Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
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05-01-2013, 11:29 AM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
(05-01-2013 11:06 AM)Vera Wrote:  
(05-01-2013 10:27 AM)Birdguy1979 Wrote:  It is the fact that you need two working individuals to support having a roof over your head that makes it generally impossible for a single adult to raise a child.
What about rich people? Have they evolved differently, because they do not need the salaries of two working individuals to raise a child? That's a very flimsy reason for monogamy...


Actually I was not arguing for monogamy. I was stating the reasons why it is almost impossible to raise a kid on your own. Unless you are filthy rich, extremely hard working and can hold 2-3 jobs and still take care of your young, or are extremely lazy and want to let the tax payers take care of everything. As far as rich people go, yes they are different. I try to be a reasonably moral person. If I was not, I could probably try to start my own religion or use one of the current ones to generate a huge income. While some of the rich people got to be that way and still seem to have a conscience, many of the ones out there don't seem to have ever had one. So yes, it seems that a huge number of them did evolve differently.
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05-01-2013, 01:52 PM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
Oh, come on, this isn't that difficult a concept.

Our financial need for supporting our families with more than one job has not been common enough for long enough to affect our evolution. Whether or not societies evolve (they surely do) is a separate matter entirely from our biological evolution. Biological evolution takes thousands of years (given our lifespans and lengths of each generation) to show any change, so assuming we could have just one stable unchanging society for that long, it might influence our biology, but we haven't had such a thing yet so it's a moot point.

However, our biological evolution does, and did, directly influence our societal choices.

Consider if humans had evolved such that every human woman would easily have dozens, scores, maybe even a hundred children in her lifetime - multiple litters of multiple children, predominantly male. Also consider that in this scenario we were biologically evolved so that males fought to the death to establish dominance and breeding rights. Imagine how such a biological path might have influenced our society and our laws - for one thing, murder probably wouldn't be against the law in any country anywhere, or at the very least, the "I killed that guy to impress my mate" defense would be a valid defense in all courts.

But we didn't evolve that way. Gestation takes most of a year, and we are usually born one at a time. Our lives therefore are precious to us and not to be squandered, and social laws reflect that. Our women are weak and vulnerable, especially during pregnancy, so our males stick around. Our children are weak and vulnerable for many years, well over a decade, so our males stick around. This is how we evolved, biologically. Our social laws about monogamy and marriage, which are basically the same almost everywhere (the details differ but the basic monogamous backbone of the laws is almost universal) despite different social evolution and separate social origin, all reflect the biology that predates the sociology.

It really is (almost) that simple.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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05-01-2013, 02:10 PM
RE: Humans Aren't Supposed To Be Monogamists
(05-01-2013 08:38 AM)Logisch Wrote:  
(05-01-2013 07:39 AM)Idlecuriosity Wrote:  I agree that it's not simple, but I would argue that it's seperate. Evolution, in terms of natural selection / genetic drift / mutation / climatic influence / etc. is not the same process as that involved in how societies change.

Arguing that all of Human invention is part of the evolutionary process is a dangerous path because it frees us from any responsibility for our actions :

Human sacrifice - just evolution, nothing to worry about
Burning witches - just evolution, nothing to worry about
Holocaust - just evolution, nothing to worry about
Millions dead from Communism - just evolution, nothing to worry about...

At some point several tens (hundreds ?) of thousands of years ago, we developed to a stage where we could start to question and explain what was going on around us. We started to understand, or make up explanations for things we observed. At this point we gained some control over our collective destiny and so became accountable* for our actions. This is were societal construction branched off from physical evolution. All of the concepts that we've developed since (from religions to monogamy to paganism to macro-economics to astrology to Angry Birds to whatever...) are a result of human intellect, not evolution of the species.

(*to future generations, or in terms of justifying them in relation to whatever moral standards are in effect at any given time)

How does it free us from taking responsibility? Acknowledging the progress and evolution of societies let's us at least admit stuff happened and analyze it. Witch burnings happened in extremely primitive societies in a time when man didn't understand stuff, extremely ignorant and science and society was blind to a lot of stuff. Superstition was rampant and it was in a time when people still actively believed in lots of pagan gods (way way more than you'd see nowadays).

No one is going to say it was good, and no one is going to shrug and go, "oh those silly people who got murdered for that silly stuff. Ohhhh evolution. Ohyou.jpg"....

The point Chas is making is that societies do evolve and make progress. People do stupid shit as they learn, sometimes the lessons come from horrible things. Does it mean we should look forward to horrible things? Nope. But shit happens.

In fact, I'm sure there are things that perhaps we wouldn't think twice about or things perhaps we think now are "strange" or "ridiculous" that in 100 years another society will think we're extremely ignorant and wonder what we were thinking. Right now, many people in my generation have little to no issue with homosexual people. Many of us have friends who are homosexual. My parents generation on the other hand was raised hearing everything from it being a mental disorder to a disease or someone who is sick in the head. They still will tell you that shit.

Once their generation dies and my generation is "their generation" and our kids are raised into society, much of that bullshit will die with them. As we shrug as it being "an issue" less than their generation, each generation will shrug more and more until it's just accepted that there are people who are homosexuals in society and it's nothing to be ashamed of.

Guess what, people burned less and less witches as they realized it was inhumane, stupid, ridiculous and that it was a lot of bullshit. How many people do you look at seriously if they say they know a witch, are a witch or knew a witch. A real witch. I think most anyone would roll their eyes and go .... "Yeah... a witch... suuuuure."

Society has evolved past that. We've made progress, we're less ignorant (at least in that sense).

So does it mean we take no responsibility for it since we knew it happened and can attribute it to the progress/evolution of a society? No.

When someone actually says, "I'm just judging you and being a condescending, judgmental and discriminating against you because of my stupid doctrine I was raised into because.... it's part of evolution." then proceed to kick them in the balls as using it as a copout and not taking responsibility for their actions.

Nothing is always "just that simple" - we should always look at past and present to ensure mistakes aren't repeated. But there's nothing wrong with calling it what it is. Just because you're a human being with more intelligence than the average ape doesn't mean you aren't subject to evolution and doesn't mean society isn't subject to evolution. You're still a biological organism and part of a society, responsible for your actions and all of our actions will play some part in the larger part of what we'll look like in 100, 200, 300, 400, 5000 years (if we live beyond any of those).
It frees us from responsibility in that if we maintain that all aspects of human society and all human actions are a result of a natural evolutionary process, then it stands to reason that we had no conscious choice in the result; this is what I am arguing against.
For example, it's nobody's fault that we have evolved into omnivores, therefore it's perfectly normal to eat meat. There was no intellectual choice process that ended with us being omnivorous (although we can obviously make the choice to not eat meat). On the other hand, religion etc. were not the result of natural evolution, but were the result of choices and thought processes.

Other than that, I pretty much agree with everything you wrote. I agree that Humans are still subject to physical evolution and I agree that societies evolve (although not exactly within the same definition of the word). However, I don't believe that our societies are a result of natural evolutionary processes. I do accept that our choices and the societies we create could in turn have an influence on the way we physically evolve in the future, which might amount to the tail wagging the dog in evolutionary terms !
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