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Morality.

 
 
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Dec, 2013 06:20 pm
@Setanta,
You could even go on Wikipedia to confirm what I was trying to say ..yes in Neolithic societies there existed a social stratification with a leader or dual leader. Iron ages I simply meant the characteristics existed and endured to a certain point..funny thing is I was extrapolating a common thread between ancient and existing simple tribes. I was actually supporting your point. Too bad you don't get it. Since it's my area of expertise I think I may just have a clue.




Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Dec, 2013 06:41 pm
@Germlat,
Oh i see . . . an appeal to authority, ipse dixit, you were speaking ex cathedra. No, you weren't supporting my point, which you obviously didn't get. My point was that i don't think that one can say that altruism developed in response to direct competition between "tribes" (stone age groups do not appear to have risen beyond the dignity of bands). How woefully poorly you must have been educated if you think that one can extrapolate between groups, or that having leaders is evidence of "stratification." I referred to the Germania by Tacitus precisely because he points out that the Germans had no leaders unless and until they felt that leadership was needed in a crisis--there were no permanent leaders. If this is your "area of expertise," i suggest you need to do a lot more study until you realize that not all societies are formed from the same mold, which is why i earlier referred to cookie cutters.

I am unimpressed.
0 Replies
 
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Dec, 2013 08:37 pm
@Setanta,
No..actually my extrapolation works..very similar social stratification of simple societies. You don't have to agree. Similar systems of leader or dual leadership and self governance for small tribes anyway. This is trivial and boring so...last post.
Jpsy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 04:53 am
@Setanta,
To be honest I am guilty of "wiki-citing." There ought to be a term for copying and pasting from Wikipedia. However, I have an evolutionary psychology textbook that cites about 1000 sources, many of which are peer-reviewed studies, & I have read enough about the subject to know those scientists most likely meant what those quotes implied they meant.

Even if your tribe was not competing with another tribe it is still battling the forces of nature for survival. A tribe that cooperates well together is likely to weather the inevitable storms, and survive long enough to reproduce and spread on those altruistic traits. If the men cooperate and coordinate their hunting activities they will be more likely catch their prey. I will summarize what my textbook says about reciprocal altruism (in more detail later), and I think you will see why it is quite inevitable why RA would evolve. If you share your food with a friend when he strikes out hunting, than he is likely to share with you when your hunt is unsuccessful. If neither of you share, you will both likely die.

Plus, when you see things like cooperation and sharing between groups of apes & bats, that tends to lend credence to the hypothesis that general altruism is a trait that evolved a long time ago over eons.

But, behavior is very complex. We have many examples of authoritarian governments, cults etc. Obviously, human beings have evolved psychological traits that make them susceptible to a cruel and charismatic leader. However, even under authoritarian govs the adherents are still cooperating with each other.
Jpsy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 04:59 am
@Germlat,
I don't know a lot about anthropology, I would like to learn more, but to add something in favor of your argument, most Native American tribes seemed to have chiefs. It would make sense to have a leader, to help keep the tribe organized and to solve internal conflicts.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 05:03 am
@Jpsy,
Just to be clear, i am not denying the value of altruism--i'm just pointing out that it is likely that the value is in "battling nature," rather than direct competition with other groups (tribes is, i think, for most of human history, an inappropriate term because of the size of the group it implies). You know, just because someone is a well-respected evolutionary biologist, that doesn't mean that he or she is to be taken as an authority on human cultural systems or evolution. Witness our friend here who believes that all societies were and have been the same from the early stone age through the iron age--and clings to the claim even when contradictory evidence is provided.

Once again, i'm not arguing against the evolutionary value of altruism, i'm criticizing the context in which it is said to develop. For most of human history (and here i'm referring to h.s.s.), population densities were not great enough for direct competition between groups to have been likely. I see the value of altruism as lying in the group's dynamics.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 05:05 am
@Jpsy,
That, however, doesn't justify speaking of social "stratification," nor does it justify a claim that all societies are and have been essentially the same for hundreds of thousands of years--which is what Germlat seems to have been saying, and seems to continue to want to claim.

In a great many of those tribes, the leaders, the "chiefs" exercised very little real power.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2013 05:05 pm
@Setanta,
I would suggest that the term best describing the kind of power they exercised is (social) "influence"--in contrast to the "official" power of office.
0 Replies
 
argome321
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2015 12:50 am
@Logicus,
I don't know if there is such a thing as good and or evil, but I know that there are some people who are really good at doing evil things. I guess Hitler could be considered an evil person.
0 Replies
 
 

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