of an advantage at all, outside of certain narrow
> circumstances.
> The reasons for this are long and complicated (the easiest aspect is
> to look at classical economics), but the fundamental point is that
> acting as one is only a useful thing to do if the action to take is
> clear, and if a centralised decision process can implement it
> efficiently. That's why vacination is centralised, but computer chip
> design isn't.
> 2009/2/10 Stefan Pernar <>:
>> On Tue, Feb 10, 2009 at 10:55 PM, Stuart Armstrong
>> <> wrote:
>>>> Would yo mind giving me a specific example or two so I understand where
>>>> you
>>>> are coming from?
>>> Can you define what you really meant by "Weak morals weaken and strong
>>> morals strengthen societies"?
>> Let me try :-) I am working on putting my thoughts into book form so a few
>> sentences may not be enough.
>> Two aspects:
>> 1) Strong morals would let a society ideally act as one and thus with
>> maximum efficiency.
>> 2) Strong morals would ideally eliminate the egos of the individual and as a
>> result allow a society to act with the best interest for others in mind
>> (compassion).
>> I believe that these aspects would increase a society's evolutionary
>> fitness.
>> You can find more at
>> Cheers,
>> Stefan
>> --
>> Stefan Pernar
>> Skype: Stefan.Pernar

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