Survival of the Fittest so Women Rule - Friendship as Adaptation - Biological Determinism
I have the good fortune of being in a college town. This week we had this lecture (summary below) as part of a larger series that goes on through Dec.
The questions this brings up are:
1.) Biological determinism? Is man just an animal? If he is just a product of his genes and biology then what stops us from moving toward nihilistic ideas like eugenic management of society?
2.) Why are the universities so determined to prove that we can be good without God? What is their purpose?
The ancient philosophers were not good without their gods, why do we think we will be? Did the Enlightenment give man hope and light in the short term, only to take it away in the long term, as the ideas matured to their conclusion?
3.) What value does man add to his existence by his will? And how is that will to stand if we have decided that there is no firm foundation?
We children of postmoderns try to construct our own reality and morality but does the center hold? Education has seemed to forget that even Socrates has his daemon, but today there is no virtue other than "to thine own self be true" - we forget that Polonius was a fool.
4.) If women are the natural communicators and relationship builders, and relationships are more rare in modern society and need to be rebuilt, and the world is changing to modes of communication that women are more naturally "wired" for (i.e. written/verbal language communication) ...
What will happen to men as the Internet and traditionally female communication styles become more dominant? Will men be relegated to irrelevancy? Will we change? If we do change, what will we lose? What will humanity lose? Can we change? (Is it even true that men are less language oriented than women?)
Fall 2012 Good Behavior, Bad Behavior: Molecules to Morality
Public Lecture: What are Friends for? The Adaptive Values of Social Bonds
Joan SilkJoan Silk, Arizona State University
When: Thursday, Nov 15 @ 5:30 PM
Where: Indiana Memorial Union Whittenberger Auditorium
Partnering organizations: Center for Integrative Study of Animal Behavior, College of Arts and Science - Themester, Cognitive Science ProgramOrganizers: Michael Muehlenbein and Kevin Hunt
Part of the Primate Behavior Speaker Series
Abstract: Group living has evolved in many animal taxa, but humans and other primates are unusual because individuals establish close and lasting social bonds with other members of their groups. Such bonds are particularly pronounced among females in species like baboons, in which females’ social lives revolve around a tight core of close associates, who are mainly close maternal relatives. Data derived from long-term studies of female baboons at several sites in Africa suggest that social bonds help females cope more effectively with the stresses of everyday life. In addition, females that have close and stable social bonds reproduce more successfully and live longer than others. These findings closely parallel evidence that social ties have positive effects on physical and mental health in humans. As with baboons, the strength and quality of these bonds are more important than their number. Although we are not yet certain whether the mechanisms that underlie these effects in humans and other primates are the same, it seems likely that the capacity and motivation to establish and nurture close social relationships with others have been under strong selective pressure in the primate lineage for many millions of years.
It would seem that a eugenicist has the most clear direction, but as you said Evolution is a road to nowhere in that it has no clear aims, goals or even direction if you account for the fact that all it does is ensure that an organism is well-adapted to its environment.
At least an evolutionist can claim that an animal is well adapted to a relatively changeless planet - but a eugenicist talks about being well-adapted to a constantly changing society.
That is nihilism.
I thought nihilism means to be without morals or values. As in no good or evil. To make the conscious decision to change the gene pool is to put value on what you wish to change.
Nihil means nothing in Latin--pardon the pun. I think it was originally designed to refer to atheism, but perhaps not to atheism as such, but specifically to the opinion that humanity is not grounded in God. It's a modern word for a modern opinion; for reasons I am not sure I can explain it is a political opinion. There was a Russian nihilist party, for example, basically revolutionary terrorism. No, not Lenin, before that, but yeah, something like that.
Nihilism is not the opinion that nothing exists or no opinion exists--but that they are groundless. You could put it this way: Our most serious understanding of the world is the abyss. I think that's what nihilism describes. Groundlessness.
Maybe eugenics is not groundless. Socrates proposed eugenics in the Republic when he talked about what the truly just city would be (the word is not just, actually, but noble or beautiful city). Breeding a warrior class to guard the city & defend it in war, as well as recruiting from among them the rulers of the city, seems to be crucial for the possibility of a just city. I would not call the desire for justice nihilist...
Hold over instincts from the tribe are a little more life and death than simple division of labor. If the men talked on the hunt, they weren't likely to make a kill. If the women stopped talking while gathering nuts and berries, they were likely already eaten by lions.
Hey Clint! The tag caught my curiosity. Just skimmed over it, since I'm prressed for time at the moment. Two remarks:
1) Get a copy of Dr. Henry Mansfield's book "Manliness". It is well researched and very insightful.
2) The "college experience" is SUPPOSED to be about discussion and seeing many sides of an issue. That's what "lecture series" are supposed to do. Learn to be wary of lecture series that 'indoctrinate' rather than 'explore.' Mansfield's book will help your discernment.
Harvey, the man's name is Harvey. & it's not a matter of research, that man's a professor of classical political philosophy, for crying out loud! Mansfield's book is not going to help anybody who does not want to read all the books he talks about, whether Mark Twain & E.R.Burroughs or Nietzsche & Plato...
Thanks Titus. You are correct. His name was Harvey Mansfield. I overlooked that when I typed it too fast.
I found the book fascinating simply because he did quote from so many resources. You know he's not BS'ing and making something up. "Manliness" is nnot an easy book to read, but very insightful.
Think nothing of it-
Gotta take a whack at something you quoted or asked: "Is it even true that men are less language oriented than women?"
One of the dominant feminist stereotypes is that 'women are better at communicating than men.' But let's look at that statement in less ambiguous terms?
"Women are better at the use of verbiage than men." Whoa! Women win that without an argument.
"Women are more 'efficient' at communication than men." Now that is a different matter. In my observation, men win the efficiency argument. Why?
In the workplace, men have ALWAYS been expected to be clear, concise, and 'to the point.' If you're a salaried professional, you are forced to learn that really quick. To be efficient at communicating, one must rapidly compose the information to reduce the subject to its' essential points.
Women in the workplace however, are allowed to take far more time before getting "to the point" since they have more need to... 'express themselves.' I actually witnessed a female manager of mine do this.
2. Socrates gets Euthyphron in a contradiction regarding the plurality of gods: It is impossible that they be different & coherent. Tending to one would be hateful to others. Man would be fated--doomed. But that does nothing to disentangle the good from the divine. One god, as opposed to many gods, would seem to be immune to that argument-