In his latest book, The Age of Empathy: Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society, primatologist Frans de Waal argues that social darwinists like Skilling have learned the wrong lessons about the natural world. The nasty, brutish existence dominated by “savage competition, ruthless exploitation, and deceit” that Dawkins describes is far from the norm for animals that live in social groups. They thrive because of the cooperation, conciliation, and, above all, the empathy that they display towards fellow members. The support and protection they receive from living in a group more than compensates for any selfish advantage they might have achieved on their own.
In other words, the “selfish gene” has discovered that the most successful approach is to behave unselfishly. De Waal thus argues that the age of empathy is far older than our own species and that we must keep this in mind as we try to apply these lessons ourselves.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
The Unselfish Gene.
Could it be true that the most selfish thing you can do for yourself is to be unselfish with others? I think so. From Seed Magazine:
I keep meaning to bring up another little history lesson that came from watching the B&W games shows on the Game Show Network. When you...
Hal Block, the increasingly irritating panelist on "What's My Line?" was fired last night after the show. Well, back in 1953. ...
When the history of "The Big Voice: God or Merman? is written, there will be one moment that will shine, for us, above all. And it happ...