inspiring article - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Zsolt
    • 22.04.13 | 06:58 (IDT)

    Thank you for this very inspiring article about altruism. I have read it 3 times already and still find new things to think about. The following are excerpts I would like to "take with me": "...But altruism between people, psychological altruism, is something different. Here the definition relates to the intention behind the behavior, not necessarily its result..." "...But, you know, the idea of faith in an external power on which you are dependent and on which the group is dependent, and the ability to hold onto that faith collectively, serves an interest of cohesion: the group coheres around this, and cohesion, from a utilitarian perspective, is important for the individual. The great biologist Bill Hamilton argued that group altruism is the only pure altruism that exists. But his was a bittersweet conclusion. When you have an “other” against whom you do battle, you unite within the group and genuinely help your fellows..." "...Synchronization, empathy, justice, anger, punishment and shame are all mechanisms that are intended to solve the most basic problem: how to live within a group..." "...The journey reinforced my opinion that in order to enjoy the human adventure in the broadest sense, we need to both experience it and study it. We have many sets of tools for doing that, some of them scientific, some of them external to science..." "...When you have sex or jump out of a plane, at that moment you are not a philosopher. It’s something tremendously primeval. And I have no doubt that if you do something for the sake of someone else and are capable of appreciating the fact that the other person enjoys the act, this bears a power and a meaning that far transcend any reduction of altruism to the level of molecules and genes..." Thank you again!

    from the article: What’s in it for us? An Israeli historian searches for the origins of altruism
    First published 14:18 18.04.13 | Last updated 14:18 18.04.13
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