German "social status" still offensive

John Woods eanv20 at castle.ed.ac.uk
Fri Nov 5 05:08:41 EST 1993


hurd at fraser.sfu.ca (Peter L. Hurd) writes:

>I fear you may be right.  Having children is _not_ an altruistic act.
>While I hate to drag evolutionary theory into this, anything which is
>altruistic entails some cost to reproductive success.  Having kids is
>the antithisis of altruism.

Let's not confuse social and evolutionary altruism.  Your definition
is the one that all biologists (including me) would agree on, but the
OED definition is ``regard for others as a principle of action;
unselfishness'' which is even wider than the behavioural
psychologists' ``helps you, harms me'' (i.e. Desmond Morris).

Nature has nothing to tell us about morality --- read SJ Gould's essay
`Nonmoral Nature' if you need convincing about this.


				... John Woods


		
-- 
"
Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit (Virgil)
[approx] Tr: The time may come when we will look back on these days and laugh
"



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