Compassion and altruism can be learned.
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31-05-2013, 02:56 PM (This post was last modified: 31-05-2013 02:59 PM by GirlyMan.)
Compassion and altruism can be learned.
Kinda like "Yeah, no shit Sherlock", but these crazy kids and their fMRIs, whatcha gonna do. Big Grin

Compassion Training Alters Altruism and Neural Responses to Suffering

And why the fuck did I post this in the Entertainment section, Tim or Scotty could you please move this to the Health and Psychology section 'cause I'm a fucking idiot.

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07-06-2013, 08:30 PM
RE: Compassion and altruism can be learned.
It's not exactly on topic, but there's a Psych dude up at Cornell who done a lot of research on what forms our belief/perception systems, (as relating to "conservative vs liberal") and the *disgust* response. That is science.






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12-06-2013, 01:53 AM
RE: Compassion and altruism can be learned.
Because watching you being an idiot IS entertaining. Big Grin

Seriously though, I'm sure you can alter a persons perceptions and emotional responses through exposure to certain ideas, experiences, and so forth, there is nothing revolutionary about that. Now 'they' have to convince me that there is such a thing as altruism, because frankly I'm not convinced. I do wish I were though, it is kind of depressing to think that EVERYTHING is done out of self-interest, but that's what I lean toward. I dunno if I'm jaded or realistic. Maybe both.

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12-06-2013, 06:31 AM
RE: Compassion and altruism can be learned.
Parents often show altruism towards their kids, adults towards their mates... I think it's part of the "mothering/parenting/protection of the unit" set of instincts.

When push comes to shove, people can give their lives for someone else... no self-interest in that.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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12-06-2013, 12:36 PM
RE: Compassion and altruism can be learned.
(12-06-2013 06:31 AM)Dom Wrote:  Parents often show altruism towards their kids, adults towards their mates... I think it's part of the "mothering/parenting/protection of the unit" set of instincts.

When push comes to shove, people can give their lives for someone else... no self-interest in that.

If I sacrifice myself to save my children it could be said that I am protecting my genetic makeup, and in a sense I am protecting my immortality. If I throw myself on a grenade in battle it could be said that I was protecting my children or potential children from 'the enemy' by giving my comrades an opportunity to kill 'them'. If I sacrifice myself for my spouse I am protecting the caregiver of my dna. In all cases it could be said that I am protecting and boosting my reputation and ensuring my memory lives on be doing something considered noble and noteworthy. You just can't prove that altruism exists, and I'm not convinced either.

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12-06-2013, 01:13 PM
RE: Compassion and altruism can be learned.
In my own experience, they can be unlearned as well. Drinking Beverage

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12-06-2013, 01:18 PM
RE: Compassion and altruism can be learned.
(12-06-2013 01:13 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  In my own experience, they can be unlearned as well. Drinking Beverage

They are stripped away along the paths of religious or political fundamentalism, by sustained mental or physical abuse, by drug addiction, ...

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12-06-2013, 01:25 PM
RE: Compassion and altruism can be learned.
If you want a scientific explanation of altruism surely you should just consult Dawkins' good old 'The Selfish Gene'? Isn't the explanation for altruism towards relatives to do with kin selection? Even if it hasn't fully been explained yet, it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist; it clearly does. Drinking Beverage

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12-06-2013, 01:29 PM
RE: Compassion and altruism can be learned.
(07-06-2013 08:30 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  It's not exactly on topic, but there's a Psych dude up at Cornell who done a lot of research on what forms our belief/perception systems, (as relating to "conservative vs liberal")...

I highly doubt there exists such a thing as concepts of conservative and liberal that are pre-programmed into the brain; how would that even have evolved? There are certain behaviours that are collected under the labels of "liberal" and "conservative" but aside from that they are meaningless terms relating to human biology and evolutionary behaviour. Tongue

"Humans always measure what they see in front of them to what they already know. They will deny anything outside of that. They are shallow lifeforms, so enthralled with superficial appearances that they fail to see the truth."
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12-06-2013, 06:12 PM
RE: Compassion and altruism can be learned.
(12-06-2013 12:36 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  
(12-06-2013 06:31 AM)Dom Wrote:  Parents often show altruism towards their kids, adults towards their mates... I think it's part of the "mothering/parenting/protection of the unit" set of instincts.

When push comes to shove, people can give their lives for someone else... no self-interest in that.

If I sacrifice myself to save my children it could be said that I am protecting my genetic makeup, and in a sense I am protecting my immortality. If I throw myself on a grenade in battle it could be said that I was protecting my children or potential children from 'the enemy' by giving my comrades an opportunity to kill 'them'. If I sacrifice myself for my spouse I am protecting the caregiver of my dna. In all cases it could be said that I am protecting and boosting my reputation and ensuring my memory lives on be doing something considered noble and noteworthy. You just can't prove that altruism exists, and I'm not convinced either.

I'm with you on this. I can always think of a reason why a person would act in a way that appears altruistic when in effect it is selfish.

It can be as simple as not wanting to live with the knowledge that they could have saved someone else but didn't which I think counters Dom's example and bolsters yours.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
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