RE: virus: Altruism, Empathy, the Superorganism, and the Priso

Dan Henry (
Sat, 19 Apr 1997 13:03:38 +0600

At 03:23 PM 4/18/97 EDT, Wright, James 7929 wrote:
>And a few, rare or not according to individual perception, engage in
>altruistic behavior because they understand that all humans are related
>by more than common ancestors, that the progress of the race is faster
>when some individuals cooperate more than they compete, and that charity
>is its own justification, without regard to how, why or for whom it is

Sorry, this isn't altruism.

I cooperate all the time. I help my neighbors, I slow down at yellow
lights, and I hold doors open for all people. I do all this with completely
selfish motives.

Anyone calls me altruistic is itchin' for a fight ; ).

If there's an expectation of reward, or a sense of duty, then it isn't
altruism . I agree with Reed; what we call altruistic behavior can just as
easily be ascribed to other motives.

Families are very far from communistic, also. I have a 23-month old. He's
a hell of a lot of work, and I'll do anything for him. But I don't admire
his weaknesses or vulnerabilities. I have enormous respect for him through
all that he accomplishes every day. He's paying his way ten times over.

Sorry if some of this ground has already been covered (I just recently
resubscribed after a 6-month absence).

Hollis H. Henry
ES&H Analyst
SCIENTECH, Inc., Hyperk Group, TRAC/ARTeC Team
E-mail address:
Phone: (303) 464-1169
Fax: (303) 464-1328