[extropy-chat] 300 and the Gates of Fire

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Sat Mar 10 19:03:44 UTC 2007

At 01:40 PM 3/10/2007 -0500, Keith wrote:

>Leonidas' death <b>did,/b> save Greek genes, specifically the Spartans',
>more specifically his genes through his children and even more specifically
>the genes of his male children who would have been killed by the invaders.
>I should add that understanding why we react so strongly with this story
>does not prevent us from feeling the powerful emotional effects it provokes.

So do you predict that

if you heard a story of 300 whitebread US soldiers heroically and at 
the cost of their own lives defending a poverty-stricken largely 
Islamic African nation against a vile force of two million invading 
'Stanians (or perhaps $cientologists),

you would *not* be moved?

Or, more realistically, defending Tutsis against Hutu genocide? Jews 
against Nazis?

That is, it's all genes rather than memes/empathic 
affiliations/whatever? Granted, bravery per se in face of great odds 
might be interpreted as a generalization of "defend the family 
against the world", but perhaps by the times it's got sufficiently 
generalized ("I detest bullies!") some other almost independent 
dynamics are in play.

Damien Broderick

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