[ExI] No need for radical changes in human nature

Mirco Romanato painlord2k at libero.it
Mon Jul 6 17:01:07 UTC 2009

Dan ha scritto:
> --- On Fri, 7/3/09, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:

>>> I think that a stably non-violent society will emerge only after 
>>> enough people boost themselves to the equivalent of IQ140 or
>>> higher (so they won't have false consequentialist ideas about the
>>> need for initiation of violence), and erase whatever neural 
>>> networks make them envious and domineering (to remove the real
>>> emotional drivers of violence).
>> Is there any evidence that more intelligent people are less likely
>> to be violent or dishonest?

> I don't know about honesty, though I believe there's some evidence
> that intelligence correlates with lower levels of aggression and
> criminality.
> I've read some explanations of this along the lines of
> the more intelligent someone is, the more she'll think long range and
> even be able to empathize with others -- and hence be less likely to
> act for the short-term pay offs from violent and criminal behavior
> and more likely to look for long range gains by voluntary
> interaction.  There does seem to be some truth to this, don't you
> think?

More intelligent persons have more to gain from collaborating with other
people than they have using violence (that stifle future collaboration).
Intelligent people is able to specialize in some particular task or
skill or profession, from where they would be able to extract more
wealth than using aggression. The specialization itself, force them to
value collaboration with other people doing other things.

Aggression prevent a complex and efficient society from developing, and
a complex and efficient society is where the most intelligent people is
able to flourish. In a more violent society too much success, even for
intelligent people, cause the wealthy to become a target.

For example, in Papuasian tribes, the people with a many pigs usually
slaughter them for their tribes so other can eat them. Then they show
how much they are higher and reduce their value as targets of aggression.

> I think it's a common mistake to think, "She's smart, so she must
> agree with my politics."  However, there does seem to be some
> evidence that intelligence correlates with lower levels of criminal
> and violent behavior.

They have more skills to obtain the same without breaking the rules.

> This doesn't mean, however, that intelligent
> people won't still participte in this like statism -- where the
> violence and criminality are mediated via an institutional
> arrangement.

Or bending them in their favour.

> And, in this case, there is usually a complicated
> ideology to justify violence.  Moreover, the fact that an ideology
> must be used to persuade people seems to support the correlation of
> intelligence with lower levels of violence: intelligent people must
> persuade themselves in ways less intelligent people wouldn't.  They
> need a mechanism to short circuit their bias against violence.

Or simply to reduce the risks. They persuade others to do their biddings.

>> As for changing their brains to make themselves less aggressive, I
>> am hopeful that given the ability to make such changes, more people
>> would in fact choose to do this rather than make themselves more 
>> aggressive.

> If such a fix is possible and doesn't have other deleterious effects,
> I concur.

Exactly, we must differ from people unable to be violent and people able
to be violent but willing to refrain from this apart from self-defence
and self-preservation.


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