[ExI] experiment regarding ethical behaviors vs status:

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 27 11:19:36 UTC 2012

>From: Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>
>To: The Avantguardian <avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com>; ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> 
>Sent: Monday, March 26, 2012 9:47 AM
>Subject: Re: [ExI] experiment regarding ethical behaviors vs status:
>On 26 March 2012 02:28, The Avantguardian <avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com> wrote:
>So society deems cannibalism acceptable under duress but evil when at leisure.
>Actually, in anthropological terms, several societies admit or encorage cannibalism, but almost invariably it has therein a ritual and symbolic, rather than nutritional, purpose. 
>As mentioned another time, in fact, to eat members of your own species is a good idea only inasmuch as their meat is perfectly sterile or you do not have any other choice.

Eating your own species or even too close to your own species is super bad idea from a health and nutritional perspective. Sterility won't protect you from Kuru. It's a prion disease similar to Mad Cow's Disease caused by a misfolded protein in your meal. Ingesting the misfolded protein causes your own proteins to misfold in an identical manner causing plaques and lacunae to appear in your brain. Like chain-reactioned version of Alzheimers. Nasty stuff prions are and you can't sterilize them because they are simply screwed up proteins. Not alive so you can't kill them. Can't screw them up because being screwed up is what makes them dangerous in the first place. Pretty much the definition of fucked. Prions remind me of the Andromeda Strain.
Then of course you have the toxin build up on the food chain. The further up the food chain you eat, the more toxin buildup you can expect. Especially in the fat. Don't eat the fat or the liver of predators. The fat contains toxins, the liver contains fat and an overdose of vitamin D that puts you at risk for bone tumors. 
>OTOH, I am not aware that widespread ethical systems have much to say on the subject unless you do that deliberately in order to express contempt for the deceased, to desecrate his or her corpse, etc.
Don't get hung up on cannibalism. Substitute any taboo or 'evil' behavior in the place of cannibalism, and it would still sound true. If somebody put a gun to your head and forced you to break the law, would not most juries acquit you of whatever crime you may have comitted under duress? Is not justifiable homicide in self-defense somewhat similar to murder under duress? Are married men who get raped in prison commiting adultery on their wives? 

>efy my intuition at all. People don't achieve status by being nice, they achieve status two ways: by being ruthless or by inheriting it from somebody who was. 
>Mmhhh. Sociability and popularity and empathy and ability to cooperate in the group's shared interests against other groups may actually be a part of the cocktail - unless and until they do not detract to other more important factors. :-)

All the rest certainly helps. Also I notice you did not instantly conflate status with wealth or other forms of power. That is perceptive of you. More so than the Berkeley study. 
Stuart LaForge
"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting by fools." -Thucydides.

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