[extropy-chat] Usefulness of Anger and Hate

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Fri Dec 15 00:45:48 UTC 2006

Keith writes

> [Jef wrote]
> > The hate dynamic tends toward immoral actions
> What we feel is "immoral" has been shaped by evolution in the stone 
> age.  It is, for example, considered immoral to kill close relatives while 
> it is considered entirely moral to kill attackers who are trying to kill 
> those close relatives.  Exactly what you would expect from genes that are 
> rationally "trying" to get into the next generation.
> In times of low stress, that is the food supply looks to be ok into the 
> foreseeable future, and your tribe is not under attack, what we consider 
> immoral widens.

Yes, that's right.  Quite a number of behavioral traits including kindness,
generosity, and even loyalty and honesty are, alas, luxuries that due to 
our wealth today we can afford, but which many of our ancestors could
not afford.

> > because hate motivates
> > narrower context decision-making, evaluating consequences over narrower
> > scope of possible agents and possible interactions.
> That's a better technical wording to the way I usually put it.  I just say 
> that xenophobic memes and the mental state they induce (hate) interferes 
> with the parts of the mind that do rational thought.

What is not clear to me is how the "rational thought" that you
are referring to here relates to the values of the hater, or in
general an actor.  Could you provide an example where 
the xenophobia, say, was *irrational*?  Surely you mean, 
don't you, that it merely conflicts with some other also-EEA-
adapted values?


> A really short approach is hate makes you stupid.
> snip
> Of course the *reason* these mechanisms evolved is that (pre birth control) 
> humans lacked other ways to keep the population inside the ability of the 
> ecosystem to feed them.

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list